Applied Sciences

Measuring Behavior

Part 1: Observations

For the first part of this assignment, select two frequently occurring human behaviors that you can easily observe in your workplace or community. (If needed, you may substitute a character’s behavior that can be frequently observed on a favorite TV series.) Two different people should be observed, rather than two behaviors in one person. You are to practice observing behaviors inconspicuously. You must not make any attempt to share your observations, conduct any form of assessment, or intervene!

Using the guidelines in Chapter 5 of your Applied Behavior Analysis text, plan and conduct three separate observation sessions, each for 10–20 minutes, for each behavior you have just observed. You have several options for conducting these observations. You may choose to do several on one day at different times (for example, 10–20 minute sessions in the morning, afternoon, and evening) or on different days. You should then have three separate observations for each of the two individuals you observed in Part 1.

Part 2: Observations, Definitions, and Data Recording Forms

After observing the behaviors, write a brief description of the person you observed and the setting. After the description, create a brief (1–2 sentences) definition for each of the two behaviors you observed. Follow these guidelines for your definitions:

  • Be sure that each definition meets Hawkins and Dobes’s three characteristics (bottom of page 67) and Morris’s three criteria for testing a definition (pages 68–69) as described in the Applied Behavior Analysis text.
  • The definitions should not include inferences (for example, about internal state or thoughts), or include background, diagnostic, or historical information about the persons you observed.

You will choose a data recording method to summarize the three observations for each of the two behaviors. After describing your observation method and providing a definition for each of the two behaviors, identify the data recording method you selected to record this data (frequency or duration) and explain why you chose that method.

Summarize the data from your observations on the appropriate data recording form and create a table of this summary. Copy and paste both the data recording form and the table into your assignment. Do not submit a spreadsheet or more than one document. The one document (the Unit 3 assignment) should contain definitions, observations, data form, and table for each of the two behaviors that you observed. You will be using the tables summarizing your data in the Unit 4 assignment.

Other Assignment Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Format: Use current APA 6th edition style and formatting guidelines.
  • Length: 3–5 pages minimum, double-spaced.
  • References: A sufficient number of scholarly sources.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Please refer to the Measuring Behavior Scoring Guide to ensure you understand the grading criteria for this assignment.

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