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Observation Room

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Observation Room

An observation room is a term used to describe a room next to another room with a window across the side of one of the walls. It is usually blacked out although occasionally both parties can see each other.

Observation rooms sometimes referred to as the back room or viewing room and are often seen in police dramas or in hospitals. An observation room works in a similar way in market research.

A researcher may be interviewing a respondent or conducting a focus group and additional researchers and members from the client business may be in the observation room. Under ethical practice the researcher has to inform the respondent that they are being observed which may make the respondent uncomfortable, it usually general practice to inform the respondent at the fieldwork stage and allowing them to get used the idea. At the fieldwork and analysis stage the researcher may then share with the respondent their findings.

Observation rooms may also be used when testing a product. For instance respondents may enter the room and be asked to choose from a number of different cakes. The use of an observation room would allow researcher to monitor the respondents’ reactions and take notes in private.

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