The effects of biasing information on behavioral observations and rating scales

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1976;4(3):221-33. doi: 10.1007/BF00917760.

Abstract

The effects of biasing information on behavioral observations and rating scales were studied. Forty-one undergraduate students trained in making reliable behavioral observations were given differential expectations concerning the activity level of a target child. They then viewed videotape recordings of that child and tallied frequency counts of six behavioral categories simultaneously. In addition, subjects completed postexperimental rating scales composed of specific, identifiable behaviors in regard to the target child. Results indicated that, for the most part, neither the behavioral observations nor the rating scales were significantly affected by the biasing information. It is suggested that rating scales constructed of items as discrete and readily identifiable as those of behavioral observation measures may prove resistant to biasing effects.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Videotape Recording