1). An hypothesis.2). A paragraph explanation as to why you have created this hypothesis. Provide a brief background statement and develop it with a few explanatory statements.3). List of behaviors (minimally 10) that relate to the hypothesis.4). List of operational definitions for each behavior, with citations of references where needed.5). Design for sampling observations (see Martin & Bateson and also the lecture on observational research).6). Excel spreadsheet or table format with checksheet ethogram of time and behaviors.7). List of the references used (in APA format).- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Steps to create a Hypothesis, develop the Operational Definitions and an Ethogram of at least 10 behaviors:
1. Find and read at least FIVE peer-reviewed journal articles relevant to your species. Review articles are not acceptable.2. Develop a hypothesis based on your readings about your species. State the hypothesis in your Introduction or Methods section.3. Martin & Bateson, Measuring Behaviour, is your “bible” for observational research. Make sure to read before beginning your zoo observations, and include it in your references.4. Create an ethogram with which to collect data, making sure to select behaviors relevant to your hypothesis. Operationally define each of these behaviors, citing appropriate references.5. A minimum of 10 behavioral categories should be included in your ethogram. You may need more behavioral categories; use as many as needed (10+) to addresses your hypothesis.6. Choose your sampling methods (e.g., focal, dyad, group) and method of data collection (e.g., 1-0 time sampling on a 2 minute interval). This is your research design.What is an hypothesis? How to develop one for your zoo observation project and paper:Step 1: An hypothesis is a concrete statement or question that can be supported or answered with either a yes or no answer or with a trend in the data. For example: “Do captive adult male chimpanzees exhibit greater levels of aggression than females?”Or“Male captive adult chimpanzees exhibit greater levels of aggression than females.”Or“Infant ringtail lemurs spend more time in proximate and direct physical contact with their mothers than do their juvenile siblings.”Or“Do captive female polar bears exhibit fewer stereotypies than the males in the same enclosure?”Or“What percentage of time per day do captive King Penguins spend engaged in social interactions, swimming and feeding compared to the Macaroni Penguins in the same enclosure?”Step 2: Develop a testable hypothesis for an observational project. It should include comparisons of categories of behavior. For example, within a behavioral category (e.g., social interactions), you can compare males and females within a species, or infants to juveniles, or infants and juveniles to adults, etc. Or you could compare behaviors exhibited with high numbers of zoo visitors present to when there are few zoo visitors present. Be creative with your ideas.
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