Naturalistic Observation Of A Observation Essay

Naturalistic Observation Of A Observation Essay

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Naturalistic observation is a method that is used to collect behavioral data in real life situations. The researcher needs to be careful not to interfere with the natural setting. Data can be gathered by observing from a distance without making the subject aware that he/she is been observed. The researcher can also join the setting and became a part of it so as to gain the trust of the subjects. As a result the subjects will behave normally. The observation may be direct or indirect. In the direct method the researcher is present in the setting but in the indirect method other means such as video recordings are used. Indirect method allows the observer to capture activities that would easily be unnoticed. Direct method on the other hand allows the observer to focus on particular areas of interest.

Case study

This is a naturalistic observation of a child and his parents in a health care facility.

Am African-American family is sited in the Children 's Hospital of Philadelphia 's waiting room. It is 9 am and the hospital has a sizeable number of patients to attend to. The young boy is approximately 7 to 9 years of age. He is wearing a blue T- shirt and blank trousers. His mother a full figured lady is in a red and white poker dots dress. The father is quite tall approximately 5 '7”, he is in a long sleeved purple shirt, a black tie and black pants. He appears to be dressed up for work.

As the observation begins the family sits quietly in the waiting room. The husband and wife converse in low tones. The young boy keenly observes the hospital environment, often turning his head and moving around his chair. His father signals him to sit still. The boy looks at his mother and goes back to his sit. However, a few minutes later he star...

... middle of paper ... notes and then analyze the findings.

Alteration of behavior by subjects when they become aware that they are been observed is another challenge. Therefore the researcher needs to be very cautious so as not to alert the subject. The researcher should record his findings without intervening in the situation.

It is a challenge to avoid experimental bias when observing the inner city families. It is difficult to remain object without allowing personal predispositions or stereotypes to cloud ones judgment.


Naturalistic observation of children and their families in a health care facility is an effective method of carrying out a research. This technique can assist in gathering data and gaining insight more than other research methods such as structured interviews and quantitative methods. Human factors are a challenge in any form of observational research.

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