"Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see" - .......... All human beings live and experience the world subjectively. Taking what people say and what they do at face value will undermine most of the value of the research. If a researcher is to overcome this challenge, data on human actions must be gathered as opposed to beliefs, values or opinions. Methods such as questionnaires and focus groups provide only secondary data processed through an intermediary (the respondents) who actually witnessed the event and is relating it to the researcher. Events can change much in the telling and retelling, particularly if the occurrence is sensitive or the event occurred long ago and the respondent's memory has faded. Thus, in this context observation of an occurrence will have greater face validity than a second hand account gathered through the other data collection techniques mentioned above.
As the adage given above also indicates, observation research is hardly perfect. The known fallibilities of observation research cause several challenges to the process, impeding the validity and reliability of data collected. …
- American Medical Association
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