Observations January 2011
A group of psychologists are interested in conducting an observation study of people’s behaviour as they walk past a shop window. The psychologists want to see if people pay any attention to their own reflection, if so, what they do.
A) Describe an appropriate procedure that could be used in this study.
A procedure that could be used in this study would be; firstly it would be a covert structured observation. This is to ensure there would not be any demand characteristics by any of the people observed, and the observers will have a coding scheme. The coding scheme will consist of a table which would include whether the person pays any attention to their reflection or not and if they do, what action they do whilst looking into the window, such as sorting out hair. There will be two observers who will be observing a shop window on a busy street in London. One of the observers will be on the other side of the street, sitting across from the shop window and the other will be sitting on the same side of the street as the shop window, but just a little way off. They will be observing at midday on a Wednesday for a time period of 15 minutes and will record what they see on the coding scheme by tallying what happens in the columns provided.
B) Evaluate the reliability and validity of carrying out the study in this way.
C) What is time sampling?
Time sampling is where you have intervals of timed observation, say for 30 seconds every 10 minutes in a 2 hour time period. You will collect data of the group or individual’s behaviour you are observing in that 30 second interval.
D) Describe one strength and one weakness of time sampling if it was used in this study.
One strength of timed sampling in this study would be that you can gather a lot of information about people's behaviour and frequency of that behaviour in the interval