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ERIC Number: ED118600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 40
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Definition of the Situation and Observer Bias.
Kolman, Anita Sue
An experiment is reported in which an attempt was made to bias college students' observations of a videotape of children at play. The study is framed in terms of W.I. Thomas' ideas concerning the definition of the situation. Observer bias is an instance when a definition of a situation is based primarily on subjective situational factors. Reliance on subjective situational factors is dependent on the degree of ambiguity of the situation's objective factors. Students were given false information concerning the Socioeconomic Status (SES) of the children in the videotape (manipulation of subjective situational factors). Also, the degree of ambiguity of the videotape (manipulation of ambiguity of objective situational factors) was varied. The students were asked to record all aggressive behavior exhibited by the children. The information about the children's SES did affect the students' observations. The degree of ambiguity of the videotape failed to produce the hypothesized effects. (Author/BJG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A