Interval sampling methods and measurement error: a computer simulation.
Wirth-O; Slaven-JE; Taylor-MA
J Appl Behav Anal 2014 Jan-Mar; 47(1):83-100
A simulation study was conducted to provide a more thorough account of measurement error associated with interval sampling methods. A computer program simulated the application of momentary time sampling, partial-interval recording, and whole-interval recording methods on target events randomly distributed across an observation period. The simulation yielded measures of error for multiple combinations of observation period, interval duration, event duration, and cumulative event duration. The simulations were conducted up to 100 times to yield measures of error variability. Although the present simulation confirmed some previously reported characteristics of interval sampling methods, it also revealed many new findings that pertain to each method's inherent strengths and weaknesses. The analysis and resulting error tables can help guide the selection of the most appropriate sampling method for observation-based behavioral assessments.
Sampling-methods; Simulation-methods; Computer-models; Computer-software; Failure-analysis; Sampling; Measurement-equipment; Recording-systems;
Author Keywords: interval sampling; measurement error; momentary time sampling; observation; observational data; partial-interval recording; simulation; whole-interval recording
Oliver Wirth, CDC/NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS 2027, Morgantown, WV 26505
Services; Wholesale and Retail Trade
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis