Structured Behavioral Observations II

Methodological Considerations
  • Richard A. Marafiote


Not unlike other assessment devices, direct observational procedures have several methodological problems, which if left uncontrolled would seriously threaten the reliability and validity of the observational data. A number of good papers have provided reviews of this subject (Foster & Cone, 1980; Haynes & Horn, 1982; Johnson & Bolstad, 1973; Kent & Foster, 1977; Patterson et al., 1978; Wasik & Loven, 1980; Wildman & Erickson, 1977). These problems have been identified with observational procedures used in either laboratory or naturalistic environments, although they may not evidence equal effects in both settings. Furthermore, given the fact that the most frequent purpose for using this procedure is to measure the effects of some treatment program, a few of the methodological issues will be relevant for direct observations associated with the effects identified within a research project (e.g., expectation bias). In some cases, these particular problems may not be relevant to observational procedures used in the context of a custody evaluation.


Behavioral Observation Reliability Check Global Judgment Behavioral Definition Expectation Bias 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Marafiote
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavior Therapy Institute of ColoradoDenverUSA

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