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A105 Assignment II Do-It-Yourself-Primatology

Scan Sampling Method The process of scan sampling is analogous to the repeated sweeps of an air traffic controllers radar screen. At a set moment in time (e.g. at 2:45pm), the primatologist scans across the members of a study group, and makes an instantaneous observation of the state of behavior displayed by each individual at the moment they are observed. These behavior states are quickly recorded (e.g. using a checklist or quick note-taking system), and then another sweep is done at a set interval of time (e.g. at 2:46pm), and this process is repeated every minute until the sample is considered complete. Theoretically, each scan observation is conducted so quickly that the data collected is considered to sample the behavior of the group at a precise slice in time. Practically, of course, it takes a few seconds to complete the scan, but since it is assumed to be instantaneous, primatologists attempt to perform a scan as quickly as possible, while still making accurate observations. Professional primatologists often use intervals of only 15 or 20 seconds between scans, using a digital watch to beep and signal the moment to scan. The Scan Sampling technique is most appropriate for collecting data to compare the behavior patterns of different groups (such as individuals of different sex or age classes), because it can be used to generate estimates of the percentages of time engaged in specific activities by the members of each group. Because it is easy to get tired making such intense observations, it is a good idea to collect scan samples in short recording sessions e.g. scan sample every 30 seconds for ten minutes (20 total scans), then pause for 5 minutes and start another scanning session. This pace would produce 80 scans per hour.

Jeanne Sept

Page 1

10/13/02

Heres an example: Joe has decided to observe a group of baboons, to evaluate whether infant males display different behavior patterns than infant females. He is observing a troop of 30 baboons which has five infant males and four infant females. He can recognize the different infants, so he decides to do a scan sample of infant behavior that samples the same six of these infants every 30 seconds. He records the following observations: 30 sec Fem A Fem B Fem C Male X Male Y Male Z
Sleep on mom Sit with mom

1 min
Sleep on mom Play alone 2 ft from mom Jump off mom

1 30
Sleep on mom Play alone 2 ft from mom Play alone 2 ft from mom Sit with mom

2
Sleep on mom Play alone 2 ft from mom Play alone 2 ft from mom Groo med by sister Climb on mom Cling to mom

2 30
Sleep on mom Play alone 2 ft from mom Sit with mom

3
Cling to mom Cling to mom

3 30
Cling to mom Sit with mom

4
nursin g Run from mom

4 30
nursin g Play with infant X Sit with mom

5
Cling to mom Play with infant X Sit with mom

Cling to mom

Sit with mom

Sit with mom

Sit with mom

Play with anoth er infant Sit with mom Sleep on mom

Run to mom

Groo med by sister Climb on mom Jump off mom

Groo med by sister Play with mom Play alone 2 ft from mom

Groo med by sister Play with mom Play alone 2 ft from mom

Sit with mom

Play with infant B Cling to mom Play alone 5 ft from mom

Play with infant B nursin g Play alone 5 ft from mom

Sit with mom Sleep on mom

Sit with mom Cling to mom

Cling to mom Play alone 5 ft from mom

How could he summarize these data? Which behaviors did the infants engage in most frequently? Were there any differences that might be significant between male and female infants if the sample size were larger? Look at an example of a simple frequency analysis on the next page.

Jeanne Sept

Page 2

10/13/02

Sleep on mom Cling to mom Sit with mom nursing Climb on mom Jump off mom Run to/from mom Play alone near mom Play alone away from mom Play with mom Play with infant Be groomed Activity close to mom Activity away from mom Total scan samples

All infants 7 7/60= 12% 9 9/60= 15% 13 13/60= 22% 3 2 2 2 8 3 2 5 4 46 14 (10x6) = 60

females 5 5/30 = 16% 5 8 2 0 1 1 6 0 0 2 0 27 3 30

males 2 2/30 = 7% 4 5 1 2 1 1 2 3 2 3 4 19 11 30

Activity patterns of female and male infants


1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 females activity away from mom males activity close to mom

Jeanne Sept

Page 3

10/13/02