Types of Observation Method 

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Types of Observation Method 

The nature of observable social phenomena is varied and complex. As a result, many forms of observation have been used in different situations in social research. Therefore, many types of observation are told. From the point of view of convenience of study, it can be understood as follows


(1) Uncontrolled Observation,

( 2 ) Controlled Observation ,

( 3 ) Participant Observation ,

( 4 ) Non – Participant Observation ,

(5) Quasi – Participant Observation

(6) Collective Observation.




(1) Controlled Observation: Observer and observe under controlled observation. Social events are controlled. To control the observer, many types of means are used, such as making detailed plans of observation, use of schedules and questionnaires, use of maps, regional notes, diary, use of photographs, cameras and tape recorders etc. In order to control the social phenomenon, control is done on the circumstances or factors which are to be observed. In this way, such an artificial environment is created in which the conditions or components remain the same.

(2) Uncontrolled observation: In uncontrolled observation, natural and real life events are carefully studied. Under this, an attempt is made to see the events in the way in which they are happening. In this there is neither control over the observer nor over the event or situation. It has three forms –

(1) participatory observation,

(II) non-participatory observation and

(III) Semi-participatory observation.

(1) Participant Observation: It was first used by Lindeman in 1924. Through participatory observation, the observer for the study becomes a member of the group to be studied. Participates in group activities and observes. There are two views regarding participation. First, according to American social scientists, keep your identity a secret from the observer. Second, according to Indian social scientists, one should not keep his introduction and study purpose secret.

(II) Non-Participant Observation: In non-participant observation, the observer neither becomes a temporary member of the community or group nor participates in its activities, looks at the events like a neutral person and reaches its depth. tries to.

(III) Quasi Participant Observation: Semi-participant observation is a combination of participatory and non-participatory observation. In this type of observation, the observer participates in some work of the community or group to be studied and mostly observes it neutrally without participating.

(3) Mass Observation: When the observation work is done by many persons collectively, then it is called collective observation. Under collective observation, there are many experts related to different subjects of a phenomenon. These experts submit their observed facts to a central person. The conclusion is drawn by that central person on the basis of those collected facts.



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