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NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION.

Miller, D.B(1997), Roles of naturalistic observation in comparative psychology.

American Psychologist, 32(3),211-219

Analyze the applicability of three of the early Greek philosophists observations on

explanation of human behavior used in psychology today.

Naturalistic observation is a research method commonly used by psychologists today. This

technique involves observing subjects in the natural environment. This research type is used to

understand human behavior in that one needs to study nature through ways like deductive

reasoning and observations. Researchers tend to observe subjects in their real-life environment.

The Greeks, Thales(640-546BC) stressed the unity of nature and stated that matter and

life are inseparable, and that water is the origin of all nature.

Naturalistic kind of approach is a type that majorly considers lab studies are unrealistic,

cost prohibitive or can unduly affect the subject’s behavior.

Naturalistic observations involve looking at a behavior as to occurs in its natural setting

with no attempt at intervention on the part of the researcher.

Psychologists may want t use this type of research because it allows them to directly

observe the subject in a natural setting. This gives psychologists a chance to get a firsthand

information at the social behavior and allows them to notice other things directly which they

could have never encountered in the lab.


These observations can therefore lead to insights and serve as an inspiration for further

investigations into particular observations.

Naturalistic observations allow researchers to study things that cannot be manipulated in

the laboratory for example it can be unethical to study the effects of imprisonment by actually

confining subjects. Researchers can gather information by using naturalistic observations in a

real prison setting.

Psychologists today may use naturalistic observation when learning behavior of

teenagers. Psychologists may work with a group of teens in a particular environment, observe

how they relate with each other, behave towards the opposite sex and how their behavior affects

the way they behave. Teens living in a children’s home are like to behave differently from kids

living with their parents. Orphans are brought up in such away that they have to accept the

situation and this helps them in that anyone who tries to torment them, threaten or laugh at them,

they are able to practice self-control to avoid getting into fights and chaos too. In summary,

natural observations give a first-hand information to the psychologist.