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Observation

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Observing behavior in as many different ... More control/intervention than naturalistic observation, but less than in an experiment. ... Structured Observation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Observation


1
Observation
  • Scientific observation is made under precisely
    defined conditions, in a systematic and objective
    manner, and with careful record keeping.

2
Need to consider.
  • WHO to observe
  • WHEN to observe
  • HOW to observe
  • HOW to record data

3
WHO to observe?
  • Results are only generalizable to participants,
    times, settings, and conditions similar to those
    in the study in which the observations were made.
  • Must have a representative sample.

4
WHEN to observe
  • Time sampling
  • Situation sampling

5
Time sampling
  • Choose various time intervals for observations
  • Random
  • Systematic
  • Or both
  • When is time sampling NOT appropriate?

6
Situation Sampling
  • Observing behavior in as many different locations
    and under as many different circumstances as
    possible.

7
HOW to observe
  • Observation without intervention
  • Observation with intervention

8
Observation without intervention
  • Goal is to describe behavior as it normally
    occurs and to examine relationships among
    variables.
  • Reactivity
  • Demand characteristics

9
Observation with intervention
  • Most psychological research uses this type of
    observation.
  • Three types well talk about
  • Participant observation
  • Structured observation
  • Field experiments

10
Participant Observation
  • Beneficial because it allows access to
    places/situations that is usually not open to
    scientific observation.
  • Pretending to be schizophrenic
  • Pretending to be a black man
  • Can also be problematic why?
  • Disguised vs. Undisguised

11
Structured Observation
  • More control/intervention than naturalistic
    observation, but less than in an experiment.
  • The participant sets up a situation that can be
    observed.

12
Pros and Cons of Structured Observation
  • Can observe behavior under conditions
    that are more natural than in the lab.
  • - Failing to follow the same procedures EACH
    time can be problematic.
  • - Uncontrolled (or even unknown) variables can
    interfere.

13
Field Experiments
  • The observer manipulates one or more independent
    variables.
  • This is the most extreme form of intervention in
    observational methods.

14
HOW to record data
  • Qualitative
  • Narrative record
  • Field notes
  • Quantitative
  • Check list yes or no
  • Frequency of occurrence
  • Ratings on a likert scale
  • Electronic recording and tracking

15
Data
  • Data reduction
  • Coding
  • Mean (central tendency)
  • Standard deviation (variability)
  • Frequency counts

16
What about reliability?
  • Interobserver reliability the degree to which
    two independent observers agree.
  • How do we get this number?
  • Percentage agreement (Number of agreements /
    Number of observations) X 100
  • Correlate the two observers ratings

17
What about observer bias?
  • Expectancy effects
  • Ways to control observer bias
  • Keep observes blind as to the hypotheses of the
    experiment
  • Recognize that bias may be present
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