Observational study of behavior: sampling methods.

  title={Observational study of behavior: sampling methods.},
  author={Jeanne Altmann},
  volume={49 3},
Seven major types of sampling for observational studies of social behavior have been found in the literature. These methods differ considerably in their suitability for providing unbiased data of various kinds. Below is a summary of the major recommended uses of each technique: In this paper, I have tried to point out the major strengths and weaknesses of each sampling method. Some methods are intrinsically biased with respect to many variables, others to fewer. In choosing a sampling method… 

Sampling methods in behavior research.

Animals perform a continuous stream of behavior throughout their lives, and appropriate sampling methods can be used to obtain data that accurately reflect the actual behavior and are valid for answering research questions.

Sampling Techniques and Sampling Error in Naturalistic Observation: An Empirical Evaluation With Implications for Cross-Cultural Research

Naturalistic observation plays an important role in cross-cultural research, and in virtually all cases observations are made of popu lation samples, not whole populations. A variety of sampling

Some Aspects of Research Design and Their Implications in the Observational Study of Behaviour

This paper has been concerned with examining the effects of choosing different behavioural parameters to investigate a particular research problem. Social relationships among a set of animals were

Time sampling: a methodological critique.

It is demonstrated that time sampling is inaccurate for estimating actual durations or frequencies of behavior, and resulting individual and/or group differences can change depending on whether time sampling or continuous sampling is used.

Time Allocation: A Tool For the Study of Cultural Behavior

Time allocation studies diffuse rapidly among anthropologists as the problems they treat require an accurate , detailed technique for observing and recording human behavior in context (74, 152).

Isolating bias in association indices

Dominance hierarchies: Observational techniques applied to the study of children at play

The seven major observational techniques generally used in experimental or naturalistic settings are discussed within the context of research on dominance relationships in young children. In

Measuring social structure: A comparison of eight dominance indices

Sources of behavioral variance: Implications for sample size decisions

Results from an intensive study of the sources of variance in a variety of chimpanzee behaviors are used to elucidate research design problems, and criteria for sample size selection are outlined.


Man goes to nature to learn what nature is, but, in so doing, he introduces possibilities of distortion through his own presence. These risks Bacon had in mind when he stressed the importance of

Some Methods for Strengthening the Common χ 2 Tests

Since the x2 tests of goodness of fit and of association in contingency tables are presented in many courses on statistical methods for beginners in the subject, it is not surprising that x2 has

Review Lecture - The study of mother-infant interaction in captive group-living rhesus monkeys

Although the influence of early social environment on man’s adult personality is now well recognized, little is known about the precise nature of the effects. One reason for this is the ethical

Sociobiology of rhesus monkeys. II. Stochastics of social communication.

  • S. Altmann
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 1965

The Effects of Cumulative Experience On Responses To Novel Objects in Young Isolation-Reared Chimpanzees

I. Reactions toward small novel objects were studied in two highly cautious isolation-reared chimpanzees. 2. In Experiment I the subjects were presented with 75 different objects. Grasping increased

The development of maternal and infant behavior in the rhesus monkey.

Maternal behaviors played an important role in influencing infantile behaviors early in life by orienting the infant toward and maintaining the infant in contact with the mother's ventral surface, and manifestations of the infant-infant affectional system appeared and developed, and infant-Infant interactions within groups were observed.

Study of spontaneous behavior in squirrel monkey groups: observation techniques, recording devices, numerical evaluation and reliability tests.

  • S. Hopf
  • Education
    Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology
  • 1972
The investigation is extended to each stage of the study: the process of observation, and a relevant method for quantifying social behavior is described and discussed.

Incubation and Nest-Building Behaviour of Black-Headed Gulls Iv: Nest-Building in the Laying and Incubation Periods

It is argued that the term 'displacement activity' is not helpful, and indeed misleads, when applied to the nest-building of Black-headed Gulls in the incubation period.