Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Investigators Publish Book on Key Principles of Observational Measurement of Behavior

May 21, 2018

The systematic observation of behavior is one of the most basic methods of acquiring data and is especially valuable in early childhood assessment and research. Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Investigators Paul Yoder and Blair Lloyd have co-authored, with University of Minnesota colleague Frank Symons, Observational Measurement of Behavior, Second Edition (Brookes Publishing, 2018).

 "Our aim is to provide a text that prepares future researchers as they record, summarize, analyze, and communicate significant, systematic observations about child behavior," said Yoder, Ph.D., professor of Special Education and an investigator in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "This research methodology can be used in a variety of fields, including special education, psychology, communication sciences, and social work."

The book covers theoretical principles of systematic observation and recommended research methods and techniques. Practical, real-world examples based on the authors' extensive research experience illustrate complex concepts.

The text is based on a course that the authors taught at Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota.

"Our text has related online materials, including two free 6-month licenses for proprietary observational software developed and refined over many years of conducting observational research at Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center," Yoder said. "MOOSESTM-Multi-Option Observation System for Experimental Studies-was developed to easily collect and analyze data from any real time event. Procoder for Digital VideoTM was developed to facilitate the collection of different forms of observational data from digital media files."

Co-author Blair Lloyd, Ph.D., is assistant professor of Special Education and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator. Frank Symons, Ph.D., is professor of Educational Psychology and associate dean for Research and Policy in the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Jon Tapp, co-author of the MOOSES and Procoder observational software, is director of Information Technology at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.