OBSERVATIONAL METHODS Research Methods Observation Methods Observational Methods

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OBSERVATIONAL METHODS Research Methods

OBSERVATIONAL METHODS Research Methods

Observation Methods Observational Methods � Describe behavior � Can be used in many different

Observation Methods Observational Methods � Describe behavior � Can be used in many different designs (e. g. , experimental, correlational, descriptive) Involves systematic observation Ecological Validity – does it generalize to the real world

Observational Method Behavioral categories � Categories of behaviors to be observed � Clear operational

Observational Method Behavioral categories � Categories of behaviors to be observed � Clear operational definitions Prior research & preliminary observations

Examples of basic recording sheets Sample Descriptive Coding Form.

Examples of basic recording sheets Sample Descriptive Coding Form.

Observational Method Quantifying Observations Frequency � Behavior Duration � Time count during fixed time

Observational Method Quantifying Observations Frequency � Behavior Duration � Time count during fixed time engaged in behavior during fixed time Intervals Divide observation into intervals, record whether or not behavior occurs during each interval

Examples of basic recording sheets Sample Descriptive Coding Form.

Examples of basic recording sheets Sample Descriptive Coding Form.

Examples of basic recording sheets Sample Checklist for Coding Child Behavior.

Examples of basic recording sheets Sample Checklist for Coding Child Behavior.

Observational Method Narrative records Video/audio-recording � � � Pick up on missed behaviors Multiple

Observational Method Narrative records Video/audio-recording � � � Pick up on missed behaviors Multiple observers watch same event Might be less disruptive Sampling Observations Time � Event � � Observe-record-observe-record Observe one behavior Shift behavior (behavior 1 -behavior 2 -behavior 3) Individual � Shift individuals

Multiple Observers Interrater reliability � Agreement between observers Evaluating interrater reliability � Percent agreement

Multiple Observers Interrater reliability � Agreement between observers Evaluating interrater reliability � Percent agreement total # of agreements total # of observations X 100

Multiple Observers Evaluating interrater reliability � Pearson’s r (correlation coefficient) +/- 1. 00 Note:

Multiple Observers Evaluating interrater reliability � Pearson’s r (correlation coefficient) +/- 1. 00 Note: Scores could be correlated, but very different Observer 1 1 2 3 2 Observer 2 3 5 6 3

Observational Method Undisguised (open/overt) observations Presence of researcher is known � Nonparticipant Observe, don’t

Observational Method Undisguised (open/overt) observations Presence of researcher is known � Nonparticipant Observe, don’t get involved � Participant observations Observe and participate Disguised (covert) observations � Presence of researcher is unknown or minimized � Nonparticipant or Participant Issues: Reactivity and Ethics

Observational Methods Reactivity issues Can be reduced Remain hidden � Habituation � Indirect measures

Observational Methods Reactivity issues Can be reduced Remain hidden � Habituation � Indirect measures (unobtrusive) � Advantages Usually higher external validity (higher ecological validity) � Can examine behaviors that can’t be manipulated � Disadvantages No causal statements (unless the observation is the DV in an experiment) � Time consuming & expensive � No guarantee that behavior will occur �

Example Leo (1996) interested in studying police interrogation practices. Spent 9 months observing 122

Example Leo (1996) interested in studying police interrogation practices. Spent 9 months observing 122 interrogations involving 45 different detectives. In addition, observed 60 videotaped interrogations. Reactivity Representativeness/generalizability Qualitative & quantitative

Mini-Review Observational Methods � Behavioral categories Operational � Quantifying Frequency, � Record Observations duration,

Mini-Review Observational Methods � Behavioral categories Operational � Quantifying Frequency, � Record Observations duration, intervals all observations or sampling observations Sampling: � Role definitions Time, event, individual of the researcher Undisguised or Disguised Nonparticipant or Participant Observer