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Related to observational: Observational study, Observational learning


a. a sight taken with an instrument to determine the position of an observer relative to that of a given heavenly body
b. the data so taken



a method for obtaining information about the enemy, the location and action of friendly troops, and the nature of the terrain.

Observation is organized and conducted by all combat arms and special forces in all types of combat. Ground and air observation is supplemented by data obtained through artillery reconnaissance, sound ranging, radar, and signal communications. Optical instruments, such as binoculars, stereoscopic telescopes, range finders, and periscopes, are used for observation. At night and in other conditions of restricted visibility, night-vision instruments and illuminating devices are used, such as searchlights and illuminating flares.



deliberate and purposeful perception that is conditioned by the need to solve a problem.

As a specifically human act, observation differs fundamentally from the various forms of perception among animals. Historically, observation has developed as part of the labor process, which involves the establishment of a correspondence between the product of labor and its planned ideal image. As society and the labor process become more complex, observation emerges as a relatively independent aspect of activity (scientific observation, the reading of information off instruments, and observation as part of the artistic process). As science develops, observation becomes more complex and dependent on mechanical aids.

The basic requirements of scientific observation are unity of purpose, uniform methodology, and objectivity (that is, the possibility of control by means of repeated observation or by other methods of investigation, such as experimentation). At the same time, observation is usually also part of the experimental procedure. Interpretation of the results of observation acquires increasingly prominent importance, because in modern science generalizations are seldom made at the level of observable facts, which may consist only of signs or symptoms of the phenomena under study (such as a curve on an oscillograph, or an electroencephalogram).

Observation in the social sciences presents a special problem, since the results of such observation depend to a great extent on the observer’s personality, purpose, and attitude toward his object. Depending on the observer’s position in relation to the phenomenon observed, a distinction is made in sociology and social psychology between simple, or ordinary, observation, when events are registered “from the outside,” and participant, or involved, observation, when the researcher becomes part of a particular social milieu, adapts to it, and analyzes events as if “from within.”

In psychology, observation itself becomes the object of study. It has been established that the quality of observation is basically determined by the observer’s attitude toward and understanding of the task set. Self-observation (introspection), which is a particular kind of observation, is applied in psychology as a method of research. Perceptiveness as a personal quality sometimes appears as an inborn character trait; but, in order to be put to full use, this trait must be given a specific direction.


Basov, M. Ia. Metodika psikhologicheskikh nabliudenii nad det’mi, 3rd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Rogovin, M. S. Vvedenie v psikhologiiu. Moscow, 1969. Chapter 6.
Iadov, V. A. Sotsiologicheskoe issledovanie: Metodologiia, programma, melody. Moscow, 1972. Chapter 4, paragraph 1.




determination of the geographical coordinates of a vessel on the ocean from sightings of objects with known coordinates. Observations are made by navigational methods (according to landmarks noted on a map or signals from radio beacons or radio navigation systems, by means of navigation artificial earth satellites, or by nautical astronomy using heavenly bodies whose coordinates are given in the Nautical Almanac). All methods of observation result in graphic determination of a point on a chart or analytical computation of its coordinates. Periodic observations are needed to check the accuracy of dead reckoning.

observation (meteorological)

The evaluation of one or more meteorological elements (ICAO).
References in periodicals archive ?
Stillbirth rates were 7% in the observational group and 2-3% in the other two groups.
* More than 25 different terms were used synonymously with "observational research."
A recent paper (16) underlined that important issues related to confounding are often not clearly addressed, from the reader's perspective, in published observational studies.
One response in the Letters section in OT drew attention to two papers in the New England Journal of Medicine that reported a correlation between the conclusions of observational studies and RCTs on several topics, and from this suggested that RCTs are not essential.
The last thirty years or so, however, have witnessed increased interest in causal inference for observational data: work in statistics by Rubin, Rosenthal, and others on the "counterfactual" approach to causal inference (see, e.g., Holland 1986, for a relatively compact account); Pearl's (2000) influential work (surprisingly, Pearl is a computer scientist) on strategies for drawing causal conclusions from statistical data; and work in econometrics by Heckman and others (e.g., Heckman, 2000 for a very general summary) on selection bias in program evaluation.
The final report on the Observational Clinical Trials has been received by Health Canada.
There have been many theories put forward, including some developed at the University of Sheffield -- for example, heating the plasma by magnetic waves or magnetic plasma -- but observational validation of the ubiquity of a suitable energy transport mechanism has proved challenging until now.
This has in fact been suggested to alleviate some problems of the collisionless cold dark matter hypothesis when confronted with observational data on small scales.
This experiment is an example of observational learning, and it occurs across the animal kingdom, particularly with tools: young chimpanzees could master how to use a T-bar to obtain food just by watching others, for example.
Their topics include validating observational variables, estimating stable measures of generalized person characteristics through systematic observation, common metrics of observational variables, training observers and preventing observer drift, research questions involving sequential associations, and a summary of recommendations for best practices in observational measurement.
Dallas, TX, May 24, 2018 --(PR.com)-- AloeVeritas, a leader in discovering, developing and advancing natural botanical compounds with the potential to address the unmet need that exists for consumers experiencing chronic pain with little to no long-term relief from common pain modalities, today announced preliminary data from its ongoing Phase 1 Observational Study of AloeMD.

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