Naturalistic Observation Research Results

Observation is categorised as one of the key skills of user research. Naturalistic Observation is a research method that involves observing the subject matter in their environment without intruding or changing it in any way. The observer must carefully watch the effortlessly taking place behaviour without permitting the topics know that they are being observed. This sort of research is useful primarily since it allows the researcher to immediately observe the subject matter in an all natural setting up. It allows the researcher/observer to review aspects that cannot be manipulated in a lab due to moral concerns. It also serves the goal of supporting the exterior validity of the research as the studies that are observed are happening in the environment.

Study: 1

Date: 19th July, 2014. Day of the week: Saturday. Time: 11:00 A. M. - 12:00 P. M. (morning) and 6:00 P. M. - 7:00 P. M. (evening). Location: Caf Coffee Day, C G S Chamber, Surface Floor, Nagarjuna Hillsides, Near Road Number 1 1, Banjara Hillsides, Hyderabad - 500034. Near GVK One. Duration of observation: each program was of an hour each (60 minutes). Collectively, two time (120 minutes) of observation.

Not so important, yet Observer: Prakriti Dasgupta.

Background: I did so two trainings of observation of both an hour each and on a single day at Caf Caffeine Day, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. The first at 11:00 A. M. - 12:00 P. M. in the morning and the next one at 6:00P. M. - 7:00P. M. in the evening. The whole reason for carrying out two packages of observation was only based the concept of finding out whether there's a difference in the group and just how they react when they go to the Caf in the later time of the morning hours as opposed to those that go to the Caf in the evening.

Layout of the Caf: The Caf remains available generally of the day as well as nights. It is located in one of the busiest roads in the town and therefore caters to a large variety of customers ranging from early morning office goers to university students. It could be discovered as a "hang-out location" for several friends or just a place where lonely soles sit down with a cup of coffee and a reserve, spending their time just how they desire.

Within the first 15 minutes, I detected different varieties of customer behavior patterns. The first procedure consisted of men and women who have been present at the Caf to attend an official meeting with their fellow office co-workers presumably over breakfast, while there have been others who were resting which I assume is due to the hectic night time shifts at their workplace. This is more or less confirmed by the way they were dressed up and the exhausted look on their faces.

Stages of observation
Systematic observation of the Customers
  1. Entry of the customers
  2. Abiding by the sociable norm of standing in a queue
  3. Purchase
  4. The wait after the purchase is made
  5. Finding seating preferably

Between 11:00 A. M. - 12:00 P. M.

Entry of the customers: With scheduled respect to the fact that every person differs and behaves diversely, we can categorise them into those which are in great rush and those which may have the required time in their palm. On going into the Caf, a few of them immediately stood in the queue, without wasting a single moment to even look around, while there were some who straight grabbed food from the compartments and then stood in the queue. Ignoring those that were in a hurry, when we switch our focus on those people which aren't, we see them to be searching, with calm expression on their faces. They look like the ones who do not have to meet any deadlines. There were also a small group of young girls who got friends waiting for them. They were carrying school bags and were dressed in casuals which indicates that these were university students.

While in a queue: There was no interaction between the people who have been standing in the queue. They stored themselves occupied by looking at their telephones and hearing music. Some attended phone calls while one female held justifying over the telephone as to the reasons she was later and wasn't at her office yet. Two men and one woman required out their wallets and wallet respectively. The band of young girls placed giggling and laughing about a certain boy whom they find attractive, back college.

At this point, at around 11:33 A. M. a proper dressed girl (L 1) rushes into the Caf and will try to persuade a marginally older man, forward in the queue if he'd allow her to make her purchase before he have. She justified her need by expressing that she was past due for work and got two kids longing in the car and they needed to be dropped to university. The man, appeared to be in two minds which I assumed, due to his facial appearance but however was convinced and allowed the lady to stand in the queue before him. At this time, another woman (L 2) who had been holding out in the queue for days gone by 15 minutes, increases her tone to subject and asks the lady (L 1) to return and stand in the queue. Plainly she (L 2) was overdue for work as well. As soon as she (L 2) objected, all others position in the queue start to support her. This was followed by other verbal objections from other folks standing up in the queue. Some of them even exchanged dirty looks. A little argument took place among them where in fact the lady with the youngsters (L 1) used her kids as bait and the other (L 2) asked her not to use her children as an excuse for violating certain communal norms. Ultimately the girl (L 1) was forcefully ejected from the series. Having no choice, she proceeded to go and stood right at the end of the queue and awaited her change.

Purchase: A lot of the customers carried a bag with them rather than an individual customer was standing in the queue with out a mobile phone in their hands. This reflects how man struggles to maneuver around without technology. It has turned into a requirement more than luxury. One important things that I recognized was that none of them took a look at the menu cards or the particular cafe served which suggested that they were regular customers at the cafe plus they were aware of what was available. However, there have been four young children who were seated at one corner of the cafe, intently considering the menu and speaking about what all of them wish to have. A lot of people in the cafe needed the caffeine and sandwiches they purchased and ran from the cafe while only a few sat at the cafe and experienced their food. There was this little girl with her mother who looked at the cupcakes on the counter and then meticulously and purchased one for herself.

The wait around: Most people crowded across the counter, awaiting the food that that they had just bought with numbered charges in their hands. These were restless and impatient. They maintained taking a look into their watch in a repeated manner. The group of college girls retained enquiring because of their order every five minutes and they finally managed to annoy the administrator sitting at the counter. Most of them opened their handbags and wallets and placed the surplus change they had within it. Along get back they either held their cell phones in their storage compartments of of their bag. Since, almost all of them had ordered a cup of coffee irrespective of whether they had purchased anything else to eat with their hot drink or not, it was seen that they needed the coffee using their right hand and simultaneously found a lid and a straw using their left. They were those that were in a rush as they ran from the cafe as soon as they received their order. The ones that were eating in the cafe carefully taken the tray to their seats making an effort not to spill the espresso.

Finding preferable seating: It had been noticed that if people didn't get the seats with their choice they simply stepped from the cafe. No one waited for the seats to become clear. This suggested that there have been other options avaiable outside as well from where they could acquire food. There is a group of five men, who joined the cafe at around 11:47 A. M. who left as soon as they failed to find a totally empty stand. This also reveals the fact that individuals are not prepared to sit down with other unknown people even when one or two seats were unfilled in the other occupied dining tables.

Difference in the 'Type' of customers that went to the caf from 11:00A. M. - 12:00P. M. in the morning and the ones who been to the caf at night from 6:00P. PM. - 7:00P. M. : It is important to notice that the public that the cafe catered to, at the maximum office hours was different from that they catered to in the evenings. In the evenings, the folks who visited the cafe were mainly the young masses consisting of teens in contrast to the office goers each day. The cafe catered mostly to solo customers in the morning who drop by the cafe to get their breakfast but, in the evenings most of people are in teams who are relaxing and talking about different insignificant things that bother them, sipping their piping hot coffees, biting to their sandwiches and partially gossiping. The surroundings is calm and nobody seems to be in a hurry. The director at the counter also appears to be settling the accounts in tranquility and there is no time crunch and deadlines that require to be achieved.

Observations and interpretations
  • The woman objected and halted the other female from jumping the queue. As soon as she against it, there were other folks in the queue who reinforced her. Violation of sociable norms such as reducing into queues is no appropriate thing to do and is not acceptable by the crowd consequently. Perhaps jumping queues could have been a less strenuous thing to do in the evenings when the group is pretty much understanding and easy going. Early research indicates that individuals were unwilling to concern queue jumpers which basically shows that our spontaneous public order maintenance is vulnerable. Milgram's experiment also concludes that in mere 10% of the occasion's queue jumpers were actually ejected from the lines. On about 50 % of the occasion people scarcely cared to behave or take an initiative to avoid it. Milgram attempts to explain that most people are too worried to intervene or concern a queue jumper because challenging queue jumpers could mean burning off your own devote the line. There is chance that a fight might take place and many people are delayed while it is being sorted out. This reflects on the theory that public systems have to tolerate some deviance in any other case they could hastily collapse. Additionally, when people stand in a queue, in a restaurant, group development is difficult and because of which sociable order is incredibly fragile. People tolerate queue jumpers as they themselves want to avoid interpersonal disorder.
  • People kept the coffee shop when they did not find a totally empty table because people do not like to remain and show the desk with complete strangers.
  • Some of the people got out their wallets when the stepped in to the coffee shop which suggests three things: they could be in a rush or they are running late for a few important work, or they are extremely eager or they prefer to prepare yourself before they start doing anything, in this case, standing in the queue.
  • People are extremely impatient and restless and they do not like waiting. Women tend to be impatient than men are. Men tend to wait silently. Although, men remain quiet, their faces give away their restlessness. Regardless of that their tolerance level is greater than that of women. This aspect however, does not fit into the stereotype which says that ladies are usually more patient than men.
  • Young young ladies are attention seeking, therefore, they try to attract attention towards themselves by their gestures and just how they speak to each other. They employ improper words to even greet each other, for example: "Hi bitch". The term "bitch" is being casually found in this context and is also not meant literally. The use of crass language among girls and the kids of this technology is basically an attempt on their part to seem "cool" and popular amongst their peers. Also, they cannot stay without going for a look into their cell phones every now and then.

These assumptions and generalizations are purely made based on this particular observation. They change in every circumstance.

Study: 2

Date: 19th July, 2014. Day of the week: Saturday. Time: 3:00 P. M. - 4:00 P. M. Location: Lamakaan, an available social space. In Lane Adjacent To CBay, Contrary GVK One, Highway No. 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana 500034. Duration of observation: 2 time (120 Minutes)

Background: I attended a dialogue, on whether the education system eliminates imagination or not. The discourse happened at Lamakaan. As an observer I used to be restricted to participate in the discussion actively. Several eminent educators, mentors, university/college professors and industrialists from different sectors were present, who had been willing to share their views and viewpoints on the matter that were raised for conversation. There have been 36 people who attended the discussion.

Observation and interpretations: The entire event was well organised and effectively completed by Man1. The discussion proceeded within an orderly manner. Before the discussion began, there was a program where all individuals present for the dialogue had to present themselves. This procedure was overlooked by Man1 himself. This was the first illustration of interaction between the participants present. This procedure was characterised by understanding for fellow individuals, to a certain extent only. Man1 exhibited leadership characteristics. His characteristics were those of a democratic innovator. He didn't restrict the members in anyhow. The discussion was pretty much informal in aspect. Although the talk started on the calm and handled tone, the surroundings in the area soon changed. A series of heated arguments, ambitious gestures, difference in views and finally conformity among all the individuals is how the debate can be identified.

I witnessed different social behavior throughout the span of the discussion. In order to simplify the duty of observing, I named a few fellow members who were actively getting involved in the discussion. Users: Man2, Man3, Woman1, Female2, Sweetheart3, Girl1, Lady2.

To be noted: all the customers taking part in the talk were well read and were aware of the current circumstance prevailing in the education sector and the impact of the flawed system.

Man2 was an influential speaker. He managed to convince all the individuals in the area by saying relevant facts, but failed to convince Girl1. His justification for the claims he had made, didn't charm to her. She constantly scrutinised his debate. Both were competitive in aspect and constantly argued throughout the talk. In due course of the debate, Man3 who was intently noting down every assertion, interrupted the discussion and spoke up to get the sweetheart1. Really the only interpretation that can be produced by this is the fact, sweetheart1 was successful in convincing, if not absolutely all, but one participant. Her discussion, therefore cannot be dismissed. At this point, Man1 intervenes and will try to control the situation. He was still relaxed, composed and self-confident and held on to his composure regardless of the chaotic situation and considered the perspectives of both Man2 and Woman1. He takes the midway course and succeeds in convincing both participants. He expresses valid facts and talks logically. When the situation were pretty much handled, it still wasn't. Followed by this when female2 makes a assertion, she is compared by Gal1 and Woman2. Both of these are students and they continue to claim with Sweetheart2 within an aggressive tone. All this while, there is a small detail that I possessed forgot to mention. The individuals were already sitting with people whom they already realized from before. Only the 5 individuals who came exclusively for the dialogue sat beside other fellow participants who they did not know. They were in communities throughout the debate. People were discussing among themselves, arguing, and there is complete chaos in the area at one point. People spoke out of chance, brought up their voices so that they can put their views across. This is when Sweetheart3 can take control of the situation. She makes her declaration on another aspect and expresses her facts aloud thereby, moving the emphasis of the argument to another concept related to the same issue. She was extremely persuasive and gave just reasons to the participants to trust her. It was very interesting to observe how she was solitary handily successful in putting her ideas across. When girl3 entered the discourse, she exhibited all attributes of an influential person. She was comfortable, consistent, and had unbiased views. Minority effect refers to a kind of social influence where in fact the individual with contrastingly different values compared to the other folks, should have accurate ideas and should resist cultural pressure and maltreatment. Her views were influential and convincing to such an extent that other people who were confused and were in two brains, combined with the ones who got strong contrasting thoughts conformed to Lady3. Conformity refers to any change in behaviour that is caused by another person or an organization of men and women i. e. Lady3 has acted in a certain manner which had influenced the others to conform to her declaration. But there was one such young man who took an active part in the discourse but, was hesitant to accept the ideas put forth by Girl3. In anticipated time, he as well conformed to her. Conformity was studied by Solomon Asch, who conducted an experiment which concluded that it was mostly cultural pressure from perhaps a majority group which could have an impact on a person to conform. In this case, it was primarily informational conformity as Lady3 stated correct, and rational facts and figures to prove her idea and affirmation. It is basically the power of the situation that regulates and influences all human behavior. It's the power of the problem that brought about instances of social affect and conformity.

I observed that people belonging to the same age ranges thought alike. Their ideas and views converged plus they behaved in the same way. They had similar patterns of pondering and interpreting the situation. They reacted to certain situations in similar ways as well. This is possibly because most of them have become up experiencing the same strong changes in the contemporary society. Also, this may reflect similar mentioning patterns.

In course of the discourse I accomplished an in-depth information on the different social behavioural patterns which man will exhibit with regards to the prevailing circumstance.

Acknowledging the benefits of Naturalistic Observation, this research technique also has quite a number of disadvantages that people cannot dismiss. In this kind of research approach, people may behave differently if they come to know that they are being viewed. They become mindful and may try to behave in a certain way in order to comply with what they consider the observer expects to see. One major downside of this research method is that different observers may attract different conclusions on the basis of their observation of the same witnessed behaviour, due to their ability to make exact assumptions which is again a exceptional scenario in the majority of the cases. However, observing different human behaviour patterns carefully and then attracting meanings out of these poses as difficult to all or any those researchers who carry out experiments on the basis of this research technique.

The end.

Tata Institute of Community Sciences. Name: Prakriti Dasgupta. Move No. : H2013BAMA28. Subject: Social Mindset. BA 2nd Calendar year, Semester: III.


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