Structured Observation

In this project, you will create and score a structured observation coding sheet with a partner. It will be used to record interactions at a fast-food counter. The scoring sheet should include total interaction time, number of statements made, number of items exchanged, and at least one complex mood-related variable such as anxiety, frustration, joy, etc. We will discuss how to operationalize complex variables in class before you create your coding protocol. Once your sheet is complete, do a “practice observation” so you can improve your technique, and then use the coding sheet to code at least 10 separate purchases at a coffee/food location with your partner. Compare the scores each of you obtains to test for inter-rater reliability.

Each student should include the following:
1. Abstract-Summarize this project clearly using as few words as possible.

2. Introduction -Why do this study? Why might this study be important? What background information would be useful for the reader to know before reading the rest of your report? Note: You can either explain this study is for a class assignment or you can make up a research question that might lead you to do this study, such as “is there a relationship between number of items purchased and length of interaction?”

3 Methods-Using enough detail so others could repeat your data collection exactly as you have done it, describe what, where, how, and with whom you did this project. Describe the equipment used and describe the research participants. It is very important to explain in great detail how you operationalized your variables.

4 Discussion- What worked well? What did not work well? What would you do differently if you were to repeat this project? Describe any unusual or unexpected occurrences. What is your advice to other aspiring researchers regarding future research or changes to this study?

5 Results-Present you data and also your partner’s data in a table format. Be sure to label which is which. Where appropriate, calculate the mean, median and mode for each variable. (Hint: remember which measure of central tendency is appropriate for which scale of measurement.) Are there any “outliers?” How far are they from the mean? Do you have any hypotheses for why these are outliers? Explain the importance of inter-rater reliability and estimate your inter-rater reliability as high, medium or low. You do not have to use statistics for this estimation, but you should explain the rationale for your estimation, demonstrating that you understand the concept.

Important: You must submit your own paper and NOT a group paper. If I receive the same paper from 2 students, if work is plagiarized or if data is fabricated, you will receive a grade of 0 for this assignment.

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