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Unobtrusive measures

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Unobtrusive measures

  1. 1. Unobtrusive Measures
  2. 2. What Are Unobtrusive Measures? • Any measure that can be taken without the subject knowing it. • There are a great variety of types. • Raises questions of ethics.
  3. 3. Some Major Types • Indirect measures • Content analysis • Secondary analysis of data
  4. 4. Indirect Measures To assess the popularity of different museum exhibits...
  5. 5. Indirect Measures To assess the popularity of different museum exhibits... ...measure the wear of the floor tiles.
  6. 6. Indirect Measures Or, if it’s a children’s museum exhibit...
  7. 7. Indirect Measures Or, if it’s a children’s museum exhibit... ...measure the fingerprints on the glass cases.
  8. 8. Indirect Measures To measure the preferences for radio stations in a market...
  9. 9. Indirect Measures To measure the preferences for radio stations in a market... ...have auto mechanics check what stations people are tuned to.
  10. 10. Indirect Measures To measure the popularity of various magazines...
  11. 11. Indirect Measures To measure the popularity of various magazines... ...comb through the trash or recycling.
  12. 12. Indirect Measures • Requires some theory • Often very clever and fun • Often inexpensive • May be ethical issues • Best for measuring behavior (not attitudes or feelings)
  13. 13. Content Analysis Purpose: To categorize or code written (or spoken, transcribed) documents Theme 2 Theme 3 Work quickly and effectively under pressure 49 Organize the work when directions are not specific. 39 Decide how to manage multiple tasks. 20 Manage resources effectively. 4 Theme 1
  14. 14. Content Analysis Key Steps: • Define unit of analysis. • Sample the units of analysis. • Code the sample units. • Summarize the codings. • Draw inferences.
  15. 15. Content Analysis Types of Codings • Rate each sampled unit on a continuous scale. • Place each sampled unit into one or more categories. Continuous Categorical
  16. 16. Content Analysis Types of Content • The visible surface content (e.g., number of male pronouns). • The underlying meaning (subjective judgment of sexism in the unit). Manifest Latent
  17. 17. Content Analysis Strengths: • Feasibility • Safety -- low risk • Can examine phenomena over long periods of time • Unobtrusive
  18. 18. Content Analysis Weaknesses: • Limited to recorded phenomena • May have limited validity (especially construct validity)
  19. 19. Secondary Analysis of Data Purpose: Use existing data sources to address your questions
  20. 20. Secondary Analysis of Data Examples: • Census bureau data • Crime records • Standardized testing data • Economic data • Combining or linking several databases
  21. 21. Secondary Analysis of Data Strengths: • Efficient -- the data already collected • Broad sampling base – Can be national – Can encompass large time spans
  22. 22. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF UNOBTRUSIVE OBSERVATION
  23. 23. Advantage:  They are not influenced by your watching them so at least in that you are not a factor in the experiment, one less variable.  There are no preconcieved ideas in the subbjects heads to influence their behaviours
  24. 24. Disadvantage:  You have to interpret their action and now you are a factor in the experiment, one added variable  You cant ask them to explain their motivations about what you just saw, which might have some bearing on what you just saw, so it affects the quality of your observation  There is no way to repeat this particular experiment with these subjects.

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