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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2016 > Research tips: Unobtrusive research

Research tips: Unobtrusive research

You can discover a lot about human behaviour by discreet observation, says research specialist Tarja Moles

Unobtrusive research refers to data collection methods where researchers do not have direct contact with the people they are studying. In other words, these methods are not obtrusive and therefore they do not affect the research subjects’ behaviour.

It may seem strange that you might study individuals or groups of people without interacting with them in any way, but people actually leave behind evidence of their behaviour and thoughts all the time: just think about the letters to the editor published in local newspapers, social media updates that are visible for everyone online or people’s spending habits recorded by market researchers. These are all traces that can be treated as potential sources of data.

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Earn from your writing and get published: Cash prize competitions, calls for submissions and writing opportunities in 20 pages of Writers' News Discover your inner writer Cut to the heart of your novel – without losing the plot Social skills: Learn to use your online time to the max 10 top tips to get your book published and keep it selling Reader successes: Readers share their success stories Meet our publishing deal competition winner Star interview: Prize-winning poet and author Kei Miller on writing without boundaries

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