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What is Field Study Method in Psychology

Observation in Natural Setting

In this article we will discuss that What is Field Study Method in Psychology/ What is Field Research in Psychology or Field Study in Psychology.

Definition of Field Study Method

Naturalistic observation is a method of observation, commonly used by psychologists, behavioral scientists and social scientists, that involves observing subjects in their natural habitats. 
Researchers take great care in avoiding making interferences with the behavior they are observing by using unobtrusive methods. Objectively, studying events as they occur naturally, without intervention. 
In contrast, Jane Goodall studied the role of chimpanzee social and family life with field study method, and Psychologists conduct similar observational studies in human social, professional and family lives.

Sometimes the participants are aware they are being observed and other times the participants do not know they are being observed. "They can be overt (the participants are aware they are being observed) or covert (the participants do not know they are being observed)". There are obviously more ethical guidelines to take into consideration when a covert observation is being carried out.

Introduction of Field Study Method in Psychology

It is also called the method of natural observation. In this method, the expert studies the human character in natural environment. This method does not impose any restrictions, nor does the person know the intentions of the experimenter.
This is an ancient method to study of facts. Psychologists attach great importance to the use of this method in solving social psychology problems. 
For example; Psychologists cannot take a child as an experiment and expose him to the environment in order to see the effects of malnutrition on children's development. In which he should study the effects of giving poor food to the child. For this, he can only study the children who are brought up in fashionable attitude.
In the same way, information on fashion, attitude formation, habit adaptation and propaganda etc. has been obtained through this method.
According to proponent's of Gestalt, observing the character of an individual under disciplined circumstances can lead to a change in his character which makes his character unnatural.

Research about Animals with Field Study Method

With field study method, the role of animals and humans can be better studied in their natural environment.  Nowadays, automatic cameras are fitted to study animals. Because even at the slightest whisper, the animals get frightened and run away. So due to these cameras, the smallest movement in their natural environment is noticed without any interference. And this method has been very successful.
Because these cameras may studied from large animals to insects. Convex lenses are also used for very small insects. Today we take a closer look at the habits, habitats, and eating habits of all kinds of animals.

Research about Human Being with Field Study Method in Psychology

Similarly, if you want to study human beings, go among them. Today, the country is ahead in terms of defense, whose intelligence system is successful. And espionage can only be done if you go to the relevant group or country, become an individual of them, stay among them and get accurate information.
In the same way, a successful government has all kinds of news from every corner of its country, and the grievances are resolved before they reach the lips of the people.
Likewise, if we want to know what the topic of today's students is, then we can find out their ideas only by joining their different groups and living among them. This method is used in a very broad sense.

Steps in Field Research Method (Credit/ Reference/ Ownership QuestionPro. com)

Due to the nature of field research, the magnitude of timelines and costs involved, field research method can be very tough to plan, implement and measure. Some basic steps in the management of field research method are:
Build the Right Team: To be able to conduct field study, having the right team is important. The role of the researcher and any ancillary team members is very important and defining the tasks they have to carry out with defined relevant milestones is important. It is important that the upper management too is vested in the field research for its success.
Recruiting People for the Study: The success of the field study method, depends on the people that the study is being conducted on. Using sampling methods, it is important to derive the people that will be a part of the study.
Data Collection Methodology: As spoken in length about above, data collection methods for field study method are varied. They could be a mix of surveys, interviews, case studies and observation. 
All these methods have to be chalked out and the milestones for each method too have to be chalked out at the outset. For example, in the case of a survey, the survey design is important that it is created and tested even before the research begins.
Site/ Location Visit: A site visit is important to the success of the field study method and it is always conducted outside of traditional locations and in the actual natural environment of the respondent/s. Hence, planning a site visit along-with the methods of data collection is important.
Data Analysis: Analysis of the data that is collected is important to validate the premise of the field research method and  decide the outcome of the field research.
Communicating Results: Once the data is analyzed, it is important to communicate the results to the stakeholders of the research for generalization.

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