Psychology homework help. Assignment 1
Part A: Observing, Defining and Recording Behaviour
The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with
natural observation – how to be discreet, how to take
data, and how to start analyzing the antecedents (what
came before) and consequences (what came after) of that
behaviour. The second part will ask you to graph a
set of given data and to determine what kind of research
design was used and why.
Part A: Instructions and Questions
1. Find someone to observe. This can be a stranger, family member, friend, dog, etc.
Reminder that ethically we can not observe anyone in a situation where they might reasonably
expect privacy. Try to be a discreet as possible to avoid reactivity.
After generally watching them for a couple of minutes to get a sense of their range of
behaviours in this context, choose 1 behaviour to observe. Define it specifically below (for
example, “eating” is too general – I need to know exactly when you’ll be recording an instance
of eating. You might say “When the person opens her mouth and places food inside, I will
count that as one instance of “eating.”
Definition of Behaviour you’ll be observing: _________________________________________
2. For 3 minutes, observe the frequency of that behaviour. Each time the behaviour occurs, as
described above, please tally below for a total three minute frequency count.
Frequency Count: ___________________________________________________ Total ______
3. Describe two physical impacts of that behaviour on the environment (be specific). Are there
any social impacts? If so, can you identify one?
4. Identify the antecedents and consequences for the behaviour (what came just before and
what happened just after?) We’re looking for immediate triggers and consequences that are
directly linked to the behaviour.
5. What steps did you take to avoid reactivity? Were you successful?
Steps to avoid reactivity:
Part B: Graphing and Research Design
Instructions for Part B:
1. Miss Demeanor felt that there was a lot of vandalism in her small town. So she carefully
defined vandalism in terms of action, including broken street lights, graffiti (each image or word
counts as one) or burned items (this was just part of her list). She took baseline data for one
week and got the following data:
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
7 5 4 6 7 6 7
She implemented a program that sought to reduce vandalism by changing reporting
behaviour, lighting, and offering incentives to people in town for fixing, rather than vandalizing,
the town. She implemented this program and then took data for another seven days. She
recorded the following data:
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14
1 2 1 0 1 0 0
Question 1: Using the graphing techniques you learned in class, for graphing behavioural
data, to graph the data recorded by Miss Demeanor. Make sure to show all of the important
elements of the behavioural graph. (I said graph waaaaay too much in that question).
Question 2: According to the two rules discussed in class, does this data have scientific
value? Why or why not?
Question 3: If Miss Demeanor wanted to show scientific value and publish the research,
which research design would you suggest and why?
***Don’t stress if you can’t figure out how to graph this on the computer. Feel free to do it
on paper, then take a picture of it and upload it with your assignment. Let me know if you
have any questions, okay?