Field Research

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  • Research that involves participant observation and data collection (e.g., through surveys) in a less controlled setting than that used in laboratory research. Laboratory research strives to reduce the influence of variables that may affect the study of the desired relationship between variables. Because field research does not necessarily allow for controlling confounding variables, statistical criteria (objectivity, reliability, and validity) are often at stake. The advantage of field research lies in its (potentially) ecologically valid character, as it takes place in the natural environment rather than in artificial laboratory settings. Furthermore, some groups of participants may be difficult to reach with laboratory methods. Field research can often provide initial observations that may stimulate further and more controlled research and, therefore, could be regarded as important in ...

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