TAKING A CLOSER LOOK: TIME SAMPLING AND MEASUREMENT ERROR

Authors


  • A much abbreviated and earlier version of this paper was presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Chicago, 1975.

Department of Special Education, California State College, California, Pennsylvania 15419

Abstract

A person manufactured his in-seat behavior for 15, 30-min sessions so that there were three blocks of five sessions where the behavior occurred 20%, 50%, and 80% of the time. Whole interval, partial interval, and momentary time-sample measures of the behavior were taken and compared to the continuous measure of the behavior i.e., per cent of time the behavior occurred. For interval time sampling, the difference between the continuous and sample measures i.e., measurement error, was: (1) extensive, (2) unidirectional, (3) a function of the time per response, and (4) inconsistent across changes in the continuous measure. A procedural analysis demonstrated that the frequency and duration of behavior are confounded in interval time sampling. Momentary time sampling was found to be superior to interval time sampling in estimating the duration a behavior occurs.

Ancillary