2 Observational Research Naturalistic Observation:Unobtrusive observation (avoid the Hawthorne Effect)HabituationIndirect measuresCount the results of behavior, use a surveyDisadvantages: time & moneyAdvantages: ecological validity
3 Observational methods EEthnography: researcher is immersed in the behavioral or social system being studied. Often used by anthropologists (skip pages )Decide whether to be a participant or nonparticipant and overtly or covertlyReactivity might be a problem if overt and ethical issues might surface if using covert method is usedIssues related to gaining access to a setting or group might present
4 Observational Methods Case histories require that you study a single or just a few casesCase studies are particularly useful when the goals is behavioral change or when organizations are studied (e.g., learning/education/ and industrial/organizational settings)
5 Observational Methods Archival research involves studying existing records such as historical accounts, police records, published articles, or mediaRequires a specific and refined hypothesisMight consider how you will gain access to the data, the completeness of the record (do you need more than one source)
6 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)
7 Behavioral Categories & Coding Schemas Behavioral categories operationally define what behaviors are coded during the observation periodClearly defined hypothesesTo develop categories you could make preliminary observations, conduct a lit review, or be very specific about your research goals and hypotheseshelp refine your categorical codes (the behaviors that you will record)
8 Quantifying Behaviors Frequency method: record the number of times a behavior occursDuration 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)
9 Recording single events vs. behavioral sequences Behavioral sequence can be thought ofABC’s of the behavior: antecedent, behavior, consequenceAntecedent only or consequence only
10 Consider sampling or recording complex behaviors Time samplingIndividual samplingEvent sampling: observe only one behaviorRecord behaviors code later by watching video repeatedly
11 Reliability Interrater reliability: involves using multiple coders Ensures that observers are accurateAllows for replicationAllows coders to detect and correct any discrepancies
12 Methods of determining reliability Percent agreement ((total # agreement/total # observation) x 100)); >70% is acceptableCohen’s Kappa κ = Po – Pc/1– PcUsed for categorical or dichotomous datawhere P o = observed proportion of actual agreement, and Pc = proportion of expected agreementPearson’s rcan 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
13 Sources of biasObserver bias: when being aware of the hypothesis influences coding. Can use blind observersObservers interpret rather than record behavior
14 Chi square A non parametric test chi-square & fisher’s exact test is distribution free and relies only on frequenciestests can only be used under certain circumstanceschi-squares: dichotomous or categorical datafisher’s exact: 2 by 2 table or two dichotomous variables.
15 Chi-squareTo 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/ ƒeCompare χ2 observed to χ2 critical in the χ2 sampling distribution
16 Chi-square To report your findings: χ2(df, N = #) = statistic value, p-valueχ2(1, N = 90) = 0.89, p = .35Where df = (r-1) x (c-1)
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