Sir Davi Mbelu University of Phoenix Introduction In this paper attempt shall be made to compare multicultural and traditional psychology research methods with a view to examining observation and sampling as the variables of interest. However, these variables of interest shall be assessed in respect of how they are applied in cultural and traditional psychological research. In addition, the fundamental problems that may be encountered by the researchers during the implementation of the observation and sampling in cultural and traditional psychological research setting shall be addressed.
The major aim of observational methods as observed by some scholars is to describe behavior. Through the instrumentality of observational methods scientists as wholesomely and as clearly as possible strive to examine and describe human behavior (Shaughnessy, 2003). In a bid to reaching this goal researchers face go through huddles, as a result it becomes closely impossible for researchers to observe an individual’s behavior wholesomely.
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However, scientists employ and depend more on observing sample of people’s normal behavior. Observation is one good source of hypothesizing individual behavior as such it is seen as the first step in the right direction to unravel why people behave the way they do. For instance, research reports that temperament variations in early childhood are associated to notable adult behavior patterns (Shaughnessy, 2003). Culture reflects another setting in which behavior appear in various dimensions as cultures itself.
Furthermore, scientists noted that in traditional and cross-cultural research, consummated assessment and descriptions of behavior demands that observations be conducted across various situations, time, and place (Shaughnessy, 2005). In situations in which accurate results of behavior is difficult, researchers tend to obtain a representative of behavior. However, external validity, which demonstrates how observation is generalized, is contingent upon how behavior is sampled.
It is important to note that when and where observational research is conducted is an essential decision that must be considered by the researcher, for the reason that investigators oftentimes cannot observe all behaviors in most observation studies. Therefore, it is pertinent that results obtained are generalized based on certain behaviors observed to have taken place at a particular time in definite settings and under certain conditions whether in form of traditional or cross-cultural research.
The event and situational sampling are essential research tools used to improve the validity of observational studies in both traditional and cross-cultural research. In most cases researchers essentially employ a combination of situational and time sampling for representative samples identification (Shaughnessy, 2003). Time sampling is deeply associated with time interval. Researchers tend to obtain representative samples by employing different time interval for their observations, through systematic or randomly or both. Time sampling helps to increase the representativeness of behavior sampled.
However, time sampling is found less effective method of sampling behavior in situation in which event of interest occurs inconsistently. The implementation of time sampling in an inconsistent concept not only lead to missing the entire events but also losing sight of the essential part of the event, like the events beginning or end. Event sampling, on the other hand, is used to observe or uncover formally unplanned or unpredictable events, which may include school play, technical or natural disasters, for example, Japan’s earthquake of March, 11 2011, triggering tsunami waves.
Event sampling is considered very effective and efficient sampling method when implemented in inconsistent variables or events. However in sampling various situations, researchers tend to improve the diversity of sampled subject, as a result cover more grounds than they would ordinarily achieved if certain types of individuals were observed. Situational sampling deals with behavior observations in as many various situations, covering multiple circumstances, and conditions as possible. Situational sampling also enhances the external validity of research results as such it is very useful for multicultural research methodology in studying arious or diverse cultures. Observation is methodically classified in two fronts, which includes observation with intervention, or observation without intervention (Shaughnessy, 2003). The major difference between observation interventions is that observation without intervention deals more with behavior recording (Willems, 1969). However in the event of an observation taken place in a natural setting, and an observer decides not to intervene is oftentimes referred to as natural observation.
In naturalistic setting events happen naturally, which is neither controlled nor manipulated by the passive observer who keen interest is to record as they occur as opposed to the laboratory setting, which is specifically designed to study behavior. This method achieve three major aims, which inter-alia include: Description of behavior in view of the natural occurrence, and to assess the metooism among variables of research results or findings, and naturalistic observation as essential research strategy to control ethical and moral that may impact experimental control (Shaughnessy, 2003,p. 88).
For the obvious reason that scientists have unbridled penchant to explore nature, observation with intervention is more commonly employed, which is rooted in the believe that behavior changes is susceptible to the pressure of an observer, which constitutes one of the major problems for researcher in using this method. Researchers tend to choose intervention approach to apply in natural setting through three major methods, including participation observation, structured observation, and the field experiment; however, the extent and nature of intervention differs across these three approaches (Shaughnessy, 2003 p. 91).
Participant observation is employed into major ways, which includes disguised, or undisguised. Once too often, researchers use undisguised participant observation for effective understanding or knowledge regarding the culture and behavior of group of people which most often applied by anthropologist (Levin, 1963). Moreso, the understanding that people do not behave normally as they should, if they are aware that their behavior is being observed, disguised participant observation is appropriately used. Much as participant observation be it either disguised or undisguised may allow an observer access to situations not ordinarily open to both raditional and multicultural research. It behooves an observer in employing these approaches to be mindful of possible loss of objectivity and unforeseen impacts the behavior under study may have on a participant observer. Structured observation is oftentimes employed to deal with the problem associated with using naturalistic observation during behavior observation. It is mostly used by clinical and developmental psychologists. The only problem associated with structured observation is parallel protocol.
That is when the procedures are not maintained across observation, and observers’ inability to control important variables (Shaughnessy, 2003 p. 94). In field experiment researchers as mainly employed by anthropologists or sociologists in natural setting aims at an observer manipulation of one or more independent variables (IV) to understand their impact on behavior. Field experiment differs from other observational approaches because researchers tend to affect more control during field experimentations, and it is commonly applied in cross-research (Shaughnessy, 2005).
Cross-cultural researchers often traverse several fundamental problems in a bid to implementing those variables. Some of the problems may include among other things: Sample must be a fair representation of culture under study. This involves sampling application of parallel approach in traditional and cross-cultural research during random sampling. In cross-cultural research chances are that an observer may not effectively affect his or her observations with strong rapport and tryst between him or her and the culturally diverse people understudy.
Researchers are basically concerned with establishing a network of communications and cordial relationship with population of people from different cultural backgrounds. Because of the importance of possessing effective communication in place language often poses a problem as a result researcher are forced to learn the prevailing language or get an interpreter. In addition, is the problem of ensuring establishment of fundamentally equivalent constructs, (Halls, 2010). This implies that in cross-cultural research a scientist should ensure that concepts or variables understudy has imilar meaning from one culture to another. Reliability and bias continue to constitute a problem in cross-cultural research. When two or more researchers are involved, it becomes pertinent that they should agree in respect of what was observed. By involving two or more researchers bias and reliability become more controlled and increased. Also as observed in interventional observation the participant’s awareness of the researcher’s presence affects the experiment results of the observer. Another major problem in traditional research, which researchers are often perturbed with is the issues of reactivity.
Arising from demand characteristics (behavior in accordance to research expectation) or social desirability (which involves presenting themselves in a way they think or look most appropriately acceptable) is these tend to affect research validity. Through gradual and subtle mixture of the various cultures under study, chances are that population of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds can orchestrate their natural behaviors nuanced in the desensitization of their awareness of the observer.
Last, it is pertinent to note that disguised research, like traditional research are capable of erupting ethical problems in cross-cultural research, which has the potential to negatively impact on the rapport and trust considered quintessential to cross-cultural research. Conclusion I intend to conclude by reflecting on the words of (Halls, 2010), that “Theories and research in psychology traditionally have been assumed in psychology to be universal one size fits all. Given above, i could appreciate the fact that multicultural psychology hunches cultural parallelism. Moreso, traditional research when employed across population of various cultures appear to affect the external validity of the research, illustration drawn from European Caucasian sample demonstrates that one size does not fit all. Also in line with the assignment an observation and multicultural psychological are presented. In addition, comparison of these two variables in respect of multicultural and traditional research is also presented. An nsight into some fundamental problems encountered by researchers in their bid to implementing variables cross-culturally as much as possible is provided. References Hall, G. C. N. (2010). Multicultural psychology (2nd ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NH: Pearson Prentice Hall. Levin, R. (1963). Behaviorism in psychological Anthropology. In J. M. Wepman (ed. ) and R. W. Henie (ed. ), Concepts of personality (pp. 361-384). Hawthorne, NY: Aldine Publicity Company. Shaughnessy,J. , Zechmeister, E. , & Zechmeister, J. (2003). Research methodology in psychology. (6thed. ). New York, New york: McGraw-Hill.