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Advantages and Disadvantages of Observational Studies | Business Research Methodology

Advantages and Disadvantages of Observational Studies | What are the advantages and disadvantages of observation studies relative to surveys? | Business Research Methodology | Week 3 DQ1| Westcliff University 

Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of observation studies relative to surveys?

Advantages of Observation Studies

  • Simple and easy way of data Collection

As compared to surveys, observation studies are regarded as one of the easy and simple way of collecting data which occurs in a natural setting. Data collection through observation helps the researcher to understand things in a better manner as people easily understand many things by observing the surroundings.

  • Hypothesis is framed using Observation Studies

It is believed and considered that the observation is one of the key factor for the purpose of formulating the hypothesis as after observing something for a continuous period researcher are well known with the things that have been observed.

  • Information is accurate to a greater extent

As compared to survey, observation studies provide more accurate information as the observer can closely observe the behavior of the respondents. In other methods of data collection it might be possible that the respondents can be biased intentionally or unintentionally regarding providing information leading to unreliable information.

  •  Universality

As compared to survey method, observation method of data collection is universally applicable and is applied in all sciences either physical or social.

Disadvantages of Observational Studies 

  • Some phenomenon of study are abstract in nature

It is not possible to observe everything since some social phenomenon like love, affection, feeling and emotion are abstract in nature. In this case the researcher should look for other techniques of data collection that would lead them to relevant information.

  • Reliability Lacks in information

Since the social phenomenon like I mentioned above cannot be observed or controlled can lead to false assumptions perception or may result in the biasness by the observer (Choudhary). This automatically leads to the unreliable information and also the observer does not make any attempt to further verify and check the accuracy of the information.

  • Slow and Costly

As compared to survey, Observation studies is more costly and slow method of data collection. If the researcher wants to carry out his/her research in a proper and accurate manner then he/she must be calm enough to analyze and observe the surroundings. It is costly as compared to the other methods as the observer is required to travel to the location in which he/she is carrying out his/her research.


Choudhary, A. (n.d.). Advantages and Limitations ‘Observation’ Method for Data Collection. Retrieved from Your Article Library:


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