Naturalistic observation method of psychology


  • What’s the importance of naturalistic observations for the scientific understanding of behavior?

    Human behaviours are very versatile. There are different aspects of the same behavior. Dining behavior for example is universal but its menu, timing, amount and various other aspects are influenced by the different socio-cultural factors. The most simple way to know the variance in dining related is to observe it naturally. From physics & chemistry to psychology, naturalistic observations play key roles in describing the different facets of the variable of interest.A liquid changes the color of a litmus paper and we come to know that it’s an acid.likewise we come to know that how an individual behaves when he is angry . Naturalistic observations are valid ways to know the reality ( Aristotle).It gives very pure data about the course of an action. The completeness and naturality are major characteristics of this method. Organisms particularly human beings show social reactions when in a social condition. They don’t behave naturally and spontaneously when aware that their behaviors are being observed ( Hawthorne effect) and when are in a alien settings. So their true behaviors are expressed only when they are in natural settings and when they’re not aware that their behaviors are being observed.In naturalistic observation method, these two issues are addressed categorically.when this method is applied properly, we get power to generalize . Ethologists using this method only became capable to declare that tigers do solitary hunting whereas loins prefer to catch their prey in group.Such generalization is possible only due to this method.Naturalistic observation method however is just descriptive. It can not explain why because it doesn’t control multiple influence that might enter the situation.This method is the first step towards knowing any naturally occurring phenomena.


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