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Observing «and» Analyzing Communication Behavior

John A. Courtright

This is a book about communication behavior: how we conceptualize it, observe it, measure it, and analyze it.
The 1970s and 1980s were times when communication behavior was a primary interest of many communication scholars. The aim of this book is to reignite some interest in and passion about how human communication behavior should be studied. It presents the best advice, techniques, cautions, and controversies from the 1970s and 1980s and then updates them. Several chapters also introduce statistical methods and procedures to allow readers to analyze behavioral data.
This book is a useful resource for communication scholars and graduate students to guide their study of communication behavior.
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5 Common Issues in Behavioral Observation

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Chapter 5

Common Issues in Behavioral Observation

Regardless of whether an investigator chooses to address his or her research question using the unitize and categorize approach or the observe and record approach, there are issues—and decisions about those issues—that are common to both. Where will the observation take place? Who will actually observe? What qualifications should they have? How will they be selected? How long and intensive will their training have to be? These and similar questions are the subject matter of this chapter.

Observational Setting

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