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Flashcards in Measuring Behaviour Deck (23):

What are the 7 steps of thinking before you measure

1. what level of analysis
2. what species
3. where to study
4. when to study
5. observer effects
6. anthropomorphism
7. ethics


Why is level of analysis important

it should reflect the questions asked
can focus on small details or higher level patterns
behaviours may be missed if the wrong level is chosen


What are 3 questions when choosing a species

1. are the habituated to humans
2. what is already known about their behaviour
3. are the available to the wild or captivity


What are 2 types of design

1. experimental
2. observational


What are pros and cons of observational studies

Pros - are ecologically valid

Cons - animals may disappear from view


What is a con of experimental studies

animals may not show natural behaviours when in captivity


What are 4 solutions to the problem of when to observe

1. 24 hour recording
2. record at the same time every day
3. record at different times every day
4. record randomly


What is the hawthorne effect

a change in behaviour due to the observer


What are 2 solutions to the problem of observer effects

1. hide (may reduce mobility)
2. use a camera trap


What is anthropomorphism

giving animals human emotions


What is a solution to anthropomorphism

Occam's razor - use the simplest explanation


What is the best scenario on the decision cube

animal suffering - low
importance of research - high
likelihood of benefit - high


What are the 11 steps to measuring behaviour

1. Ask a question
2. Preliminary observations
3. Identify behavioural variables
4. Choose recording methods
5. Collect and analyse data
6. Formulate hypotheses
7. Make predictions
8. Design test
9. Run test
10. Analyse results
11. Consider alternative explanations


What are the 3 processes to choosing a suitable recording method

1. Choosing categories - make sure they are homogenous, precisely defined and independent of each other

2. Ethogram - make a catalogue of species specific behaviour patterns. Able to compare and learn about species

3. Define categories - clear and unambiguous


What are 3 problems with ethograms

1. Unavailable for many species
2. Some species are too complex e.g chimpanzees
3. Not all species behave in typical ways


What are the 4 types of measure

1. Latency - time from specified event to behaviour
2. Frequency - number of occurrences by total observation time
3. Total duration - total length of time behaviour occurred
4. Intensity - amplitude of behaviour represented by height


What are events and states

Events - behaviours of short duration

States - behaviours of long duration


What is the behaviour sampling rule

Ad libitum - note down what is visible at the time and seems relevant
Focal - continuous observation of one animal
Scan - scan whole group at given time intervals. Record behaviour at given moment
Behaviour - watch whole group. Record each behaviour and individual involved


What are the recording rules

Continuous - record all behaviours

Time - instantaneous = record behaviour at regular predetermined intervals
One zero


What are 2 advantages and disadvantages of time recording rules

Advantages - gives a reasonable estimate
Large number of categories can be recorded

Disadvantages - only provides an estimate
Not suitable for sequences of behaviour


What is inter-observer reliability

2 or more observers obtain similar results when measuring the same thing simultaneously



What is intra-observer reliability

Single observer obtains consistent results measuring the same thing at different times


Give 3 ethical considerations when working with animals

1. Has to abide by BPS and ASAB guidelines
2. Has to take place over a short period of time
3. Has to have limited stress on the animal