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November 27, 2014 / C H Thompson

Non-participant observation

by Sam Cook

Some sociologists conduct observational research without participating in the activity being studied in order to reduce0001849_470-Cadbury-Roses-Tub the risk of those being observed will be affected by the presence of the researcher. An example of covert non-participant observation is – ‘The survival time of chocolates on hospital wards: covert observational study.’

This process also avoids the Hawthorne Effect, though to achieve this the observer has to conduct their research in a manner which prevents the participants knowing they are being researched for example by a hidden camera (though this does raise ethical issues).

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