Counting Fidgets: Teaching the Complexity of Naturalistic Observation

This Counting Fidgets: Teaching the Complexity of Naturalistic Observation lesson plan also includes:

Why do psychologists conduct experiments in controlled laboratory settings? High schoolers gain an understanding of the importance of controls with an activity that involves naturalistic observations with no imposed controls.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the activity at the beginning of the course to illustrate some of the challenges in observing behavior and the importance of and limitations of controlled laboratory settings for experiments
Classroom Considerations

  • Have two timers, either digital or stopwatches, available for volunteers
Pros

  • Class members must identify the challenges involved in conducting observations and collecting data
Cons

  • None
Common Core