Jacobson, R.D. (2009) Naturalistic Testing, In: In: Kitchin, R., Thrift, N (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 7, pp. 269-274. Oxford: Elsevier.
Naturalistic inquiry or testing aims to leverage the benefits of conducting research in a natural setting in order to provide a rigorous contextual evaluation of the problem or phenomena under research scrutiny. It therefore is a predominantly qualitative research methodology. This is in contrast with controlled experiment inquiry in which the researcher manipulates the independent variables with some explicit control over other factors in order to observe the effects on the dependent variables.