Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity. Observations can be qualitative, that is, only the absence or presence of a property is noted, or quantitative if a numerical value is attached to the observed phenomenon by counting or measuring.
The limitations of observation as data collection tool in research are
- Establishing validity is difficult.
- Subjectivity is also there.
- It is a slow and laborious process.
- It is costly both in terms of time and money.
- The data may be unmanageable.
- There is possibility of bias.
These limitations can be minimized by systematic observation as it provides a framework for observation which all observes will use.
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