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               Observational Study

  
There are a number of research methods.  One research method
is the observational study.  What is an observational study? Below
is one definition of an observational study:

Observational Study Definition:

An observational study is a study in which a researcher simply
observes behavior in a systematic manner without influencing or
interfering with the behavior.

     
The researcher would record the behavior that he or she
observes.  There may be rating scales that the researcher would use
when observing the behavior.
     Observational studies can involve naturalistic observation or
laboratory observation.  Naturalistic observation would involve
observing behaviors in the natural environment.  Laboratory
observation involves observing behaviors in a research laboratory.

Observational Study Example:

    
There are many possible observational study examples.  Below
is one example of an observational study.
     Imagine that you were interested in whether karaoke singers
who are more animated would receive more applause from the
audience.  You could visit a restaurant that has karaoke and
observe karaoke singers during one evening.  You could rate each
karaoke singer with respect to how animated the singer was.  
Moreover, you could rate the degree of applause that each singer
received.  You could then determine whether there was any
correlation between how animated the singers were and the
applause that they received from the audience.