Naturalistic Observation of the Mall essay sample

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Naturalistic Observation of the Mall

I should state that I chose a shopping mall for the naturalistic observation and took notes for 30 minutes. The most common reaction was that people gave me an incredulous look but continued their way while being too busy and in a short of time. Several persons – a man, aged older than 50 years, came to me and began to explain in a loud voice that I interfered in his personal space.

He said that I had to stop immediately. The same was expressed by a man much younger, but very nervous for some private reason. The other common reaction was that people came to me and asked questions, what, why, with what purpose, for whom I worked etc. One reaction was unusual and funny: a group of three young men, after seeing the stopwatch in my hand, began to run and compete in speed. Then they came back to me and asked who won. We laughed together and wished a good day to each other.

According to Goodwin (2009) the method of naturalistic observation has two characteristics: a) the observer is not trying to manipulate of any aspect of the situation, but simply observes and records the event; b) monitoring is not in an artificial environment created in the laboratory, but in a natural setting, where this behavior is usual. There are two main types of natural observation - active observation and passive observation. In the first case, the observer takes part in the activities of the group, to get more accurate information about the behavior of its members. In the second case, the observer tries to remain invisible and records specific details of individual’s or group’s behavior.In order to be effective, the naturalistic observer should:- develop appropriate ways of registration and classification of the information received.- carry out a number of preliminary studies to ensure that all observers will similarly interpret the observed event.


Goodwin, C. J. (2009). Research in psychology: Methods and design. New Jersey: John Wiley & …

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