Behavioral observation is the systematic recording of behavior by an external observer.
Nursing staff in a hospital setting might record the number of times that a patient yells or acts aggressively so that the effects of a behavioral management program can be evaluated. Similarly, a clinician may request that the parents of a child with enuresis record the time, date, and location of incontinent occurrences so that the timing of prompts and bathroom trips can more effectively be arranged in an intervention. Finally, observers may be stationed in a classroom to record the extent to which a child with behavioral problems exhibits on-task and off-task behaviors.
Since 1984 Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) has proven to be an effective tool for the reduction of workplace accidents. While the business climate has changed dramatically since 1984, Behavior-Based Safety has changed little. Even a proven technology or any pre-defined methodology with documented results eventually must evolve or become obsolete.