ERIC Number: ED193312
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Observation of Persons and Contexts.
Gump, Paul V.
Observational approaches used by ecological psychologists can focus on the behavior of persons or on their settings. The options for subject-centered observation are diary methods, specimen records, time sampling, and event sampling or critical incident recording. Serious limitations correlated to the time interval method, as it is often applied, include the use of precodes, creation of behavior fragments, and lack of information from the channel of the behavior stream. Consequently, ecological psychologists lean toward specimen records as their chief instrument for describing individual behaviors. Assessing settings by use of specimen records (or any other subject-centered observation) has certain clear limitations, such as (1) emphasis on psychological variables such as nurturance, rejection, geniality, etc.; (2) dependence upon the subject's motives and capacities; and (3) dependence upon the subject's experience. Therefore, ecological psychologists depend on the behavior setting as their major unit for analysis of context description. The unit is a combination of physical milieu and behavioral program with both temporal and spatial boundaries. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ecological Psychology
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (64th, Boston, MA, April 7-11, 1980).