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ERIC Number: ED176900
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Paradigm Case Approach to the Study of Fantasy.
Matthews, Robert J.; Matthews, Wendy Schempp
This paper argues that if researchers studying a recognized category of behavior, such as fantasy play or aggression, were to focus on prototypical instances of the behavior, there should be high inter-researcher agreement of just the sort that operational definitions were intended to secure. A study of fantasy play was conducted using a paradigm case approach which focused on prototypical instances of fantasy play. The spontaneous interaction of pairs of young children was videotaped for a total of nearly 24 hours. Ninety paradigm cases (prototypical instances) of fantasy play were identified in the recorded interaction. The inter-observer reliability of the identification was tested. Phi coefficients were computed to compare each of four naive observers' judgments as to which portions of eight randomly selected film segments showed play pairs engaged in prototypical fantasy play. The average coefficient was .89, with a range of .84 to .94. It is concluded that the paradigm case approach secures high inter-researcher agreement without incurring a risk of experimental bias posed by the a priori construction of an operational definition of the phenomenon under study. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Inter Rater Agreement; Logical Positivism; Operational Definitions; Paradigm Cases
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)