Behavioral Research Blog

Unobtrusive observations

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on May 16, 2014

Where and how to observe test participants in order to collect reliable data? An observation lab is designed to allow you to observe your test participants unobtrusively, in an environment similar to your test participant’s natural surroundings. However, for some groups of participants, for example elderly people living in a nursing home, transfer to a stationary lab can be stressful or even impossible. In such a case, a portable lab would be ideal. Would you like to learn more about how to build an observation lab? Check out this ‘how to’ guide! Read tips & tricks to learn more!

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Topics: video observation, parent-child interaction, parent-infant dyads, mobile observation, Portable lab

Measuring the creative process

Posted by Andrew Spink on Nov 18, 2013

After Albert Einstein died, his brain was preserved and in the following decades scientists have studied it to try and see if there was anything exceptional about it.  It is hard to draw conclusions from just one subject, but one clear difference is that he had an exceptionally large number of glial cells in the area of the brain responsible for incorporating and synthesizing information from other brain regions [1]. Glial cells are important for a number of brain functions, including signal transmission.

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Topics: Observation lab, Neuromarketing, living labs, Portable lab, behavioral research, brain waves, EEG, New York

How to build a consumer behavior research lab?

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Feb 25, 2013

In order to get off to a good start, it is best to describe the research or tests that are going to be performed in detail. With this description it becomes clear what kind of equipment will be needed, and which physical environment (on-site or in a lab) would best suit this test or research. In general, the description should answer the following questions:

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Topics: The Observer XT, emotion recognition, on-site research, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, Observation lab, consumer behavior, Portable lab, eye tracking

7 Tips to set up a coding scheme

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Nov 15, 2011

The coding scheme or ethogram determines what data you collect and is, thus, an essential part of your behavioral study. How to develop a coding scheme that will provide you with the information you need? You can set up your coding scheme on paper, but you can also use The Observer XT software, a tool which can assist you in the entire workflow of an observational research project.

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Topics: The Observer XT, animal behavior research, on-site research, video observation, Educational research, classroom observation software, coding schemes, Observation lab, human behavior research, consumer behavior, mobile observation, Portable lab

Four ways to study visitor behavior: on-site, in a living lab, ...

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Oct 24, 2011

Museums, zoos, theme parks, and aquariums all observe the behavior of their visitors in order to find the best ways to entertain and educate. In Timing and Tracking: Unlocking Visitor Behavior, Steven Yalowitz and Kerry Bronnenkant review the history of timing and tracking in museums and provide a detailed description of methods used to record, analyze, and report timing and tracking data. They claim that in the past, researchers mostly recorded where the visitor went (and in some of the earliest studies, they even tracked wear patterns on the carpet!)

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Topics: The Observer XT, on-site research, video observation, consumer behavior, mobile observation, living labs, Portable lab

Beyond borders: exploring psychophysiological research methods

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Oct 13, 2011

More and more, scientists across a wide spectrum of research backgrounds are recognizing the relevance of psychophysiological methods. Zimmerman et al. (2008) argue combining different modalities leads to a more complete picture of the phenomena under study. This leads to the inevitable question of what phenomena scientists that make use of psychophysiological methods are studying. What kind of research fields or disciplines do they come from?

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Topics: The Observer XT, on-site research, video observation, Observation lab, physiology, Portable lab

Why classroom observation matters

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Sep 16, 2011

Classroom behavior is often difficult to follow as researchers simply don’t have enough eyes and ears to catch everything that happens. But if this data can be accurately collected, it can reveal a wealth of information such as the effectiveness of special education programs or engagement of students with behavioral problems. Recommendations based on educational research provide policy makers, teachers, parents, and students with valuable information. For this reason it is extremely important that we study social interaction in educational contexts and record behavior within classrooms. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

How to collect and code observational data in educational research
The authors of the Associate Editor's Column in the Journal of Special Education Technology, Dave Edyburn and James Basham, recognize the ongoing interest in observational data collection systems. As a result, they have highlighted four software products as forerunners in this field. Edyburn and Basham explain that it has always been a challenge to collect data in a classroom, and claim that simple recording systems are necessary so that researchers do not miss any new developments. Please read the column to learn more about collecting and coding observational data.

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Topics: The Observer XT, on-site research, video observation, Educational research, classroom observation software, Portable lab

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