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Focus on if it is naturalistic methods (Chapter 7) and quasi-experimental research design

Please pay close attention to the Discussion Assignment directions for this week. Similar to when you designed, and attached, a Likert-scale to your assignment post a few weeks ago, for this week you will develop an original coding sheet for observing behavior and attach it to your post.

For this week, I especially would like for you to understand why you can’t draw causal conclusions in quasi-experimental designs. There are two main conditions that make up quasi-experiments: 1) the variables are measured and not manipulated, and this is called a “participant variable design.” Participants variables are, for example, gender, age, etc. – and you can’t “randomly assign” someone to be a certain gender or age – right? And 2) when there can’t be random assignment. For example, if you sign up for a weight loss program at work it’s likely that they won’t be allowed to randomly assign you to a condition, rather they just have to take whomever signs up for the program and go from there. These two conditions mean that researchers cannot draw causal conclusions; rather they only can study the relations between variables, thus making the research correlational instead of causal.

Why is this the case? Because you could always argue that something else could be “causing” a relation between the variables. Said another way, when there is no random assignment, you can never be assured that the groups were equivalent to begin with.

Read Chapter 7 in your course text.

Review the coding form example in Figure 7.1 on page 136 of your course text.

Choose a setting where you would enjoy observing behavior. It might be someplace you go everyday (like the grocery store) or it might be a place you would like to go (such as a city park).

Create a coding form for your hypothetical observational study. Use the coding sheet in the course text as an example, but make up something that is entirely your own.

Upload your coding form as an attachment (in doc or rtf format) to your posting.

With these thoughts in mind:

The topic of your hypothetical observational study. This should also be the “Subject” field of your post this week (e.g., “Child Playground Behavior”).

In the main body of your post, provide background information on your hypothetical observational study including the setting, why you are interested in this study, and what you hope to learn.

Explain whether you would be an acknowledged or unacknowledged observer and why.

Describe the types of behavior and the episodes you included on your coding form.

Upload the coding form you created as an attached document.

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