Measuring Behaviour : An Introductory Guide

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-03
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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Measuring Behaviour has established itself as a standard text. Largely rewritten, updated and reorganised, this third edition is, as before, a guide to the principles and methods of quantitative studies of behaviour, with an emphasis on techniques of observation, recording and analysis. It provides the basic knowledge needed to measure behaviour, doing so in a succinct and easily understood form. The sections on research design and the interpretation and presentation of data have been greatly expanded. Written with brevity and clarity, Measuring Behaviour is, above all, a practical guide book. Aimed primarily at undergraduate and graduate students in biology and psychology who are about to embark upon quantitative studies of animal and human behaviour, this book provides a concise review of methodology that will be of great value to scientists of all disciplines in which behaviour is measured, including biological anthropology, the social sciences and medicine.

Author Biography

Dr Paul Martin former Harkness Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, he has lectured and researched in Behavioral Biology at Cambridge, and was a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge Professor Sir Patrick Bateson is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a former President of the Associadon for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Knight Bachelor, and current President of the Zoological Society of London

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
The scope of this bookp. 1
The four problemsp. 2
Different approaches to studying behaviourp. 4
Why measure behaviour?p. 6
Summaryp. 9
Think before you measurep. 10
Choosing the level of analysisp. 10
Choosing the speciesp. 11
Choosing where to studyp. 11
Choosing when to observep. 15
Effects of the observer on the subjectp. 17
Anthropomorphismp. 18
Ethical considerationsp. 20
Summaryp. 23
Getting startedp. 25
The steps involved in studying behaviourp. 25
Preliminary observationp. 31
Describing behaviourp. 32
Choosing categoriesp. 33
Defining categoriesp. 35
Types of measurep. 36
Events and statesp. 39
The different levels of measurementp. 40
Summaryp. 41
Individuals and groupsp. 42
Identifying individualsp. 42
Individual differencesp. 44
Assessing individual distinctivenessp. 45
Defining a groupp. 46
Summaryp. 47
Recording methodsp. 48
Sampling rulesp. 48
Recording rulesp. 51
Continuous recordingp. 52
Instantaneous samplingp. 53
One-zero samplingp. 54
Choosing the sample intervalp. 55
The disadavantages and advantages of time samplingp. 57
Summaryp. 60
The recording mediump. 62
The options availablep. 62
Check sheetsp. 65
Event recordersp. 67
Summaryp. 70
How good are your measures?p. 72
Reliability versus validityp. 72
Within-observer versus between-observer reliabilityp. 74
Measuring reliability using correlationsp. 76
How reliable is reliable?p. 78
Other ways of measuring reliabilityp. 78
Factors affecting reliabilityp. 80
Dealing with unreliable measuresp. 81
How independent are the measures?p. 82
Summaryp. 85
How good is your research design?p. 86
Performing experimentsp. 86
Experimental designp. 87
Studying developmentp. 92
Tests of preference and differential responsivenessp. 97
Composite measuresp. 100
How much information to collect?p. 101
Summaryp. 102
Statistical analysisp. 103
General advice on statisticsp. 103
Spreadsheets and databasesp. 104
Exploratory versus confirmatory analysisp. 105
What statistical tests should be used?p. 107
Analysis of variance (ANOVA)p. 109
Correlationp. 110
Simple regressionp. 112
General linear models (GLMs)p. 114
Multivariate statisticsp. 115
Circular statisticsp. 118
Did you collect enough data?p. 119
Summaryp. 119
Analysing specific aspects of behaviourp. 121
Bout lengthp. 121
Analysing sequencesp. 122
Analysing rhythmsp. 125
Choice testsp. 127
Social behaviourp. 129
Summaryp. 134
Interpreting and presenting findingsp. 135
Floor and ceiling effectsp. 135
Assessing significancep. 136
Problems with correlationsp. 138
Treasuring your exceptionsp. 142
Prior knowledge and Bayes' theoremp. 143
Modellingp. 144
Presentation of findingsp. 146
Science and the public interestp. 150
Summaryp. 151
Units of measurementp. 153
Some statistical termsp. 155
Advice on statistics textbooksp. 160
Checklist to consult before publicationp. 163
Referencesp. 165
Indexp. 171
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