Many types of data required by the social scientist as evidence in research can be obtained through direct observation. The greatest asset of observational techniques is that they make it possible to record behaviour as it occurs. In addition to its independence of a subject’s ability to report, observation method is also independent of his willingness to report.

Application of this method in the collection of research data necessitates the identification of sources and fields of investigation. This identification is very important to avoid the likelihood of an investigator to go astray and waste time, effort and scarce funds on unwanted data.

After the researcher has satisfied himself about the proper identification of the area of operation, he or his appointed agents collect the data personally by meeting the respondents directly.