Analyzing Quantitative Behavioral Observation Data

Analyzing Quantitative Behavioral Observation Data

Analyzing Quantitative Behavioral Observation Data

Analyzing Quantitative Behavioral Observation Data

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date summary of recent developments in theories and techniques in three important analytical stages of quantitative behavioral observation research: sampling, measurement, and statistics. On the one hand, these developments have improved the quality of observation studies. On the other hand, they have generated some confusion and have widened the gap between theory and practice.

Direct observation of human and animal overt behaviors as a research technique has been widely used in most behavioral science research. To improve the efficiency and to reduce the obtrusiveness of direct observation, behavioral scientists in the 1920s developed some of the early behavioral sampling techniques. Various refinements and developments in the techniques took place between 1929 and 1974. These have been summarized in primatology and applied behavior analysis journals. Since 1974, the sampling techniques have become increasingly sophisticated and complicated. Many of the new approaches involve advanced statistical techniques, whereas others involve elaborate coding systems. Some of the developments were not inherently new approaches but were statistical controls designed to minimize systematic and random sampling errors.

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