Controlled observation is defined as an observational method in which the clinician/therapist exerts a certain amount of purposeful control over the events being observed. Controlled observation may be preferred in situations where a behavior does not occur very often on its own or where normal events are likely to draw the patient outside the observer's range. Controlled observation, moreover is a research method similar to naturalistic observation in which carefully planned observations are made in real-life settings, except that the investigator/therapist/clinician exerts a degree of control over the events being observed. Controlled observation is also known as Analogue Behavioral Observation .

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