Coding schemes: Preliminary Considerations
Coding schemes applied to observations to produce data.
In other words, data are what you get out of a coding scheme.
Courtship Behaviour -> Coding Scheme -> Data -> Analysis
Coding Scheme = Measuring Instrument
Coding Schemes: Principles of Measurement
- There's no such thing as perfect measurement
- Measurements are more or less accurate.
Accuracy is about correct or valid measurement; the degree to which measurements actually capture the phenomena of interest.
- Measurements are more or less precise.
Precision is about exactitude; the degree to which measurements are reliable or replicable.
Accuracy vs Precision
- Key point 1: It is not effective to use a coding scheme that is more or less accurate than the research question for which the data are collected.
- Key point 2: It is not effective to use a coding scheme that is more or less precise than the research question for which the data are collected.
Principles of Design
- Codes should be mutually exclusive and exhaustive.
- Mutually exclusive means that each behaviour can only be put into one category
- Exhaustive means all possible behaviours have categories
Intra- and Inter-observer Reliability:
- Reliability is about the precision of the coding scheme, NOT necessrily about the precision of the observer. If an observer is sloppy, it will show…