On the basis of your observations discuss essay

Instantaneous Sampling -- this is where observation sessions are divided into short intervals divided by sample points. At each sample point the observer records if predetermined behaviors of interest are taking place. This method is not effective for recording discrete events of short duration and, frequently, observers will want to record novel behaviors that occur slightly before or after the point of sampling, creating a sampling error.

Though not exact, this method does give you an idea of durations and is relatively easy to do.

It is also good for recording behavior patterns occurring at a specific instant, such as, movement or body positions. One-Zero Sampling -- this is very similar to instantaneous sampling, only the observer records if the behaviors of interest have occurred at any time during an interval instead of at the instant of the sampling point. The method is useful for capturing data on behavior patterns that start and stop repeatedly and rapidly, but that last only for a brief period of time.

The disadvantage of this approach is that you get a dimensionless score for an entire recording session, so you only get one one data point for each recording session. Scan Sampling -- this method involves taking a census of the entire observed group at predetermined time periods and recording what each individual is doing at that moment. This is useful for obtaining group behavioral data and allows for data that are evenly representative across individuals and periods of time. On the other hand, this method may be biased towards more conspicuous behaviors and you may miss a lot of what is going on between observations, especially rare or unusual behaviors.

It is also difficult to record more than a few individuals in a group setting without missing what each individual is doing at each predetermined moment in time [e. Alderks, Peter. Data Collection.

Psychology Course Documents. Animal Behavior Lab. University of Washington; Emerson, Robert M. Contemporary Field Research: Perspectives and Formulations. Paul Atkinson et al. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Writing CSU. Colorado State University; Hazel, Spencer. Writing Field Reports.

Jon Prosser, editor London: Falmer Press, , pp. The Higher Education Academy.

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Since field reports do not have a standard format, it is worthwhile to determine from your professor what the preferred organization should be before you begin to write. Note that field reports should be written in the past tense. With this in mind, most field reports in the social sciences include the following elements:.


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Introduction The introduction should describe the research problem, the specific objectives of your research, and the important theories or concepts underpinning your field study. The introduction should describe the nature of the organization or setting where you are conducting the observation, what type of observations you have conducted, what your focus was, when you observed, and the methods you used for collecting the data.

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You should also include a review of pertinent literature related to the research problem, particularly if similar methods were used in prior studies. Conclude your introduction with a statement about how the rest of the paper is organized. Description of Activities. Your readers only knowledge and understanding of what happened will come from the description section of your report because they have not been witness to the situation, people, or events that you are writing about.

Given this, it is crucial that you provide sufficient details to place the analysis that will follow into proper context; don't make the mistake of providing a description without context. The description section of a field report is similar to a well written piece of journalism. Interpretation and Analysis. Always place the analysis and interpretations of your field observations within the larger context of the theories and issues you described in the introduction. Part of your responsibility in analyzing the data is to determine which observations are worthy of comment and interpretation, and which observations are more general in nature.

It is your theoretical framework that allows you to make these decisions. You need to demonstrate to the reader that you are looking at the situation through the eyes of an informed viewer, not as a lay person. Here are some questions to ask yourself when analyzing your observations:. Do not speculate or manipulate your observational data to fit into your study's theoretical framework. Conclusion and Recommendations. The conclusion should briefly recap of the entire study, reiterating the importance or significance of your observations. Avoid including any new information.

You should also state any recommendations you may have. Be sure to describe any unanticipated problems you encountered and note the limitations of your study.

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The conclusion should not be more than two or three paragraphs. This is where you would place information that is not essential to explaining your findings, but that supports your analysis [especially repetitive or lengthy information], that validates your conclusions, or that contextualizes a related point that helps the reader understand the overall report. There is no limit to what can be included in the appendix or its format [e.

If information is placed in more than one appendix ["appendices"], the order in which they are organized is dictated by the order they were first mentioned in the text of the report. List all sources that you consulted and obtained information from while writing your field report.

Understanding Observations

Note that field reports generally do not include further readings or an extended bibliography. However, consult with your professor concerning what your list of sources should be included. Be sure to write them in the preferred citation style of your discipline [i.

Colorado State University; Pace, Tonio. Contact us. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Writing a Field Report This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices How to Approach Writing a Field Report How to Begin Field reports are most often assigned in disciplines of the applied social sciences [e.

When writing a field report you need to: Systematically observe and accurately record the varying aspects of a situation. Always approach your field study with a detailed protocol about what you will observe, where you should conduct your observations, and the method by which you will collect and record your data. Continuously analyze your observations. Always look for the meaning underlying the actions you observe. Ask yourself: What's going on here? What does this observed activity mean? What else does this relate to?

Note that this is an on-going process of reflection and analysis taking place for the duration of your field research. Recording what you observe should not be done randomly or haphazardly; you must be focused and pay attention to details. Enter the observation site [i. Consciously observe, record, and analyze what you hear and see in the context of a theoretical framework.

This is what separates data gatherings from simple reporting. The theoretical framework guiding your field research should determine what, when, and how you observe and act as the foundation from which you interpret your findings. Techniques to Record Your Observations Although there is no limit to the type of data gathering technique you can use, these are the most frequently used methods: Note Taking This is the most commonly used and easiest method of recording your observations.

The characteristics of an occupied space and the human use of the place where the observation s are being conducted. Objects and material culture. This refers to the presence, placement, and arrangement of objects that impact the behavior or actions of those being observed. If applicable, describe the cultural artifacts representing the beliefs--values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions--used by the individuals you are observing. Use of language. Behavior cycles. This refers to documenting when and who performs what behavior or task and how often they occur.

Record at which stage is this behavior occurring within the setting. The order in which events unfold.

Essay Writing Guide for Psychology Students

Note sequential patterns of behavior or the moment when actions or events take place and their significance. Physical characteristics of subjects. If relevant, note age, gender, clothing, etc. Expressive body movements.


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This would include things like body posture or facial expressions. Note that it may be relevant to also assess whether expressive body movements support or contradict the language used in conversation [e. Sampling Techniques Sampling refers to the process used to select a portion of the population for study. Ways to sample when conducting an observation include: Ad Libitum Sampling -- this approach is not that different from what people do at the zoo--observing whatever seems interesting at the moment.


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Juvenile or adult confinement can be an opportunity to collect information that helps reach conclusions about certain problems facing youth. Again, the quality of these conclusions rests on the quality of the observations that support them. Behavior Change.