Our Lower Sixth Psychology Students visited Newquay Zoo as part of their observational research skills development.
Whilst at the Zoo, they undertook unstructured and structured observations of the black macaques and then another animal of their choice. Most of the students opted to study iguanas, birds or snakes in the tropical house; some did penguins and others the red pandas.
The students tested for inter-rater reliability, and learned time and event sampling techniques. They also spent some time analysing their data (doing maths!) and discussing investigator effects on research; investigator effects can occur when researchers unintentionally influence experimental results in some manner.
They also found that the monkeys were surprisingly active even though it was cold!