Observation and Graphing


Q1. Definition of Behavior You will be observing

 For this task, I chose to observe the level of attention or distraction in one of the students in my class. On a particular day, I sat at the back of the lecture room and observed a student (P4) who sat, two rows ahead of me.  For the most part, P4 spends a considerable amount of time looking at her phone while also frowning, fidgeting her fingers and hair, yawning occasionally, and also looking around. She put her phone away for a moment, and seconds later, she reaches to the phone as she listens to the lecture. She scrolls through her phone and texts. Moments later, the lecturer cautions her to keep her phone away. P4 was engaged in numerous behaviors; she was fidgeting her fingers through her hair, she yawned occasionally, she looked up and listened to the lecturer on and off while switching to her phone, she looked around; lastly, she reached to her phone, keeping it away after being warned.

Q. 2 Frequency of the behavior

BehaviorFrownTap on the table/hairPhoneListeningLook Around

Q.3 Two physical Impact of the behavior

  1. The lack of attentiveness caused P4 to yawn
  2. Lack of attentiveness caused P4 to look around
  3. Compromised teacher’s ability to control the class

The social Impact; Disruptive behavior by one student caused the teacher to interrupt the lesson by asking P4 to keep the phone away. This affected the learning process of other students. Such disruption also encourages the other students to do the same

Q. 4

Antecedent; Boredom (portrayed by a combination of activities, yawning, fidgeting, looking around)

Behavior: Reaching for the phone

Consequences; The teacher loudly cautioning her to keep the phone away; disruption to the whole class

Q. 5 Steps to avoid Reactivity; Obstructive observation such that the person did not know that she was being observed.

Was it successful? Yes, it was, nobody knew I was observing her behavior.


Q. 1. Graphing

Q.2 The data has NO scientific value because;

Although the intervention was significantly successful in reducing acts of vandalism, we are not certain that the results could be replicated in other behavioral settings to produce similar results because the design does not establish causality in a repeated relationship between the introduction and the removal of the intervention, and a consequential change in the dependent variable. Ultimately this means that other variables may have contributed to the results.

Q.3 The Research design for the experiment falls under the A-B design. In its simplest form, this research design comprises of a baseline phase, which is subsequently followed by a treatment (intervention) phase. It allows for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention applied by comparing the dependent variable (acts of vandalism) during the two phases.


 Kalat, J. W. (1996). Introduction to psychology. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publ.

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