Observation

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					                                          University of Kent - School of Anthropology and Conservation - 2010

                  SE308 - Skills for Anthropology and Conservation
Week 9 - Observation exercise
Using the video of wild chimpanzees introduced in the class, and the detailed instructions below,
record behaviour using both continuous focal sampling and instantaneous scan sampling. List two
advantages and disadvantages for each method.


This is to be handed in as part of the assessed exercises for this module, and should be done
individually.


Deadline: 12noon, Friday 17th December 2010 (Week 12)
Submission method: via your web page (instructions to be given later in the term)
                                          University of Kent - School of Anthropology and Conservation - 2010

Detailed Instructions
You are presented here with a 7min. video of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) resting and
socialising on a trail. These chimpanzees belong to a small community of wild chimpanzees known
as Bossou in Southeastern Guinea in West Africa. (The file is located in the application folder of
each Mac, and is called Tanya.mov)
You have four tasks:
1)     Watch the clip several times, and try and learn how to distinguish each individual from one
       another. Let’s suppose these are unidentified, please given each one an ID code or name.
2)     You are likely to find yourself often confronted with behaviours which you may not have
       seen before etc. so even if you know nothing about chimpanzees this is a good exercise in
       making you think about what may be an appropriate behavioural category for these subjects.
       Of course remember that the level of detail and therefore the behavioural classes you choose
       to select and define, will depend on the initial question you wish to ask. But let’s admit here
       we are interested in the activity budget of these chimpanzees.
       Identify and define behavioural classes, focusing only on states (e.g. play), as opposed to
       events (behaviours with short duration such as striking a nut during nut cracking). You may
       assign codes to your behaviours to facilitate recording (e.g. ‘P’ for Play). Remember these
       classes need to be independent from one another. A chimpanzee cannot be recorded as
       resting and playing at the same time. Your categories need to be mutually exclusive.


       Names:
       Mother: Cassie
       Baby: Nicky
       2nd Female: Tina
       Dominant Male: Ryan
       Adolescent: Marcus


       Behaviour:
       Playing: P
       Self Grooming: Se
       Social Grooming: So
       Travel: T
       Rest: R
       Other: O
       Not in view: N
                                            University of Kent - School of Anthropology and Conservation - 2010

         Based on the classes which you have identified and defined above, record behaviour using
         the following two sampling and recording rules:


         a.      Continuous focal sampling (choose one individual and record its behaviour
                 continuously during the entire duration of the video)


Name of Individual or Indiv. ID Code: Ryan
Time line        00.13 00.17 07.03

Behav.           P        R     T
code



         b. Instantaneous scan sampling (record the behaviour of each individual on the dot every
              30 sec.)


     Name or ID: Cassie          Tina          Ryan           Marcus         Nicky

Time line
00.30                R           P             R              P              N
01.00                Se          R             R              P              P
01.30                Se          R             R              P              P
02.00                R           P             R              P              P
02.30                Se          N             R              P              P
03.00                Se          N             R              T              R
03.30                R           N             R              N              N
04.00                Se          N             R              N              T
04.30                R           N             R              P              N
05.00                R           N             R              P              N
05.30                Se          N             R              P              N
06.00                R           P             R              P              N
06.30                T           P             R              P              T
07.00                N           P             R              P              N




3)       After having recorded behaviour using these two structured observation techniques, list two
         advantages and disadvantages for each. Think in terms of understanding the activity budget
                                    University of Kent - School of Anthropology and Conservation - 2010

of the group and what each technique produces in terms of behavioural measures (e.g.
latency, duration, frequency...) you may wish to use for analysing the data.


Continuous focal sampling
Advantages:
      You can note every single change in behaviour of the individual at any time
      You have less chance of missing changes in behaviour as you are only concentrating on one
       individual



Disadvantages:
      Only gives you an insight into the behaviour of one particular individual
      Very time consuming if you were to do this for each individual



Instantaneous scan sampling
Advantages:
      You get an insight into the behaviour of all individuals
      It is more time efficient than continuous focal sampling



Disadvantages:
      You only record information at selected times, if events occur in between they are not
       taken note of
      Activities are categorised so specific behaviour is not noted

				
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