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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.