Article

Behavior and Behavior Assessment

Janice R. Kelly and Christopher R. Agnew

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398991
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398991.013.0005

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Behavior and Behavior Assessment

Preview

This chapter addresses the questions (1) What do we mean by “behavior” in personality and social psychology? and (2) How can we best assess social behavior? We define behavior as being observable and socially meaningful, but also discuss the dimensions on which behavior varies (e.g., intentional vs. habitual, discrete vs. continuous). We also discuss important variabilities in behavior as they relate to issues of measurement (e.g., behavioral frequency or desirability). For behavior assessment, we focus on some of the practical issues involved (e.g., choosing a coding system, selecting an observational setting), as well as how behavior assessment might intersect with personality and social psychological theory (e.g., manipulating or assessing behavior as it serves as moderator, mediator, or outcome in a theory). We end by discussing some emerging technologies that might prove useful for behavioral assessment (e.g., virtual reality), as well as a call for more integration of behavioral measures into future research.

Keywords: behavior; behavioral assessment; behavioral observation; research methods

Article.  13056 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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