This method was used by Albert Bandura to study aggression in children (the Bobo doll studies).
A lot of research has been carried out in sleep laboratories as well.
Participant observations can be either cover or overt.
Covert is where the study is carried out 'under cover'.
Observation (watching what people do) would seem to be an obvious method of carrying out research in psychology.
However, there are different types of observational methods and distinctions need to be made between: In addition to the above categories observations can also be either overt/disclosed (the participants know they are being studied) or covert/undisclosed (the research keeps their real identity a secret from the research subjects, acting as a genuine member of the group).
This technique involves observing involves studying the spontaneous behavior of participants in natural surroundings.
The researcher simply records what they see in whatever way they can.
Compared with controlled observations it is like the difference between studying wild animals in a zoo and studying them in their natural habitat.
With regard to human subjects Margaret Mead used this method to research the way of life of different tribes living on islands in the South Pacific.