What is behavioral observation scale?
A behavioral observation scale is a useful tool for conducting observations of behavior. It has some limitations, though. For example, it is difficult to use in large companies due to potential bias. Therefore, the use of this tool requires extensive background education and the involvement of company employees. Nevertheless, it is one of the most effective tools for observing human behavior. It is widely used in interviews, job promotions, and understanding the psychology of students and curing patients with ADHD.
Uses of Behavioral Observation Scale in Job interviews
In job interviews or promotions, Behavioral Observation Scale is used as A measure of job performance that is based on behavior. The person who gives the rating uses one or more scales to figure out how often the employee has done good things on the job. This measure is also used in other situations, like psychological research and clinical assessment, but in a different way.
The Behavioral Observation Scale is often used to rate an employee in 5 Parameters or events the employees have shown a particular behavior required for a job. These are:
- Almost never
- Almost always
Behavioral observation scale example
To understand the Behavioral Observation Scale, we need to analyze it as an example. Let us assume, for a specific role, an employee appearing for a customer service role needs to perform three tasks regularly:
- Share a smile or thanks while a customer visits a store
- Completes the billing process within 5 mins of customer appearing in store
- Shares a Thank You Visit and Visit again after the billing is completed
The Behavioral Observation Scale would record the times of events these events have happened. If the threshold value of a certain job is reached, the person can be considered appropriate for the job.
When should Managers use the Behavioral Observation Scale?
Companies often talk about how they can no longer use face time to judge how well someone is doing their job because so many people work from home. People who aren’t working in the same space aren’t usually seen. (It’s not a good idea to make employees keep their cameras on all day.) But that doesn’t mean that a BOS measurement tool can’t be used to evaluate employees.
It does some jobs better than others. For example, a BOS is often a better way to judge jobs without clear, measurable results than a results-only scale. How do you figure out how many lawsuits your company was able to avoid because of good HR? It’s difficult to say. But looking at Behavioral Observation Scale can help you find out who is doing well.
Behavioral Observation Scale may not be the best way to measure an employee’s overall performance in jobs where productivity is easy to see, like a call center. Still, it can be used along with monitoring results. You can keep track of how many complaints an employee has solved and use BOS to see how they live by the organization’s values and give them feedback on how they can improve.
Elements of Behavioral Observation Scale
These are the most commonly used elements of the Behavioral Observation Scale
Event recording is an important part of the behavioral observation scale. It is particularly useful when other dimensions of behavior are relatively uniform. For example, if the duration of the behavior was 10 minutes, recording the number of instances of this behavior would yield 10 observations. Nevertheless, this method of recording is limited by the fact that certain factors may change the duration of the observation.
For some behaviors, event recording is less helpful than continuous monitoring. For example, it is not as informative when a behavior occurs frequently and over a long period of time, such as temper tantrums. It is best used for behavior that is not difficult to document. For example, a teacher can collect event recording data on a daily basis during her mathematics class.
While event recording may be less complex than time sampling or interval recording, it still requires the observer to document the behavior. This is done by tally marks on a sheet of paper, a wrist counter, or pennies or buttons. In addition to counting the number of times a behavior occurs, the observer also records the time it takes for that behavior to occur.
In addition to noting the duration of an event, it is also important to record the antecedents and consequences of that behavior. These behaviors are often covert and difficult to observe directly. The recording of events may also be helpful in keeping track of when these behaviors took place. For example, a child may exhibit behaviors at a specific time, but may not be aware of the time it took to perform the behavior.
While interval recording may be less effective for behaviors that occur in short intervals, event recording allows observers to estimate the duration of behaviors. The only disadvantage of this method is that it is often interpreted as a percentage. However, it is the only recording method that allows for such interpretation. This type of recording is incredibly difficult to carry out, since it requires the observer to note the start and end of a behavior. This means that behavioral definition specificity is absolutely necessary.
Interval recording is an essential tool in behavior observation, particularly when examining the behavior of a student or other individual. It allows you to count how many times a specific behavior occurs during a specific time period. For example, a teacher might be interested in whether a student is on task, such as looking at the teacher when speaking to them, or looking at an assignment. If a student engages in these behaviors six out of every ten intervals, the teacher would know that the student is focusing on that task for at least 60 percent of the time.
There are two different types of interval recording. The first option allows the observer to set aside a certain amount of time for recording behavior. For example, an observer could set aside a five-second interval each time a behavior occurs. The other option allows the observer to observe the behavior for a full 30 seconds and record it simultaneously.
The second type of interval recording is known as whole-interval recording. This is different than the partial-interval recording, which records a specific behavior at any time during the interval. For example, a student may bang his or her head for 3 seconds, but if this behavior occurs continuously over the entire interval, the behavior will be recorded as three minutes and thirty seconds.
Interval recording is the most common form of behavior observation. This method can be effective in a variety of situations, but it does require constant attention. Interval recording, however, can be helpful when constant attention is not possible. It works by splitting the observation window into intervals, allowing the clinician to observe whether the behavior occurs within these blocks of time.
Time sampling is a method of behavior observation that records behavior only during a set amount of time. It is generally used to study the frequency of certain behaviors. The advantage of time sampling is that it is relatively easy to use. It also allows the observer to do other tasks. However, its major disadvantage is that only a small portion of the time is spent observing. For example, if the observer is only watching a child for five minutes, he or she will only record the behaviors that occur within that time interval.
There are two methods of time sampling in behavior observation: continuous recording and momentary time sampling. Continuous recording methods provide direct measures of response dimensions but require a dedicated observer. Most clinical programs require multiple data collection points. The time sampling method is used to estimate the behavior of the subject. Partial-interval recording involves recording the target response at any time during an interval, while momentary time sampling involves recording the response at a prespecified moment.
In interval recording, the observer records one behavior in each interval of 600 seconds. This method is easier than the others because the observer does not have to count each behavior. Moreover, it allows the observer to focus on noting which behavior occurred within the interval. Momentary time sampling, on the other hand, involves recording one behavior during a short interval of time, which is typically less than one hour.
The study comparing continuous and pinpoint sampling with one-zero sampling for chimpanzees shows a good agreement between the three methods. The difference between the two is in the frequency and duration of the behavior observed. The first method tends to underestimate the frequency of behaviors while the latter is best suited for short-duration behaviors.
Alternate usage of Behavioral Observation Scale
Permanent products – Predicting Classroom behavior
For classrooms, the Permanent Products measure is a useful way to determine whether a student is on task or off task. This measure captures the percentage of a student’s work completed. Though not a perfect measure of on-task behavior, it can supplement other methods. In addition to identifying whether a student is working on a particular task, this measure can also be used to identify off-task behaviors.
When the behavior is recorded as a permanent product, it is more likely that a lasting outcome will result. A child’s behavior will be recorded for an extended period of time, allowing teachers to confirm that it is indeed the behavior they’re looking for. This type of recording is similar to the duration recording method.
Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scale
The Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS) is one of the most widely used behavioral measures for children with disruptive behaviors. It consists of 48 items and is used to diagnose ADHD and other behavioral disorders in children. The scale contains five subscales, including impulsive and hyperactive behavior. Its results can help determine the efficacy of treatment.
The Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scale is a questionnaire developed in the early 1990s. The short form measures problem behaviors that are observed in school. It includes the ADHD Index score, the DSM-IV Inattention and Hyperactivity scales, and social problems. The short form contains only 27 items, while the long form contains 80 items.
The Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scale, Third Edition, has been updated to better assess students’ behavior and help identify potential ADHD. It combines reports from student, teacher, and parent sources and allows clinicians to see a complete picture of the child’s behavior. It has more refined criteria for diagnosing ADHD, stronger links to the DSM-IV-TR, and updated norms.
The Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scale is a parent-teacher-child questionnaire that includes a checklist of symptoms and behaviors that the child displays. The questionnaire asks subjects to rate how frequently they experience the signs and behaviors. The scores are used to assess whether a child has ADHD or another condition.
The short version of the Conners Clinical Index (CCR) contains 25 questions that may take five minutes to complete. It is used to determine whether a child’s symptoms are likely to continue or progress over time. Parents and psychologists can work together to identify the appropriate treatment plan for their child.
Samrat is a Delhi-based MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. He is a Strategy, AI, and Marketing Enthusiast and passionately writes about core and emerging topics in Management studies. Reach out to his LinkedIn for a discussion or follow his Quora Page