Quantitative researchers sometimes see this flexibility and the tendency of observers to become personally involved in their field setting as threats to reliability and validity.

However, qualitative researchers regard these same features as strengths of the method. The involvement and naturalness of the observers reduces their disruption of the setting and group under study. After getting used to the observer’s presence, the subjects can return to their normal routines.

The observer who looks, listens, and flows with the social currents of the setting can acquire perceptions from different points of view. Interviews with different subjects and observations at different times and places in the same social network should defeat any effort to “fake” behaviour. This approach has the advantage of triangulation.