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How to make observations
Two types of sampling observational data:
Event sampling: The observer keeps a count of each time a particular
behaviour occurs
Time sampling: Observer chooses a time interval and observes participant to
write down all particular behaviours that occur during the time interval
Structured observations: the observer has a system in observing behaviours
where they can conduct behaviours by separating them into different
behavioural categories (as known as behavioural checklist or coding
system). But observers need to make sure all behaviours that can occur
are involved and there are no overlapping categories (reduced reliability)
Unstructured observations: researcher records all relevant behaviours
without any type of systematic approach. This may be useful because
sometimes behaviour can be unpredictable…read more

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Ethics and Distinctions
Ethical issues: Participants may be obsereved without their knowledge and
have no opportunity to provide informed consent which I an important
right for it to be ethical. This can be dealt with by debriefing the
participants afterwards
Debriefing: explaining aims and procedure of study and asking permission
from participants to use their data
However some observations may be regarded as invasion of privacy: dealt
with y the British psychological society ­ it is only acceptable to observe
others without their consent in situation where participant would be
expected to be observed by strangers
Controlled and naturalistic:
- naturalistic: where behaviour is observed in a natural situation
- Controlled: some variables are controlled by the researcher e.g. in a lab
Participant and non participant:
- Participant: the observer participates in the observation
Disclosed and undisclosed:
- Undisclosed: one way mirrors used so participant un aware they are being
observed…read more

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Reliability and validity
Reliability: when making observations, we need to make sure we can
rely on them. You would know that the observations is reliable
because if it was done again, it should bring about the same
To make sure of reliability: we use:
-Inter-ratter reliability: observation made by two or more people
who record the same behaviours
Assessing the reliability: you compare the recording made by bath
observer and calculate agreement, If total agreements are more
than 80%, then the data has inter rater reliability
Inter rather reliability can be improved by make sure observers
sure strained in the use of behavioural checklists
Validity: is measuring what it intended to measure
Observer bias: what someone observes can be influence by
expectations. This reduced validity
Improving validity: more than one observer and averaging data
across observers to balance out any biases…read more

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