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Q9. Types of direct observation

Direct observation techniques involve obtaining actual samples of the individual’s behavior (Cohen & Swerdik, 2002).

The various types of direct observation are as follows:

  1. Naturalistic observation: involve viewing the individual’s behavior in real-life settings (e.g, psychiatric hospitals, work settings, and classrooms).
  2. Controlled observations: involve evaluating behavior in more structured situations (i.e, a laboratory room.) 
  3. Role playing: which combines the naturalistic and controlled observational method, involves a person playing an assigned role for the purpose of assessing the individual’s behavior in various situations

They can also be classified as:

  1. Time allocation: Researchers randomly visit selected locations to observe people performing tasks without their knowledge.
  2. Continuous monitoring: Researchers observe the subject(s) and record their behavior either manually, electronically, or in both ways, to the maximum possible extent.

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The Psychology of Personality: Viewpoints, Research, and Applications By Bernardo J. Carducci

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