Other methods and creative ways to assess behavior

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Other methods and creative ways to assess behavior are described in a book on real-world subtle measures o Time-lapse photography – study flow of people and use of space in urban public places o Observed people’s personal and professional spaces to understand how personality is expressed o Collected and analyzed trash to measure what people actually consume vs what they say they consume Direct assessment of real-world behavior is important since people may not want to accurately report what they do Psychologists are also interested in how our bodies respond to fluctuating demands of our lives o What is stressful, engaging, or boring for one person might not be so for another o White coat hypertension – patients have elevated BP in hospital or at doctor’s but not in everyday lives Ambulatory physiological monitoring – monitoring physiological reactions as people go about their daily lives o Used in biomedical research and in an array of monitoring devices – ECG, EEG, BP, electrodermal activity Ambulatory assessment – assess behavior, physiology, experience, & environment in naturalistic settings Study w/ experience sampling + ambulatory ECG studied how emotional experiences alter cardiac function o Focused on patients w/ congenital heart abnormalities o Daily emotions had measurable effect on ventricular repolarization which is linked to risk of cardiac event Study w/ experience sampling + momentary assessment of cortisol o Momentary reports of current or anticipated stress predicted increased cortisol secretion Virtual daily behavior – how people act and interact w/ others on the Internet o Researchers think of virtual behavior as being as serious of “actual” behavior One way to study virtual behavior Is to study virtual language behavior o Uses the fact that most of what people do online leaves direct & permanent traces o Researchers can download people’s verbal expressions and communications & analyze them One limitation of coping research – inability to obtain baseline information
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o Baseline information – how people were doing before a traumatic event occurred o Linguistic analyses – quantitative text analysis that automatically extracts grammatical & psychological info from a text by counting word frequencies Researchers are not beginning to investigate behavior on social networking sites such as Facebook o Most research looks at psychological correlates of online behavior o First attempts to export traditional experimental designs into an online setting Smartphones will most likely become devices for scientific data collection and intervention in the future o Phones store vast amounts of real-world user interaction data & equipped w/ sensors to track contexts Full-cycle psychology – researchers start w/ observational field study to identify an effect in the real world o Followed up w/ lab experimentation to verify effect & isolate causal mechanisms o Return to field research to corroborate experimental findings
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  • Spring '08
  • YOUNG
  • Psychology, Causality, researchers, Correlational Research, Study w/ experience

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