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Direct Observation

Description of the Strategy

Practitioners and researchers keep track of the outcomes of behavior modification and cognitive behavior therapy using direct and indirect recording methods. Indirect methods involve using surveys, interviews, and analyses of existing information as indications of target behaviors. Direct methods include examination of permanent products (e.g., tests or writing samples) and direct observation, which is described in this entry.

Direct observation means watching an individual and recording his or her performance. When an informal observation is completed, a narrative summary of the performance is prepared, which is referred to as an anecdotal record. In a formal observation, the observer decides ahead of time who will be observed doing what when, how the behavior will be counted, and where the observation ...

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