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Field Data Collection -- Research Starters Sociology
By: Wienclaw, Ruth A.;
2009 / EBSCO
Data for behavioral research can be gathered in a number of ways. Although in experimental paradigms researchers have a great deal of control, the results of such studies often have limited generalizability and cannot account for the great complexity of variables experienced in the real world. On the other hand, field data collection techniques including field observation, field research, and unobtrusive measures offer the researcher little or no control but are rich sources of information about the way people actually act in the real world. The data gathered using these methods enable researchers to apply inductive reasoning to real world data so that the variables contributing to behavior can be better understood and testable hypotheses can be formulated. Field data collection tools are an important part of the behavioral scientist's toolbox and can add to our understanding of human behavior in significant and important ways.