Field Assignment: Time spent with same-sex peers

due Friday, Apr. 2 -- 8 am

Researchers of child development often want to know how an individual or a group of children distribute their time among various activities in a naturalistic setting. For this assignment you will be using a common method of observational research, time sampling, to assess the proportion of time children spend (a) alone, (b) with peers of the same sex, (c) with peers of the opposite sex, and (d) with peers of both sexes. Every 30 seconds you will code the child's behavior, until five minutes have elapsed. You will do this for two childen, so at the end you will have coded two children across 10 minutes.

Use this Coding Sheet. You will also need a stopwatch or a wristwatch with a large face and clearly visible second hand. You may find it easier to do this assignment in pairs, where one person keeps time and the other person observes. (If you team up to do this assignment, you still have to code 2 children each.)

skills practiced:
  • observation
  • research design
  • compiling and interpreting data
  • understand research methods and interpret research findings