Definition of Unit of Observation
Example of Unit of Observation
- The entire country is the unit of observation for the United States census that happens every ten years (decennially).
Unit of Observation Pronunciation
Syllabification: u·nit of ob·ser·va·tion
- American English – /yOO-nuht uhv ahb-suhr-vAY-shuhn/
- British English – /yOO-nit UHv ob-zuh-vAY-shuhn/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈjunət ʌv ˌɑbzərˈveɪʃən/
- British English – /ˈjuːnɪt ɒv ˌɒbzə(ː)ˈveɪʃən/
- Plural: units of observation
- Not to be confused with a unit of analysis which is who or what is studied during research. Using the example above, in the United States census the country is the unit of observation but each individual is the unit of analysis.
- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “unit” and “observation” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- qualitative research
- quantitative research
- statistical analysis
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “unit of observation.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 4, 2022 (https://sociologydictionary.org/unit-of-observation/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
unit of observation. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/unit-of-observation/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “unit of observation.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 4, 2022. https://sociologydictionary.org/unit-of-observation/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“unit of observation.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 4 Oct. 2022. <https://sociologydictionary.org/unit-of-observation/>.