We explain what observation is, what its objective is and the methods it uses. In addition, its general characteristics and the types that exist.
Observation is the ability of the human being to look attentively and to distinguish an object, a person or a situation, through the sense of sight . It is one of the methods of perception and capture of information about the world that surrounds the individual.
It involves a reasoning process through sensory information received by sight and which is influenced or affected by sensory information from the other senses : hearing, smell, taste and touch .
For example: If a small cloud of smoke is observed that comes from a nearby house, it can be assumed that it is a controlled smoke. On the other hand, if shouting and sirens are heard when observing the smoke, it can be decoded that it is an emergency.
Observation is also a method used in scientific research to study certain phenomena. Through observation during a certain period of time, verifiable data and information are obtained. The scientific observation may require research tools such as a microscope to observe cells or a telescope to observe the stars of the sky.
Among the main characteristics of the observation, the following stand out:
The general types or methodologies of observation can be:
The scientific method is one of the research procedures that is based on observation to obtain quantifiable and verifiable information about an object of study.
It requires the elaboration of a previous hypothesis that will give reason to the experimental investigation. The hypothesis will allow defining a structure or series of steps to follow for experimentation through observation.
The registration of the steps applied to scientific observation is useful so that the process can be repeated , to corroborate the veracity of the data obtained or to modify any of the instances if necessary.
It may require the use of observational instruments and tools that allow obtaining qualitative (that is, descriptive) and quantitative analytical data that are assigned numerical values so that they can be measured and compared.
The type of observer can be in two ways: