Good Example Of An Observation Of Hand Washing Behavior In Two PRE-Selected Settings Essay
In this observational study, a hypothesis that the practice of hand washing is not influenced on social orientation was developed and tested against the results obtained. Hand washing was identified as the dependent variable that is influenced by an individual’s social orientation (independent variable). The washrooms of a college students’ cafeteria and a public restaurant provided the settings to study two different social orientations of the participants. An unobtrusive observation was conducted in each of the two different settings for 20 minutes. A total of 50 participants in each setting were observed. The findings revealed that about 70% of people in public restaurants avoided washing their hands after eating since they did not visit the washrooms. In the college cafeteria, 80% of the participants visited the washrooms to wash their hands after eating. The results in the two different settings showed that college students were keener on washing their hands after eating than people who eat in public restaurants. The hypothesis that hand washing is not influenced on social orientation was rejected. This could be attributed to the level of awareness and attitude towards hygiene between the two groups. Students are continuously taught sound hygiene practices unlike the public who are not constantly updated on the same. Additionally, the public may view hand washing as a waste of time. Students have time in their schedule to practice hand washing after eating. I learned that subjects who know they are being watched alter their behavior in order to look more admirable. The ethical concern that arose was that of observing participants without their consent. People who wish to replicate this study should debrief their participants after observation, and seek for their consent prior to using the observations. Another interesting thing learnt is that direct observation is vital when studying things that are unethical to control. An unobtrusive observation allows for observation of behaviors that are not open to scientific observation. However, participant observers can lose their objectivity at times due to as their participation in the study. The observer may also unduly influence the participants’ behavior in the study. Conclusively, attitude may be said to differ from behavior in that the former entails negative or positive feelings towards something, such as, hand washing, while the latter reflects actions. Usually, people’s actions are influenced by their attitudes. Hence, the individual's intentions form the boundary between their attitudes and behavior.