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Observational Research. Observational Research. Naturalistic Observation: Unobtrusive observation (avoid the Hawthorne Effect) Habituation Indirect measures Count the results of behavior, use a survey Disadvantages: time & money Advantages: ecological validity. Observational methods.

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observational research1
Observational Research
  • Naturalistic Observation:
    • Unobtrusive observation (avoid the Hawthorne Effect)
      • Habituation
      • Indirect measures
        • Count the results of behavior, use a survey
    • Disadvantages: time & money
    • Advantages: ecological validity
observational methods
Observational methods
  • EEthnography: researcher is immersed in the behavioral or social system being studied. Often used by anthropologists (skip pages 239-242)
    • Decide whether to be a participant or nonparticipant and overtly or covertly
    • Reactivity might be a problem if overt and ethical issues might surface if using covert method is used
    • Issues related to gaining access to a setting or group might present
observational methods1
Observational Methods
  • Case histories require that you study a single or just a few cases
    • Case studies are particularly useful when the goals is behavioral change or when organizations are studied (e.g., learning/education/ and industrial/organizational settings)
observational methods2
Observational Methods
  • Archival research involves studying existing records such as historical accounts, police records, published articles, or media
    • Requires a specific and refined hypothesis
    • Might consider how you will gain access to the data, the completeness of the record (do you need more than one source)
observational methods3
Observational Methods
  • Content analysis: involves analyzing verbal written or spoken record for the occurrence of specific categories of events, items, or behavior.
    • Some overlap with archival research; some people define content analysis as pertaining specifically to language while others have a broader definition.
      • Might include conversations, books, movies, blogs, etc.
    • Successful content analyses require that researchers be objective and systematic, and have clear operational definition and/or coding schemes.
    • Consider issues related to sampling (avoid a biased sample) and observer bias (more than one coder)
behavioral categories coding schemas
Behavioral Categories & Coding Schemas
  • Behavioral categories operationally define what behaviors are coded during the observation period
  • Clearly defined hypotheses
  • To develop categories you could make preliminary observations, conduct a lit review, or be very specific about your research goals and hypotheses
quantifying behaviors
Quantifying Behaviors
  • Frequency method: record the number of times a behavior occurs
  • Duration method: record how long the behavior lasts.
  • Interval method: divide the observation period into time intervals, record the number of times the behavior occurs within each time interval (e.g., verbal exclusion during 2 minute time periods)
recording single events vs behavioral sequences
Recording single events vs. behavioral sequences
  • Behavioral sequence can be thought of
    • ABC’s of the behavior: antecedent, behavior, consequence
    • Antecedent only or consequence only
consider sampling or recording complex behaviors
Consider sampling or recording complex behaviors
  • Time sampling
  • Individual sampling
  • Event sampling: observe only one behavior
  • Record behaviors code later by watching video repeatedly
reliability
Reliability
  • Interrater reliability: involves using multiple coders
    • Ensures that observers are accurate
    • Allows for replication
    • Allows coders to detect and correct any discrepancies
methods of determining reliability
Methods of determining reliability
  • Percent agreement ((total # agreement/total # observation) x 100)); >70% is acceptable
  • Cohen’s Kappa κ = Po – Pc/1– Pc
    • Used for categorical or dichotomous data
    • where P o = observed proportion of actual agreement, and Pc = proportion of expected agreement
  • Pearson’s r
    • can be used with continuous data but it might produce a significant correlation if disagreements are numerous (as long as the magnitudes increase or decrease in a similar fashion)
  • Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)
    • (rI) should be used for continuous data. This method uses an ANOVA approach (means squares within and between subjects
sources of bias
Sources of bias
  • Observer bias: when being aware of the hypothesis influences coding. Can use blind observers
  • Observers interpret rather than record behavior
chi square
Chi square
  • A non parametric test
    • chi-square & fisher’s exact test is distribution free and relies only on frequencies
    • tests can only be used under certain circumstances
      • chi-squares: dichotomous or categorical data
      • fisher’s exact: 2 by 2 table or two dichotomous variables.
chi square1
Chi-square
  • To calculate χ2 determine the frequency of each cell if no differences existed (frequency expected, (ƒe) and then compare this to the actual or observed frequencies (ƒo).
    • The greater the difference between expected and observed frequencies the more likely it is that differences exist.
  • χ2 = ∑ (ƒo – ƒe)2/ ƒe
  • Compare χ2 observed to χ2 critical in the χ2 sampling distribution
chi square2
Chi-square
  • To report your findings:
  • χ2(df, N = #) = statistic value, p-value
  • χ2(1,N = 90) = 0.89, p = .35
  • Where df = (r-1) x (c-1)
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