An observation is something noticed directly by your senses. There are three different types of observations. A qualitative observation is an observation about essential attributes of an object. For example, color, shape, texture, etc would be examples. A quantitative observation is an observation that can be described or measured in concrete numerical quantity. For example, weight, temperature, height, length, and mass would be examples.
Continuos monitoring (CM) involves observing a subject or subjects and recording (either manually, electronically, or both) as much of their behavior as possible. Continuos Monitoring is often used in organizational settings, such as evaluating performance. Yet this may be problematic due to the Hawthorne Effect. The Hawthorne Effect states that workers react to the attention they are getting from the researchers and in turn, productivity increases. Observers should be aware of this reaction. Other CM research is used in education, such as watching teacher-student interactions. Also in nutrition where researchers record how much an individual eats. CM is relatively easy but a time consuming endeavor. You will be sure to acquire a lot of data.
Time Allocation (TA) involves a researcher randomly selecting a place and time and then recording what people are doing when they are first seen and before they see you. This may sound rather bizarre but it is a useful tool when you want to find out the percent of time people are doing things (i.e. playing with their kids, working, eating, etc.). Thereare several sampling problems with this approach. First, in order to make generalizations about how people are spending their time the researcher needs a large representative sample. Sneaking up on people all over town is tough way to spend your days. In addition, questions such as when, how often, and where should you observe are often a concern. Many researchers have overcome these problems by...