ERIC Number: ED253570
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
A Multimedia Demonstration and Comparison of Three Structured Observational Methods.
Zeren, Andrea S.
This social psychological laboratory activity permits the systematic observation of spontaneous human behavior as simulated on television and provides one way to effectively demonstrate and compare time sampling, event sampling, and trait rating techniques. The preparation involves videotaping a popular television show that depicts observable interpersonal behaviors. The entire lab exercise involves a lecture, the lab activity, and class discussion. A lecture about the guidelines, advantages, disadvantages, and data analysis of structured observational techniques is given. The class "walks through" the preparation, development, and completion of each technique. The class is then divided into three groups, each of which is responsible for the development of all components of one structured technique . The class reconvenes to observe the taped program with each student independently recording samples of behavior, using the method and data sheets constructed by their subgroup. Group reliability coefficients are calculated. The class then discusses the relative advantages/disadvantages of each method, the importance of precise operational definitions on the precision of inter-rater agreement, and the defining characteristics of scientific observation. This is an excellent activity for an in-class comparison of different structured observational techniques. Students have responded well to it and many reported a better comprehension of the methods. (Author/BS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, ON, August 24-28, 1984).