Being a good observer in a fundamental aspect when carrying out an investigation. Observation is the process of observing someone or something. It is often an informal action, but it can also be formal and involve the collection of data. It can also be the collected information itself. There are different types from scientific to social.
You are likely to observe all the time and you will see many examples in your daily life. And now you can identify the different types that occur around you all the time. Once you have made an observation, you can make an inference from what you have seen to reach a conclusion. Test your knowledge on the topic with a worksheet. Ready to master another skill? Look at some examples of classical conditioning in everyday life. Some of them may surprise you.
Understanding this technique
In science, it is necessary to make observations to prove or disprove hypotheses using the scientific method, the process of hypothesizing, predicting, testing, and concluding based on.
Although it is true that all scientists use it, anyone can do it simply by observing. To understand, take a look at different examples of scientific, technical and social observation.
Before we get into patterns, styles, and results, let’s back up for context. We can apply it to many things, from nature to traffic to storms and just about anything. According to Jiménez (2004), what we observe in the unusual can produce a moment of wonder that we can apply. However, in our daily search, the things closest to us can produce the most relevant and meaningful observations. The key is to take the time to step back and put the puzzle back together.
Examples of scientific observation
A chemical reaction in an experiment
A patient after giving him an injection
An astronomer who observes the night sky and records data about the motion and brightness of objects he sees
A zoologist observing lions in a den after the introduction of prey to determine how quickly the animals respond
Air traffic controllers observe the movements and location of aircraft on their monitors.
A meteorologist looking at Doppler radar as a storm approaches
A botanist recording daily data on plant growth after observing and measuring each day
A graph showing data collected over time
A doctor observing a patient’s reaction to a medication
Examples of technical observation
For a chef to do his job well means that he will have to look at specific things to make sure that the food is coming out correctly or that his employee is performing well.
A chef watching his roast in the oven as it cooks
A fisherman observing the tension in his line, indicating that a fish has taken the bait.
A crab fisherman observing the activity of his cages, indicating that he has caught crabs.
A psychologist observing a wife’s reaction to her husband’s confession
A childcare provider who observes the interaction of the children
A baker watching his cake in the oven to make sure it rises and cooks properly
A cook watching the water boil before adding the pasta
A producer observing the actors in a scene
A kennel operator watching the dogs play together
A mechanic looking under the hood while the car is running to try and diagnose a problem
A teacher observing his students during independent work time
A boss who watches construction workers to determine their effectiveness
A pit boss watching the dealers and players in a casino to prevent theft or fraud
A principal observing a teacher giving a lesson to his class to judge his effectiveness as an educator
Examples of social observation
Whether you’re a parent keeping an eye on your child or watching a couple fight in the park, social observation occurs at all times.
A father watching his children interact with other children on the playground
A boy looking at a fish in a fish tank
A little league coach who watches children play to determine their strengths and weaknesses
A spectator watching a movie unfold on the big screen
A person sitting in a restaurant looking at others
A father watching his children play together
A babysitter who watches the dog and cat play with the children
A man watching pigeons eating birdseed in the park
Children watching ducks swimming in a pond
Tools used in observation
Why is it important to be a good observer?
Life and work are chaos, rushing by as we try to keep pace. Getting the balance right is good enough, but good enough keeps us from messing with our life‘s work in a real and purposeful way. Being dizzy doesn’t produce lasting results.
The mere fact of looking does not produce anything. Observing produces knowledge when we evaluate patterns, styles and results. The reason why it is important is focused here: to discern patterns, styles and results.
The things closest to us can be broken down into a simple two by two, consisting of work and life and self and others. The goal is not to limit ourselves, but to understand interesting habits with the elements closest to us.
Eliminating the barriers
Let’s do an exercise. In the “I” column, we are a colleague or partner. Our work environment provides a stage in which we interact with others to complete tasks, projects and initiatives. Our living environment provides a stage in which we build relationships to help each other or take on other interests that develop us as good human beings.
Moving on to the “Other” column, our work and living environments contain many characters and stories. We can see how others collaborate in their workplaces. We can see how others are citizens in their communities.
Within each place and orientation, there is the good and the bad. We can observe what we do well and what we do not. We can observe what others do well and not so well. According to Londoño et al (2014), each of them offers a significant learning moment if we take the time to observe, consider and act. Acting from observations is changing our habits to be better people. Getting out of our observation boxes is the kind of leader we are and want to become.
Observing is just looking out the window. Deciding what you learn and then acting more consciously are the keys to being a more complete leader. The window we look through is reflected in the window of our soul. From here, our wheels of inspiration and aspiration turn in a positive direction.
Being an observer within each area provides a rich view in which we can see patterns, styles, and outcomes.
Patterns, styles and results
Within each of them, we learn and lead in a more conscious way. After all, being self-aware is only part of the formula. The other part includes being aware of others. Together, enhanced awareness emerges as the new standard. The formula: Self-Awareness + Awareness of Others = Enhanced Awareness.
Patterns are the connections we can make with behaviors, actions, inactions, conversations, thoughts, etc. Patterns are connecting points that we make, seeing a bigger picture or a direction that is negative or positive.
It is the behaviors and approaches that we detect that distinguish an individual from others. What distinguishes someone can be positive behaviours, methods and attitudes or negative behaviours, methods and attitudes. The good and the bad produce perceptions of what we should do and what we should avoid.
The results are the conclusions. Some are significantly successful. Some are not successful in many respects. Relating patterns and styles to results allows us to determine what our patterns and styles should be in order to get the best results in life and work.
Characteristics of the data collection method by this technique
It is a systematic method
It is not random or unplanned. The duration of the periods, the interval between them, the number, the area or situation of observation and the different techniques used are carefully planned. Systematic efforts to control the situation are often made if special factors are to be studied, for example, the study of honest behavior, sportsmanship, leadership qualities, etc.
It is not limited to looking for general aspects of human behavior. Rather it addresses those specific aspects of the total situation which are assumed to be significant from the point of view of the purpose of the study. The layman can often miss what is crucial when observing an event or phenomenon, but the scientific observer must look for some concrete things that fit his purpose of study to save his time, money and observation effort.
It should be objective and free from bias as much as possible. Generally, it must be guided by a hypothesis. Ethical neutrality must be maintained. You should consider the hypothesis as something to be tested. But at the same time you must maintain a flexible attitude, so that you can deviate from your original plan when such a deviation seems unavoidable.
It is quantitative
Although many important phenomena cannot be quantified, it becomes almost imperative to use some means of quantifying observations in order to increase their precision and facilitate analysis. Even quality must become quantity, because qualitative data is subjective and quantitative data is objective and can also be interpreted objectively.
It’s a matter of eyes
It is a systematic and deliberate study through the eyes. An observer collects data that he has seen with his own eyes. The collection of information through the eyes is probably the most reliable technique of data collection in social research.
It must have defined goals and objectives. They must be clearly defined before starting the observation process itself. Without the proper goals and objectives, monitoring will be piecemeal and costly.
Registration is done immediately
During the observation period it is very difficult to remember each and every element of the observation. You can forget a lot of important information. If we rely on memory, the forgetting factor will enter and affect the observation data. Therefore, you should record all important information as soon as the observation is over.
The result can be checked and verified. It must be verified with the usual criteria of reliability, validity and usefulness. It is possible to check the results by repeating the study.
What are the qualities of a good observer
According to Guevara (2016), the qualities of a good observer are the following:
Good physical condition
Mental fitness is not the only quality, but physical fitness is also possessed. If a person is in good physical condition, he should be considered a good observer. Therefore, both physical and mental condition are necessary.
If a person has the ability to quickly judge the situation and have a sharp mind, they will immediately register the information. Therefore, it is necessary for you to record the data immediately.
You must have the ability to discriminate about things that should be observed and those that should not. It has the ability to differentiate things and situations.
You need to have good eyesight. You must observe the situation in its real form.
You must be different from other people. You must have a quick mind and the power to see situations that occur in the moment.
It is a general quality and one of the most important. To estimate what will happen in the future. You must possess the quality of estimating the future of your study.
An investigator’s power of perception must be high. He must perceive things and the situation really and his vision on these situations must be quick and sharp.
control of emotions
Efficient sensory organs
Your sense organs must function effectively. You must have the quality to use your five senses properly.
Quick in decision making
You must have the quality to judge and make decisions quickly. You must have the ability to know the good and the bad, the relevant and the irrelevant.