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Measuring Behaviors - Types of data

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

#TLDR: Seven data types to measure and think about behaviors


Behavioral modifications are difficult to measure and hence, psychologists, data scientists and management researchers have been working on establishing standard data that can then be measured.

In his book "Applied Behavior Analysis", Prof. Edward P Sarafino, summarizes these seven data types succinctly.

  1. Frequency - How often the behavior modification was observed

  2. Duration - How long did the modified behavior was demonstrated

  3. Magnitude - How intense was the behavior modification

  4. Latency - How long did it take for behavior modification to show since antecedent

  5. Quality - How well was the behavior modification demonstrated

  6. Trials-to-criterion - How many attempts were required to reach desired behavior modification

  7. Percentage of times criterion is met - What percentage of times the behavior modification was observed out of total number of opportunities that were available

Though one may not need to use all seven types of data to measure behavioral change, it is important to know these data types so you can pick the right measurement for your own journey of behavior modifications.


What has been your experience? What worked well for you and what didn't? Share your thoughts and opinions here.

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