The each other in relation to data and

The following behavioural science terms will be discussed in detail,
representativeness in behavioural and social science, data in
behavioural/social science, observational studies and psychometrics. Each term
is thoroughly reviewed and researched in detail, such as how behavioural
science and social science differ from each other in relation to data and
representativeness, the three different types of observational methods and
three different aspects of psychometrics which include intelligence, aptitude
and personality.


in Behavioural/Social Science

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science can be defined as the exploration of the activities and interactions
among human beings, some duties may include the investigation and analysis of
human relationships through the behavioural aspects of geography, biology, law,
psychiatry and political study. This is a very broad field of study. Social
science is the scientific study of society, this tells us about the world
beyond our immediate experience and helps to explain how our own society works
from the causes of unemployment to what makes people happy. Representativeness
can also be defined as the ability to give an accurate portrayal of the
research subjects known diversity and characteristics.

to (Gerring, John Social Science Methodology) there is no such thing as
representativeness in general as there are many problems surrounding
representativeness. To achieve representativeness is social science which is
basically avoiding bias in a sample is to pick randomly from your population of
potential cases, randomisation procedures maximise the representativeness of a
given sample. Secondly, one has to know a good deal about the population of the
part of society you are picking to know what is representative and what is not.


According to (Study International Staff,
2015) social sciences focus on the study of society and the relationship among
individuals within society. Interestingly in the text it states that Social
science covers a wide variety of subjects, including economics, political
science, sociology, history, archaeology, anthropology, and law. Social scientists, we live in a multiple reality
world which pretty much saying that the world is subjective (everybody has a
different perspective/ view on things).

There are
two ways of representing data in science. Qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative is more personal and is used to understand social and human
activity where quantitative data is representative of a population and is used
to measure numerical data. The most common way of representing social data is
through qualitative methods.

Why use
qualitative rather than quantitative? It is because the data you receive from
qualitative research is rich of information rather than lots of data that can
be persuaded the population in quantitative research. We as social scientists
want to be get an insight into the minds of others and that they have to find
out the research through unbiased questioning or population. Cons of
qualitative is that it is very expensive and it’s hard to get a conclusion
because the answers can be so vague if done incorrectly or may be very unique
so there may not be a link to the data you get from people. It is important
when you collect any form of data that it is not biased which is the point of
the collection to get an honest review of what you are in search for.

scientists generally use representative samples to investigate the human
population as a whole for their study of how human beings react to different
scenarios and relationships, while social scientists use representative samples
to grasp a broad understanding of certain societies and how a population can
react to different social settings. In social science however, representative
sampling was not always common to use a small sample but to instead pick a
whole population by using a census etc. This is because at the time,
researchers believed in the ‘law of large numbers ‘ which is in when you
collect a large number of cases no matter the size of the population you are
all right and don’t have to worry. (Gobo, 2004)

When a
sample is not known as representative of a whole population it is known as
sample error. If
your sample is unbalanced the data collected can be useless with a sample that
is bias. How to ensure representative
data is achieved. There are two categories that you can choose from.

random sampling

probability/ purposive sampling

sampling is when you choose samples from the population at random therefore
avoiding bias.

2-Purposive sampling is the more
commonly used method. It involves putting people into categories. These are
called quotas. Quotas are normally bases on 3/ 4
different variables, usually demographics such as gender, age and region. The
variables can differ according to the target sample you wish to have.

Data in Behavioural Science

(Dr. Bertenthal, 2005) Behavioural science involves collecting, comparing, measuring and the
ability to search for a pattern. (DeFranzo, 2011) Qualitative and Quantitative
are methods of collecting data. Qualitative data is mainly exploratory research
and used to understand the motivations and reasons of why we act in certain
ways and used to help develop hypotheses or thesis. Qualitative data can be
structured or unstructured.It uses various techniques of collecting research
such as Focus groups and voluntary observations. DeFranzo, 2011 states that
quantitative data is a way of collecting numerical data and transforming it
into statistics. It is used to identify attitudes and opinions and measures it
to discover patterns. Quantitative data also uses other methods such as,
personal interviews  and online polls.

O’Grady, 2001 states there are three
different tests. One of them if Norm referenced tests normally used for
standardised tests such as IQ or DATS tests. This is where it does not matter
how well you do on the test but more importantly how you did in comparison to
everyone else. An example of scoring 27% meaning you are in the 27th percentile.
Personality tests use this testing. It’s to describe those individuals in terms
of characteristics about how alike the average person they may be. Another form
of collecting and analysing data is Criterion referenced test. A test designed
to predict performances in activity or skills showing how good or bad a person
may be at something. It is used for job criteria. Only data that shows a clear
differentiation between good and poor are used. The final test is called Domain
referenced tests. These test measure the percentage or proportion of a body of
knowledge or skill of which the individual shows on command (O’Grady,
2001).This would be the same as college and school tests. In this case there is
a syllabus and the marks are awarded in corresponding to the knowledge

science experiment

 Psychology is a big area to social scientists,
studying how and why people react in certain ways. But the only true way to find
out the answer to these ‘whys’ and ‘how’ experiments must be taken place. (Cherry,
2017) gave a really interesting insight to ‘8 Brilliant Social Psychology
Experiments’. A one of these experiments stood out the most to me is the
Carlsberg social experiment. In the Carlsberg experiment it was an experiment
about how people judge you by your appearance. Cherry writes that it was
originally supposed to be an advertisement. The experiment consist of a cinema
theatre and an unsuspecting couple would walk into the theatre to see only two
seats left. The rest of the seats were filled with ‘rugged and scary-looking
male bikers’. The experiment was to see how the couple react and will they take
a seat or feel too scared and leave. Turns out those who took a seat were
rewarded with a huge cheer from the bikers and a big round of applause and a
free Carlsberg beer. This experiment showed us just one of many social
experiments, but this is how social scientist collect their data by doing
experiments like this.

Science Vs Behavioural Science

Social science and behavioural are often
overlapping but what are the differences and how are they studied. (Admin,
2015) the author gives a brief account of the similarities and differences. The
text states that behavioural science tends to conduct more experimental methods
than social science. The writer calls the social science the experiments are
‘rather vague’. But the experiments that have been conducted are quite similar.


(2017) gave a hugely detailed piece of text of how social science began and how
it has changed throughout the years all the way from the renaissance to the 20th
century. Nisbet writes how Doctrines and philosophies were all questioning
‘inadequacy of reason, the subjective character of human commitment, and the
primacy of faith’. Nisbet mentions many influential scientists in his text . But
one scientist who stood out for me was Freud. He was fascinated by the
unconscious mind. Freud believed that social behaviour and attitudes was not
only brought up by the external situation but also by internal emotional needs
coming from childhood. This just
one of many ideologies that been brought up and changed and studied through the
years and it will continue to do so.

Observational Studies

An observational study is a
non-experimental research design in which a researcher draws inferences and
conclusions by observing behaviour in a systematic manner. (Observational
Study, n.d) The researcher is not able to control the independent variable and
should not influence or interfere with behaviour. The subjects are compared
against a control group, in which observations and inferences are made. This
type of research is most frequently used in the social sciences and marketing.
As mentioned on Atlasti (n.d), an observational study is a “social research
technique which involves the direct observation of phenomena in their natural

We have learned that there are
different types of observational methods and it is necessary that distinctions
are made between them.  These categories are Controlled Observations,
Natural Observations and Participant Observations.

Controlled Observation

Controlled observation is a method
where the researcher structures the environment of the observation, hence it is
a structured method of research. The researcher decides where and when the
study will take place, which participants will be chosen, in what circumstance
the observation will take place and uses a standardised approach (McLeod, 2015).
This type of research is usually carried out in a psychology laboratory. The
psychology laboratory is sometimes equipped with two-way mirrors, so
researchers can observe the behaviour of the participants, or in other cases
participants are filmed. Controlled observation is non-participant observation
and the researcher has no direct contact with the participants when they are
being observed.

In many cases, detailed descriptions of
all behaviour observed by the researcher are coded instead of written as it is
much easier to turn the data into statistics. Behaviour is coded according to a
previously agreed scale using a behaviour schedule. The behaviour observed is
systematically classified into distinct categories by the research.

Participants in controlled observations
are aware they are being watched. This type of research is overt. However, due
to the participants awareness, this sometimes affects their behaviour and the
validity of it. This is known as the Hawthorne effect. Paradis and Sutkin
(2017) defined the Hawthorne effect as “a research participant’s altered
behaviour in response to being observed”.

Naturalistic Observation

An unstructured observational method is
naturalistic observation. This involves studying the spontaneous behaviour of
participants in their natural and un-altered surroundings. As the researcher is
simply observing the natural flow of behaviour in its own setting, there is
significantly greater ecological validity than in controlled observation.
However, researchers must be trained to undertake this method of observation as
they must be capable of identify and recognise aspects of the situation that
are psychologically significant.

Naturalistic observation is performed
on a micro sample. It is often difficult to generalise the findings of the
research to the wider society as not everyone is represented in the small
sample. No manipulation of any variables take place in this research. Due to
this, this method is less reliable than others and also the same exact study
can never be repeated. As well as being less reliable, cause and effect
relationships cannot be established as variables are not manipulated in any

Participant Observation

In Participant Observation, the
researcher is directly in contact with participants and even becomes part of
the group. This can be covert (disguised) or overt (undisguised). Covert is
where the researcher conceals his/her real identity and participants are not
aware of his/her purpose. The researcher poses as a genuine member or the
group, e.g. Leon Festinger’s research into a secluded ‘doomsday’ cult who
anticipated an inevitable apocalypse, “Festinger and colleagues joined the cult
to observe the phenomenon from the inside and participated in group meetings.”
(Roulet & Gill & Sébastien & Gill, 2017)

This allows the researcher to
experience the phenomena first-hand in the same way that the participants get
to experience it. However, as they are undercover, researchers must make
strenuous efforts to record behaviour and often must rely on their memory as
they cannot openly take notes.



is psychometrics?        

the psychometric society there are various views of what psychometrics is
defined as. (Kelderman, ND) writes that’s it is all statistical methods that
are useful for behavioural science and social science even when it comes to
dealing with missing data. Kelderman also describes how it is used in various
areas including education, industrial and organizational psychology,
behavioural genetics, neuropsychology, clinical psychology, medicine, and even
chemistry. (Borsboom, ND) writes that’s it’s focussed on ‘construction of
assessment tools, measurement instruments, and formalized models that may serve
to connect observable phenomena’.


example of some of the uses of psychometric testing, (Osborne, 2014) writes
about what they (employers in this case) in interviews are looking for when
doing these tests and why they are doing it. She begins to talk with a business
psychologist Mark Parkinson and he explains the difference between a normal
test with right or wrong answers and a psychometric test “a test is something
with a right or wrong answer, which might be used to measure numeracy or
literacy’. Mark continues and says a psychometric test (questionnaires) is a
test to try find out what kind of a person you are. It’s a test to try reveal
more things about your persona that you wouldn’t admit in an interview. He
states its designed to ‘expose how you behave and what motivates you’ but also
writes how its only useful if the employer knows what he is looking for because
some things they might try to measure cannot be measured mark uses the examples
‘leadership or creativity’


Personality can be defined by ‘the visible aspect of one’s character as it impresses others’ ( Why is personality important? It
gives us an understanding of behaviour and in terms of marketing it provides
evidence to what a consumer will buy in terms of their personality. There are
lots of different types and traits of personalities but according to Pappas
(2017) there are five main types these include; Openness
Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism. Each has a different
meaning. Can a personality change?


is the study surrounding the theory and technique of psychological measurement
including the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality
traits. (Psychometrics,
Psychometrics helps the way that scientists can study and interpret
intelligence. Psychometric intelligence tests include intelligence quotient
tests (IQ tests). The common forms of these tests are the Stanford-Binet,
Ravens progressive matrices and Wechsler adult intelligence scale. All of these
test for the same dominant form of intelligence the general intelligence factor
which is also known as the g. in the view of psychometricians the g factor is
closely identified with the concept of intelligence. This approach to
intelligence has been somewhat criticised by some scientists such as Robert
Sternberg he points out that the general population have a different outlook on
intelligence than most psychometricians which means that the psychometric
approach only measures a part of what is understood universally as
intelligence. Sceptics often argue that there is so much scientific knowledge
about the brain yet to be discovered that an IQ test is not enough to rate full
intelligence. (Psychometric
intelligence, n.d.)





to Massey, 2017 behavioural science is the scientific means of predicting the
future and extremely important for anyone in the Marketing world. It is driven
by solely obtained empirical data and this is where it is different from other
sciences such as social science. It is clear that each category has affected
behavioural science research in different ways and we can see how it differentiates
from social science. How different experiments and techniques for research
provide different results. It shows how far we have come in understanding these
sciences and the importance of them in our everyday lives. That how experiments
that we may be aware and unaware of provide different results and show how are instincts
are to react in certain situations. It proves how important is for scientists
to discover how we react and why?


DeFranzo, Susan, 2011. Difference
between Qualitative and Quantitative research, Snap Surveys. 19/11/17

What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research?

Dr.Bertenthal, Bennett, 2005.
Cyberinfrastructure for the Social and Behavioural Sciences, American
Psychological association. 27/11/17

Massey, Brain, 2017. What is
Behavioural Science? (And why is it critical for conversion?), The Conversion
Scientist. 23/11/17
O’Grady, Martin, 2001. Introduction to behavioural science.
Gill & Macmillan Ltd, Dublin.
Pages 56-63

‘The Importance of the Social Sciences’ 2015

Kendra. ‘8 Brilliant Social Psychology Experiments’ 2017

Difference between Behavioural Science and Social Science’, 2015

Robert A. ‘Social science’, 2017

Osborne, Hillary ‘Psychometric tests in
job interviews: what are they looking for?’ 2014

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Observational Research. (n.d.).
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Paradis, E., & Sutkin, G. (2017).
Beyond a good story: From Hawthorne effect to reactivity in health professions
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Roulet, Thomas & Gill, Michael
& Stenger, Sébastien & Gill, David. (2017). Reconsidering the Value of
Covert Research: The Role of Ambiguous Consent in Participant Observation.
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Henk ‘What is psychometrics’ Psychometric Society,

Denny ‘What is psychometrics’ Psychometric Society, ND

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