What is observation?

The term is used to define the action of observing, which is carried out through the senses. It is applied as a method for investigation, it allows the analysis of behaviors or facts. The observation mainly uses the sense of sight , this is given both in animals and humans. However, it is required to be patient, meticulous and stealthy when observing, you should not intervene or interrupt on the phenomenon under study.

In this sense, it is understood that the human being uses this method as a tool for analyzing and understanding phenomena. This is possible thanks to your reasoning and discernment skills. For their part, animals that lack reason, use observation according to their instincts and needs, for example, in hunting. Similarly, both animals and humans use three key elements in the process of observing: The observer, the object observed and the purpose or reason for observation.

Likewise, other characteristics of observation are found in continuous contemplation, evaluation, and examination. It is important to note that this analysis tool must always throw some kind of outcome or response. On the other hand, a text written in the form of a note is also called an observation. This has a clarifying function about a certain study or analysis. Who writes it tries to explain clearly or correct something wrong that has been noticed, its intention is to avoid confusion.

What are its basic elements?

  • Observer: It is the subject or individual who performs the observation, is dedicated to the analysis. A goal is previously set and the fact, specimen or behavior to be observed is selected. In addition to this, you must have basic knowledge regarding what you intend to study.
  • Object: Represents what will be observed, it is selected with foresight and under a specific criterion, which depends on what the observer intends to investigate. In this sense, and after the study, answers and results will be found regarding the objective set, this becomes knowledge.
  • Circumstances: They are the elements and conditions that surround the object to be observed. These circumstances may or may not affect the result to be obtained, in some way, it ends up being part of it.
  • Media: These represent the tools created by the human being to expand their continuous capacity for analysis and studies while observing, such as video cameras.

Observation types

  • Qualitative observation: This type is characterized by giving an important role to the observer. The annotations, information and systematization collected in the observation process is determined by the interpretation of the observer.
  • Quantitative: As its name indicates, the information and data collected are quantitative , that is, through numbers. This type of observation is more precise, objective and measurable, the observer can control the variables while observing.
  • Direct: The observer plays a participatory role in this type, then, he gets involved and interacts with the phenomenon to be analyzed. It is considered a way to obtain accurate and reliable information.
  • Indirect: It is unreliable, there is no assurance that the information collected is real. This type is characterized by indirect interaction with the phenomenon to be studied. The observer fulfills his role by collecting second-hand information, given by individuals who interact directly with what is to be analyzed.
  • Self-observation: For self-observation the individual fulfills two roles, the first as an observer and the second as an object of study. The main objective of this type of observation is to evaluate and analyze behaviors and behaviors of the individual, usually recorded through logs .

Observation Examples

  • Field observation, in which the observer lives in the place where the phenomenon is.
  • Anthropological observation focuses on the analysis of human behavior, conduct and relationships.
  • Laboratory observation, the phenomenon is located in a closed and controlled space.

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