On this page you will find examples of research conducted using observation.  Each article has a summary and a link to the article can be accessed through clicking on the title.

Cut Flower Usage for Ancestral Tombs in Kagoshima, Japan
SUMMARY: Japanese people offer a great variety of cut flowers at their ancestors’ tombs during four major events each year.  In Kagoshima, however, they offer cut flowers throughout the year.  Their basic offering combines cut foliage plants, e.g., Eurya japonica Thunb, and colorful plants like chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.).  Frequently used plant types have good keeping quality and are quite colorful and economical.  Cultural and religious differences in the areas influence local use patterns.

Interactions between Elderly Adults and Preschool Children in a Horticultural Therapy Research Program
SUMMARY: This report examines the behavior of elderly adults and preschool children during horticultural therapy (HT) activities to determine if combining inter-generational groups would complement or detract from the HT goals for each group separately. During a 10-week observation period, data were collected on video documenting attendance, participation time and pattern during separate age group and inter-generational activities. These data were used to determine if interactions changed over time or in response to different activities. Participation appeared to be affected by activity design, difficulty level, individual ability, and availability of assistance from volunteers. Children’s participation during separate age group activities appeared to be affected mainly by the difficulty level and activity design. Elderly adults’ participation during separate age group activities appeared to be affected by individual ability limitation and availability of assistance.  Children’s inter-generational participation scores appeared to show an increase in the category of “working with direct assistance”, while elderly adults’ inter-generational scores appeared to show an increase in the categories of “no participation” and “independent participation”.  In part, the change in inter-generational participation appeared to be due to a decrease in assistance available from volunteers for each individual. For some individuals, the introduction of inter-generational groups appeared to detract from personal participation in horticulture activities. If the goal of the HT is directly related to the individual’s activity in horticulture (i.e., increased self-esteem from successfully designing and building a terrarium), the inter-generational element appears to reduce the potential for that benefit. The percentage of total social interaction time between the generations during activities increased over time. The inter-generational activities involving plant-based activities seemed to be more successful at increasing inter-generational exchange than the craft-type activities. Therefore, horticulture may be a useful activity for programs with a goal of increased inter-generational interaction.

If you would like to learn more about Observational Methodology, here are some books:

Analyzing Social Settings : A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis (4TH 06) By: John Lofland, David Snow, Leon Anderson and Lyn H. Lofland

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