Behavioral Observation

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  • The structured and systematic assessment of behavior through observation. Obser vational measures, therefore, can be used to measure anything a person does that researchers can observe (e.g., eye contact between people in conversation and aggression in children on the playground). Behavioral observation requires carefully recording the observed behavior for later analysis. Participants' behavior is either directly observed or indirectly recorded through videotape or audiotape. Behavioral observation scales, designed to facilitate direct observation, are often used in performance appraisal in the industrial/organizational sector. Behavioral observation has a potential advantage over self-report measures because it does not involve direct questioning and is thus usually less reactive. This is especially the case if the research participant is not aware that measurement is occurring, does not realize what ...

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