Hus Research Methods
Natural occurring observations are needed for this assignment. Do not get in contact with a person face-to- face without keeping the at least 6 feet social distancing. There is no need for you to make conversations with people. The purpose of this assignment is to “observe” people’s behaviors in natural settings. You can observe from your window. You can observe people within your household. Since you will be observing in public places, you do NOT need to obtain permission from those individuals you will observe. You should be as “natural” as possible. You do not want to draw attention to yourself. Remember that people tend to behave differently if they know they are being observed. They might also perceive you as an intruder. Do not use cell phone. Follow the guidelines for protection of human subjects that you learned in CITI. The observation should last between 45 minutes to one hour.
1. Prepare for the field:
• Read Babbie’s guidelines for recording field observations (Chapter 10)
• Select a setting (park, your house, or anywhere that can ensure your safety)
• If you decide to go out to a park for an observation, make sure you wear a mask, and keep at least
6 feet social distancing from people.
• Review the guidelines for protection of human subjects before completing the observation.
2. Conduct and record the observation:
• Date and Time: Record date, time, and duration of the observation
• Describe the setting:
o Describe the setting and your reasons for choosing it for your observation
o Discuss any problems you experienced in gaining access to the site
• Record your observations:
o Observe and record. Take scant notes while you observe.
o Expand on your notes as soon as possible after the observation.
o Be explicit and clear in your description of the behaviors and interactions you observed.
3. Identity inferences and reflect
• Read your field observation report.
• Underline any inferences (what you think really happened and what you think you heard).
• Reflect on your personal thoughts and feelings about one of the inferences you underlined.
4. Evaluation: Summarize what you learned from this assignment.