The first half of your research will be a naturalistic observation. You will be determining the baseline of behavior, or what the behavior looks like, or the amount of the behavior present under normal circumstances. The observer is unobtrusive, rather like the wallpaper. There is no interference with the behavior.
You are to select a human behavior. Discuss the problem surrounding this behavior. The following is a list of topics which have been used in the past. You may select from the list or develop one of your own. Select a behavior which you encounter each day. The greatest challenge is isolating or narrowing the behavior to a single event which you can define, count, and attempt to change or observe as changed in a different environment.
Door opening for others
Money on the ground
Cleaning off the table after you eat in a fast food restaurant
Response time of clerks when the researcher dresses poorly or nicely
Tips – restaurant, beauty salon, etc.
Helpful behavior when toilet paper is attached to the researchers shoe in a public place
Hand waving when driving down a country road
Changing television stations in a public waiting room
Products purchased from shelves of different height
Color of products purchased
Seating behaviors in school cafeteria or restaurant
Stop light running
Use of cell phones in school areas
Use of cell phones while driving
Purchasing one item or the “full meal deal” at a fast food restaurant
Human responses to walking dogs of different sizes or breeds
Human response to “Don’t walk on the grass!” signs
Driver behavior while waiting on a stop light (make-up, hair combing using rear view mirror)
Assistance reaching items from the top shelf
Dropping a dollar while walking through Walmart…will someone return the dollar? (Can be an expensive project.)
Returning shopping carts to the proper areas
Smiling or waving “thank you” when a car stops to allow shoppers to cross in the parking lot
Behavior in the check-out line: smiling, conversation…
The behavior of children in the check-out line (pulling things from shelves, yelling, smiling, climbing out of cart….)
Behavior of children in a classroom (talking, out of seat, interrupting, turning in homework….)
DO NOT :
Place a baby carrier on top of a car and drive around the mall parking lot to see if someone will attempt to stop you
Stop your car by the side of the road to see if someone might stop and assist
Attempt a tail gating experiment of any kind
Select any behavior which might be harmful, socially offensive, or immoral
Complete the Observation Project Form. Write a theory and hypothesis, explain the procedure you will use to determine if the theory and hypothesis are supported, give the result or the count, and finally, discuss your results or findings.
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