We explain what scientific observation is, its characteristics, types and steps. Also, its advantages, disadvantages and more.
Scientific observation is one of the main research methods that is obtained through the information received through the senses and that allows the formulation of a hypothesis.
It is considered scientific because to obtain and collect the data it is governed by a series of ordered steps. The results are analyzed and dumped in a public knowledge research study that has the objective of validating or refuting the initial hypothesis.
Scientific observation is carried out in a planned, controlled and validated manner . It is a research method in which each step is recorded, which guarantees that the process can be repeated or replicated with another object of study for comparison.
Depending on the type of phenomenon to be observed, the use of research instruments may be required, such as content cards in which quantitative data or values are documented, bibliographic cards to record the information sources of a documentary-type investigation or a microscope to observe the composition and behavior of the cells.
Observation consists of examining a phenomenon as it appears , without modifying or altering it, and is one of the steps of the scientific method .
For its part, experimentation consists of intervening or provoking a phenomenon with the aim of studying it to obtain a certain result or variation and is another of the steps of the scientific method.
Scientific observation is characterized by:
It implies that the object or situation to be observed must be determined, how it will be observed and at what times, based on a previously formulated hypothesis or assumption.
It implies the ability to manipulate the variables, that is, the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the phenomenon studied. The independent variables (IV) are controlled by the researcher to obtain different data and the dependent variables (DV) consist of the effect or result and are affected by the IV.
It implies that the observation process must be replicable through step-by-step recording. This allows the investigation process to be repeated if necessary to corroborate the result.
It implies that the results of what is observed must be reliable and validated, so that they serve as arguments to support or refute the initial hypothesis.
Scientific observation can be carried out in two ways depending on the type of discipline that includes the research and can be:
It consists of an investigation that requires locating the observer in a certain context. For example: in the social sciences, research in the territory is usually required to understand what the sanitary conditions in which families live in a certain neighborhood are like.
It consists of an investigation that requires observing a phenomenon through certain instruments and in a controlled environment. For example: in the natural sciences , the behavior of cells is usually studied, for which the use of a microscope, among other scientific instruments, is necessary.
The scientific observation method is based on the following steps:
Scientific observation has some limitations, such as:
Scientific observation has advantages, such as: