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Participant Observation

Participant Observation is a research strategy that involves getting close to people.  It requires the researcher to make the participants feel comfortable enough in their prescence in order that observations are recorded about their lives.  Participant observation data gathered can be both qualitative and quantitative.

Participant observation normally involves fieldwork and can involve three very different approaches:

  1. Complete participation involves deception where the researcher is required to join a group without letting on what they are doing.
  2. Participant observers can be insiders who observe and record (observing participants), or outsiders who participate and record (participating observers).
  3. Complete observer involves the researcher following people around and recording their behaviour with the minimum of interaction between researcher and group.

Particpant observation requires a special type of researcher.  Mackman Research has a participant observation specialist on the team who is adept at this particular method.

In the event that you are considering participant observation research then please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your needs or to request a quotation.