Designing observational studies Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Designing observational studies Deck (44):

What are the key issues for the design of observational research

The design which includes a method for recording data as well as a method for sampling data


What is operationalisation

This is a way of dividing the behaviour being studied into a set of component behaviours e.g. observing a baby we can divide this into categories such as smiling crying sleeping eating et cetera


What are behavioural categories

A set of component behaviours


What is a coding frame

Each behaviour is given a code to make recording easier


What is a rating scale

you Provide a list of behaviours or characteristics and asked observers to rate each one


What are sampling procedures

A systematic method of sampling observations when it is


What is event sampling

Counting the number of times a certain behaviour occurs in a target individual or individuals e.g. counting the number of times somebody smiles in a 10 minute period


What is time sampling?

Recording behaviours in a given timeframe e.g. noting what a target individual is doing every 30 seconds. The researcher may take items in a coding frame


What is the facial action coding system

It was developed by Paul Ackman and others for observing facial expressions this can be used to investigate example what expressions are shown on a person's face when they are lying


Give an example of participant observation

In the 1950s the social psychologist Leon testing the joined a cult without revealing his identity


What is a participant observation

In some observations the observer is also a participant in the behaviour being observed


What is non-participant observation

When the observer is not a participant in the behaviour being observed this is most common


What it is overt observation

When the participant is aware of being observed and may alter their behaviour so validity is reduced


What is covert observation

This increases the validity by making observations without a participants knowledge such as using one-way mirrors


What is indirect observation

In many studies observations are made of data that has already been collected for example to see whether gender bias exists. These are indirect observations


What is an example of a naturalistic observation

Robert Jordan and Gordon Berg heart undertook a study of black bears in the zoo in order to determine whether the presence of observers altered the animal's behaviour i- they found a much higher activity level at Tremont zoo where the bears have more human contact. Observations were recorded every 30 seconds Through time sampling and by using a coding frame


Do you think that Louis Therereux is an example of a participant observation

I would say almost but not quite – what do you think?


Why might observations be more valid than e.g. questionnaires

What people say they do is often different from what they actually do


Why does naturalistic observation have high ecological validity

Naturalistic observation gives a more realistic picture of spontaneous behaviour


What is the value of observational research in a new area of research

It provides a means of conducting preliminary investigations to produce hypotheses for future investigations


What other weaknesses of naturalistic observation

There is very little control of extraneous variables which may mean that something unknown to the observer may account for the behaviour observed


What is observer bias

The Observer may see what he/she expects to see


What are the ethical problems with observation

Participants don't know they are being observed to the issues are deception and invasion of privacy


What could be the investigator effects

If the participants know they are being observed they may change their behaviour


What are the ethical issues in a naturalistic observation

Participants may be observed without their informed consent


What is the ethical issue with the use of one-way mirrors

This involves deception or lack of informed consent


What ever guidelines on invasion of privacy in public places?

Ethical guidelines generally advise that it is acceptable to observe people in public places where people expect to be seen by others - participant confidentiality and anonymity should still be protected


How would you approve an observational design

I would refer it to an ethical committee


What is one way to check reliability of an observation

Compare the observations made by two observers to see if they produce the same record if yes then they are reliable


What is interrater reliability or interobserver reliability

The extent to which two or more observers agree


How do you calculate inter-observer reliability?

A result of +.8 or more suggests good interobserver reliability and you do this by dividing the total agreements by the total number of the observations


How do you deal with low reliability

Observers should be trained in the use of behavioural categories and coding frames


What may cause observations to not be reliable or valid

If you behavioural categories or coding frames are flawed e.g. some observations may belong in more than one category or some behaviours may not be comfortable and then the result is that the data collected does not truly represent what was observed


What can be the effect of observer bias

What someone observe is influenced by the expectations


Why are observational studies likely to have greater ecological validity

Because they involve more natural behaviours


Why might population validity be a problem

An example is if children from a middle-class home are the only source of children to be observed


What does the behavioural observation unit (BEO)

It trains people in the use of observational techniques


When assessing reliability of observers how can you show the results in the graph?

In a nursery at their Each time three observers we used, the figures were plotted on a grass in three different colours the figures represent the relative duration of a specific behaviour category expressed as a percentage of the total time. The results was a very close mean correlation


What is content analysis

It is the analysis of the content of something for example a researcher might study the way men and women are represented in magazine advertisements and attempt to draw some conclusions


Is content analysis direct or indirect observation

It is in direct observation because you are not observing people directly but observing them through the artefacts they produce


How do you do content analysis

The process involved in conducting content analysis is similar to any observational study. The researcher has to make decisions about sampling method, method of recording data, method of representing data.


If there is a team of researchers doing content analysis what becomes important

It is important to ensure that they are applying criteria in the same way by calculating interobserver or interrater reliability


What is an example of event sampling in content analysis

Considerations include deciding which TV channels to include for what length of time


What is the example of a method of representing data in content analysis

For example consider performing content analysis on the contents of magazines… First you identify the behavioural categories such as articles about celebrities - secondly you look through magazines and record data either by counting instances (quantitative analysis) or by dividing examples in each category (qualitative analysis)