Methodological problems in the use of participant observers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Linda Rudin Hay (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Rosemary Nelson

Abstract: The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if observations by participant observers would effect changes in the frequency of behavior exhibited by observees (observee reactivity) and/or changes in the frequency of behavior exhibited by the observers themselves (observer reactivity). On the basis of prior case studies and research investigations, it was predicted that observations by participant observers would result in both observer reactivity and observee reactivity. In addition, the influence of the valence of the target behavior recorded by the participant observers was investigated to determine if the valence of the behavior would differentially affect the direction or response-specificity of observer reactivity and/or observee reactivity. It was anticipated that the recording of a positively-valenced behavior would produce an increase in response frequency whereas the recording of a negatively-valenced behavior would produce a decrease in response frequency. Furthermore, it was predicted that observation of a positively-valenced behavior would result in an increase in the frequency of positive behaviors exhibited by the observer to the observee whereas observation of a negatively-valenced behavior would result in an increase in the frequency of negative behaviors exhibited by the observer to the observee. The valence of the behavior was similarly expected to affect the level of reliability (inter-observer agreement) of the observations made by the participant observers: higher reliability would be obtained by observers recording a negatively-valenced behavior than by observers recording a positively-valenced behavior.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 1977

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