Social Psychology in Life

By Richard M. Rozelle; Richard I. Evans | Go to book overview

18
Video Tape Recording in Social Psychological Research: An Illustrative Study in Pedodontia

BEM P. ALLEN and RICHARD I. EVANS

An ever-present concern of the social scientist conducting research in real-life settings is that of a reliable and objective method of recording ongoing events. Human observers tend to select out various aspects of the situation and not include others in their data recording. To this extent, the observation is "biased" to conform to various expectancies, motivations, and skills of the observer. In fact the mere presence of the scientist-observer may cause the individuals being observed to behave in a way different from what is normal for them. Thus, even if the observer is a highly skilled recorder of behavior, he may unwittingly be exposed to a non-typical or biased sample of behavior.

The present report offers one innovative solution to this problem by demonstrating the use of video tape recording in a natural setting experiment. For this report the experimental results are of secondary importance: The real value of this piece of research is that it demonstrates the feasibility of the video tape recording techniques for unobtrusive and objective recording of human behavior.

____________________
From: Psychological Reports, 23: 1115-1119, 1968. Reprinted by permission of the authors and publisher. Copyright © 1968 by Southern Universities Press.

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