Naturalistic observation takes place as scientists perform observations in a naturally occurring situation, without becoming actively involved. In performing naturalistic observations, a scientist does not make an effort to manipulate or change what is occurring. The purpose of this kind of experimentation is to create a detailed record of the events that happen and of perceptible associations between events, without having any control on the results.
Apparently the objective in performing naturalistic observation is to arrange the data collection so that what is going on is comprehensible to the observer, but is not so important or conspicuous that they become the focus of attention or matter to participants. Natural observation is the initial phase of many systems of investigation in psychology as well as in other sciences. Such observations give a fundamental implication of the main variables and analytical connections between them which can be examined later in a more thorough manner.
Through my experience with naturalistic observation, I tested the relevance of the scientific method. I repeated the explorations of Kalfus by observing the Adelphi University parking lot to determine how many entering cars had drivers wearing their seat belts. The purpose of fulfilling this task was to determine if there is a difference in the number of drivers of one gender utilizing the seat belt from the other as well as determining if there is a difference in Caucasian drivers using the seat belt from African American drivers.
I hypothesize that approximately 90% of women drivers will be wearing a seat belt while only 70 % of males will be wearing one. I also hypothesize that 80% of these participants who are wearing a seat belt will be Caucasian and 75% of them will be African American. To gather my data, I began by preparing a chart. This chart included seven columns that described twenty five cars, a yes and a no column, a female and male column and an African American and a Caucasian participant’s column.
I continued my research by situating myself in front of the University Center at approximately noon on April 28th. . I positioned myself on a bench to the right because that is where cars enter the parking lot. I sat there with my sunglasses on as if I was waiting for someone or just catching some sun. As cars came through the entrance, I would glance over in that direction, with sunglasses on so that it doesn’t appear that I looking straight into the car. I recorded in my chart each time a new car entered.
When I had observed twenty five drivers, my chart showed that out of these twenty five drivers, twelve were women and thirteen were men. . The observations showed there were distinctions between the number of men wearing seat belts and women wearing them as well as a difference observed how many Caucasian drivers wore seat belts and how many African American drivers did. My results conclude that 91. 6% of women wear their seat belts while only 42. 6% of males use it.
I was also able to conclude that 69. of the black participants wore their seat belt and 50% of the white participants wore theirs. According to my recorded information, the total of drivers coming into the Adelphi campus parking lot wearing their seat belts was 68%. As the number of deaths increased as a result of failure to apply seat belts, laws were enforced to minimize this problem. In 1987, Kalfus inspected just how affective these regulations were. His records show that within a year, the typical obedience level increased from 74. 2% to 92. 8% due to the new seat belt laws that had been distributed.
Those who were least prone to act in accordance with these regulations were males ranging from the ages of eighteen to twenty five; nevertheless, they included a great fraction of the total source of participants. Drivers who choose to take advantage of the safety belt and those who don’t, were not capable of categorization by their social, financial or racial backgrounds. As oppose to kalfus’ observations, recorded approximately thirteen years ago, my observations were able to distinguish a slight variation between seat belts users of different races.
While nine out of thirteen African American participants had their seat belt on, only fifty Caucasians had theirs on. My results were unsuccessful in supporting most of my hypotheses. I had hypothesized that the total percentage of users would estimate to approximately 79%. My observations proved that only 68% of my participants are users. I hypothesized 90% of women to be users but fortunately 92% were users. While I had expected 70% of males to be buckled up only 46. 2% were.
I had estimated that 80% would be Caucasian and 75% African American but examinations showed that only 69. were African American and 50% Caucasian. I had based my assumptions on my own stereotypes of these groups. I suppose that women are more responsible and mature than men therefore I made my educated guess based on that while I guessed men to be less cooperative because they see themselves as tough and rejecting any kind of assistance. Because of historical marks between the two races, I hypothesized Caucasians to score higher and African Americans to score slightly lower than Caucasians.
My results implicate that today there is so much individuality and we cannot stereotype because we are proving ourselves to be incorrect. I believe this exercise can reveal much about our society because we are not manipulating the participants. I think naturalistic observation is the most accurate form of data collecting because it neglects bias approaches. This exercise could be improved by including other races such as Asians, Hispanics etc because they are a large part of our population.