A researcher needs accurate and reliable data. The participant-observation methodology is suitable highly practical and relevant in cultural anthropology research, sociology, communication studies, and social psychology. All these aspects involve the researcher engaging in the activity at hand in order to observe the participants at a closer perspective as well as experiencing the feeling or reactions within the research population or sample. It involves the researcher putting himself or herself in the shoes of the participant with either the participant’s awareness or unawareness to understand better.
For example, the urban sociology in school of Chicago where those students who came from preindustrial areas were considered generic and tribal beings (Karl Marx theory 1975)
Communication especially when expressing culture and lifestyle related issues might not depict the exact picture of what is happening within unless one experiences it. The methodology, participant-observation is most appropriate.
An example of research question is HIV/Aids infections rate in the US in the past 3 years. To find answers for such a question, one has to understand the differences between content analysis and comparative historical analysis. Content analysis is normally applicable for media reporting people especially when identifying the number of words and content of an article they need to communicate. It can be counted by use of the number of words, the number of statements or the number of letters in a certain research. On the other hand, comparative historical analysis has its grounds on previous data collected. In this case, the best methodology to use would be comparative historical analysis where data analysis is by comparison with the years in question. Therefore, the research conclusion will base whether the figures collected are lower or higher as compared to the rest of the years.