Coding Schemes


For this coursework we are expected to carry out an observational study using a coding scale.


Coding schemes are ways of categorising behaviour so that you can code what you observe in terms of how often a type of behaviour appears.  


Advantages of this type of observation are that if you are studying natural behaviour they have high ecological validity.   You can also see how people are actually behaving as oppose to questionnaires which only reveal what a person wants to tell you.


Advantages of using a coding scheme are that they are fairly simple to carry out and that they provide quantitative data which can be analysed statistically.


The observational method can also have low demand characteristics if the participants do not know they are being observed. 


However observation using coding schemes has a main weakness.  It gives a very restricted view of what is actually happening.  The researcher may miss important behaviour and the data is not as in-depth as simply observing behaviour which is occurring.