Reactivity to the Presence of Observers in a Natural Social Setting

  • William R. Lindsay


For many clinicians one attraction of the behaviour therapies has been their emphasis on reliable observation as a primary source of data about the nature of problems and the course of treatment. Therefore, changes which occur after treatment are often measured by observation rather than through subjective reports from the patient or judged impressions of the therapist. The main strength of observation as a technique to assess change is that the public nature of the data source enables measures of change to be checked for their reliability. Because of the importance of direct observation for behaviour therapy there has been a growing interest in the processes of observation, (Nelson and Hayes, 1979) and the effect it has on the people being observed. It is well recognised that the very act of observing people can change their behaviour (Johnson and Bolstad, 1973) and indeed monitoring can be a therapeutic process in itself (Nelson, 1977).


Verbal Behaviour Percentage Agreement Observation Session Observation Code Procedural Problem 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Lindsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentMonklands District General HospitalAirdrieScotland

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