The Observer XT 9.0 Reference Manual

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The Observer XT 9.0 Reference Manual
The Observer® XT
Reference Manual
Version 10.5
Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not
represent a commitment on the part of Noldus Information Technology b.v. The
software described in this document is furnished under a license agreement. The
software may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Copyright © 2011 Noldus Information Technology b.v. All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or
translated into any other language in whole or in part, in any form or by any means,
without the written permission of Noldus Information Technology b.v.
The Observer is a registered trademark of Noldus Information Technology b.v. Other
product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
Documentation: Fabrizio Grieco, Leanne Loijens, Patrick Zimmerman, Olga Krips,
Andrew Spink.
April 2011
ISBN 978-90-74821-84-1
Noldus Information Technology b.v.
International headquarters
Wageningen, The Netherlands
Phone +31-317-473300
Fax +31-317-424496
E-mail [email protected]
For addresses of our other offices and support,
please see our website www.noldus.com
Table of Contents
1
Introduction............................................................. 11
1.1
About this manual..................................................................... 11
Who should read this manual? .............................................. 11
How to use this manual ......................................................... 12
Typographical conventions ....................................................... 12
Terminology .............................................................................. 13
How to get additional support.................................................. 13
Help menu ............................................................................. 13
Error messages ....................................................................... 15
Noldus Help Desk .................................................................. 15
An introduction to The Observer .............................................. 16
What is The Observer? ........................................................... 16
Overview ................................................................................ 18
What data can be entered in The Observer? ......................... 18
How The Observer works ...................................................... 19
What's new in The Observer XT ................................................ 25
For users of The Observer 5 ................................................... 25
For users of The Observer 9 ................................................... 35
For users of The Observer 10.0 and 10.1 ............................... 39
The Observer XT interface......................................................... 40
Project Explorer ...................................................................... 40
The overview window of The Observer XT ............................ 42
View settings .......................................................................... 42
Component view .................................................................... 43
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
2
Installation............................................................... 45
2.1
Before you install ...................................................................... 46
System requirements ............................................................. 46
Installing The Observer XT ........................................................ 50
Installing and upgrading the hardware key .......................... 52
Add-on modules ..................................................................... 55
Installing the equipment for using media files ........................ 56
MPEG encoders ...................................................................... 57
MPEG decoders ...................................................................... 57
Setting up the equipment for using FireWire devices.............. 57
2.2
2.3
2.4
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3
2.5
Setting up the equipment for Data Acquisition systems.......... 60
3
Getting Started......................................................... 61
Creating a new project or opening an existing one ............. 62
Saving your project ................................................................ 63
Specifying the project setup .................................................. 63
Creating a coding scheme ..................................................... 64
Adding independent variables .............................................. 65
Carrying out an observation .................................................. 65
Importing external data ......................................................... 66
Selecting data for analysis ..................................................... 66
Visualizing data ...................................................................... 67
Calculating statistics ............................................................... 68
Advanced analyses: lag sequential and reliability analysis ... 68
Exporting data ........................................................................ 69
4
Setting up your Project ............................................ 71
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
Creating a new project.............................................................. 72
Opening an existing project ..................................................... 76
Saving your project ................................................................... 77
Project setup ............................................................................. 78
Observation source................................................................... 80
Devices for Live Observation ................................................. 82
4.6 Observation method ................................................................. 87
Which Observation method do I choose? ............................. 87
4.7 Observation duration ................................................................ 89
4.8 Coding scheme ......................................................................... 90
Coding Scheme Settings ........................................................ 92
Subjects .................................................................................. 96
Behaviors .............................................................................. 100
Modifiers .............................................................................. 110
Combinations ....................................................................... 118
Checking your coding scheme ............................................ 120
Modifying your coding scheme ........................................... 122
4.9 Independent variables ............................................................ 125
User-defined variables ......................................................... 128
Digital media ........................................................................ 135
External data ........................................................................ 137
System variables ................................................................... 138
4.10 Time formats ........................................................................... 139
4.11 Preferences ............................................................................. 141
Setting preferences for terminology ................................... 141
4
The Observer XT
Setting preferences for warnings ........................................ 142
Setting preferences for files and recovery .......................... 143
5
Carrying out an Observation .................................. 147
5.1
5.2
Observations and Event logs .................................................. 148
Observation Settings............................................................... 149
Observation settings ............................................................ 150
Scoring options .................................................................... 152
Sound feedback ................................................................... 155
Playback control options ...................................................... 156
Carrying out an observation.................................................... 158
Procedure in short ............................................................... 158
1 - Creating a new observation ............................................ 159
Initializing the subject states (optional) .............................. 161
Positioning the media file (optional) ................................... 163
2 - Starting the observation .................................................. 164
3 - Scoring data .................................................................... 165
4 - Stopping the observation ............................................... 175
Important notes ................................................................... 177
How to….................................................................................. 179
Add an element to the coding scheme while observing .... 179
Modify or remove a coding scheme element after observing
.............................................................................................. 182
Enter events as free text only .............................................. 182
Score the data in the order you prefer ................................ 183
Submit an incomplete event .............................................. 183
Score numerical modifiers ................................................... 183
Edit data and correct scoring errors .................................... 184
Re-open an observation or event log .................................. 187
Change the observation's Start Time and Duration ............. 187
Change the synchronization point between event logs, video
and external data sets .......................................................... 190
Score action-reaction data (triggering behavior) ................ 192
Score data after importing external data ............................. 193
Modify the name and description of an observation or event
log ........................................................................................ 193
Import data into an observation .......................................... 193
Export observational data .................................................... 194
Detect that an observation is being recorded ..................... 194
Transfer observations from the Pocket PC to The Observer XT
.............................................................................................. 195
5.3
5.4
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5.5
Customizing your observation screen .................................... 195
Choosing the windows to view ........................................... 196
Positioning and resizing the windows on the screen ......... 197
Customizing the windows ................................................... 198
Timers window ..................................................................... 198
Codes window ..................................................................... 200
Event Log window ................................................................ 202
Playback Control window ..................................................... 204
Video window ...................................................................... 206
5.6 Additional functions ................................................................ 208
Quick Review ....................................................................... 208
Loop function ....................................................................... 208
Checking the event log for errors and correcting errors
automatically ........................................................................ 209
Suspending an observation ................................................. 210
Playing back observation data ............................................. 212
Finding events ...................................................................... 213
5.7 Carrying out observations with external data......................... 218
5.8 Carrying out observations with uLog ...................................... 219
Specifying uLog co-acquisition in The Observer XT ............. 221
Connected setup - The Observer XT .................................... 223
Connected setup - uLog ....................................................... 224
Non-connected setup - The Observer XT ............................. 227
Non-connected setup - uLog ............................................... 227
Carrying out an observation in a connected setup ............. 228
Carrying out an observation in a non-connected setup ...... 229
Troubleshooting ................................................................... 231
5.9 Carrying out observations with external programs ................ 232
Specifying external program settings in The Observer ....... 233
Automatic linking of digital media files .............................. 235
5.10 Using multiple video files simultaneously.............................. 238
Selecting video files ............................................................. 239
Replacing or removing a video file ..................................... 240
5.11 Carrying out an observation with screen capture .................. 241
Installing the Screen Capture Module ................................. 242
Using the Screen Capture Module ...................................... 243
5.12 Working with plug-ins ............................................................. 244
The Software Development Kit ............................................ 246
External Applications ............................................................ 246
Plug-in viewer COM-object .................................................. 247
Observational Data XML (ODX) ............................................ 247
6
The Observer XT
Automatic synchronization .................................................. 247
Export in Excel and ASCII format .......................................... 248
Event Data Plug-in ................................................................ 248
5.13 Working with observations containing multiple event logs... 248
Definitions ............................................................................ 249
Managing observations with multiple event logs ............... 252
Troubleshooting ................................................................... 254
6
External Data ......................................................... 257
6.1
6.2
What is external data? ............................................................. 257
Importing external data .......................................................... 258
Header detection ................................................................. 269
Synchronizing logged events and external data .................... 270
Automatic synchronization .................................................. 271
Manual synchronization ...................................................... 276
6.3
7
Selecting Data for Analysis..................................... 283
7.1
Why select data?...................................................................... 284
Definitions ............................................................................ 285
The Data Selection screen ...................................................... 286
Creating your own data selection ........................................ 289
Working with selection boxes .............................................. 290
Selecting data - Grouping ....................................................... 295
What is Grouping? ................................................................ 295
Grouping procedure in short ............................................... 297
Grouping observations ........................................................ 300
Grouping subjects ................................................................ 302
Grouping behaviors ............................................................. 304
Grouping modifiers .............................................................. 305
Select data - Filtering............................................................... 307
What is Filtering? .................................................................. 307
Filtering procedure in short ................................................. 308
Filtering observations ........................................................... 309
Filtering data by independent variable values .................... 310
Filtering behaviors ............................................................... 313
Filtering subjects .................................................................. 315
Selecting data - Free intervals ................................................. 316
What are free intervals? ....................................................... 316
Defining free intervals in short ............................................ 319
Select data - Nesting ............................................................... 325
What is Nesting? ................................................................... 325
Nesting procedure in short .................................................. 326
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
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Nesting over Behaviors ........................................................ 327
Nesting over Subjects .......................................................... 331
Nesting over External data ................................................... 333
7.7 Selecting data - Time bins ....................................................... 335
What are time bins? ............................................................. 335
Defining time bins in short .................................................. 336
7.8 Complex data selections ......................................................... 337
Order of selection boxes ..................................................... 344
7.9 Changes in Data Selection relative to The Observer 5........... 346
7.10 Managing your data profiles................................................... 349
7.11 What next?............................................................................... 352
8
Visualizing Data ..................................................... 353
8.1
8.2
Before you start....................................................................... 353
Making an Event Plot .............................................................. 356
Procedure ............................................................................. 356
Interpreting the Event Plot ................................................... 358
Customizing the Event Plot .................................................. 362
Creating an Episode Selection ................................................ 368
Three ways of creating an Episode Selection ...................... 369
Procedure ............................................................................. 370
Saving an Episode Selection ................................................ 374
Customizing the Episode Selection screen ......................... 375
Editing the Episode Selection ................................................. 376
Adding and removing events .............................................. 376
Defining episodes ................................................................ 379
Moving events and episodes in the Episode Selection ...... 380
Deleting transitions and episodes from the Episode Selection
.............................................................................................. 382
Copying episodes and events .............................................. 382
Customizing the Episode Selection ..................................... 383
Playing the Episode Selection................................................. 386
Exporting the Episode Selection .......................................... 388
Generating a media file from the Episode Selection ............. 389
Procedure ............................................................................. 389
Changing subtitles and transitions in the generated media file
.............................................................................................. 391
8.3
8.4
8.5
8.6
8
9
Calculating Statistics .............................................. 395
9.1
9.2
9.3
Before you start....................................................................... 396
Procedure overview ................................................................ 397
The statistics result.................................................................. 403
The Observer XT
9.4
9.5
9.6
10
Reading the statistics result ................................................. 403
Customizing your result ....................................................... 408
Statistics available ................................................................... 413
Behavior Analysis statistics .................................................. 416
Numerical Statistics .............................................................. 422
Analyzing observations containing multiple event logs ........ 425
Event logs overlapping in time ............................................ 426
Event logs not overlapping in time ..................................... 428
Creating charts ........................................................................ 431
Customizing the Analysis Results sheet .............................. 431
Selecting data ...................................................................... 434
Selecting a Chart type .......................................................... 434
Editing a chart ...................................................................... 435
Saving a chart ....................................................................... 437
Exporting a chart .................................................................. 438
Printing a chart ..................................................................... 438
Lag Sequential Analysis.......................................... 439
10.1 Before you start....................................................................... 439
What is lag sequential analysis? ........................................... 440
State lag vs. Time lag analysis .............................................. 440
10.2 Procedure overview ................................................................ 441
Notes .................................................................................... 446
10.3 The Lag Sequential Analysis result.......................................... 451
Reading the result matrix .................................................... 451
Customizing your result ....................................................... 454
11
Reliability Analysis ................................................. 459
11.1 Before you start....................................................................... 459
What is Reliability Analysis? .................................................. 460
How are events compared between observations? ............ 460
11.2 Procedure overview ................................................................ 461
Notes .................................................................................... 465
11.3 The reliability analysis result ................................................... 470
Statistics ............................................................................... 471
Confusion matrix .................................................................. 472
Comparison List .................................................................... 476
Note for users of previous Observer versions ..................... 481
11.4 Reliability statistics .................................................................. 482
12
File management ................................................... 487
What is file management? ................................................... 487
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12.1 Projects.................................................................................... 488
Creating a new Project ........................................................ 489
Saving a Project .................................................................... 490
Creating a multiple coding station configuration ............... 494
12.2 Exporting observational data .................................................. 496
Exporting data to Observer XT data files (*.odx) .................. 496
Exporting data to Excel files (*.xlsx) ..................................... 498
Exporting data to Text files (*.txt) ......................................... 499
Exporting external data ........................................................ 502
Exporting data to text files with the Find function .............. 508
12.3 Importing observational data.................................................. 509
Importing Observer XT data files ......................................... 510
Importing Observer 4/5 odf files ......................................... 513
Importing other observational data ..................................... 514
Header detection ................................................................. 520
12.4 uLog data files......................................................................... 521
12.5 Media files............................................................................... 522
12.6 Analysis results ........................................................................ 524
12.7 Episode selections................................................................... 527
12.8 Independent Variable list........................................................ 530
12.9 File locations ........................................................................... 532
A
Settings overview (thematic) ................................ 535
B
Settings overview (alphabetical) ........................... 539
C
Keyboard shortcuts ............................................... 543
D
File formats ........................................................... 551
Text export files ................................................................... 553
Text import files ................................................................... 554
External data files ................................................................. 555
E
Technical Support ................................................. 563
F
Glossary ................................................................ 565
G
License Agreement ............................................... 587
Index .................................................................... 589
10
The Observer XT
1
Introduction
1.1 About this manual
Who should read this manual?
This manual is written for all users of The Observer XT:
 Information for users upgrading from The Observer XT 10.0/10.1 can be found
in the What’s New section “For users of The Observer 10.0 and 10.1” on page
39.
 Information for users upgrading from previous versions (XT9 and earlier) can
be found in the What's new section in this chapter.
 A basic overview of the program for new users can be found in this chapter on
page 16 and in Chapter 3 (page 61).
More detailed information can be found in the remaining chapters. The
manual is written so that it is understandable without the program in front of
you (but it is probably more rewarding to try out the procedures as they are
described).
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11
Chapter 1
How to use this manual
If you prefer, this manual is provided as a PDF (portable document format) file.
This file can be read and printed using the Adobe Acrobat® Reader. If you did not
install Adobe Acrobat Reader as part of your Observer installation, you can still
install it from your Observer DVD. You can either copy the PDF file to your hard
disk, or open it directly from the DVD.
You can use this manual in one of two ways:
 Read through the chapters pertaining to particular functions to get
background information before using the program.
 Consult the manual as a reference document to find out particular
information. You can find a topic either by consulting the table of contents (at
the front of the manual), or the index (at the end). If you just want a short
explanation of a concept, try the glossary (Appendix F).
1.2 Typographical conventions
 Software elements (such as menus or commands) are shown in bold.
 Keys such as F1 are also shown in bold. If you have to press two (or more) keys
at once, they are joined with a plus sign, for example, Alt+F opens the File
menu.
 Functions that have task bar icons are indicated by the icon in the margin.
 Check box options are indicated with a square.
 Radio buttons (only one item in a group can be selected at once) are shown
by a circle.
Warnings are indicated by a warning triangle. Ignoring warnings can
lead to data loss, wrong analysis results or damage.
Important information is shown by an information button.
Tips and tricks are shown by a light-bulb and text in italics.
A reference to other documentation (than The Observer XT manual) is
indicated by this icon.
12
The Observer XT
Introduction
Details about hardware are shown using this icon.
1.3 Terminology
You can define your own terms for subjects, behavior, modifier and independent
variables (the default terms). For example, you can change subject to participant,
or behavior to task. For more information, see page 141.
In this manual the default terms subject, behavior, modifier, independent
variable are used throughout the text. So, these terms can be different
from the ones you defined.
1.4 How to get additional support
Help menu
The Observer’s Help menu contains the following options:
 Help topics – Opens the PDF of The Observer XT 10 Reference Manual.
 Video Tutorial – Take a few minutes to learn about how to set up an
observational study in The Observer XT.
 The Observer XT Online – If your computer is connected to the Internet,
choose this option to go to:
 The Observer XT Home Page of the Noldus website. The Observer XT
home page contains all kinds of information about the program as well as
examples of how The Observer XT is used.
 Check for Updates – This opens a page on the Noldus website with
available updates including an explanation of what problems have been
fixed. You can download the updates after you have logged in on the
website.
 Contact Help Desk – The Observer XT Help desk page of the Noldus
website. Here you can find the phone numbers of our help desks and
support request forms.
Reference Manual
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Chapter 1
 Knowledge Base – The Knowledgebase is a database with hundreds of
entries submitted by our customers to the Noldus support department
with answers by our support staff.
 Report an Issue – You are forwarded to an online form where you can
report your issue. Noldus Support will contact you after they received the
form.
On the Noldus website you can also:
 Download technical notes. Visit www.noldus.com and browse to the
Support - Downloads section.
 Get information about known problems and their solution. This
information is also available on the Support - Downloads section.
 Upgrade – If you have purchased an upgrade of The Observer, choose this
option to type the new Upgrade Key number that you have received from
Noldus.
 About The Observer XT – Choose this option to see details of exactly which
version of The Observer XT you are using. You can click User Info to see the
registered user and license number of your software.
If you want to be kept up to date about the latest developments, click
the link under Latest news on the window that appears when you start
The Observer or close a project.
14
The Observer XT
Introduction
Error messages
All error messages are displayed in the Critical Message box. The error is
displayed and, if possible, a solution. Whenever such an error occurs, a log file is
created called Observer.log. The Technical Support Department may request this
file when answering your support question. You can locate the file in:
 Windows
XP – C:\Documents and
Data\Noldus\The Observer\XT 10.0\Log.
Settings\All
Users\Application
 Windows 7 – C:\ProgramData\Noldus\The Observer\XT 10.0\Log.
It is possible that this folder is hidden – to view hidden files:
Windows XP – From the Tools menu of Windows Explorer choose Folder
Options, then View, and select View hidden files and folders. Next, locate the
Observer.log file.
Windows 7 – From the Organize menu of the Windows Explorer choose Folder
and Search Options. Go to the tab View. Under Hidden Files and Folders select
Show Hidden Files and Folders.
Noldus Help Desk
If you have any problems, questions, remarks or comments, please let us know.
You can contact us via our website (www.noldus.com) and fill out a Support
Request Form (preferred), phone during normal working hours in two time zones,
or fax. See also Appendix “Technical Support” to get details on how to contact our
support department.
Please check the Reference Manual before contacting our support
department. Press F1 to open the PDF of the Reference Manual, then
search for the topic related to what you are having problems with.
Before you contact Technical Support, please have the following information
available. To find this information, go to the Help menu and select About The
Observer XT:
 The version number of your copy of The Observer XT.
 The name of the registered user of The Observer XT (click User Info).
 The license number of your copy of The Observer XT (click User Info).
Please refer to the About Noldus - Contact section on our website
(www.noldus.com) for other contact information.
Reference Manual
15
Chapter 1
1.5 An introduction to The Observer
This chapter gives a general overview of what The Observer program does. Please
note that this chapter is a conceptual overview; it shows the basic ideas behind
the way in which The Observer translates your observations into computer
language, and then processes them to produce statistics and graphs. This chapter
describes why you have to carry out certain steps with The Observer before you
see the results of your study, and not how. We recommend reading this chapter to
all first-time users of The Observer. For more detailed descriptions listing all The
Observer's functions, please see the rest of the chapters in this manual.
On The Observer XT download page (www.noldus.com/downloads), you
find a number of sample projects of The Observer XT in various research
areas, from entomology to human-machine interactions. Open one of
these projects to get an idea on how to implement a research project in
The Observer XT.
What is The Observer?
The Observer is a professional and complete manual event recorder for the
collection, management, analysis and presentation of observational data. It is an
important tool for the study of behavioral processes when you need to record a
level of detail that you cannot obtain without an automated system. You use The
Observer whenever you need to record activities, postures, movements, positions,
social interactions or any other aspect of the behavior of humans and animals.
The Observer was first developed as an automated system to collect observations
of behavioral patterns in animals. However, soon it became clear that the
flexibility and powerful analysis functions of The Observer made it suitable for
almost any study involving observational data. In human psychology, The
Observer aids in collecting data on behavioral development, parent-child as well
as any social interaction (Figure 1.1.), communication, education, language
acquisition, cognition, psychological assessment, etc.
16
The Observer XT
Introduction
Figure 1.1. Recording interactions between children
at play.
How difficult is working with a machine? How easy-to-use are cash dispensers for
customers? The Observer is also useful whenever one needs to collect
observational data that is essential, for instance, to assess a physical workload
(Figure 1.2.), usability of products, or to study human-machine interactions.
Figure 1.2. Recording arm movements in an
ergonomics study.
Reference Manual
17
Chapter 1
Overview
The entire process carried out by The Observer may be summarized as follows: a
researcher watches one or more individuals (humans or animals) in a certain
place, and enters the observations of their behavior in the form of codes
according to what he/she or another collaborator has specified in an earlier
phase, when he/she created the Coding Scheme. Simultaneously, the researcher
can acquire physiological data from that individual. Depending on the external
data acquisition (DAQ) system, a synchronization signal can be sent out from The
Observer computer to the DAQ system.
Once the observation is complete, the observational data are stored in a
computer file. The simultaneously acquired physiological data are imported into
The Observer. From that moment the observational and physiological data, all or
part of them, can be visualized and analyzed. The analysis functions of The
Observer allow the researcher to produce lists, tables, graphical representations
or statistical calculations to answer specific research questions.
What data can be entered in The
Observer?
This section describes, in a simplified way, the basic concept behind the
functioning of The Observer. When observing the behavior of humans and other
animals, researchers collect observations in the form of more or less detailed
notes. To be understood by the computer, your observations have to be
‘translated’ into short sentences. The Observer has been developed so that the
logical structure of the observations is maintained in a ‘computerized’ form.
Basically, each observation note entered in The Observer looks like a sentence
without prepositions and articles. For instance, the observation ‘Jeffrey is walking’
would be coded as:
Jeffrey Walk
To analyze your observations, The Observer must place these elements in certain
spaces so that it can retrieve them later. Therefore, the program creates a space
for the individual that performs the action (Subject) and a space for the action
itself (Behavior).
Subject
Jeffrey
Behavior
Walk
When another action is scored (for example, “Jeffrey is sitting”, The Observer
stores it by creating another record consisting of the same elements:
18
The Observer XT
Introduction
Time
0:00:01
0:00:03
Subject Behavior
Jeffrey
Walk
Jeffrey
Sit
Each record is attached to a time stamp, so that the computer can produce
information about the location in the time line and the duration of any action
being recorded. In this case, The Observer interprets your records as Jeffrey has
walked for two seconds.
Observations are certainly more complex than the examples above. We need to
add more detail of what we are observing to our records. The Observer does that
by adding a field called Modifier. A modifier limits the scope of a subject or
behavior. Suppose that you want to annotate the name of whom the subject is
talking to:
‘Jeffrey is talking to Donna’
This is ‘translated’ into The Observer’s language in this way:
Time
0:00:01
Subject
Jeffrey
Behavior
Talk
Behavior Modifier
Donna
In this case, the Behavior Modifier specifies the receiver of the action.
The Observer is extremely flexible about what kind of modifiers you use. You can
specify a feature of the event (e.g., the receiver of an action, the tone of voice,
the type of play). You can define nominal and numerical modifiers.
In order for you to record data more easily, The Observer must know what
modifiers refer to which subject or behavior. This is done by creating modifier
classes that are linked to specific subjects or behaviors. For instance, the behavior
‘walking’ could be linked to a modifier class called ‘Speed’, containing certain
numerical values (1, 2, 3, ...). On the other hand, the behavior ‘talking’ needs
other modifiers (for example, Voice tone). Therefore, when scoring ‘Jeffrey is
walking’, The Observer prompts you to specify a value of ‘Speed’, not ‘Voice tone’.
If you enter the ‘wrong’ modifier (e.g., Jeffrey Walk Loud), The Observer informs
you of the error and you can correct the mistake immediately. You can link up to
250 modifiers to one subject or one behavior.
How The Observer works
Your work with The Observer XT is divided in three main steps: Setup, Observe
and Analyze. These three main steps are continuously visible during your work
with The Observer. They are shown in the overview window of The Observer XT, in
the Project Explorer on the left side of your screen and in the menu at the top of
your screen. When you work with the Observer XT you go through these main
steps and the associated sub-steps.
Reference Manual
19
Chapter 1
Figure 1.3. The overview window of The Observer XT in which you can navigate to the
different main components: Setup, Observe, Analyze.
Setup
In The Observer XT, you first set the main features of your project. You make
settings for the hardware and software, create your coding scheme and define the
independent variables.
1 Project setup
With Project setup, you specify:
 The source of the observation (live or from video).
 The observation method (continuous, by intervals or a combination of the
two).
 The maximum duration of the observations.
 Whether you want to record additional data (for example, physiological
data) or video as you observe.
 Whether you want external programs to work together with The Observer.
20
The Observer XT
Introduction
2 Project Settings
Project Settings help you customize the way you record data. For example, you
can set whether keycodes are case-sensitive, or whether you want to pause
playback of the video when scoring an event.
3 Coding Scheme
The Observer XT is extremely flexible in how you build up your Coding
Scheme. You can even start an Observation without having a Coding Scheme
and add subjects, behaviors, modifiers, or type comments while you are
observing. The subjects, behavior and modifiers are then automatically
assigned to the Coding Scheme. However, it usually benefits the quality of the
observational data if you have arranged your Coding Scheme according to
your research questions. The set-up of your Coding Scheme also determines
the kind of statistical analysis you can subsequently do.
In the Coding Scheme you can define subjects and behaviors and assign
Modifiers to the behaviors. Subjects are usually generic names since the
identity of the individuals can change between observations. For example, in
a mother-child interaction the subjects could be named “Mother” and “Child”.
The identity of the individuals can be assigned to each observation using the
independent variables. In the Coding Scheme you do not only define
behaviors, tasks, movements but also the relationship between these
elements.
Live or from video file?
With The Observer XT, you can collect observational data either by watching your
subjects or participants live, or by watching a media file. When you score behavior
from a media file, the program reads time information directly from the video,
therefore allowing accurate event timing at the chosen playback speed.
Live scoring and video scoring both have advantages and disadvantages. In live
scoring, you have a larger view of the subjects in your study. This means that you
are less likely to miss important events while you observe a particular individual.
Live scoring is best used for studying interactions in a group, like social
interactions, or for studies in which time accuracy is less important that social
context. Furthermore, while carrying out live scoring you can simultaneously
acquire external physiological data.
The obvious disadvantage of live scoring is related to the nature of observations.
Unlike experimental conditions, observations cannot be repeated. Within an
observation session, once you have missed some details, you cannot retrieve
them. Thus, you should make sure that the study is not more than you can handle
while live scoring, since details can easily be missed.
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A standard feature of The Observer XT is that you can carry out live scoring while
simultaneously recording from a video device; this means that The Observer
simultaneously captures video signals from one or more cameras to a media file
while you are observing. This way you can do live scoring and afterwards make
corrections or score behavior in more detail from a media file.
Observe
You carry out your observations and, if wanted, simultaneously acquire
physiological data.
1 Event files
You collect observational data in an Event Log. Each Event Log is written to a
separate file on your computer.
2 External data
While you are collecting observational data, you can simultaneously acquire
physiological data, such as ECG, EMG, blood pressure, or eye-tracking data,
with an external Data AcQuisition (DAQ) system. After you finish your
observations and the acquisition of physiological data, you need to import the
physiological data (in ASCII format) into The Observer XT. Upon import you link
the physiological data file to the associated observation. With a
synchronization signal sent out from The Observer XT computer to the external
DAQ system, synchronization occurs automatically upon import. You can also
manually synchronize observational and physiological data.
Analyze
When all your observations are complete you can make a selection of the data
your are interested in for subsequent visualization and analysis.
1 Data selection
Your observations with all the associated subjects and events are put in a 'box'.
If you want to select data, you need to extract them out of this box by making
a data profile.
To select data, you build a sequence of selection boxes connected to each
other. This sequence always starts from a box called Start, containing all the
data in your project, and represents the flow of data progressively extracted
from each box. The last box, called Results, represents the data set you use for
visualization and analysis (Figure 1.4.).
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Introduction
Figure 1.4. An example of a data selection sequence. 1. Start box, containing all
observations of all data. 2. Nest box (for nesting), containing the behaviors
specifying the time intervals to be analyzed. 3. Filter box, specifying the subjects to
be analyzed. 4. Results box, representing the container of the selected data.
In a data profile, you simply select event log files or subjects (Filtering),
however you can also select specific time intervals for analysis. You can
analyze three types of intervals: (1) as long as a state event occurs (Nesting);
(2) from a begin time or event to an end time or event (Free Intervals); (3)
regular intervals (Time bins). You can also analyze a combination of multiple
intervals.
You can search for specific events in your observations. To do so, open any
observation and press Ctrl+F.
2 Visualization
Before you carry out Statistical analysis or Export your data, you can look at the
data by means of the Visualize function. You select the data you want to
visualize in a data profile.
With the Visualize Data function, The Observer produces an event plot in
which events are plotted horizontally against a time axis. If you have scored
data from video, or imported one or more external data streams, you can play
back video and external data synchronously with the observational data. This
feature enables you to visually inspect the different data modalities and get a
quick overview of their relationship.
All modalities are linked in the Data Visualization window (Figure 1.5.). This
means, for example, that if you jump to a certain behavior (using the red
hairline) in the observational data area, the video jumps to the associated
scene.
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Figure 1.5. An example of the Visualize Data screen containing the Video window, the
Playback Control window and the Event Plot with observational and physiological
data.
Conversely, when you move to a scene in the video window, the red hairline
moves to the associated behavior in the event plot.
3 Episode Selection
You can also export a selection of your observational and physiological data
via the Episode Selection. You have the possibility to generate a media file
based on the selected scenes.
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The Observer XT
Introduction
4 Analysis
In the Analyze menu you can carry out elementary statistics on your
observational data. You can perform statistical analysis on behaviors but also
on numerical modifiers. You can also carry out advanced analyses like
reliability and lag sequential analysis.
You can make scatter plots, line charts, pie charts and bar charts from the
Analysis results. You can save these charts as images.
Analysis results can be exported to ASCII or Excel for further processing or
analysis with other statistical software. Furthermore, you can export all or a
selection of your observational data to ASCII. If you simultaneously acquired
physiological data, these are exported together with the selected
observational data.
1.6 What's new in The Observer XT
Users of previous versions of The Observer should read this section to get an idea
of the improvements and changes in The Observer XT 10.5 relative to The
Observer 5 (see below) and The Observer XT 9 (see page 35). Not all features
described below are available in all versions of The Observer XT.
Users of The Observer XT 10 should read the What’s New section “For
users of The Observer 10.0 and 10.1” on page 39.
For users of The Observer 5
The Observer XT is a new program that combines an even greater flexibility with
the possibility to integrate multiple data modalities, e.g. behavior, logged
comments, physiological measurements, eye-tracking data and video.
The Observer XT is compatible with the Observer 5.0. You can import Observer 5.0
projects into The Observer XT. However, you can subsequently only save the data
as an Observer XT project. Hence, once an Observer 5.0 project is opened and
saved as an Observer XT project, it cannot be opened in The Observer 5.0
anymore.
The Observer XT gives you maximum freedom in scoring behavior. You can score
data with two recording methods: Continuous and Instantaneous Sampling
(previously called Interval States). You can also combine the two methods, for
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example score data in detail for a focal subject using the Continuous method
while collecting quick data for other subjects with Instantaneous sampling.
You can build your Coding Scheme (Configuration in the Observer 5.0) while
observing. Afterwards, you can reorganize the Coding Scheme (see Figure 1.6.).
You can use one or more modifiers, both nominal and numerical, for behaviors.
Figure 1.6. View of the Subjects, Behaviors and Modifiers in the Coding Scheme
window.
You can record two media files at the same time through a FireWire or USB
connection. You can simultaneously display up to four media files and compress
them to MPEG-4.
You can import physiological data, co-acquired with an external system, to your
behavioral data. You can automatically synchronize these physiological data with
your behavioral data. This is done by sending out a synchronization signal from
The Observer XT to the external data acquisition system. The time information in
this signal is used to synchronize observational and physiological data. You can
also manually synchronize the data.
You can import other external observational data (e.g., log files, observational
data, eye-tracker data). You can use The Observer XT in combination with uLog.
uLog is a tool for the automatic recording of user-system interaction, e.g.,
keyboard and mouse actions, window events.
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Introduction
Data selection is made easier through a new, visual user interface. You can select
episodes of interest and the associated physiological data for visualization and
export. You can generate a media file based on the selected episodes.
Coding scheme
In The Observer XT you do not need to define subjects, behaviors and modifiers
before you can start an observation. For instance, you can use The Observer XT as
a comment logger by simply typing in comments. You can also start building a
coding scheme while observing. This is useful when you do not know before you
start observing what the relevant subjects or behaviors are. Simply start an
Observation and add Subjects, Behaviors and Modifiers in the Codes window.
To obtain high-quality data however, we recommend you make your Coding
Scheme before you start obtaining data. Also because your Coding Scheme
determines the type of statistical analysis afterwards. When you are satisfied with
your Coding Scheme and performed a Coding Scheme Check, you can start
producing data. You can add more detail and fine-tune your Coding Scheme
while you carry out an observation. You can reorganize the Coding Scheme, for
instance, by grouping Behaviors or remove redundant Behaviors or Modifiers.
Please be aware of possible inconsistencies with previous
observations if you change your Coding Scheme between
observations.
Extra information about Behaviors can be recorded in Modifiers. The number of
Modifiers per behavior is not limited to two as in The Observer 5 and can be up to
a maximum of 250. Modifiers can be either nominal or numerical. Statistics can
be applied to Numerical Modifiers. For example, you can calculate the average
value of the Numerical Modifier 'Speed' in km/h.
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Figure 1.7. View of the Modifier window. In this
example the Modifiers in the group Speed are
numerical and predefined.
In the Modifiers column of the Behaviors pane you can see which Modifier is
linked to which Behavior. By default, all Behaviors can be scored with all
Subjects. In the Subject Properties you can restrict Behaviors to certain Subjects.
There is no need to define classes as in The Observer 5. You can group Subjects
and Behaviors, to form 2-level hierarchies. This allows you to score some parts of
the observation in more detail than others.
You can change part of the terminology in the Preferences. For example,
you change Subject to Participant, or Behavior to Task.
You can export the Coding Scheme from your Observer computer to a handheld
computer on which Pocket Observer 3.1 is installed. You can therefore use Pocket
Observer with all the observation methods available in The Observer 10, including
instantaneous sampling. With the Pocket Observer you can use a maximum of 100
Subjects, 100 Behaviors and 100 Modifiers in your Coding Scheme (including
groups).
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Introduction
The following restrictions apply to the Coding Scheme in The Observer XT:
Maximum number of Independent Variables
Maximum number of Subjects
Maximum number of Behavior groups + Behaviors
Maximum number of Modifier groups + Modifiers
Maximum number of groups
Maximum number of Modifiers per Behavior
Maximum number of combinations of Subjects, Behaviors and
Modifiers
40
250
250
250
100
250
5000
The Observer XT 10 supports the Chinese simplified characters (People’s
Republic of China), Japanese characters of the Kanji, Katakana and
Hiragana sets and Cyrillic characters. You can use these character sets to
enter names of coding scheme elements, independent variables etc (see
page 90).
Carrying out an Observation
An Observation can contain one or more Event Logs, for example, one with
scored observational data, another one with imported uLog data. Each Event Log
corresponds to a separate data file on your PC. This is different from The Observer
5 where all observational data from one observation were saved in one
Observational Data File (*.odf). Because Event Log Data in The Observer XT are
stored in binary form you cannot edit them, as you could with the ODF-files from
The Observer 5. However, it is possible to export Event Log Data, edit them and
import them again into The Observer XT.
You can get audio feedback on your keystrokes by attaching a system beep or
WAV-file to subjects, behaviors or modifiers.
You can score from 1 up to 4 media files (depending on the add-on module you
have installed), at the speed you want.
You have the possibility to give a PC command to, for example, start a screen
recording with the Noldus Media Recorder. You can also give a command to start
an external Data AcQuisition (DAQ) system. You can give a PC command when
you open a new live observation, when you start, stop or close an observation.
Media files created with an external program can be automatically linked to The
Observer XT.
Additional options of The Observer XT include:
 Coder license – The Coder License consists of a hardware key, which restricts
the use of The Observer XT software to coding only. You can use this key with
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multiple coding stations (explained below), in combination with one or more
full licenses.
 Multiple coding stations configuration – When working with large projects,
a lot of coding can be involved. Sometimes it is worthwhile to split up the
work between several observers. An efficient way to do this is to create coding
stations. Using Coder Licenses in a multiple coding station setup has the
advantage that you do not need full licenses for the computers that are only
used for coding.
Importing other data
Almost all external ASCII data in columns can be imported into The Observer XT,
whether it is observational, physiological or eye-tracking data. Such an ASCII-file
must have at least one column with time stamps and one with codes.
Physiological data acquired with an external system must be sampled with a
constant sample rate for proper import and synchronization in The Observer XT.
Observational data
You can open an Observer 5 project (*.opp) in The Observer XT. Upon import the
configuration is automatically converted into a Coding Scheme.
You can also import separate Observer 5 ODF files into The Observer XT. After
import of the observational data, all functionality of The Observer XT is available in
case you want to reorganize or adapt the Coding Scheme. You can group
Behaviors or Modifiers, add Subjects and use this new Coding Scheme as a
basis for a new observation in The Observer XT.
It is also possible to import log files with time stamps and behaviors from other
programs than The Observer XT. You do this by creating an import profile that can
be used for all files of the same type.
uLog data
With uLog you can log basic computer events such as mouse clicks, scrolling,
window events and keystrokes and import these into The Observer XT.
uASQ data
With uASQ you can carry out questionnaires on computers of test-participants and
import the answers into The Observer XT.
External (Physiological) data
You can import external data that have been acquired with a separate Data
AcQuisition (DAQ) system. These systems measure, for example, heart rate, ECG,
EEG, EMG, GSR, blood pressure etc. For import it is not necessary that these
physiological data were acquired simultaneously with the observational data.
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The Observer XT
Introduction
However, The Observer XT provides the possibility to synchronize observational
and physiological data.
For automatic synchronization you need to simultaneously carry out a live
observation and acquire external data, while The Observer XT sends out a
synchronization signal to the external DAQ system. The time information in this
signal is used during import to synchronize observational and physiological data.
Physiological data can be imported into The Observer XT with an Import Profile.
The Observer XT comes with predefined Import Profiles for a number of suppliers
of DAQ systems (see Appendix “File formats” for import profiles for various DAQ
systems). You can create a custom import profile for systems that do not have a
predefined filter (see Figure 1.8.). Once you have created an import profile for a
specific system, you save the import profile to use it for other files of this specific
system. One file can contain more than one data file (for example, EMG of
different muscles of a subject). A maximum of 255 external data files per
observation can be imported in The Observer XT.
Figure 1.8. View of the Import Profile Definition window through which you can import
physiological data files exported from external data acquisition systems.
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Selecting data for visualization and analysis
Data selection is made easier with a new visual and intuitive user interface. The
interface works with boxes in which you can put a selection of Observations,
Event Log Files, Subjects, Behaviors or Independent Variables (see Figure 1.9.).
You select data when you want to visualize, create an episode selection or
calculate statistics on some observations, subjects or events and not others (that
is, Filtering). You may want to analyze events occurred in specific time intervals or
when subjects were in a certain state or combination of states (that is, Nesting).
You may also want to know which events occurred when the value of the external
data were within a certain range. For example what your subject did when its
heart rate was above a certain level.
When you make a data profile, you put the coding scheme elements you want in
selection boxes. Based on this data profile you can select only the interesting
parts of an observation and the associated physiological data. The data selection
is used for visualization, the episode selection and statistics.
Figure 1.9. View of the Data Selection window. The Start box on the left contains the
observations and event logs. The Results boxes on the right represent the final
data data selection. In this example, two Results boxes are defined, containing two
different data sets: Results 1, containing all data of the project, and Results 2,
containing the data occurring in specific time intervals. With Results boxes you can
easily analyze different data sets at the same time.
With the Find function, you can search your observation for event lines
that include a specific subject, behavior or modifier (or a combination of
those elements) or a text string (see page 213).
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Introduction
Visualizing data
Before you perform statistical analysis on your data or export them, you can
inspect your data by selecting Visualize Data from the Analyze menu (see Figure
1.10.). This replaces the Time Event View in The Observer 5.0.
Figure 1.10. Visualizing data. The screen includes the event data, physiological data, the
video and the playback control. The hairline corresponds to the current position of
the video.
In The Observer XT you can inspect all data or a selection that was made with a
Data Profile. With the Playback Control you can simultaneously 'walk through'
your observational and physiological data and playback one or more videos. This
powerful feature of The Observer XT enables you to easily assess the accuracy
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between different modalities. If you spot an error, you can jump to edit mode with
one mouse-click.
The Time Event Table, Event Summary and Video Playlist in The Observer 5.0 are
now one function called Episode Selection. You can build an Episode Selection
with events of particular interest based on a data profile. You can also drag-anddrop events from the Event Log directly into the Episode Selection. This selection
can be played back; the video window shows only the selected scenes.
From this selection you can directly export the Episode Selection to an ASCII-file.
The physiological data that are associated with the selected events are also
simultaneously exported. You can also generate a media file with the selected
scenes of events from the Episode Selection.
Calculating Statistics
You can run a behavioral analysis to calculate a wide range of descriptive statistics
quantifying your observational data.
If you score events with numerical modifiers, you can calculate statistics of those
values scored, using the Numerical Analysis function. For example, to calculate
the mean of the aggression level of the subject scored as a numerical modifier
during the observation. You can make charts from the analysis results and export
them as pictures.
Lag sequential analysis and Reliability analysis
Both analysis functions are present in The Observer XT 10.
In Reliability Analysis, results are given together with the statistical significance of
the values of Rho and Kappa. Among the four methods of data comparison
available in The Observer 5.0, the current version uses the Frequency/Sequence
method.
Reliability Analysis is much faster in The Observer XT: comparing observations with
about 1000 events requires about two seconds.
Video technology
There are a number of new features related to the use of video technology to
acquire observational data. Among the most important ones are:
 With The Observer XT you can play and record from two Digital Video devices
through a FireWire or USB connection. FireWire is similar to USB, however
FireWire can work with more types of recording devices, such as camcorders
or other digital equipment. The output format is DV-AVI or (DivX) MPEG-4.
 Play back of 2 media files is standard. These media files can be of different
formats. With an add-on you can play back up to 4 media files.
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Introduction
 Digital media file formats supported by The Observer XT for play back are
MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, uncompressed AVI, DV-AVI.
 Another standard feature in The Observer XT is the possibility to generate a
media file with excerpts from a video file; these excerpts are selected in the
Episode Selection. In the Observer 5.0 this was done with the Video Highlights
Module, which was an add-on to the standard version of The Observer 5.0.
 Scoring from DVD is not supported, because the lack of a universal standard
means that a DVD recorded on one machine will not always play back with full
functionality (e.g., all play speeds or frame-accurate timing) on another.
However, we do support scoring from VOB files.
 Scoring from a time lapse video or analog equipment controlled through the
RS-232 port is not supported.
For users of The Observer 9
Lock Configuration
In The Observer XT 10 it is now possible to lock the whole configuration, that is,
the entire Setup. In previous versions of the Observer you could only lock the
coding scheme. Locking the configuration means that nothing can be changed
anymore in the Project Setup and the Coding Scheme. Furthermore, you can not
add User-Defined Independent Variables anymore, but you still can adjust the
values. You still can add Digital Media when a configuration is locked.
Make Backup
It is very important that you make a backup of your project regularly. Therefore
The Observer XT now asks you if you want to make a backup after you have saved
and closed your project 10 times. You can choose not to get this message again,
however, we do not recommend you do this.
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Nest over External Data
You can now use value of external data to specify time intervals for analysis. For
example, you can select those time intervals in which the heart rate of your
subject was above a certain value. Subsequently, you can analyze the behavior of
your subjects during these intervals. To do so, you include a nesting box in your
data profile in which you specify the value of your external data (see Figure 1.11.
below).
Figure 1.11. Example of a Data Profile in which a selection is made for those
intervals in which the heart rate was between 100 and 110 beats per
minute.
Numerical Analysis
With The Observer XT you now can calculate the statistics mean, minimum,
maximum, and number of samples of external data. To do so, select External Data
in the Analysis Settings window of the Numerical Analysis. With more advanced
settings you can, for example, calculate how many times the blood pressure has
been above 140 mmHg, or the total time the heart rate was between 100 and 110
beats per minute. For more information, see “Numerical Analysis” on page 396
(Chapter 9). You can export the external data together with your behavioral data
(see “Exporting external data” on page 502, Chapter 12).
Charts
In The Observer XT 10, you can now make charts of the results for behavioral and
numerical analysis. The Observer XT offers bar charts, line charts, pie charts and
scatter plots of the analyzed data. You can export the charts as images to use
them for example in a presentation.
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The Observer XT
Introduction
Updates
You can now check online which updates are available for the Observer XT 10.
Open the Help menu, choose Noldus Online and click Check for Updates. You
can download the updates if you are a registered user.
Report an Issue
If you experience a problem while working with The Observer XT 10 you can
contact Noldus Support by filling out the “Report an Issue” form. Open the Help
menu, choose Noldus Online and click Report an Issue. Noldus Support will
contact you after they received the form.
uASQ
uASQ is a Plug-in for carrying out a questionnaire on computers of testparticipants. Questions are shown on the computers of the test participants at
regular time intervals. The answers are sent to the computer with The Observer XT
and are stored in Event Logs. The answers can be:
 Open ended, the answers are typed in a text-field.
 Likert Scaled, for example the answers have a value ranging from 1 to 9.
 Multiple Choice with nominal answers. The test-participant can choose one or
more answers from several texts.
 Multiple Choice with numerical answers. The test-participant can choose one
or more answers from several values.
New projects
On The Observer XT 10.5 download page on the Noldus website
(www.noldus.com/downloads) you find a number of new sample projects. They
contain examples of a number of new features of The Observer XT 10.
For animal research:
 Behavior of broilers – This sample project shows the development of
behavior of a group of broilers (that is, meat-type chickens). It shows how you
can use the Observation method “Combine Continuous and Instantaneous
Sampling”. The behavior of a focal bird was scored continuously, the other
birds in the group were monitored instantaneously.
 Rat behavior linked to EEG data (this sample project is also included on the
installation DVD) – In this project, the locomotory behavior of a rat was
observed while EEG data are collected simultaneously. The physiological data
were imported into The Observer XT. In The Observer, the EEG data during the
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time the rat exhibited a specific behavior were selected. These data were
visualized and can then be exported for further analysis.
For human research:
 HILAS Cockpit Evaluation XT10 – This sample project illustrates an example
of how The Observer XT can be used to analyze human factors in the
development of aviation systems. The experiment was carried out in a flight
simulator. The main computer (Observer computer) records the behavior of
the pilots on video and receives the data from the flight simulator. Another
computer (External data recording system) records continuous data such as
altitude and speed of the airplane. The data were synchronized with a signal
sent out by the Observer computer. The flight data were imported as external
data into the Observer. Several time intervals were selected using specific
values of the flight data. The behavior of the pilots during these intervals was
analyzed.
 Child FaceReader – In this project, the facial expressions of a child playing an
online game are analyzed with FaceReader. The data are subsequently
imported for analysis in The Observer XT.
 Interval sampling office workers – In this project, the behavior of two office
workers is analyzed with The Observer. For one person the instantaneous
sampling method is used and the other person was followed with the
continuous sampling.
 Sport – In this sample project, the heart rate, acceleration and velocity of a
cyclist is measured. These data are imported into The Observer. Subsequently
an analysis of the external data is carried out, based on the behavior of the
cyclist. For example, the heart rate is calculated over periods that the cyclist
goes uphill.
 Medical research – This project is an example of the use of The Observer XT
in medical research. Surgery is carried out on a patient's hand. The patient has
received local anesthesia. During surgery, the pulse transit time is measured
using the BIOPAC system; this is the time for the blood pulse wave to travel
from the heart to the index finger of the patient. The pulse transit time
depends on the stiffness of the arterial vessels and is an indirect measure of
sympathetic tone and therefore pain. When the patient experiences pain, the
vessels stiffen and as a result the pulse transit time shortens.
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The Observer XT
Introduction
For users of The Observer 10.0 and 10.1
Template projects
You can save your project as a template and use this template project to:
 Exchange coding schemes when you work with a multiple coding station
setup (see “Creating a multiple coding station configuration” on page 494);
Template projects replace read-only projects (*.vpx) which were used in
previous versions of The Observer XT.
 Re-use software and hardware settings when you use The Observer XT in an
observation lab and want to create a new project but use the standard
hardware and software set-up of your lab;
 Exchange coding schemes with other researchers.
Improved charts
It is now possible to add a linear trendline to your charts. When you change the
chart properties, you can directly see the changes in the chart, without closing the
Chart Properties window.
Improved export functionality
You can now export your analysis results and event logs to Excel 2007 format
(*.xlsx). In previous versions *.xml format was available.
You get a message when you export your analysis results or events logs to Excel
and the number of rows or columns exceed the Excel limits. The analysis results/
event logs will be exported irrespective of the number of rows/columns.
Export to SPSS is easier. It is now possible to have one header row in your Excel
export instead of multiple rows.
Easier import of data
When you import data into The Observer XT, the header of the data file is
automatically detected. If this does not work, you can specify the number of
header rows or mark the end of the header with a specific word (tag).
Improved user interface
Each component now has its own component-specific tool bar. Movement and
docking of windows when you are carrying out an observation has been
improved.
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Windows 7, 64 bit compatible
The Observer XT 10.5 is now compatible with Windows 7, 32 bit and 64 bit. Not all
supported hardware (for 32 bit) is supported for 64 bit. For more information, see
“System requirements for Noldus software” on www.noldus.com/downloads.
1.7 The Observer XT interface
By default, the main application window of The Observer XT consists of two views:
the Project Explorer, and the Component view. The Project Explorer gives you an
overview of the observations and analysis results of your project. You use the
Project Explorer for management of your project data. In the Component view
you can edit the items of the Project Explorer. The tool bar of the Component view
contains the View Settings, which you can use to define what windows you want
to be visible in the Component view.
Project Explorer
The Project Explorer displays all the project files belonging to your currently
opened project. In the example in Figure 1.12., a project called 'Rat in open field'
has been created. The project details have been made visible by clicking the plus
symbol.
The look and feel of the Project Explorer
 Resize – The Project Explorer is a dockable window. Its width is not fixed to
one specific size, but it can be resized. To resize it, drag the right edge and/or
the bottom edge of the view in or out.
 Expand and Collapse – One of the main characteristics of the Project
Explorer, like any tree view, is that its elements are expandable and
collapsible.
 View or Hide - By default, the Project Explorer is visible. You can hide it by
going to the View menu and clearing the check mark in front of Project
Explorer. Via the View menu you can also hide theStatus Bar to create a larger
Component view.
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Introduction
Figure 1.12. The Project Explorer.
Right-click menus
Most items in the Project Explorer are equipped with right-click menus. All key
functionality can be conveniently accessed through right-click menus.
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Chapter 1
The overview window of The Observer XT
When you create or open a Project, the overview window of The Observer XT
appears on your screen. This window can guide you through the three main steps
Setup, Observe and Analyze to complete your work.
Figure 1.13. The overview window of The Observer XT.
Click one of the three tabs and then a button to the function you want to activate.
You can go back to the overview window at any time by clicking Setup,
Observations or Analysis in the Project Explorer.
View settings
With View settings on the far-right side of the tool bar, you can choose what
windows you want to be visible in the Component view. For instance, when you
have opened the coding scheme, you can choose to view Subjects, Behaviors,
Modifiers, Properties and Combinations with View Settings (Figure 1.14.).
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Introduction
Figure 1.14. The View Settings list for the coding scheme.
Component view
The Component view is where all project procedures (creating the coding
scheme, scoring events, importing external data, selecting and analyzing data)
are carried out. When you click on an item in the Project Explorer, the Component
view shows the required boxes or views to carry out the procedure that goes with
this item. For instance, if you select the item Independent Variables from the
Project Explorer, the Independent Variable List appears in the Component view.
In this view, you can enter the independent variables for the project.
If a box is open in the Component view, for example the Project Settings box, it
must be closed before any of the views can be accessed again.
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2
Installation
This chapter is about:
 Installing The Observer XT 10.5.
See page 50
 Installing equipment for using media files.
See page 56
 Setting up equipment for using FireWire devices and external Data
AcQuisition (DAQ) systems.
See page 57 and page 60
This chapter instructs you about the installation of The Observer XT and the
connection and installation of all hardware and software components necessary
to work with the program. It provides you with step-by-step instructions on how to
perform certain tasks. Please follow these instructions carefully, and in the order
they are presented.
If you ordered a new computer from Noldus Information Technology when you
purchased The Observer XT, all your software and any internal hardware is already
installed and tested.
If, having read this chapter and the separate equipment manuals, you still have
problems or questions regarding installation, please contact our Technical
Support department (see Appendix E).
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2.1 Before you install
Please note: To be able to install The Observer XT you must have administrator
rights, i.e. either you are the system administrator or you are a member of the
Windows group Administrators and have been assigned administrator rights.
Windows Power Users cannot install The Observer XT.
Prior to installation, please check the packing list to make sure all the components
are present. If any of the components listed is missing or damaged, please report
this to us immediately.
The contents of your package differ for new and existing users:
 If you are a new user of The Observer – You received The Observer XT
software DVD, this Reference Manual and a hardware key (see Figure 2.1 on
page 52).
 If you are upgrading from older versions of The Observer – You received
The Observer XT software DVD and this Reference Manual. You also received a
number to upgrade your current hardware key. Hence, no hardware key is
enclosed, because the one you have is upgraded automatically when you start
The Observer XT for the first time and enter the upgrade number.
System requirements
Operating system
The Observer XT 10 supports Microsoft Windows XP, 32-bit Professional edition
with Service Pack 3, or Microsoft Windows 7, 32-bit and 64-bit Professional edition.
Not all supported hardware (for 32 bit) is supported for 64 bit. For more
information, see “System requirements for Noldus software” on
www.noldus.com/downloads.
The Observer XT 10 has been thoroughly tested with Windows XP Professional
(with Service Pack 3) and Windows 7 Professional, U.S. English 32-bit and 64-bit
edition. It has also been tested with and Cyrillic, Japanese and Chinese language
packs. It is possible that certain local language versions of Windows may affect
how well the program runs. For more information about using non-Latin
characters, please see page 49.
If you encounter a problem related to the operating system, please contact
Noldus Technical Support (see Appendix E). The Observer does support 64 bit
computer hardware, but you should install a 32 bit version of Windows.
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uLog 2.0 and 2.1 and the Noldus MPEG Recorder versions 1.0, 2.0 and
2.1 do not work under Windows 7.
The Observer is not designed for use with the Windows Touch
features of Windows 7.
Computer
The type of computer you need to run The Observer XT depends on the use you
will put The Observer to. If you are carrying out a few live observations, then a
simple netbook will suffice. If you are working with video or have a large number
of observations in your project, then a professional workstation will be necessary.
If you purchase a complete setup from Noldus then we will make sure that you
get a computer suitable for your purposes. Otherwise we recommend that you
contact us for advice before purchasing a computer to use with The Observer.
System requirements for simple live observations
For using The Observer for live observation (no video files, cameras or
physiological data), with a maximum of 200 short observations, or a small number
of observations with up to 5000 event lines, a simple netbook is sufficient. Coding
schemes with non mutually-exclusive modifiers should not be used with such a
computer, as this type of modifier has a severe impact on the performances.
Noldus recommends the Dell Inspiron™ Mini 10 (or its successor) which has a
1.33 GHz processor and 1GB of memory.
System requirements for normal use
For working with The Observer and video (files or cameras), we recommend that
you use a professional workstation. It is possible to buy consumer-range
computers with a high processor speed and plenty of memory, but in order to
remain competitive regarding price, the manufacturers often economize on the
underlying system architecture. That means those computers are suitable for
home use, but not for running professional scientific software. You should select
a computer which is intended for professional use or labeled by the manufacturer
as a workstation.
If you install software which installs codec packages on your computer, this can
interfere with the codecs installed by The Observer. A codec is a software
program used for recording or playing back a digital media file. This includes DVD
burner software (we recommend to uninstall DVD burner software installed by
your computer's manufacturer and replace with CDBurnerXP), video editing
packages and similar.
Recommended computer
If you order a complete solution from Noldus Information Technology, you will
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Chapter 2
obtain a Dell Precision™ T3500 workstation (or its successor) with The Observer XT
software installed and ready to use. This PC is the standard test platform for The
Observer, and we recommend that you use that computer.
If you are planning to purchase a different computer than the T3500, please
contact us for detailed advice.
We recommend that you do not use the following computers, as these have
caused our customers problems in recent years:
 All HP (Hewlett Packard) computers.
 Dell Optiplex.
 Dell Vostro.
 Low-end consumer models.
Older computers
If you are upgrading from an older version of The Observer you can still install the
latest version on an older workstation. That should have 3 GHz processor speed
and at least 1 GB of memory (at least 2GB for working with video) as well as a
video card supporting DirectDraw acceleration.
Disk space to store media files
 If you are scoring from video files on the hard disk, you need sufficient free
space to store them (MPEG-1 needs about 600 MB/hr; MPEG-2 about 2.4 GB/hr;
MPEG-4 about 1 GB/hr, and DV-AVI about 12 GB/hr).
 If you are scoring from video files on CD or DVD, make sure that you have a
suitable drive. For better performance during scoring, you should copy the
video files to your hard disk.
Using The Observer XT across a network
Please note that it is not possible to install The Observer XT on one computer and
access it from another across a network. The program must be installed on the
computer where it will be used.It is possible to access video files located at other
computers in your network (depending on your network’s bandwidth). From the
File menu, select Preferences and select an alternative digital media location.
You can also save export files elsewhere.
Working with The Observer XT as a restricted user
The user rights for folders and files are different for System administrators, Power
users, and restricted (normal) users. Users which have Administrator rights and
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Power users have enough access rights to use The Observer XT and its files
without any limitations. For restricted users there are the following limitations:
1 As a restricted user you can create new projects and edit and delete your own
projects.
2 As a restricted user you can open projects from other Windows users only for
viewing, you cannot edit, save or delete projects of other users. If you want to
use projects of other users, you must first make a copy.
3 If you want to make it possible for other users to edit or delete your projects,
your System administrator must change the Windows security rights for the
folder where you want to store projects (see “File locations” on page 532). For
instance, to set the Modify rights to Everyone: in the Windows Explorer, select
the folder mentioned above, right-click it, select Properties and then the
Security tab and set the rights.
Using Chinese, Japanese or Cyrillic characters
With The Observer XT you can use characters of the following sets:
 Chinese simplified (People's Republic of China).
 Japanese Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana.
 Cyrillic.
To use these character sets, you must have a Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic
language Windows system, or an English language Windows system on which the
Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic language pack has been installed. The Observer XT uses
Unicode 5.1 to support Chinese, Japanese and Cyrillic characters.
You can enter Chinese, Japanese, and Cyrillic characters in all dialogs, in the
coding scheme elements and in the independent variables. Note that the
language of the interface is always English.
You can import projects and observations that contain Chinese, Japanese, and
Cyrillic characters (see page 491). Please note:
 You can use a project containing Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic characters on a
computer with an English language Windows system only when the correct
Chinese, Japanese or Cyrillic language pack has been installed.
 If you create a project containing Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic characters on an
English language Windows system (with Chinese, Japanese or Cyrillic
language pack installed), you can also use it on a Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic
language Windows computer.
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Chapter 2
2.2 Installing The Observer XT
Important: first install The Observer and then connect the hardware
key to your computer, not the other way around!
If you have installed The Observer XT 10.1 on your computer,
installing The Observer XT 10.5 removes The Observer XT 10.1.
If you upgrade the software from The Observer XT version 6.x, first remove older
versions of the Elecard software from your computer (see page 54).
1 Insert The Observer XT software DVD (or USB stick) into your CD-/DVD-ROM
drive. The setup program should start automatically.
If the setup program does not start automatically, browse the DVD and
double-click the file setupbrowser.exe.
2 A Welcome screen appears. Under Install software, select The Observer XT
10.5.
3 The Observer XT requires that the MainConcept Codec Package 8.3 (DivX
MPEG 2 and DivX MPEG 4 Decoders), the MainConcept Encoder Package 7.5
(DivX MPEG 4 Encoder) and the AC3 Audio Decoder 1.63 be installed on your
PC. Click Install.
4 On the Installshield wizard for the MainConcept Codec Package 8.3, click
Next. Read the license agreement, select I accept and click Next, Install and
finally Finish to go to the next step.
5 On the Installshield wizard for the MainConcept Encoder Package 7.5, click
Next. Read the license agreement, select I accept and click Next, Install and
finally Finish to go to the next step.
6 On the installation wizard for the AC3 Audio Decoder 1.63, select the preferred
language and click OK, click Next four times and click Install and finally Finish
to go to the next step.
7 In The Observer XT 10 Installshield Wizard, click Next, read the license
agreement, select I accept and click Next.
8 On the Destination folders screen, select where to install The Observer XT
program files. We recommend that you accept the default location. Then click
Next.
9 On the Document folders screen, accept the default directories below or
select others to which you have write access. Then click Next.
For Windows XP –
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The Observer XT
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 Projects
– C:\Documents and Settings\All
Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT\Projects.
Users\
(Shared)
 Media
Users\
(Shared)
–
C:\Documents
and
Settings\All
Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT\Media
 Templates
– C:\Documents and Settings\All
Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT\Templates.
Users\
(Shared)
For Windows 7 –
 Projects – C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus \The Observer
XT\Projects.
 Media
– C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus \The Observer
XT\Media.
 Templates – C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus \The Observer
XT\Templates.
10 On the Setup type screen, select Complete and click Next, then Install.
11 The Installshield Wizard Complete screen appears, informing you that the
program has been installed successfully.
12 Insert the hardware key in one of your PC's USB ports, select Launch The
Observer XT and click Finish.
The installation software checks if DirectX 9.0c or higher is installed on your
computer. If a previous version is not detected, it will be installed. Follow the
instructions on the screen. You will be asked to restart your computer.
The first time you start up The Observer on a Windows XP computer,
the Windows Firewall might block The Observer. Click the Unblock
button to allow The Observer to start up.
In order to view the documentation in PDF format, you need Acrobat Reader
installed on your computer. If you do not already have this program, click Install
Adobe Reader in the Welcome screen and follow the instructions on the screen. If
you have a Microsoft Vista operating system and Internet Explorer 8, to open the
Technical Notes do the following: in the Internet options, click the Security tab
and make sure that the Protected mode option is not selected.
Note for users of previous Observer versions (below The Observer XT 8.0) – The
general folders Export and External under ...\The Observer XT\ have been
removed in The Observer XT 10. In each project folder, you can find its Export and
External folders to store exported results and external data for that project.
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Chapter 2
Installing and upgrading the hardware
key
Each license for The Observer XT comes with a hardware key, which determines
which setup is available to you (base functionality with or without Video Support,
Physiological inputs or Mobile scoring). This is a very important piece of
equipment, as it represents the full value of your license and cannot be
replaced if lost. Full functionality of The Observer XT is only possible when
the hardware key is connected to your computer.
Please keep this in mind and make sure that you do not lose the key!
You will need to pay for a new license if so.
If you have an old WizzKey for an earlier version of The Observer (see Figure 2.1),
this must be replaced with a new HASP key when you upgrade your operating
system to Windows XP or Windows 7. Return your WizzKey to us, and we will send
you a HASP key.
Figure 2.1 Three different types of hardware key: WizzKey (left), HASP for a printer (or
parallel) port (center), and HASP for a USB port (right). When the USB key is
connected and installed correctly, the light inside it glows red.
Please be careful with the hardware key. It is sensitive and can be easily
damaged.
Connecting the hardware key
Important: You must connect the hardware key after you install the
software.
1 Turn your computer off (this is not necessary with a USB key).
2 Plug the key into the correct port. The location of the port depends on your
computer and the type of key (see Figure 2.1).
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The Observer XT
Installation
3 Turn your computer back on.
We advise you not to connect any peripheral devices (such as zip drives or
printers) to the back of a HASP key connected to your printer/parallel/LPT port.
Their signals might interfere with the key and cause The Observer XT to
malfunction. If you want to use a printer or zip drive, remove the hardware key
before plugging in the device of your choice. Alternatively, install an additional
printer port in your computer for use with peripherals.
Upgrading the hardware key
If you are upgrading from previous versions of The Observer, you can either
uninstall the old version before installing The Observer XT, or leave it on your
computer and install the new version to a different program directory.
When you start The Observer XT for the first time after installation, the system
automatically detects the old hardware key and asks you to type the new Upgrade
Key number in the Upgrade Key dialog box (see Figure 2.2). The Enter Upgrade
Key radio button is selected). This 20-digit number is normally sent to you by email or in your welcome letter.
Figure 2.2 The Enter Upgrade Key dialog box with
Enter Upgrade Key selected.
This is the only occasion where this dialog box appears automatically. At other
times, you can view it by selecting Upgrade from the Help menu.
You can also use The Observer XT 10 as a trial version, using your Observer
XT 6/7/8 license key (see “The Observer XT 10 Trial version” on page 55).
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Chapter 2
Upgrading from The Observer XT 6/7/8/9 to 10
 Installing The Observer XT 10 while keeping the 6/7/8/9 version – You can
install The Observer XT 10 while keeping a previous version 6/7/8/9 installed
on your computer. To do so, during installation (see page 50) make sure that
the destination folder on C:\Program Files is not the same as that of the
previous version (for this purpose we advise you to keep the default folders
selected).
Installing The Observer XT 10.5 removes The Observer XT 10.1.
 Removing the MPEG-2 decoding software – The Observer XT works with the
MainConcept MPEG-2 Decoder Pack to play MPEG-2 video files. If older
versions of this software are present on your computer, you may not be able
to play such video files on your computer. To remove older versions of this
software:
i
In the Control Panel, double-click Add-Remove Programs, then locate the
Elecard (or MainConcept, or MoonLight) software, and select Remove.
Remove multiple versions if present.
ii With Windows Explorer, remove manually all folders where these decoder
files were installed. Possible folder locations can be:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Elecard
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Moonlight
C:\Program Files\Common Files\MainConcept
or
C:\Program Files\Elecard
C:\Program Files\MainConcept
C:\Program Files\Moonlight
or
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Noldus\Noldus Shared\
Noldus MainConcept Encoder Package 8
iii Install The Observer XT 10 (see page 50).
 Opening a 6/7/8/9 project with The Observer XT 10 – When you open a 6/
7/8/9 project, a message appears informing you that a project backup (*.vpb)
is made. When you save that project, it is converted to 10 format. Note that
you cannot open a project saved in the 10 format in The Observer XT 6/7/8/9
anymore. To work with that project in older versions of The Observer XT,
restore the project from the backup file (see page 493).
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The Observer XT
Installation
The Observer XT 10 Trial version
If you have an Observer XT 6/7/8/9 license key, you can use The Observer XT 10 as
a Trial version. In the Enter Upgrade Key window, select Start 60 day trial
period. In window About the Observer XT (from the Help menu, select About
The Observer XT), you can see the how many days you have left.
Figure 2.3
The Enter Upgrade Key dialog box with Start 60 day trial period selected.
Add-on modules
You can extend the base functionality of The Observer XT with four add-on
modules:
1 Video module. You need this module if you want to score data Live with a
video device, or Offline from video files (see page 80 for defining the
observation source). The module allows you to play back and record a
maximum of two media files. You can extend the Video module with the
Multiple Video module, to be able to record and play back a maximum of four
media files at the same time.
If you have a fast computer, it is in principle possible to play back more
than four video files simultaneously. Please contact us for more
information.
On demand we can supply you with the H.264.MPEG-4 decoder software.
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2 Physiological Inputs module. With this module, you can import any external
data stored in ASCII format. External data may include physiological data (e.g.,
heart rate, ECG, EEG, blood pressure), environmental data (e.g., temperature,
humidity) or eye-tracking data. It is possible to synchronize logged events and
associated external data and subsequently visualize, select and export these
data.
3 Mobile scoring module. If you need to be mobile during observations, you
can use this module and score by means of a handheld computer.
4 uLog Pro module. You need this module if you want to work with uLog Pro.
uLog is a tool for the automatic recording of user-system interaction. With
uLog you can log basic computer events such as mouse clicks, scrolling,
window events and keystrokes.
5 uASQ module. With this module you can set up questionnaires and collect
subjective information from your test participants. Typical questions could be
”How do yo assess the workload at the moment (low/medium/high)?” or
“How do you rate the attractiveness of this web page (scale 1-5)?”.
For details, please refer to the uASQ Reference Manual which can be
found in the documentation folder on the installation DVD.
2.3 Installing the equipment for using
media files
The Observer XT enables you to code behavior either live or from digital video
files. To create digital media files, you need an MPEG encoder, in addition to your
computer and VCR or camera. Hardware equipment comes in two forms: internal
components plugged into your computer, called expansion boards, or external,
stand-alone devices. The equipment you require depends on your observation
method.
Unlike in The Observer XT 6/7, in The Observer XT 10 it is not possible to
score data from digital tapes. If you have video on digital tape, convert this
to a digital video file using an MPEG encoder.
Two key pieces of equipment are required for using digital media files with The
Observer XT: an MPEG encoder and an MPEG decoder. As new models are
constantly becoming available, the information in this section is kept general, so
that it applies to as many encoders and decoders as possible. For more details,
the manufacturer's manual supplied with your equipment, or the Reference
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The Observer XT
Installation
Manual of the Media Recorder.
MPEG encoders
An MPEG encoder allows you to record and digitize incoming audio and video
data. Digital audio and video files usually have a very large size. The MPEG
encoder also compresses these files while their quality is remained. MGEG
encoding can be done with encoding software, with an external expansion board,
or with an external device that must be connected to your computer.
The Observer XT is supplied with MPEG encoding software of hardware for high
quality video encoding.
MPEG decoders
An MPEG decoder is software that allows you to decompress a compressed
incoming bitstream and split it into its audio and video components. The Observer
XT is supplied with the MainConcept MPEG-2 Decoder Pack, which can decode
MPEG-2 files. The MainConcept MPEG-2 Decoder Pack is automatically installed
on your computer when you install The Observer XT. Please note that this decoder
is not installed with the free trial version of The Observer.
If you have problems when playing MPEG-2 video files in The Observer XT, make
sure that you have removed previous versions of this software. See page 54 for
more information.
If you use the Noldus Media Recorder to create MPEG-4 files in H.264
format, you need to install the H.264 decoder software first in order to play
back these video files. Please contact Noldus Information Technology for
the password for installation.
2.4 Setting up the equipment for
using FireWire devices
To use Digital Video devices, for example DV Camcorders, with The Observer XT,
your PC must be provided with a special connection socket called FireWire (or IEEE
1394 or iLink). In this guide, any device that can be connected to your PC with a
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FireWire cable is indicated as FireWire device. While DV is the actual format of the
video recorded and played in those devices, FireWire is the cable and protocol
that allows you to transfer the DV data to your computer.
If your computer does not have a FireWire connection, you can install a FireWire
board, which may support two or more FireWire ports.
Please note that you do not have to install additional software (drivers) on
your PC after you have installed the FireWire board. FireWire boards can be
installed on Windows XP and Windows 7 operating systems, and are immediately
recognized, so you can start working with them without adjusting settings or
installing additional software. If you have received additional software with your
board, this is likely to be video editing software, which is not necessary if you use
FireWire devices with The Observer XT. Furthermore, this software can cause
problems with conflicting codecs.
Connecting FireWire devices to your computer
Your FireWire device usually comes with a special cable that has connectors of
different size (Figure 2.4). Plug the smaller connector into the DV IN/OUT socket
of your DV device (Camcorder or VCR). Plug the larger connector into one of the
sockets of your PC's FireWire board.
Figure 2.4
The connectors at the end of a FireWire cable.
The small FireWire connections found on laptops do not include a power
supply. So your camera must have its own power supply.
FireWire connections can become loose. So make sure the cable is firmly
attached and not under tension.
Please note that not all devices need to be provided with FireWire connectors in
order to be used with The Observer XT. In the example in Figure 2.5, a standard
video camera has been connected to a DV video recorder through a Video or SVideo cable. The DV VCR has been connected to the PC through a FireWire cable.
Therefore, although the video signal comes from a standard (not DV) camera, it is
passed through a digital video recorder and converted to DV video format. With
this system, you can record live video to a DV tape and score behaviors from a
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FireWire device even if you do not have a FireWire video camera.
Figure 2.5 Connecting standard video cameras to a PC via a FireWire (DV) video
recorder. It is also possible to use two or more cameras, and send the mixed
image to the VCR.
Testing your FireWire device with The Observer XT
1 Make sure that the FireWire device is connected to the computer and switched
on. If you use a Camcorder, make sure that it is set to CAMERA mode.
2 Start The Observer XT and create a new project (from the File menu, choose
New Project).
3 From the Setup menu, select Project Setup. In the Project Setup screen, select
Live Observation.
4 In the Device window, select the check box for the video camera, and click
Edit settings to specify whether you want to save video and check that the
video signal is received.
5 From the Observe menu, choose Observation and then New. Enter a name
for your observation and click OK.
If the FireWire device is in CAMERA mode, you should see the live image in The
Observer's Video window.
If you hear noise and echo, it may be that your camcorder has been placed too
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close to the speakers of your PC, resulting in sound reflection (the sound of the
speakers is 'captured' by the camcorder's microphone, and then sent back to the
PC, and so on). To prevent this from occurring, either disconnect the speakers or
place the device at greater distance from the PC (2-3 m), or use an external
microphone.
For more information on observing live with a video camera, see page 83.
2.5 Setting up the equipment for Data
Acquisition systems
If you select 'Live observation' as your observation method, you can choose to coacquire external data (see page 80). External data are data that are acquired with a
separate Data AcQuisition (DAQ) system. This can be, for example, physiological
data (for example heart rate, ECG, EEG, blood pressure), environmental data (for
example temperature, humidity) or eye-tracking data.
The Observer sends a synchronization signal (sync out) to the DAQ device that
contains time information. Connect the sync signal to an analog input of your
DAQ device, in exact the same way as you would for your external data signal. The
synchronization signal must be recorded by the DAQ device and sent back to the
Observer PC where it is compared with a reference copy retained in the PC. In this
way, external data and behavioral data are synchronized. See page 270 for more
information.
The external data are saved in the computer dedicated to the DAQ device, not in
The Observer PC. The Observer PC only records the manually coded data (events).
During the observations, you do not see the external data on your Observer
screen.
You can also import previously-acquired external data in The Observer. See
Chapter 6 for more information about this option.
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3
Getting Started
This section takes you step by step through the key stages of using The Observer
XT, so that you can get up and running as quickly as possible. For more details,
refer to Chapters 4 to 10.
A typical Observer XT procedure involves the following steps:
1 Creating a new project or open an existing one, see page 62.
2 Specifying the Project setup, see page 63.
3 Creating a coding scheme, see page 64.
4 Adding independent variables, see page 65.
5 Carrying out an observation, see page 65.
6 Importing external data (for example, physiological data), see page 66.
7 Selecting data for analysis, see page 66.
8 Visualizing data, see page 67.
9 Calculating statistics (see page 68) and performing advanced analyses (see
page 68).
10 Exporting data, see page 69.
From the Help menu, select Video Tutorial. Watch the tutorial to learn
about how to set up an observational study in The Observer XT.
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Creating a new project or opening an
existing one
When you start The Observer XT for the first time, the Project Explorer (the tree
view at the left side of your screen) indicates that no project is opened. The first
step is to create a new project or open an existing one.
What is a project?
A project groups all the information belonging to one experimental setup. All
observations in a project have the same coding scheme and independent
variables (but not necessarily the same independent variable values). Projects
contain not only the actual data you collect, but also your coding scheme, data
profiles and analysis settings and results.
Creating a new project
You can create two types of projects:
 A new blank project – This empty project contains the default Project setup
settings, no coding scheme and no independent variables.
Click New blank project in the window that appears after starting The
Observer or from the File menu, choose New Project.
 A project based on a template – The Project Setup settings, coding scheme
and independent variables in the template project are copied to the new
project. To create a project based on a template:
i
In The Observer XT startup window, under Create a new project, click
New project from template or from the File menu, select New Project
From Template.
ii In the New Project From Template window, click the Select button to
select a template project (*.otx).
Opening an existing project
1 From the File menu, choose Open Project or press Ctrl+O.
To open a project, you can also click one of the options under Open a
project. on the window that appears when you start the program. The
first item in the list is the project opened last. When you hover over the
project names with your mouse, the date the project was last modified
is shown.
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2 From the Files of type list, select whether you want to open an Observer XT
project (*.vop) or an Observer 4 or 5 project (*.opp).
3 Find and select your project and click Open. Your project loads.
4 You are now ready to start making your coding scheme (or start an
observation without a coding scheme). See below.
Saving your project
You have the following three options to save a project in The Observer XT:
 Save Project – From the File menu, select Save Project. When you select this
option you can save the project with all its settings and data (*.vop file).
 Save Project As – From the File menu, select Save Project As. Select this
option to save a project with all it settings and data under a different name
(*.vop file).
 Save Project As Template – A template project (*.otx) contains project
settings, coding scheme and (optionally) independent variables but no
observations, data profiles, analysis results or episode selections.
You can use a template project to
 Exchange coding schemes and independent variables when you work with
a multiple work station set-up.
 Exchange coding schemes and independent variables with other
researchers.
 Re-use settings for software or hardware devices in the project set-up.
For more information about saving a project as a template, see “Saving your
project” on page 77.
Specifying the project setup
Follow this step to specify:
 Whether you observe from a live scene, or from a pre-recorded video, and
whether you want to record additional data;
 Whether you want to record events continuously, or at regular intervals, or
with a combination of the two methods.
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 Whether you want to record physiological data, use uLog or other programs to
record data and video;
 How long the observation should last (open ended or with a maximum
duration).
In the Setup tab in overview window of The Observer XT, click Set up project, or
from the Setup menu, select Project Setup.
See Chapter 4 for more information on the Project setup.
Creating a coding scheme
In a coding scheme you define your subjects, behaviors and modifiers. You can
use modifiers to record extra information about your subjects and behaviors, such
as the subject gender or the food an animal is eating.
The Observer XT allows you to build your coding scheme while observing. That
means that you can start your observation without a coding scheme and develop
it entirely as you code. You can also define a rough coding scheme and refine it
during coding.
You can set up your coding scheme by defining the following elements:
 Subjects.
 Behaviors.
 Modifiers
In the overview window, click Create a coding scheme or from the Setup menu
choose Open Coding Scheme. Define your elements in the corresponding
panels. From the Setup menu choose Coding Scheme Settings to specify, for
instance, whether keycodes are required or whether you want The Observer to
generate keycodes automatically.
Modifiers can either be nominal or numerical. It is not compulsory to define
subjects, behaviors and modifiers. You can also decide to score only behaviors
(with or without modifiers), or only comments (free text). However, if you score
only subjects or comments you cannot analyze your data quantitatively.
If you wish, you can replace the terms 'subjects', 'behaviors', etc. with your own
terminology by setting Preferences (see page 141).
You can check your coding scheme at any time and find out whether the coding
scheme contains errors. When you select the option Validate while editing
coding scheme in the Coding Scheme Settings, you get immediate visual
feedback if you induce a coding error while creating your coding scheme.
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See Chapter 4 for more information about creating a coding scheme.
Adding independent variables
The Observer XT distinguishes four kinds of variables. You can add variables to a
project by adding them to the Independent Variable List.
 User-defined variables – Variables that potentially determine the value of a
dependent variable (for example, behavior). Independent variables are either
simple descriptive categories (such as the name or age of the subject), or
conditions manipulated by the observer (such as the type of treatment given
to an animal or the substance being tested).
 Media files – If you want to score from media files, you can either add them
to the project by adding them to the Independent Variable List or open one or
more media files after starting an observation.
 External data files – The Observer XT allows you to import any external data
file stored in ASCII-format. This can be, for example, physiological data (for
example heart rate, ECG, EEG, blood pressure), environmental data (for
example temperature, humidity) or eye-tracking data. See Chapter 6 for more
information about external data.
 System variables – System variables include the Start Time, Stop Time and
Duration of your observation. These variables are automatically generated
when you carry out an observation.
In the overview window, click Define Independent Variables, or from the Setup
menu choose Independent Variables. See page 125 for more information about
independent variables.
Carrying out an observation
When you carry out an observation, you enter codes for events that occur during
the observation. Instead of typing key codes, you can also click with the mouse on
the codes. You can score events either live or from a previously-recorded digital
video tape or from media files.
Depending on what you have chosen in the Project setup, you can score data
continuously, at regular intervals or combining the two methods.
If you score live, you can co-acquire external data (for example, physiological
data) together with the manually coded data (see page 232).
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Procedure in short:
1 From the Setup menu, select Project Settings and adjust the settings
according to your needs.
2 Create a new observation – In the overview window, click Observe, then
Create a new observation. Alternatively, from the Observe menu, choose
Observation and then New.
3 Start the observation – Click the Start Recording button.
4 Score data. To score an event, press the keys or click the codes you have
assigned to the coding scheme elements.
5 Stop the observation – Click the Stop Observation button in the Playback
control window.
See Chapter 5 for more information about carrying out observations.
Importing external data
The Observer XT allows you to import any external data file stored in ASCII-format.
External data are data that have been acquired with a separate Data AcQuisition
(DAQ) system. This can be, for example, physiological data (heart rate, ECG, EEG,
blood pressure, etc.), environmental data (temperature, humidity, etc.) or eyetracking data.
From the File menu, choose Import, then External data. The Observer XT offers
Import Profiles for a number of DAQ systems (BIOPAC, DataScience, Minimitter,
Polar). If your type of file is not in the list, you must create a new import profile.
You can synchronize behavioral data logged with The Observer XT and associated
physiological or eye-tracking data and subsequently, visualize, select and export
these data.
See Chapter 6 for more information about importing external data.
Selecting data for analysis
By default, all your data are analyzed. You can select data when you want to
analyze part of your data, for example analyze the observations of female
subjects, or the time that the baby was smiling. In The Observer XT, you can do
one or more of the following:
 Group data, for example group all observations of subjects of a specific age.
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 Filter your data directly by choosing a specific set of observations, subjects,
behaviors and modifiers. For instance, calculate the average duration of
speech of the subject Child, not the subject Mother. You can also filter data
indirectly based on the value of independent variables (for example, to
analyze the observations with subject age less than 10).
 Select Intervals to analyze specific time periods. Choose Nesting if you want
to analyze behaviors that occurred when subjects were in a certain state or
combination of states. For instance, calculate the number of times the child
talked when its mother was absent. Choose Free Intervals to analyze time
periods from specific begin and end points. To analyze your observations in
regular time intervals, choose Time bins.
To select data, in the overview window click Analyze, then Select Data, or from
the Analyze menu choose Select Data, then New Data Profile. Next, build a
sequence of selection boxes connected to each other, starting from a box called
Start (containing all the data in your project) and ending with the Results box
(representing the data set to be analyzed).
See Chapter 7 for more information about selecting data.
Visualizing data
Before carrying out quantitative analysis of your data, you can look at it with the
Visualize function.
In the overview window, click Analyze and then Visualize Data. Alternatively,
from the Analyze menu, choose Visualize Data to produce an event plot in which
events are plotted against a time axis. If you have scored data from video, or
imported one or more external data files, you can view video and external data
synchronized with the observational data. When you play back the data, all data
streams are played together.
You can also create an Episode Selection based on certain events (or their
combinations) and generate a media file from the original video that contains the
episodes selected. You can then use this media file in presentations, to create
behavior libraries, etc.
See Chapter 8 for more information about visualizing data.
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Calculating statistics
The Observer XT provides two different analysis functions:
 Behavior Analysis – Select this if you want to calculate statistics on events
(subjects, behaviors, and their modifiers). For instance, calculate the average
duration and standard deviation of the behavior Play for the subject Child.
 Numerical Analysis – Select this if you want to calculate statistics on
numerical modifiers. For instance, calculate the average value of the
numerical modifier Speed.
Procedure in short:
1 In the overview window, click Analyze and Analyze data. In the window that
opens, choose Behavior analysis or Numerical analysis. Alternatively, from
the Analyze menu, choose the option you require.
2 In the Analysis Settings window, specify the layout of your result table, and
what statistics you want to calculate. Next, click OK.
See Chapter 9 for more information about calculating statistics.
Advanced analyses: lag sequential and
reliability analysis
The Observer XT provides two advanced analysis functions:
 Lag sequential analysis – This function calculates how often an event is
followed (or preceded) by another event. For example, how often the
behavior Play is followed by Gaze to Parent.
 Reliability analysis – This function helps you quantify the degree of
agreement between two data sets. You can for example verify that two
observations made from the same video are similar enough so that they
contain repeatable data.
For more information, see Chapter 10 for Lag Sequential Analysis, and Chapter 11
for Reliability Analysis.
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Exporting data
You can export the raw observational data and analysis results to other programs
for further analysis (for example, SPSS) or for inclusion in results and
presentations. For information on exporting observational data, see page 496. For
information on exporting analysis results, see page 525.
Via the Analyze, Episode Selection menu you can also generate a media file
from an Episode selection (see page 389). You can use this media file in
presentations or to create libraries of behaviors, etc.
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4
Setting up your Project
This chapter is about:
 Creating a new project / opening an existing project
See page 72 and page 76
 Saving your project
See page 77
 Project Setup – Here you select the Observation source, Observation Method
and Observation Duration.
See page 78
 Defining a Coding Scheme – In the coding scheme you define your Subjects,
Behaviors and Modifiers.
See page 90
 Defining Independent Variables – Here you can add user-defined variables
that describe, for example, subjects, observation sessions and environmental
conditions.
See page 125
 Time formats – Here you can set the time format for the whole project.
See page 139
 Setting Preferences – Here you can set terminology, warnings, file locations
and auto save.
See page 141
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4.1 Creating a new project
You can create two types of projects:
 A new blank project – This empty project contains the default Project setup
settings, no coding scheme and no independent variables.
 A project based on a template – The Project Setup settings, coding scheme
and independent variables in the template project are copied to the new
project. Choose this option when
 You have a coder license and received a template project from the main
Observer computer in a multiple coding station set-up. See also “Creating
a multiple coding station configuration” on page 494.
 You received a template project from another researcher and want to use
its coding scheme and independent variables.
 You work in an observational lab and want to use the software and
hardware settings from the template project.
Creating a new blank project
1 To create a new blank project, do one of the following:
 If you have just started The Observer XT, click New blank project in the
window that appears on your screen.
 From the File menu, choose New Project.
 Press Ctrl+N.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the current project name and select New
Project.
2 The New Project window appears. In the Name field, enter a name for your
project. Make sure that the new project name does not contain any of the
following characters: \ / : ; * ? " < > |.
3 Browse to the folder where you want to store your project and click OK.
4 The overview window of The Observer XT appears (see Figure 4.1). See also
the Project Properties on page 74 or continue on page 78.
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Creating a new project from a template
1 To create a new project based on an existing template project, do one of the
following:
 In The Observer XT startup window, under Create a new project, click
New project from template.
 From the File menu, select New Project From Template.
2 In the New Project From Template window, click the Select button to select a
template project (*.otx).
You can also open a read-only project (*.vpx) from a previous version of
The Observer XT in this window.
You cannot open template projects (*.otx) in The Observer XT versions
older than version 10.5.
3 Type in a new project file name and click OK. Make sure that the new project
name does not contain any of the following characters: \ / : ; * ? “ < > |.
4 The overview window of The Observer XT appears (see Figure 4.1). See also
the Project Properties on page 74 or continue on page 78.
When you create a project based on a template project, the configuration
is locked. From the Setup menu, select Unlock Configuration to make
changes to the configuration. Unlocking the configuration is only possible
with a full license, not with a coder license. See page 79 for more
information about locking the configuration.
The overview window of The Observer XT
To open the overview window of The Observer XT at any time, click
Setup in the Explorer.
The Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT guides you through the
main steps to set up your project:
 Set up project – Select a recording source and method and set the duration
of recording.
 Create a coding scheme – Define Subjects, Behaviors and Modifiers.
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 Define Independent Variables – Specify variables that remain constant
throughout an observation.
 Edit preferences – Set terminology, warnings, file locations and auto save.
You can follow each step by clicking the corresponding button in the overview
window. The Observe and Analyze tabs refer to later stages of your project.
The project is saved in a folder with the same name as the project. For the
default project location, see page 532.
See page 488 for information about saving, renaming/copying, importing,
backing up and restoring projects and exporting projects to a previous
Observer version.
Figure 4.1
The Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT.
Project properties
In the Project Properties window (Figure 4.2) you can enter important
information about your project. To access the Project Properties window, do one
of the following:
 From the File menu, choose Project Properties.
 Double-click the project name in the Project Explorer.
 Right-click the project name in the Project Explorer and select Project
Properties.
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The following project information is available:
 Project name – The name of your project as it appears in the Project Explorer.
 File name – The name of your project file.
 Location – The location where your project is stored on your computer. For
the default location, see page 532.
From the File menu, choose Preferences to change the default project file
location. See page 141 for more information.
 Description – In the description you can list information about your project
such as: location, date or time of year of the study, observers, the scientific
research question that you aim to answer with this study, etc. You can edit the
description at any time. After making changes to the description, click OK to
save those changes.
The description is limited to 1024 characters. The characters you use must
be ASCII. The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters
.
Figure 4.2
The Project Properties window.
If your project is based on a template, the Project Properties window contains an
extra tab, the Template tab, with the following Information:
 File name – The file name of the template project (*.otx).
 Created – The date and time when the template project was created.
 Additional information – This is the information that was entered when the
template project was created (who created the project, project description).
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4.2 Opening an existing project
1 To open an existing project, do one of the following:
 If you have just started the program, in the Startup window, under Open
project, click Open other Project.
 From the File menu, choose Open Project.
 Right-click the name of the project currently open (or No Project opened
if no project is open) and select Open Project.
2 From the Files of type list, select whether you want to open an Observer XT
project (*.vop), or an Observer 4 or 5 project (*.opp).
3 Find and select your project and click Open. Your project loads, and the Setup
tab in the overview window of The Observer XT appears (see Figure 4.1).
4 To go on with your setup, click one of the items in the Setup tab.
You can also open a project by clicking one of the projects listed under Open a
project. When you hover over the project names with your mouse, the date the
project was last modified is shown.
When opening an Observer 4 or 5 project, there are restrictions with
respect to the number of behaviors and modifiers that you can import:
 The maximum number of behaviors is 250.
 The number of subjects times the number of behaviors must not
exceed 5000.
 The maximum number of modifiers that can be assigned to a subject
or behavior is 250.
If, for instance, you have an Observer 5 project with 300 behaviors (10
behavioral classes with each 30 behaviors), then the first 250 behaviors
will appear in your Observer XT coding scheme. If one of the
Observational Data Files (ODFs) in the project contains an element that is
not in The Observer XT coding scheme, then that ODF will not be
imported.
The maximum number of subjects is 250, both in The Observer 5 and in
The Observer XT, so there are no restrictions with regard to subjects.
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4.3 Saving your project
You have the following three options to save a project in The Observer XT:
 Save Project – When you select this option you can save the project with all its
settings and data (*.vop file) – See “Saving a project” below.
 Save Project As – Select this option to save a project with all it settings and
data under a different name (*.vop file) – See “Renaming/copying a project”
on page 77.
 Save Project As Template – A template project (*.otx) contains project
settings, coding scheme and (optionally) independent variables but no
observations, data profiles, analysis results or episode selections. See “Saving
a project as a template” on page 78.
You can use a template project to:
 Exchange coding schemes and independent variables when you work with
a multiple work station set-up. See also “Creating a multiple coding station
configuration” on page 494.
 Exchange coding schemes and independent variables with other
researchers.
 Re-use settings for software or hardware devices in the project set-up.
Template projects replace read-only projects (*.vpx) which were used in
previous versions of The Observer XT.
Saving a project
To save a project, select File and then Save Project or press <Ctrl+S>.
If Save auto recovery has been selected in the Preferences, the project will be
saved to a temporary folder at regular intervals. Your data are saved in the project
file when you select Save Project from the File menu. By default, Save auto
recovery is selected.
Renaming/copying a project
You can copy a project by saving it under a different name. From the File menu,
select Save Project As and type in the new name of the project. Make sure the
project name does not contain any of the following characters: \ / : ; * ? “ < > |.
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Saving a project as a template
1 From the File menu, select Save Project As Template.
2 Type in the name of the template project or use the current name.
3 Click the Save options button to open the Save Template Options window.
 Include Independent Variables
 Include hardware and software devices – When you select this option,
the hardware and software settings in the Devices list are contained in the
template project. This is useful, for example, if you use The Observer XT in
an observation lab and want to create a new project but use the standard
hardware and software set-up of your lab.
Please note that for hardware devices this is only useful if you work with
the same computer. A hardware device (e.g., a webcam) is not the same
device if it is used on a different computer or even a different USB port.
 Template information – Optionally, you can type in additional information
about the template project. You can enter a project description and
information about who created the template project.
4 Click OK two times to save the template project.
Please note that plug-in information is not saved in a template project. If
you made settings for, for instance, uASQ or uLog in the Devices window,
then these settings are not available in the template project.
4.4 Project setup
In the Project Setup you specify whether you carry out a live or offline
observation, which observation method you want to use and the duration of the
observation.
These settings are different from the Project Settings (see page 149), in
which you customize the way you actually record your data. For example,
in the Project Settings you can select to pause playback of video when
scoring an event or select to get sound feedback after scoring an event.
The program does not remember the Project setup specified in the last
project. If you plan to make several projects with the same Observation
source, we advise you to make a project template. Create a new project
(File, New), then specify your options and save it with a name like Project
Template (File, Save As). When you want to make a working project with
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those options, open the template and save it with the name of the
working project.
How do I open the Project Setup?
First, create a new project or open an existing one (see page 488).
To open the Project Setup, do one of the following:
 In the Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT, click Set up
project.
 In the Project Explorer, under Setup, click Project Setup.
 From the Setup menu, select Project Setup.
In the Project Setup, you can set the following:
 Observation source (see page 80) – Specify whether you want to carry out an
offline or a live observation.
 Observation method (see page 87) – Select Continuous Sampling,
Instantaneous Sampling or both methods combined.
 Observation duration (see page 89) – Set the duration of recording.
 Sample interval length (see page 88) - Set the duration of the interval
between two consecutive samples.
Locking the project setup
If you want to prevent changes to the setup to occur, you can lock your setup. Do
one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, select Lock Configuration.
 Right-click Setup in the Project Explorer and select Lock Configuration.
Locking your setup means that you cannot change your:
 Observation source – You cannot change the observation source from
Offline Observation to Live Observation or vice versa. However, the Devices
button is still available, allowing you to select new devices, de-select devices,
edit settings or add new external programs. See page 80 for more information
about selecting devices for live observation.
 Observation method – see page 87.
 Observation duration – see page 89.
 Sample interval length – see page 88.
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 Coding scheme – see page 90
 Independent variables – Locking the configuration means that you cannot
define new independent variables or change the properties of existing
variables. Entering/editing independent variable values is always possible. If
you are coding offline, you can add a new video file. See page 125 for more
information about independent variables.
When you save your project as a template project, the project setup in the
template project is automatically locked.
Unlocking the project setup
To unlock the project setup, do one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, select Unlock Configuration.
 Right-click Setup in the Project Explorer and select Unlock Configuration.
It is not possible to unlock the setup in a template project (*.otx) if you
have a coder license.
4.5 Observation source
Here you select whether you want to carry out an offline or a live observation.
In the Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT, click Set up project
to go to the Observation source (see Figure 4.3).
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Figure 4.3
The Project Setup window with the Observation Source group.
Select one of the two options:
 Offline Observation – If you want to score data from previously-recorded
video files.
 You can score from up to two media files simultaneously (four if you have
the Multiple Video module). To select multiple media files, create a new
observation and in the Video Selection window that appears hold the Ctrl
key pressed down and click the video files you want to associate to that
observation. For more information on working with multiple media files,
see page 238.
 See the note “Working with digital video” and page 551 for the video
formats you can use in The Observer XT.
 If you plan to record video during the observation, choose the Live scoring
option below and specify video recording.
In The Observer XT 8.0 and higher, it is not possible to code from tape.
 Live Observation – If you want to score data from a live scene.
Choose this option also when:
 You record video while observing a live scene.
 You want to record data other than events (for example, physiological
data, uLog data, or screen capture).
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Using different Observation sources for different observations
For users of The Observer XT 6/7/8 – The distinction between general
Observation sources and Observation sources for specific observations is
no longer present in The Observer XT 10.
 Setting the Observation source for a project – If all observations in your
project have the same Observation source (either Offline or Live), set the
Observation source before you create the first observation in the project (see
page 80).
 Setting the Observation source for a specific observation – Before you
create a new observation, go to the Project Setup and select the Observation
source (see page 80).
Setting the Observation source for a specific observation does not change
the Observation source for other observations in the same project.
Once you have acquired data in an observation, you cannot change the
Observation source for this observation anymore.
Devices for Live Observation
If you select Live Observation as the Observation Source, the Devices window
opens. You can also open the Devices window, by clicking the Devices button
under Live Observation.
If you change your observation type from Live to Offline, you can no
longer see the Devices set for the Live observation. To view those Devices,
right-click the Observation in the Project Explorer, select Properties and go
to the Devices tab.
In the Devices window, you have the following options:
 External Data Acquisition (available with the Physiological input add-on
module) – Select this option if you want to co-acquire external (physiological)
data during your observations. Double-click the cell under Status or click the
Edit Settings button at the bottom of the table. Select the correct DAQ
hardware profile. For more information, see page 218.
There may be a name other than DAQ Settings displayed here, depending
on what DAQ hardware settings profile is on top of the list in the DAQ
Hardware Settings window. See page 261.
 uLog (available with the uLog Pro add-on module) – Select this option if you
want the uLog software to record user-system interaction data and add the
logged data to your observation (mainly for usability studies). Double-click the
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cell under Status or click the Edit Settings button at the bottom of the table.
Select the options you require. For more information, see page 219.
 Automatic linking of video files – Select this option if you want to capture
video during the observation (for example, to capture the screen content of a
test PC), and want The Observer XT to associate the saved video with that
observation (or its subjects). In the window that appears, instruct the program
on how to look for the video files. For more information, see page 235.
 Other options – Depending on what devices are connected, more options
may be available. See the notes in the next pages:
 Using video devices to record live video if you have connected video
cameras to your PC (see below).
 Using the VGA2USB function for screen capture – If you want to record
the screen content of a test PC to an MPEG-4 video file directly with The
Observer XT. For more information, see page 241.
 Using external applications – If you want another program to work with
The Observer XT (for example, the Noldus Media Recorder). See also page
232.
Connecting video devices to record live video
You can record video during a live observation. To do so, you must have a video
camera or camcorder that can be connected to the Observer computer via a USB
or FireWire port.
Example – observing kids in a playground, while using a digital camcorder to
record the scene.
1 Connect the video devices to your PC.
You can connect video devices via FireWire (for example, a digital
camcorder) or USB port (for example, a webcam).
If you use two video cameras, we recommend to use a USB camera and a
FireWire camera.
If you are using two USB cameras simultaneously, do not connect
them to the PC via a USB hub. Instead, connect them directly to the PC
via two USB ports. If the USB ports are occupied by other devices (for
example, mouse, hardware key or keyboard), connect these to the USB
hub to free the two ports.
2 Restart The Observer XT, re-open the project and click Observation Sources in
the Project Explorer. Under Live, select the video device that you want to use,
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and double-click the text under Status or click the Edit Settings button at the
bottom of the table.
The name of the video device is displayed under Device only when it is
connected and detected by the computer. If you unplug the device from
the computer, plug it in again and restart The Observer XT.
3 In the Video Settings window (Figure 4.4), choose the following options. You
can check that video is received in the Video preview box.
Under Video settings:

Record video to camcorder – Select this if you want to make a backup of
the video on tape. Connect the video device to a FireWire port of your PC
and insert a tape before starting the observation. Note: This option is disabled if the computer is not connected to a camcorder.

Record video to media file on hard disk – Select this if you want to
record video to a digital media file.
4 If you have chosen to record video to hard disk, select the following:
 Video format – Select the format of the resulting media file. The options
are DivX (an MPEG-4 format) and Avi (an uncompressed format providing
high quality video, but very large file size).
The DivX codec is installed when you install The Observer XT.
 File base name – Enter the base name for the video files that will be
saved to your computer's disk, or accept the suggested name. Each file will
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be named as [name of video device]+[base name]+[number]. You can
view the name of the next file under Next file name.
 Folder – Click the Browse button next to Folder to specify where to save
the media file, or accept the default location (the Observer XT Media
folder).
Figure 4.4 The Video Settings window for a web camera connected to the Observer
computer.
Unlike in The Observer XT 7, it is not possible to record video to Windows
Media Video (WMV).
Avi is not available if your video source is the VGA2USB screen capture
device.
See also the note on recording video on page 178.
If you choose Avi as video format, check that you have enough space
on the disk drive to store the resulting files. An hour of Avi files
requires about 12.5 GB of disk space!
Under Audio settings:
 Audio device – Select the device that should record audio. Note: Some
web cams do not have a microphone.
The Observer uses the audio for synchronizing and timing. If you
make a video recording without audio, frames are dropped with the
result that the desired and specified frame rate will not be met.
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If you connect a video camera via FireWire and use its built-in microphone
to record audio, with DivX and Xvid formats the video resolution will be
reduced to a half. We advise you to connect a stand-alone microphone to
the sound board of your PC and select this microphone from the Audio
device list. If you still want to use the built-in camera microphone, make
sure that the audio channel is set to 12-bit, not 16-bit.
5 Click OK.
Using External programs
You can have one or more programs running when you carry out an observation.
For example, a program that captures the screen content of the test PC, or eyetracking software. You can then have all streams of data synchronized with each
other.
Click the Add external program button. In the window that appears, specify the
program that has to start, which function it must carry out and at what time of the
observation. For more information, see page 232. If you want captured video to
be automatically associated with the observation data, see also Automatic linking
of video files above.
This option is only available if you select Live.
What next?
 Select the Observation method (see below) and set the Observation
duration (see page 89).
 To create a coding scheme, from the Setup menu, select Open Coding
scheme.
 To go back to the Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT, click
the Setup folder in the Project Explorer.
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4.6 Observation method
In the Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT, click Set up project
to go to the Observation method.
Select one of the three methods:
 Continuous Sampling – With this method you record all occurrences of the
behaviors of interest of one or more subjects for a specified length of time.
This was the only method available in The Observer XT 8.0.
 Instantaneous Sampling – With this method you record the behavior of one
ore more subjects at preselected moments in time (s).
This method is also referred to as “scan sampling”, “interval sampling”,
“intermittent sampling” or “point sampling”. Instantaneous Sampling in
The Observer XT is different from “one-zero sampling”; with one-zero
sampling it is recorded whether a behavior occurred (one) or not (zero)
during the previous sample period.
 Combine Continuous and Instantaneous Sampling – This method combines
the previous two methods.
Which Observation method do I choose?
Continuous Sampling
Choose Continuous Sampling when you want to calculate absolute frequencies
and durations of the behaviors of interest.
Example – You want to record the interaction between a parent and child and
calculate the frequency and duration of the child smiling and use lag
sequential analysis to determine how often the child smiled while the parent
was talking to the child.
Instantaneous Sampling
Choose Instantaneous Sampling when you want to calculate relative frequencies
of behaviors (i.e., time budgets), general activity of one or more subjects,
behavioral synchronization of several subjects and spatial relations in groups.
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Example – You observe a group of 20 zebras and want to determine for all
subjects during the light period how much time on average they spent on
locomotion and resting.
Instantaneous Sampling is not suitable when you want to record
behaviors with a very short duration (for example, individual pecks or
jumps).
Do not use Instantaneous sampling if you plan to create episode
selections with your data.
Continuous Sampling + Instantaneous Sampling
Use a combination of both methods when you want to record the behavior of one
or more subjects in detail (focal subjects) while recording the behavior of other
subjects in less detail.
If you plan to create episode selections with your data, only the data
collected with Continuous sampling will be displayed.
Sample interval length
If you selected Instantaneous Sampling or Combine Continuous and
Instantaneous Sampling as the Observation method, the Sample interval length
timer is available. Set the duration of the interval (hh:mm:ss) by typing in a
duration or by using the arrows on the right.
It is important to choose an appropriate interval between samples to yield
meaningful data. If the sample interval is long, collecting a decent amount of data
is time-consuming. If the sample interval is too short, data from successive
samples are not independent. For more information on the sample interval see:
Engel, J. (1996). Choosing an appropriate sample interval for instantaneous
sampling. Behavioural Processes 38: 11-17.
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4.7 Observation duration
You can select one of the following durations from the list:
 Open ended observation – Select this option if you want to end the
observation manually.
 Duration based on elapsed time – Select this option if you want The
Observer to stop the observation when the time from the start (including the
time the observation was suspended) has reached the Observation duration.
 Duration based on observed time – Select this option if you think you may
suspend an observation at some time (see page 210) and want The Observer
to stop the observation when the Observation duration has been reached,
excluding the time the observation was suspended.
Observation duration timer
When you select one of the two previous options, the Observation duration
timer is enabled. Set the maximum observation duration by typing in a duration
or by using the up and down arrows on the right.
The Observation duration is displayed as Relative time. See page 139 how
to change the Relative time format. These changes are only displayed after
(re)opening the Project Setup.
The maximum possible observation duration is 500 hours.
If you observe from pre-recorded video, there is no difference between
the elapsed and observed time. These two options make sense when you
observe live and at some point you suspend the observation (see page
210).
 Duration based on sample intervals – Select this option if you want The
Observer to stop the observation after the set Number of sample intervals
with a set Sample interval length has been reached.
This option is only available when the selected Observation method (see
page 87) is Instantaneous Sampling or Combine Continuous and
Instantaneous Sampling.
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The Observation duration is calculated automatically based on the
combination of Number of sample intervals and Sample interval length
(see Figure 4.5).
Figure 4.5 Observation duration based on sample intervals. The Observation duration
is based on the combination of the Number of sample intervals and the Sample
interval length.
Because the first sample is taken at 0 seconds, the duration of the
observation is actually shorter than the displayed Observation duration
when you use Instantaneous Sampling.
Example – In Figure 4.5 the observation duration is set to Duration based on
sample intervals. You set the Sample interval length to 30 secs and the
Number of sample intervals to 30. The Observation duration is then
automatically set to 0:15:00. However, the first sample is at 0 seconds, so the
last sample is at 0:14:30.
4.8 Coding scheme
The coding scheme is the set of elements that describe the events to be recorded.
You can set up your coding scheme by defining the following elements:
 Subjects.
 Behaviors.
 Modifiers (for behaviors).
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1 To open the coding scheme, do one of the following:
 Click Create a coding scheme in the Setup tab in the overview window of
The Observer XT.
 From the Setup menu, choose Open Coding Scheme.
 Press Alt+F5.
 In the Project Explorer, under Setup, click Coding Scheme.
2 Define your coding scheme settings (see page 92).
3 Define Subjects (optional; page 96), Behaviors (page 100), Modifiers (optional;
page 110) and Subject-behaviors.
4 Check the coding scheme for errors (see page 120).
Notes
 Using different terminology – From the File menu, choose Preferences and
click Terminology to set preferences for the names of your coding scheme
elements (for example: Actions instead of Behaviors).
 For users of The Observer XT 6/7 –
 It is not possible to define Subject modifiers in The Observer XT 10. If you
import data from projects of the Observer 6/7 which contain subject
modifiers, the subject modifiers are not imported. See Chapter 12 for more
information about importing projects.
 The Connections and Channels windows have been removed from
the interface. To link modifiers to behaviors, specify the modifiers in
the Properties pane of Behaviors (see page 106). To define
Combinations, see page 118.
 Creating a coding scheme from previously-recorded data – You can also
create a coding scheme by importing a data file, for instance an ODX file from
The Observer 7 (see page 510) or an ODF file from The Observer 4 or 5 (see
page 513). In the coding scheme which you create in this way, all the subjects,
behaviors and modifiers are ungrouped. This means that after opening an
ODF, you may need to reorganize your coding scheme. Note that there are
restrictions with respect to the number of behaviors and modifiers that you
can import. These are listed in Table 1. You can only open ODFs that comply
with these restrictions.
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Table 1: The maximum number of Subjects, Behaviors, Modifiers and Combinations of
Subjects, Behaviors and Modifiers.
Type
Maximum number
Subjects
250
Behaviors
250
Modifiers
250
Combinations of Subjects, Behaviors 5000
and Modifiers
 For Pocket Observer – To transfer your coding scheme to a handheld
computer with Pocket Observer installed, from the File menu, select Pocket
Observer and then Export Setup File. With Pocket Observer you can record
observational data in the field, without the need of a desktop or portable
computer. Note that your coding scheme must be compatible with Pocket
Observer 3.1. The Observer XT can check for this compatibility (see page 95).
See the Pocket Observer 3.1 Reference Manual for more information.
Exporting a coding scheme containing Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic
characters to Pocket Observer is not supported.
Coding Scheme Settings
To access the settings for the coding scheme, do one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, select Coding Scheme Settings.
 From the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then Coding Scheme Settings
in the left pane.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click Coding scheme and choose Settings.
 On the tool bar of the Coding Scheme, click the Settings button.
The Project Settings window appears with the Coding scheme settings on top
(see Figure 4.6). Here you can specify:
 Options for keycodes – For example, whether you want to distinguish
between letter cases (W vs. w, etc.) or you want The Observer to generate
keycodes automatically (see page 93).
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What is a keycode? – A keycode is a key or a combination of keys
(maximum length of 3 characters) on the keyboard that you can use to
record your behavioral events during scoring. The assignment of these
codes is crucial, because it determines the efficiency and convenience
with which you can do your recording. Your code definitions should be
logical, easy to memorize and ergonomic. Make sure that the keycodes
are unique. If you want to use a multiple keycode, you cannot for example
use the code 'a' for subject 1 and code 'ab' for subject 2. However, you can
use 'ab' and 'ac'.
The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified characters,
Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
 General coding scheme options – For example, whether you want to check
for errors in the coding scheme while you set it up, or want to make the
coding scheme compatible with other Observer versions (see page 94).
Figure 4.6
The Project Settings window showing the Coding Scheme Settings.
Keycodes
Under Keycodes, you have the following options:
 Keycode are required – Select this option if you want to code your
observations by typing keycodes. Clear it if you plan to click coding scheme
elements with the mouse during scoring rather than using keycodes.
Scoring with the mouse is, for most people, slower, and means that you
have to take your eyes off what your are observing.
Default - Keycodes are required.
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 Case-sensitive codes are allowed – When this option is selected, The
Observer XT distinguishes between UPPER-CASE (capital letters) and lowercase (small letters) codes.
Default - Case sensitive is selected.
You can define more elements using capital letters, but it will slow down
your scoring.
 Generate start keycodes automatically – Select this option if you want The
Observer to automatically generate keycodes for your subjects, behaviors and
modifiers.
The code is based on the name of the element, for instance "w", "wa" or
"wal" for "walk" (using a default keycode length of 1, 2 or 3, respectively). If
the keycode is already in use, the next character in the name is used. If the
resulting keycodes are also in use, the next suitable character in the
alphabet is used.
Default – Generate automatically is selected.
 Generate stop keycodes automatically – Select this option if you want The
Observer to automatically generate stop keycodes for the behaviors you
define. Choose one of the following two options:
 Same as start code – for instance, 'w' for start and stop walking.
 Switch case of start code – for instance, 'w' for start walking and 'W' for
stop walking. Note that it is only possible to have case-sensitive keycodes
if you have the option Case-sensitive codes selected (see above).
What is a stop keycode? – A stop code is a keycode that terminates a
behavior currently active. For example, to score the duration of Eye
contact, you enter the Start code SE at the onset of eye contact, then you
enter the Stop code EE at the end of eye contact.

Default keycode length – Here you can set the keycode length for keycodes
that are automatically generated. When you manually define keycodes, the
keycode length must either be 1, 2 or 3 characters. It may be different for
subjects, behaviors and modifiers. Within the categories subjects, behaviors
and modifiers you may use keycodes of different length.
Default - Keycode length 1.
Coding Scheme
Under Coding Scheme, you have the following options:
 Check coding scheme while editing – When this option is selected, you get
visual feedback while editing the coding scheme. The program checks
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whether your action invalidates the coding scheme. A warning triangle in the
icon in front of the coding element warns you when the element contains an
error. In the margin you can see the icons for a behavior with a coding error
(upper) and a behavior without an error (lower). When you point with the
mouse at an icon with a warning triangle, a description of the coding error
pops up.
For a detailed overview of your coding errors, you can refer to the Coding
Scheme Validation window. From the Setup menu, choose Check Coding
Scheme or click the Check Coding Scheme
button at the top of
the coding scheme screen. See page 120 for more information.
Default - The option is selected.

Check for compatibility with Pocket Observer 3.1 – When you want to send
your coding scheme to Pocket Observer and score data on a Pocket PC, your
coding scheme must be compatible with Pocket Observer 3.1.
When this option is selected, The Observer XT checks this compatibility and
reports errors online (see above) and/or in the Coding Scheme Validation
window (see page 120).
Default - The option is not selected.
The following errors may occur:
 Behavior groups – In Pocket Observer 3.1, behaviors must be organized
in groups, they must contain at least 2 state behaviors and one must be
defined as Initial state.
 Non-mutually exclusive modifiers – In Pocket Observer 3.1, modifiers
within a modifier group must be mutually-exclusive. For more information
about mutually-exclusive modifiers, see page 113.
 Modifier group is defined as not required – In Pocket Observer 3.1,
modifiers must be scored. For more information about the option
Modifier group must be scored, see page 113.
The Observer XT 10 does not accept Subject modifiers. If you import a
project from The Observer 6/7 which contains subjects modifiers, the
subject modifiers are not imported.
 No behaviors – In Pocket Observer 3.1, configuration at least one
Behavioral group must be defined.
 Name of coding scheme element is too long – In Pocket Observer 3.1,
configuration, names must be limited to 16 characters.
If you want to carry out live observations with Pocket Observer, you need
to transfer the Pocket Observer 3.1 compatible coding scheme to your
Pocket PC. Connect the Pocket PC to the The Observer XT PC and from the
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File menu, select Pocket Observer and Export Setup File (for the detailed
procedure see the Pocket Observer 3.1 Reference Manual). To be able to
do this, you need ActiveSync (Windows XP) or Windows Mobile Device
Centre (Windows 7) installed on your The Observer XT PC.
It is not possible to export a coding scheme containing Chinese/
Japanese/Cyrillic characters to the Pocket Observer 3.1.
Subjects
What are subjects?
When you are observing more than one individual at a time, you normally not only
want to record what somebody is doing, but also who that somebody is. These
individuals are referred to as 'subjects' (or any other term you define in the
Terminology Preferences. See page 141). Subjects can be individual animals or
humans, but also, for instance, hands (on a keyboard), muscles in the face or
shoals of fish. The maximum number of subjects is 250. The number of subjects
times the number of behaviors must not exceed 5000.
If you plan to observe only one subject in each observation, it is not
necessary to define it. You can specify the actual name or identity of the
subject as an Independent Variable (see page 128).
It is not mandatory to score subjects, it is also possible to score only
behaviors. In fact, even that is not compulsory, you can also decide to
score neither subjects nor behaviors and record only comments (free text).
Examples
 Mother-child interaction – Define two subjects, Mother and Child.
 Imitation in twins – Twin A, Twin B, Parent…
 School environment (more subjects are observed at a time) – Mark, George,
Christa …
 Test participant, where one person is observed in each test session – No
subject needed.
Subjects are usually general names or roles, not the names of the actual
individuals you observe. If you want to specify the name or other
properties of each Child, Mother, Twin 1 or Twin 2 etc., then create an
independent variable (see page 128) that specifies the name or other
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properties of those individuals for each observation. Instead, using the
actual names (like in the third example above) is handy when you want
to follow the development of a specific individual, for example in clinical
studies.
Defining subjects
To define subjects, you must view the Subjects panel (Figure 4.7) on your screen.
If you do not see it, select Subjects with View Settings at the far-right side on the
Component tool bar.
The Subjects panel allows you to specify the name, keycode and other properties
of your subjects.
A Subject group is created for each Observation method you have selected (see
page 87). Figure 4.7 below shows the Subject panel with a Subject group for
Continuous Sampling and Instantaneous Sampling. By default, the Continuous
Sampling subject group contains no subject, whereas the Instantaneous Sampling
subject group contains one subject.
The Instantaneous Sampling group also initially contains an error: “Missing
Combinations”. This is because when you first open the coding scheme window,
no behavior groups have been defined.
Figure 4.7
The Subjects panel.
To define a subject:
1 Select a subject group and click the Add Subject button, or right-click a subject
group and select Add new, or press Ctrl+E. A new line appears under Subject
Name.
2 Type a name in the Subject name column, then press Enter.
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The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified characters,
Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - A name should be entered for each subject. Furthermore, all
subject names should be different. Names cannot be longer than 64
characters (16 characters for Pocket Observer 3.1).
(Subject properties
To make other subject properties visible, do one of the following:
 Right-click anywhere on the headers and select Show all columns. To hide a
column, right-click that column's header and select Hide column. To choose a
subset of columns, right-click and select Show column.
 Click the subject name and then the Properties button at the bottom of the
Subjects panel.
The Properties pane appears showing the properties of the subject currently
selected.
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 Description – Click the Description field and enter a short text or any other
background information about the subject. This function is particularly useful
if two or more people are using the same coding scheme and need to know
precisely who the various subjects are.
Limitations - The description is limited to 1024 characters. The Observer XT 10
also supports the use of Chinese simplified characters, Japanese characters,
and Cyrillic characters.
 Define a keycode for that subject: accept the suggested key (if the program
does that automatically; see Generate keycodes automatically on page 94),
or double-click the cell in the Start key column, or click the Start Code field in
the Properties pane. Enter one or more characters.
Limitations - All subject codes must be unique. The characters you use for
keycodes must be ASCII characters in the range between 32d and 127d. The
Observer XT also supports the use of Chinese simplified characters, Japanese
characters, and Cyrillic characters.
If a keycode is missing, right-click the cell and select Generate missing
keycodes.
If you want the program to regenerate a keycode because it is
conflicting with another one, right-click the code and select Regenerate
selected keycodes. To regenerate all codes, right-click any code and
select Regenerate all keycodes.
 Add a sound to your subject – Double-click in the Sound column, or click the
Browse button in the Properties pane, and select the sound file (*.wav) which
you want to be audible every time you score that subject. To play the sounds,
you must select the Use Coding scheme sounds (for elements only) check
box in Sound feedback window of the Project Settings window (see page 155).
 Observation method – You can see here to what subject group (Continuous
or Instantaneous) a subject is assigned. If you use both Continuous and
Instantaneous Sampling, you can assign a subject to the other subject group.
If you remove all subjects from an Instantaneous subject group, you get an
error message because an Instantaneous subject group must contain at
least one subject.
 Comment – Specify whether to add a comment every time you score that
subject.
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If you select the check box Remind to add a comment to this Subject
column, or the Add comment in the Properties pane for that subject, after
scoring an event with that subject the cursor jumps to the Comment column
in the Event Log window. By pressing Enter you can leave the Comment
column.
 Combinations – Specify in the column Combinations, or in the Subject-
Behavior Combinations pane in the Properties window, which behavior to
score for which subject. See page 118 for more information.
Subject modifiers – In The Observer XT 10, you cannot define subject
modifiers. If you import a project designed in The Observer 6/7 that
contains subject modifiers, the subject modifiers are not imported.
Behaviors
What are Behaviors?
Behaviors are actions, tasks, movements or even situations and locations of the
subjects under investigation that are relevant for your research question.
Behaviors must be organized in groups.
It is not mandatory to score behaviors, it is also possible to score only
subjects. In fact, even that is not compulsory, you can also decide to score
neither subjects nor behaviors and record only comments. Note that it is
only possible to visualize your data if you have scored behaviors (see
Chapter 8 for information about visualizing your data).
The term Behaviors is default in The Observer. You can specify another
term in the Terminology Preferences (see page 141).
Examples of behaviors
 Mother-infant interaction study – Gaze mother, Baby smile, Vocal imitation
etc.
 Research on Monkeys – Walk, Forage, Groom, Chase away, etc.
 Usability study – Task 1, Task 2, Usability hit, User error, etc.
Examples of behavior groups
 Mother-infant interaction study – A Gaze group including Gaze mother, Gaze
elsewhere; An Emotion group including Baby smile, Baby neutral, etc.
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 Research on Monkeys – A Locomotory group including Walk, Climb, etc.; A
Social group including Bite, Groom etc.
 Usability study – A Tasks group including Task 1, Task 2, etc.; A User
experience group including Usability hit, User error, etc.
Normally, you should use mutually exclusive behavior groups, which
means that you organize the behaviors according to the criterion that
behaviors in the same group cannot occur at the same time as each other
(see page 106 and page 109).
Defining behaviors
To define behaviors, you must view the Behaviors panel (Figure 4.8) on your
screen. If you do not see it, open the coding scheme (see page 90).
The Behaviors panel allows you to specify the name, code and other properties of
your behaviors, and the relationship between behaviors and between subjects,
behaviors and modifiers. The maximum number of behaviors is 250. The number
of behaviors times the number of subjects must not exceed 5000.
Figure 4.8
The Behaviors panel.
Depending on the Observation method you selected (see page 87), you
can add a behavior group or a sample group. If you are using the
combined method, you can add a behavior group.
To define a behavior/sample group:
1 Click the Add Behavior/sample group button, or right-click anywhere in the
panel and select Add new group, or press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
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If you clicked the Add Behavior group button, the Behavior group window
appears; continue at step 2.
If you clicked the Add sample group button, the New Behavior group
window appears; continue at step 3.
2 Click one of the following:
 Mutually exclusive states – Select this if the state behaviors within that
group exclude each other at any time. When one of the behaviors is active,
the other behaviors within the same group cannot be active. The
advantage of having mutually exclusive behaviors is that during coding
you do not need to stop behaviors. When you start a new behavior, the
previously coded behavior of the same group automatically stops.
 Start-Stop states – Select this if the state behaviors within that group are
independent of each other with regard to their onset. Such behaviors do
not stop automatically when a new behavior is scored and have, therefore,
in addition to a start keycode, a stop code to stop it.
Example of mutually-exclusive behaviors – Walk and Sit. When Sit is
active and the subject starts walking, you score Walk, then the program
stops Sit automatically.
From the Help menu, select Video Tutorial. You can watch a tutorial that
includes an example of behavior groups defined as mutually exclusive.
Example of Start-stop behaviors – Task 1 and User error. These
behaviors describe independent events, since the begin of one does not
necessarily mean the end of the other.
See page 107 for the definition of 'State event'.
3 In the window that appears, enter the Behavior group name.
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Figure 4.9 The New Behavior group window (for a mutually exclusive and exhaustive
behavior group).
If you have chosen Mutually exclusive states, a default behavior named <Initial
Behavior> appears in the Behaviors list below. This is the behavior that The
Observer XT assumes to be active at the start of each observation. This is because,
by default, the behavior group is defined as 'Exhaustive', and the program must
know the state of the subject at any time, including the beginning of your
observation. After creating the Behavior group, you can change the initial
behavior in the Behavior properties (see page 107).
4 Click the field under Behaviors/Value and enter the name of a behavior, then
click Add or press Enter. Enter the name of the remaining behaviors.
Options - The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - A name must be entered for each behavior/ behavioral class.
Furthermore, all names should be different. Names are limited to 64
characters (16 characters for Pocket Observer 3.1).
To delete a behavior, click its name and then Delete. To rename <Initial
Behavior>, click this text and type in the new name.
5 For each behavior in a behavior group, specify the Behavior Type: State Event
of Point Event (see page 107).
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6 When you have listed all the behaviors of that group, click Create group. The
new group appears in the Behaviors panel. Follow the steps below to specify
the behaviors' properties.
By default, each behavior group is connected to each subject in a SubjectBehavior Combination.
To re-open the behavior group, double-click the name in the Behavior
Name column.
To display all behaviors in a group, click the + sign next to the group
name. Behavior groups have a different icon
individual behaviors
in front of them than
.
Behaviors can be represented by colored bars that follow each other in
a temporal sequence (see Figure 4.10). In the example A, behaviors are
mutually-exclusive, that is the start of a behavior means the end of that
currently active. However, you can still stop those behaviors manually
and leave an 'empty' space between occurrences. This means that
behaviors are not exhaustive along the time line. Define mutuallyexclusive and exhaustive behaviors when you want to record the
subject's state at any time (B). Behaviors coded with Instantaneous
sampling can be represented by colored dots at regular intervals on a
time line (C).
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Figure 4.10 Time Event plot of A - a mutually exclusive group, B - a mutually
exclusive and exhaustive group and C - a sample group.
Behavior group properties
Click the behavior group whose properties you want to specify. Then click the
Properties button at the bottom of the screen.
 Mutually-exclusive – Select/de-select this check box if you want to change a
start-stop group into a mutually exclusive group or vice versa.
 Exhaustive – Select this option if you want to score the behaviors of this group
in such a way that no ‘empty’ time line is left between successive events. See
Figure 4.10.B above.
 Inactive – Select this check box if you want to make the behavior group
inactive. You can set a behavior group to inactive if you do not want to use it
anymore. For more information see page 123.
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Behavior properties
To visualize the behavior properties, do one of the following:
 Click the Properties button at the bottom of the screen. The Properties
pane appears showing the properties of the behavior currently selected.
Click the behavior whose properties you want to specify.
 Right-click anywhere on the headers and select Show all columns. To hide
a column, right-click that column's header and select Hide column. To
choose a subset of columns, right-click and select Show column.
You can modify the following behavior properties:
 Description – Add a description to the behavior. In the Description field enter
a short text for that behavior or behavior group. This is particularly useful if
two or more people are using the same coding scheme and need to know
precisely how that element is defined.
Options - The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - The description is limited to 1024 characters.
 Define keycodes – Accept the suggested code (if the program generates that
automatically; see Generate keycodes automatically on page 94), or doubleclick the cell in the Start key or the Stop key column, or click the Start code or
Stop code field in the Properties pane. Enter one or more characters.
 If the behavior is part of a mutually-exclusive group or a sample group,
enter a Start code.
 If the behavior is part of a Start-Stop group, enter a Start code and a Stop
code.
Limitations - All behavior codes must be unique. The characters you use for
keycodes must be ASCII characters in the range between 32d and 127d.
The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified characters,
Japanese characters and Cyrillic characters.
If a keycode is missing, right-click the code column and select Generate
missing keycodes.
If you want the program to regenerate a keycode because it is
conflicting with another one, right-click the code and select Regenerate
selected keycodes. To regenerate all codes, right-click any code and
select Regenerate all keycodes.
 Behavior Type – For a Behavior group, specify whether the behavior is an
Initial State Event, a State Event or a Point Event.
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State Events have a distinct start and end. Besides the frequency of
occurrence, the duration is recorded. Examples are walking, playing,
grooming, etc.
An Initial State Event is automatically scored at the start of an
observation.
Point Events are behaviors without measurable or relevant duration. Either
their duration is very (immeasurably) short (for instance, for a behavior like
'hitting') or you are not interested in the duration of the behavior but only
in its frequency (for instance, in the case of 'talking').
In the combined Observation method, State events that are scored with
Instantaneous Sampling are treated as point events in the analysis.
Sample groups contain samples (behaviors) only and their type cannot be
changed.
With the combined scoring method, all behavior types can be scored as
interval samples.
In the Behavior Type column of the Behaviors panel, or under Event Type in
the Properties pane select the option you require. Select Initial State Event if
you want that behavior to be scored automatically at the start of the
observation.
If your behavior group is mutually exclusive and exhaustive, you must
select one of the behaviors of that group as an Initial State Event,
otherwise you get an error message. This is because an exhaustive
behavior group must describe the state of a subject at any time,
including the initial time 0:00.000.
 Define Modifiers for that behavior – In the Modifiers panel, create one or
more Modifier groups. When you are ready, go back to the Behaviors panel,
click the Modifier column for that behavior or in the Modifiers box of the
Properties pane, choose the modifier groups you want to link to that
behavior. See page 110 for information about modifiers, how to define them
and how to assign modifier groups to behaviors.
Modifiers specify the behaviors more in details. For instance, for the
behavior 'Play' you can define 'Type' (Alone, Duet, Parallel) and 'Scale'
(from 1 to 5). Behavioral modifiers can be nominal as well as numerical.
 Define a color for the behavior (for visualization purposes; see Chapter 8).
The Observer automatically assigns colors and patterns to your behaviors.
To change the color and pattern of a behavior or behavior group:
i
Click the Color column. The Value Color window opens (Figure 4.11). From
the Behavior list, select the behavior you want to edit the color of. In
Figure 4.11 the behavior 'walk' is selected.
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ii Select a new color in one of the following ways:
 Select a color in the Basic Colors section.
 Click a color in the color spectrum.Change the intensity of a color with
the color slider.
 Change the Hue/Saturation/Luminosity values.
 Change the Red/Green/Blue values.
iii If desired, select a pattern in the Pattern list. Tip: Use patterns to distinguish between individual behaviors, when printing an event plot in black
and white. The Preview window is updated with each change.
iv When you have selected your desired color and pattern, click OK.
Figure 4.11 The Value Color window.
 Add a sound to the behavior – Double-click the Sound column or click the
Browse button in the Properties pane, and select the sound file which you
want to be audible every time you score that behavior. You can also record a
sound and save it as a wave file (*.wav). Note: To play the sounds, you must
select the Use Coding scheme sounds (for elements only) check box in the
Project settings (see page 156).
 Add a comment – Specify whether to add a comment every time you score
that behavior.
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If you select the check box Add Comment in the Properties pane for that
behavior, after scoring an event with that behavior the cursor jumps to the
Comment column in the Event Log window. Click Enter to leave the Comment
column (see page 167).
Frequently-asked questions about behaviors
 When to use State events and when to use Point events? – Define State
events if you need to know the duration of activities, or if you want to create
highlights of video and data. Point events are recommended for behaviors of
negligible duration, like eye blinks (in most applications). The behavior 'look
at screen' can be defined as a state, and each blink as a point event. However,
if you want to know the durations of the time between blinks you need to
define them as states. So then you record with every event 'blink' the start of
an interval between two blinks. Point events can be placed anywhere in the
coding scheme, they do not stop mutually exclusive states.
 When to use Mutually-exclusive and exhaustive behavior groups? –Use
mutually-exclusive and exhaustive groups when you want to calculate time
budgets, or compare figures from different calculations since all durations
within a group add up to 100%. Use this kind of groups also when you plan to
analyze the time when a specific event occurred. For example, if you want to
calculate the number of user errors during each task performed, define tasks
in a mutually-exclusive and exhaustive group.
The first and last state in an observation can cause statistical artefacts.
Suppose your observations start a minute before your test animal wakes
up, and continue for an hour. Your statistics indicate that the animal has
been asleep for one minute, where in reality it may have slept for hours.
 When to use Mutually-exclusive non-exhaustive behavior groups? – You
use Mutually-exclusive non-exhaustive behavior groups when in a long
recording you only score relatively short periods of time, and you score
different items at different times. An example may be scoring different tasks
in an ergonomics study. You may score different movements if your test
person is lifting bags than when he is putting boxes on shelves. Analyzing this
type of data quantitatively can be difficult, it is most suitable for visual
inspection and highlights creation.
 When to use Start-Stop behavior groups? – Whenever you want to mark
interesting stretches of video or data, for the purpose of creating highlight
clips. You can also use this method if you are used to code events with an
Event Logging Keyboard. However, if you plan to carry out extensive statistical
analysis on your data, you should define a mutually-exclusive and exhaustive
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group for each of the event types you score. This method is not recommended
for coding complex events.
 When to use Sample groups? – You use sample groups when the
Observation method is set to Instantaneous Sampling.
 Can I use Point Events from a behavior group for Instantaneous
Sampling? – You cannot score Point events from a behavior group during
Instantaneous Sampling. When you use Combine Continuous and
instantaneous Sampling as recording method, you can not only use
behaviors from sample groups but also State events from behavior groups.
Note on grouping behaviors
In the Observer XT 10 all behaviors must be organized in groups (behavioral
classes). The maximum number of hierarchical levels for behaviors is 2 (namely,
the level of groups and the level of individual behaviors). This means that, unlike
in The Observer 6/7, behaviors cannot be part of groups within larger groups.
What next?
 To specify behaviors more in detail or limit their scope, you can use Modifiers.
Define Modifier groups and assign them to behaviors (see below).
 To restrict the range of subjects for which a behavior may be scored, define
Combinations (see page 118).
Modifiers
What are Modifiers?
Modifiers can be attached to behaviors. They are used to limit the scope of a
behavior or to specify a subject more precisely. Modifiers can be either nominal or
numerical, and must always be organized in groups. Modifiers and modifier
groups are defined in the Modifiers panel (Figure 4.12). Once defined, you assign
a modifier group to one or more behaviors. You can create a maximum number of
250 modifiers in up to 100 groups.
Scoring modifiers involves making extra keystrokes. If you have a simple
coding scheme without numerical data, it can be better to define more
behaviors and not use modifiers. For example, the two behaviors Play
Alone and Play In a group instead of one behavior Play with two
modifiers (Alone and In a group) attached.
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If you plan to analyze a combination of two or more modifiers, we advise
you to re-define modifiers in such a way that information from that
combination is included in one modifier. For example, instead of defining
Duet (modifier 1) and Constructive (modifier 2) for the behavior Play,
define Duet Constructive.
Examples of modifiers
 Child behavior study – To describe the object that is being played with, a
modifier group Object is defined that includes the elements Cards, Ball,
Castle for the behavior Play.
 Usability study – To describe the type of error by the test participant, a
modifier group Type is defined that includes Wrong value, Wrong weblink as
a modifier group for the behavior User error.
 Aggression in lobsters – To describe the level of aggressiveness in territorial
interactions, a modifier group Level that includes the values 0 to 5.
Defining modifiers
To define modifiers, you must have the Modifiers panel open on your screen. If
you do not see it, select Modifiers with View Settings at the far-right side on the
Component tool bar.
To open the coding scheme, see page 90.
The Modifiers panel allows you to specify the name, code and other properties of
your modifiers, and the relationship between behaviors and modifiers.
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Figure 4.12 The Modifiers panel.
To define a modifier group:
1 Click the Add Modifier group button, or right-click anywhere in the panel and
select Add new group, or press Ctrl+Shift+E. The New modifier group
window appears.
2 Click one of the following:
 Add nominal Modifier group – Select this if the modifiers are categories
(see the first two examples on page 111).
 Add numerical Modifier group – Select this if the modifiers are numbers
(see the third example on page 111).
3 In the window that appears, enter the Modifier group name. If you need go
back to the previous window, click Back.
4 Follow the instructions that apply:
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For nominal modifiers
Figure 4.13 The New Modifier group window for nominal modifiers.
5 Select the following:
 Mutually exclusive – Select this if you want the modifiers within the
group to be mutually exclusive, that is, you can score only one of the modifiers of that group for each event (see page 102 for a definition of 'mutually exclusive').
 Modifier group must be scored – Select this if you want to score a modi-
fier from that group every time you score the behavior associated with it.
If you select this option, the program forces you to enter a modifier before
scoring other events. If you clear this option, you are free not to score the
modifier when you score the associated behavior.
You must select this option when you are scoring with Pocket Observer 3.1.
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6 Click the field under Value and enter the name of a modifier, then click Add or
press Enter. Enter the name of the remaining modifiers, then continue at step
7 below.
Options - The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - A name should be entered for each modifier/ modifier group.
Furthermore, all modifier names should be different. Names are limited to 64
characters (16 characters in Pocket Observer 3.1).
To delete a modifier, right-click its name and click Delete.
For numerical modifiers
5 From the Values list, select one of the following:
 Predefined values – Choose this if you make a list of predefined options
from which to choose. For example if for the modifier group Aggression
level, you want the observer to choose between 0, 1, 2 and 3.
 Range of values – Choose this if you score the modifier by entering a
value between a minimum and a maximum value. For example if for the
modifier group Speed you want the observer to score a value between a
minimum of 0 and a maximum of 150 degrees with a precision of 1
decimal.
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Figure 4.14 The New Modifier group window for numerical modifiers.
Note for Observer XT 6/7 users – In The Observer XT 6/7, numerical
modifiers had the main limitation that one could not analyze them as a
category in Behavior Analysis, Lag Sequential Analysis and Reliability
Analysis. This has now become possible. For example, you can calculate
the mean duration of the events scored with value '1', '2', etc. With
Numerical Analysis you can calculate statistics of the values themselves,
for example the arithmetic mean (see Chapter 9).
6 If you have chosen Predefined values, click the field under Value and enter
the first modifier, then press Enter or click Add, and enter the remaining
modifiers. If you have chosen Range of values, enter the range From .. To ..
and specify the precision under Decimals (0 to 3).
7 Once you have listed all the modifiers of that group, attach the group to one
or more behaviors by selecting them in the Link to Behaviors box.
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Figure 4.15 An example of linking a modifier group to a behavior. The modifier group has
been linked to the behavior Play.
Selecting a behavior in that list means that, when you score that behavior
during an observation, the program asks you to enter one of the modifiers
of that group. If you have selected that the Modifier group should be
Mutually exclusive (see page 113), you can only score one modifier at a
time for that group, that is, you cannot score two or more modifiers of a
group for a specific event.
8 Click Create group. The new group appears in the Modifiers panel, and also
in the Modifiers column of the behavior you have assigned them to. Follow
the steps below to specify the behaviors' properties.
To re-open the behavior group, double-click the name in the Modifier
Name column.
Modifier groups have a different icon in front of them than individual
modifiers (see the icons in the margin. The upper one is for modifier
group names, the lower one for individual modifiers). To display all
modifiers in a group, click the + sign next to the group name.
See page 122 for how to add or delete coding scheme elements.
Modifier properties
To visualize the modifier properties, do one of the following:
 Click the Properties button at the bottom of the screen. The Properties pane
appears showing the properties of the modifier currently selected. Next, click
the modifier (or modifier group) whose properties you want to specify.
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 Right-click anywhere on the headers and select Show all columns. To hide a
column, right-click that column's header and select Hide column. To choose a
subset of columns, right-click and select Show column.
 Description – Add a Description to the modifier. Double-click in the
Description column or click the Description field in the Properties pane. Enter
a short text for that modifier/modifier group. This is particularly useful if two
or more people are using the same coding scheme and need to know
precisely how the various modifiers are defined.
Options -The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - The description is limited to 1024 characters.
 Define a keycode – Specify a code for the modifier. (This is not available for
modifier group names). Accept the suggested code (if the program generates
that automatically; see Generate keycodes automatically on page 94), or
double-click the cell in the Start key column or click in the Start Code field in
the Properties pane. Enter a code for that modifier.
Options - By right-clicking in the Start key column, you can generate missing
keycodes, regenerate selected keycodes or regenerate all keycodes.
Limitations - All modifier/modifier group codes must be unique. The
characters you use for keycodes must be ASCII characters in the range
between 32d and 127d. The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese
simplified characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
If a keycode is missing, right-click the Start key column and select
Generate missing keycodes.
If you want the program to regenerate a keycode because it is
conflicting with another one, right-click the code and select Regenerate
selected keycodes. To regenerate all codes, right-click any code and
select Regenerate all keycodes.
 Specify a sound for the modifier (optional) – The sound will be audible every
time you select the modifier during coding. Double-click the Sound column or
click the Browse button in the Properties pane, and select the sound file
which you want to be audible every time you score that behavior. You can also
record a sound, save it as a wave file (*.wav) and assign this file to the
modifier. Note: To play the sounds, you must select the Use Coding scheme
sounds (for elements only) check box in the Project settings (see page 155).
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Notes about Modifiers
 Grouping modifiers – In the Observer XT 10 all modifiers must be organized
in groups. The maximum number of hierarchical levels for modifiers is 2
(namely, the level of groups and the level of individual modifiers). This means
that, unlike in The Observer 6/7, modifiers cannot be part of groups within
larger groups.
 Defining subjects as modifiers – In The Observer 5 it was possible to define
subjects as behavior modifiers. This is also possible in The Observer XT,
however, when specifying a modifier group for a behavior you cannot choose
Subjects like in The Observer 5. You have to define a modifier group
containing your subjects.
You can copy your list of subjects and paste them into a modifier group.
To do so, click the first subject name, hold the Shift-key and click the last
subject name. Copy the cells by right clicking any of them and select
Copy, or press Ctrl+C. Create an empty nominal modifier group. To
paste the cells, right-click the modifier group name and select Paste, or
click the group name and press Ctrl+V. The header Subject name is also
pasted. Right-click it and select Delete.
 When modifiers are not mutually exclusive – If the modifiers you attach to a
behavior are not mutually exclusive (see page 113), they can be scored each
time in a different order. For example:
Play (behavior) Duet (modifier 1) Manipulative (modifier 2).
Play (behavior) Manipulative (modifier 1) Duet (modifier 2).
To reduce the number of possible combinations of modifiers in your results,
try to limit the number of non-mutually exclusive modifiers to 12 or less for
each behavior.
Combinations
What are Combinations?
Combinations are specific links between subjects and behavior groups. You must
define combinations if you want to restrict the range of behavior groups for a
certain subject.
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Example of Combinations
 Mother-child interaction study - You are observing a mother and her two-
year-old child and decide to score Play behavior of the child only. You define a
Play behavior group and assign this to the subject Child, not Mother.
 Primate study - You are observing a group of primates and decide to follow
two of them as focal subjects (a mother and her baby). You have defined four
behavior groups: Individual behavior, Social behavior, Location and
Distance to Mother. For one focal subject (Baby), you record behaviors of all
four groups. For the other subject (Mother) you only want to make a record of
two behavior groups, Individual behavior and Social behavior since you do
not want to score Location and Distance to Mother for the Mother itself. In
this case, you would then define a total of 4+2 = 6 combinations.
Defining Combinations
You can define combinations in the Properties pane for a subject:
1 In the Subjects panel, click the subject for which you want to restrict the
range of behaviors (for example, the subject Child in the first example above),
then click the Properties button at the bottom of the Subjects panel. The
Subject-Behavior combinations box lists all behavior groups and their
elements (click on the + sign to view all the behaviors within groups).
2 Select the behavior groups that you would like to score for that subject, and
clear the selection for behavior groups that do not apply for that subject.
For users of previous versions of The Observer XT
Difference between The Observer 5, The Observer 6,7, & 8 and The Observer
XT 9 & 10 regarding Combinations – In The Observer 5, it is mandatory to define
the combinations you plan to score. In The Observer 6, 7 and 8, by default you
could score all combinations if no combinations were defined. In The Observer 9
and 10, you must select the combinations you want to score. By default all
combinations are selected.
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Deleting Combinations
To delete a combination, de-select the Behavior group in the Properties pane of
the Subject (in the Subject-Behavior combinations box).
If you delete a combination and you have already scored data for that
combination, the observation contains errors (see page 209). To
remove the errors, restore the combination or remove the events with
errors, or re-score them using valid combinations.
Checking your coding scheme
Before starting an observation, you can check your coding scheme for errors. If
The Observer finds errors in your coding scheme, you cannot score data until all
the errors are fixed.
How to spot errors in the coding scheme
When you have the Validate while editing coding scheme option selected in the
Coding scheme settings window (see page 94), you get visual feedback when
you induce a coding error while setting up your coding scheme. A warning
triangle in the icon in front of the coding scheme element alerts you when the
element contains an error. In the margin you can see the icons for a behavior with
a coding error (upper) and a behavior without an error (lower). When you point
with the mouse at an icon with a warning triangle, a description of the coding
error pops up.
How to check for errors
For a detailed overview of the coding scheme errors, do one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, choose Check Coding Scheme.
 Press Ctrl+F5.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click Coding scheme and choose Check.
 Click the Check Coding Scheme button
.
The Coding Scheme Validation window appears (see Figure 4.16).
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Figure 4.16 An example of a Coding Scheme Validation window.
The Coding Scheme Validation window shows a list with all the errors in your
coding scheme. To correct the errors:
1 Select an error to view a description of the problem. In the example in Figure
4.16 there are two errors in the coding scheme. The first error is that the
behavioral elements In a group and Playing alone have the same keycodes
(conflicting keycodes). The second error is that a numerical modifier group
Aggression level is empty (contains no values).
2 Click a button to jump to the coding scheme element containing the error and
correct it.
3 Click the Test Again button to check whether the errors were corrected
successfully.
4 Click Close when all the errors are corrected.
Common errors in the coding scheme:
 Two or more subjects, behaviors or modifiers are given the same keycode.
 A behavior or modifier group does not contain any elements.
 A mutually-exclusive and exhaustive behavior group does not contain an Initial
State Event.
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 You have selected the Check for compatibility with Pocket Observer 3.1
option in the Coding Scheme settings and you have created a behavior group
with only one behavior.
Modifying your coding scheme
You can modify your coding scheme elements at any time. Open first the coding
scheme (see page 90) and make sure that the element category you want to
change is displayed on the screen.
Adding a coding scheme element
 To add a subject, click the Add Subject button in the Subjects panel.
 To add a behavior or modifier, click first the group of behaviors/modifiers you
want to add the element to, then click the Add button on top of the panel that
applies. See page 90 and follow the procedure depending on the type of
element.
Removing a coding scheme element from a group
To remove a behavior or modifier from a group, either delete it or move it to
another group (see below). You cannot place a behavior or modifier outside any
group.
Moving a coding scheme element from a group to another
Click the behavior/modifier you want to move, and drag the mouse to the name
of the group where you want to place it. When ready, release the mouse button.
Sorting coding scheme elements
You can sort the elements of your coding scheme for visualization purposes. For
example, when creating a plot of the events, you may want to view the Verbal
behaviors at the top and the Play behaviors at the bottom of the event plot, not
the other way round.
To sort groups, click the name of the group and drag it below the name of other
groups.
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Editing a coding scheme element
You can change the name and the properties of a coding scheme element at any
time. You can do so in different ways:
 In the Subjects, Behaviors or Modifiers panel – To modify name, description,
keycodes and sound, double-click the appropriate field and make the
necessary changes.
 In the Properties pane – Click the element you want to edit, then click the
Properties button at the bottom of the screen. Next, make the necessary
changes.
For more information on the element properties, see the corresponding category
in Section 4.8.
Deleting a coding scheme element or group
To delete a coding scheme element or group, do one of the following:
 Right-click the element/group and select Delete.
 Click the element/group and press Ctrl+Del.
Result:
 If an element was never scored in the observations currently contained in your
project, the element is deleted.
 If the element was scored in at least one observation, the element cannot be
deleted. A message appears asking you whether you would like to inactivate it
instead.
 If you click Yes, the element is inactivated (see below).
 If you click No, the element is kept in the coding scheme.
If you delete a group, you also delete the individual elements within
that group.
If you want to delete an element from the coding scheme that was
scored at least once, you must first delete all the observations in your
project!
What does 'Inactive' mean?
When a coding scheme element is set to Inactive, it is not used anymore
although it is still present in the coding scheme. An inactive element is grayed
out in the coding scheme:
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Keep in mind that, as long as an element is inactive:
 You can use the keycodes of that element for another element.
 If you score an element before setting it to Inactive, this element is still shown
in the event log.
 In the Codes window, the inactive element name is not shown. Therefore, you
cannot score an event with that element.
 In event plots and analysis results, the element is displayed as [Element
name] (Inactive).
You can re-activate the element when needed (see below).
Why keeping a coding scheme element Inactive? – Inactive coding
scheme elements can be analyzed because the events scored with those
elements are kept in your data set (see below). This means that you can
still analyze the observations that contain elements you no longer want to
score.
If you want to inactivate temporarily an element that you know may be
used in the future, right-click that element and select Inactivate.
Re-activating a coding scheme element
If a coding scheme element has been inactivated and you want to bring it back to
the coding scheme, right-click the element and select Activate.
If you have used the keycode of an inactive element for another element, the
coding scheme checker informs you that there is a conflicting keycode. Re-assign
unique keycodes to remove the error.
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4.9 Independent variables
The Observer XT distinguishes four kinds of Independent variables:
 User-defined variables – Variables that describe the subjects, observation
sessions and environmental conditions. You can define your User-defined
variables in the Independent Variable List (see Figure 4.17 for an example).
See page 128.
 Media files – Name and location of the media files used in observation. They
are added automatically to the Independent Variable List when you create an
observation. You can also directly add media files to your observation from the
Independent Variable List. See page 135.
 External data files – Name of the external (physiological) data files imported
in an observation. See page 137.
 System variables – Variables automatically updated the system, like the start
time and duration of an observation. See page 138.
Opening the Independent Variable List
To open the Independent Variable List:
 From the Setup menu, choose Independent Variables (or click Alt+F3).
 In the Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT, click Define
Independent Variables.
 In the Project Explorer, click Independent Variables.
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Figure 4.17 Example of the Independent Variable List. The upper part of the list shows the Userdefined variables, media file and eternal data. The lower part lists the observations in the
project and the values of each independent variable for those observations.
Showing/hiding variables
If you do not want to have all the variables visible in the Independent Variable
list, you can customize the list. For instance, you may decide that once added,
you do not want to view the media files, but only the user-defined variables (to be
able to edit them at the start or end of the observation).
1 Right-click a column header and select Show Independent Variables.
2 The Show Independent Variables window appears (Figure 4.18). By default,
all the variables that you have added to the list are selected. Deselect the
variables that you do not want to be visible and click Apply.
3 Click OK when you are ready.
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Figure 4.18 The Show Variables window.
Alternatively, you can right-click in one of the variable fields and choose Hide
Independent Variable.
Removing variables
Right-click in one of the variable fields and choose Delete Independent Variable
to remove the variable from the Independent Variable List.
Exporting variables
You can export the independent variables to two ASCII files. One file contains the
variables and their properties and the other file the actual values of the variables.
See page 530 for more information.
Printing the Independent Variable list
In the current version of The Observer XT, printing is not fully supported. If you
want to print the Independent Variable List, select all the columns, then copy and
paste them into another program such as Excel. If you copy the columns to
Microsoft Word, you can use the convert text to table function.
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User-defined variables
User-defined variables in The Observer XT are variables that potentially determine
the value of a dependent variable (for example, behavior). Independent variables
are either simple descriptive categories (such as the name or age of the subject),
or conditions manipulated by the observer (such as the type of treatment given to
an animal or the substance being tested).
The maximum number of user-defined variables is 40.
From the File menu, choose Preferences to define a name for your independent
variable. The default name is 'Independent variable' (see page 125 for more
information).
To add independent variables to the Independent Variable List:
1 In the Independent Variable List, click Add Variable.
2 A template appears allowing you to specify the label (name), description, type,
format, scope and the predefined values of the variable. You can also choose
when you want to be prompted to enter a variable.
Variable label
In the Label field you can enter the name of the variable. Note: Each variable
must have a unique name.
Options - The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - Names cannot be longer than 64 characters.
Variable description
In the Description field you can enter a short text or any other background
information about the variable.
Limitations - The description is limited to 255 characters. The Observer XT 10 also
supports the use of Chinese simplified characters, Japanese characters, and
Cyrillic characters.
Variable type
Click the Type field and from the list choose one of the following options:
 Text – A text variable is denoted by alphanumeric characters, composed of
letters, numbers or both. For example, the name of the observer.
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 Numerical – A variable represented by numbers only, for example, the age of
the subject.
 Timestamp – A variable represented by a time stamp, for example the starting
date and time of the experiment.
 Duration – A variable represented by a duration, for example, the duration of
the treatment.
 Logical – A variable that is either 'False' or 'True'. For example, the presence of
the observer during the test.
Variable format
For Text variables you do not need to specify a format.
For Numerical variables:
1 Click in the Format field. The Format window appears.
Figure 4.19 The Format window for numerical variables.
2 Select the No. of decimals check box and choose the number of decimals (or
leave the check box de-selected if your variables have zero number of
decimals). The maximum number of decimals is 9. Note: The Observer uses
the decimal separator from the Regional Settings of the computer where the
variable has been defined. If you change regional settings, close and restart
the program.
3 Select the Scientific notation check box if you want to write, for example,
1485.236 as 1.485e+0.03.
4 In the Unit field, enter the unit of your variable, for instance, 'years' for the
age of the subject. Click OK.
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For variables indicated by a Timestamp:
1 Click in the Format field. The Format string window appears.
Figure 4.20 The Format string window for timestamp variables.
If the variable is a System variable (see page 138), the Time formats tab of
the Project Settings window appears instead of the Format string
window.
The format f represents the decimals you specified in the Time formats
tab of the Project Settings window (see page 139).
2 Enter your preferred format in the field at the top and click OK. Note: The
program uses the decimal separator specified in your computer's Regional
Settings. If you change regional settings, close and restart the program.
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For variables indicated by a Duration:
1 Click in the Format field. The Format string window appears.
Figure 4.21 The Format string window for duration variables.
2 Enter your preferred format in the field at the top and click OK. Note: The
program uses the decimal separator specified in your computer's Regional
Settings. If you change regional settings, close and restart the program.
For Logical variables you do not need to specify a format.
Predefined variable values
For Text variables:
1 Click in the Predefined Values field. The Predefined Values window appears
(see Figure 4.22 for an example).
2 In the Predefined Item field enter a value for your independent variable. For
instance, if your independent variable is the name of the observer, you type
the name of one of the observers. The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of
Chinese simplified characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
3 Click Add. The value you have entered moves to the Predefined Items field.
You can now enter the name of one of the other observers.
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Figure 4.22 The Predefined Values window for text variables.
4 Select the Allow other values check box if you are not sure whether the
values you have defined are exhaustive. This allows you to add new values as
they are needed. Do not select this option if you do not want a colleague to
add new independent variable values.
5 Click OK when you have entered all the values of your independent variable.
For Numerical variables:
1 Double-click in the Predefined Values field. The Predefine Numerical Values
window appears (see Figure 4.23 for an example).
Figure 4.23 The Predefine Numerical Values window.
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2 Define the minimum and maximum values for your independent variable.
Then click OK.
3 Select the Allow other values check box if you are not sure whether the
values you have defined are exhaustive. This allows you to add new values as
they are needed. Do not select this option if you do not want an observer to
add new independent variable values.
For Timestamp and Duration variables you do not need to specify any predefined
values.
For Logical variables:
1 Click in the Predefined Values field. The Predefine Boolean window appears
(Figure 4.24).
Figure 4.24 The Predefine Boolean window.
2 Enter values for 'False' and 'True'. For instance, if your variable is 'presence of
observer', you may define the values 'No' (False) and 'Yes' (True).
Editing predefined values – To replace or delete predefined values,
delete first all the values from the variable column.
Variable scope
The scope of a variable is the portion of the observation for which the variable has
a specific value. Choose between the following:
 Observation.
 Event Log.
 Subject (can be selected only if subjects are defined in your coding scheme).
Example 1 - Variable Age of the child
 Select Observation if all the events within an observation will refer to an
individual child with specific age, for example 5.
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 Select Event Log if, within the Observation, there could be two or more
event logs which contain events of different children, who may have
different ages. This can be the case, for example, when you have imported
event data into one Observation.
 Select Subject if the subjects (as defined in the coding scheme) scored
in the same Observation and Event log may have different ages, for
example 5 and 6.
Example 2 - Variable Name of the observer
 Select Observation if the same observer will code all the events within an
observation.
 Select Event Log if different observers will code different event logs
within an observation.
 Select Subjects if different observers coded different subjects of the
coding scheme.
Changing a variable's scope – You can change the scope of a variable at any
time. If you do, the variable column shows the first values previously stored for
each observation. Enter the variable values according to the new scope.
Important! When you select data for analysis, you can group data
according to variables with Observation or Subject scope, not Event Log
(see page 295 for more information). If you plan to analyze data grouped
by values of an independent variable, make sure that the variable's scope
is either Observation or Subject.
Note about Pocket Observer – Note that in Pocket Observer all
independent variables have Observation as scope. When importing
observations from a Pocket PC, the values of your independent variables
are assigned according to the scope specified in the Independent
Variable List. For instance, if the scope of an independent variable has
been set to Subject on your PC, then the value imported with the
observation from your pocket PC will be assigned to all subjects in the
observation.
The scope of a video file and of external data files is always Observation.
Variable Value Update
Choose whether editing variable values is:
 Compulsory – You are always prompted to edit your independent variable
values (at the start or the end of an observation or both) and must enter a
value to proceed.
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 Manual – You are never prompted to edit your independent variables. If you
want to update them, you have to open the Independent Variable List.

Optional – You are always prompted to edit your independent variables (at
the start or the end of an observation or both), but you do not need to enter a
value.
From the Setup menu, choose Project Settings and then Observation settings to
define when you want to edit the independent variables. See page 151 for more
information.
Exporting Independent Variables
You can export the independent variables and the values of the user defined
variables. From the File menu, choose Export and subsequently Independent
Variables. For more information, see page 530.
Digital media
If you specify Offline as your scoring method (see page 80) and open one or
more media files when creating an observation, the files are automatically added
to the Independent Variable List. You can open a maximum number of 2 media
files. However, with the Add-on module Multiple Video you can open a maximum
number of 4 media files.
You can also directly add media files to the Independent Variable List:
1 In the Independent Variable List, click Add Video.
2 A new column named Video appears at the right end of the table (Figure 4.25;
for clarity, this is shown next to the row headers). Specify the label (name) and
the description of the media file.
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Figure 4.25 Example of a media file column in the Independent Variable List.
Note that you need to create an observation before you can add media files to the
Independent Variable List. See page 159 for more information about creating a
new observation.
If a media file is in location different from that specified in the Video
column (for example, when you open one of the sample projects while
the video files are not in the default Media folder), The Observer will not
find it when opening an observation. You can edit the file path by clicking
the file name in the Video column corresponding to that observation.
Media file label
In the Label field you can enter a label for the media file.
Options –The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
Limitations - Labels cannot be longer than 64 characters.
Media file description
In the Description field you can enter a short text or any other background
information about the media file.
Limitations – The description is limited to 255 characters. The Observer XT 10 also
supports the use of Chinese simplified characters, Japanese characters, and
Cyrillic characters.
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Media file scope
The scope of a media file is always set to the level Observation. The fields Type,
Predefined Values and Value Update are also not available for editing.
External data
When you import external data files (see page 258), they are automatically added
to the Independent Variable List (see Figure 4.26 for an example). In the external
data column you can specify a label, description and scope for your external data.
The maximum number of external data files plus media files is 255.
External data label
In the Label field you can enter a label for your external data file.
Options – The Observer XT 10 also supports the use of Chinese simplified
characters, Japanese characters, and Cyrillic characters.
Figure 4.26 Example of an external data column in the Independent Variable List.
Limitations – Labels cannot be longer than 64 characters.
External data description
In the Description field you can enter a short text or any other background
information about the external data file.
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Limitations – The description is limited to 255 characters. The Observer XT 10 also
supports the use of Chinese simplified characters, Japanese characters, and
Cyrillic characters.
External data type
You cannot change the external data type.
External data scope
The scope of an external data file is always set to the level Observation. The fields
Type, Predefined Values and Value Update are also not available for editing.
System variables
System variables include the Start Time, Stop Time and Duration of your
observation. By default, system variables are not visible in the Independent
Variable List. To view the system variables, click Show Variables and select them.
In the system variable column of the Independent Variable List (see Figure 4.27),
you can specify the format of your system variables.
Figure 4.27 Example of the System Variable columns in the Independent Variable List.
The Label, Description, Type, Predefined Values, Scope and Value
Update field are not available for editing.
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System variable format
To change the system variable format:
1 Double-click in the Format field. The Project Settings window appears with
the Time Formats on top.
2 Select one of the time modes (Absolute or Relative) from the Project time
format list.
3 To change the format of the selected time mode, click the corresponding Edit
button.
4 Click OK.
For more information on Time formats, see page 139.
4.10 Time formats
The Time formats are now part of the Project Settings. This is the only place where
you can set time formats for a project. The time format is used in the Event Log
window, File Synchronization window, Timers window, Playback Control window,
Visualization and the Analysis Results.
To set the time format, do the following:
1 From the Setup menu, select Project Settings and then click Time formats in
the left pane.
2 Select one of the time modes (Absolute or Relative) from the Project time
format list. The time mode you choose here is used in the event log, the
playback control window and the visualization.
The Absolute time is the date and clock time of the observation at the time
the data was scored. If you want to include the date in the time stamps, select
the check box Show date with absolute times. The Relative time is the time
elapsed since the start of the observation (Relative time used to be called
Duration in previous versions of The Observer XT).
If you observe from video, you can select the option Show frame
numbers while observing from videos. As a result, the Event Log and
Playback Control window display frame numbers instead of times.
3 To change the time format, click the corresponding Edit button. Select the
preferred format and the number of decimals.
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Figure 4.28 The Time formats tab of the Project Settings window.
In Windows 7, it may happen that you do not see AM or PM notation, even
if you selected this in the Absolute Time Format window (see picture
below).
This is caused by the settings of Windows 7 for your clock time. To change
these settings, click the clock, which is (usually) in the lower-right corner
of your screen. Click Change date and time settings and subsequently
click the button Change data and time. Click Change calender settings
and select the tab Time. After AM symbol choose AM and after PM
symbol choose PM.
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4.11 Preferences
The Observer XT allows you to set preferences for:
 Terminology – Set your own terms for 'subject', 'behavior', etc. See page 141.
 Warnings – Select in what situations you want to get a warning, for instance,
when you are about to delete a coding scheme element. See page 142.
 Files and recovery – Locations of project files, digital media files, external
data files, export files and templates. You can also enable or disable auto
recovery and set a time interval at which you like to save your data. See page
143.
The Observer XT remembers your preferences after you uninstall and then
reinstall the program.
To open the Preferences window, do one of the following:
 From the File menu, choose Preferences.
 In the Setup tab in the overview window of The Observer XT, click Edit
preferences.
Setting preferences for terminology
In the Preferences window, click Terminology.
For instance, when the subjects of your observational study are children, you can
enter 'child' and 'children' as the singular and plural terms for your subjects.
If you make any changes they will not take effect until you restart The
Observer XT.
To return to the default names ('Subject', 'Behavior', 'Modifier' and 'Independent
Variable'), click the Defaults button.
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Figure 4.29 The Terminology tab of the Preferences window.
Setting preferences for warnings
In the Preferences window, click Warnings.
Select the situations that you think you should be warned about when they occur.
When you select the Never show warnings check box, you do not get any
warnings.
By default, all the warnings are selected. To return to the default selection, click
the Default button.
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Figure 4.30 The Warnings tab of the Preferences window.
Setting preferences for files and recovery
In the Preferences window, click Files and recovery.
Default file locations
You can set file locations for:

Projects – The location you choose here, will be the default project location
when creating a new project (see page 72). For more information on what a
project is, see page 62.
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Figure 4.31 The Files and recovery tab of the Preferences window.
 Digital Media – The location you choose here, will be the default media file
location in the Video Selection window when starting a new observation (see
page 159). This is also the location where media files generated from Episode
Selections are saved (unless you specify a different location (see page 389 for
information about this topic).
 Templates – The location you choose here, will be the default location in
which the templates are stored. See page 78 for information on how to create
a template from a project.
For users of previous Observer versions (below The Observer XT 8.0) –
The general folders Export and External under ...\The Observer XT\ have
been removed in The Observer XT 10. In each project folder, you can find
its Export and External folders to store exported results and external data
for that project.
Click the Browse button to find and select locations. Then click OK. You can also
copy and paste a location from the Address field in the Windows Explorer.
Auto recovery
Select this option to enable auto recovery and to set a time interval at which you
wish to save your data automatically. Auto recovery saves all data to a temporary
file. You can find this file in the folder with the same name as your project starting
with a tilde ("~").
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Your data are only saved in the project file when you manually save them
(from the File menu, choose Save Project or press Ctrl+S).
The default file locations are set during installation. To return to the default file
locations and auto recovery time, click the Defaults button.
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Carrying out an
Observation
This chapter is about:
 Project settings – These settings help you to customize the way you record
your data.
See page 149
 Carrying out an observation – Score your data.
See page 158
 Customizing the observation screen.
See page 195
 Additional functions for carrying out an observation.
See page 208
 Carrying out an observation in combination with other programs.
See page 218
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5.1 Observations and Event logs
While you carry out an observation, events and comments are logged in what is
called an Event Log. The data from your whole Observation are stored in one
Event log. However, you can import Event data files into your Observation, which
are subsequently stored as separate Event Logs. Furthermore, Pocket Observer
files and files from certain Plug-ins, such as data from uLog or the questionnaire
tool uASQ are also stored as separate Event logs within your Observation. So one
Observation can contain more than one Event log (see Figure 5.1).
If you score data from one or more media files, those files are functionally part of
an observation. Similarly, if you import physiological data (see Chapter 6), those
are part of an observation although they are stored in separate files.
Figure 5.1 An observation can be composed by one or more Event log files containing
the behavioral data, zero, one or more Video files, and zero, one or more External
Data files. Note: the Start and End time of an observation are determined by the
earliest start time and the latest end time of any data set (indicated by the black
arrow), unless you change them manually (see page 187).
If you plan to group data for analysis, set the Scope of independent
variables to either Observation or Subject, not Event log (see page 133
for details).
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In The Observer XT, the Event logs contain the event data. You can view the
Observation as a desk on which lay one or more sheets, the Event logs,
containing the actual scored data plus video and external data files (see Figure
5.1).
Note for users of The Observer XT 6-9
In The Observer XT 6 - 9 you could create one, two or more Event Logs within the
same manually scored Observation, for example when you change the subject
observed. This is no longer possible in The Observer 10. However, external files
can be imported as separate Event logs within one Observation. Hence,
although you cannot create a new Event log within one Observation in the
Observer 10, Observations can still contain more than one Event log.
5.2 Observation Settings
What are Observation settings?
Observation settings are those specific settings that help you customize the way
you record data. The following settings are available:
 Observation settings – For example, whether you want the program to ask
you to confirm the end of an observation (see page 150).
 Scoring options – For example, whether you want to pause the video when
coding an event (see page 152).
 Sound feedback – Whether you want the program to make a sound when you
code events (see page 155).
 Playback control options – For example, to specify how the time stamps
should look like (see page 157).
You can change the Observation settings at any time. To apply new Observations
Settings, specify the new options (see below) and then create or open an
observation.
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Observation settings
How to access the Observation settings
From the Setup menu, select Project Settings, or right-click the Observations
folder in the Explorer, and select Observation Settings. You can also access the
observation settings, by clicking the Observation folder in the Project Explorer. In
the overview window if the Observer XT that appears, click Edit observation
settings.
The Project Settings window appears showing the Observation settings (see
Figure 5.2).
Figure 5.2
The Project Settings window showing the Observation Settings page.
In the Observation settings, you have the following options.
Observation Base Name
Type a common name for your observations. Each time you create a new
observation, The Observer prompts you to enter the observation name. The
suggested name is <Base Name>0001, <Base Name>0002, etc. (see page 159).
The default base name is Observation. If you delete it without adding text, the
next time you make a new observation the suggested name is a progressive
number (0001, 0002 etc.).
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End Observation
 Prompt for confirmation to end observation (selected by default) – Keep
this option selected if you want The Observer to ask you whether you really
want to end the observation, when you stop it.
Edit Independent Variables
You can specify when to enter the values of Independent Variables, and what
variables. Select one of the options:
 If you want to enter the values immediately before starting the observation,
select Before observation.
 If you want to enter the values immediately after ending the observation,
select After observation.
 If you want to enter values of independent variables immediately before
starting the observation and after ending it, select Before and after
observation.
 Hide 'manual' variables – If you want The Observer not to show manual
variables (that is, variables that you specify to be edited in the Independent
Variables List - see page 134) at the start/end of the observation, then select
this option. If you clear this option, you can enter the values also for manual
variables.
If you select this option and all the variables are defined as Manual, the
Independent Variables List is not shown at the start/end of the
observation.
If you select this option and at least one of the variables is defined as
Optional or Compulsory, the variable list is shown at the start/end of the
observation, but the Manual variables are hidden.
For more information on the difference between Manual, Optional and
Compulsory variables see page 134.
Defaults
To return to the default options, click the Default button. Note that this resets the
options of all the tabs to their default settings, not only the ones on the current
tab.
What next?
For more Project Settings, see Scoring options below.
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Scoring options
To access this page, from the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then click
Scoring options in the left pane.
Figure 5.3
The Project Settings window showing the Scoring options page.
Scoring options
 Auto Record Subject – Select this if you want to have the subject scored in
the last event automatically scored in the next event.
This option is handy when you have a coding scheme with multiple subjects
and you concentrate on one subject at a time. If the subject rarely changes
between events, with this option you avoid repeated coding of the same
subject.
How to score a new subject – As soon as you want to enter the event for
a different subject, click the cell where the subject was entered
automatically, and score the new subject, the behavior and so on. The new
subject is now your auto-record subject until you change it again.
 Pause playback when scoring an event (selected by default)– Select this if
you want to pause video playback every time you score an event. Video is
stopped when you score the first element of that event. Playback resumes
after scoring the last element of the event or pressing Enter to confirm the
event line (see above).
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When you carry out an Offline observation with the Instantaneous
Sampling method, the video automatically stops at the moment of
sampling.
 Always press Enter to confirm event line –- Select this if you always want to
end an event and go to the next line by pressing Enter.
Why this option? – When you score an event, you enter one or more
elements (Subject, Behavior, etc.) in a line of the event log. As a default,
The Observer automatically ends the coding of the event when no further
elements can be scored for that event (this depends on your coding
scheme), and waits for the next event. However, you can switch off this
automatic action. By selecting Press Enter to confirm Event line, you
need to press Enter on every line once you have scored all the elements
you require. This way, you have the opportunity to end an event earlier
than usual. For example, an event type where the Behavior is linked to a
Modifier could be ended by scoring the Behavior, and then pressing
Enter without scoring the Modifier.
 Repeated scoring of active behaviors
Here, you specify how The Observer handles the repeated scoring of a state
event.
What is repeated scoring of active behaviors? – Suppose you have defined
a state event, that is, a behavior with a duration defined by its start and end
(see page 106). At time T1 of the observation, you score a state event, then
again at time T2 without intermediate events, with the state still active. Use
the options below to specify how the state is recorded.
 Allow repeated scoring of active Behaviors – Select this option if you want
The Observer to record a new start of the state event. This means that two
different states will be recorded, that is one from T1 to T2, the second from
T2 to the stop event (or another event type that is mutually exclusive with
that event type). Note that this influences the outcome of analysis. For
example, the frequency of the event would be 2 instead of 1. However,
you can prevent this from happening by creating merged groups of
behaviors (see page 295).
 Ignore repeated scoring of active Behaviors – Select this option if you
want the Observer to ignore the second instance of the event at T2. If you
press the key for that event at T2, the program gives an error message and
the second scoring is discarded. The Observer only records the event from
time T1 to its stop (or another event type that is mutually exclusive with
that event type).
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 Ask me for repeated scoring of active Behaviors - Select this option if you
want The Observer to ask you what you want to do (whether to allow, or to
ignore the recurring start) at any occurrence of a recurring start.
In determining whether a state event is scored repeatedly, linked
modifiers are also taken into account.
Quick review
With the Quick Review function (see page 208) you can automatically rewind to a
certain point and play the tape or media file at a certain speed. Here, you
customize your Quick Review function:
 Interval – Enter the number of seconds you want the tape/media file to be
rewound before reviewing.
 Speed – Select the speed at which the tape/media file is played back (from
frame by frame - 1/25 or 1/30 depending on the TV standard - to 16x). Note
that not all speeds may be available with certain video formats.
Defaults
To return to the default options, click the Default button. Note that this resets the
options of all the tabs to their default settings, not only the ones on the current
tab.
What next?
For more Project Settings, see Sound feedback below.
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Sound feedback
To access this window, from the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then click
Sound feedback in the left pane.
Figure 5.4
The Project Settings window showing the Sound feedback page.
Here you specify whether to play sounds during coding, what sounds to use and
in which conditions.
Sound feedback
 None – Select this if you do not want to play any sound at any key press.
 After each key press – Select this if you want to play a sound at each key
press.
 After each input element (default) – Select this if you want to play a sound
after each element (Subject, Behavior, etc.) has been entered.
 After each input event – If you want to play a sound after the event has been
completely coded.
Sound Selection
This option is only available if you have selected one of the last three options
above.
 System beep (default) – Select this if you want to play the default system
beep.
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 Sound file – Select this if you want The Observer to play a sound other than
the system beep. Click the Browse button to select the sound file you want.
 Use coding scheme sounds (for elements only) – Select this if you want to
play the sounds specified in the coding scheme (for subjects, see page 99, for
behaviors, see page 108, for modifiers, see page 117). This option does not
apply when you have selected a sound feedback After each key press (unless
a single key press corresponds to a coding scheme element) or After each
input event (see above).
If you select the last option, when you score events The Observer XT uses:
 The sound file specified in the coding scheme (if present) or
 A system beep or any other sound selected in all other cases (according to
whether you selected System beep or Sound file; see above).
Defaults
To return to the default options, click the Default button. Note that this resets the
options of all the tabs to their default settings, not only the ones on the current
tab.
What next?
For more Project Settings, see Playback control options below.
Playback control options
To access this window, from the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then click
Playback control options in the left pane.
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Figure 5.5
The Project Settings window showing the Playback control options page.
Here you specify the length of time that the playback slider should cover.
Slider range
Choose the segment of time you want to have displayed by the playback slider:
 All streams – The segment between A and B represents the time between the
earliest event/physiological/video file and the latest event/physiological/video
file.
 Video streams – The segment between A and B represent the duration of the
video file (or the combined duration of multiple video files).
 Observation – The segment between A and B represent the time interval that
data was scored in, no matter how long are the other data/video streams.
When you score data, the slider shows you in which time interval data
have been scored. This is indicated by a blue line. If you choose Video
streams, the part of video that is scored up to that time will be highlighted
in blue.
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If you choose Observation, the whole slider will be highlighted in blue
because that is the time interval for which data are present.
You can set the time format of the playback control in the Time formats tab
of the Project Settings window (see page 139).
Defaults
To return to the default options, click the Default button. Note that this resets the
options of all the tabs to their default settings, not only the ones on the current
tab.
What next?
You are ready to carry out an observation.
5.3 Carrying out an observation
Before you carry out an observation, select the appropriate Observation
source (see page 80), Observation method (see page 87) and Observation
duration (see page 89) and make sure you coding scheme (see page 90)
does not contain errors.
Procedure in short
1 Create a New Observation.
From the Observe menu, select Observation, then New, or press Alt+F6, or
click Observations in the Project Explorer and select Create new
Observation.
 See page 159
You can also Open an existing observation that you scored from video.
If this is the first time you start an observation, at this point it is best to
customize your observation screen. See page 195.
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Optional – Position the media file at a specific point (page 163).
2 Start the observation.
Click the Start Observation button in the Playback control window or press
Ctrl+Alt+B.
 See page 164
3 Score data.
Click elements in the Codes window, or press the keys corresponding to the
element codes.
You can also enter free text in the Comment column of the Event Log.
 See page 165
4 Stop the observation.
Click the Stop Observation button in the Playback control window or press
Ctrl+Alt+Q. The observation is saved automatically.
 See page 175
1 - Creating a new observation
When you create a new observation, you create an empty worksheet for event
logging called an Event Log, and prepare The Observer for the start of the
observation.
1 Do one of the following:
 From the Observe menu, select Observation, then New or press Alt+F6.
 Click Observations in the Project Explorer, then Create new observation
in the The Observer XT Observe window that appears.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Observations folder and select New
Observation.
2 The New observation properties window opens.
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Figure 5.6
The New Observation properties window.
General tab
In the General tab, enter a Name (max 64 characters) and a Description
(optional, max 1024 characters).
 If you have specified a Base Name for observations (see page 150), the
proposed name is composed by the Base name and a progressive number.
You can replace it with a new name if you prefer.
 You can change an observation's name and description at any time (see
page 193).
Additional information
The General tab of the New observation properties window also contains
information about the selected Observation source, Observation method,
Observation duration, Interval duration (if you selected Instantaneous
Sampling as the Observation method) and the date the observation was
created and the name of the person who created it.
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Devices tab
If you have selected Live observation as the Observation source, in the
Devices tab you can set devices if you have not already done so (see
page 82). Otherwise the Device tab is grayed out.
3 Click OK. A number of windows appear on your screen.
 If you have specified Offline scoring (see page 87), the Video selection
window appears. Navigate to the location where the media file is stored,
click the file name and then Open (see page 238 if you want to open
multiple media files). The Video window appears.
Note – Playback of video may not work correctly when you control video
via remote desktop.
 If you have specified Live scoring, you are ready to start the observation
(see below).
What next?
 If you want to start the observation from a specific point in your media file, go
to page 163.
 If you want to re-initialize subject states, go to page 161.
 In all other cases go to page 164.
 See page 195 for information on how to customize your observation screen.
Initializing the subject states (optional)
What is initializing states? – Sometimes you may want to define one or
more initial states of a subject before you start Continuous Sampling (that
is, at time zero). For example you may want to record that at time zero the
state of the subject is Not Playing. After you have started the observation,
the state Not Playing will be active until you stop that behavior or score
another behavior of the Play group that is mutually exclusive with Not
Playing. This way you have a full record of the subject's state throughout
the observation time.
Note that it is not mandatory to initialize states in the event log.
However, you must set an Initial State Event for a mutually-exclusive and
exhaustive behavior group in the coding scheme (see page 106) when you
carry out Continuous Sampling (see page 87). Initial state events are
automatically written in the Event log as initial states.
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How to initialize states in the event log
This procedure is very general and may not apply to your own coding
scheme. See also important notes at the end of this procedure.
1 When you open a newly created observation, in the event log a number of
rows (depending on the number of subjects and behavior groups) is displayed
with initialized subject states. Click one of the initial State Events you want to
change.
2 In the Codes window, score another behavior by clicking the start code or by
pressing the Start. This behavior now becomes the new initial subject state.
3 If the behavior requires one or more modifiers, the cursor moves to the
Behavior Modifier column. Score the modifiers (type in the keycode or click
the Start key of the modifier.
4 Once the event is complete, the cursor goes to a new line. The state has been
initialized. Repeat the steps above to initialize more states.
In the example below, the subject Mother has one initial state Gaze
Undefined, while Child has two initial states Not Playing and Gaze
Undefined). Note: the Event Time column shows -not defined yet- for the
initialized states, because the observation has not started yet.
 If the Event Log window shows both the Subject and Behavior columns,
and you score just one of the two (that is, either the Subject or Behavior
cells are empty), you must press Enter before starting the observation to
confirm that initial event line. If you do not do that, the line is not initialized
with the correct time code and is not considered for analysis.
 If you have defined one or more behaviors as Initial State Events in your
coding scheme (see page 107):
 Each Initial State Event is shown in a line like in the picture above. Accept
those default states or score different behaviors and modifiers in those
lines.
 If the Initial State Event is connected to one or more subjects in the
coding scheme, it is scored in multiple lines, one for each subject.
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 If the behavior is connected to one or more modifiers in the coding
scheme, these modifiers are not automatically written in the initial state.
To complete the line, click the cell in the Behavior Modifier column of the
Event Log corresponding to the event to initialize and score the modifier
(type in the keycodes or click the modifiers under Start in the Codes
window). If more modifiers are connected to that Subject or Behavior,
repeat this step.
 For more information on how to score data, see page 165.
Positioning the media file (optional)
You can set the media file at the point you want to start your observation. Make
sure that Playback Control is selected in View Settings on the far-right side of the
Component tool bar. For media files:
Follow this procedure only if you want the start of your event log to
be synchronized with a point in the media file other than the starting
video frame (that is, at time zero).
If you score data from the beginning of a media file, you do not have
to position the media file.
1 Do one of the following:
 Move the Playback slider to the point in the video where you want to start
the observation. You can also use the playback buttons for fine positioning
(see page 156).
 Click the Offset button on the tool bar and select Numerical Offset.
Locate the cell under Offset for the media file. Type the time in the video
file you want to start at, preceded by "-". For example, if you want to start at
one minute in the video, type -0:01:00.00. Do the same for all video files
in that observation. For more information, see page 190.
2 Click the Start Observation button to start the observation (see below).
The offset between the Event log and the video files is set when you start
the observation. You can change the synchronization between video and
data at any time (see page 190).
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2 - Starting the observation
1 To start an observation, do one of the following:
 From the Observe menu, select Start Observation.
 Click the Start Observation button next in the Playback Control window
or press Ctrl+Alt+B.
If you are going to record external data using the On-Off synchronization
method (see page 273), The Observer asks you to start data acquisition
on your DAQ device. Make sure that your DAQ device is connected to
your PC and recording data, then click OK. Please note that if you click
Cancel the observation starts anyway, but the synchronization signal is not
sent to the DAQ device!
2 If you have defined independent variables in your project setup and you
chose to edit them before the observation (see page 151), the Enter
Independent Variables values window displays. Choose the values for each
independent variable, and click OK.
You do not need to enter a value for all independent variables. If Variables
were defined as Manual or Optional (see page 134), you can skip them
and click OK. If Variables are Compulsory (see page 134), you must enter
a value for them. You can update the value of independent variables at any
time – Click the Independent Variables button
on
the tool bar. This option is only available if you created user defined
variables. In the window that appears, look for the Observation, Event Log
or Subject you are interested in, and edit the variable values in the
corresponding cells.
If the Enter Independent Variables values window appears, the timers in
the Timers window and the Playback control start running when you click
the OK button. In all other cases, it starts at step 1 of the procedure above.
3 The observation starts. The Observer XT Recording icon turns red. The
message Recording appears under the red Stop Observation button.
You can now score data:
 for Continuous Sampling (see page 165).
 for Instantaneous Sampling (see page 171).
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3 - Scoring data
You score subjects, behaviors and their modifiers by either typing in the
predefined keycode on your keyboard or by clicking on the keycode in the Codes
window. What you have scored appears in the Event Log window.
An important point – No matter what observation method you use or how
complex an event scored is, that is, how many elements the event consists of,
each row in the Event Log corresponds to one behavior.
You can also score an event even without coding scheme elements.
Simply type free text in the Comment column, and press Enter (see
page 182).
The procedure described below for Continuous Sampling, Instantaneous
Sampling (see page 171) and Continuous + Instantaneous Sampling (see
page 174) is very general and may not apply to your own coding scheme
(for example, if you have not defined subjects or modifiers, then ignore
the instructions referring to them). Also, the terms shown below may not
be those you have chosen in the Preferences window (see page 141). For
example, Subjects may refer to Actors, or Test participants etc.
Furthermore, you can change the usual order of scoring (for example,
score first the behavior, then the subject; see page 183).
Continuous Sampling – How to score events
1 In the Current row of the Event Log, the cursor is awaiting input in the Subject
column. When a subject performs a behavior you are interested in, score the
keycode for that subject (type in the keycode or click the subject under Start
in the Codes window).
Result – The video pauses. The row is time-stamped and the time appears
under Event Time. The row header changes from Current to the row number.
2 The cursor moves to the Behavior column. The Codes window now shows all
possible behaviors for this subject.
 To score the start of the behavior the subject is performing, press the
key(s) for that behavior or click the cell under Start for that behavior in the
Codes window.
 To score the stop of a behavior the subject was performing, press the
key(s) for that behavior or click the cell under Stop for that behavior in the
Codes window. If you score a state behavior with modifiers, see the note
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on page 170 for information on how to score the Stop of a state behavior
in the case the behavior has been scored before the subject.
If the behavior is a state and forms a group of mutually exclusive
behaviors (see page 102), you can also stop it by scoring one of the
behaviors of that group. In this case, the new behavior starts at the same
time the first behavior stops. See the note on page 169.
Result – The name of the behavior appears in the row.
 If you have scored the start of a State event, a green triangle
symbol is shown next to the event's name, meaning that the state
is active from that moment.
 If you have scored the end of a State event, a red square symbol is
shown next to the event's name. The state is no longer active.
 If you have scored a Point event, no symbol is shown next to the
event's name.
Note – If you score a behavior in a mutually-exclusive group (see
page 102), the behavior of that group that was active up to that moment is
turned off. However, in the Event log you see the start of the new behavior
marked by the green symbol, not the stop of the previous behavior.
3 If the behavior was linked to one or more modifiers, the cursor moves to the
Behavior Modifier column. The Codes window now shows all the modifiers
that can be attached to the scored behavior. Score the modifier you want (type
in the keycode or click the modifier under Start in the Codes window).
Result – The name of the modifier appears in the row.
 If you want to score a numerical modifier and defined a range of values,
first score the numerical modifier group and then type the value in the
Event Log. If you have predefined values, simply score the numerical
modifier (click the Start column in the Codes window or type in the
corresponding code). See page 183 for more details.
 If you want to score more modifiers for that behavior, type in the keycode
or click the new modifier under Start in the Codes window. The new
modifier appears in a cell below the first modifier.
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 If you select a new modifier that is mutually exclusive (see page 113) with
a modifier already scored in that row, the new modifier replaces the
previous one.
 If modifiers are not required (see page 113), you can skip them and go to
the Comment column (see below) or start a new event line. To do so,
press Enter.
 If modifiers are required, the name of the Modifier group which contains
required modifiers is displayed in the event log before you actually score
it. This helps you to see which modifiers (from which Modifier group) still
must be scored (see the example in Figure 5.7).
Figure 5.7 An example of how required Modifiers are scored. In this example, the
behavior Walk has two Modifier groups: Speed of walking and the associated
Breathing rate if the subject. A - The Event Log before the Modifiers of behavior
Walk are scored; the Modifier column indicates in gray the required Modifier
groups. B - The Codes window with required Modifiers groups and their Modifiers.
C - The Event Log after the Modifiers of Walk have been scored.
If you confirm the event by pressing Enter without scoring the required
modifier, a message appears at the bottom of the Event Log:
You can score required Modifiers in any order you want.
If an Initial State Event is linked to a required Modifier, you need to score
the Modifier before you can start an observation.
4 If you have selected Comment is compulsory in the Properties pane of the
subject or the behavior you have just scored (see page 109), and the
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Comment column is shown in the event log (see page 202 for how to hide/
show columns), the cursor moves to the Comment column. Enter a comment
if you require one, and press Enter.
If you do not want to add any comment, just press Enter.
If you do not want the cursor to move to the Comment column every
time you score an event, make sure that for all behaviors and subjects
the Comment must be scored option is not selected (see page 109).
5 The event is now complete.
The cursor moves to a new Current row, and the Codes window now shows the
subjects again. Add new events by repeating the steps above.
 Errors may occur while scoring data. Please see page 184 for how to correct
errors.
 For stopping the observation, see page 175.
 For more information, see:
 The notes below.
 How to.. procedures on page 179.
 Additional observation functions on page 208.
Notes on Continuous Sampling
 How time is assigned to events – The time code is assigned to a record
when the first element or the coding scheme is entered, no matter whether it
is a subject, behavior or modifier. In the case you enter only free text, the time
code is assigned when you enter the first character under Comment.
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 Scoring state events (general) – A state event is an event that, contrary to a
point event, has a duration, that is a start time and an end time (see
page 107). You score the start of the state by pressing the corresponding keys
or clicking on the Codes window. However, the way you score the end of the
state depends on the type of behavior defined in the coding scheme (see
page 107):
 If the state event is of the Start-Stop type, click under Stop in the Codes
window or press the stop key.
 If the state event is part of a group of mutually exclusive (not
exhaustive) behaviors, you can end the state in two ways:
 Method 1 – Score the start of the state event which follows the
behavior that has ended. The Observer adds a row for the new
state event, marked with the green Start symbol. In the example
below, the row for the new state Initiate Play has been added
below the row for Not Playing, which has stopped.
This sequence can be represented in a time-event plot. There will be no
gap between subsequent events of that group
.
Contrary to The Observer 6/7, the stop row is hidden by the program for
the state event that stops after scoring a new behavior of the same
mutually-exclusive group.
 Method 2 – Score the stop of the state by clicking under Stop in
the Codes window or pressing the corresponding stop key. A stop
event row is added for that behavior, but no new state event starts
that belongs to that group of behaviors.
This results in 'gaps' in your observations where no state is active for that
group of behaviors and for that subject:
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 If the state event is part of a group of mutually exclusive and
exhaustive behaviors, you can only end it by scoring the start of
the state event which follows that event (see Method 1 above).
 Scoring the start of a state event repeatedly – The Observer allows you to
score the Start of a start event repeatedly, that is, before the Stop of the
previous instance of the same event has been scored. How The Observer
deals with repeated scoring of the same state event depends on what you
specify in the Scoring tab of the Project Settings window (see page 152).
 Scoring the end of state events with modifiers – Three scenarios are
possible, depending on whether the Subject column of the Event Log is
displayed (see page 203 for how to hide/show columns):
 If the subject has been scored, simply score the end of the state event
without the modifiers. The stop row is added with the modifiers you have
scored at the start of the event.
 If the Subject column is displayed and you have not scored the Subject
yet, when scoring the end of a state behavior The Observer puts the cursor
on the Modifier column. This is because the Subject has not (yet) been
scored, therefore The Observer needs you to enter modifiers to recognize
the behavior just scored. Score the modifiers that you scored at the Start of
that behavior. The moment you score a subject for that event row, the
event is complete and The Observer keeps the modifier scored at the start
of the behavior, while ignoring the one scored in the stop row.
 If the Subject column is hidden, The Observer assumes that you do not
score subjects, therefore the Subject-Behavior combination is unique. For
this reason, when you score the end of a state behavior you do not have to
score the modifier.
 Adding, removing or changing the properties of coding scheme elements
– It could happen that you observe something that does not comply with any
element in your coding scheme. You can add a new element, remove an
existing one or change its properties without stopping an observation. Note:
do not change a state behavior to a point behavior or vice versa or add a
modifier while observing. See page 182 for details.
 Scoring reciprocal behavior – In this version of The Observer XT reciprocal
behavior (that is, behavior that has no specific direction, for example Mark
Plays with James) is not scored as in The Observer 4/5. To score reciprocal
behavior, you must score two event lines (Mark Plays with James, and James
Plays with Mark). If necessary, pause the video or edit the time in the event
log (see page 186) afterwards to ensure the events receive the same time
value.
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Instantaneous Sampling – How to score events
1 As soon as the observation is started, a sound signal is given and you can
score the first Sample at timestamp 00:00:00.0.
The Event log now shows all subjects from the Instantaneous Sampling
subject group and in gray the behavior groups that need to be scored for each
subject as specified in the Subject-Behavior Combinations (see page 118).
When you carry out an Offline observation, the video pauses, irrespective
of whether you selected to pause playback of video when scoring an event
in the Project Settings (see page 152).
Figure 5.8 The event log for Instantaneous Sampling. This example shows the first
block of subject-behavior combinations that need to be scored.
2 The Codes window shows the subject-behavior combination in the navigation
path at the top (Female 1 - Behavior in the example below) and the behavior
group that needs to be scored.
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To score a behavior press the keycode(s) or click the cell in the Start key
column for that behavior. As soon as the behavior is scored it appears in the
event log.
Figure 5.9 The event log for Instantaneous Sampling. In this example, the first
behavior for subject Female 1 has been scored.
 The event log now jumps to the next subject-behavior combination. The
Codes window also shows this combination in the navigation path and the
Behavior tab displays the corresponding behavior group.
 If a modifier is connected to the behavior, see the next step.
3 If the behavior was linked to one or more modifiers, the cursor moves to the
Behavior Modifier column. The Codes window now shows all the modifiers
that can be attached to the scored behavior. Score the modifier you want (type
in the keycode or click the modifier under Start in the Codes window).
Result – The modifier appears in the event log.
If modifiers are not required (see page 113), you can skip them and go to
the Comment column (see below) or start a new event line. To do so,
press Enter.
If modifiers are required and you confirm the event by pressing Enter, a
message appears on the bottom of the Event Log:
Score the modifier, so that the cursor moves to the Comment column or to
a new row.
4 If you have selected Comment is compulsory in the Properties pane of the
subject or the behavior you have just scored (see page 109), and the
Comment column is shown in the event log (see page 202 for how to hide/
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show columns), the cursor moves to the Comment column. Enter a comment
if you require one, and press Enter.
If you do not want to add any comment, just press Enter.
If you do not want the cursor to move to the Comment column every
time you score an event, make sure that for all behaviors and subjects
the Comment must be scored option is not selected (see page 109).
5 The event is now complete.
Add new events by repeating the steps above to finish scoring the complete
sample.
6 When you carry out a Live observation, wait until the Sample interval has
elapsed to score the next sample (indicated by a sound signal).
When you carry out an Offline observation, you can either wait until the
Sample interval has elapsed or you can jump in the video to the next
sample by clicking the Next sample button (or pressing Ctrl+Shift+downarrow, see page 156).
When you jump to the next sample, you can use the Quick review button
(keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Backspace) to play back the video a few seconds
before it stops at the Instantaneous sample; this is useful to be able to
determine what behavior the subject is performing.
What next?
 Errors may occur while scoring data. Please see page 184 for how to correct
errors.
 For stopping the observation, see page 175.
 For more information, see:
 The notes below.
 How to.. procedures on page 179.
 Additional observation functions on page 208.
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Notes on Instantaneous Sampling
 In the Timers window, the Remaining Interval Time is displayed. If no Timers
window is visible, select Timers from View Settings at the far-right side of the
component tool bar. You can drag the Timers window to below or next to the
Event log, so you can easily see how much time is left until the next sample.
To hide specific timers, right-click in the timers window and deselect the timer.
 For a Live
observation, the timer counts down until the next
Instantaneous sample.
 For an Offline observation, the timer displays the sample interval length.
 The subjects are listed in the event log in the same order as in the coding
scheme. However, you can score the subjects in a different order; this is useful
in a live situation in which some subjects might be initially out of sight. See
Score the data in the order you prefer on page 183 for more information.
 When the next sample begins before you finished scoring the previous
sample (this only occurs in a Live observation), the non-scored events are set
to “missing”.
Continuous and Instantaneous Sampling – How to score events
The general procedure for scoring data for the Combine Continuous and
Instantaneous Sampling Observation method is as follows:
1 As soon as the observation is started, the cursor moves to the Instantaneous
sample block and you can score events for Instantaneous Sampling.
2 As soon as you finish scoring the Instantaneous sample, Continuous Sampling
continues and you can score data for Continuous Sampling until the next
Instantaneous sample.
For scoring data for the Observation method Combine Continuous and
Instantaneous Sampling see the instructions in both sections
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(“Continuous Sampling – How to score events” on page 165 and
“Instantaneous Sampling – How to score events” on page 171).
Note on Continuous + Instantaneous Sampling
What do I do when my focal subject changes behavior while I am scoring the
Instantaneous sample? – Click the row under Instantaneous Sample (#) End
(see Figure 5.10) and score the behavior for the focal subject. Next, click a row in
the Instantaneous sample block to continue Instantaneous Sampling
.
Figure 5.10 Example of simultaneously carrying out Instantaneous and Continuous
Sampling. When the Instantaneous Sample (3) starts (at 60 secs, row 29), the
focal animal Adult is Standing. While scoring the Instantaneous sample (3), Adult
starts Walking; this is scored by clicking row 36 under Instantaneous Sample (3)
End and scoring Walk.
4 - Stopping the observation
An observation is ended when either the maximum recording time has elapsed or
you manually end the observation.
Automatically stopping an observation
When the predefined maximum time is reached or the video file ends, The
Observer stops the observation.
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If the maximum time was reached while you were in the middle of
scoring elements in an event line, that line is saved, but is not
complete. You can either delete, or edit the incomplete line (see
page 184).
Manually stopping an observation
1 Stop an observation at any time in one of the following ways:
 From the Observe menu, select Stop Observation or press Ctrl+Alt+Q.
 Click the Stop Observation button in the Playback Control window.
2 If you selected Prompt for confirmation to end observation in the Project
Settings (see page 151), you get the following message:
Are you sure you want to stop the current observation?
Click Yes to end the observation or click No to continue the observation.
3 If you selected either After observation or Before and after observation
under Edit Independent Variables in the Project Settings (see page 151),
what happens depends on the Value Update property of your Independent
Variables (see page 134):
 If at least one variable is Compulsory, Optional or Manual and you did not
select the Hide manual variables option (see page 126), the Enter User
Defined Variables values window displays.
 If all your independent variables are Manual and you selected the Hide
manual variables option, the Enter User Defined Variables values
window does not open.
4 Edit the Independent Variable values and click OK.
Contrary to The Observer XT 6/7, the program does not add stop rows for
the state events that were active at the time that the observation stopped.
However, this has no consequences on analysis, as those events are
assumed to end when the observation ended.
For Compulsory variables, you must enter a value if the corresponding
cell is empty. For Optional variables, you are free to enter a value or
leave the cell empty.
What next?
 You can play back, visualize and analyze data immediately after you end an
observation.
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 To play back the data, use the Play buttons in the Playback Control window
(not the Start Observation button!). For details on data playback, see
page 204).
 To visualize data, from the Analyze menu, select Visualize Data (see Chapter
8).
 If you have recorded external data during the observation, you need to import
it in the observation before you can visualize all data together (see Chapter 6).
 To analyze data, select the data set you want to analyze (see Chapter 7), then
choose an option from the Analyze menu (see Chapters 9-11).
 To close all the observation windows, from the Window menu, select Close
all.
Checking for errors – When closing an observation, the program checks
that the event log currently open contains errors, for example a start code
without a matching stop code. Event log with errors are not analyzed nor
visualized. For more information see page 209.
Important notes
How and where observations are saved
 While you are scoring observational data, these are saved in a temporary
folder that has the same name of your project, preceded by the character ~ .
For example, ~Kids at play. Each observation is stored in a subfolder named
Event Data, within the temporary folder. Every time you edit the observation,
the event log currently open is saved in that subfolder.
 When you save the project (that is, from the File menu you select Save Project
or press Ctrl+S), the Event Log file is saved in the Event Data subfolder within
your regular project folder.
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When there are long intervals between scored events
Make sure that the time before your computer goes into standbymode or hibernation is set to longer than the longest likely interval
between scored events.
To specify the interval for system standby and hibernation, in the Control
Panel choose Power Options then Power Schemes (Windows XP), or
System and Security, then Power Options (Windows 7).
Where digital media files are saved
If you score observations live with a video signal, and you have specified to
record the video to a digital media file (see page 83), the resulting media files are
saved in the folder specified under Digital Media in the Files and recovery of the
Preferences window (see page 143). For the default file locations, see page 532.
If you record live video (general)
Please read this and the next note if you record live video while observing (the
corresponding settings are explained on page 81).
 There may be some delay (around 0.5 s) between the real scene being
recorded and the image on your computer screen. This is because displaying
the on-screen image has lower priority than the recording on media file.
 We cannot guarantee that the video files being recorded and the event data
files are 100% exactly synchronized with each other. This is due to several
factors, including the workload of the processor during video recording, the
type of FireWire or USB camera you use and the format of digital media file
being recorded.
 It is always a good idea to check synchronization once the observation has
ended. If necessary, you can adjust the synchronization point between media
files, and between media files and event data (see page 190).
To improve synchronization between video files, you can use a visual
signal, for example a brief flash that can be video-recorded.
Alternatively, you can use the SyncBox (see SyncBox Reference Manual
1.0 that is included on the installation DVD). You can adjust
synchronization (see page 190) by re-positioning the media files at the
point when the visual signal appears on the images.
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If you record live video to DV-AVI files
 Check carefully that you have enough space on the hard drive chosen to store
the resulting files. An hour of DV-AVI files requires about 12.5 GB of disk space!
 Once you stop an observation, the media files (one or two, depending on
your settings; see page 81) recorded during the observation are opened in
separate windows, so you can play them back immediately. The media files
are synchronized with the events and, if you have imported them, external
data.
If the available disk space is not sufficient to store the whole video,
The Observer gives no message until you stop the observation. The
Preview window freezes once the drive is full. The media file is saved
up to that moment.
5.4 How to…
Add an element to the coding scheme
while observing
It may happen that you observe something that does not comply with any
element in your coding scheme. You can add a new elements (Subjects,
Behaviors, Modifiers) or element groups (Behavior and Modifier groups) in two
ways:
 Method 1 (best for video observations, and for extensive changes to the
coding scheme) – Stop the observation, re-open the coding scheme (Setup,
Open Coding Scheme) and add the new element, then re-open and start the
observation.
 Method 2 (for both live and offline observations, and for limited changes to
the coding scheme) – Add the new element while you are observing and
score that element immediately (see below).
If you add a new modifier, remember to define its connections to
subjects or behaviors.
If the configuration is locked (see page 79), or the project is read-only
(see page 494), it is not possible to add new elements to the coding
scheme.
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In the Codes window, you can add new elements to your coding
scheme, not modify or delete existing ones. To do so, open the
coding scheme.
How to add a coding scheme element while observing
1 If you are carrying out an observation from video, pause the video first.
2 In the Codes window, click the tabbed you want to add an element to. For
example, if you want to add a behavior, click Behaviors.
3 Click the button that applies at the bottom of the Codes window, or press
Ctrl+E (only for adding elements, not groups). The corresponding window
displays. See the instructions below for the category that applies. Next, you
can keep scoring data.
The Codes window allows you to make limited changes to the coding
scheme. To change other properties of the elements like the sound, you
must stop and close the observation and re-open the coding scheme.
Adding a subject
4 In the Add Subject window, enter the name of the new subject and its
keycode, or accept the suggested code. Next, click Add. The new subject is
listed in the Codes window.
Adding a behavior
4 From the Add to group list, select the behavior group that you want the new
behavior be part of.
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5 Type in the Name and the Keycodes for the new behavior, or accept the
suggested ones.
6 From the Type list, select whether the new behavior is a Point Event, a State
Event or an Initial State Event (see page 106).
7 In the Link to box, select the modifier groups you want to associate with the
behavior.
8 Click Add. The new behavior is listed in the Codes window, under the
corresponding group name.
When your Observation method is Instantaneous Sampling, it does not
matter which Behavior type you choose.
When you add a behavior, this is automatically included in the subjectbehavior combinations that have been assigned to the group that behavior
belongs to.
Adding a behavior group
With Instantaneous Sampling only, you cannot add a behavior group.
4 In the Add Behavior group window, click the option you require. For more
information on the difference between mutually-exclusive and start-stop
groups of behaviors, see page 102.
5 Type in the name of the behavior group and in the Behaviors box define all
the behaviors of the group. Then, click Create group.
For more information on behavior groups, see page 100 and page 109.
Adding a modifier
4 In the Add Modifier window, select the group which the new modifier
belongs to. If you think that the modifier does not belong to any existing
group, create a new group first (see below).
5 Under Value, type in the modifier value or accept the suggested value. Under
Keycode, type in the keycode for the new modifier or accept the suggested
one.
6 Click Add. The new modifier is listed in the Codes window under the
corresponding group name.
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Adding a modifier group
4 In the Add Modifier group window, click the option you require. For more
information on the difference between Nominal and Numerical modifier
groups, see page 111.
5 Type in the name of the modifier group and in the Behaviors box define all
the modifiers of the group.
6 In the Link to Behaviors box, select the behaviors that you want to associate
with the modifier group. Next, click Create group.
Modify or remove a coding scheme
element after observing
To modify or remove an element of the coding scheme, you must first close the
observation.
1 Stop the observation (click the Stop Observation button or press Ctrl+Alt+Q).
2 Open the coding scheme (from the Setup menu, select Open Coding
Scheme).
3 Click the element you want to change, and then make sure that the Properties
pane is expanded (click Properties at the bottom of the screen). Modify the
element properties (see Chapter 4 for details) or delete the element (press
Ctrl+Delete).
4 Re-open the observation and resume scoring.
If at least one of the observations contains the element you want to
delete, the program inactivates it instead. The element is still present in
your data, so you can analyze it. For more information on inactivated
elements, see page 123.
Enter events as free text only
With The Observer XT you can log events in form of free text by using the
Comments column only. Once you have typed the event description, submit the
event line by pressing Enter. The cursor is positioned on a new line. The time
code of an event line is the time when you type the first character in the
Comment column.
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Before starting the observation, hide the columns of the event log that
are not useful for free text logging, that is, Subject, Behavior and their
Modifiers. To hide columns, see page 203.
You cannot analyze free text, but you can use the Find function (see
page 213) to find text across all observations.
Score the data in the order you prefer
Instantaneous Sampling
Subjects in an instantaneous sample block appear in the order they are placed in
the coding scheme. To score them in a different order:
1 Click the behavior cell of another subject and score this Subject-Behavior
combination.
2 The event log now continues with the next unscored Subject-Behavior
combination.
3 Continue until you have scored all Subject-behavior combinations in the
sample block.
Submit an incomplete event
If an event is made of several elements (for example, Subject, Behavior, and
three Modifiers), The Observer checks that all the required elements are scored.
However, you can still allow incomplete events by selecting the Press Enter to
confirm Event Line option (see page 153).
To submit an incomplete event, press Enter, or click the Finish sample button at
the top of the Event log.
Score numerical modifiers
You can score numerical modifiers (see page 114), that is, modifiers that have
numbers as possible values instead of text. For example, you may want to score a
behavior that has modifiers ranging from 1 and 10, so that you can later calculate
the average and variation of the scored values.
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To score numerical modifiers, score the behavior that is linked to numerical
modifiers. The column of the modifier becomes highlighted. Score the numerical
modifier (click the Start column in the Codes window or type in the
corresponding code).
You must first score the modifier group name before scoring the actual
values of the modifiers in the following cases:
 When you have two or more groups of numerical modifiers
attached to a behavior, and you have just scored that behavior.
 When you enter the modifier values of an initialized state.
Edit data and correct scoring errors
Always make a backup of your project before editing data (see page 492).
If you find many errors in the event log, that could be caused by some
accidental change in the coding scheme, for example the removal of a
subject-behavior combination (see page 120).
Replace or delete an element in the Event log
1 Click the cell where the element is scored.
You can also use the arrow keys to reach the line and the cell you want
to edit.
Result – The event line becomes highlighted and the Codes window displays
the elements that can replace the selected one.
2 Do one of the following:
 To replace the element, either type in the keycode for the new element or
click the code in the Codes window.
 To delete the element, press Delete or right-click and select Delete, or
click the Delete current element button at the top of the Event Log.
3 Click another line to confirm.
Add an element to a scored event
Example – add one more Modifier 'Value' to the Behavior 'User Error' scored.
1 Click the cell where you want to add the element.
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You can also use the arrow keys to reach the line and the cell you want
to edit.
The Codes window displays the elements that you can add in that cell.
2 Either type in the keycode for the new element or click the code in the Codes
window.
Result – The new modifier is added in a new cell that was inserted under the cell
you wanted to edit.
Add a new event row in the Event Log
Example - You want to add an event between the event scored at 00:02:30 and
the event scored at 00:02:35.
1 Click the row immediately above where you want the new row (in the example
above, the header of the row with 00:02:30).
2 Click the Insert a new line button at the top of the Event Log.
Result – A new empty event is added above the selected row. The time stamp
is the same as that of the selected row.
3 Score the data as usual. If necessary, change the time stamp (see below).
If you score events from video, you can also insert a line in the following
way: position the video to the time you require, then score the event as
usual. The new event line is inserted between two existing lines.
Remove one or more event rows from the Event log
1 Click the number of the row you want to delete.
Result – The entire row is highlighted in black.
To select more rows, drag across row headers, or click the header of the
first row you want to delete, then hold down the Shift key and click the
header of the last row you want to delete.
If you select multiple rows for deletion, make sure not to select hidden
rows with stop events. Use the row number to check this.
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2 Press Ctrl+Delete, or right-click and select Delete event(s).
Change the time code for a scored event
Example – You have scored an event composed of many elements, however it
was scored slightly later (or earlier) than the 'real' time. Instead of deleting the
event and re-score it on the right time, just change the time of the existing
record.
1 Locate the event line you want to change and double-click the cell in the
Event Time column.
Result – The time cell is highlighted in blue.
2 Click the time number you want to change and type the new time, or use the
two arrow buttons to adjust its value.
The new time has to be between the previous and the next event
times. If you set an earlier or later times, the row changes position
according to its time.
If you have scored an event slightly earlier or later than it occurs in the
video, you can now select the event line in the event log, move the
video to the correct frame and use <Ctrl+T> to copy the correct
timestamp from the video to the event log. The timestamp copied from
the video to the event log cannot be earlier or later than the timestamp
of the previous or next, respectively, event from the same Behavior
group.
3 Press Enter.
Undo coding actions
Example – You have coded the first element of an event. You realize that the
event should not be scored, so you want to cancel that action.
 When recording – Although you made a mistake, finish scoring this the
event. The time starts running again and the cursor jumps to the next row.
Right-click the column number of the event you want to remove and select
Delete event(s).
 When inserting an event between two existing events – Right-click the
column number of the event you want to remove and select Delete event(s).
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Re-open an observation or event log
Example – You want to re-open an observation to watch the video and add or
edit data.
1 Do one of the following:
To open an observation –
 From the Observe menu, select Observation, then Open or press
Ctrl+Alt+F6. Select the observation and click Open.
 In the Project Explorer, click the observation name under Observations.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click an Observation folder and select Open.
 If you want to continue with the last observation you were working on, in
the Project Explorer, click the Observations folder and click Continue last
observation in the overview window of The Observer XT that appears.
To open an event log within an observation, open first the observation which
contains the event log (see above), then –
 From the Observe menu, select Event Log, then Open or press
Ctrl+Alt+O. Select an event log and click Open.
 Click the + sign next to the observation name in the Project Explorer, right-
click Event Files, select Open Event Log, select an event log and click
Open.
2 Start the observation to edit the data (see page 164).
If your observation consists of two or more event logs, opening an
observation results in opening the most recent event log.
Change the observation's Start Time and
Duration
No matter what and how many data files an observation is made of (Event Log,
Digital Media, and External Data), the Start time and Stop time are the earliest
Start time and the latest Stop time of any data set, respectively (see the picture on
page 148). The Start Time, Stop Time and Duration are a property of the
Observation. You can view those times in the Independent Variable List (from the
Setup menu, select Independent Variables). This section describes how to
change those times. The synchronization between individual files will not change.
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Figure 5.11 Changing the Start and/or Stop time of an observation.
Changing the Start Time and/or Duration of an observation does not "move"
the single Event Log, Media and External Data files. If for example, you reduce
the Start time (that is, you move the Start to the left in the figure above), the files
belonging to that observation are not moved accordingly. This results in a larger
gap between the Start time and the starting point of the single files.
If you want to change the synchronization between two or more files (that
is, change the start time of one file relative to others'), see the next
section.
Why should I change an observation's Start Time and Duration? – You may
want to change Start and/or Stop time if for any reason the Start and/or Stop time
of an observation is wrong.
How to change the observation's Start Time and Duration?
1 Do one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, select Independent Variables.
 Click the Independent Variables button on the Component tool bar.
 In the Project Explorer, open the Setup folder and click Independent
Variables.
Result – The Independent Variable List window appears.
2 Click Show Independent Variables and in the Show Independent Variables
window make sure that Start Time, Stop Time and Duration are selected,
then click OK.
3 Locate the observation in the list and the cells corresponding to Start Time
and Duration.
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4 To change the observation's start date and time, edit the content of the Start
Time cell.
To change the observation's duration, edit the content of the Duration cell
accordingly (Stop time= Start time+Duration). The observation stop time is
changed automatically, according to the changes in the observation start time
and duration. Events that are recorded before the start time or after the stop
time of the observation are shown in grey in the Event Log.
The Stop Time cell cannot be edited.
5 Press Enter to confirm.
 If you change the Start/Stop time of an observation, the single files
within that observation are not 'moved' together with the
Observation. Therefore, if you set the observation start time later than the
start time of an event log, you might exclude event logs (or part of) from
the Observation itself.
For example, if your observation is one-hour long and you change the Start
date to the day after (from May 24 to May 25), the event log still starts on
May 24. The Observation is now starting on May 25 and lasts one hour, but
no data are included in that interval.
 When part of your event log data are excluded because they fall outside
the Observation duration, they are shown in grey. For example, this is an
event log scored from 16:21:48, after the Observation Start time was
changed to 16:22:00. The events scored before this time are grayed out:
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 If you want the event logs and other data streams to start at the new
Observation start time, adjust the offset of each file (Event Log, Digital
Media, External Data; see Enter directly the Offset time in the next
section).
Change the synchronization point
between event logs, video and external
data sets
This section describes how you can change the Start time of a data set (Event Log,
Digital Media, External Data) relative to others.
You can change synchronization between data sets at any time, before or after
scoring data.
Figure 5.12 Changing the synchronization point of one file relative to another within an
observation.
Example 1 – Before starting scoring data, synchronize two video files in such
a way that one video starts when the other is positioned at 30 seconds.
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Example 2 – After scoring data, change the offset time between two event
logs.
1 Open an existing observation, and make sure that the video and external data
linked to the observation are visible on your screen.
How? – For video files. open View Settings on the tool bar and click Videos.
Make sure that the correct video file is selected. For external data, open View
Settings and click External Data and subsequently Show External Data. Make
sure that the correct video/external data files are checked.
2 You can change the synchronization point in two ways: (1) Numerical offset,
or (2) Manual offset. See below for details.
You can change the synchronization point between external data and other
data (video and event logs) only after you have imported external data in the
current observation (see Chapter 6). Once you have imported them, follow
one of the two procedures below.
Numerical Offset
1 Click the Offset button on the Component tool bar, then choose Numerical
Offset.
Result – The File Synchronization window appears.
This window lists the event log currently open, the video files and the external
data linked to it.
2 Locate the data set (event, video or external data) of which you want to
change the synchronization point relative to others, and click the Offset cell.
3 Enter the offset value.
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Example – If you want to have the start of the event log synchronized with the
position of the media file at 20 seconds, then locate the row of the media file
and enter -20 in the seconds group of the Offset column.
4 Click Apply.
Manual Offset (only for media files or external data)
1 Click the Offset button on the Component tool bar, then choose Manual
Offset.
Result – The Synchronize window appears explaining the next three steps.
Click Start Synchronization.
2 Click the video image (for modifying the synchronization of a video relative to
the rest of the observation) or the external data graph (for modifying the
synchronization of external data relative to the rest of the observation).
Result – The video/external data window is highlighted in red.
3 Use the Playback Control buttons to play the video to the new position, or
drag the cursor in the external data window to the new position. The aim is to
position the video/external data to the point that you want to correspond to
the start of the event log.
1 Click the Offset button again.
Result – The highlighting edges disappear. The files are now synchronized as
you have specified.
You can use the File Synchronization window to check that the time
difference between video, event log and other data streams is the one
you require. You can change this difference at any time (see Numerical
offset above).
Score action-reaction data (triggering
behavior)
If you want to score data in a sequence like the following:
Subject1 - Behavior A - Subject 2 - Behavior B
Where Subject 2 performs Behavior B as a response to Behavior A by Subject 1,
make sure that you define a group of behavior modifiers (see page 107)
containing all subjects reacting (like Subject 2 in the example) and another group
of behavior modifiers containing all response behaviors (like Behavior B). Next,
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score the data in sequence (Subject - Behavior - Modifier of first group - Modifier
of second group).
Score data after importing external data
1 Create a new observation (see page 159).
2 Import the external data (see Chapter 6).
3 If necessary, change the synchronization of the external data files relative to
the (still empty) Event Log file by adjusting the Offset (see page 192).
4 Start the observation and score data (see page 164).
Modify the name and description of an
observation or event log
1 For observations: In the Project Explorer, open the Observations folder, rightclick the observation and select Properties.
For event logs: In the Project Explorer, open the Observations folder, then click
the '+' sign next to the observation containing the event log, and open the
Event Files folder. Right-click the event log and select Properties.
2 Edit the name of the Observation or Event Log (max 64 characters) and
Description (max 255 characters), then click OK.
Import data into an observation
Import event data
You can import event data in form of:
 Observational data files from The Observer 4/5 projects, Pocket Observer 3
and Observer XT projects.
 External observational data files – That is, any data files in which events are
organized in rows.
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For the detailed procedure, see page 509. For transferring files between The
Observer XT and Pocket Observer 3, see page 195.
Import external (physiological) data
For the detailed procedure see Chapter 6.
Import media files
Make sure that your observation is open, and from the Observe menu, select
Open in Current Observation.
If your observation already contains media files, or you want to import multiple
media files, see the procedure on page 238.
Export observational data
You can export observations to text files or Observer XT files (an XML format).
From the File menu, select Export and Observational Data, then choose the
observations to export. If you want to export one observation, right-click the
observation name in the Project Explorer and select Export. For more information,
see page 496.
Detect that an observation is being
recorded
When an observation is being recorded, you can detect this by looking at the
Playback Control window: The message says Recording and the Stop
Observation button is available.
You can also check that the observation is being recorded in the following way:
Locate The Observer XT icon in the system tray (next to the clock):
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If the icon is green, The Observer is not recording an observation. If you hover the
mouse over this icon, a small text "The Observer XT" is shown.
If the icon is red, The Observer is recording an observation. If you hover the
mouse pointer over this icon, a small text "The Observer XT Recording" is shown.
Transfer observations from the Pocket PC
to The Observer XT
If you have scored observations with Pocket Observer 3, you need to transfer
those observations to the The Observer XT PC. Connect the Pocket PC to the main
PC and from the File menu, select Pocket Observer and Import Observations
(for the detailed procedure see the Pocket Observer 3.1 Reference Manual).
To be able to do this, you need to have ActiveSync (Windows XP) or
Windows Mobile Device Center (Windows 7) installed on the The Observer
XT PC.
When receiving observations from the Pocket PC, the values of Independent
Variables are assigned according to the Scope defined for those variables in the
Independent Variable List of your project on the PC. For example, if a variable
has Subject as Scope (see page 133), importing observations from Pocket PC
(which contain a single value of each variable by definition) results in assigning
the value of that variable to all subjects scored in those observations. You can
check this by opening the Independent Variable List after receiving the
observations.
5.5 Customizing your observation
screen
You can change the look-and-feel of your observation screen according to your
needs:
 Choosing the windows you want to view (below).
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 Positioning the windows on the screen (see page 197).
 Customizing the properties of each window (see page 198);
Choosing the windows to view
View Settings (located in the upper-right corner of your tool bar) lists the
elements you can visualize during the observation. You can undock this window
by clicking the dots under the header View Settings. Subsequently you can drag
the window to a new location.
Figure 5.13 View Settings in the Observation window.
Select the objects you want to view during the observation.
 Codes – Keep this selected if you want to view the Codes window, which you
can use to score data with mouse clicks.
 Event Log – Click this if you want to choose to view Subjects, Behaviors,
Modifiers or Comments in your Event Log.
 Videos – (only if video files have been selected in the project) Select the
video files you want to view.
 External Data – Select this if you want to view the External Data window.
Click Show External Data to select the external data files to be displayed.
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This option makes sense when you import external data (see Chapter 6).
During data recording, the external data are not shown in the Observer
screen.
 Playback Control – Select this if you want to view the Playback Control
window (see page 204).
 SyncBox – Select this if you want to view the SyncBox window (see SyncBox
Reference Manual 1.0 included on the installation DVD).
 Plug-ins – Select this if you want to view the plug-in application windows (for
example, an audio player). For more information on plug-ins, see page 244.
 Timers – Select this if you want to see the Timers window with the absolute
and relative time while scoring.
 Time formats – Select this if you want to change the format of your time
stamps in the Event log.
Positioning and resizing the windows on
the screen
By default, all the windows displayed in the observation screen are docked. You
can change their position and resize them according to your needs.
 To re-position a window, click its title bar and drag it to the new position. Note:
To re-position the Playback control window, click anywhere in the grey area
and drag it to the desired position.
 To undock a window, click its title bar and drag anywhere until you see its
margins no longer constrained by other windows. Docking icons appear, to
show you where you can position the undocked window. If you hover with
your window over one of the docking icons, the new position of the window is
shown in blue.
If you release the window, the window is positioned at the chosen location.
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 To resize a window, hover the mouse on one of its margins until the cursor
changes to the symbol as outlined here. Next, drag the margin to adjust
window size.
Customizing the windows
You can customize the look of observation windows by right-clicking the window
content:
 Subjects, Behaviors and Modifiers windows (see below).
 Timers window (see page 198).
 Codes window (see page 200).
 Event Log window (see page 202).
 Playback Control window (see page 204).
 Video window (see page 206).
Timers window
The Timers window (see Figure 5.14) can display both the Relative and Absolute
time. You can select to display one or two columns by right-clicking the Timers
window and selecting/de-selecting a column.
The Timers window contains the following counters:
 Observation - Current Time – The current, absolute time during an
observation. This time is also displayed during playback.
When you stop the observation, the Observation - Current Time timer shows
the same time as the Event Log - Stop Time, and no longer runs.
 Observation - Elapsed Time – The elapsed, relative time during an
observation.
 Observation - Observed Time – The observed, relative time during an
observation. This counter pauses when you suspend an observation (see
page 210), and starts again when you resume the observation.
 Observation - Remaining Time – The remaining, relative time in the
observation. If you have defined a Maximum duration for the observation
(see page 89), this is the amount of time left in the observation.
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If you display the Observation - Remaining Rime, it is possible that the
Observation - Remaining Time + Observation Elapsed Time in the event
log is not exactly the Event Log - Stop Time. This is due to the rounding of
time decimals.
 Observation - Start Time – The minimum start time of all data sets in the
current observation.
If you score data from one media file, this is usually 00:00:00.000.
However, if you have opened two or more media files, and these are not
all synchronized on the first frame, this counter shows the time of the
earliest media file when the latest media file is positioned on zero. That is,
the minimum time at which a video image is available for all media files.
 Observation - Stop Time – The maximum end time of all data sets in the
current observation.
If you score data from one media file, this is usually the time of the last
frame. If two or more media files are opened, it shows the end time of the
longest media file.
 Event Log - Start Time – The minimum start time of the current event log in
the observation.
 Event Log - Stop Time – The maximum end time of the current event log in
the observation.
Figure 5.14 The Timers window.
How to customize the Timers window
 The time format of the Relative and Absolute time can be set in the Timers
format tab of the Project Settings (see page 139).
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 To hide one of the timers, right-click in the middle of the Timers window and
de-select the appropriate timer from the list. To restore a timer, right-click and
select the timer from the list.
Codes window
The Codes window (see Figure 5.15) displays the elements of the coding scheme
and of their properties. To score data, click a code or press the corresponding
keys. The Codes window contains three tabs:
 Subjects – Lists the Subjects defined at that time, and their code under Start.
If one or more state events are active for a certain subject, these are shown
under Status, separated by a comma.
 Behaviors – Lists the behaviors defined at that time, and their start and stop
code under Start and Stop (event behaviors only have a code under Start). If a
state behavior is active for one or more subjects, the Status column shows
those subjects separated by a comma.
 Modifier – Lists the modifiers defined at that time, and their code under Start.
If state behaviors are active for a certain subject, these are shown under
Status, separated by a comma.
If you add a new element to the coding scheme during an observation (see
page 179), the new element is shown in the last row of the corresponding tab.
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Figure 5.15 The Codes window.
How to customize the Codes window
To change the width of a column, point to the boundary on the right side of the
column and drag it accordingly.
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Event Log window
Figure 5.16 The Event Log window.
The Event Log is the window in which you score and edit your data. When you
score data, what you see in this window is essentially your data file.
The Event Log tool bar includes the following buttons:
 Insert a new line – Click this button when you want to insert an event
between two existing events. For more information, see page 184.
 Delete current element – Click this button when you want to delete the
selected element from the event log (not from the coding scheme). You can
also delete an element from the event log by clicking the cell and pressing
Delete.
 Delete current event – Click this button when you want to delete the selected
event from the event log (not from the coding scheme). You can also delete
an event from the event log by selecting the event line and pressing Delete.

Check Event Log – Click this button when you want to check for errors in the
data. For more information, see page 209.
 Finish sample – Click this button (or press <Ctrl+Enter>) when you want to
finish scoring the current sample without scoring all subject-behavior
combinations.
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 Import Data –
Click this button when you want to import video,
observational data, external data and other types of data in the current
observation.

Offset (Ctrl+Shift+=) –
Click this button when you want to change
the offset of one video/external data file relative to other data sets in your
observation. See page 190 for the detailed procedure.
 Zoom in (Ctrl+.) – Click this button to zoom in the external data plot.
 Zoom out (Ctrl+,) – Click this button to zoom out the external data plot.
 Mouse pointer – Click this button to deselect the zoom in or zoom out
button.
The two buttons Zoom in and Zoom out are available when an
observation is open that contains external data (see page 212).
How to customize the Event Log window
 Choosing the time format – You can change the format of the time in the
Event Time column.
i
Right-click one of the rows of the event log and select Settings, or select
Time Formats in View Settings.
ii In the Time formats tab of the Project Settings window, from the Project
time format list, select Absolute (absolute clock time) or Relative
(elapsed time). If you choose Absolute and want to include the date in
your time stamps, select the check box Show date with absolute times.
 Alternatively, select Show frame numbers while observing from videos
to display frames in the event log window.
iii Next, click the corresponding Edit button to specify the time format.
If you do not use media files for the current observation and select Show
frame numbers while observing from videos, Event Time shows the
time mode selected in the Project time format list.
For more information on time formats, see page 139.
 Hiding columns that are not of interest
i
Right-click one of the column headers of the event log.
ii De-select the category you want to hide.
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To show columns that were previously removed, right-click and select
the corresponding element.
 Changing column width
To change column width, point to the boundary on the right side of the
column header until the cursor changes to a double arrow, and drag it until
the column is the width you want.
Playback Control window
With the Playback Control window you can:
 Start, pause and stop an observation.
 Control playback of video files and other data sets (event log, external data).
 Import video and other files.
 Review segments of video and other data sets.
Individual functions
 Start Observation (Ctrl+Alt+B) – Starts the observation in the current event
log. Corresponds to the menu item Observe, Start Observation.
 Suspend Observation (Ctrl+Alt+X) – Suspends the current observation. It
corresponds to the menu item Observe, Suspend Observation.
 Resume Observation (Ctrl+Alt+V) – Resume the observation. It corresponds
to the menu item Observe, Resume Observation.
 Stop
Observation (Ctrl+Alt+Q) – Stops the current observation. It
corresponds to the menu item Observe, Stop Observation.
 Loop (Ctrl+Shift+Home) – Click this button when you want to play back video
and data a number of times. When the Current time reaches the Observation
- Stop Time in the Timers window, data are played from the beginning.
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 Jump to begin (Ctrl+Up-arrow key) – Rewinds the media file/event log
backwards.
 Jump to end (Ctrl+Down-arrow key) – Advances the video to the end.

Play backward at speed 1 (Ctrl+Shift+4) – Plays the media file/tape/event
log at the normal play speed.

Pause/Still (Ctrl+0) – Pauses the video.
When you pause the video, the video stops at the current frame and the
event log and other modalities are aligned with the video.

Play forward at speed 1 (Ctrl+4) – Plays the video at the normal play speed.

Playback speed – To control the playback speed, click one of the dot buttons
to play the video at a specific speed (For playing backward: From -1/25 or -1/
30 depending on video standard to -16; for playing forward: From 1/25 or 1/
30 to 16).
Not all playback speeds might be available. Depending on the video
format, you may not be able to play video at a specific speed. If you
open multiple video files and one of them can be played at fewer
speeds than others, those speeds will be available, not others.
 Quick review (Ctrl+Backspace) – Click this button when you want to review
the latest segment of video. You can specify the review length and speed (see
page 208 and page 154).
 Step backward (Ctrl+Left-arrow key) – Moves the video one frame back with
each click of the button. To use this function you must first pause the video
(see below).
 Step forward (Ctrl+Right-arrow key) – Moves the video one frame back with
each click of the button.
 Next sample (Ctrl+Shift+Down-arrow key) – Moves the video to the next
Instantaneous sample. This button is not available when you have selected
Continuous Sampling in the Project Setup.
 Previous sample (Ctrl+Shift+Up-arrow key) – Moves the video to the
previous Instantaneous sample. This button is not available when you have
selected Continuous Sampling in the Project Setup.
 Time – Shows the time elapsed from the start time of the observation (the
latter is shown in the Timers window as Observation - Start Time). Click the
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Settings button
next to and then Time formats in the left pane change its
format (see page 139).
If you select to display Remaining time, it is possible that the remaining
time+ elapsed time in the event log is not exactly the total duration. This is
due to the rounding of time decimals.
How to customize the Playback Control window
 To move and resize this window, see page 197.
 To customize the time interval represented by the slider, see page 157.
Video window
The Video window only applies if you score data live with a video camera, or
offline from video files. If you score data from more than one media file or video
device, additional Video windows appear on your screen.
 Video Properties – To display the properties of the video currently selected,
right-click the video image and select Properties. You can view the file
location, video image size and duration. Under Video codec and Audio
codec, the file formats The Observer XT reads from the video file are given. In
addition, under Filter details, the filters and codecs that The Observer XT uses
to play back the video file are listed.
 Time – It is possible that the time displayed in the Video window is not exactly
the same as the time in the Event Log, Playback Control and Timers window.
The difference may vary from 0 to 0.04 s. This happens because each data
stream, be it video or event data, has its own time running. If you want to
make sure that an event gets exactly the same time stamp as the video time,
click the arrows next to the time in the Video window, until the time equals
that shown in the Current line of the Event Log.
How to customize the Video window
 Resizing the window
Drag the window's borders until you are satisfied with the video size. The
aspect ratio of the original image is maintained.
 Docking/undocking a window
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 To undock a window, click its title bar and drag anywhere until you see its
margins no longer constrained by other windows. Docking icons appear, to
show you where you can position the undocked window. If you hover with
your window over one of the docking icons, the new position of the window is
shown in blue. If you release the window, the window is positioned at the
chosen location (see also page 197).
 Docking/undocking multiple videos
If you have multiple videos, to undock a window, right-click the image in the
window and select Float. The Video is displayed at 100% size. If you have two
monitors, move this window to the second monitor for better view. To dock a
window back, right-click and select Dock, or click this window and press
Alt+F4 or click the Close button.
If you just have one video, you cannot float it. If you have two monitors, you
can drag the whole video window to the second monitor for better view.
 Turning the audio on/off
Click the speaker symbol on the top right corner of the Video window for a
specific video file. If your observation includes two or more video files, keep
the audio on only for the video file you want to hear.
 For multiple video: switching between video files
If your observation is associated with two or more video files, one video file is
positioned on the right half of the window, and the remaining on the left half.
Figure 5.17 Multiple video files displayed in the Video window.
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Click one of the video files on the left to have it displayed on the right half, or
right-click and select Swap. Drag the margins of the separation bar between
the videos to adjust the picture size.
5.6 Additional functions
Quick Review
You can automatically rewind the video and data sets for a specified time interval
and review them from that point, for example to check that an event was scored
at the correct time or to add/edit event lines.
Quick Review is also useful when you carry out Instantaneous Sampling
during an Offline observation. After you click the Next and Previous
sample button, use the Quick Review button to get more information
about which behavior the subjects are performing.
To use this function, click the Quick Review button in the Playback Control
window, or press Ctrl+Backspace.
You can specify the number of seconds you want the video to be
rewound before reviewing, and the speed at which the video is played
back (see page 154).
Loop function
You can automatically rewind video and data to the beginning and play them
back.
To use this function, click the Loop button in the Playback Control window, or
press Ctrl+Shift+Home.
In the Playback Control window, specify the playback speed you require
(see page 205).
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Checking the event log for errors and
correcting errors automatically
This function allows you to check an event log for errors and to fix the errors
automatically. Errors may occur when for example you stop a behavior that was
not active at that time. You can also use the event log checker to see what states
are currently active.
An event log error is also indicated by a warning sign next to the observation in
the Project Explorer.
To check an event log, click the Check Event Log button in the Event Log
window. If the event log contains errors, a message will appear asking you
whether you want The Observer to try and fix the errors automatically. The
Observer can fix the following types of errors:
 Missing stop codes – These will be added.
 Stop codes without corresponding start code – These will be deleted.
 Gaps between mutually exclusive, exhaustive behaviors – These will be
corrected. If no initial state event has been scored, this will be added. If there
is a gap further on in the event log, it will be corrected by extending the
behavior that was active before the gap.
 Overlaps between mutually exclusive behaviors – These will be corrected. The
stop code of the overlapping behavior will be moved to the start of the
behavior it overlaps with.
These errors may occur in event logs made in The Observer 6, 7 or 8.
Click Yes to automatically fix the errors or No to fix them manually. If you choose
the latter option, The Observer will indicate how many errors have been found.
The event rows with errors are highlighted in red. Point the mouse to those rows
to know more about the error they contain. See page 184 for information on
correcting coding errors manually.
Another possible error is that a behavior was not scored with all the
required modifiers (see the picture below).
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To check what state events are currently active during an observation,
click the Check Event Log button and point the mouse on the red rows.
States that are active are indicated by 'No matching stop event'.
If you find many errors in the event log, that could be caused by some
accidental change in the coding scheme, for example the removal of a
subject-behavior combination (see page 120).
Suspending an observation
You can suspend an observation at any time, for example when a subject is out of
view. When you suspend an observation, the currently active states for all subjects
are stopped. The Observer is put in standby awaiting that you resume the
observation.
1 To suspend an observation, do one of the following:
 From the Observe menu, select Suspend Observation.
 Click the Suspend Observation button in the Playback Control window or
press Ctrl+Alt+X.
Result –
 In the Timers window, the Observation - Observed Time timer stops and
the Observation - Elapsed Time timer continues. In the Playback Control
window, the status is Suspended (below the Stop button).
 In the Event Log, two lines are added: Suspend (marked by the time when
the observation was suspended) and Resume (with time 'not defined
yet'). For each state that was active at the time the observation was
suspended, the program adds a row below the Resume row. The program
assumes that those states are active when you resume the observation.
You can change these states immediately before you resume the
observation if the subjects have changed state in the meantime, or
confirm them and resume the observation.
Example for mutually exclusive behaviors – In a chimpanzee study, the
observation was suspended at 31:41 when the subject went out of sight. At
that time, the states Null and Walk of two different mutually exclusive
behavior groups were active. After the line Resume, the start events for
those states are added automatically. These are the states that The
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Observer assumes to be active when you resume the observation. You can
change them immediately before resuming the observation (see below).
Example for Start-Stop behaviors– In the example below, the observation
was suspended at 24.76. Before the line Suspend, stop codes are added for
the active behaviors. Below the line Resume, two start codes are added for
the behaviors that were active at the moment the observation was suspended.
These start codes cannot be changed into stop codes, since this would lead to
errors in the Event Log. If the behaviors are not active immediately after
suspension, after resume the observation, immediately score the correct
behavior.
2 When your subject comes back into view or when you are ready to resume,
update the behaviors in the lines below the Suspend line. If the states do not
need to be updated, go to the next step.
To update the behaviors, click the cell you want to update, and score the new
state. In the example below, the state Walk was changed to Climb (compare
with the previous picture).
3 When you are ready, to resume the observation from the Observe menu,
select Resume Observation, or click the Resume Observation button.
4 Continue scoring data as usual.
The time period between suspending and resuming an observation is not
considered for analysis.
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You cannot suspend Instantaneous Sampling. If you use both Continuous
and Instantaneous Sampling, when you suspend the observation, only
Continuous Sampling is suspended.
Continuous Sampling is automatically suspended whilst you score an
interval sample.
Playing back observation data
Once you have stopped an observation (see page 175), you can play the data back
for review and data editing.
 You can play back one event log file at a time. If an observation consists of
two or more event log files, from the Observe menu, select Event Log, then
Open.
 If you add or remove a variable in the Independent Variables List (see
page 125), the corresponding object (for example, a Video window if the
variable is media file) is displayed or removed, respectively.
 You can also play back the data (including video) in the Visualization mode.
See Chapter 8.
 To play back external data, you must first import the external data files in that
observation. See Chapter 6.
How to play back data
 To play back data for reviewing purposes, click the Play forward button in
the Playback Control window. You can use the Play buttons as usual to control
playback.
 To play back data and add/edit event data, click the Start Observation
button. You can now score data as usual (see page 165). When you are done
with scoring, click the Stop Observation button.
If you have scored data live with a video signal and recorded video to a
media file (see page 83 for how to set this), when you play back the data
the video is played back too, synchronized with the events. If you have
recorded two or more video files, video is played synchronously.
You can use the Find function to search for specific subjects, behaviors
and/or modifiers across all observations (see page 213).
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Finding events
Use the Find function to:
 Find a specific event type (for example, Twin 1 - Imitates - Twin 2).
 Find multiple event types which share the initial part of the name of the
subject/behavior (for example: Twin 1 - Play and Twin 2 - Play.
 Find multiple event types which share modifiers (for example Play - Duet and
Play - Alone).
 Find free text entered in the Event log’s Comments column (for example, ”I
want to play”).
You can specify to search one or multiple observations simultaneously. The
Observer creates a list of events that correspond to your search criteria. You can
then:
 Position video, event log and external data at the time corresponding to one
of the events found.
 Copy the list of evens found.
You can only search for events in the event log, not in the event plots.
The Find function does not create a subset of data ready to be analyzed
(for example, to calculate statistics). For this purpose, select data in the
data profile (see Chapter 7).
Procedure
1 Click one of the observations in the Explorer, or from the Observe menu,
select Observation, then Open and select one of the observations.
2 From the Edit menu, select Find, or press Ctrl+F. The Find window appears.
3 Choose the option that applies:
 To search for a specific event type, select the subject, the behavior and the
modifier (when applicable) from the corresponding lists Subjects,
Behaviors and Modifiers.
To select an element of the coding scheme, click the down-pointing arrow
in the corresponding list and select that element.
To search for an event type independent of the subject, leave <Any
subject> selected in the Subjects list.
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To search for an event type independent of the behavior, leave <Any
behavior> selected in the Behaviors list.
To search for an event type independent of the modifier entered for one
group, select the name of the modifiers group. All modifiers in this group
are automatically selected.
To search for an event type that contains one modifier OR another of the
same group, and exclude others, select the modifiers that you require.
If you select a group of numerical modifiers, you can choose to search for
a specific value or a range of values. See page 216 for more information.
 You can also search for multiple subjects and behaviors, provided that
these share the initial part of the name. For example, to find all events
with subject Twin 1 or Twin 2 (“Twin” is shared), or to find all events with
behavior Sitting or Standing (“S” is shared).
In the Subjects or Behaviors list, type in the initial part of the name that is
shared by the subjects/behaviors (for example, Tw). If the text is
completed automatically, delete the part that is not shared.
If the first character of the subject/behavior name is not shared, you
cannot find events with this option. Rather, do the search for the different
subjects/behavior separately.
 To search for an event containing specific text in the Event log’s
Comments column, enter this text in the Comments field.
To search for a specific sequence of words, type the words between
quotes, for example “Where is the puppet?”.
To search for any of specific words, type in those words without quotes.
(for example, puppet ball cards).
4 From the Find events in list, select the observations you want to search.
5 To start searching, click Find.
The window lists the events found. The number of events found is displayed at
the bottom of the window.
If no events are found, the message is shown <No events found>.
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6 To position the video, event log and other data at the time corresponding to
an event, double-click the event in the list, or right-click it and select Open
event.
If the event is stored in an event log other than that currently open, the new
event log opens and the current one closes.
 You can either select one subject (or behavior) from the corresponding list, or
all subjects/behaviors by selecting <Any subject> or <Any behavior>. You
cannot select some subject/behaviors, not others.
 If you select modifiers in two or multiple groups, the program searches for the
events which contain any of these modifiers. For example, if you select Play
alone for the modifier group Play mode and Play imaginary for the group
Play type, all the events containing either Play alone or Play imaginary are
found.
 If you select a subject, a behavior and/or a modifier, the program searches for
the events which contain all these criteria. For example, if you select the
Subject Child, the behavior Play and the modifier Play alone, only the events
containing Child, Play and Play alone are found.
 Once you select modifiers to search for, the Modifiers list shows the name of
the modifiers groups selected, not the single modifiers.
 If your observation contains multiple event logs, search is done in all event
logs. You cannot directly search specific event logs within the same
observation. However, you can view which event log an event corresponds to
by sorting the Find results according to Event Log (see below).
 You can hide columns that are not of interest. Right-click one of the column
headers and de-select the column you want to hide. To show columns that
were previously removed, right-click a header, click show column and select
the corresponding element.
 Using wildcards –
 Typing a character in one of the coding scheme lists results in finding all
events where the element of that type starts with that character. Search for
coding scheme elements is case sensitive. For example if you type in “T”,
The Observer finds all events beginning with T.
 Typing a character in the Comments field results in finding all events
containing that character. Search for free text in Comments is not casesensitive. If you type in “watch”, you may get results like “Watch out!” and
“watch out”.
 Characters like “ * ” and “ ? “ cannot be used as wildcards, The Observer
will search for those literal characters.
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 To reset the search criteria, click Reset.
 If Find is in progress and you want to stop it, click the Stop button.
 To close the Find window, click the Close button at the top-right corner of the
window, or right-click the window title bar and select Close.
 When you reopen the Find window, the search criteria last used are selected
automatically, until you open another project or restart the program.
Searching for numerical modifiers
From the Modifiers list of the Find window, select the group of numerical
modifier you want to search.
 If you want to search for events with a specific value of the modifier, select
Exact and enter that value.
 If you want to search for events with multiple values, select Range and enter
the from ... to ... limits of the range in which the values lie.
To select values “Greater than n”, next to From enter the value n, and next to
to enter a value equal to the greatest value for that modifier defined in the
coding scheme.
To select values “Smaller than n”, next to From enter a value equal to the
smallest value for that modifier defined in the coding scheme. Next to to,
enter the value n.
If you do not know the actual limiting values of the modifier, enter the a range
that is likely to include all the possible values.
Sorting the Find results
To sort the results, click the header of the column click the header that you want
to use as a sorting criterion (for example, Behavior). If you click once, the events
are sorted in descending order. Click again to sort in ascending order.
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Exporting the Find results
With the Find function you can very quickly obtain a text file of the
selected data. Select the events you are interested in and copy them
into another program.
To copy the events into another program:
1 Click one of the events in the list, and press Ctrl+A or right-click and select
Select All.
2 Press Ctrl+C, or right-click and select Copy.
3 In the other program, click Ctrl+V or from the Edit menu, select Paste.
Figure 5.18 Copying events.
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5.7 Carrying out observations with
external data
What is external data?
In The Observer XT, external data is any data set acquired with a separate Data
AcQuisition (DAQ) system and stored in form of an ASCII file. Examples of external
data include physiological data like EEG, ECG, blood pressure, etc. or
environmental data (temperature, humidity, etc.), or quantities like speed.
When do I need this information?
You need this information every time you are about to acquire external data
together with observational data (events), and you want to automatically
synchronize that data with the observational data.
How do I work with external data?
1 Connect your DAQ system to its dedicated computer (that is, the computer
that records such data) and the Observer computer, and select DAQ coacquisition in Project Setup (see below). Next, you start an observation and
code the behaviors as usual, while the DAQ system records the external data.
The external data are saved in the computer dedicated to the DAQ device,
not in the Observer PC. However, you must connect The Observer PC to
the DAQ device in order for The Observer to send its synchronization
signal (see below).
2 In The Observer XT, import the external data file(s) and associate each of them
with an observation, an event log or a subject (see page 258).
Therefore, The Observer PC only records the manually coded data (events).
During the observations, you do not see the external data on your Observer
screen.
External data are always stored in form of ASCII files in the computer
dedicated to the DAQ device. These data files must be imported in The
Observer in order to be displayed.
Specifying external data acquisition in The Observer XT
1 Open the Project Setup and select Live Observation under Observation
source (see page 80).
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2 Select Live scoring. Select DAQ settings (or any other name indicating the
external data acquisition device) and double-click the text under Status, or
click the Edit Settings button.
You can co-acquire external data only when you score data live.
If you score data from previously-recorded video files, you can still import
external data that were recorded while you recorded video, but you must
make sure that video and external data can be synchronized in some way.
3 In the DAQ Hardware Settings window under Predefined Settings, select the
item corresponding to your Data Acquisition device, or create a new one (see
page 272).
4 Click OK.
5 Start the observation as usual. The program sends a synchronization signal to
the Data acquisition device.
6 After stopping the observation, import the external data (see page 258).
For more information on how to work with physiological data in The Observer
XT, see Chapter 6.
5.8 Carrying out observations with
uLog
What is uLog?
uLog is a tool for the automatic recording of user-system interaction. uLog is
automatically installed with The Observer XT. With uLog you can log basic
computer events such as mouse clicks, scrolling, window events and keystrokes.
uLog comes in two versions: the (free) uLog Lite which has limited functionality
and uLog Pro which has full functionality and is completely integrated with The
Observer XT. See the figure below for a comparison of the functionality of uLog
Lite and uLog Pro.
uLog only works under Windows XP
You need to buy the uLog add-on to be able to work with uLog Pro.
uLog is not compatible with Observer versions older than The Observer XT
6.0.
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When do I need this information?
You need this information when you want to use uLog Pro on a test computer and
add the logged data to The Observer XT.
Figure 5.19 Comparison of functionality between uLog Lite and uLog Pro.
How do I work with uLog?
1 Set up The Observer XT for use with uLog in the Observation Source. You can
specify whether you want to use a non-connected setup (uLog runs on a test
computer in standalone mode) or connected setup (uLog runs on a test
computer and is controlled from The Observer XT computer via a network
connection).
2 Install uLog on the test computer and set uLog either to standalone or
connected mode.
3 Start logging the test computer with uLog by starting uLog (standalone mode)
or by starting an observation in The Observer XT (connected mode).
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4 Stop logging by stopping uLog (standalone mode) and manually open the
uLog data file in The Observer XT. In the connected mode ulog is stopped
when the observation stops and the uLog data is automatically transferred to
and opened in the current Observation.
Specifying uLog co-acquisition in The
Observer XT
1 In the Observation Sources (see page 80), select Live Observation. Next,
select uLog and double-click it or click Edit Settings at the bottom of the table.
Result – The uLog Settings window (see Figure 5.20) appears.
Figure 5.20 The uLog Settings window.
2 In the uLog Settings window, you can specify which events should be saved
in the logfile in the Events to log group:
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 Pointing devices – These are events carried out with, for instance, a
mouse, trackball or touch pad: clicks, double-clicks / wheel activity.
 Keyboard events – Single keystrokes and/or strings of keystrokes (i.e., text
entered by the user).
A series of key strokes is entered as a string when a string terminator is
used. String terminators are the Enter, Backspace, and Tab keys, and the
mouse click. A string is also entered when the maximum buffer size of 256
characters is reached.
 Menu events – Menu created / opened / selected / closed.
 Window events – Window opened / activated / title changed / move /
resize / close.
 Other events – Scroll / Cut, copy, paste / Command invoked / Maximize,
minimize, restore.
Depending on the application, menu events are logged either when
clicked or when you hover over them.
When you select Other events, you get a warning message that
logging Other events can lead to extremely large log files which
might not be imported into The Observer XT.
3 In the Applications to log group you can specify which applications should be
logged:
 Every application.
If you select this option, please turn off the computer clock on the taskbar
(right-click the taskbar, select Properties and de-select Show the clock on
the Taskbar tab), otherwise a text change is logged every time the clock
changes.
 Only following applications. Use this option to select specific
applications:
 Add - Click the Add button to add an application. In the Specify
Application window, click Browse to locate the *.exe file and click
Open or simply type in the name of the executable. You can also
click the Target button and then click the active window of the
application to add it to the application list. You can change the
display name of the application if you want.
 Remove - Select one of the applications and click the Remove
button to delete it from the list.
 Edit - Select an application from the list and click the Edit button to
open the Specify Application window for this application. Specify
the name of the program to use, or click Target and then click that
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program on the screen. The name of the program will appear next
to Specify executable name.
4 In the Log settings group you can select whether you want to use uLog in a
connected setup (see below) or in standalone setup (go to page 229). You can
also change the log file name here.
Connected setup - The Observer XT
Follow these instructions if the test computer is connected to The Observer XT
computer via a network connection. If it is not, go to page 227.
In a connected setup, uLog only works via a TCP/IP network protocol.
1 Select Log connected computer in the Log settings group and click the
Connected Settings… button. Please follow the instructions in the Setup
connection window.
2 Run uLog.exe on the test PC (see page 224) and click Connect. If uLog is not
yet installed on the test computer, see below.
Installing uLog on the test computer
If the logger is not yet installed on that computer:
1 Click the Create Logger… button to copy the logger to a folder on the test
computer.
2 On the test computer, double-click uLog_Install.exe. Click Next on the
Installshield Wizard screen.
3 On the next screen, you can change the folder in which uLog is installed.
'.\' in the Save files in folder box indicates the default folder. This is the
folder from where you ran uLog_Install.exe.
If you do not have the correct Windows access permission rights to install
uLog, ask your system administrator to do this.
If connection fails
If connection fails, it could be that the IP addresses on the Observer XT computer
and the test computer do not match. This could be caused by the fact the
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Observer XT computer may have more than one IP address. For example, one IP
address for the Local Area Network, and one for a IP camera.
Click Settings in the Setup connection on the Observer XT computer.
In the Connection settings window, select an IP address from the list and click
OK. If necessary, select another IP address until connection succeeds.
To find the network name and IP address of your computer see.
page 226 and page 226
Connected setup - uLog
1 Make sure that the Project in The Observer XT from where you copied the
logger is active. Run uLog.exe from the folder where you extracted it. You get
a Legal information message. Please read this carefully. Click I accept and
then Connection to open the Setup connection with The Observer XT
window.
The Windows Firewall or another firewall program may block uLog. Please
refer to the manual of the firewall program or contact your system
administrator if you want to create an exception for uLog.exe.
To create an exception for uLog in the Windows Firewall:
i
Click the Windows Start button and click Control Panel. In the Control
Panel window, double-click Windows Firewall.
ii For Windows XP, In the Windows Firewall window, select the Exceptions
tab. For Windows 7, click Allow Programs through Windows Firewall.
Click the Add Program button, browse to the folder where you extracted
uLog, open uLog.exe and click Open. Next, Click OK.
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2 In the Connection settings group you can either connect to The Observer XT
computer by selecting Connect by network name or Connect by IP address.
By default, the name and IP address of the computer on which the logger was
created are shown. Make sure that this is the name or IP address of the
Observer XT computer.
If the network name of The Observer XT computer is not available
because, for instance, it is outside the network domain of the test
computer, you can use the IP Address.
 Port – By default, uLog uses port 6000 for the communication between
The Observer XT computer and the test computer. If this port is not
available, choose another one.
 Status – Here you can see whether uLog and The Observer are connected.
When status is disconnected, click on the Connect button to make a
connection.
 If connection could not be established – If it is impossible to make a
connection, you can run uLog in standalone mode - click on the Run
standalone button to do so and follow the instructions from point 2 under
Non-connected setup - uLog on page 227.
 Preview logging – When you click the Preview logging window, the uLog
preview window opens in which you get a preview of events that are
logged.
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 How do I find out the network name of The Observer XT computer?
Windows XP – Click on the Windows XP Start button, right-click the My
computer icon and select Properties. Next, select the Computer name tab.
You find the name of your computer here.
Windows 7 – Click on the Start button, right-click on Computer on the right
hand side of the list and select Properties. You now find the Full name of your
computer.
 How do I find out the IP address of The Observer XT computer?
Windows XP – Click on the Windows XP Start button and click on Run. In the
Run window, type 'cmd' and click OK or press Enter. In the Command
window, type 'ipconfig' and press Enter. The IP address of the computer
appears. Close the Command window by typing 'exit' or by clicking on the
close button.
Windows 7 – In the Control panel select Network & Internet and then
Network & Sharing Centre. Next to Connections, click Local Area
Connection. Click Details. Your computer’s IP address appears in the Value
column next to IPv4 address.
Loading a new configuration
By default the logger uses the configuration file with uLog settings from the
Observation in which the logger was created. If you want to use a configuration
with different uLog settings:
 Create a logger in the Project Setup in The Observer XT.
 Copy the configuration file (*.ucf) from The Observer XT computer to the uLog
folder on the test computer.
 In uLog, load the new configuration by selecting Load configuration from the
File menu, locate the file and press Open.
3 If the settings are correct and Status is connected, click OK.
A uLog warning message pops up from the icon-tray saying that the
Logger is connected to The Observer XT.
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Non-connected setup - The Observer XT
In a non-connected setup uLog runs on a test computer and The Observer runs on
another computer. After you have logged actions on the test computer, you need
to manually import the logged events from uLog into The Observer XT.
1 Select Log non-connected computer in the Logging settings and click the
Standalone Settings… button.
2 In the Create standalone test window, select the folder in which you want to
create the configuration file and the logger application.
 You can change the name of the configuration file here.
 If the Logger is already installed on the computer you want to log, de-
select the Include logger application button.
3 From this folder copy the files to a folder on the test computer and run
uLog_install.exe by double-clicking it.
4 Click Next on the Installshield Wizard screen.
5 On the next screen, you can change the folder in which uLog is installed.
'.\' in the Save files in folder box indicates the default folder. This is the
folder from where you ran uLog_Install.exe.
Non-connected setup - uLog
1 Run uLog.exe from the folder on the test computer where you extracted the
logger.
2 In the uLog standalone window you see the following Standalone settings:
 Loaded Configuration – This is the configuration that was copied with the
Logger. You can change the configuration by clicking on the Browse
button next to the Loaded Configuration box. Alternatively, select Load
configuration from the File menu.
 To view configuration settings – Click on the View settings button to
see the settings as you already set them in The Observer.
 Logfile name – This is the name of the file (in NXL format) in which the
logging data are stored.
In the uLog Standalone window you still have the option to create a
connection between the Logger and The Observer. Press the Connection
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button and follow the instructions from point 2 under Connected setup uLog on page 224.
Carrying out an observation in a
connected setup
Make sure that uLog and The Observer XT are connected before
starting an Observation.
See Specifying uLog co-acquisition settings on page 221 to see how to set The
Observer XT.
1 In The Observer XT, create a new observation in the project that has been set
up for uLog co-acquisition.
2 Start the observation by clicking the Start observation button in the Playback
Control window or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+B.
A uLog warning message pops up saying that Logger started logging. During
the observation you occasionally get feedback from the Logger that logging
goes ok.
3 When you are finished with the Observation, click the Stop observation
button or press Ctrl+Alt+Q.
You get a pop-up message from the Logger that logging stopped and which
file the logging data were saved to.
The Windows Firewall or another firewall program may block uLog. See
page 224 for instructions on how to add uLog as an exception to the
Windows Firewall. See the manual of the firewall program or contact your
system administrator if you want to create an exception for uLog.
4 The logging data are sent from uLog to The Observer XT and added as event
log uLog_data in the current observation. The logged events from uLog are
also automatically added to the Coding Scheme.
By default the start date and time of the current observation are used as the
start date and time for the uLog_data event log. So, the clocks of the
Observer XT computer and the test computer do not have to be synchronized.
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Carrying out an observation in a nonconnected setup
uLog (standalone mode)
1 Start logging by doing one of the following:
 Press the Start button in uLog.
 Right-click the uLog icon in the icon tray and select Start logging from the
pop-up menu.
Click the Preview logging button to open the uLog preview window to get a
real-time preview of all the actions that are logged.
When you start logging a pop-up message appears from the uLog icon that
uLog is logging.
2 Stop logging by doing on of the following:
 Press the Stop button in uLog.
 Right-click the uLog icon in the icon tray and select Stop logging.
You get a pop-up message from the Logger that logging stopped and which
file the logging data were saved to. Close this pop-up balloon by clicking the
Close button in the top-right corner.
The Observer XT
3 In The Observer XT, open the observation.
4 From the File menu, select uLog and Open uLog Data, or click the Import
Data button on the tool bar, and select Import uLog data.
5 In the Open window, locate the uLog Data file(s) (NXL format) you want to
open.
To select multiple files, click each file while holding down the Ctrl key.
Do not try to open uLog Data files from the temporary folder
C:\Documents and Settings\...\Local Settings\Temp (for Windows XP) or
C:\Users\...\Local\Temp (for Windows 7). You will get an error message.
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Figure 5.21 The Open uLog Data window.
6 In the Add to group, choose one of the following:
 Existing observation – To add the uLog data to an existing observation.
Select an observation from the list. You then can choose to either use
Observation date and time or uLog data file date and time.
If you have selected more than one uLog data file, each is imported as a
separate event log in that observation.
 New observation – To add the uLog data as a new observation.
If you have selected more than one uLog data file, select the Create new
observation for every selected logfile option, to have each uLog data
file imported as a separate observation. If you do not select this option,
each uLog data file is imported as an event log within the observation.
7 Click Open.
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Troubleshooting
uLog cannot establish a connection with The Observer XT
 Network cable unplugged.
Check that the network cable is plugged in, both on the uLog test computer
and The Observer XT computer.
 The Observer XT is not running.
Run The Observer XT and open a Project with uLog set in the Observation
Source.
 uLog is not selected in the Devices for Live observations in The Observer
XT.
Select uLog in the Devices for Live observation in The Observer XT (see
page 82).
 Network name incorrect.
In the Connection settings group, check that the network name corresponds
to the name of The Observer XT computer to which you want to connect (see
“How do I find out the network name of The Observer XT computer?” on
page 226).
 IP address incorrect.
In the Connection settings group, check that the IP Address corresponds to
the IP address of The Observer XT computer to which you want to connect
(see “How do I find out the IP address of The Observer XT computer?” on
page 226).
 The Windows Firewall is blocking the connection.
Create an exception for uLog in the Windows Firewall (see “To create an
exception for uLog in the Windows Firewall? on page 224).
Wrong settings in uLog
 The wrong configuration file is loaded.
From the File menu, select Load configuration... and open the correct
configuration file.
 Wrong settings were made in The Observer XT.
In The Observer XT, in the uLog Settings window, select the right settings,
create a logger and configuration file and copy the configuration file (*.ucf) to
the uLog folder on the test computer (see also Specifying uLog coacquisition in The Observer XT on page 221).
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Wrong characters displayed
 Accented characters are not displayed correctly in applications like
MicroSoft Word and Notepad (though they are recorded correctly in uLog).
Use the default US keyboard layout, or a keyboard layout with which you can
type in accented characters with one keypress. For Windows XP, in the Control
Panel, select Regional and Language Options, click the Advanced tab and
select Languages. For Windows 7, in the Control Panel, select Clock,
Language and Region, click Region and Language and open the tab
Keyboards. Select the US keyboard.
uLog cannot save the data
 An error message appears stating "log could not be written to...".
This occurs when the msxml 6.0 software is not installed on the test PC, and
you are using the uLog connected or uLog stand-alone configuration. You can
find the msxml6.msi file on the installation DVD under ISSetupPrerequisites,
or download it from the MicroSoft website:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=993c0bcf-3bcf4009-be21-27e85e1857b1&DisplayLang=en.
Install the msxml6.msi file on the test PC.
5.9 Carrying out observations with
external programs
What is an external program?
In The Observer XT, an external program is software that you can use in
combination with The Observer to record additional data. For example, the Media
Recorder can be used to record up to 4 high-quality video files.
When do I need this information?
You need this information if you want to make a program start or perform an
action when you do something in The Observer (for example, start recording with
the Media Recorder when you start an observation).
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Automatic linking of digital media files
When you carry out an observation you can simultaneously start making a media
file with another program. This program, for example, the Media Recorder, can be
started and stopped from within The Observer. After you have carried out the
observation, the media file generated by the Media Recorder can be automatically
linked to the associated observation or subject in an observation (see page 235).
Specifying external program settings in
The Observer
1 From the Setup menu, select Project Setup. Under Observation Source,
select Live Observation.
2 In the Devices window, click the Add external program button at the bottom
of the table. The Add External Program window opens (Figure 5.22).
3 Under Name, type in the name you want to give to the action (for example,
Control Media Recorder) or accept the suggested one. This name will be
displayed in a new row in the table under Live scoring.
4 Under At: select when you want the program to run. If you want to send
commands to different programs, it is recommended to use a separate Add
External Program window for each device.
 New Observation – Select this if you want the external program to
perform an action when you create a new observation (see page 159).
 Start Observation – Select this if you want the external program to
perform an action when you start an observation (see page 164).
 Stop Observation – Select this if you want the external program to
perform an action when you stop an observation (see page 165).
 Close Observation – Select this if you want the external program to
perform an action when you close an observation.
The action will be defined in the next two steps.
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Figure 5.22 The Add External Program window.
5 Click the button next to Program, and navigate to the location where the
program file is stored, select this file and click Open.
6 In the Command line options field, enter the command line option for the
action you want the program to take.
Command line options specify the actions carried out by a specific
application. For example, for the Media Recorder, /R starts a recording, /S
stops a recording. For more information on the command line options, see
the program documentation.
If the program records video, see page 235 for a description of how to
automatically link video files to the observation in The Observer.
7 If you have chosen an action for Start Observation or Stop Observation, you
can specify the Time between command and start/stop (in ms).
The maximum value for Time between command and start/stop is 15000
ms.
You can set the delay independently for each application you add.
What is the Time between command and start/stop? This is the delay
between the start of the application action and the start/stop of the
observation. For example if you specify 10 ms, the observation will start 10
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ms later than the start of the application (or its action). If the application
takes some time to start (for example, screen capture), you can use this
time to compensate for this delay, and make the external action and the
start/stop of the observation synchronous.
How do I determine this delay? Carry out a test observation with, for
example, the Media Recorder, and make sure you score some conspicuous
event in one of the video files. After the video file has been imported into
The Observer, you manually synchronize the event log and the video file
using the logged event (for details, see Manual Offset on page 192). Then,
open the File Synchronization window (see page 191); the offset of the
video file relative to the event log is displayed here. This value is the delay
you use as Time between command and start/stop.
For complex lab setups, with various external applications, you can use the
Noldus SyncBox to facilitate determining this delay. See the SyncBox
Reference Manual 1 that is included on The Observer XT Installation DVD.
8 Click OK. The table under Live scoring shows the newly added action of the
external program. Click Edit Settings if you want to change this action. To
delete an action, right-click the corresponding row and select Delete. To
rename an action, right-click the corresponding row and select Rename.
9 If you want to add more actions, repeat steps 2 to 8.
Example – You want the Media Recorder to open when you create an
observation, start recording 20 ms before you start an observation, and stop
recording when you stop the observation.
Automatic linking of digital media files
Follow the instructions below when you want to record video with a program
other than The Observer, and you want to link the resulting video files to the
observation.
1 First, specify the external program and the actions that must be coupled with
an observation in The Observer (see page 232).
2 In the Observation Source screen, select Live Observation and under
Devices select the Automatic linking of video files option. Double-click the
text next to it or click the Edit Settings button at the bottom of the table.
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3 In the Automatic Linking of Video Files window, select the following options:
Under Linking settings:
 Look in folder – Specify here the folder where The Observer should
search for the video files created by the external program. Make sure that
the Look-in-folder is the same folder to which the external program saves
its media files.
By default, this folder is the media folder of The Observer (see
page 532). If you record video also within The Observer (see page 83),
we recommend that you change this folder to avoid interference with
media files created within The Observer.
 Look for – Specify here the number of digital media files The Observer
should look for. Depending on your version of The Observer, the number
ranges between 2 and 4.
 Stop looking after – Specify here the time The Observer should look for
media files. Maximum time is 600 seconds.
Under Detect digital media files based on
 Current observation name found in media file name – Select this
option if you want The Observer to look for video files that contain the
name of or have the same name as the current observation.
If the current observation name and media file name do not match,
the media file is not detected and therefore the subsequent linking
step is not carried out.
 Time stamp of media file (later than start observation time) – Select
this option if you want The Observer to look for video files with a
timestamp later than the start observation time, that is, video files saved
after you started the observation.
In the file extensions box you can type in the file extensions, separated by
semicolons, that are detected and tested for linking.
Under Linking criteria
 Scan media files for subject name and link to subject – Select this
option if you want The Observer to look for subject names in the name of
the video files. If a subject name from the coding scheme is found, that
video file is linked on a subject level. If the subject name is not found in
the video file name, linking still occurs but on an observation level.
You can facilitate this linking option by using the %SN% command in
the Command Line Options box, if possible.
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 Link to observation – Select this option if you want The Observer to link
video files to the corresponding, irrespective of whether a subject name is
in the media file name.
4 Click OK.
5 Carry out an Observation (see page 158). After you have stopped the
observation, the Automatic linking of digital media files window with the
Progress Overview is displayed:
 When all video files are detected and the Status column displays Linked to
observation, click OK.
When you click the Stop search button during the detection process, the
video files that have been detected up to that point are linked to the
associated observation. When you click Cancel during or after detection of
media files detection/linking is stopped and no media files are linked to the
observation.
Troubleshooting
 No media files are detected
 You have set the wrong folder in the Look in folder box.
Change this folder to the same folder in which the eye-tracking media files
are stored.
 You have set the time in Stop looking after too short to detect any media
files.
Increase the time in the Stop looking after box.
 You have selected Current observation name found in media file name
but the current observation name and media file name do not match.
Make sure the current observation name is part of the name of the media
file.
 The file extension of the media files you want to link is not specified in the
file extension box.
Add the file extension to the file extension box.
 You have selected Scan media files for subject names and link to
subject AND Current observation name found in media file name.
Select Time stamp of media file (later than start observation time)
instead of Current observation name found in media file name.
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 Not all my media files are detected
 You have set the time in Stop looking after too short to detect all media
files.
Increase the time in the Stop looking after box.
 One or more eye-tracking systems have failed to create a media file.
Check your eye-tracking system and carry out a new Observation.
 The number of media files set in Look for in the Automatic linking of
digital media files settings is smaller than the actually created number of
files.
Increase the number of media files The Observer should look for.
 All my media files have been detected but monitoring continues
 The number of media files set in Look for in the Automatic linking of
digital media files settings is larger than the actually created number of
files.
Click Stop search and next OK.
5.10 Using multiple video files
simultaneously
You can select up to two video files for a specific observation (or four if
you have the Multiple Video add-on). However, depending on the
computer, it is possible that more than four video files can be played back
smoothly.
Level of association of video and data sets
Video files are always associated with data files at the Observation level. All
events scored in an observation are associated with those video files, no matter of
how many event logs and subjects that observation includes. The scope of the
Video variable in the Independent Variable List is always Observation.
Note for users of previous versions of the Observer XT
In the Observer XT 10 it is no longer possible to set the scope of video files at
Event Log level, Subject level or to set the scope of different video files at
different levels.
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Selecting video files
Selecting multiple video files
1 Choose the option that applies:
 If you still have to create the observation in which to import the video files
– From the Observe menu, select Observation, then New. Name the
observation and click OK in the New Observation Properties window.
 If you have created an observation and you want to add video files – Make
sure the observation is open on your screen. Next, from the Observe
menu, select Media file, then Open in Current Observation.
Alternatively, in the Project Explorer, click the '+' sign next to the
observation name, right-click Media Files and select Open Media File or
click the Import Data button in the Playback Control window and select
Import Video.
2 In the Video Selection window, select the files you want to open for that
observation.
 To select non-adjacent files, click one file and then hold down the Ctrl key
and click each additional file.
 To select adjacent files, click the first file in the sequence and then hold
down the Shift key and click the last file.
3 Click Open.
Open the Independent Variable List and check that each video file is
selected in one of the Video columns for that observation.
To replace or remove a video file from an observation, see the section
Replacing and removing a video file.
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Figure 5.23 The Video Selection window.
Replacing or removing a video file
Replacing a video file
1 Open the Independent Variable List (see page 125). In the Video column, click
the cell corresponding to the observation/event log/subject for which you
want to replace the video file.
2 Select the new media file and click Open. When opening the observation, the
new video is displayed.
Removing a video file
Removing a media file makes sense if no data have been collected for the
observation/event log/subject associated with that media file.
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Open the Independent Variable List. In the Video column, right-click the cell
corresponding to the observation/event log/subject for which you want to delete
the video file. Select Delete and click OK to remove the file from the observation/
event log/subject.
The video file is not removed from other cells where it is selected. Note that the
video file is never deleted from the hard disk.
5.11 Carrying out an observation with
screen capture
In recent years, The Observer has become an increasingly important tool in many
human-computer interaction laboratories. The integration of video, observational,
physiological and eye tracking data offers major benefits regarding validity and
reliability. This integration has even improved with the release of The Observer XT.
When testing the usability of websites and other software, it is often necessary to
convert the screen display of the test participant’s computer to a video signal,
allowing the evaluator to analyze what the participant has been seeing and doing.
The Noldus Screen Capture Module consists of a VGA2USB screen capture device
that, when connected to the Observer computer, works like any other video
source. A typical setup of the Screen Capture Module is shown in Figure 5.24
below.
Figure 5.24 Setup of the Screen Capture Module. The VGA output on the Test computer is
connected to the VGA2USB screen capture device through a VGA splitter. A USB
cable connects the Screen capture device and the Observer computer
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Installing the Screen Capture Module
You must first install the drivers for the screen capture device before
connecting the device to the Observer computer.
To install the drivers and the device:
1 On the Observer XT Installation DVD (or USB stick), go to the following folder
Drivers\Encoders\Epiphan\VGA2USB\x86\3.18.8, run setup.exe by doubleclicking it and follow the instructions on the screen.
After installation is finished you can proceed with connecting the screen
capture device (step 3).
2 Plug in the power and connect the power adapter to the screen capture
device.
3 Use the VGA cable to connect the VGA signal output source on the Test
computer to the VGA port on the screen capture device.
Figure 5.25 Connecting the test computer to the screen capture device.
You can split the VGA signal between a monitor and the screen capture device.
Use an active VGA splitter rather than a VGA Y-adapter to help maintain a
cleaner video signal.
Use the supplied VGA adapter if your VGA signal output source has a male
connector.
4 Use the USB cable to connect the screen capture device to a USB 2.0 port on
the Observer computer.
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If you need to extend your USB cable, use a Noldus USB signal booster cable.
This way you can extend the distance between the test computer and the
Observer computer to 20 meters.
Figure 5.26 Connecting the screen capture device to the Observer computer.
A Found New Hardware Wizard window appears.
5 In the Found New Hardware Wizard window, select No, not this time and
click Next.
6 In
the next window, select
(Recommended) and click Next.
Install
the
software
automatically
7 In the Hardware Installation window, click Continue Anyway.
8 Click Finish.
To check that the VGA2USB device is functioning properly, start the
VGA2USB application by double-clicking the VGA2USB icon on the desktop
of the Observer computer.
Using the Screen Capture Module
When the screen capture device is installed and connected, it is automatically
added to the list of video sources in The Observer XT.
To change the settings for the screen capture device do the following:
Make sure you have connected the screen capture device before opening
a Project.
1 In an open Observer project, in the Project Explorer, under the Setup item,
click Project Setup. and then Devices.
2 Make sure Live Observation is selected. Then click Devices.
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3 In the Devices window, the VGA2USB or DVI2USB screen capture devices are
in the list of available devices.
4 Open the VGA2USB device settings; select the device and press Edit settings
at the bottom of the list.
Opening the VGA2USB settings might take up to 30 seconds.
5 In the Video settings window (see page 85 for an example) for the VGA2USB
screen capture device you can set the following:
Video format – Select one of the available video formats.
 The default video format is DivX MPEG-4 and this gives good results. A
good alternative is Xvid MPEG-4. Noldus has tested the Xvid MPEG-4 codec
and can recommend it. It gives slightly better quality than the default
video format. The Xvid MPEG-4 codec can be downloaded for free from
www.xvid.org. After you have installed Xvid MPEG-4, restart The Observer
and Xvid appears in the list of Video formats.
If you intend to use the captured videos to create a video highlights clip,
you should use DivX MPEG-4 format.
You cannot use the DV-AVI format with the VGA2USB device.
 File base name – Change the base name for the screen capture file or
keep the default base name ('video').
 Folder – Change the folder where the screen capture file is saved or keep
the default The Observer media folder.
 Audio device – Select the audio device.
6 Click OK to save the settings.
5.12 Working with plug-ins
What is a plug-in? – A plug-in is a program that interacts with a main application,
in this case The Observer XT, for a specific function. An example of a plug-in is
software to play audio files (MP3, WAV, DIVX. etc.) or a custom viewer that can be
used in The Observer XT. You can use plug-in data while observing and while
visualizing data.
The Observer XT supports plug-in data only if you have the Multiple Video add-on
module installed.
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Storing Viewer plug-ins
Viewer Plug-ins must be stored in the following folder:
 Windows XP – C:\Program Files\Common Files\Noldus\Plugins\Viewers.
 Windows 7 – C:\Program Files\Common Files\Noldus\Plugins\Viewers.
Event data plug-ins can be located anywhere. Plug-ins can only work with The
Observer XT if they have been written with specific methods. These methods are
described in the Observer XT Software Development Kit (SDK).
Please contact [email protected] if you need more information or if you
want to obtain the SDK. For a brief description of the Observer XT SDK, see
below.
Opening plug-in data while observing
1 Create an observation or open an existing one.
2 Do one of the following:
 From the File menu, select Import, then Plug-in Data.
 Click the Import Data button in the Playback Control window, and then
Import plug-in data.
3 In the Select Plugin window, select a plug-in from list, choose an observation
and click OK.
If the plug-in requires a file to be opened, a new window opens: select a file
and click Open.
4 Start the observation and score/review the data as you usually do.
When you pause/play the video with the Playback Control, the plug-in data
stream is paused/played back accordingly.
Opening plug-in data while visualizing data
1 Create a new event plot or episode selection, or open an existing one (from
the Analyze menu choose Visualize Data or Episode Selection.
2 From the File menu, select Import, then Plug-in Data.
3 In the Select Plugin window, select a plugin from list, choose an observation
and click OK.
If the plug-in requires a file to be opened, a new window opens: select a file
and click Open.
4 Play back the data if necessary.
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When you pause/play the video with the Playback Control, the plug-in data
stream is paused/played back accordingly.
For more information on visualizing data, see Chapter 8.
If The Observer shows the message "Plug-in Dlls could not be loaded.
Therefore no open file dialog can be started", copy the plug-in
application to the folder specified at the beginning of this section.
The Software Development Kit
The Software Development Kit (SDK) is a set of development tools that allows
software engineers to create applications for use in combination with The
Observer XT. The Observer XT SDK includes a debugging aid, an example tool plus
C++ sample source code and supporting technical documentation.
To obtain the SDK, please contact [email protected] Please note that support on
the SDK (see the description below), including help with making them, is strictly
only available to customers with a service contract.
At the time of publication an SDK for the applications listed below is available.
It is possible that after publication of this manual more applications may
become available. Please contact [email protected] for more information
about the SDK.
External Applications
The Observer XT contains a mechanism for executing other (external) applications
during certain actions taken by the user in The Observer XT.
These user actions in The Observer XT are: New observation, Start observation,
Stop observation, Close observation. When these user actions are carried out, you
can execute a command with optional parameters. Furthermore, you can execute
several external applications using a batch file or Visual Basic scripting.
The SDK contains documentation with background information, examples of how
to execute one or more applications and a summary of batch file processing. The
SDK also contains three pre-programmed command files.
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Plug-in viewer COM-object
With the SDK you can create a custom viewer and visualize the viewer in The
Observer XT during an observation of visualization. To create a custom “The
Observer XT”-viewer plug-in it must be a COM (Component Object Model) object
according to the specifications described in the SDK document. Such a viewer can
be used, for instance, to visualize the movement of a shoulder prosthesis in The
Observer, while simultaneously viewing a video recording of the patient and
physiological data.
Using the plug-in mechanism requires the ‘Media Files’ add-on in The
Observer XT.
The SDK contains documentation describing how to Plug-in viewer COM-object
works and how to work with plug-ins in The Observer XT. The SDK also contains a
Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 C++ sample COM-project for an audio-player plug-in,
a MFC sample COM-project for a simple test viewer plug-in and two DLLs (audio
player plug-in and a simple testviewer plug-in).
Observational Data XML (ODX)
The SDK explains how to create an ODX file that can be imported into The
Observer XT. An ODX file is an Observational Data file in XML format. Most files
created in The Observer XT are XML-based and are used to transfer data to and
from The Observer XT. With The SDK you can create your own ODX file to
exchange information between your own application and The Observer XT.
The SDK contains documentation describing the contents/format of an ODX file.
The SDK also contains an exported ODX file from The Observer XT, XSD schema
definition files for an ODX file and a C++ header file with all tag names used in
ODX files.
Automatic synchronization
The Observer XT uses a serial binary data exchange mechanism for automatic
synchronization of observational and external, physiological data. Two types of
Sync Out signals are available to achieve this automatic synchronization. The SDK
describes in detail the mechanism for automatic synchronization and the Sync Out
signals. It enables you to decode the Sync Out signal and to use it with your own
application.
The SDK contains a document describing the synchronization method, the Sync
Out signals and a sample synchronization data file.
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Export in Excel and ASCII format
The SDK describes the contents of The Observer XT export files in Excel and ASCII
format. The SDK enables you to export data from The Observer in any type of
export format using a software library called MSXML6.
The SDK contains documentation describing the Observer XT Excel and ASCII
format for export, an exported *.XLS analysis result file and the XLS files for
creating Excel (*.XLS) and ASCII files.
Event Data Plug-in
This plug-in offers the possibility to obtain event data from an external program
while you carry out a live Observation in The Observer. The external events are
imported simultaneously with your manually scored data in The Observer.
In The Observer, these event data are stored in a separate Event Log. You can
visualize and analyze the event data like any other event data in The Observer.
5.13 Working with observations
containing multiple event logs
Note for users of previous versions of the Observer XT
In the Observer XT 10 it is not possible to manually create two or more
Event Logs within the same scored Observation, for example when you
change the subject observed. However, external event files can be
imported as separate Event logs into one Observation. Hence, although
you cannot create a second Event log within one Observation in the
Observer 10, Observations can still contain more than one Event log.
You cannot separate data by creating a new event log within an
observation. For example when you want to store events from different
subjects or different observers into different files. If you want to separate
those data, create separate observations for each subject or each
observer. You can subsequently group the observations and carry out
behavioral or numerical analysis. This gives similar results as a analyzing
different event logs within one observation.
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Definitions
Observation
An observation is a container of data and video files, rather than a file itself. An
observation can contain one or more event log files. When you create a new
observation, an empty event log Event log0001 is created automatically.
Observation Start and Observation Stop
You can view these two values in the Timers window (page 198).
 Observation - Start Time is the point marking the earliest time that you
started observation, when you clicked the Start Observation button
(Ctrl+Alt+B).
 For a live observation, this is the clock time at which you started the
observation.
 For an observation from video, this is usually 0:00:00.00 or another time in
the video.
 The time also depends on the time settings (page 157).
Example – Create an observation, open a video file, position video at five
minutes. Then, start the observation. This time (A) is the Observation Start.
 You can view the Observation Start Time in the Independent Variable List.
Click Independent Variables in the Project Explorer, then Show
Independent Variables and select Start Time under System. The Start
Time column shows the Observation Start Time of each observation.
 If you import an event log that has a start (relative to video) earlier than
that of the event logs currently in the observation, this time becomes the
new Observation Start Time.
 Observation - Stop Time is the point in time that marks the latest stop of an
observation, when you clicked the Stop Observation button (Ctrl+Alt+Q).
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Notes
 You can view the Observation End time in the Independent Variable List.
Click Independent Variables in the Project Explorer, then Show
Independent Variables and select Stop Time under System. The Stop
Time column shows the Observation - Stop Time of each observation.
 If you import an event log that has a stop (relative to video) later than that
of the event logs currently in the observation, this time becomes the new
Observation - Stop Time.
Event log
An Event log is a file containing data scored manually or imported (like in the case
of uLog data) in The Observer XT.
Each event log has a Start time and Stop time (see below). The duration of an
event log is the difference between those times.
Event Log Start Time and Event Log Stop Time
You can view these two values in the Observation Timers window (page 198).
 Event Log - Start Time is the time that you started observing for that event log
relative to Observation - Start Time.
 Event Log - Stop Time is the time that you stopped observing for that event log
relative to Observation Start Time.
Observation Duration
Observation Duration is defined by the difference between Observation Stop
Time and Observation Start Time.
Observation Duration is a System variable named Duration in the Independent
Variables List, in Data Selection, and in Analysis results. Please do not confuse this
with Analyzed Duration (see below).
 Observation Duration can also include gaps in the time line with no data.
This can happen in the following cases:
i
If you deleted parts of Event Logs.
ii If you have imported a project from a previous version of The Observer
which contained non-overlapping Event logs within Observations.
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iii If your data acquisition with for example uLog started later than you ended
your manually scored Observation.

Usually the Observation Duration is the time from the earliest start of an
event log to the time of the latest stop of an event log. However, if you
change the Offset between event logs some data may fall outside the
Observation Duration:
 If you change the Offset in such a way that the start time of an event log
falls earlier than the Observation Start Time, the latter is not moved to an
earlier time. The time between this event log's start time and Observation
Start Time is excluded from analysis and showed in grey in the event log.
 If you change the Offset in such a way that the stop time of an event log
falls later than the Observation Stop Time, the latter is not moved to a later
time. The time between Observation Stop Time and this event log's stop
time is excluded from analysis and showed in grey in the event log.
If you want to analyze the data that exceeds the Observation Start Time or
Observation Stop Time, see page 253.
Analyzed Duration
Analyzed Duration is the sum of the duration of event logs within the Observation
Duration, minus the time that the observation was suspended, minus the time
filtered out by the active Data profile.
 If you analyze the event logs in an observation separately, Analyzed Duration
does not include the gaps between event logs. For this reason, sometimes
Analyzed Duration is shorter than Observation Duration, even if your Data
profile selects all data for analysis. Consider the example of the previous page:
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Analyzed Duration is the sum of the durations of the two event logs, therefore
shorter than the observation duration.
For information on analyzing event logs separately or as one data set, see
page 425.
Managing observations with multiple
event logs
In The Observer XT 10 it is not possible to create a new Event log within
the same manually scored Observation, for example when you change
the subject observed. To keep those data separated, create a new
Observation instead.
Importing event logs into an observation
1 Export the event logs as ODX files (see page 496).
2 Copy the ODX files to the destination computer.
3 Open the observation, and click the Import Data button, then Import
Observational Data.
4 Select The Observer XT Data File (*.odx) from the Files of Type list, then
select the ODX file you require and click Open.
If the odx file contains more than one observation, only the event logs
from the first observation are imported. To make sure that each ODX file
contains one observation, select Create separate file per observation
when exporting the event logs.
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Checking that data are imported correctly
1 Make sure that the observation you have imported data to is selected in the
data profile, and that no intervals are defined.
2 In the Project Explorer, right-click the observation name and select Visualize.
3 Check that the alignment of the different event logs is as expected, and that
the data you want to analyze fall within the blue area. The left margin of the
blue area is Observation Start Time. The right margin is Observation Stop
Time. Make sure that all your data fall in this interval.
4 If the alignment is not correct, re-open the observation and click the Offset
button to adjust the time between event logs. For more information, see
page 190.
If some data are missing from the blue area, you may need to expand the
Observation duration (see the next section).
Extending the Observation Duration to include data currently
outside the observation
If for any reason you have changed the offset between data files in your
observation, some data may fall outside the observation boundaries (Observation
Start Time and Observation Stop Time). You can check this in the event log. In the
example below, an offset of -10 seconds has excluded the data in the first 10
seconds of the event log:
Data occurring before Observation Start Time or after Observation Stop Time are
greyed out. To recover and analyze those data:
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 If greyed out data occur before Observation Start Time – In the Timers
window, take note of the Event Log - Start Time (this is negative when the
event log starts before Observation Start Time). Open the Independent
Variables List and locate the Start Time column. Click the cell corresponding to
the observation, and decrease the time value as much as the Event Log Start
Time.
 If the greyed out data occur after Observation Stop Time – In the Timers
window, take note of the Event Log Start Time (this is positive when the
event log starts after Observation Start Time). Open the Independent
Variables List and locate the Duration column. Click the cell corresponding to
the observation, and increase the time value as much as the Event Log Start
Time.
Reducing the Observation Duration
When you delete the earliest or the latest event log in an observation, the
Observation duration does not change. In such cases you may want to reduce the
observation duration in such a way that it only covers the event logs currently
present in the observation.
 To move Observation Start Time to a later time – Open the Independent
Variables List and locate the Start Time column. Click the cell corresponding to
the observation, and increase the time value.
 To move Observation Stop Time to an earlier time – Open the Independent
Variables List and locate the Duration column. Click the cell corresponding to
the observation, and decrease the time value.
Be careful when adjusting the observation time boundaries, that may
exclude data!
Troubleshooting
Pressing a key for a long time opens the Filter keys window
If you have keycodes with the Shift-key it may happen that you press the right-Shift
key for a long time while scoring. Pressing the right-Shift key for 8 seconds
enables the Filter keys option in Windows. With Filter keys, rapid keystrokes are
ignored. To disable Filter keys:
 For Windows 7 – Open the Control Panel and go to Ease of Access Centre.
Click Make the Keyboard easier to use. De-select Turn on Filter Keys and
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click Set up Filter Keys. Deselect the check boxes in front of Turn on Filter
Keys and Turn on Filter Keys when right Shift is pressed for 8 seconds.
Click OK twice.
 For Windows XP – Open the Control Panel and go to Accessibility Options.
Deselect the check box in front of Filter Keys and click Settings. Deselect the
check box Use shortcut under Keyboard shortcuts. Click OK twice.
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External Data
This chapter is about:
 External data – what is external data and how can you import it into The
Observer XT?
See below
 Synchronizing logged events and external data – Synchronization can be
carried out automatically or manually.
See page 270
6.1 What is external data?
External data can be data that have been acquired with a separate Data
AcQuisition (DAQ) system, such as the MindWare or BIOPAC system. This can be,
for example, physiological (e.g., ECG, EEG, blood pressure, skin temperature),
environmental data (e.g., temperature, humidity) or eye-tracking data.
What can I do with external data?
With The Observer XT you can import any external data which has been acquired
with a constant sample rate and has been stored in ASCII-format. It is possible to
synchronize logged events and associated physiological or eye-tracking data in
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The Observer XT. You can subsequently visualize, select and analyze the external
data. Subsequently, you can export the event data and external data to one file.
The current chapter focuses on the import of physiological data and the
synchronization with logged events.
For selecting external data, see Chapter 7 Selecting Data.
For visualizing external data, see Chapter 8 Visualizing Data.
For analyzing external data, see Chapter 9 Calculating Statistics.
How do I work with external data?
Working with external physiological data involves the following basic steps:
 Carry out a live observation and simultaneously send a synchronization signal
from The Observer XT computer to the external DAQ system. The time
information in this synchronization signal is stored in the physiological data
file.
 Import the external data (including the time information from the
synchronization signal) into The Observer XT and link it to an observation. The
time information is used to synchronize observational and external data.
 Make a selection of external data in a data profile.
 Visualize the data.
 Calculate statistics in the Analyze menu on behaviors/modifiers and/or
external data.
 Export event log data and associated physiological data in one file.
6.2 Importing external data
To import external data you need to add it to an existing Observation.
1 Do one of the following:
 From the File menu, choose Import, then External Data.
 Open an existing observation (see page 187). Click the Import Data
button
on the tool bar and select Import external data. The
external data are linked to the selected observation.
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 Open the Independent Variable List. Right-click on an Observation,
Event Log or Subject and select Import Data. The external data are linked
to the selected observation.
The scope of the external data file is always Observation. See page 138 for
more information.
All external data is imported in one step. The Observer XT offers Import
profiles for a number of DAQ systems (MindWare, BIOPAC, DataScience,
Polar).
2 The Import External Data window opens (see Figure 6.1). Select the type of
external data file you want to import under Files of type. Next, locate the
external data file and select the filename.
Figure 6.1
The Import External Data window.
In the Files of type list, select All Files (*.*) if you want to see all files in
the folder.
If your type of file is not in the list of predefined files of type you can
create a new Custom Import Profile (see below).
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3 In the Import to group, select an Existing observation from the list or select
New observation.
This option is only available when you import external data via the File
menu.
4 If you want to import specific data sets from the external data file, continue at
“Importing a specific data set” below.
5 To import the complete file including all data sets, click Open.
Importing a specific data set
If your external data file contains more than one data set and you want to import
only specific data sets:
1 From the File menu, choose Import and External Data.
2 Next, follow the instruction above until step 3 then click the Manual import...
button.
A new Import External Data window opens showing one or more data sets
(see Figure 6.2 below). The Independent Variable List also appears.
Figure 6.2 The second Import External Data window. This window shows all the data
sets acquired through the external DAQ system and, in this example, the
corresponding file name, start date, start time.
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3 To link external data to an Observation, select on or more Data Set rows and
drag-and-drop to the Independent Variable List window; you can choose to
drag-and-drop to an Observation, an Event Log or a Subject (see Figure 6.3).
Figure 6.3 Data sets are selected in the Import External Data window. In this example
Data sets are linked to Observation001 by drag-and-drop.
4 Click Import in the External Data window to finish the import of external data.
Creating a new Custom Import Profile
1 From the File menu, click Import, then External Data.
2 In the Import External Data window, click the Custom Import Profiles
button. The Import Profiles window opens; here you see a list of available
import profiles. Click the Create New button.
3 To select an external data file, in the Profile Definition window, click the
Browse button in the Select sample file section at the top of the window,
locate and select the file and press Open.
4 The Observer XT automatically detects header and data information in the
external data file. This information is visible in the File content section of the
Import Profile Definition window (Fig. 6.4).
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If automatic header detection does not work, see “Header detection” on
page 269 how you can manually detect header and data information.
Figure 6.4 The Import Profile Definition window with instructions on the right. This example shows
electrodermal activity (EDA) data acquired with the MindWare system.
5 The Observer XT uses the comma as the default delimiter to separate text in
the header and data sets. However, if text that should be in separate columns
is still in one column, you can separate the text by selecting the appropriate
delimiters from the list under Select header delimiters and Select data
delimiters.
Some DAQ software enables you to select the type of delimiter when
saving the DAQ data to an ASCII export-file. In that case you select the
same delimiter in the File content section of the Profile Definition
window. A comma or semicolon are advised as delimiters.
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Figure 6.5 The File Content section of the Profile Definition window. In the top
image, all header text is in one column. The bottom image shows the same
header, with the Comma and Space delimiter selected; the same text is now in
separate columns.
6 Now you can assign the information from the Header and the Data Sets in
the File content section to the appropriate cells in the Profile Definition
section.
Under Data definition in the Profile definition section there are two
parts. The lilac part is labeled Header Data where you enter Header
information from the lilac cells in the File content section. The green part
is labeled Raw data where you enter Data sets from the green cells in the
File content section.
First you define the sample rate of the external data acquired by the DAQ
system.
i
If the Header contains the sample rate, select the Sample rate button
under Timing based on in the Profile definition section. Drag the sample
rate to the Sample rate box and select the appropriate unit (Hz or kHz)
from the list.
ii If the Header contains the sample interval, select the Sample interval
button in the Profile definition section. Drag the sample interval to the
Sample interval box. Select the unit of time from the list.
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Figure 6.6 Example of a sample rate in the Header that is assigned to the Sample rate
box in the Timing based on group.
iii If the Header does not contain information on sample rate, select the
Time series button under Timing based on. Under Data sets in the File
content section, select one of the green cells in the column with time
stamps and drag this to the Time series box (Figure 6.7). Next, select a
time format (you can choose between Numerical value or Date/time
format).
The column with time stamps now appears grayed. You can drag-and-drop
only one column at a time.
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Figure 6.7 Part of the Import Profile Definition window. In this example, the Data sets
sheet contains a column with time stamps. The contents of this column is
assigned to the Time series box in the Timing based on group. The format of the
Time series is Numerical value - seconds.
7 Next you can define the Data set(s).
A Data set consists of time-ordered values of a variable, e.g. EEG, heart
rate, body temperature. A data file can contain more than one Data set.
i
If your Data set contains missing samples indicated by non-numeric
symbols, you need to specify this symbol first.
 Select the Treat as number checkbox.
 Type in the non-numeric symbol in the Treat as number field or click
the button next to it to select one or more predefined symbols.
 To select a specific text, click <User Defined>, click OK enter this text
after a comma (,).
 If text is identified by a character, select this from the Text qualifier
list.
A missing sample is converted to a ‘zero’. As a result, it is plotted as a
‘zero’ in the Event Plot and exported as a ‘zero’ in an Episode
Selection.
The number of decimals may differ between values within the same
column, but the decimal point/comma should be present at least once in
the first 50 lines.
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ii Drag one of the green cells under Data Sets in the File content section to
one of the empty cells in the Raw data - Data Set column. As a result, the
letter of the original column appears in the cell and the column under
Data Sets in the File content section is greyed.
The Observer XT assumes that your header and data set info are ordered in
a regular way in your external data file (e.g., left-right, with/without empty
cells in between).
iii Drag the first two columns with data to the first two rows of the Raw data
column in the Data definition group. Next, the Validity Check button
becomes active. When you click this Validity Check button, The Observer
automatically assigns the other columns from the Data sets group to the
remaining rows in the Data Definition group.
Example - your external data file contains four Data Sets in columns A, C, E
and G. Columns B, D, F are empty. When you drag columns A and C to the first
two rows in the Raw Data column and next click the Validity Check button,
The Observer automatically assigns columns E and G to rows 3 and 4, thereby
taking into account the empty columns between Data Sets.
Figure 6.8 The Data definition sheet in the Import Profile Definition window. In this
example, the Raw Data column shows the letters of the columns with data sets
from the Data sets sheet.
8 Next, you can assign information to the Header Data part of the Profile
definition section.
i
Dataset Name - you can drag the name of the Data sets under Header
(the top lilac window) in the File content section to the Dataset Name
column under Data definition (the bottom lilac window) in the Profile
definition section.
The Dataset Name in the original location is greyed. You can return the
Dataset Name to its original cell by selecting the Dataset Name in the
Data definition field and pressing delete.
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Figure 6.9 The Import Profile Definition window. In this example, one of the Data Set
Names is moved from the Header to the Data definition sheet.
ii Start Date - select the date under Header in the File content section and
drag it to the Start Date column under Data definition.
If the date matches one of the predefined formats, The Observer XT
automatically selects one in the Select Date Format window. In that case
it says Conversion: OK in the Conversion section. Click OK to proceed.
You can also define a date format yourself. For example, your date in the
header is formatted as: 15032005 (March 15 2005). This date format does
not match a predefined format. In the format box, type 'dd' for the
numbers representing 'day', 'MM' for month and 'yyyy' for 'year'. Behind
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Converted date is now the correct date and Conversion shows OK. Click
OK to set the format.
iii Start time - select the start time under Header in the File content section
and drag-and-drop it to the Start time column under Data definition.
In the Select Time Format window a predefined format is selected
automatically. Click OK if this is the right one. If not, type in a new format
in the Format box. Click OK.
iv Type - drag-and-drop the type of measurement from the Header part of
the File content section to the Type column in the Data definition part, in
the Profile definition section.
v
Unit - drag-and-drop the unit of measurement from the Header part to the
Unit column in the Data definition section.
9 When all the information is in the Import Profile Definition sheet, click the
Save As... button.
Type a profile name in the Profile Name box of the Save Import Profile
window. You can add a description of the import profile in the small
Description window. Click OK.
This import profile has the extension *.eip and is saved in the specified
Destination folder.
10 Click OK to close the Import Profile Definition window.
In the Import Profiles window the newly created import profiles is now in the
list of import profiles.
11 Close the Import Profiles window by pressing the Close button.
12 In the Import External Data window, the new import profile is now selected
in the list of Files of type. If not, click the drop-down button and select the
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new import profile.
13 Locate the external data file and select the filename. Follow the instructions
starting from 4 (page 258) to import the external data.
Editing a Custom Import Profile
If you want to import an external data file that is very similar to, but not exactly the
same as, another data file for which you already have an Import Profile, you can
edit the existing Import Profile.
1 In the Import External Data window, click Custom Import Profiles.
2 Select the Import Profile from the list in the Import Profiles window and click
Edit.
In the Select Sample File group you see the original sample file behind
Profile based on.
3 Click Browse in the Select Sample File group to select the new external data
file and click Open.
4 Follow the instructions 4-8 under Create a new Import profile above.
5 Click Save Profile As when you are finished filling in the Data definition
sheet.
6 Type in the name for the Import Profile.
7 Click OK.
8 Close the Profile Definition window.
9 Close the Import Profiles window. Make sure you select the right import
profile.
10 Select the external data file and click Open to finish import.
Header detection
When you create a Custom Import Profile to import an external data file, The
Observer XT usually automatically detects header and data information in the file.
In some cases, however, the format of the file prevents The Observer from
automatically detecting header and data. For these cases, new Header detection
methods have been added to the Import Profile Definition window.
The methods for Header detection are:
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 Automatic – This method (which was already available in The Observer XT
10.1) is selected by default and works most of the time.
 Specify tag - If automatic detection does not work, you can specify the line
(with either nominal or numerical information) that indicates the end of the
header part of the file. If necessary, you can also specify the number of rows
between this ‘header end line’ and the data.
 Specify row number - If automatic detection does not work but the data file
always has the same number of rows in the header, you can specify the
number of header rows.
Specify tag
Select this method if the external data file has a variable number of header lines
rows and header and data are always separated by the same ‘header end line’.
Example - The header always ends with a line containing the following text:
“[Data]”. After this header end line there is always an empty line before the data
starts. So, in the End tag box you enter: “[Data]” and in the Extra rows box you
enter a value of ‘1’.
Specify row number
Select this method if the contents of the header information is variable but the
header always has the same number of rows. So, in the Fixed rows box, you enter
the appropriate number of rows.
6.3 Synchronizing logged events and
external data
If you score events and simultaneously acquire external data, you can synchronize
external and event log data with The Observer XT. This is done by sending a
synchronization signal from the Observer XT PC to the external DAQ system. This
synchronization signal contains time information from The Observer XT PC. This
time information is used to synchronize the event log data and the associated
external data after import of the external data file.
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Figure 6.10 Schematic overview of the setup for automatic synchronization of
observational and external data.
You have two options for the synchronization of event data and external data:
 If your DAQ system can receive the synchronization signal, you should
preferably use Automatic synchronization (see below).
 Otherwise, you can use Manual synchronization (see page 276).
Automatic synchronization
The automatic synchronization of external data and event log data involves three
steps:
 Select DAQ co-acquisition when your Observer XT computer can be connected
to your DAQ system.
 The Observer XT sends a synchronization signal to the DAQ system.
 Import the external data.
Settings for live scoring with external data acquisition
1 Under Setup in the Project Explorer, click Observation Sources.
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2 Select Live, and then DAQ Settings. Double-click the field next to it or click the
Edit Settings button at the bottom of the table. This opens the DAQ Hardware
Settings window.
3 Under Predefined Settings, select the profile corresponding to your DAQ
system or create a new one (see below).
4 Click OK.
Creating a new DAQ Hardware Settings profile
1 In the DAQ Hardware Settings window, click the New (Insert) button or click
in the Predefined Settings window and press <Insert> on your keyboard.
Figure 6.11 The DAQ Hardware Settings window.
2 A new field appears at the bottom of the list in the Predefined Settings
window. Type the name of the new profile.
3 Under Output Device, select how you want your Observer XT PC to be
connected to the DAQ system. You can choose one of you PC's COM ports.
The selected device sends the synchronization signal to the DAQ system.
The synchronization signal is a digital signal (containing zeros and ones)
which is fed into the free analog input of the DAQ system. In the DAQ
device this signal is configured equally as a standard physiological signal
(e.g. ECG, EEG, EMG).
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The Output Device is the port through which the synchronization signal,
via a cable, is sent to the DAQ system. You can select one of the RS232
COM ports that sends out a '0'-signal of with a voltage between +3 and +12
Volts and a '1'-signal between -3 and -12 Volts.
If the DAQ system uses a filter for incoming external data, it might
also affect the synchronization signal from The Observer XT! Watch
the sync signal on your DAQ system; it should display square pulses.
If the COM port is Offline, check that other programs (also those not
running) are not controlling that port. Change the port settings in those
program or uninstall them when not necessary.
4 Under Signal Type select:
 On-Off if your DAQ system uses a low sample rate (< 10 Hz) or samples
continuously (without regular intervals).
 Time Code (TCAP) in all other cases. If you choose Time Code, type in the
Sample rate of your DAQ device in the corresponding field. As you enter
the sample rate, the program calculates the Minimal sampling time in
seconds, which depends on how much time The Observer XT needs to
send the complete synchronization signal to the DAQ device with that
sample rate. (see Time Code in the next pages for more information).
5 Click OK.
The On-Off synchronization system
The Signal Type you use depends on how the physiological measure (e.g., ECG,
EMG) is sampled by the DAQ system. The On-Off signal coincides with the start
and stop of an observation. The Observer XT sends a 'one' at the start and a 'zero'
at the stop of an observation.
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Figure 6.12 Schematic picture of the relation between the On-off synchronization signal
from XT and the external DAQ samples.
When you use the On-Off signal you need to start the DAQ system before
you start an observation and switch it off after the end of your
observation.
When you select the Time Code signal, you need to set the Sample rate
used on the DAQ system.
The Time Code (TCAP) synchronization system
When the DAQ system uses scheduled sampling, i.e., when sampling is carried
out at set intervals (for example, 5 minutes every hour), you must use the Time
Code signal .
With the Time Code signal The Observer XT continuously sends encoded pulses
of zeros and ones to the DAQ system during an observation. Each pulse
(consisting of 60 bits) contains time and date information in the initial bits. Pulses
and the empty spaces between pulses are evenly divided over time. When you
use the Time Code signal during an observation, you can start acquisition of
physiological data any time during that observation, because the DAQ system can
'catch up' with The Observer XT based on the time and date information in each
pulse.
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Figure 6.13 Schematic picture of the relation between the Time Code (TCAP) signal from
XT and the external DAQ samples. In this example the DAQ system is switched off
before the last pulse has been received completely; information from this last
pulse is not stored by the DAQ system.
Notes
 The information of the synchronization signal is stored in the external data
file. In the Import External Data window, the Data Set has a small clock
icon
, if it has been correctly identified.
 See Importing external data (page 258) to import these external data and
synchronization information.
 When you import the external data, you need to import both the Data Set with
the external data and the XT synchronization information. This way the
associated Event Log is automatically synchronized with the external data.
Name your synchronization data as 'sync' or use 'sync' as the type of
Unit. The Observer XT then automatically recognizes your
synchronization data upon import.
 When
in your Project Setup DAQ co-acquisition is selected, the
Synchronization Settings button in the second Import External Data window
becomes active. Click the Manual import button in the first Import External
Data window to open the second window. In the Synchronization Settings
you can set values for a number of parameters that determine how the
information from the synchronization signal is extracted from the imported
DAQ data.
The information in the synchronization signal is sampled by the DAQ
system. On import into The Observer XT some digital signal processing
takes place to deal with noise, signal distortion, spikes etc.
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 Click on Synchronization Settings to open the Synchronization Settings
window. Here you can set values for the following parameters with default
values between brackets:
 Number of offset values (10) - corresponds to the number of discrete
samples of the DAQ system containing synchronization information. These
offset values are used for the calculation of average offset and gain. A
higher value increases the accuracy of synchronization, but also increases
calculation time.
 Smoothing factor (1) - corresponds to the number of samples over which
an average is calculated. A higher value reduces spikes on the signal, but
also reduces the time accuracy of the synchronization.
 Signal-to-noise-ratio (20) - determines the tolerance for detecting high-
low signal transitions. A higher value increases this tolerance, but also
increases the chance of detecting false transitions.
 Number of samples prescan TCAP (180000) - corresponds to the
maximum number of samples used for auto-detection of a time code in
the DAQ samples. For example, 180 seconds at 1 kHz or 30 minutes at 100
Hz.
 Click in the boxes to set a value for each of the parameters.
 Click Defaults if you want to return to the default values or click OK to finish.
Manual synchronization
Manual synchronization of logged events and associated external data can be
facilitated during the logging of events in the following ways:
 You can start a live observation and the acquisition of external data at exactly
the same time. As a result, the imported external data have the same starting
point and a similar duration as the associated event log.
 You can have a specified interval between the start of event logging and data
acquisition. For example, you switch on your DAQ system and start your
observation exactly 10 seconds after that.
 When you record events in a digital video file for later logging, you can either
film pushing the button which marks the start of external data acquisition or
you can mark the start of external data acquisition by a visual cue or sound
signal. Simultaneously, you log this cue or signal as an event in The Observer.
When you log events from the media file afterwards, the visual/sound signal
determines the start of your observation.
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 You can create a peak in the external data signal by, for example, swiping a
magnet past the sensor and simultaneously log this as an event in The
Observer. Afterwards, you can synchronize the event log and the external data
by aligning the peak and the scored event.
Carrying out Manual synchronization
There are three methods for manual synchronization:
 You can use Numerical offset (see below) if you know how many seconds the
observational and external data are out of sync.
 You can use Manual offset (see page 279) for visual synchronization. This can
be used when you score from a tape or a media file and the start of the
observation or external data acquisition is signaled by a visual or auditory cue.
Example - you observe an animal's reaction to a sudden encounter with an
unfamiliar object and at the same time monitor its heart rate. The encounter is
characterized by a sudden increase in heart rate. This peak in heart rate can be
used as an offset point for the observational and physiological data.
 You can set the start time or end time in the Import External Data window
upon import.
By changing the start time you set the offset of a file. By changing the end
time and/or start time you set the gain by stretching your file.
Numerical offset
1 Import the external data file and link it to an Observation, Event Log or Subject
(see Import external data, page 258).
If your external data file does not have a start date/time, the start position
of the external data file is set at the start of the event log. If your external
data file does have a start date/time, the start position is at the start of the
external data file.
2 Open the Observation to which you linked the external data. By default all
available windows open.
Observer windows can be displayed by selecting them from the View
Settings list at the top-right corner of your screen.
3 On the component tool bar, click the Offset button
and select
Numerical Offset to open the File Synchronization window.
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4 You can now set the start (Offset) of either the Physiological Data or the Event
Log.
Example - You started your observation 3 seconds before you started
acquisition of external Heart Rate data.
 Click the numbers representing the seconds in the Offset column of the
Heart rate row.
 Type '03' in the time stamp and click Apply to set the time to 3 seconds.
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The result is that when you play back the event log and external data (see
Playing back observation data on page 212), the External Data window
starts running 3 seconds after the Event Log Data (see Figure 6.14).
Figure 6.14 Part of the External Data window. The vertical line (see arrow)
indicates the start of the observation. The offset of the external data is set
to 3 seconds.
Manual offset
1 Import the external data file and link it to an Observation, Event Log or
Subject (see Import external data, page 258).
By default, the start of both the event log and external data file are used as
the point of synchronization.
2 Open the Observation to which you linked the external data. By default all
available windows open.
Make sure the Event log, Playback control, Video Files and Visualize Data
window are open. Observer windows can be displayed by selecting them
from the View Settings list at the top-right corner of your screen.
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A blue line in the Start row of the Event log and a vertical line in the
External Data window indicate the position in both files.
When Observer XT is not in Offset mode, clicking on a behavior in the
Event Log window will move the vertical line in the External data window
to a new position. When you place your cursor on the marker at the top of
the vertical line in the External Data window, a double moving-arrow
appears. With this double arrow you can move the red line; this makes the
grey bar in the Event log window jump to another behavior.
3 In the component tool bar, click the Offset button
and click Manual
offset.
The Synchronize window appears. This window shows instructions how to set
the Offset in a video or external data window.
4 Click Start Synchronization.
5 Click in the External Data window; the border of this window turns red and
the cursor becomes an offset-icon
. Keep the left mouse-button
pressed to drag the graph window to the left and the right.
 You synchronize the external data and the start of the Event log by
dragging the external data graph to a position where the peak is at the
vertical line (i.e. the offset of the observation).
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 Click the Offset button
in the component tool bar to finish
synchronization.
If a specific behavior on the video coincides with a specific peak in the external
data (for example, an animal jumps and shows a corresponding peak in heart
rate), do the following:
i
In the Videostreams window, go to the specific behavior by using the
controls in the Playback Control window or by moving the slider in the
Videos window.
ii Click the Offset button in the component tool bar, click in the External
Data window and move the external data graph so that the specific peak
coincides with the vertical line, i.e. the location of the specific behavior in
the Videos window.
iii Click the Offset button again to finish synchronization.
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7
Selecting Data for
Analysis
This chapter is about:
 Grouping data – With Grouping you can treat two or more observations or
coding scheme elements as one.
See page 295
 Filtering data – With Filtering you can select data that will be subject to
analysis (visualization and analysis).
See page 307
 Nesting – With Nesting you can analyze events that occur in time periods
defined by either another event / combination of events or by values of
external data.
See page 325
 Free intervals and Time bins – With Free intervals you can analyze events
from a begin point to an end point based on observation time, events or
external data. With Time bins you can analyze your data in time intervals of
equal length.
See page 316 and page 335
 Making complex data selections – Selection boxes can be combined in
several ways to create complex data selections.
See page 337
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The terms Subject, Behavior, Modifier, and Independent Variable listed
in this chapter may not be the same as those on your screen. This depends
on what terms you have specified in your project's Terminology
Preferences (see page 141).
7.1 Why select data?
There are four good reasons why you may want to select data before carrying out
the real analysis (for example, visualizing data or calculating statistics).
Analyze observations, subjects or specific events in groups
 Example 1 – Calculate the overall mean duration of the event Play for all
subjects.
 Example 2 – Visualize behaviors of the group Play type as one behavior.
Solution – Group the data, then run the analysis. See page 295.
Analyze some observations, subjects or events, not others.
 Example 1 – Calculate the average duration of speech of the subject Child,
not the subject Mother.
 Example 2 – Visualize data in observations of female subjects, not males.
 Example 3 – Calculate the rate of occurrence of events of the group User
Error, not others.
Solution – Filter the data, then run the analysis. See page 307.
Analyze events that occurred in specific time interval
 Example 1 – Visualize the data from 1 minute to 10 minutes of observation. \
 Example 2 – Calculate the number of times the child smiled when the state
event Play was active.
 Example 3 – Calculate statistics of events when the heart rate was higher than
60 beats per minute.
Solution – Define free intervals (example 1; see page 316), nest over
state events (example 2; see page 325) or nest over external data
(example 3; see page 333), then run the analysis.
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Analyze regular time intervals
 Example 1 – Split your observations in 10-minutes intervals and calculate
statistics for each of them.
 Example 2 – Split your observations in three equal intervals and calculate
statistics for each of them.
Solution – Define Time bins, then run the analysis. See page 335.
Definitions
Grouping
Grouping means that two or more observations or elements of the coding
scheme are analyzed as one entity. For example, group the behaviors Left wrist
extension and Right wrist extension to calculate the overall rate of occurrence.
Filtering
Filtering means that you choose a subset of elements to be displayed or used in
quantitative analyses. You can filter observations, event logs, subjects, behaviors
and modifiers. You can also filter data indirectly, by choosing the values of
independent variables (see page 128). For example, filter the subjects with the
value of variable Age class =1.
Nesting
Nesting means that you analyze time intervals based on an event (or a
combination of events) scored for one or more subjects. Furthermore, you can
select time intervals based on values of external data. Analysis is done on the
intervals in which the event (or combination of events) occurs and/or the external
data had the specified values.
Free intervals
Free intervals means that you choose intervals starting from a specific time, event
or external data value, and ending at a specific time, event or external data value.
Analysis is done on all the events or external data values in those intervals.
Time bins
Time bins means that you choose to divide the observation in two or more
intervals of equal length. Analysis is done for all events in those intervals.
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You can combine two or more selection criteria, for example Nest over
behavior Task 1 and Filter events User Error, and Negative emotion for
analysis (see page 337).
7.2 The Data Selection screen
To start data selection:
1 Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, choose Select Data, then New Data Profile (or
press Ctrl+Alt+F7).
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Data Profiles folder and select New
Data Profile.
2 In the New Data Profile window, type the name you want to give to the new
profile or accept the default name and click OK.
Result – Two more objects appear on your screen: the Components pane
(next to the Project Explorer) and the Data Selection pane (on the right; see
Figure 7.1).
What is a Data Profile?
A data profile is a collection of settings that specify which data you selected for
analysis. You can create as many data profiles as you want, containing different
selection criteria.
The Data Selection pane shows the content of the currently open data profile
(You find the name of the open data profile on the title bar of The Observer XT).
You can open and edit one data profile at a time.
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Figure 7.1 The Data Selection screen with the Components pane (left) and the Data
Selection window (right). In the Components pane: 1–Buttons for filtering data.
2–Button for defining free intervals. 3–Buttons for nesting over state events. 4–
Button for nesting over external data. 5–Button for creating additional Result
containers.
The Components pane
The Components pane has the following groups of buttons:
 Filter Observations – Allows you to filter observations and event logs. It also
allows you to filter observations by independent variables (including system
variables) associated with those observations.
 Filter Events – Allows you to filter events according to the name of subjects,
behaviors or their modifiers. You can also filter subjects by means of the
independent variables associated with those subjects.
If the scope of an independent variable is Subject (see page 133), the
variable is listed under Filter Events, otherwise it is listed under Filter
Observations.
 Select Intervals – Allows you to select free intervals (2 in Figure 7.1) or
intervals based on subjects and behaviors (3 in Figure 7.1).
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 Select Intervals with External Data – Allows you to select intervals based on
values or ranges of external data.
 Result Containers – Allows you to create multiple selections in the same data
profile, by inserting additional Results boxes (see page 343)
If you do not see the Components pane, select Components with View
Settings on the far-right side of the tool bar.
The Data Selection pane
By default, the Data Selection pane contains two boxes connected by an arrow:
 The Start box (left) containing all the observations currently stored in your
project. The Start box does not make any data selection except for grouping
data (see page 295).
 The Results box (right), containing the data used for analysis. The Results box
shows the number of selected Observations, Subjects, Behaviors and
Intervals.
Since there is no selection box between the two, all event data in your project
are used for analysis. This is the default selection sequence. It is now up to
you to add selection boxes to refine your selection.
Figure 7.2 The Start box (left) and the Results box (right). In this example, the Start box
contains 9 Observations, 1 Subject, 12 behaviors and 5 intervals.
The name of the Results box name is shown in the analysis results, so
you always know which data selection the results come from. To display
the name of the Results box in an analysis result, make sure that Result
Container is selected in the Layout page of the analysis settings window
(see page 399 for an example about calculating statistics).
You can auto-arrange the boxes from the Data Profile by selecting the
option Snap to Grid in View Settings. The grid becomes visible if you
select the option Show Grid in View Settings.
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Creating your own data selection
To refine your data selection and focus on a smaller data set, insert selection
boxes between the Start and the Results box and connect them, so the data are
progressively filtered while they 'flow' from the first to the last box (you can view
each intermediate box as a sieve that reduces the amount of data).
1 In the Components pane, click the button next to the criterion you want to
use (see 1 in Figure 7.3).
2 A new window opens on your screen, listing all values of the chosen criterion.
Choose the values that specify your selection (see 2 in Figure 7.3).
Example – To filter behaviors, click the button next to By Behaviors under
Filter Events. Choose the behaviors you want to analyze.
3 Click OK. A new box appears in the Data Selection window. Drag the box over
the arrow that connects the pre-existing boxes. When the arrow turns white,
release the mouse button (see 3 in Figure 7.3).
Figure 7.3 Visualization of the basic steps you must follow to select data. See the text for
details.
Creating complex data selections
You can create complex data selections by inserting two or more selection boxes
in the sequence (more details on page 337).
 Example 1 – In a study of parent-child interaction, the age of the child and the
age of the mother have been entered as User-defined independent variables.
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You want to analyze data for children ages between 3 and 5 years old and
mothers older than 30.
Solution – Under Filter Observations by Independent Variables, click the
button next to Age of Child. Choose the appropriate age values and insert the
Filter box in the sequence. Next, click the button next to Age of Mother.
Choose the appropriate age values and insert the Filter box in the sequence.
 Example 2 – In a usability study, the type of task has been scored as a state
behavior. You want to analyze the events User Error and Confusion when the
test participant was performing Task 1.
Solution – Under Select Intervals, click the button next to Nest over
Behaviors, select Task 1 and insert the Nest box in the sequence. Next, under
Filter Events click the button next to By Behaviors, select User Error and
Confusion and insert the Filter box in the sequence.
 Example 3 – In an open-field test in which exploratory behavior is measured,
the heart rate of an animal is also recorded. You want to analyze events when
the heart rate was above a certain value.
Solution – Under Select Intervals with External Data, click the button next to
Nest over Heart Rate. Select External data is Higher than and enter the
appropriate value. Click OK and insert the Nest box in the sequence.
The order of boxes in a data selection sequence is important! For more
information, see page 344.
Grouping and Time bins
To define analysis groups and time bins, you do not use the buttons in the
Components pane.
To group data, click the Grouping button in the Start box. For details, see page
295.
To define time bins, click the Settings button in the Results box. For details, see
page 335.
Working with selection boxes
This section contains How to.. procedures to work with selection boxes, not the
procedures for selecting data. For the actual selection procedures, see page 295,
page 307, page 316, page 325, page 335.
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Moving a selection box
1 Click the colored border of the box.
As a result, a black border appears around the box and the mouse cursor
changes to a four-headed arrow.
2 Drag the box to the position you want.
Moving a group of selection boxes
1 Draw a box around the boxes you want to move or click on the boxes you want
to select while holding the Ctrl key.
As a result, a black border appears around the selected boxes and also the
selected, connecting arrows turn black. The mouse cursor changes to a fourheaded arrow.
2 Drag the boxes to the position you want.
Inserting a box in a data selection sequence
1 Drag the box between two pre-existing boxes, until the connecting arrow turns
white.
2 Release the mouse button. The new box is inserted.
Connecting two selection boxes
1 Point to the center of the first box, press and hold the left mouse button and
drag toward the center of the other box.
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2 Release the mouse button when the cursor has reached the center of the
other box.
As a result, the two boxes are connected.
You cannot create connections:
 From the Results box to any other box.
 From any box to the Start box.
Deleting a selection box
1 Click the title of the box so the mouse pointer changes to a four-head arrow.
2 Press Delete.
The box is deleted.
You cannot delete the Start box. You can delete a Results box only if
another one is present in the Data Selection window.
If you delete in a box within a sequence, the arrows connecting the
adjacent boxes are lost. You must then re-connect the adjacent boxes (see
the previous page).
Deleting a group of selection boxes
1 Draw a box around the boxes you want to delete or click on the boxes you
want to select while holding the Ctrl key.
2 Press Delete.
You cannot delete the Start box. You can delete a Result box only if
another one has been inserted in the Data Selection window. If you
delete a box within a sequence, the arrows connecting the adjacent boxes
are lost. Therefore, you must re-connect the adjacent boxes (see above).
Deleting a connecting arrow
1 Click the connecting arrow you want to delete.
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As a result, the arrow turns bold.
2 Press Delete.
Changing the selection criteria in a selection box
Follow the instructions below when you have inserted a selection box in a
sequence, and you want to restrict/widen your selection. For example, you have
filtered observations by Drug dose =0.001 and 0.005 in the first instance, and you
want to remove 0.005.
1 Locate the box that specifies the selection criteria you want to change. Tip:
You find the name of the name of the criterion in the central area of selection
boxes.
2 Click the Settings button in the bottom-right corner of the box.
3 Select the appropriate values in the window that appears.
Creating a new Results box
Create multiple Results boxes everytime you want to display analysis results
obtained from different data sets.
Example – You want to calculate statistics of the behavior User Question in
two different periods, Task 1 and Task 2. Those phases reflect two
independent intervals, therefore you must create two selection sequences,
each ending in a separate Results box. When you run the analysis, results are
shown for both intervals and readily compared.
1 In the Components pane, click the button
next to Results.
2 In the window that appears, type a new name or accept the suggested one,
then click OK. A new Results box appears.
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Figure 7.4 An example of creating multiple data selections. Top: a sequence selecting an
interval according to "Task 1". Bottom: A second Results box has been added.
3 Build your data selection sequence as usual. In the example below, two
selection criteria have been defined in such a way that statistics are shown for
Task 1 and Task 2 independently.
Figure 7.5
An example of two independent selection criteria from the same data set.
Changing the Results box name
The Results boxes are named automatically as you create them: Results 1, Results
2, etc. If you want to change that name, click the Settings button
in the
box and type in the new name.
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7.3 Selecting data - Grouping
What is Grouping?
The aim of grouping is to treat two or more observations or elements of the
coding scheme (subjects, behaviors and modifiers) as one. For example:
 Treat the behaviors Grab antennae, Grab mandibles, Grab head as one
behavior and calculate the total frequency.
With grouping, you can also easily compare data sets based on characteristics, for
example:
 Group subjects according to their gender to check whether males and females
differ in the frequency of Ask Question.
 Group observations according to the variable Day after treatment, and check
whether there is a reduction in the duration of exploratory behavior.
Summed groups and Merged groups
There are two ways of calculating statistics for grouped elements:
 Summed groups – Elements in the group are still considered as separate
units. The frequency and durations of those elements are summed up,
independent of whether the single elements overlap in time. Consider the
following:
Both events A and B last 5 seconds. With the Summed groups count method,
the frequency of the group is 1+1=2, and its duration is 5+5=10 seconds.
Example – You have scored Talking, Shouting and Gesture. You want to know
the total frequency of when there was any communication scored.
 Merged groups – The elements are truly merged on the time line and
counted as one. Consider the following:
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Events A and B overlap for 3 seconds. With the Merged groups count method,
the frequency of the group is 1, and its duration is 7 seconds.
Example – You have scored Talking, Shouting, and Gesture. Unlike the
previous case, you want to analyze the frequency of communication
regardless whether two events occur at the same time - it is still just
communication, that is one event.
A difference in analysis results between Summed groups and Merged
groups appears when (a) elements overlap in time or (b) they occur
immediately after each other.
Grouping methods: manual and automatic
 Manual grouping – In the Create Groups window, you create a group and
drag the single elements to that group. You can create groups of:
 Observations.
 Subjects.
 Behaviors.
 Modifiers.
 Automatic grouping – Based on values of independent variables. In the
Create Groups window, select the variable you want to use as grouping factor.
Groups are created for:
 Observations.
 Subjects.
You cannot create groups of behaviors and modifiers based on
independent variable values, since these are only associated to
observations, event logs and subjects.
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Grouping procedure in short
1 Make sure that your data profile is open. If not, create a new data profile or
open an existing one (see page 349).
2 Click the Grouping button
in the Start box.
3 In the Create Groups window, click the tab for the elements you want to
group.
The Observations page lists the observations in your project. The pages
Subjects, Behaviors and Modifiers list the corresponding elements in your
coding scheme. However, the groups you see there are not automatically
considered as analysis groups. You must define groups in this window to
analyze groups of elements.
4 To create a group manually (see page 296):
i
Click the Add button
marked with a folder icon.
. A new line appears at the bottom of the list
ii Type in the name you want to give to the group, and press Enter.
iii Drag an element you want to include in the group to the group line, until
the line is highlighted.
Result – the element is placed in the group. Repeat the step above to add
more elements.
5 To create a group automatically (only for observations and subjects; see
page 296):
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 From the Select Independent Variable for grouping list, select the
independent variable you want to use as a grouping factor.
Elements are grouped according to the value of the variable. Click the + sign
next to a group to view its components.
6 Under Count method, choose (for Subjects and Behaviors only):
 Summed groups – To calculate statistics of elements in a group treated as
separate units. See also page 295.
 Merged groups – To calculate statistics of elements in a group as if they
were the same element. See also page 295.
7 If necessary, click another tab and repeat the procedure from step 3. Click OK
to confirm the groups.
For more information on grouping:
 Observations – See page 300.
 Subjects – See page 302.
 Behaviors – See page 304.
 Modifiers – See page 305.
Notes
 Adding an observation or element to a group means that it is removed from
the group where it was stored.
 You cannot place an element or an observation in more than one group.
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 If you want to create a group of observations or subjects manually, make sure
that <Use Observation names> or <Use Subject names> is selected from the
Select Independent Variable for grouping list.
 The number in parentheses next to each group indicates the number of
elements or sub-groups contained.
 Groups based on numerical variables – If groups are based on a numerical
independent variable (for example, grouping subjects based on the value of
subject's Age), automatic grouping results in groups each containing
observations and subjects with one specific value (see the next picture). If you
want to create groups based on value ranges, add one group per range, then
drag the single observations/subjects to their appropriate range group.
 You cannot add a manually-created group to another manually-created group.
You can, however, add an automatically-created group to a manually-created
group.
 If you add a group on the Modifiers page, the new group line is added to the
group defined by the coding scheme, not on the bottom of the list. This is
because groups of Modifiers cannot be moved outside their original coding
scheme group.
 Observations and modifiers can only be grouped according to the Summed
count method.
 To remove a group added manually, select the group name and click the
Remove button
.
 To remove an element from a group, select that element and click the Up
button
. Note: You cannot remove an element from groups created
automatically.
 To reset all groups added manually on a specific page, click the Reset all
groups button
. This brings all the elements back to their
original location. Note: this does not remove groups on other pages of the
Create Groups window.
 To reset all groups created automatically, select <Use names> from the Select
Independent Variable for grouping list.
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Effects of changes in the coding scheme on grouping
 If you add an element to the coding scheme – The element is added to the
Create Groups window at the appropriate level, however it is not
automatically part of any analysis group.
 If you delete an element in the coding scheme – The element is deleted
from the Create Groups window.
 If you move an element to another group in the coding scheme – It
depends on where the element is in the Create Groups window.
 If the element was in its original (coding scheme) location, when you
move the element in the coding scheme it is also moved to the same
location within the Create Groups window.
 If the element was in a manually-created group, when you move the
element in the coding scheme it is not moved in the Create Groups
window.
Grouping observations
See page 297 for the general grouping procedure. You can group observations:
 Manually (click the Add button and drag elements to the new group name).
 Automatically (select an independent variable under Select Independent
Variable for grouping).
You can only group observations automatically if the variable you want
to use as grouping factor has Observation scope. If the variable does
not appear in the list, open the Independent Variable List and make
sure that the variable's scope is Observation (see page 133).
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Figure 7.6
The Observations page of the Create Groups window.
Grouping event logs
You cannot group single event logs within observations. If you have observations
that contain two or more event logs and you want to group an event log of
Observation 1 and an event log of Observation 2, first group the two observations
and then use the Filtering function (see page 307) to select those event logs.
Grouping based on numerical variables
Observations can be grouped by numerical independent variables. For example:
 Group by the subject's age (assuming that each observation refers to one
individual).
 Group by temperature in the test room.
 Group by drug dose in mg/kg
Groups are created for each single value of independent variable. See an example
in the picture of page 299.
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Combining groups
You can combine manual and automatic groups. For example: First define groups
based on the variable Treatment. This results in three groups, Saline, Acetazolamid
and Lignocaine. Next, add a group and move the groups Acetazolamid and
Lignocaine to this group.
Groups of observations are always Summed
The Count method option is set to Summed. This means that the total
frequencies and durations of events are calculated separately in each observation,
then summed up in your analysis results (see page 295).
Grouping subjects
See page 297 for the general procedure. You can group subjects:
 Manually (click the Add button and drag elements to the new group name).
 Automatically (select an independent variable under Select Independent
Variable for grouping). You can only select observations with independent
variables that have Subject as scope (see page 133).
If the list does not show the independent variable you require, open the
Independent Variables List and make sure that the variable's Scope is
Subject.
Groups of subjects can be Summed or Merged
 If you choose Summed groups, events with different subjects are still
considered as separate units.
 If you choose Merged groups, and events by different subjects are
overlapping, they are analyzed as one. For example, the event Play starts for
Subject 1 at 10 s and ends at 20 s. The same event starts for Subject 2 at 15 s
and ends at 30 s. If you group the two subjects and select Merged groups,
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the total duration of Play for the subject (1+2) is 30-10=20 s. If you choose
Summed groups, the total duration would be (20-10)+(30-15)= 25 s.
For more information, see page 295.
Figure 7.7
The Subjects page of the Create Groups window.
Combining groups
You can combine manual and automatic subject groups. For example, first define
groups based on the variable Age of baby. This results in several groups ranging
from 8 to 18 months. To create groups reflecting age ranges, add two or more
groups, one for each age range. Drag and drop each original group to the
appropriate new group.
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Grouping behaviors
You can only group behaviors manually: click the Add button and drag elements
to the new group name (see page 297 for the procedure).
Figure 7.8
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The Behaviors page of the Create Groups window.
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Groups of behaviors can be Summed or Merged
 Choose Summed groups if you want to count different behaviors as separate
units.
Example – Gaze object and Gaze elsewhere are scored as mutually-exclusive
behaviors. Gaze Object lasts 3 seconds, and Gaze elsewhere 18 seconds.
When choosing Summed groups, the frequency is 2 and the total duration is
21 s. The results would be the same if the behaviors were non-mutuallyexclusive and overlapped with each other (see the picture on page 295).
 Choose Merged groups if the behaviors of the group can be at least partially
overlapping, or one follows immediately the other, and you want to count
such instances as one.
Example with mutually exclusive behaviors – Gaze object and Gaze
elsewhere are scored after one another as mutually-exclusive. Gaze Object
lasts 3 seconds, and Gaze elsewhere 18 seconds. When choosing Merged
groups, the frequency is 1 and the total duration is 21 s.
Example with non mutually-exclusive behaviors – Duet Play and
Constructive Play are scored as non mutually-exclusive, and are partly
overlapping. Duet Play lasts 23 s, and Constructive Play lasts 42 s, with an
overlapping of 12 s. When choosing Merged groups, the frequency is 1 and
the total duration is (23+42-12)= 53 s.
Grouping modifiers
You can only group modifiers manually: click the Add button and drag elements to
the new group name (see page 297 for the procedure).
Groups of modifiers are always summed
The Count method option is set to Summed. This means that the total
frequencies and durations of events are calculated separately for each modifier in
the group, then summed up in your analysis results.
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Figure 7.9
The Modifiers page of the Create Group window.
Creating a modifier group
To create a modifier group, click the name of the original (coding scheme) group
or one of the modifiers and click Add.
Moving a modifier to another group
Modifiers cannot be stored outside their original group, that is, their group as
defined in the coding scheme. This is why you cannot move modifiers to other
groups.
You can, however, create a group within the original (coding scheme) group and
drag and drop modifiers to this group. For example, numerical modifiers from -1
to -3 have been moved to a new group within the original Axis score group:
Groups of numerical modifiers become nominal
If you create a group of numerical modifiers, this group is considered as nominal.
If you want to calculate the frequency distribution of numerical modifiers, create
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one group per value, then start a Behavior Analysis and calculate the Total number
(see page 397).
7.4 Select data - Filtering
What is Filtering?
The aim of filtering is to pick out the data that will be subject to analysis
(visualization or statistical analysis). You can filter the data directly (for example,
choose a specific subject or behavior), or indirectly according to the value of
independent variables (for example, filter the observations with subject age less
than 10).
Below you will find all the possible filtering methods. Remember that you can use
just one filter method, or combine more in one data profile.
Filtering methods
You can filter data (see the buttons in the blue area of the Components pane on
your screen):
 By choosing the observations/event logs/subjects to analyze –
 Directly, by the Observation name.
 Indirectly, by values of Independent Variables (for example, the
observation's start time, or the age of the subject).
Result – Analysis is done on the observations you have selected or those
matching the values of the independent variables you have selected.
Whether analysis is done on observations, event logs or subjects depends
on the scope of the User-Defined Variable (see page 133).
 By choosing the events to analyze –
 By Subjects.
 By Behaviors.
Result – Analysis is done on all the events that contain those subjects and
behaviors. You can also filter events with certain values of their Modifiers.
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How do I combine two or more filtering criteria?
Simply filter more element types and connect the corresponding boxes. See page
337 for more information.
Figure 7.10 The Components pane.
Filtering procedure in short
1 Make sure that a data profile is open. If not, create a new data profile or open
an existing one (see page 349).
2 Locate the item in the Components pane (Figure 7.10) that you want to use for
filtering data, and click the corresponding button in the blue area.
3 In the Filter window that opens, choose the values of the independent
variable, the observations or the coding scheme elements you want to
analyze, and click OK.
For example, click the button next to By Behaviors if you want to analyze a
subsample of events. Click the button next to By Gender if you want to
analyze observations referring to one gender, not the other (Gender must be
defined as independent variable).
See the next sections for details on the different criteria for filtering.
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4 A new box appears in the Data Selection window. Drag the box to the desired
position between the Start and the Results Box, so it is connected to other
boxes (see page 291 for how to connect selection boxes).
5 Repeat steps 2 to 4 to make more complex selections.
If you want to edit an existing selection box instead of creating a new
one, click the Settings button in that box.
To make sure you analyze all items, click Select all. To select quickly one
or few items, click Select all until all boxes are cleared, then select the
items you want to analyze.
If you create an unwanted Filter box, click its title and press Delete.
See page 337 for information on how to create a complex data selection.
Filtering observations
Aim – Choose observations or event logs directly from a list. Without any other
filtering or nesting criterion, all events scored in the filtered observations or event
logs are considered for analysis.
1 Under Filter Observations, click the button next to By Observation name.
The Filter (Observations) window displays listing the observations and event
log files currently present in your project (see Figure 7.11).
2 Select the observations and event logs you want to analyze. By default, all
observations and event logs are selected.
 Event logs are listed under the observation they belong to.
 If you select an observation, all event logs in that observation are selected
automatically.
 If you de-select an observation, all event logs in that observation are de-
selected automatically.
 If you select at least one event log, the observation it belongs to is
selected automatically.
 If you de-select all event logs in one observation, that observation is de-
selected automatically.
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Figure 7.11 The Filter (Observations) window.
3 Click OK. Insert the box at the required position in the sequence between the
Start box and the Results box.
Filtering data by independent variable
values
Aim – Filter observations according to the values of one or more Independent
Variables, either System Variables or User-defined Variables.
All System Independent Variables (Start Time, Stop Time, Duration) have
Observation as scope (see page 133). Therefore, you can only filter
observations, not event logs or subjects by values of System Independent
Variables.
Each User-Defined Variables has a scope (Observation, Event Log Data, or
Subject; see page 133). Depending on its scope you can filter
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observations, event logs or subjects according to the values of the
selected User-Defined Variable.
Example 1 – If the scope of the variable Temperature is Observation,
selecting values of Temperature results in selecting those observations
(therefore, all events in them) corresponding to the Temperature values you
have selected.
Example 2 – If the scope of the variable Subject Experience is Subject, then
selecting values of Subject Experience results in selecting events for those
subjects corresponding to the values of Subject Experience you have selected.
If you want to filter data by User-defined Variable values on a Subject
level, make sure that you enter a value for that Variable for each
Subject in the Independent Variable List. If you do not do this, you
might get a wrong selection.
1 Under Filter Observations, click the button next to By <Independent
Variable name>.
The Filter (Independent Variables) window displays. The Filter window
shows the range of values of that Independent Variable available for filtering.
2 Choose one of the following:
 If you want to filter observations according to specific variable values,
select Select by Value. The Filter window lists the values of the variable
available for filtering.
 If you want to filter observations according to a range of variable values,
select Select by Definition. The Filter window shows two fields, From and
To.
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The Select by Definition option is not available for variables of type Text
and Logical (see page 128).
Figure 7.12 The Filter (Independent Variables) window for System Variable Start
Time.
3 If you have chosen Select by Value, select the values you want.
If you have chosen Select by Definition, type the lowest value of the range
under From, and the highest value under To.
4 Click OK. Insert the box at the required position in the sequence between the
Start box and the Results box.
5 Click OK. Insert the box at the required position in the sequence between the
Start box and the Results box.
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Figure 7.13 The Filter (Independent Variables) for the User-defined Variable Age of
twins.
Filtering behaviors
Aim – Choose behaviors directly from a list. Without any other filtering or nesting
criterion, all behaviors of that type scored are considered for analysis.
1 Under Filter Events, click the button next to By Behaviors.
The Filter (Behaviors) window displays listing the behaviors currently present
in your coding scheme.
If a behavior has modifiers attached to it, these are shown below that
behavior (see Figure 7.14). You can view the values of a behavior's modifier
by clicking the button in the Value column.
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Figure 7.14 The Filter (Behaviors) window.
2 Select the behaviors you want to analyze. By default, all behaviors are
selected.
Filtering Behavior Modifiers – By default, all behavior modifiers are selected.
If you want to analyze modifiers, click the button
under Value
corresponding to the modifier and de-select the modifiers you do not want to
analyze. See also a note on page 341.
3 Click OK. Insert the box at the required position in the sequence between the
Start box and the Results box.
Notes
 Each behavior and behavior group is listed in a separate row (please note that
here by groups we mean groups defined in the coding scheme, not groups in
data selection).
 If you select a behavior group and de-select one or more behaviors forming
that group, you analyze only the data scored for the selected behavior.
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 If you de-select a behavior group, the behaviors forming that group are also
de-selected.
If you de-select a behavior or behavior modifier group, the group
name is not visualized nor analyzed.
 If you re-select a behaviors group, make sure that the behaviors you are
interested in are selected, and those you want to ignore are de-selected.
 If you create a new behavior in the coding scheme and then re-open the data
profile, the new behavior is not selected automatically. You must select the
new behavior in the Filter window if you want to consider it for analysis.
Filtering subjects
Aim – Choose subjects directly from a list. Without any other filtering or nesting
criterion, all events scored for those subjects are considered for analysis.
1 Under Filter Events, click the button next to By Subjects.
The Filter (Subjects) window displays listing the subjects currently present in
your coding scheme.
Figure 7.15 The Filter (Subjects) window.
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2 Select the subjects you want to analyze. By default, all subjects are selected.
3 Click OK. Insert the box at the required position in the sequence between the
Start box and the Results box.
If you create a new subject in the coding scheme, and then re-open the
data profile, the new subject is not selected automatically. Select the new
subject in the Filter window if you want to consider it for analysis.
Note for users of The Observer XT 6/7
If subjects are organized in groups in The Observer XT 10, each subject and
subject group is listed in a separate row. If you select a subject group and deselect one or more subjects forming that group, you analyze the selected
subjects. If you de-select a subject group, the subjects that are part of this
group are also de-selected.
7.5 Selecting data - Free intervals
Note for users of The Observer 5 – Free intervals is the equivalent of
selecting intervals in The Observer 5. However, if you want to analyze
intervals as you did with the Merge data for one interval option in the
analysis profile settings, use Nesting instead (see page 325).
What are free intervals?
The aim of free intervals is to analyze events in time periods from a Begin point to
an End point. Both Begin and End points can be:
 A time (for example, one minute after the start of the observation).
 An event (for example, the start of Task 1).
 When an external data value becomes higher/lower than a set value, for
example, when the heart rate becomes higher than 100 bpm.
You can combine time, events or external data to define, for example, the
following:
 From time t to event E.
 From event E to when the external data data becomes lower than value x.
 From when the external data becomes lower or equal to value y to time t.
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You can also combine time and events in a single Start or Stop point. For example:
From 1 minute after the event Start Test to 1 minute before the event Stop Test.
For time intervals the left border is used in the analysis and the right
border is not used (see page 348 for details).
How are intervals applied?
 Free intervals are defined for each observation independently:
 If you define intervals based on time, and observations have different
durations, then the time periods subject to analysis can differ between
the two observations.
Example – Define an interval from the start of the observation to 10
minutes. If an observation lasts 12 minutes, the first 10 minutes are
analyzed. If an observation lasts 9 minutes, analysis is done on 9 minutes.
 If you define intervals based on events, and events occur at different times
in two observations, then the time periods subject to analysis differ
between the two observations.
Example – Define an interval from the start of the observation to the
event Correct Answer. If Correct Answer occurs at five minutes in
observation 1 and at 10 minutes in observation 2, then the time period
analyzed for observation 2 is twice as long as for observation 1.
 If an observation includes two or more event logs, an interval defined in one
event log is also applied to other event logs within that observation.
Example – An interval is defined from the start of the observation to the event
End of Task. If this event occurs at 5 minutes in one event log and at 10
minutes in another event log in that observation, then data are analyzed from
0 to 10 minutes for both event logs.
 If the time t exceeds the duration of the observation or the event E does not
occur in the observation, the interval is not defined, and analysis not done for
that observation.
How many intervals in an observation?
The number of intervals defined per observation depends on what you specify as
Begin and End:
 From time t1 to time t2 – This defines one interval per observation. Analysis
is done between the two times.
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 From time t to event E – This defines one interval per observation. Analysis is
done on events occurring between time t and the first occurrence of E. Other
occurrences of E do not define intervals.
 From time t to when the external data becomes higher/lower than value x
– This defines one interval per observation. Analysis is done on events
occurring between time t and the first time the external data becomes higher/
lower than value x. Subsequent occurrences of when the external data
becomes higher/lower than value x do not define intervals.
 From event E to time t – This defines one interval. Analysis is done on events
occurring between the first occurrence of event E and time t. Other
occurrences of E do not define intervals.
 From event E to when the external data becomes higher/lower than value
x – This defines one or more intervals. Analysis is done:
 From the first occurrence of E to the first time the external data becomes
higher/lower than value x.
 From the first occurrence of E after the external data became higher/lower
than value x above, to the next occurrence of E, and so on.
 From event E1 to event E2 – This defines one or more intervals. Analysis is
done:
 From the first occurrence of E1 to the first occurrence of E2.
 From the first occurrence of E1 after the E2 above, to the next occurrence
of E2, and so on.
Example – The behavior of male sticklebacks has been recorded when
they were presented with females of different size classes. You want to
analyze the time from the moment when Female 1 was presented (scored
as Female 1) to the occurrence of male display.
The first interval is considered from 0.00 Female 1 to 0:50 Display (see
Figure 7.16). The second interval goes from 1:12 Female 1 to 1:52 Display.
The instance of Female 1 at 0:30 is not considered as a starting point of an
interval, because it occurs before the ending point of a previous interval
(0:50 Display).
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Figure 7.16 An example of selecting intervals: From Female 1 to Display. The second
occurrence of Female 1 is ignored as it occurs before Display.
 If you define an interval using the same event type (“From E1 to E1”), each
interval generated will have its begin and end based on the same instance
of the event. For example, your data include two point events P at 3 s and
5 s. If you define an interval "From 3 s before P to 3 sec after P", this results
in an interval going from 0 s to 8 s, merging the intervals 0 - 6 s (for the
first event P) and 2 - 8 s (for the second event P).
 From when the external data becomes higher/lower than value x to when
the external data becomes higher/lower than value y – This defines one or
more intervals. Analysis is done:
 From the first time the external data becomes higher/lower than value x to
the first time external data becomes higher/lower than value y.
 From the next time the external data becomes higher/lower than value x
to the next time the external data becomes higher/lower than value y, and
so on.
For users of previous Observer versions – Free intervals within an
observation never overlap (see Figure 7.16). This differs from how intervals
were generated in The Observer 4/5 (see page 346).
Defining free intervals in short
1 Make sure that your data profile is open. If not, create a new data profile or
open an existing one (see page 349).
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2 Under Select Intervals, click the button next Free interval selection. The
Free Interval Selection window opens.
Figure 7.17 The Free Interval Selection window.
3 Under Interval Start Criteria, select the point marking the begin of the
interval to be analyzed.
 Select Observation time if the start of your interval is the start/stop of the
observation +/- a certain time, for example, "At the start of the
observation", "One minute from the start of the observation" or "Five
minutes before the stop of the observation". Type this time in the
appropriate field (hh:mm:ss), and select the option that you require (after
start/before stop).
 Select Observational Data if the start of your interval is a scored event +/-
a certain time, for example, "At the start of Task 1", "One minute after the
event Intruder in Arena" or "Five minutes before the stop of the state Test
2". Type this time in the appropriate field (hh:mm:ss), then choose the
before/after and start/stop option and select the event you require
(subject, behavior and modifiers if applicable).
 Select External data if the start of your interval is an external data value +/
- a certain time, for example, “at the moment the heart rate becomes
higher than 100 beats per minute (bpm)” or “1 minute before the heart
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rate becomes lower than to 65 bpm”. Type the time in the appropriate field
(mm:ss:ff), choose the before/after option, select the external data, select
one of the Becomes lower/higher options and enter the external data
value.
4 Under Interval Stop Criteria, select the point that marks the end of the
interval to be analyzed.
 Select Observation time if the end of your interval is the start/stop of the
observation +/- a certain time, for example, "10 minutes after the start of
the observation".
 Select Observational Data if the end of your interval is a scored event +/-
a certain time, for example, "At the stop of Task 1", "One minute after the
event Intruder out of Arena". Type this time in the appropriate field
(hh:mm:ss), then choose the before/after and start/stop option and
select the event you require (subject, behavior and modifiers if
applicable).
 Select External data if the end of your interval is an external data value +/-
a certain time, for example, “5 minutes after the heart rate became higher
than 100 bpm”. Type the time in the appropriate field (mm:ss:ff), choose
the before/after option, select the external data, select one of the
Becomes lower/higher options and enter the external data value.
5 Click OK. Insert the Intervals box in the selection sequence between the Start
box and the Results box.
If the observation was suspended, defining an interval based on a state
event that was active at the moment you suspended the observation may
lead to incorrect intervals. This is because suspend/resume creates extra
stop and start events for that behavior, respectively. For example, if you
suspended the observation when Play was active and then define an
interval from the start of the observation to the stop of Play, the resulting
interval will be from the start of the observation to the suspend time, not
the time that you actually score the stop of Play.
If you want to analyze an interval starting from the start of an
observation, leave 00:00:00 selected.
Free intervals based on external data
The free interval based on external data is generated as follows:
1 The Start point at which the external data becomes higher than/higher or
equal to or lower than/lower or equal to the set value is determined.
2 The offset (before or after) specified in Start interval at is applied.
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3 The End point at which the external data becomes higher than/higher or
equal to or lower than/lower or equal to the set value is determined.
4 The offset (before or after) specified in Stop interval at is applied.
5 Steps 1 to 4 are repeated until the end of the observation.
Example – You have measured a subject’s heart rate with values ranging between
60 and 120 bpm. You want to generate intervals from the point at which the heart
rate becomes higher than 100 and next, after the heart rate has dropped below ,
becomes higher than 80 again. To do this, make the following settings in the Free
Interval Selection window:
 Under Interval Start Criteria, select Start interval at “00:00:00”, after “Heart
rate” Becomes higher or equal to ‘100’.
 Under Interval Stop Criteria, select Stop interval at 00:00:00, after “Heart
rate” Becomes higher or equal to ‘80’.
See Figure 7.18 below for a visualization of the selected interval.
If either the Interval Start Criteria or the Interval Stop Criteria is not
met in the observation, no interval is selected.
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Figure 7.18 Example of Free Interval Selection based on external (heart rate) data. The
arrow labeled ‘Start’ shows the start of the interval when the heart rate Becomes
higher or equal to ‘100’ bpm. The arrow labeled ‘Stop’ shows the end of the
interval when the heart rate Becomes higher or equal to ‘80’.
The difference between Free Interval Selection and Nesting over
external data
With Nesting you select a static interval with a set upper and/or lower limit
whereas with Free Interval Selection the range of the interval is dynamic.
Example – You have measured a subject’s heart rate with values ranging between
60 and 120 bpm. You want to generate intervals when the heart rate was between
80 and 100 bpm. To do this, you nest over heart rate (see “Nesting over External
data” on page 333) with a range between Higher or equal to ‘80’ and Lower or
equal to ‘100’ (also see Figure 7.19).
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Figure 7.19 Example of Nesting over external data. The shaded areas indicate the intervals
based on the external data range between 80 and 100 bpm. Compare this figure
with Free Interval Selection based on external data in Figure 7.18.
Depending on the sample rate of the external data, in the event plot it can
sometimes seem as if the interval does not include external data values
that should have been included. This is because in the event plot samples
are connected by a line as if the external data is continuous, while in fact it
consists of discrete samples. See also “Visualization of external data” on
page 359.
Selecting complex events
 If the event that marks the begin/end of an interval includes specific
modifiers, specify these in the appropriate field.
Example – You want to define an interval ending when the level of aggression
scored as a numerical modifier of the event Aggression reaches 2 or 3. In the
Behavior field, specify Aggression. Next, from the list that becomes available
below select Aggression level (the modifier group). Click the button next to
choose the values of the modifier group.
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The data are analyzed up to the first occurrence of aggression level = 2 or 3.
 If you want to analyze data at the intersection of two or more intervals, define
one Interval box for each interval definition, and line up those boxes in a
sequence (see also page 342).
 For more information on multiple selections, see page 337.
7.6 Select data - Nesting
What is Nesting?
The aim of Nesting is to analyze events that occur in time periods defined by an
event or a combination of events (nesting conditions).
Example – You want to analyze the events occurred when the user was
performing Task 3. You nest over the state behavior Task 3, thus analysis is
done on all events scored when the state Task 3 was active.
Note for users of The Observer 5 – Nesting corresponds to selecting
intervals with state behaviors combined with the Merge data for one
interval option in the analysis profile settings in The Observer 5.
What is the difference between Nesting and Free Intervals?
 Nesting allows you to analyze the time intervals when one or more events
occurred. Such segments are analyzed as one.
 Free intervals (see page 316) is a more general function to analyze separate
time intervals in each observation.
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You can nest over Subjects, Behaviors and External data
You can nest data over Subjects, Behaviors (and their modifiers) and External data:
 Subjects (see page 331) – Analysis is done on the events occurring in the time
intervals covered by any event by the subjects selected.
Example – If you nest over the subject Mother, analysis is done on the events
occurring in the time intervals when Mother was scored as a subject, no
matter which behavior was scored.
 Behaviors (see page 327) – Analysis is done on the events occurring in the
time intervals defined by the behaviors (and their modifiers) selected.
Example – If you nest over the state behavior Zone 1, analysis is done on the
events occurring when the state Zone 1 was active.
 External data (see page 333) – Analysis is done on the events occurring in the
time intervals defined by the external data values selected.
Example – If you nest over skin temperature in the index finger with a range
between 36.5 and 37.5 degrees Celsius, analysis is done on the events
occurring when the temperature was within that range.
Selecting complex nesting intervals
Example – Analyze all events that occurred when the rat was in Zone 1 OR
Zone 2, AND the light was on.
You can define and combine nesting criteria. See page 337 for more information.
Nesting procedure in short
1 Make sure that a data profile is open. If not, create a new data profile or open
an existing one (see page 349).
2 In the Components pane, do one of the following:
 Under Select Intervals, click the button next to Nest over Behaviors or
Nest over Subjects (see 3 in the picture on page 287).
 Under Select Intervals with External Data, click the button next to the
appropriate external data signal.
3 In the Nest window that opens, choose the subjects, behaviors or external
data value/range you want to use as nesting criteria and click OK.
See the next sections for more details and how to select items.
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4 Insert the Nest box in the sequence between the Start and the Results box,
(see page 291 for how to connect selection boxes).
5 Repeat steps 2 to 4 to make more complex selections.
If the observation was suspended, defining a nesting interval based on a
state event that was active at the moment you suspended the observation
may lead to incorrect intervals. This is because suspend/resume creates
extra stop and start events for that behavior, respectively. For example, if
you suspended the observation when Play was active and then nest over
Play, the resulting interval will be from the start of Play to the suspend
time, not the time that you actually score the stop of Play.
If you want to edit an existing selection box instead of creating a new
one, click the Settings button in the box.
If you create an unwanted Nest box, click its title and press Delete.
Nesting over Behaviors
Aim – Analyze data as long as one or more state events occurred. Optionally, you
can specify whether to consider a specific subject that performed those
behaviors, or any subject (see below).
Example – To analyze all time segments when the subject is not playing, nest
over behavior No Play behavior:
1 In the Components pane, under Select Intervals, clicking the button next to
Nest over Behaviors.
The Nest (Behaviors) window appears listing all behaviors currently defined
in your coding scheme.
If a behavior has modifiers attached to it, these are shown below that
behavior's name. You can view the values of a behavior modifier by
clicking the button in the Value column.
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Figure 7.20 The Nest (Behaviors) window.
2 Select the behaviors you want to use as nesting criteria.
Selecting Behavior Modifiers – By default, all behavior modifiers are
selected. If you want to nest over specific behavior modifiers, then click
the Settings button
corresponding to the modifier group in the Value
column, and de-select the modifiers you do not want to be in the nesting
criterion.
Example – Nest data over all the time intervals when the value of the
modifier of the behavior Emotion was Sad, not Neutral or Happy.
3 From the The selected Behaviors occur in list at the bottom, choose the
subjects that form the nesting criterion together with the behavior selected in
the previous step:
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 <Any Subject> – Select this item if you want to consider the time intervals
as long as the behaviors occurred, independent on what subject
performed those behaviors.
Example – To select the time intervals when either subject Large Cricket or
Small Cricket was in the center of the arena, select the behavior Center of
Arena and then <Any Subject>.
 <All Subjects> – Select this item if you want to consider the time intervals
as long as the behaviors occurred for all subjects simultaneously.
Example – To select the time intervals when both subjects Large Cricket
and Small Cricket were in the center of the arena, select the behavior
Center of Arena and then <All Subjects>.
 <Individual subject> – Select one of the subjects in the list if you want to
consider the time intervals as long as the behaviors occurred for that
subject.
Example – To select the time intervals when the subject Large Cricket was
in the center of the arena, select the behavior Center of Arena and then
Large Cricket.
Figure 7.21 Choose a subject from the list if you want to consider the time segments
when the selected behavior was scored for that subject.
4 Click OK. Insert the Nest box in the place of the sequence you require
between the Start box and the Results box.
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Figure 7.22 An example of Nesting over behaviors. Top: Event Plot of the data scored in an
observation. Bottom: Event Plot of the data nested over behaviors. Only the events
occurring at the same time as No play behavior (see the colored bars at the bottom
of the plot) are selected for analysis.
Notes
 Nesting over a subset of subjects – If you want to nest over the behaviors
performed by a subset of subjects, not just one or all, you need to create
multiple nesting conditions (see page 337).
Example – To nest over the behavior Eye contact scored for subjects Mark and
Derek, select the behavior Eye contact and, from the The selected Behaviors
occur in list, select Mark. Then, repeat the nesting procedure and in a new
Nest (Behaviors) box select Eye contact, then from the The selected
Behaviors occur in list select Derek. Next, combine the two Nest boxes (see
page 337).
 Each behavior and behavior group is listed in a separate row (please note that
here by groups we mean groups in the coding scheme, not groups in data
selection).
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 If you re-select a behavior group, make sure that the behaviors you are
interested in are selected, and those you want to ignore are de-selected.
 If you create a new behavior in the coding scheme and then re-open the data
profile, the new behavior is not selected automatically. You must select the
new behavior in the Nest (Behaviors) window if you want to include it in the
nesting criterion.
Selecting a certain combination of behaviors and subjects in the Nest
(Behaviors) window is the same as selecting the same combination in the
Nest (Subject) window (see page 331). First, select the subject in the
upper part of the window, then the behavior from the list at the bottom.
Nesting over Subjects
Aim – Analyze data as long as one or more subjects were scored. Optionally, you
can specify whether to consider a specific behavior performed by those subjects,
or any behavior (see below).
1 In the Components pane, under Select Intervals, click the button next to
Nest over Subjects.
The Nest (Subjects) window appears (Figure 7.23).
Figure 7.23 The Nest (Subjects) window.
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The Nest (Subjects) window lists all subjects in your coding scheme. If a
subject has modifiers attached to it, these are shown below that subject's
name (click the button in the Value column). Select all subjects you want
to use as nesting criteria. For example, if you select Suspect 1 and
Investigator 1, the time segments when either subject was scored are
considered for analysis. By default, all subjects and subject groups are
selected.
2 From the The selected Subjects occur in list at the bottom, choose one of the
following:
 <Any Behavior> – Select this item if you want to consider all the time
intervals when the subjects selected were scored, independent on their
behavior.
 <Individual behavior> – Select one of the state behaviors in the list if you
want to consider all the time intervals when the subjects selected were
performing that behavior.
Figure 7.24 Choose a behavior from the list if you want to consider the time segments
when the subjects were performing that behavior.
If is not possible to nest over point events, but you can define intervals
starting or ending a defined time before/after a point event (see page
316).
If you want to nest over two or more subjects when performing a subset of
behaviors, not just one, then you need to create multiple nesting
conditions in the Data Selection window (see page 337).
Example – To nest over the subject Test participant when performing
behaviors Task 1 or Task 2, select the subject Test participant and, from the
The selected Subjects occur in list, select Task 1. Then, repeat the nesting
procedure and in a new Nest (Subjects) box select Test participant, and
from the The selected Subjects occur in list select Task 2. Next, combine
the two Nest boxes (see page 337).
3 Click OK and insert the Nest box at the required position in the sequence
between the Start box and the Results box.
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Notes
 Each subject and subject group is listed in a separate row (please note that
here by groups we mean groups in the coding scheme, not groups in data
selection).
 If you re-select a subject group, make sure that the subjects you are interested
in are selected, and those you want to ignore are de-selected.
 If you create a new subject in the coding scheme and then re-open the data
profile, the new subject is not selected automatically. You must select the new
subject in the Nest (Subjects) window if you want to include it in the nesting
criterion.
Selecting a certain combination of subject and behavior in the Nest
(Subjects) window is equal to selecting the same combination in the Nest
(Behaviors) window. First select the behavior in the upper part of the
window, then the subject from the list at the bottom of the window (see
above).
Nesting over External data
Aim – Analyze data when external data values are above/below a specific value
(for example, heart rate above 100 bpm) or when external data is within a specific
range of values (for example, skin temperature between 36 and 37.5 degrees
centigrade).
1 In the Components pane, under Select Intervals with External Data, click
the button next to the appropriate Nest over <external data signal>.
The Nest over <external data signal> window appears (see figure below).
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2 You can now select:
 External data is Lower than / Lower or equal to / Higher than / Higher
or equal to – if you want to analyze events when the external data signal
was above or below a specific value. Choose one of the above-mentioned
options from the list and enter a value.
 External data is Higher than / Higher or equal to and Lower than /
Lower or equal to – if you want to analyze events when the external data
signal was within a specific range. To set the lower limit, select one of the
above-mentioned options from the top list and enter a value. To set the
upper limit, select one of the above-mentioned options from the bottom
list and enter a value.
3 In the Minimal interval length field, enter a duration.
By setting the Minimal interval length, you can avoid the selection of
many, short intervals when the signal is noisy around the selected external
data values. When the Minimal interval length is ‘0’ seconds, no minimal
interval length is used. By default, the Minimal interval length is ‘1’
second.
4 Click OK and insert the Nest box at the required position in the sequence
between the Start box and the Results box.
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Notes
 On the Nest box, the external data values are displayed with three decimals,
but for the actual selection of external data the original values are used.
 When you delete an external data signal in the Independent Variable List, the
corresponding Nest box is deleted from the Data Profile.
 Depending on the sample rate of the external data, in the Event Plot it can
sometimes seem as if the interval does not include external data values that
should have been included. This is because in the Event Plot samples are
connected by a line as if the external data is continuous, while in fact it
consists of discrete s. See also “Visualization of external data” on page 359.
 An interval based on Nesting over external data should contain at least two s.
If only one falls within the set Signal range, no interval is created.
7.7 Selecting data - Time bins
What are time bins?
The aim of time bins is to divide your data sets in time intervals of equal length.
The results of your analyses will be shown for each interval in separate tables or
cells.
You can specify intervals of a specific length (for example, to split your
observations in 10-minutes units) or the fixed number of intervals. In the latter
case, the duration of each interval is determined by the program.
If you do not define time bins, the whole observation is analyzed, unless your
data profile specifies free intervals (see page 316) or nested intervals (see page
325).
The difference between Time bins and other intervals
 With Time bins, you analyze data in regular time segments. Each observation
is split in such a way that no data is excluded.
 Nesting and free intervals generally results in your observation being split in a
number of intervals of variable duration. The data outside the intervals are not
analyzed.
In the analysis, the left borders of the time intervals are used and the right
borders are not used (see page 402 for details).
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Defining time bins in short
1 Make sure that a data profile is open. If not, create a new data profile or open
an existing one (see page 349).
2 Click the Settings button
on the Results box. The Result
Container Settings window appears.
Figure 7.25 The Result Container Properties window.
3 Select Use Time bins and select one of the following:
 Duration – if you want to specify a fixed interval length.
 Nr of Time Bins – If you want to specify a fixed number of intervals to
analyze.
Enter the length of the interval (in hours, minutes, or seconds; choose the
time unit from the list) or the number of intervals.
4 If the duration of the observation/event log is not an exact multiple of the
interval length, the last time bins will be incomplete. Select the Ignore last
Time Bin if incomplete option if you do not want to analyze this last interval.
Example – You have defined a fixed duration of 10 minutes, but your
observations last around 35 minutes. You can choose to analyze only the first
three complete 10-minutes intervals and ignore the last, five-minutes interval.
5 Click OK.
The Results box shows the duration of the time bins. For example, ‘Time bins:
10 minutes’.
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Notes
 Make sure that the total number of time bins is less than 1000. Also, make sure
that you define time bins after you have recorded all your observations.
 Consider the following case where a state behavior occurs across two five-
minutes time bins (marked by dotted lines):
Although the behavior occurs once, it is counted once in the first interval and
once in the second interval.
 If your observations contain two or more event logs, the time bins are defined
across event logs beginning from the start time of the observation. This
means that if an event log starts later than another, the time bins defined
before the start of the late event log do not show results for that event log.
 If your data profile contains two or more result containers (see an example on
page 343), you can choose whether to apply the time bins to the current
Results box only, or to all of them.
By default, time bins are applied to one Results box.
 To apply the time bins to all results containers, click Settings in the Results
box in which time bins are applied, and click the Apply to All button.
 To apply different time bins to different results containers, repeat the
procedure above for each Results box.
7.8 Complex data selections
Selection boxes can be combined in a variety of ways to create complex data
selections. For example, Nest over the behavior Playing, AND Filter the behavior
Talk to parent. This way you analyze Talking to parent when the subject was
playing. Below you find a few basic rules to combine selection boxes.
See page 344 for information on the correct order of selection boxes.
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A very general rule – AND, OR and Multiple results logic
 AND logic – When you line up boxes in a sequence, the data in the Results
box satisfy all criteria defined by the boxes.
Figure 7.26 The data selected in this example are those scored when the behavior
Intruder in arena was active (second box), AND for the observations with the value
of the independent variable Strain= Outbred (third box).
 OR logic – When you split a sequence in two or more branches, the data in
the Results box satisfy either one or the other selection criterion (see Figure
7.27).
Figure 7.27 The data selected in this example are those scored when the behavior Play
with object was active for either subject Twin 1 or subject Twin 2.
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 Multiple results logic – When you split a sequence in two or more branches
and those end in different Results boxes, there will be as many analysis
results as Results boxes, each referring to its own selection criterion.
Figure 7.28 The data selected in this example are Results 1, containing all data in the
project (no filtering, no intervals), and Results 2, containing the data scored from
the start of each observation to the event Grooming. Analysis is done on both data
sets, and results indicate which Results box they refer to (either Results 1 or
Results 2).
Rule 1 – Filtering by multiple values of the same variable or element
type
To create a filter using multiple values of the same independent variable or
multiple elements of the same type, specify them in one Filter box.
Example 1 – Your project contains a number of observations made at
different subject ages (5, 6 and 10 years). We assume here that Age has been
entered as user-defined variable. You want to analyze observations made on
subjects five and six years old.
Example 2 – Your project contains data of a number of behaviors. You want to
analyze all the behaviors of the group named Saccades and the behavior
Attack (see Figure 7.29).
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.
Figure 7.29 Edit a Filter box to refine filtering based on one independent variable or type
of elements of the coding scheme.
Rule 1b – Filtering by multiple modifiers
This is a special case of Rule 1.
If you want to filter events with at least one of the modifiers you are interested in,
select those modifiers in one Filter box.
Example – The behavior Feeding is attached to two modifier groups: Prey type
(with values Caterpillar, Spider, and others) and Prey size (with values 1, 2, 3).
To filter events with either Prey type=Caterpillar or Spider, OR Prey size=3:
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It is not possible to select events that contain a specific combination of
modifiers. For example, Prey Type= Caterpillar AND Prey size =3.
We advise you to define a modifier that includes information from the two
modifier groups. For example, Caterpillar size 3, Caterpillar or Spider size 3
etc. Then, use this modifier to filter data.
Rule 2 – Filtering by multiple variables or element types
To create a filter using multiple independent variables or elements (observations,
subjects, behaviors, external data), create one Filter box per variable/element
type, and line up the boxes between the Start box and the Results box.
Example – In a parent-child interaction study, you want to calculate statistics
of a few behaviors for the subject Child, and for the observations of male
subjects. We assume here that Subject gender was defined as an independent
variable.
Figure 7.30 Connect and line up selection boxes to create a complex filter.
Rule 3 – Defining nested intervals based on multiple subjects/
behaviors not occurring simultaneously (OR logic applied)
To define intervals based on multiple subjects or behaviors in such a way that data
is considered for analysis when at least one subject/behavior occurred, specify
those subjects/behaviors in the same Nest box.
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Example – In a study of usability of software, two test sessions are coded as
two state events: Task 1 and Task 2. You want to analyze the data that occurred
when either state event was active.
Figure 7.31 Select the events in the same Nest box to analyze the
time segments when either one or the other event occurred.
Rule 4 – Defining nested intervals based on multiple subjects/
behaviors occurring simultaneously (AND logic applied)
To define intervals based on multiple subjects or behaviors in such a way that data
is considered for analysis when all subjects/behaviors occurred simultaneously,
select each subject/ behavior in a separate Nest box, then line up the boxes
between the Start box and the Results box.
Example – In a study of mother-child interaction, the duration of specific
phases is coded as state events. You want to calculate statistics on various
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behaviors recorded during the phase coded as Episode 1 AND, within that
phase, when the behavior Play was scored for the subject Child.
Figure 7.32 Select the events in different Nest boxes to analyze the time segments
when the events occurred at the same time.
If you want to analyze the time when one or more state events are active
for all of the subjects in each observation simultaneously, you can insert
just one Nest box that specifies the behavior for nesting, and select <All
Subjects> from the The selected Behaviors occur in list.
Rule 5 – Selecting independent data sets in the same Data Profile
To show results for different data selections, connect each selection sequence to
a separate Results box.
Example – In a study of mate choice in fish, the position of the male relative
to three females has been recorded as state events (Next to Female 1, Next to
Female 2, Next to Female 3). You want to calculate statistics on various
behaviors recorded when the male was next to each individual female.
Statistics will be shown for each female in a separate section of your report.
Given that each nesting condition (position of the male) should lead to a separate
result, it must be connected to a separate Results box.
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Figure 7.33 If you want different data selections to produce separate results in your
analysis, connect each selection criterion to a separate Results box. To create
additional Results boxes, click the button next to Results.
If you wish to calculate the statistics for when the male was next to any
female, select the three events Next to Female 1, Next to Female 2 and
Next to Female 3 in the same Nest box. You do not need to create
separate Results boxes.
Order of selection boxes
The order in which you place boxes in a selection sequence is very
important. Please read carefully this section.
If your data profile is made of several sequences, please check them
carefully according to what is stated below.
If your sequence contains Filter boxes only...
 If each Filter box refers to a different type of element...
Example – One Filter box for an independent variable, one for subjects, one
for behaviors.
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...Then the order you place the boxes does not matter.
 If Filter boxes refer to the same type of element...
Example – One Filter (Behaviors) box filtering Speech behaviors, and another
Filter (Behaviors) box for Facial Expression behaviors.
...Then the selection only works if the elements you have filtered in one
box are also selected in the previous box.
If you want to create a filter based on elements of the same type, make
sure that those elements are selected in one box.
If your sequence contains Nest or Intervals boxes only...
...then the order in which you place the boxes does not matter.
If your sequence contains Nest (or Interval) and Filter boxes
together
Example – One Filter (Subjects) box to filter the subject Child, and one Filter
(Behaviors) to filter the behavior Emotion, and one Intervals box to select the
time from the start of Mother out of Room to the end of the observation.
...Then the selection will only work if the Nest box is placed before the
Filter box.
This is because a Filter box placed before a Nest box may filter out the subjects
and behaviors specified in the Nest box.
As a general rule, insert the Nest boxes immediately after the Start box and
then insert the Filter boxes, ending with the Results box.
The correct sequence in the example above is:
 The Start box.
 The Intervals box.
 The Filter boxes.
 The Result box.
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7.9 Changes in Data Selection relative
to The Observer 5
In The Observer XT you select data in a way very similar to that you may have
experienced in previous Observer versions. However, there are important
differences which are listed below.
Filtering and grouping data
The Observer 5
The Observer XT
Filter data
Click the appropriate tab in
the Data Selection window
and delete the elements you
do not want to analyze.
Click the button in the blue
area of the Components
pane and select the
elements you want to
analyze, then insert the box
in the data selection
sequence (see page 307).
Group data
Click the appropriate tab and
then click one of the
elements, then define a
group.
Click the Grouping button in
the Start box of the Data
Selection window (see page
295).
The Observer 5
The Observer XT
Selecting intervals
As long as events occur
346
From the Data menu, select Click the button next to
Intervals States.
Select Intervals -Nest over
Subjects or -Nest over
Behaviors
in
the
Components pane, and
select the events you require
(see page 327 or page 331)
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The Observer 5
The Observer XT
From time t1 to time t2
Click the Intervals tab and Click the button next to
Intervals
-Free
specify the begin and end Select
interval selection in the
times.
Components pane, and
specify the begin and end
times (page 319).
From time t to event E
Click the Intervals tab and Click the button next to
Intervals
-Free
specify the begin and end Select
interval selection in the
criteria.
Components pane, and
specify the begin and end
times (page 319).
From event E to time t
Click the Intervals tab and Click the button next to
Intervals
-Free
specify the begin and end Select
interval selection in the
criteria.
Components pane, and
specify the begin and end
times (page 319).
From event E1 to event E2
Click the Intervals tab and Click the button next to
Intervals
-Free
specify the begin and end Select
interval selection in the
criteria.
Components pane, and
specify the begin and end
times (page 319).
Merge intervals in one
Create intervals, then select Use the Nest function. Click
Merge data for one interval the button next to Select
Intervals
-Nest
over
in the analysis settings.
Subjects or -Nest over
Behaviors
in
the
Components pane, and
select the events you require
(see page 327 or page 331)
Regular duration
From the Data menu, select Click the Settings button in
Intervals Time.
the Results box (page 335).
Note on overlapping intervals – In The Observer 4/5, intervals based on
events could also be overlapping depending on when events occur. For
instance, you specify an interval from event A to event B, with B from a
different behavioral class than A. Then a second instance of A could occur
before event B occurs. Then the time period between the second instance
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of A and the first instance of B is included in at least two different time
intervals. This does not happen in The Observer XT, where intervals
defined by multiple instances of events in an observation never overlap.
Combining intervals with AND and OR logic
The Observer 5
The Observer XT
Simultaneous occurrence in Define intervals, then select Create Intervals or Nest
all intervals
AND from the Combine boxes, then line them up in
the selection sequence (see
rows with list.
page 338).
Either one
interval
or
another Define intervals, then select Create Intervals or Nest
OR from the Combine rows boxes, then arrange them in
parallel in the selection
with list.
sequence (see page 338).
Do not combine intervals
Define intervals, then select Create Intervals or Nest
<Do not combine> from the boxes, then arrange them in
sequences
ending
to
Combine rows with list.
separate Results boxes (see
page 338).
Combining multiple interval types
In The Observer XT, you cannot combine time bins and other types of intervals
with OR logic. You can, however, specify whether to apply:
 Time bins only.
 Intervals only.
 Both Time bins and intervals.
When you specify the last option, the AND logic is applied, that is, only the time
line shared by time bins and other intervals is analyzed.
The three options are available when you calculate statistics and when you run lag
sequential analysis.
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7.10 Managing your data profiles
Viewing all data profiles
You can view all the data profiles in your project by opening the Data Profiles
folder in the Project Explorer:
Figure 7.34 Data profiles in the Explorer. The active data profile Crash and other events is
highlighted.
Creating a new data profile
1 Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, choose Select Data, then New Data Profile or
press Ctrl+Alt+F7.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Data Profiles folder and select New
Data Profile.
2 In the New Data Profile window, type the name you want to give to the new
profile or accept the default name and click OK.
Opening an existing data profile
In previous versions of The Observer XT, you had to open an existing data
profile to activate that data profile, so analysis is done on the data
specified in that profile. See Activating an existing data profile below, if
you just want to activate a data profile without opening it.
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1 Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, choose Select Data, then Open Data Profile.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Data Profiles folder and select Open
Data Profile.
2 In the Open Data Profile window, select the data profile you want to open,
and click OK.
This window lists the data profiles saved in your project (you can view
them in the Project Explorer). The profile marked with an asterisk indicates
the currently open data profile.
The active data profile is highlighted in the Data Profiles folder of the
Project Explorer.
To open the data profile currently active, from the Analyze menu, select
Select Data, then Show Current Data Profile, or press Alt+F7.
Activating a data profile
In the Project Explorer, simply click the data profile you want to activate.
Editing and saving a data profile
1 Open the data profile (see above). The Data Selection window displays
showing the content of the data profile.
2 To add filters and nesting conditions, follow the instructions on page 289.
To change an existing filter/interval/nesting condition, click the Settings
button on the bottom of the corresponding selection box in the Data
Selection window. In the window that appears, edit your selection criteria
and click OK.
If you create an unwanted Filter or Nest box, click its title and press
Delete.
To delete a selection box, see the instructions on page 292.
To delete a connecting arrow, see the instructions on page 292.
For general information on how to work with selection boxes, see page 290.
3 To save the data profile, from the File menu, select Save Project.
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Resetting a data profile
If you reset a data profile, all your selection criteria in that profile are
deleted. As a result, the data profile contains all observations of your
project and all data within them.
1 Make sure the data profile you want to reset is open on your screen. If another
data profile is open, open the data profile you want to reset (see above).
2 From the Analyze menu, select Select Data, then Reset Current Data Profile.
If you have selected Data Selection: reset Data Profile in the Warnings
tab of the project's Preferences window (see page 142), The Observer
shows a warning message. Click Yes if you want to reset the data profile.
You cannot undo a data profile reset.
Renaming a data profile
To rename a data profile, right-click the name of the data profile in the Project
Explorer, and select Rename Data Profile. In the Rename Data Profile window,
enter the new name and click OK.
Copying and pasting a data profile
You cannot copy an existing data profile. To have an exact copy of a data profile,
you need to create and edit a new profile.
Deleting a data profile
Deleting a data profile does not result in deleting your data. It removes the data
selection settings.
To delete a data profile, right-click it in the Project Explorer under Data Profiles and
select Delete Data Profile.
Alternatively, do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, choose Select Data, then Delete Data Profile.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Data Profiles folder and select Delete
Data Profile.
In the Delete Data Profile window, click the name of the data profile you
want to delete, then click OK.
This window lists the data profiles saved in your project (you can view
them in the Project Explorer). The profile marked with an asterisk indicates
the currently open data profile.
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Notes
 If you have selected Explorer view: delete data profile in the Warnings tab
of the project's Preferences window (see page 142), and you delete a data
profile from the Project Explorer (that is, by right-clicking Data Profiles and
selecting Delete Data Profile), The Observer shows a warning message. Click
Yes if you want to delete the data profile.
 If you delete a data profile and then close a project without saving the
changes, the data profile is still in the project.
 If you delete the data profile currently active (that is, the one open on your
screen), The Observer shows a message asking you whether you want to
continue. If you click Yes, The Observer deletes the data profile and activates
the first data profile available (that is, the first profile shown in the Data
Profiles folder).
You cannot restore a deleted data profile.
7.11 What next?
Please make sure that when you start the analysis the data profile you want to use
as data source is selected in the Project Explorer.
In the Project Explorer, click the Analysis folder. The Analyze tab in the overview
window appears.
 To visualize data, create episode selections and highlights video clips – See
Chapter 8.
 To calculate statistics – See Chapter 9.
 To carry out lag sequential analysis – see Chapter 10.
 To carry out reliability analysis – see Chapter 11.
 To export observational and/or external data – See Chapter 12.
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8
Visualizing Data
This chapter is about:
 Event Plots – In an event plot you can visualize one or more subjects,
observations and associated external data. You can customize the way the
event plot is displayed (for example, zoom in/out, change colors of plots).
See page 356
 Episode Selections – An Episode Selection can be created based on certain
events or data selection criteria. You can use the Episode Selection to
generate a video highlights clip.
See page 368
 Generating a media file – You can generate a video file from your selection
of video episodes that you selected in the Episode Selection.
See page 389
8.1 Before you start
The terms Subject, Behavior and Modifier listed in this chapter may not
be the same as those on your screen. This depends on what terms you
have specified in your project's Terminology Preferences (see page 141).
This chapter describes the functions of data visualization in The Observer XT.
Before carrying out quantitative analysis of your data, you can look at it by means
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of the Visualize function. You can also create an Episode Selection based on
certain events or Data Selection criteria and generate a media file from the
original video that contains the selected episodes.
Prior to visualizing data, you can create a data profile by selecting the data to be
visualized (see Chapter 7). If you do not create a selection profile, The Observer
visualizes all events and external data included in an observation.
What is data visualization?
When you visualize data, The Observer produces an event plot in which events
and external data are plotted horizontally against a time axis (elapsed time). Each
multi-colored bar represents a sequence of behaviors. Each event type is plotted
in its own color. State events are represented by horizontal bars whose length is
proportional to the state's duration. Point events are vertical segments. Media
files and external data files are synchronized with the observational data (see the
example below).
Figure 8.1 An example of visualization of event data (coded manually with The
Observer), video and imported external data (see Chapter 6).
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What is an Episode Selection?
An Episode Selection (see page 368) is a summary of events from your
observations. You can select specific events manually (for example, by dragging
them from the event log) or according to a criterion specified in the data profile.
Events are organized in sequences called episodes. You can view an Episode
Selection as a book, where episodes are chapters and events are single
paragraphs.
If you have scored observations from video, you can play back the video
corresponding to the episodes selected. If you like, you can have different
episodes separated by a transition.
Figure 8.2 An example of Episode Selection. Right-click an event and select Play to view
the corresponding scene.
Furthermore, you can generate a media file from the original video, based on
the episodes included in your Episode Selection. This way, you create a new
media file that contains the scenes you are interested in. You can also add
subtitles and transitions with text. You can then use this media file in
presentations, to create behavior libraries, etc.
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8.2 Making an Event Plot
You can visualize data from one or more observations. If you want to visualize
more observations simultaneously, group them first (see page 295).
If your observation contains two or more event logs or subjects, these are
visualized in separate event plots (see below).
 If your coding scheme contains no behaviors, you cannot make an event plot.
In that case you can only visualize video and external data.
 If you add or remove a variable in the Independent Variable List (see page
125), the corresponding object (for example, a Physiological Data window if
the variable refers to external data files) is displayed or removed, respectively.
Procedure
1 Make sure that the data profile you want to use as a source of data is
highlighted in the Project Explorer (under Data Profiles). If your data profile is
not highlighted, double-click it.
2 Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, select Visualize Data or press Alt+F8.
 In the Project Explorer, click the Analysis folder. In the overview window,
click Visualize Data.
If your project contains two or more observations, the Visualize Data
window appears. Select the observation you want to visualize, and click
OK.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the observation you want to visualize and
select Visualize.
Result – A few windows appear on your screen depending on which data are
in your observation:
 The Visualization window, showing one or more plots: an event plot (with
colored bars for Continuous Sampling data and colored dots for
Instantaneous Sampling data; ) for each event log and subject in the
observation, and an External data plot for each external data file linked to
that observation.
 One or more Video windows, showing the video files linked to that
observation (this applies if you have scored data from video files).
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 The Playback Control window, with which you can play back the data (see
page 204), or edit the data (see page 184).
Figure 8.3 The Visualization window showing four behavioral data plots. The plot at
the top shows the behavioral data scored using Continuous Sampling for the
adult female. The three other plots show the behavioral data scored using
Instantaneous Sampling for three juvenile animals.
3 You can now do the following (optional):
 Play back the data (see below). For information on how to play back data
from plug-ins, see page 244.
 Customize the event plot, for example change the order of the plots, or
change the colors of bars or dots (see page 362).
 Edit the data (for example, correct scoring errors, see page 184).
 Export the event plot (see page 361).
If you cannot visualize an observation, it could be due to the observation
containing errors. See page 184 for information on how to correct errors in
the data.
If you need to re-synchronize the different data files, change the offset
(see page 190).
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Figure 8.4 An example of an event plot including two event plots (groups of colored
bars) and two external data plots (waveforms).
A – Scope in hierarchy. Includes the result container, event log and subject (if more
than one in the same observation). B – List of scored behaviors, in the same order
as in the coding scheme. Behaviors that are not scored are not shown. C –Time
scale (X-axis). D – Playing area of the plot. E – Plot margins. These are always the
first and the last 10% of the plot length. Data in margins are shown semitransparent. F – Vertical scale (Y-axis). G – Name of the external data plot. This is
usually made of the type of data (EEG, ECG etc.) plus the name of the data set in
parentheses (see the Independent Variables List).
Interpreting the Event Plot
The event plot always shows the data selected in the active data profile. If the
plots do not correspond to the data you expected, it may be that you selected
another data profile.
 Events that are filtered out are not visualized.
 If you have defined intervals or time bins, events are visualized that occur in
the time line corresponding interval/time bin (indicated by the blue
background).
 If you have defined intervals and time bins in the same result container,
events are visualized that occur in the time line shared by the intervals and the
time bins.
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For more information on data selection, see Chapter 7.
Visualization of external data
External data imported into The Observer XT usually consists of discrete samples.
In the visualization in The Observer XT, the samples are connected by a line.
However, the external data points are not interpolated and do not become
continuous. For data selection and analysis, the discrete samples are used.
Because of the latter, in the visualization it sometimes seems as if the selected
samples do not exactly match the selection made in a data selection.
Below are a number of examples of data selection and the corresponding
visualization.
Example of Nesting Polar heart rate data – In the sample project Parent-Child
interaction, the heart rate of the child was acquired using Polar equipment
(sample rate: 0.2 Hz). In a data profile, you nest over Polar heart rate Higher
or equal to 100 bpm. Figure 8.5 below shows part of the visualization based
on the above-mentioned data profile. For this example, the s and the
horizontal line indicating the 100-bpm threshold have been added to the plot
in an image editing program.
At the end of the interval (the blue area), it looks as if a heart rate value of
<100 bpm is included in the selection. However, the line that connects the last
sample (value: 98) and the previous sample (value: 102), ‘belongs’ to the
sample with value ‘102’.
You can see the value of external data in the event plots by hovering
over the line with the mouse pointer. As a result, a small window pops
up, showing the external data label, the time stamp of the
corresponding sample and the value of that sample.
The sample at the end of an interval is not included in the selection.
At the start of the second interval, it looks as if a heart rate value >100 bpm is
not included in the selection. The 100-bpm line crosses the line which
connects sample with value ‘98’ and sample with value ‘102’. The latter one is
the first sample included in the interval.
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Figure 8.5 Example of an event plot of data selection of external data. For an explanation,
see the text above.
Playing back the data
1 Position the cursor at the point where you want to start playing back by
clicking this point on the plot.
If you want to start from the earliest time among all data sets of your
observation, click the Jump to begin button in the Playback Control
window or press Ctrl+Up-arrow key.
Result – The cursor, indicated by a vertical red line, appears at the desired
starting point.
2 You can select the speed at which you want to play back the data by selecting
a playback speed from the list (see page 204).
3 Click the Play forward button or press Ctrl+9.
To play frame by frame, click the Step frame forward button or press
Ctrl+right-arrow key.
For instantaneous sampling, go to the next next sample by clicking the
next sample button or press the Ctrl+Shift+Down-arrow key. This button
is not available when you have selected Continuous Sampling in the
Project Setup.
For instantaneous sampling, go to the previous sample by clicking the
Previous sample button or press the Ctrl+Shift+Up-arrow key. This
button is not available when you have selected Continuous Sampling in
the Project Setup.
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For information on the other playback buttons, see page 204.
When you play back data, all data files are played synchronously. If you
need to change the synchronization point between different data, see Edit
data (see page 190).
Editing the event data
If you want to edit the event data, for example when you want to add events or
correct a scoring error, do the following:
1 In the Project Explorer, under Observations click the observation you want to
edit. The observation opens on your screen.
2 Edit the data as explained on page 184.
In The Observer XT, you can only edit observational data, not external
(physiological) data.
3 To save the data, from the File menu, select Save Project. To return to the
event plot, right-click the observation in the Project Explorer and select
Visualize.
Exporting the Event Plot
You can export an Event Plot by creating a screenshot.
1 Make sure the part of the Event Plot you want to export is visible on your
screen.
2 Click the camera button on the Component tool bar.
3 Choose the location and picture format.
4 Accept the default file name or enter another one and click OK.
The screenshot only contains the part of the Event Plot that is visible on
your screen.
You can also copy the Event Plot and paste it into another program.
Make sure that the Event Plot is open on your screen. From the Edit
menu, select Copy or press Ctrl+C. In the other program, from the Edit
menu, select Paste, or press Ctrl+V.
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Printing the Event Plot
It is possible to print the Event Log. When the Event Log columns are to wide to fit
on one page, you get a warning that the Event Log will be printed across multiple
pages. If you do not want to prints across multiple pages, you can decrease the
column widths or print to landscape.
You need to first click on the event log to select it, then from the File menu, select
Print.
Customizing the Event Plot
Summary
 Zooming in and out (see below).
 Specifying the time mode (see page 364).
 Specifying the time format (see page 364).
 Showing/hiding events (see page 364).
 Sorting plots within an event plot (see page 365).
 Showing/hiding plots and video (see page 366).
 Changing colors (see page 367).
 Changing the vertical range in a plot (see page 368).
It is not possible to make changes in an event plot if the project is readonly, for example:
 The project is stored on a CD/DVD.
 The project is already open in another Observer XT window (that is,
two or more instances of The Observer XT are active at the same time,
and one shows the same event plot).
Zooming in/out
To change the level of detail of your plots you can zoom in or out.
If your event plot includes only event data (colored bars), you can zoom
in/out the data relative to time (that is, change the time interval shown on
the X-axis).
If your event plot also includes external data, you can zoom in/out relative
to time (X-axis), or the amplitude (Y-axis), or both time and amplitude.
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To zoom in/out relative to time:
1 Do one of the following:
 Right-click the time bar and select Zoom in or Zoom out.
 Click the Zoom in or Zoom out button on the tool bar.
Result – The mouse pointer changes to a magnifying lens icon (with + or –).
2 Click the plot or the time bar one or more times to reach the desired zoom
level.
3 To return to the normal mouse pointer, click the mouse pointer on the tool
bar.
You can also Press Ctrl+. (to zoom in) or Ctrl+, (to zoom out). With these
shortcut keys you immediately zoom in or out.
If your mouse has a mouse wheel, you can zoom relative to time by
using the mouse wheel while you keep the Ctrl-key pressed.
The time scale changes for all the plots.
Every time you click the plot with the pointer as a magnifying glass or click
Ctrl +. or Ctrl +, the plot is enlarged/reduced by a factor of 2, respectively.
The scale changes accordingly.
If you have selected the option Show frame numbers while observing
from videos in the Time formats tab of the Project Settings window,
frame numbers are shown in the Event Plot. If you zoom in too much, it
may happen that there are more tick marks with data labels on the time
axis of the Event Plot than there are actual video frames. If this is the case,
the same frame number is shown several times on the time axis.
To zoom in/out relative to amplitude (only for external data):
1 Do one of the following:
 Right-click the Y-axis scale of the plot you want to zoom in/out and select
Zoom in or Zoom out.
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 Click the Zoom in or Zoom out button on the tool bar.
Result – The mouse pointer changes to a magnifying lens icon (with + or –).
2 Click the Y-axis scale of the plot one or more times to reach the desired zoom
level.
3 To return to the normal mouse pointer, click the mouse pointer on the tool
bar.
Every time you click the plot with the pointer as a magnifying glass, the
plot is enlarged/reduced by a factor of 2, respectively, and the scale
changes accordingly.
The amplitude scale changes only for the plot that you clicked.
You can also Press Ctrl+Shift+. (to zoom in) or Ctrl+Shift+, (to zoom out).
With these shortcut keys you immediately zoom in or out.
Specifying the time mode and time format
1 From the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then click Time formats in the
left pane.
2 To set the time mode, in the Project time format list, select Absolute if you
want to have absolute (clock) time displayed. If you want to include the date in
your time stamps, select the check box Show date with absolute times.
Select Relative if you want to have elapsed time displayed.
3 To set the time format, click the Edit button next to the option you have
chosen to specify the format in detail.
4 Click OK when done.
For more information, see page 139.
Showing and hiding events
Events are shown according to the hierarchical structure in the coding scheme.
Behavior groups are listed in the leftmost column of a plot. By default, all events
are shown.
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To collapse events in a group, click the – sign near the event group. To expand
event groups again, click the + sign.
 Once in an event plot, single behaviors cannot be hidden anymore. To do so,
you must first remove those behaviors from the data profile (see Chapter 7).
 If events in a group are mutually-exclusive or non-overlapping, once you
collapse them they form a complete multi-color bar.
 If events are not mutually exclusive, once you collapse them they may result in
gaps (for the time when no state behavior was scored), or overlaps (when
more state behaviors were active simultaneously).
Sorting plots in an Event Plot
You can change the order in which plots are displayed by moving them up and
down in the event plot.
1 Click the header of the plot you want to move. The header shows the name of
the data profile, the event log and the subject.
Result – The border of the plot is highlighted in red.
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2 Drag the plot to the horizontal line separating two adjacent plots. This line is
highlighted in red when the mouse pointer is close to it. Release the mouse
button to confirm the position.
Result – The plot is moved between the other two plots.
Showing and hiding plots and video
You can choose what plots to display in the event plot by selecting the appropriate
option with View Settings on the far-right side of the tool bar.
Plots
1 If you want to show/hide event plots, open View Settings and click Events.
Result – A list of check boxes appears. Each item corresponds to a specific
combination of result container, event log and subject (for event plots, see
Figure 8.6), or an external data file. If your coding scheme contains no
subjects, the combinations are formed by result containers and event logs.
Figure 8.6 An example of the options shown, if
Events is selected with View Settings.
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2 If you want to show/hide external data plots, with View Settings select
External Data.
3 To hide a plot, clear the corresponding box. To show a plot, make sure that the
corresponding box is selected.
Video
1 With View Settings, select Videos.
Result – The videos that are linked to the observation that is visualized are
shown.
2 To hide the videos, deselect Videos with View Settings.
Changing colors
To change the color of event bars or dots:
1 From the Setup menu, select Open Coding Scheme.
2 Right-click the Behaviors panel and select Show all columns.
3 Double-click the Color cell for the behavior whose color you want to change.
4 In the Color window (see page 108) a new color in one of the following ways:
 Click a color in the Basic Colors section.
 Click Define Custom Color, click a color in the palette and change its
luminosity with the slider on the right (optional).
 Type in the HSL values.
 Type in the RGB values.
5 Click OK. From the Analyze menu, select Visualize Data.
To change colors temporarily, double-click the bars and dots in your
event plot and choose another color. However, the next time you
visualize that observation, the event plot is displayed in the colors
specified in the coding scheme.
Changing the color of lines in external data plots:
1 Double-click the external data plot whose color you want to change.
2 In the Color window, choose a new color in one of the following ways:
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 Click a color in the Basic Colors section.
 Click Define Custom Color, click a color in the palette and change its
luminosity with the slider on the right (optional).
 Type in the HSL values.
 Type in the RGB values.
3 Click OK.
Changing the vertical range of a plot
1 In the left-most column, point to the lower separation line, so the mouse
pointer turns to a double-arrow.
2 Drag to the desired position (down to have a larger plot, up to have a narrower
plot).
If the height of the plot becomes smaller than the range of the behaviors
(or external data values), use the scrollbar on the right margin of the plot
view the events.
8.3 Creating an Episode Selection
Assumptions
In order for you to be able to create an Episode Selection, the following conditions
must be met:
 You have scored events in one or more observations.
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 Your event log files should not contain any errors. You can check this by
opening an event log and clicking the Check Event log icon.
 If you want to view the events selected in a certain data profile (see Chapter
7), that data profile must be active (that is, highlighted in the Project Explorer
under Data Profiles).
When you have created an Episode Selection and subsequently open an
observation and continue scoring, these new events are not included in
the Episode Selection. Create a new Episode Selection after you have
finished your observation.
Three ways of creating an Episode
Selection
You can create an Episode Selection in three ways:
 METHOD 1 – Create a Blank Episode Selection (that is, an Episode Selection
containing no events) and then fill it by dragging and dropping events from
one or more event log data files (see page 370).
 METHOD 2 – Create an Episode Selection from a single event log file, that
is, let The Observer create an Episode Selection containing all events you
scored in a specific event log (see page 371).
 METHOD 3 – Create an Episode Selection from the Current Data Profile,
that is, let The Observer create an Episode Selection containing all events
selected in the currently active data profile (see page 372).
What is the difference among the three methods?
The difference only lies in the starting point.
 In METHOD 1, the Episode Selection is initially empty, and it's up to you to fill it
with data. Choose this method if you want to insert few, very specific events in
your Episode Selection.
 In METHOD 2, the Episode Selection is automatically filled up with the data
scored in one event log. Choose this if you want to make an Episode Selection
from just one event log.
 In METHOD 3, the Episode Selection is automatically filled up with the data
you have selected in the data profile. Choose this method if you want to
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create an Episode Selection reflecting a specific data selection (for example, a
nesting condition).
You can always edit the Episode Selection after you have created it, for example
by adding or removing events, etc. (see page 376).
Procedure
Choose one of the following methods (see above for an explanation of the
difference between the methods):
METHOD 1 – Creating a blank Episode Selection
1 Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, select Episode Selection, then New.
 Press Ctrl+Alt+F9.
 In the Project Explorer, click Episode Selections under Analysis. In the
The Observer XT Analyze window, click Create blank episode selection.
 Under Analysis in the Project Explorer, right-click Episode Selections and
select Create Blank Episode Selection.
Result – The Event Log window and the empty Episode Selection window
appear.
Figure 8.7
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2 Add events by dragging and dropping them from the Event Log to the Episode
Selection window. To do so, click the number of the event row so the entire
row becomes highlighted, then drag it to the Episode Selection window. For
more information on how to edit the Episode Selection, see page 376.
If the observation is associated with media files, a Video window opens
for each association (that is, each time a media file is associated with a
subject, event log file or observation).
METHOD 2 – Creating an Episode Selection from a single event log
file
1 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Event Log file you want to create an
Episode Selection from, and select Create Episode Selection.
You must right-click an event log, not an observation. Event logs are
indicated by the icon on the margin. To find an event log, first open the
Observations folder in the Project Explorer, then the Observation
containing the event log, and finally the Event Files folder.
Result – The Episode Selection window and the Event Log window appear.
The Episode Selection window lists all events in the event log, grouped in an
episode. The orange line is the title of the episode, and is named after the
event log.
If the observation is associated with media files, a Video window opens
for each association (that is, each time a media file is associated with a
subject, event log file or observation).
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Figure 8.8
The Episode Selection window filled in with the data of an event log file.
The original event data are shown in the Event Log window (above).
METHOD 3 – Creating an Episode Selection from the current data
profile
1 Make sure that the data profile you want to use as a source of data is
highlighted in the Project Explorer (under Data Profiles). If your data profile is
not highlighted, click it. For more information on data profiles, see Chapter 7.
2 Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, select Episode Selection, then New From
Current Data Profile.
 Press Ctrl+Shift+F9.
 In the Project Explorer, click Episode Selections, and in the The Observer
XT Analyze window, select Create new episode selection from the
current data profile.
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Result – The Episode Selection window and the Event Log window appear.
The Episode Selection window lists all events selected in the currently active
data profile (see Figure 8.9).
Figure 8.9 The Episode Selection window displaying the events selected in the active
data profile.
If the observation is associated with media files, a Video window opens
for each association (that is, each time a media file is associated with a
subject, event log file or observation).
If your data profile includes two or more observations, events are placed
in separate episodes (indicated by orange title rows). If your data profile
includes observations with two or more event logs, the events from the
event logs are placed in one episode.
If your data profile includes intervals defined by nesting conditions (see
Select Data - Nesting in Chapter 7), events belonging to different
intervals are placed in separate episodes (indicated by orange title rows).
If the same event is included in two or more intervals defined by different
nesting conditions, the event is repeated in the Episode Selection, each
instance in a separate episode.
3 Edit your Episode Selection, for example add events by dragging and dropping
them from the Event Log window, or remove events. For more information on
how to edit the Episode Selection, see page 376.
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General notes
 Within each episode, event lines are numbered beginning from 1. Events are
ordered chronologically in an episode.
 The Event Log window has two lists from which you can select an observation
and an event log within an observation. The Event Log window shows the
content of one event log file at a time.
 If you do not see the Video window on your screen, make sure that Videos is
selected with View Settings on the Component tool bar. If this does not solve
the problem, it may be that The Observer does not find the videos in the usual
location.
i
Click the observation name in the Project Explorer.
ii A window appears asking Where is media file <video file name>? Select
the video file and click Open.
iii Re-open the Episode Selection (click the Episode selection in the Project
Explorer).
You can also open the Independent Variable List and in the Video
column browse to the correct location.
 In the Episode Selection window, each event is represented by one line. The
line representing a state event contains information about the state's
duration.
Saving an Episode Selection
The Episode Selection is saved as soon as it is created. It is named as Episode
Selection N where N is an incremental number. You can check this in the Project
Explorer, in the Episode Selections folder.
You can rename an Episode Selection by right-clicking it in the Project Explorer and
selecting Rename Episode Selection.
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When you save your project, each Episode Selection is saved to a separate file
with extension *.esr, within your project's Episode Selections folder.
Customizing the Episode Selection screen
Why customize the screen? – During the editing of your Episode Selection you
may want to show some windows, not others. For example, you may want to show
the External Data window in order to check what values of heart rate the selected
episodes correspond to. You can customize your screen with View Settings (see
below). You can also customize the appearance and content of the Episode
Selection window. For example, show the Comment column in the Episode
Selection window (see page 383).
Figure 8.10 View Settings for the Episode Selection.
 Event Log – Select this if you want to display the Event Log window.
 Videos – Select this if you want to display the content of the media files, each
in its own Video window.
If the events in your Episode Selection are associated with more than one
video, you can select which video you want to include in the preview for
that event. With View Settings, from Videos, select Show Video and
select the check box of the videos that you want to show.
 External Data – Select this if you want to display the External Data window. A
window with check boxes appears in which you can select which External data
to display.
You cannot display different external data sets in separate windows.
External Data is only available if you have a specific Observer license for
external data acquisition.
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 Playback Control – Select this if you want to display the Playback Control
buttons. See page 156 for details about the Playback Control functions.
 Show column – Select which columns you want to show in the Episode
Selection. For more information see page 391.
 Video settings – If you select this option, the following window opens.
Select whether you want to show only the videos for the active episode, only
the videos that will be generated, or all videos.
8.4 Editing the Episode Selection
Before you can edit an Episode Selection, it must be opened. If that is not the
case, open the Episode Selection by doing one of the following:
 In the Project Explorer, under Episode Selections, click the Episode Selection
you want to open.
 From the Analyze menu, click Episode Selection and then click Open. The
Open Episode Selection window appears. Select the Episode Selection you
want to open and click OK.
Adding and removing events
Adding events
1 In the Event Log window, select an observation from the first list and an event
log from the second (if the selected observation contains more than one
event log).
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Result – The selected event log displays in the Event Log window.
The Event Log window lists all events scored in that event log,
independent of the current data selection.
2 Click the leftmost cell of the event line you want to add to the Episode
Selection. The event line is highlighted. Release the mouse button.
3 Drag the line to the Episode Selection window:
Result – The event is added to the Episode Selection.
For state events with start and stop lines, you do not need to drag and
drop the stop line. Just drag the start line (with the green icon
next to
the behavior name). The information about the duration of that state is
copied anyway.
How to …
Add an event:
i
Click the leftmost cell of the event line you want to add, so the event line
is highlighted. Release the mouse button.
ii Drag to the episode in which you want to insert the new event.
In the following example, the event ‘Outstretched arm’ is placed in the
same episode as the two other events. The event ‘Outstretched arm’ just
needs to be dragged to Episode 1: the event will appear as first event in
Episode 1 because, by default, events are sorted chronologically.
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iii The events in the Episode Selection window are re-numbered accordingly.
Add multiple events from the Event Log:
i
Click the leftmost cell of the first event line you want to add, so the event
line is highlighted.
ii If you want to add multiple successive events, press Shift and click the leftmost cell of the last event line you want to add.
If you want to add multiple, non-adjacent events, press Ctrl and click the
leftmost cell of each event line you want to add.
Result – The group of event lines becomes highlighted.
iii Drag to the Episode Selection window.
Removing events from the Episode Selection
1 Right-click the event line in the Episode Selection window.
2 Select Delete event.
3 The event is deleted. The remaining events in the Episode Selection window
are re-numbered accordingly.
Removing events from the Episode Selection does not affect events in the Event
Log window.
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To select multiple adjacent event lines in the Episode Selection window,
click the first line, hold Shift down and click the last event line. Next,
right-click and select Delete event.
To select multiple non-adjacent event lines in the Episode Selection
window, hold Ctrl and click the event lines you want to delete. Next,
right-click and select Delete event.
Defining episodes
Inserting a transition in the Episode Selection
What is a transition? – A transition is a label that you can insert to distinguish
events or groups of events. In the Episode Selection, a transition is indicated by an
orange title row. The group of event lines between two consecutive transition
rows is called an Episode. In the example of Figure 8.11, the Episode Selection
contains three transitions, one at the start and one immediately before each
occurrence of the event ‘Hug rec’. The three transitions define three episodes. An
episode is therefore defined by a transition plus one or more event lines
immediately following the transition title row. The episode ends at the next
transition title row.
A transition title row can also be viewed as a time segment between two
episodes, like a transition in video editing. You can specify a certain duration for
each transition row (see page 394).
When do I need to insert a transition? – Transitions are not mandatory. You
need them every time you want to have different episodes (or single events)
separated by a time interval, perhaps with an introductory title. This can be useful
when you play the Episode Selection (see page 387), or a media file generated
from it (see page 389).
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Figure 8.11 An example of an Episode Selection with three transitions.
To insert a transition:
1 Click the first event line in the Episode Selection that you want to have in the
episode.
2 Right-click and select Insert transition (or press Ctrl+I).
Result – An orange transition row is added immediately before the event
selected.
Renaming an episode
You can rename the Episode title row: double-click the row under Subtitle Text.
If the Subtitle Text column is not shown in the Episode Selection window,
right-click one of the column headers and select Show column. From the
list with options select Subtitle Text and click OK.
Moving events and episodes in the
Episode Selection
Moving an event to another episode
1 Click the leftmost cell of the event line you want to move, so the event line is
highlighted.
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2 Drag the event line to the row below the transition title row of the episode to
which you want to move the event. A red line appears below the transition
title row.
3 Release the mouse button to add the event. The events in the episode are renumbered and ordered chronologically.
You cannot move an event to a new position within the same episode,
because events in an episode are ordered chronologically.
Moving an episode
You can move episodes in an Episode Selection to change the order they are
played back.
1 Click the transition title (orange row) for the episode you want to move
(Episode A), so the event line is highlighted.
2 Drag to the row before the appropriate transition title (orange row of Episode
B). The new position of Episode A is indicated by a red line.
For example, if you have three episodes and therefore three transitions
labeled Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3, to move Episode 1 before Episode
3, drag the orange row of Episode 1 to the row before the orange row of
Episode 3.
3 Release the mouse button. Episode A is moved to its new position, before
Episode B.
To move an episode to the beginning of the Episode Selection, drag its
title row to the header row of the Episode Selection.
To move an episode to the end of the Episode Selection, drag its title
row to the last transition title row in the Episode Selection.
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Deleting transitions and episodes from
the Episode Selection
To delete a transition, right-click it and select Delete transition.
When you delete a transition, the events in the episode are moved to the previous
episode.
Deleting a transition does not affect the events in the Event Log window.
After deleting a transition, you may need to re-name some of the
remaining episodes. To do so, double-click the name of the transition row
for that episode and type in the new name.
To delete an entire episode right-click the episode’s transition row and select
Delete episode.
Copying episodes and events
Copying an episode
To copy an entire Episode A:
1 Right-click Episode’s A transition row and select Copy.
2 Right-click the episode below which you want to add Episode A and select
Paste.
3 Episode A will be copied and added to the Episode Selection.
Copying an event
You cannot copy an event within the same episode.
You can copy an event to another episode:
1 Click an event line in the Episode Selection.
2 Press the Ctrl key.
3 Drag the event line to the appropriate episode. A red line appears below the
episode’s transition row.
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4 Release the mouse button to copy the event. The events in that episode are
re-numbered and ordered chronologically.
You can also use the following method:
1 Right-click the appropriate event and select Copy.
2 Right-click any position in the episode to which you want to add the event and
click Paste. The event will be added to the episode. The events in that episode
are re-numbered and ordered chronologically.
Customizing the Episode Selection
At this point we assume that your Episode Selection is complete and includes only
the events you want to visualize, or generate a media file from. You can
customize the Episode Selection in a variety of ways:
 Show columns in the Episode Selection window (see below).
 Hide a column in the Episode Selection window (see page 385).
 Edit the contents of the cells. Note: Only columns that are not grayed out can
be edited (see page 385).
 Sort the rows of the Episode Selection according to the contents of a column
(see page 386).
 Sort the columns of the Episode Selection (see page 386).
Showing columns
The Episode Selection window may include more information than you currently
view. This additional information can be displayed by adding more columns to the
table.
To show more columns:
1 Right-click one of the column headers and select Show column.
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2 In the Show columns window, select the boxes for the columns you want to
visualize and clear the ones for the columns you do not want to view, and click
OK. See below for more information on the single items.
You can edit the content of some columns. The editable columns are
indicated in white in the Episode Selection.
The Video, Subtitle Text, Subtitle Duration and Roll-on/Roll-off time
columns are not available in the Basic version of The Observer XT, because
the basic version does not contain video.
 Event Name (editable) – By default, the name of the behavior scored in
the corresponding event log.
 Observation – The name of the observation the event was scored in.
 Event Log – The name of the event log data file in which the event was
stored.
 Start Time – The start time of the event (absolute time).
 Stop Time – The stop time of the event (absolute time).
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 Relative Event Time – The start time of the event (relative to the start of
the Event log)
 Event Duration – The duration of the event. For point events and events
scored with Instantaneous Sampling, the duration is zero.
 Subject – The Subject in the event line.
 Behavior – The behavior in the event line.
The terms Subject, Behavior and Modifier may not be the same as those
on your screen. This depends on what terms you have specified in your
project's Terminology Preferences (see page 141).
 Behavior Modifier – The behavior modifier in the event line.
 Comment – The comment in the event line.
 Video (editable) – The name of the media file associated with the
observation.
If two or more media files are used for scoring data, each event line in the
Episode Selection contains a list with the associated media files.
 Roll-On Time (editable) – The time that playback starts before the actual
start of the event.
 Roll-Off Time (editable) – The time that playback continues after the stop
of the event.
The Roll-On/Roll-Off time has a limit of 9 hours, 59.999 minutes.
 Subtitle Text (editable) – The text that appears during playback of the
media file generated from the Episode Selection. You can specify a text for
each event or transition. By default, it shows the name of the Behavior.
 Subtitle Duration (editable) – The duration of display of the subtitle text
of events and transitions. For transitions, the default duration is 4 seconds.
For events it is 2 seconds.
Hiding a column
Right-click the column header and select Hide column. Note that you cannot hide
the leftmost (numbered) column.
Editing the cell contents
1 Double-click the cell you want to edit.
2 Type in the text.
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 For time/duration cells – Click one of the numbers (hh:mm:ss.ddd) and
use the arrow keys to change it to the desired value or type in the value.
 For the Video cells – When you double-click the Video cell corresponding
to an event, a list appears listing the media files used in the observation
in which the event was scored. Select the media file you want to view
when playing back the event in the generated media file.
Sorting the rows of an Episode Selection
Events within an Episode are by default sorted chronologically. You can sort by
Observation, Event Log, Subject and Behavior. Right-click the appropriate
column header.
An Episode is created for each criterion by which you have sorted. For
example - Your Episode Selection is sorted by Observation (you have 4
Episodes corresponding to the 4 Observations) and you want to sort it by
Behavior. Right-clicking the header of the Behavior column and selecting
Sort descending results in separate Episodes for each Behavior in the
Episode Selection.
Sorting the columns of an Episode Selection
You can sort the columns of the Episode Selection by dragging and dropping the
column header to any position.
8.5 Playing the Episode Selection
You can play an Episode Selection with The Observer. Selections of video images
and external data are played synchronized with the events highlighted in the
Episode Selection.
1 Make sure that with View Settings on the Component tool bar, the option,
Videos and subsequently Video Window is selected. Also select Playback
Control and (if applicable) External Data.
For information about the Playback Control functions, see page 156.
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The event lines in the Episode Selection window currently played are
highlighted in blue.
With the Step forward
and Step backward
buttons you can jump
to the next/previous event in the Episode Selection.
Playing an event in the Episode Selection
Right-click the line corresponding to the event, and select Play.
Playing a Point event
By definition, Point events and State events scored with Instantaneous Sampling
have no duration (see page 106). The Stop Time of these events is equal to the
Start Time. When you want to play a point event, make sure that its Roll-On Time
or Roll-Off Time is > 0 (if both are zero, they are shown in red). By default, the
Roll-On Time for all events is 3.0 seconds and the Roll-Off Time is 2.0 seconds.
Changing the Roll-on/Roll-off times for all events
To change the Roll-on and Roll-off times for all events do one of the following:
 Right-click in the Episode Selection window and select Episode Selection
Properties.
 On the tool bar, click the Properties button
for Episode Selection
Properties.
The Episode Selection Properties window opens.
1 Select the Duration tab. Click on one of the numbers in the Roll-on or Roll-off
time box and use the arrow keys to change it or type in the desired value.
2 Select Overwrite current Episode Selection values.
3 Click OK or press Enter.
See page 394 for more information.
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Exporting the Episode Selection
You can export an Episode Selection to an ASCII (text) file. If your observation
includes external data, these are exported together with the Episode Selection in
separate ASCII files.
There are two other ways to export your external data:
 From the File menu, select Export and then Observational Data.
Choose Other software and click the External Data tab.
 From the Analyze menu, choose Select Data and then Export
Selected Data. Click the External Data tab.
For more information see page 502.
Exporting a single Episode Selection
1 In the Project Explorer, open the Episode Selections folder and right-click the
Episode Selection you want to export and select Export Episode Selection.
2 Type in a file name in the File base name field, choose a destination location
from the Save in list and click Export.
Exporting all your Episode Selections
1 From the Analyze menu, select Episode Selection, then click Export.
2 Type in a file name in the File base name field, choose a destination location
from the Save in list and click Export.
Episode Selections are saved as <base name> - Episode Selection 001(1).txt,
<base name> - Episode Selection 002(1).txt, etc. Associated physiological data
are saved as <base name> - Episode Selection 001 - physiological data
001(1).txt, etc.
If you have set roll-on and roll-off times, the external data samples within
these intervals are also exported.
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8.6 Generating a media file from the
Episode Selection
You can generate a media file from your selection of video episodes that you
specified in the Episode Selection. Note that the format of the media file
generated depends on the video compressor you choose, not the format of the
original media file (see page 391).
If you have a Basic version, you cannot generate media files from within
The Observer.
The Observer XT only supports generating media files in standard
definition (704×576 Pal, 704×480 NTSC). At higher resolutions it is
possible that the video generation may not be stable.
Procedure
1 From the Analyze menu, select Episode Selection, then click Generate
Media File or, when an Episode Selection is open press Ctrl+Shift+G. The
Video Output Settings window appears.
2 Select the Episode Selection you want to use to generate the media file and
click OK. The Video Output Settings window appears.
Figure 8.12 The Video Output Settings window.
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3 Under General, there is the following option:
 Generate separate output file for every episode – Select this if you want
to create a separate media file for each episode. The resulting media files
will be automatically named from the name entered in the Output file
field (see below) and a progressive number. For example, Episode
Selection 1_1.avi, Episode Selection 1_2.avi, etc.
4 Under Media File, select a Video codec from the list. We recommend to use
DivX MPEG4. See ‘Which codec should I use’ on page 391 for more
information about the options.
5 Under Media File, in the Output file field either type in the name of the
resulting media file or accept the default one. Next, click the Browse button
and navigate to the location where you want to save the media file.
By default, the output media file is named as the Episode Selection used
to generate it, and is stored in the Media folder. The default path is:
For Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\(Shared)
Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT\Media.
For Windows 7 – C:\Users\Public\(Public) Documents\Noldus\The
Observer XT\Media.
You can change the path in the Preferences. From the File menu, choose
Preferences and then Files and recovery in the left pane.
6 Click Preview if you want to view the resulting video, without generating a
media file (optional).
A Preview window opens showing the video scenes selected. The Preview
window closes after the end of the selection has been reached.
7 Click Generate to generate the media file. A Progress window appears.
If you want to cancel the operation, click Abort.
8 After the media file has been generated and stored on disk, the Progress
window shows the message ‘Generate media file finished successfully’. Click
two times Close to exit the Progress window and the Video Output Settings
window.
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Video codecs
What is a Video Codec? – Codec stands for Compression Decompression. It is
software that decompresses the original video file and recompresses it to create
the new media file.
The format of the media file generated depends on the video compressor you
choose, not the format of the original media file.
Which Codec should I choose? –
 DivX MPEG4 – Choose this codec if you want to create MPEG-4 files of good
quality and moderate size (with extension *.avi). This is the default and
recommended codec. The file size of DivX MPEG4 videos is 0.5- 3 GB per hour.
 DV AVI – Choose this codec if your research requires superior quality. Be
aware, however, that DV AVI files are generally very big (12.5 GB per hour), so
make sure you have enough disk space on your PC.
 Other – If you select Other, a list of other codecs available on your computer
is shown.
Please note that the quality of the generated media file depends on the
quality of the original video. If your original video is an MPEG-4 video it
does not make sense to choose DV AVI as the codec to generate a
highlight video clip.
For more information on digital video formats, see the Media Recorder
Reference Manual.
Video Codec Settings – By clicking Settings next to Video codec in the Video
Output Settings window, a Configure/Configuration window appears. In this
window you can specify a number of settings (video format: PAL or NTSC,
resolution etc.) that influence the quality of the resulting media file. The settings
are codec-dependent. For some codecs, a Settings window is not available. For
more information, see the documentation provided by the manufacturer of the
codec.
Changing subtitles and transitions in the
generated media file
You can let The Observer show some information while playing the media file
generated from the Episode Selection. Please note that you cannot show subtitles
when you play the Episode Selection (see page 387).
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By default, subtitles are shown for all event. The text shown is that in the Subtitle
Text column of the Episode Selection.
To edit the subtitles, or change their position or format, open the Episode
Selection (from the Analyze menu choose Episode Selection, then Open or
right-click the appropriate Episode Selection in the Project Explorer and select
Open Episode Selection) and then follow the instructions below.
Right-click in the Episode Selection window and select Episode Selection
Properties or click the Properties button
on the tool bar. The
Episode Selection Properties window opens (Figure 8.13)...
Figure 8.13 The Episode Selection Properties window.
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In the Episode Selection Properties window, select the following:
 If you want to change the subtitles for all events, select the Subtitles tab
(see below).
 If you want to change the transition text, click the Transition tab (see page
394).
 If you want to change the duration of the Roll-On/Roll-Off times or the
duration of the transitions and subtitles, click the Duration tab (see page
394).
Changing subtitle text
Click the Subtitles tab and select one of the following options for the subtitle text:
 Event name – To display the content of the Event Name column of the
Episode Selection.
 Comment – To display the text in the Comment column for each event.
 None – To remove subtitles.
 Time – In addition to one of the three options described above you can
select to display the time corresponding to the event/transition. Next,
select one of the two time formats from the list:
 Absolute – For example, 12:35:06.
 Elapsed – Time from the start of the event log, for example 00:02:34.
You can change the time format in the Project Settings (See “Time
formats” on page 139.
 Overwrite current Episode Selection values – Select this checkbox to
overwrite the text in the Subtitle Text column of the Episode Selection. If
you edited the subtitle text and you want to keep this text, then do not
select this checkbox. In that case the setting only applies to events you
later add to the Episode Selection.
You can change the font and the position of the text. For the color of the text you
can choose between two options:
 Use coding scheme colors – If you choose this option the subtitles will be
shown in the color of the behaviors which are listed in your Episode Selection.
See page 107 for changing the color of behaviors.
 Use single color – If you select this option you can select one color for all the
subtitles.
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Changing transition text
Click the Transition tab and select one of the following options:
 Episode Name – To display the content of the transition text in the orange
transition bar.
 None – To remove subtitles.
 Overwrite current Episode Selection values – Select this checkbox to
overwrite the text in the Subtitle Text column of the Episode Selection. If
you edited the Subtitle Text column and you want to keep this text then
do not select this checkbox. In that case the setting only applies to
transitions you later add to the Episode Selection.
You can change the font and the position of the text.
Changing the duration of subtitles, transition text and roll-on/rolloff times
Durations are shown in the format defined in the Project Settings. To
change the format, from the Setup menu, select Project Settings and
then Time formats. For more information, see page 139.
Click the Duration tab and then click one of the numbers and use the arrow keys
or type a number to set:
 Roll-on/Roll-off Timings for all the events in the Episode Selection. You can
either set a positive or a negative roll-on and roll-off time. See page 385 for
the definition of roll-on and roll-off time.
 Overlay Timings for transitions and subtitles (the duration of the transitions
and the duration that the subtitles are visible, respectively). The default values
are 4.0 s for transitions and 2.0 s for subtitles. Please note that the duration of
a subtitle cannot exceed the duration of the event plus roll-off time.
 Overwrite current Episode Selection values – Select this check box to
overwrite the Roll-On/Roll-Off Times and Subtitle Duration values in the
Episode Selection window. If you want to keep the values for the current
events and transitions in your Episode Selection and want these settings only
to apply to events/transitions you add later, then do not select this check box.
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Calculating Statistics
This chapter is about:
 Calculating Statistics – Here you can find how to carry out Behavioral analysis
and Numerical analysis.
See page 397
 The Statistics result – Here you can find how the results of your calculations
are displayed in the Analysis Results sheets and how you can customize the
way the results are displayed.
See page 403
 Statistics available – Here you can find all the statistics for the different types
of analyses.
See page 413
 Creating charts –Here you can find out how to create charts to visually display
your analysis results.
See page 431
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9.1 Before you start
The terms Subject, Behavior, Modifier, and Independent Variable listed
in this chapter may not be the same as those on your screen. This depends
on what terms you have specified in your project's Terminology
Preferences (see page 141).
In The Observer, the term statistics refers to descriptive statistics, which provide a
numerical summary of the properties of the observed frequency distribution. You
can calculate the following descriptive statistics:
Behavior Analysis
With Behavior Analysis, you calculate statistics for events scored in the
observations.
See page 416 for a description of the Behavior Analysis statistics.
Example 1 – Calculate the average duration and standard deviation of the
behavior Play for the subject Child.
Example 2 – Calculate the number or times the subject Test participant
requested help.
Numerical Analysis
With Numerical Analysis, you can calculate statistics for numerical modifiers (see
page 114) and external data in the observation. Note that you can also use
numerical modifiers as categories (see one of the notes below).
See page 422 for a description of the Numerical statistics.
Example – Calculate the average value of the numerical modifier Speed. If this
modifier was scored 3 times, with values 10, 20 and 25, then the result will be
(10+20+25)/3 = 18.33.
For both types of analysis, before calculating statistics you can restrict the data to
analyze by creating a data profile (see Chapter 7). If you do not select data, The
Observer calculates statistics on all events and external data in all observations in
your project.
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Notes for users of previous Observer versions
 Analyzing Modifier combinations – If behaviors are attached to modifiers,
you can analyze modifiers:
 In specific combinations as they were scored. For example: calculate the
number of times this combination occurred: Play (behavior) Duet
(modifier 1) Constructive (modifier 2) etc. If you want to do so, make sure
that you keep the Show combined modifiers option selected in the
analysis settings (see page 400).
 Independently of other modifiers scored in the same event. For example:
calculate the number of times that Duet occurred independent of other
modifiers. To do so, clear the Show combined modifiers option in the
analysis settings.
 Analyzing numerical modifiers as categories – It is possible to analyze a
numerical modifier as a category, for example to calculate the number of
times that the modifier '0.1' was scored. To do so, make sure that your
numerical modifiers are included in the Data profile and carry out Behavior
Analysis.
If you defined a range of numerical modifiers instead of predefined
values, many different values may have been scored. If you
subsequently carry out a Behavior Analysis and analyze the numerical
modifiers as categories, this may result in many cells in the analysis
result. This can especially happen if you have numerical modifiers
with several decimals, or if you have imported external data as
numerical modifiers. The maximum number of columns and rows is
1000 x 1000. If the number of numerical modifiers exceeds 1000, The
Observer XT will show a warning and no numerical analysis is carried
out. You can reduce the number of cells with a Data Selection.
9.2 Procedure overview
1 Make sure that the data profile specifying the data you want to analyze is set
to active, that is, highlighted in bold and blue in the Project Explorer.
To activate a data profile, click it’s name in the Project Explorer. For more
information on how to select data, see Chapter 7.
You can specify the format of time in your results. From the Setup menu,
select Project Settings, then Time formats in the left pane. Select the
time format you require (see page 139 for more information).
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2 Do one of the following to display the Analysis Settings window:
 From the Analyze menu, select Behavior Analysis or Numerical Analysis,
then New.
 In the Project Explorer, click the Analysis folder. In the overview window,
click Analyze Data, in the window that appears, click Behavior Analysis or
Numerical Analysis.
 In the Project Explorer, under Analysis, click Behavior Analysis or
Numerical Analysis.
The option Show combined Modifiers is only available if you have
defined behaviors and modifiers in the coding scheme (see page 90).
Choose Behavior Analysis also when you want to consider a numerical
modifier as a category. For example, calculate the number of times the
values '0', '1', '2' were scored, instead of calculating the overall average
of those values scored.
3 Click the Analysis Settings tab. Select the following:
 Show missing values as – Choose the character you want to have
displayed for missing values in the statistics result.
External data statistics assume that there are no missing values in the
external data.
 Number of decimals – Choose the number of decimals for the non-time
values.
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Figure 9.1
The Analysis Settings window for behavior analysis.
4 Click the Layout tab. In this page you specify what the resulting statistics will
look like. Select the element category you want to view on rows, columns and
separate sheets. Clear the selection for any element type you do not want
included in the table.
De-selecting one of the categories (except External data and Independent
Variables) equals to calculating the results for the elements summed up. It
is like you grouped all the items of a category with the summed method in
a data profile (see page 295). For example, if Subjects is not selected, all
subjects in an observation are treated as one. This is the same as grouping
subjects with the summed method.
Result Container specifies the name of the Results box in your data
profile (see page 289). If your data profile contains two or more of such
boxes, you cannot de-select this option. You can rename the Result boxes
in the data selection.
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To move a category to a different box, click its name and then click the
appropriate arrow button, or drag it to the destination box.
Example – If you select Statistics under On Sheets, each type of statistic
will be shown in its own sheet. To place statistics on the columns of the
results table, click Statistics, then click the arrow button pointing to the On
Columns box.
To check how the result table will look like with the current layout, click
OK, view the table and click the Layout button on the result window to
change the layout if necessary.
5 Sort the table (optional) – You can sort the table by the main categories by
changing their position within each box (top= highest hierarchical level) with
the Up or Down button at the bottom of the box.
6 Select the elements you want to view in the table (optional) – Click the
category name and click the settings button
. The Category window
appears. Select the elements you want to view in the table.
7 Select the statistics, – Click Statistics and then the settings button
.
Select the statistic you want to view in the table. For a detailed description of
the statistics, see page 413.
8 Select the following:
 Show combined Modifiers – Make sure this option is selected if you want
to have results for all combinations of modifiers. By default this option is
selected.
Example – In a study of interactions among children, the type of play is
coded with two modifier groups, Play 1 to specify whether the subjects
play as a Duet or In parallel, and Play 2 to specify whether play is
Manipulative, With rules etc. A typical event scored is for example Play Duet - With rules.
When selecting Show combined Modifiers, the statistics are calculated
for each combination of modifiers scored. For example: Play-Duet-With
rules Frequency=4.
When clearing Show combined Modifiers, the statistics are calculated
for each modifier separately, regardless of which other modifiers were
scored with it. For example: Play-Duet Frequency=3; Play-With rules
Frequency=2.
Note that the results obtained with Show combined Modifiers are not
necessarily the sum of the separate results. In the example above, PlayWith rules may also refer to an event where With rules was scored with a
modifier other than Duet of the Play 1 group.
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 Show elements not scored – Select this option if you want the result to
include the elements of the coding scheme that you have not scored in
any observation. For those elements, the cells in the result will contain
zeroes or the missing value symbol.
 Show intervals as – If you have defined intervals or time bins in your data
profile (see Chapter 7), you can split your analysis result table in more
sections each corresponding to an interval or time bin. Select one of the
options Intervals only, Time bins only or Intervals and Time bins
according to how you want to split the matrix. If your data profile does not
contain intervals or time bins, any option has no effect on your result.
9 Click OK. The statistics result appears.
 See page 403 for how to read your statistics result.
 See page 408 for how to customize your result.
 See page 524 for how to save and export your result.
Saving your analysis settings
You can save the settings specified in the steps above by clicking the Set as
Default button in the Analysis Settings window. If this window is gone, click
Settings on top of the result window.
Applying settings to a new analysis
If you are about to run a new analysis and want to recall the settings you have
specified earlier, click the Load Default button in the Analysis Settings window.
The new settings are applied. Click OK to update the results.
Notes
 If the active data profile does not contain any data, the menu items and
buttons for the analysis are not available.
 An element category is not available on the Layout page if it does not occur in
your coding scheme or is filtered out in the current data profile.
 Make sure that if you select Statistics for Numerical Modifiers or External
data, you also select at least one item in the corresponding category.
 The Show combined Modifiers option is not available if you choose
Numerical Analysis. In that case, numerical modifiers are analyzed separately,
that is, each group will produce a numerical result.
 In the Layout page, you cannot de-select behaviors and move behaviors
without moving their modifiers.
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 If you put two or more categories On Sheets, each sheet will contain the
statistics related to a combination of those elements. For example, if you
select On Sheets for both Observations and Statistics, each sheet is labeled
with the name of an observation and a statistic.
 If you select Independent Variables under On Sheets, a separate sheet for
each variable is appended to the result. In the example below, Statistics and
Independent variables have been placed under On Sheets. As a result, each
statistic and independent variable gets its own sheet.
 If you select Observations under On Sheets and keep Intervals selected,
each sheet includes the layout for all observations, but only the results
for the corresponding observation (You have to scroll down the result to
find them). To reduce the size of the sheets, de-select Intervals.
 Formats – The number of decimals under Analysis Settings refers to non-
time values in the statistics result. For example, the mean rate per minute. If
you want to specify the decimals of time values, see Specifying the time
format on page 413.
 Missing values – Missing values are shown for:
 Statistics for events not scored.
 Statistics for events that were scored or external data that was acquired,
but not included in the active data profile.
External data statistics assume that there are no missing values in the
external data.
 Statistics that cannot be calculated, for example the duration of point
behaviors (which do not have duration by definition).
 Intervals and time bins – If you choose Intervals and time bins from the
Show intervals as list, results are calculated only for the time segments where
intervals and time bins overlap. This means that the result may refer to
portions of the observation different from the original intervals you have
specified.
 Time Intervals and Time bins – The border of two connecting time intervals
can only be used for analysis in one of the two time intervals. Otherwise the
data for this data point would be duplicated. In general, the Observer uses the
left borders of the time intervals, while the right borders are used in the
analysis of the next interval. In the example below the exact data point 0.0. is
used in the first interval, 10.0 in the second, 20.0 in the third and 30.0 is not
used in any interval.
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9.3 The statistics result
The statistics result is created when you click OK in the Analysis Settings window
(see page 397). If you click Calculate in the top left corner of the result window,
the result is updated. For information on saving and exporting your results, see
page 524.
Depending on what you have selected under On Sheets in the Analysis Settings
window, the analysis result has one or more pages, each containing a table. For
example, if you have selected Observations in the On Sheets box, each page
refers to one observation.
If your observations contain two or more event logs, you can choose to
display separate pages for those event logs, or lump the result in one page
per observation. To show the results separately, on the Layout page, keep
Event Logs selected under Observations (see page 399). To lump the
results, clear that selection.
Reading the statistics result
The data
In each sheet, you can distinguish two main groups of white cells:
 Statistics – Cells containing a statistic for a combination of Results Container,
observation, event log, subject, behavior and modifier (see A in Figure 9.2).
 Variables (optional, if you have selected Independent Variables on the
Layout page) – Cells containing the value of an independent variable linked to
a certain observation, event log or subject (see B in Figure 9.2). See the note
about missing values on page 421.
The position of the two areas depends on whether the elements are placed in
rows, columns and sheets (see page 408). For example, if Variables are placed on
the columns, the Variables area (B) is displayed on the right side of the statistics. If
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the Variables are placed on Sheets, a number of sheets are added where each of
them contains the values of an independent variable associated to an
observation, event log or subject.
The headers
 Main (in blue) – The names of the main categories (Data selection Result
Containers, Intervals, Observations, Event Logs, Subjects, Behaviors and
their Modifiers, and Variables; see C in Figure 9.2).
Figure 9.2 An example of statistics result. A - Cells containing statistics. B - Cells
containing the values of independent variables. C - Main headers (for example,
Observations, Behaviors, etc.). D - Secondary headers (list the single values of the
elements under a certain main header)
 Secondary (in black) – Show the single element values, for example the name
of the behaviors (see D in Figure 9.2).
Header rows and columns are placed in a hierarchical way - Elements of a
certain level are always below (if placed in columns) or to the right (if placed
in rows) of the header of higher level. For example:
Observations may contain one ore more Event logs. In the picture below,
Observation0002 includes three event log files. The statistics are shown for
each event log.
Since Observation0001 and Observation0002 have both an event log
named Event log0001 (though it is different data), this name is written
only once (“merged”) in the table.
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A behavior may be associated with several modifier values. In the picture
below, statistics are shown for each value of a modifier associated to the
behavior Navigation:
If you add or remove a variable in the Independent Variables List (see
page 125), the corresponding variable is displayed or removed,
respectively.
Understanding <Result Containers>
The Result Containers column or row shows the name of the Result boxes
specified in the currently active data profile. If you have specified more than one
Results box (see page 343 for an example), each name corresponds to the name
of a Results box. Statistics are calculated for each data set.
Understanding Intervals
The Intervals row or column shows the start and end time of the time segments
analyzed if you have specified intervals or time bins in your data profile. The
format is:
 For live observations, the actual time of start and end.
 For observations from video files, the time elapsed since the start of the
observation.
If you want to view intervals, make sure that Result Containers and
Intervals are selected in the Layout page of the Analysis Settings
window.
Understanding <Missing Subject> and <Missing Behavior>
The <Missing Subject> and <Missing Behavior> rows/columns show the statistics
for records you have scored with no subject or no behavior. For example, when
you score an event with no subject:
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The statistic for that event is shown in the cell corresponding to the behavior row/
column and the <Missing Subject> column/row.
You can hide the <Missing Subject> column/row by selecting Subjects
with View Settings at the far-right on the Component tool bar. In the
Subjects window that appears, deselect the check box behind <Missing
Subject>.
Understanding <Any Subject>, <Any Behavior>, <Any Modifier>
The <Any Subject> rows/columns show the statistics of events scored for any
subject in that event log/observation. In the table below, the highlighted cell
contains the total duration of the behavior Out for <Any Subject>, which equals
the sum of the behavior Out for the subjects Male and Female.
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The <Any Behavior> rows/columns show the overall statistics of any behavior
selected in the data profile. In the example below, the <Any Behavior> cell
contains the total duration of all behaviors.
 The percentage statistics of <Any Behavior> can be greater than 100%.
This occurs because the percentage of <Any Behavior> is the sum of the
percentages of each behavior taken separately. If two or more behaviors
overlap with each other, the sum does not reflect the actual time segment
covered by the behaviors. For example, if A lasts from 0 s to 60 s, and B
from 20 s to 80 s, and the observation duration is 100 s, then the sum of
the percentages is 60%+60%= 120% even if neither A or B covers the entire
observation. To have a correct result, group behaviors using the Merged
option (see page 295).
 The statistics for <Any Subject> and <Any Behavior> are independent of
which behaviors you select to display in the Category window (see step 6
on page 400). For example, if you de-select a few behaviors in the
Category window, the total duration of <Any Behavior> is no longer the
sum of the durations of the behaviors shown in the table.
Editing the result
You cannot edit the content of the statistics result. If you want to make any
changes to the result, export it to another program like Excel (see page 525) and
then edit it in that program.
Saving a result
To save a result, click the Archive button on the tool bar of the result window.
To re-open a saved result, from the Analyze menu, select Behavior Analysis or
Numerical Analysis, then Open Archive. For more information on saving,
opening and exporting results, see page 524.
Printing a result
To print a result, from the File menu, select Print. We advise you to select the
Landscape mode prior to printing.
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Customizing your result
If you like you can change the decimal symbol, from e.g. point to comma.
For Windows XP, in the Control Panel, select Regional and Language
Options, click the Advanced tab and select Languages. For Windows 7, in
the Control Panel, select Clock, Language and Region, click Region and
Language and open the tab Formats. Select a language or click
Customize and change the decimal symbol.
Changing your regional settings does not take effect until you restart The
Observer XT.
You can customize the following in the Analysis Results:
 Select and sort elements within a Category (see below) – Select Categories
and their elements to display in the Analysis Results.
To change the position of the main Categories relative to each other, see
page 399.
 Collapse Category elements (see page 409) – You can collapse rows and
columns for Category elements and display the results as if those elements
were grouped with the summed method (that is, counts and durations for
those elements are summed up; see page 295).
 Hide/show single row and columns (see page 412).
 Specify the time format (see page 413).
Selecting and sorting a Category
You can select and sort elements within the following categories: Result
Containers, Observations, Subjects, Behaviors, Statistics and Independent
Variables.
To select and sort one of the Categories:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Category with View Settings on the Component tool bar.
 Click the Layout button on the tool bar, make sure that the category is
selected and then double-click that option.
 To open the Statistics Category, you can also click the Statistics button
on the tool bar.
2 Next, you can do the following:
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 Select the Category elements you want to display in the Analysis Results,
de-select the Category elements you want to ignore.
De-selecting elements in this window does not result in removing those
Result boxes from the data profile.
 To change the order of display, click the Category element you want to
move so it becomes highlighted and then click the Up or Down button.
3 Click OK to refresh the Analysis Results.
Notes
 De-selecting a Category element does not result in removing the element in a
data profile.
 Results Containers – If you de-select Result boxes in the Analysis Settings
window, intervals are hidden in the Analysis Results.
 Observations – You cannot remove single event logs from observations, or
sort them in the result. To remove results for event logs, remove those event
logs from the data profile.
 Subjects – Select <Any Subject> if you want to display statistics for events
independent of the subject. Select <Missing Subject> if you want to calculate
the statistics for the missing subject (for example, events for which you only
scored the behavior).
 Behaviors – Select <Any Behavior> if you want to display statistics for events
independent of the behavior. Select <Missing Behavior> if you want to
calculate the statistics for events in which the behavior was not scored.
 Statistics – The number and type of statistics displayed depend on whether
you have chosen Behavior Analysis or Numerical Analysis (see page page 397).
 Independent Variables – The Analyzed Duration variable contains the value
of the total time analyzed for each observation. This usually is the same as the
observation Duration. However, if you define intervals in your data profile, the
value of Analyzed Duration can be shorter than Duration.
Collapsing Category elements
Collapsing Category elements allows you to lump the statistics for different
Categories. For example, calculate the total number of times an event was scored
across all observations.
To calculate overall results, you can also group data (see page 295).
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1 Do one of the following:
 With View Settings on the Component tool bar, select Rows/Columns/
Sheets and de-select the category you want to collapse.
 Click the Layout button on the tool bar, and de-select the option for the
category you want to collapse.
2 Click OK to refresh the Analysis Results.
You cannot collapse results for Result Containers and Behaviors. To
analyze behaviors as a group, group them first in the data profile (see
page 295).
To collapse statistics for modifiers, click the Layout button and clear the
appropriate Modifiers option.
Example 1 – Collapsing observations. In the result below, statistics are
displayed per observation. For example, the total duration of each behavior.
After de-selecting Observations, statistics are collapsed into one group, and
the Observations header is removed. Now the total duration is the duration
of each behavior across all observations.
If your observations contain multiple event logs, you can collapse all event
logs within each observation, and still show observations separately. To do so,
click Layout and select Observations and de-select Event Logs.
Example 2 – Collapsing modifiers. In the example below, statistics are
displayed per modifier of the behavior named Navigation.
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Click Layout and in the Analysis Settings window clear the Behavior
Modifiers option under Behaviors. After clicking OK, statistics are now
collapsed into one group for each behavior and the Behavior Modifiers header
is removed. Now the total number of occurrences of Navigation is shown.
Grouped numerical modifiers
Behavior Analysis
If you group part of your numerical modifiers in a data profile and carry out a
Behavior Analysis, you get two different results. As an example, you have a
numerical modifier Speed, with predefined values 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 7. Furthermore,
you have created a group Slow, which contains the modifiers 1,2, and 3. If you
carry out a Behavior Analysis, you get the results for the group Slow. In addition,
you get the results for the modifiers that not part of the group (see picture
below).
Numerical Analysis
If you carry out a Numerical Analysis while you have grouped numerical modifiers
as mentioned above, you also get results for the group Slow. In addition, you get
the results for the group Speed. If you hover with your mouse over the group
name, you see that the group Speed contains the values that were not included in
the group Slow, and also the group Slow. Hence, the group Speed contains all
the numerical modifiers that you scored. (see picture below).
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With Behavior Analysis, the numerical modifiers are treated as categories and
statistics like duration and frequency can be calculated for each individual
modifier. With Numerical Analysis, statistics are calculated for the actual values of
the modifiers. Therefore, for example mean, minimum and maximum values are
calculated for the modifier group. Calculating these values for each individual
modifier is not useful, since these values are the same as the numerical modifiers
themselves.
Hiding and showing rows and columns
To hide rows and columns of your statistics result, point the mouse to the header
of the row or column that you want to remove, right-click and select Hide row or
Hide column.
To select multiple non-adjacent rows, click the header of a row/column,
hold the Ctrl key down and click the headers of other rows/columns.
To select multiple adjacent rows, click the header of the first row/
column, hold the Shift key down and click the header of the last row/
column.
When you hide rows or columns, the row/column deleted is always the
one at the lowest level selected, independent of which cell you right-click.
In the example below, right-clicking the cell Walk under Behaviors results
in hiding the row corresponding to the modifier Normal, not the group of
rows corresponding to Walk, because the mouse pointed the Walk cell at
the level of Normal.
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To show hidden rows and columns, point the mouse to the header of one of the
remaining rows/columns, right-click and select Show hidden rows or Show
hidden columns.
Specifying the time format
You can customize the format of the time values displayed in the analysis result.
1 From the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then Time formats in the left
pane.
2 To set the time mode, select Absolute or Relative from the Project time
format list.
3 To set the time format, click the Edit button for the time mode you selected in
the previous step.
This way you also set the time formats for the lag sequential analysis and
reliability analysis.
See page 139 for more information.
4 Click OK twice. Next, re-open the analysis.
9.4 Statistics available
The Observer offers a range of statistics that are important to behavioral
researchers. For an extensive description of these statistics, see, for example, Zar,
J.H., Biostatistical Analysis, Pearson Education, 2007.
The statistics available depend on the type of analysis you are performing.
Behavior Analysis
If you choose Behavior Analysis, the following statistics are available:
For Continuous Sampling:
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 Minimum – See page 416.
 Maximum – See page 416.
 Mean – See page 416.
 Total duration – See page 417.
 Std. deviation – See page 417.
 Standard error – See page 417.
 Rate per minute (observation duration) – See page 418.
 Rate per minute (interval duration) – See page 418.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration) – See page 419.
 Total number – See page 419.
 Percentage (observation duration) – See page 419.
 Percentage (interval duration) – See page 420.
 Percentage (analyzed duration) – See page 420.
 Latency – See page 420.
For Instantaneous Sampling:
 Proportion (all samples) – See page 420.
 Proportion (scored samples) – See page 421.
 Scored Samples – See page 421.
 Total number (all samples) – See page 421.
 Total number (scored samples) – See page 421.
Numerical Analysis
If you choose Numerical Analysis, the following statistics are available:
 Minimum (both for numerical modifiers and external data) – See page 422.
 Maximum (both for numerical modifiers and external data) – See page 422.
 Mean (both for numerical modifiers and external data) – See page 423.
 Total duration – See page 424.
 Total value – See page 424.
 Mean (per minute) – See page 425.
 Number of samples (only for external data) – See page 423.
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You can calculate statistics for Numerical Modifiers only if you have defined a
modifier group as Numerical (see page 114).
Calculating frequencies of Numerical modifiers – If you want to
calculate the frequency with which each value of numerical modifiers
was scored, or the duration of the corresponding event scored, carry
out Behavior Analysis instead. Make sure that the numerical modifiers
are included in the data profile.
Calculated Independent Variables
For both Behavior Analysis and Numerical Analysis, the following calculated
Independent Variables are available:
 Analyzed Duration – This is the sum of the duration of event logs within the
observation duration, minus the time filtered out by the active data profile,
minus the time that the observation was suspended.
 Minimum Interval Length – This is the shortest interval duration.
 Maximum Interval Length – This is the longest interval duration.
 Interval number – This is the total number of intervals.
 Total Interval Length – This is the total duration of all intervals.
Note on normally-distributed data
Statistics like the mean and the standard deviation are meaningful when your data
are normally distributed. However, behavioral data are often not normally
distributed. We therefore recommend to check whether your data are normally
distributed with a statistical package. If the data are not normally distributed, you
should first transform your data before analysis, or use statistics suited for nonnormally distributed data, like the median. If you have defined intervals in your
data selection, this can result in only a small number of samples (both in
observational and external data), which often is not normally distributed. For
instance, a mean of values ‘1’, ‘10’ and ‘10’ is not meaningful.
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Behavior Analysis statistics
See also important notes on page 421.
Grouped data
If you have grouped data in the data profile, the total number and duration for a
group depends on whether the group is defined as Summed or Merged. See
page 295 for the difference between Summed and Merged. If you have grouped
data by de-selecting a category in the Layout-page of the Analysis Settings
window (see page 399), see below under each specific statistic how the number
and duration are calculated.
For Continuous Sampling
 Minimum – The shortest duration of each behavior scored as state, selected
for analysis.
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the minimum duration is the
shortest duration across the events in that category.
 Maximum – The longest duration of each behavior scored as state, selected
for analysis.
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the maximum duration is the
longest duration across the events in that category.
 Mean – The total duration divided by the total number of each behavior, for
each observation/event log selected for analysis:
Where D is the duration of the individual state behavior, and N is the number
of times the behavior occurs.
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), D and N are summed across all
elements in that category.
It depends on your sample size how close the calculated mean is to the mean
μ of the entire population of events. If your data are not normally distributed
the statistic mean is less meaningful. Since behavioral data are often not
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normally distributed, we recommend you check whether they are with a
statistical package.
 Total Duration – The sum of the duration of all state behaviors selected for
analysis, for each observation and event log. Duration is the observed time
between the start and the end of a state.
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total duration is the summed
duration of the events in that category.
 Std. deviation – The sample standard deviation of duration of state behaviors
selected for analysis.
The standard deviation of a sample expresses to what extent the individual
measurements of durations depart from the overall mean. It is defined as the
square root of the average of the squared differences between each
individual value D of the sample and their mean D:
The formula above is equal to
Where D is the duration of the individual state behavior, D the mean duration,
N the number of occurrences of the behavior.
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), D and N are summed across all
elements in that category.
 Standard error – The standard error of the mean (s.e.m.) is the measure of
the amount of error in the prediction of the duration of a particular event from
a mean of a sample of size N drawn from the population of all possible
events.
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Where s is the standard deviation of a sample, and N is the number of
occurrences (sample size).
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), D and N used to calculate s and the
standard error are summed across all elements in that category.
 Rate per minute
The general formula of Rate per minute is:
Rate per minute = (Total number of occurrences / Duration in seconds)
* 60
The value of Rate per minute depends on whether you calculate it over the
entire observation duration, the analysed duration or the selected intervals
duration.
 Rate per minute (observation duration) – The mean number of
occurrences of a behavior (scored either as a state or as a point event) per
minute over the total duration of the observation:
RPM (observation) = Total number of occurences*60 / Duration of
Observation (sec)
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of
the Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total number of events
and the total duration across the elements in that category are used to
calculate the mean rate.
Example – If a behavior was scored 5 and 10 times in two observations of
five minutes, then the rate will be 1 and 2, respectively. If you de-select
Observations in the Layout page, the mean rate is:
5+10 occurrences divided by 5+5 minutes = 1.5.
 Rate per minute (interval duration) – The mean number of occurrences
of a behavior (scored either as a state or as a point event) over the total
duration of the interval considered. The interval is the one you specified in
the active data profile:
RPM (interval) = Total number of occurences*60/ Interval Duration (sec)
If you have defined intervals and time bins simultaneously, make sure you
select the intervals you want to analyze from the Show intervals as list
(see page 401).
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of
the Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total durations of the
events and the observations used to calculate the rate are summed across
all elements in that category.
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 Rate per minute (analyzed duration) – The mean number of
occurrences of a behavior (scored either as a state or as a point event)
over the total of the analyzed duration. This excludes the time filtered out
by data selection and the time the observation was suspended.
RPM (Analyzed duration) = Total number of occurences*60 / Analyzed
Duration (sec)
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of
the Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total durations of the
events and the observations used to calculate the percentage are summed
across all elements in that category.
If you group observations in the data profile, the percentage is calculated
by dividing the total duration of an event type by the total duration of the
observations. The total duration of events depends on whether the group
is defined as Summed or Merged. See page 295 for the difference
between Summed and Merged.
 Total number – The number of times the selected event occurs in the
observation or event log.
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of the
Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total number is the number of
times the event occurs in all elements in that category.
 Percentage
The general formula of Percentage is:
Percentage = Duration of event*100/Duration
The value of Percentage depends on whether you calculate it over the entire
observation duration, the analysed duration or the selected intervals
duration.
 Percentage (observation duration) – The percentage of time of an event
type (or group of) calculated over the total duration of an observation:
Percentage = Duration of event*100/Duration of Observation
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of
the Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total durations of the
events and the observations used to calculate the percentage are summed
across all elements in that category.
Example – In two observations of 10 minutes each, the behavior Play is
scored for 8 minutes in the first and 7 minutes in the second. When
deselecting Observations in the Analysis Setting window, the
percentage is (8+7) /(10+10) = 75%.
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If you group observations in the data profile, the percentage is calculated
by dividing the total duration of an event type by the total duration of the
observations. The total duration of events depends on whether the group
is defined as Summed or Merged. See page 295 for the difference
between Summed and Merged.
Example – In two observations of 10 and 12 minutes respectively, the
behavior Play is scored for 8 minutes in the first and 7 minutes in the
second. When grouping the two observations with the Summed method,
the percentage is (8+7) /(10+12) = 68.2%.
 Percentage (Interval duration) – The percentage of time an event type
(or group of) calculated over the total duration of the interval considered.
The interval considered is the one specified in the active data profile:
Percentage (interval)=duration of event*100/Interval duration
If you have defined intervals and time bins simultaneously, make sure you
select the intervals you want to analyze from the Show intervals as list
(see page 401).
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of
the Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total durations of the
events and the observations used to calculate the percentage are summed
across all elements in that category.
 Percentage (analyzed duration) – The percentage of time of an event
type (or group of) calculated over the total analyzed duration of an
observation. This excludes the time filtered out by data selection and the
time the observation was suspended.
Percentage (Analyzed duration)=duration of event*100/Analyzed
duration
If you have grouped data by de-selecting a category in the Layout page of
the Analysis Settings window (see page 399), the total durations of the
events and the observations used to calculate the percentage are summed
across all elements in that category.
 Latency – The time from the start of the observation to the first occurrence of
a behavior.
When you have created intervals based on data selection, the latency is
only calculated for the behavior within one of the intervals.
For Instantaneous Sampling
 Proportion (all samples) – The number of times a behavior has been scored
divided by the total number of samples in the observation.
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 Proportion (scored samples) – The number of times a behavior has been
scored divided by the number of scored samples.
 Scored Samples – The number of times a behavior has been scored in an
observation.
 Total number (all samples) – The total number of samples in an observation.
 Total number (scored samples) – The total number of scored samples.
Example – A group of 10 animals is observed during an hour with a sample
interval length of 5 minutes. The Total number (all samples) is ‘12’. For a
specific animal, 4 samples are missing. Total number (scored samples) for
this animal is ‘8’. For this animal behavior ‘Sit’ has been scored ‘4’ times.
Scored samples for ‘Sit’ is ‘4’. Proportion (all samples) = 4/12=0.33.
Proportion (scored samples) = 4/8=0.50.
Notes
 Missing values – Missing values (-) are given for events that did not occur in
the corresponding observation or interval, or for point events (which have no
duration, see page 106) when the statistic describes a duration (Mean, Total
duration, Minimum, Maximum, Standard deviation, Standard error, Percentage
(observation duration) and Percentage (interval duration)).
A pre-requisite for correct analysis of external data is that there are no
missing values in the data. Because missing values in the external
data are treated as ‘zeros’ in The Observer, they result in incorrect
statistics.
 If your data profile contains intervals or time bins…
Defining intervals or time bins in the data profile (see Chapter 7) may result in
an interval boundary being somewhere in the middle of a state event (Figure
9.3). Such event is counted twice, one for the first interval and one for the
next. When calculating the statistics, the Total number statistic is the number
of occurrences that an event overlaps with an interval or time bin. This means
that when you define intervals or time bins the total number shown in the
result may be greater than the 'true' number of occurrences of that event.
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Figure 9.3 When you define intervals or time bins, an interval or time bin boundary
(dotted line) may be placed in the middle of a state event (filled bars; see for
example the state behavior indicated by B). In such a case the Total number is
the number of unique combinations between events and intervals/time bins.
Behavior B is counted twice as it occurs in different intervals or time bins.
 If you have suspended an observation…
If you have suspended an observation (see page 210), the time when the
observation is suspended is not considered for analysis. For example, if your
observation lasted 5 minutes and it was suspended for 1 minute, then the
observed time is 4 minutes. The observed time is used for example to
calculate the rate per minute.
Numerical Statistics
The statistics listed below are available for numerical modifiers and external data
values. For calculating the statistics for grouped data, see the note for the specific
statistic in Behavior Analysis Statistic on page 416).
 Minimum – The lowest value of a numerical modifier scored.
To calculate the lowest value of external data, select Minimum under
External data.
 Maximum – The highest value of numerical modifier scored.
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To calculate the highest value of external data, select Maximum under
External data.
 Mean – The arithmetic mean of the values of a numerical modifier scored.
Example – If you have defined the modifier group Face Score as Numerical
with values ranging from 1 to 5 and you scored values 3, 4, 4, 5 during an
observation, then the mean reported is 4.
To calculate the arithmetic mean of the values of external data, select
Mean under External data.
 Number of samples (only for External data) – The number external data
samples that are included in an interval.
A pre-requisite for correct analysis of external data is that there are no
missing values in the data. Because missing values in the external
data are treated as ‘zeros’ in The Observer, they result in incorrect
statistics.
Examples of calculation of External data statistics
The calculation of statistics for external data is based on the actual sample
points; the external data is not interpolated.
The first sample point that coincides with the start of an interval is
included in the analysis, the last sample point that coincides with the end
of the interval is not included in the analysis.
Example 1 – You have an observation with external data. In a data profile, you
create intervals based on observation time / event log data. As a result (see the
visualization below), one of the intervals contains a number of sample points. For
this interval, the numerical statistics values of the external data are:
Minimum = ‘98’, Maximum = ‘100’, Mean = ‘98.77’, Number of samples = ‘3’.
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Example 2 – You have the same observation with external data as in the previous
example. In a data profile, you create a Free Interval with External data values
Higher or equal to ‘92’. As a result, an interval contains a number of sample
points (see the visualization below). For this interval, the numerical statistics
values for the external data are:
Minimum = ‘92’, Maximum = ‘100’, Mean = ‘97.07’, Number of samples = ‘4’.
 Total Duration – The total duration of the time when the numerical modifier
was scored. This corresponds to the sum of the duration of the state behaviors
associated to the numerical modifier.
Example – The modifier Score contains five possible values, 1 to 5. After
scoring the value 2 for 1.5 minutes, and the value 4 for 3 minutes, the statistics
results show the total duration of Score 4.5 minutes in the row/column Score,
and the total duration of the single values in the corresponding row/
columns.
 Total value – The sum of the values of a numerical modifier scored.
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The total value for a numerical modifier does not correspond to the Total
number of a behavior or non-numerical modifier.
Example – You have scored a numerical modifier four times, with values 12,
13, 18, 17. The total value is 60, while the total number (of occurrences) would
be 4.
 Mean (per minute) – The sum of the values of the numerical modifier,
weighted by their duration (that is, the time the state behavior associated with
each value was active), divided by the total duration of the state behavior
associated.
Example – The numerical modifier Aggression level was associated with a
state behavior scored a number of times with values 1 (for a total of 10
seconds), 2 (for 15 seconds), and 3 (for 5 seconds. Since the total duration of
the associated behavior is 30 seconds, the Mean is [(1*10) + (2*15) + (3*5)]/30
= 1.83.
The mean is therefore calculated for state events only, not point events. If a
numerical modifier is associated with a point event, the mean is zero.
9.5 Analyzing observations
containing multiple event logs
Choose the option that applies:
 Event logs overlap in time within an observation – There is no gap between
start and stop of different event logs in the same observation.
Choose this option also when the stop time of an event log is the same as the
start time of another event log.
see below
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 Event logs do not overlap in time
see page 428
Event logs overlapping in time
This section applies to those cases when there is no gap between event logs
within an observation (see the first picture on the previous page).
How do you want to analyze the event logs in each observation?
 As separate data sets, so each event log produces one result – See below.
 As one data set, so all event logs within an observation are collapsed in one
result – See page 427.
Event logs as separate data sets
In the Project Explorer under Analysis, click Behavior Analysis. Click Layout and
make sure that both Observations and Event Logs are selected. Next, click OK.
 If you have not defined intervals and time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – These are calculated per event log.
 Rate per minute (observation duration), Percentage (observation
duration) – These are based on the duration of the corresponding event
log.
 Rate per minute, (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the duration of the event log, excluding the time
that the observation was suspended.
 If you have defined intervals or time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per interval and
event log.
 Rate per minute (interval duration), Percentage (interval duration) –
These are based on the duration of the interval. To analyze each interval
separately, keep Intervals selected in the Layout page of your analysis
settings.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the time line set by data selection, excluding the
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time that the observation was suspended. The duration of the interval is
not necessarily the same as analyzed duration, for example when more
than two or more separate intervals split the event log in different
sections.
Keep Intervals selected in the Layout page of your analysis settings.
Percentage (interval duration) is calculated over the entire duration of
the interval, not the part of the event log falling within the interval. This
may give unexpected results when the event log does not cover the entire
interval duration. If you want to calculate the percentage relative to the
event log only, select a different type of interval (for example with nesting)
or use Percentage (observation duration).
Event logs as one data set
In the Project Explorer, under Analysis, click Behavior Analysis. Click Layout and
make sure that (1) Observations is selected, and (2) Event Logs is NOT selected.
Next, click OK.
 If you have not defined intervals and time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per event log,
then summed up.
 Rate per minute (observation duration), Percentage (observation
duration) – These are based on the time from the earliest start of any
event log to the latest stop of any event log.
If there is much overlap between event logs and the same event type is
scored in different event logs, Rate is overestimated. For example, two
event logs of one minute each are completely overlapping and each
contains four instances of Play. When analyzing event logs as one data set,
Rate is (4+4) events / (1 minute) = 8 instances per minute, while in each
event log it would be 4/minute.
If there is much overlap between event logs and the same event type is
scored in different event logs, Percentage (observation duration or
analyzed duration) may exceed 100%. For example, two event logs of
one minute each are completely overlapping, and each contains the event
Play scored for 40 seconds and 30 seconds respectively. When analyzing
event logs as one data set, Percentage is (30+40 s) / 60 s = 117%, while in
each event log Play cannot be more than 100%.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the time from the earliest start of any event log to
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the latest stop of any event log, excluding the time the observation was
suspended.
 If you have defined intervals or time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per interval and
event log, then summed up.
 Rate per minute (interval duration), Percentage (interval duration) –
These are based on the summed duration of the intervals. To analyze each
interval separately, keep Intervals selected in the Layout page of your
analysis settings.
Percentage (interval duration) is calculated over the entire duration of
the interval, not the part of the event log falling within the interval. This
may give unexpected results when the event log does not cover the entire
interval duration. If you want to calculate the percentage relative to the
event log only, define an interval that only includes the event log.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the time from the earliest start of any event log to
the latest stop of any event log, excluding the time the observation was
suspended. If overlapping event logs generate overlapping intervals, these
are merged along the time line to calculate the analyzed duration.
Event logs not overlapping in time
This section applies to those cases when there is a gap between event logs within
an observation (see the second picture on page 425).
How do you want to analyze the event logs in each observation?
 As separate data sets, so each event log produces one result – See below.
 As one data set, so all event logs within an observation are collapsed in one
result – See page 429.
Event logs as separate data sets
In the Project Explorer under Analysis, click Behavior Analysis. Click Layout and
make sure that both Observations and Event Logs are selected. Next, click OK.
 If you have not defined intervals and time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per event log.
 Rate per minute (observation duration), Percentage (observation
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duration) – These are based on the duration of the corresponding event
log.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the time line set by data selection, excluding the
time that the observation was suspended.
Keep Intervals selected in the Layout page of your analysis settings.
 If you have defined intervals or time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per interval and
event log.
 Rate per minute (interval duration), Percentage (interval duration) –
These are based on the duration of the interval. To analyze each interval
separately, keep Intervals selected in the Layout page of your analysis
settings.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
These are based on the time line set by data selection, excluding the time
that the observation was suspended. The duration of the interval is not
necessarily the same as analyzed duration, for example when more than
two or more separate intervals split the event log in different sections.
Percentage (interval duration) is calculated over the entire duration of
the interval, not the part of the event log falling within the interval. This
may give unexpected results when the event log does not cover the entire
interval duration. If you want to calculate the percentage relative to the
event log only, use Percentage (observation duration).
Event logs as one data set
In the Project Explorer under Analysis, click Behavior Analysis. Click Layout and
make sure that (1) Observations is selected, and (2) Event Logs is NOT selected.
Next, click OK.
 If you have not defined intervals and time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per event log,
then summed up.
 Rate per minute (observation duration), Percentage (observation
duration) – These are based on the time from the earliest start of any
event log to the latest stop of any event log, excluding the gaps between
event logs.
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 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the time from the earliest start of any event log to
the latest stop of any event log, excluding the gaps between event logs
AND the time that the observation was suspended.
 If you have defined intervals or time bins in your data profile:
 Total number and duration statistics – They are calculated per interval and
event log, then summed up.
 Rate per minute (interval duration), Percentage (interval duration) –
These are based by the total duration of the intervals. To analyze each
interval separately, keep Intervals selected in the Layout page of your
analysis settings.
If two or more intervals have been defined, you can get unexpected
results in the calculation of the Rate in the following cases:
 If one or more event logs partly fall outside some intervals. Since the
Rate is calculated over the entire duration of all intervals, the duration
also includes intervals that fall outside these event logs. So the Rate is
underestimated. To correct for this, click Layout and de-select Intervals.
 If the same events occur in the same intervals in different event logs. If
you select intervals in the Layout tab the events are Summed. This
may result in a Percentage (interval duration) higher than 100%. If
you deselect intervals in the Layout tab, the events are Merged. If the
same event occurs at the same time in different event logs these are
only counted once. So the Rate is underestimated. To correct for this
select Event log in the Layout tab. See page 295 for the difference
between Summed and Merged.
Percentage (interval duration) is calculated over the entire duration of
the interval, not the part of the event log falling within the interval. This
may give unexpected results when the interval is longer than the event
logs. If you want to calculate the percentage relative to the event logs only,
define an interval that only includes the event logs.
 Rate per minute (analyzed duration), Percentage (analyzed duration)
– These are based on the time line set by data selection, excluding the
gaps between event logs AND the time that the observation was
suspended. The duration of the interval is not necessarily the same as
analyzed duration, for example when more than two or more separate
intervals split the event log in different sections.
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9.6 Creating charts
From the analysis results, you can create charts to visually inspect your results.
In order to create a chart, you must have analysis results in your project,
either archived or currently open on your screen.
The procedure for creating charts is as follows:
1 Do one of the following:
 In the Project Explorer, click Behavior Analysis or Numerical Analysis to
display the data you want to use to create a chart.
 From the Analyze menu, select Behavior Analysis or Numerical Analysis
and select Create Chart. Select one of the archived Results. This option is
only available if you have archived Analysis Results.
2 If necessary, change the layout of the Analysis Results sheet (see below), so
the data is sorted appropriately for the type of chart you want to create.
3 Select the data in the Analysis Results sheet (see “Selecting data” on
page 434), click the Charts button in the tool bar and select the type of Chart
(see “Selecting a Chart type” on page 434).
4 Next, you can:
 Add or remove series from the chart (page 435).
 Edit the chart (page 435).
 Save the Chart within The Observer XT (page 437).
 Export the chart as an image (page 438).
 Print the chart (page 438).
Customizing the Analysis Results sheet
Depending on the type of chart you want to create and how you want to display
your data, you might need to change the layout of the Analysis Results sheet.
What layout do I need?
The Observer XT uses the data in rows in the Analysis Results sheet for the Series
values and the row headers closest to the data are used for the Horizontal Axis
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(Categories) names. Furthermore, the column headers closest to the data are
used for the Legend (Series) names.
To create this layout, make sure that in the Layout tab of the Analysis settings
window:
 Behaviors (and Behavior Modifiers) are On Columns;
 Groups you want to compare are on Columns.
 Statistics are On Rows.
 Behaviors (and Behavior Modifiers) or groups are at the bottom in the order of
Categories on Columns (see Figure 9.4 for an example).
For more details about how to customize the layout of the Analysis Results
see page 408.
Figure 9.4 Example of Analysis settings layout (top-picture) and the corresponding
Analysis Results (bottom-picture).
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The resulting chart for the mean values for the different types of Play behavior
(based on the layout as displayed in Figure 9.4) is shown in Figure 9.5 below.
Figure 9.5 Example of a bar chart in The Observer XT. The chart is
based on the data layout as depicted in Figure 9.4.
Example 1 – You have three observations which contain event data of the
same group of five animals. The observation were carried out in three
consecutive weeks. You have used Instantaneous sampling as the observation
method. You want to create a bar chart with the statistic for locomotion
averaged per group, per observation. To do this, use the following Layout in
the Analysis Settings:
 On Columns – Behaviors.
 On Rows – Statistics, Observations (at the bottom in the order).
Do not select the Instantaneous Sampling Subjects in the Analysis settings
Layout tab. As a result, the statistics are averaged per observation and not
displayed per animal.
Example 2 – You have observed groups of children containing only boys or
girls. Type of group (boy, girl) is a user-defined Independent Variable. You
want to display the play behavior of the groups based on the Type of group.
First, in the data selection, you need to create two Results boxes, one
containing the boy groups, the other one the girl groups. Next, use the
following Layout in the the Analysis settings:
 On Columns – Behaviors.
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 On Rows – Statistics, Result Containers (at the bottom in the order).
Do not select the Instantaneous Sampling Subjects in the Analysis settings
Layout tab. As a result, the statistics are averaged per Type of group and
not displayed per group.
Selecting data
To create a chart:
1 Select values in one or more adjacent columns in the Analysis Results as
follows: click the top-cell of a column with the mouse, keep the mouse-button
pressed and move it to the bottom-cell of the same or an adjacent column.
To select multiple, non-adjacent columns, press the Ctrl-button and
select the columns as described above.
Selecting a Chart type
2 Next, click the Charts button
to select a chart. You can select one of
the following:
 Column chart – with five different methods to display multiple series.
 Line chart – with or without markers.
 Pie chart – 2D or 3D.
 Scatter chart.
3 Click OK to create the chart.
You cannot change the chart type of an existing chart. If you want to
change the chart type, you need to create a new chart.
If you close the Chart window by using the close button
, you get the
option to save the chart. If you click No, the chart is deleted. See page 437
for how to save a chart.
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Editing a chart
Adding Series
1 In the Chart window, click Select Data
2 In the Select Data window, click Add
.
.
3 In the Add Series window, in the Series Values box, click the Select Range
button.
4 In the Analysis Results sheet, select the values as described in “Selecting data”
on page 434.
5 Click Select Range again.
The header of the column is now automatically added in the Series name
box. If you want, you can change this name.
6 Click OK to add the series.
Go back to step 1 to add another series.
7 Click Close when you are done adding series.
Removing Series
1 In the Chart window, click Select Data
.
2 In the Select Data window, select the Legend (Series) name and click
Remove
.
Editing Category names
1 In the Chart window, click Select Data
.
2 Click a Horizontal Axis (Categories) name and click the Edit button (or press
F2).
Formatting a chart
To change the format of a chart, in the Chart window, click Format
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In the Chart Properties window, the menu on the left shows the Chart Properties
items. Simply click on a item or sub-item to select it. The pane on the right shows
the options for the selected item or sub-item.
You can immediately see the effect without closing the Properties
window by clicking the Apply button at the bottom-right.
The main items are:
 General – in which you have the following options:
 Chart Title – Display the chart title, you can enter a title and select the font
type, size, color and position of the chart title.
 Legend – Display the Legend (Series) name and select the font type, font
size and position of the legend. You can also select to Show the legend
without overlapping the chart.
 Data Labels – Display the value for each data point in the chart.
 Smoothing – Smooth-line charts are similar to line charts. The main
difference is that the line segments between the successive data points
are not straight lines but interpolated cubic splines.
 Axes – in which you have the following options:
 Vertical – Under Axis title, you can choose to display the axis title, you can
enter a title and you can select the font type, size and color. Under Scale,
you can set the scaling of this axis to Auto or setting the Minimum and
Maximum manually by selecting Fixed and entering the minimum and
maximum. Under Gridlines, you can choose to display major and minor
gridlines. For the major gridlines, enter a value (for example, a value of
‘10’ displays a major grid line at every external data value ‘10’). For the
minor grid line, enter the number of lines you want to display between
two major gridlines.
 Horizontal – The Horizontal axis has the same options as the Vertical axis.
 Series – For each series (listed under Series), you have the following options:
 Fill – You can choose between Solid fill and Pattern. Depending on what
you select here, you can next choose a Color and/or a Pattern. You can
also select the Transparency of the chart.
 Borders – Display borders and also select the border Color, Style and
Weight.
 Trendline – You can add a linear trendline for column charts (except
stacked and 3D charts), line charts and scatter plots. You can add a
trendline for each series separately by selecting the option Display linear
trendline. Optionally, you can specify the name of the trendline and its
line style (color, style and weight).
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Saving a chart
You can save a chart in the corresponding Analysis Results:
1 In the Chart window, click Save Chart in Archive
.
If the Analysis Results have not been saved in an archive yet, Save archive
window appears in which you can save the Analysis Results.
2 In the Analysis Chart window, you can type in the name of the chart you want
to save.
3 Click OK to save the chart.
The chart is added to the corresponding archived Analysis Result in the Project
Explorer.
If you have saved a chart in the ‘active’ Analysis Results, the Analysis
Results stay active after you have archived it. If you next create another
chart in the same Analysis Results, you need to archive the Analysis
Results again. If you want to create multiple charts in these Analysis
Results, make sure you first open the archived Analysis Results.
Opening a chart
To open an archived chart, in the Project Explorer, click an archived chart
Deleting a chart
To delete an archived chart, in the Project Explorer, right-click an archived chart
and select Delete Analysis Chart.
Renaming a chart
To rename a chart, in the Project Explorer, right-click an archived chart and select
Rename Analysis Chart and enter a new name.
Notes
 Make sure that the Analysis Results name and the Chart name do not contain
any of the following characters: \ / : ; * ? " < > |.
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 You can create multiple charts in an archived Analysis Results.
 If the legend overlaps with the chart, make sure to select the option Show the
legend without overlapping the chart in the General item, under the Legend
sub-item of the Chart Properties (see the previous page).
Exporting a chart
You can export a chart to the clipboard. Make sure the Chart window is active,
press Ctrl+C and press Ctrl+V to paste it into another program.
You can also export a chart to disk as a graphics file:
1 In the Chart window, click Export
.
2 Enter a File name and select a image type from the Save as type list: JPEG
(*.jpg), Portable Network Graphics (*.png), Windows Bitmap (*.bmp), Tagged
Image File Format (*.tiff).
3 Click Save.
Printing a chart
To print a chart:
1 In the Chart window, click Print
.
2 In the Print preview window, make the necessary changes and press the Print
button.
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Lag Sequential Analysis
This chapter is about:
 Lag Sequential Analysis procedure – With Lag Sequential Analysis you can
calculate the frequency of transitions between pairs of events within a ‘lag’.
See page 441
 Lag Sequential Analysis results – Here you can find how the results of your
analysis are displayed in the Lag Sequential Analysis Results sheets and how
you can customize the way the results are displayed.
See page 451
10.1 Before you start
The terms Subject, Behavior, Modifier and Independent Variable in this
chapter may not be the same as those on your screen. This depends on
what terms you have specified in your project's Terminology Preferences
(see page 141).
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What is lag sequential analysis?
In The Observer XT, Lag Sequential Analysis calculates the frequency of transitions
between pairs of events within a certain lag. Lag Sequential Analysis allows you to
answer questions like:
 How many times is the event Mother Smiles followed by the event Baby
Smiles?
 How likely is the dog's behavior Ignores Trainer preceded by each type of
command by the trainer?
The first event of the pair is called Criterion and the second Target.
Depending on what direction in time you choose (positive or negative), you
can calculate how often the event A is followed by B, or how often A is
preceded by B, and in relation to other behaviors (see Time lag below).
Figure 10.1 State lag sequential analysis versus Time lag sequential analysis. This is a very
general example - events may be state as well as point events, and may belong to
the same or different behavior groups. For time lag analysis, a time lag is defined
for each criterion event. Filled squares: criterion events (for simplicity, only the first
event in the sequence is considered as Criterion). Arrows: transitions.
State lag vs. Time lag analysis
Transitions between events can be of two ways (Figure 10.1):
 Transitions between events that directly follow each other or are separated by
a specific number (lag order) of other events. For example, from an event to
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the next one (lag order 1), or to the second next (lag order +2), the third next
etc. This is State lag sequential analysis. You can calculate transitions with a
lag order from -9 to +9. The time between the Criterion and the Target does
not influence your results.
 Transitions between events within a specific time window, independent of
how many events are between them. This is Time lag sequential analysis. You
can calculate transitions for example from an event to those events occurring
in the next 10 seconds. Since there may be more than one Target event in that
10-s window, Time lag analysis generates multiple transitions from the same
Criterion (see Figure 10.1).
10.2 Procedure overview
1 Make sure that the data profile specifying the data you want to analyze is
active, that is, highlighted in blue in the Project Explorer.
To edit a profile, click it in the Project Explorer and make the necessary
changes. For more information on how to select data, see Chapter 7.
2 Do one of the following:
 From the Analysis menu, select Lag Sequential Analysis, then New.
 In the Project Explorer, click the Analysis folder. In the overview window of
The Observer XT that appears, select Analyze data. In the window that
opens click Lag sequential analysis.
 In the Project Explorer under Analysis, click Lag Sequential Analysis.
Result – The Lag Sequential Analysis Settings window appears (Figure 10.2).
3 On the Analysis Settings tab, under Lag Type select one of the following (see
the previous page for information on lag type):
 State Lag – To perform state lag sequential analysis.
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 Time Lag – To perform time lag sequential analysis.
4 If you have selected State lag, enter the lag order you want analysis to be
based on. For example, to analyze transitions from each event to the next one
enter 1. If you want to calculate transitions from each event to the second
next, enter 2. If you want to calculate transitions from each event to the
previous third event, enter -3. By default, 1 is selected. Go now to step 6.
5 If you have selected Time lag, enter the limits of the time window (see an
example in Figure 10.1). This time window will be applied to each Criterion
event. By default, From 0 to 1 sec is selected, that is, transitions are counted
from each event to any event occurring up to 1 second later. Change the time
unit if necessary (available: ms, sec, min, hr).
Figure 10.2 The Analysis Settings page of the Lag Sequential
Analysis Settings window.
You have the following options:
 Ignore recurring criteria – Select this option if you want to exclude
instances of a criterion event that occur in the same time lag. For more
information, see page 448.
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 Ignore recurring targets – Select this option if you want to exclude
second, third etc. instances of a target event that occur within the same
time lag. For more information, see page 449.
6 Select Restrict lag to Subject-Behavior group if you want to calculate the
transitions within subject and behavior groups.
Example – Select this option to calculate transitions within the behavior
groups Locomotion and Social behavior, that is, from an event of
Locomotion to another event of Locomotion, and from an event of Social
behavior to another event of Social behavior, not from an event of Locomotion
to an event of Social behavior (or vice versa).
If you leave this option cleared, transitions are calculated regardless of
which group events belong to.
Note for Observer 5 users – Selecting this option is equivalent to clearing
the Count transitions across subject-behavioral class combinations
option in the lag sequential analysis profile in The Observer 5.
7 Under Calculate, select one of the following:
 Frequency – Select this option if you want to calculate the number of
transitions from the criterion event to the target event. Frequencies are
computed for each combination of criterion event and target event.
 Probability – Select this option if you want to calculate the probability of
transitions. The transition probability is the number of transitions for a
particular combination of criterion event and target event divided by the
total number of transitions from that criterion event. The sum of the
transition probabilities for each criterion event equals 1. For information
on how to read probabilities in the results, see page 451.
 Select the Only show when greater than option if you want to show only
the transition probabilities that are greater than a specific threshold. Enter
this threshold (1 - 100%) in the corresponding field.
8 Select the following:
 Show missing values as – Choose the character you want to have
displayed for missing values, that is, cells in which transitions are not
calculated. For example, transitions between behaviors of different groups
when you have selected the Restrict lag to Subject-Behavior group
option.
 Number of decimals – Choose the number of decimals in the matrix cells.
This option is only available if you have chosen Probability under
Calculate.
9 Click the Layout tab. On the Layout page (Figure 10.3) you specify what the
resulting transition matrix will look like. Select the type of elements you want
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to view on rows, columns and separate sheets. Clear the selection for any
element type you do not want included in the matrix.
 Under Criterion, select the element types that you want to view on the
rows.
 Under Target, select the element types that you want to view on the
columns.
 Under On Sheets, select the element types you want to view in separate
sheets.
Figure 10.3 The Layout page of the Lag Sequential Analysis Settings window.
If you defined a range of numerical modifiers instead of predefined
values, many different values may have been scored. If you
subsequently carry out a Lag Sequential Analysis, this may result in
many cells in the analysis result. This may especially happen if you
have numerical modifiers with several decimals, or if you have
imported external data as numerical modifiers. The maximum number
of columns and rows is 1000 x 1000. If the number of numerical
modifiers exceeds 1000, The Observer XT will show a warning and no
Lag Sequential Analysis is carried out. You can reduce the number of
cells with a Data Selection.
To move a category to a different box, click its name and then click the
appropriate arrow button, or drag it to that box.
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Example – If Observations is selected under On Rows or On Columns.,
this will produce a single, very large transition matrix. To have a transition
matrix for each observation, click Observations, then click the arrow
button pointing to the On Sheets box.
If you select Observations under On Sheets and keep Intervals selected,
each sheet includes the layout for all observations, but only the results for
the corresponding observation (You have to scroll down the result to find
them). To reduce the size of the sheets, de-select Intervals.
10 Sort the matrix (optional) – You can sort the matrix by the main categories by
changing their position within either the Criterion box or the Target box (Top
= highest hierarchical level). To do so, select an item you wish to move and
click the appropriate Up or Down button at the bottom of the list. Alternatively,
drag the category that you want to place to a higher level to a category that
you want to place to a lower level.
11 Select elements within a category (optional) – If you want to remove some
items in a category, click that category and then click the settings button
De-select the option for the item you do not want to show in the matrix.
.
De-selecting an entire category in the Layout page equals to calculate the
results for the elements summed up (but see a note on event logs below).
It is like you grouped all the items of a category with the summed method
in a data profile (see page 295). For example, if Subjects is not selected,
all subjects in an observation are treated as one. This is the same as
grouping subjects with the summed method (see page 295).
Lag sequential analysis is performed on each event log separately. If
an observation contains multiple event logs, and you de-select Event
Logs, transitions are counted within each event log, and then summed up
in the transition matrix. Transitions across event logs are not calculated.
See page 446 for an alternative method to analyze transitions across event
logs.
You can:
 Put independent variables either on rows or columns.
You cannot:
 De-select behaviors.
 Put subjects, behaviors, and modifiers on only one side of the
matrix (Criterion or Target). Once you select them on one side, they
are selected on the other side too.
 Put subjects, behaviors and modifiers on the sheets.
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 Change the hierarchy between elements on one side. If you do so,
it is changed on the other side.
12 Additional options – Select the following:
 Show not scored elements – Select this option if you want to have all
elements of your coding scheme shown in the matrix, including those you
have not scored in any observation. For not scored elements, cells will
contain zeroes or the missing value symbol (see step 8). If you keep this
option cleared, the matrix lists the elements scored in at least one
observation.
 Show intervals as – If you have defined intervals of time bins in your data
profile (see Chapter 7), you can split your transition matrix in more parts,
each corresponding to an interval or time bin. Select one of the options
Intervals only, Time bins only or Intervals and Time bins according to
how you want to split the matrix. If your data profile does not contain
Intervals or time bins, any option has no effect on your result.
13 Click OK. The lag sequential analysis result appears.
 See page 454 for how to customize your result.
 See page 525 for how to export your result.
Notes
Transition with start and stop events
Transitions indicate a change from one event (Criterion) to another (Target) in a
temporal sequence. In the case of state behaviors, which have a start and a stop
event, transitions are always counted using start events only, even if you have
coded the end event manually.
Analyzing transitions across event logs
In lag sequential analysis it is not possible to calculate transitions across event
logs within an observation, for example from event Mother Smile, scored in Event
log 1, to event Infant Smile, scored in Event log 2.
To calculate such transitions, do the following:
1 In your data profile, define free intervals (page 316). Under Begin Interval,
specify the event you want to use as a criterion (in the example above Mother
Smile). Under End Interval specify the end of the same event (if you want to
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analyze transitions as long as the event occurs) or a time value (if you want to
apply a time lag; do this if Mother Smile is a point event).
2 Calculate statistics with this data profile. Make sure that you include the Total
number as a statistic (see page 397). This is the number of times that a
behavior occurs in the intervals specified. It provides results similar to time lag
sequential analysis.
Defining the State lag
A positive value of lag order N means that the program counts N events forward in
time from the Criterion event. The transition is established from the criterion to
the Nth event. A negative lag order means that the programs counts events back
in time.
Example – The picture below shows events plotted along the time line. The
example is general, including the case of a 'gap' between events - this occurs
when events are filtered out in the data profile, or with start-stop event types.
 Entering +1 as State lag results in the following transitions to be counted (see
the arrows in the picture above):
From [no event] to 0.0 Gaze elsewhere, from 0.0 Gaze elsewhere to 5.00 Gaze
object, from 5.00 Gaze object to 7.00 Gaze mother, from 7.00 Gaze mother to
16.00 Gaze elsewhere, from 16.00 Gaze elsewhere to 18.80 Gaze mother, from
18.80 Gaze mother to [no event].
Transitions are also counted when a criterion is found but not the target, or
the other way round. In the example above, from [no event] to 0.0 Gaze
elsewhere, and from 18.80 Gaze mother to [no event]. See page 452 for
details.
 Entering -3 as State lag results in the following transitions to be counted:
From 7.00 Gaze mother (first event available for counting backward with lag -3)
to [no event], from 16.00 Gaze elsewhere to 0.0 Gaze elsewhere (third
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previous event), from 18.80 Gaze mother to 5.00 Gaze object, from [no event]
to 7.00 Gaze mother.
If the state lag is negative, it is easier to count transitions from the end to
the begin of a sequence.
If there is a gap between events, the program does not count
transitions from an event to the gap that follows. See also page 452
for special cases.
Defining the Time lag
The time lag can be negative, positive or partly negative and partly positive (for
example, from -2s to +2s around each event). Transitions are counted from an
event to another event starting within the time lag.
Example – The picture below shows events are plotted along the time line. The
example is general, including the case of a 'gap' between events - this occurs
when events are filtered out in the data profile, or with start-stop event types.
Entering From 0 sec to 5 sec next to Time lag results in the following transitions
(in the picture, horizontal arrows indicate the 5-s time lag for each event):
From [no event] to 0.0 Gaze elsewhere, from 0.0 Gaze elsewhere to [no event]
(this because no event is found in the 5-s lag), from 5.00 Gaze object to 7.00 Gaze
mother, from 7.00 Gaze mother to [no event], from 16.00 Gaze elsewhere to 18.80
Gaze mother, from 18.80 Gaze mother to [no event].
 Transitions are also counted when no event is found in the time lag, (in
the example above, see the transition from 0.0 Gaze elsewhere to [no
event]), or at the start and end of the observation. In the example above,
from [no event] to 0.0 Gaze elsewhere, and from 18.80 Gaze mother to [no
event]. See page 452 for details.
 If there is a gap between events, the program does not count transitions
from an event to the gap that falls in its time lag, unless there is no event
at all in that lag. See also page 452 for special cases.
 When the time lag is partly negative and partly positive, transitions are
calculated from the focal event to the events that precede or follow it.
Ignoring recurring criteria
If you select the Ignore recurring criteria option, all events of the same type as
the criterion that occur within the time lag are ignored as criterion events. Select
this option when events of the same type occur next to each other, and you want
to make sure that transitions from those events are not counted twice.
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Example – In a time lag of 0-5 s of the criterion event 8.50 Talk the program finds
another occurrence of Talk at 11.66 s. If you select Ignore recurring criteria, This
event is ignored as a criterion. Therefore, the transition from 8.50 Talk and 11.66
Talk is counted, however there will be no transition from 11.66 Talk to any event
following it within its time lag.
If the time lag is at least partly negative, the recurring criteria are ignored that
occur within a time interval around the focal criterion whose length is twice as
long as the longest side of the time lag. For example if the time lag is set to from
-10 s to +5 s, selecting Ignore recurring criteria removes the recurring criteria
from -10 s to +10 s for each focal criterion. If the time lag is set to from -3 s to +5 s,
recurring criteria are removed from -5 to +5 s around each focal criterion.
Ignoring recurring targets
If you select the Ignore recurring targets option, the second, third etc. instances
of the same target within the time lag are ignored. Select this option when events
of the same type occur next to each other, and you want to make sure that
multiple transitions to those events are not counted.
Example – A 4-seconds time lag of the criterion event 7.30 Eye contact includes
two occurrences of Talk, at 8.50 s and 9.50 s. If you select Ignore recurring
targets, the second Talk is ignored as a target. Therefore, the transition from 7.30
Eye contact and 8.50 Talk is counted, not from 7.30 Eye contact to 9.50 Talk.
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Note that 11.66 Talk is outside Eye contact's time lag, therefore a transition from
7.30 Eye contact to 11.66 Talk is not counted. Rather, a transition from 8.50 Talk to
11.66 Talk is counted when 8.50 Talk is considered as a criterion.
If the time lag is at least partly negative, the recurring targets are also removed in
the negative part of the lag.
Lag sequential analysis and Instantaneous sampling
If you have collected data with Instantaneous sampling, samples not scored are
not taken into account when calculating transitions. For example, the sequence of
samples (sample interval = 10 s):
0.0 A
10.0 - (not scored)
20.0 B
Results in a transition from 0.0 A to 20.0 B. This is the same result as if A and B
were scored with Continuous sampling.
Saving your analysis settings
You can save the settings specified in your analysis by clicking the Set as Default
button in the Lag Sequential Analysis Settings window. If this window is gone,
click Settings on top of the result window and click Set as Default in the window
that appears.
Applying settings to a new analysis
If you are about to run a new Lag Sequential Analysis and want to recall the
settings you have specified earlier, click the Load Default button in the Lag
Sequential Analysis Settings window. The new settings are shown in this
window.
Miscellaneous
 If you cannot visualize results for an observation, it could be due to the
observation containing errors (see page 209).
 To re-run the analysis with different settings or matrix layout, click the Settings
or Layout button, make the necessary changes and click OK.
 If an element category does not occur in your coding scheme or is filtered out
in the current data profile, it is grayed out in the Layout page of the Analysis
Settings window.
 Result Containers in the Layout page of the Lag Sequential Analysis
Settings window specifies the name of the result containers in your data
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profile (see page 286). If your data profile contains two or more result
containers, you cannot clear this selection. If you want to have some of the
result containers, not others, in the result, in the Layout page double-click
Result Containers or click Result Containers and then the cog button, then
clear the selection for the result containers you want to ignore.
 Intervals and time bins – If you choose Intervals and time bins from the
Show intervals as list, results are calculated only for the time segments where
intervals and time bins overlap. This means that the result may refer to
portions of the observation different from the original intervals you have
specified.
10.3 The Lag Sequential Analysis result
The lag sequential analysis result is created when you click OK in the Lag
Sequential Analysis Settings window (see page 441). If you click Calculate on
the top left corner of the result window, the result is updated. For more
information on saving and exporting analysis results, see page 524.
Depending on what you have selected under On Sheets in the Lag Sequential
Analysis Settings window, the lag sequential analysis result has one or more
pages, each containing a matrix. For example, if you have selected Observations
in the On Sheets box, each matrix refers to one observation.
 If your observations contain two or more event logs, you can choose to display
separate matrices for those event logs, or lump the result in one matrix. To
show the results separately, keep Event Logs selected under Observations. To
lump the results, clear the selection for Event Logs.
 Note for users of The Observer 5 – The analysis result is identical to that
obtained in The Observer 5 with the same data set of mutually-exclusive
behaviors.
Reading the result matrix
In the result matrix each row represents a criterion event and each column a
target event. Each cell (see B in Figure 10.4) contains, depending on what you
have chosen in your analysis settings (step 7 in the procedure of page 441):
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 If you have chosen Frequency, the number of transitions from the criterion
(on the row) to the target event (on the column).
 If you have chosen Probability, the probability of transition from the criterion
event to the target event. This is calculated by F/T, Where F is the number of
transitions from that criterion to that target (Frequency, see above), and T is
the total number of transitions from that criterion to any target, that is the sum
of the cell contents for that row if you had chosen Frequency.
Figure 10.4 An example of a lag sequential analysis result. A - Cells containing the values of
independent variables. B - Cells containing counts or probabilities of transition. C - Main
headers for categories (for example, Observations, Subjects, Behaviors, etc. D - Secondary
headers for the elements within a category.
The independent variables appear in the results if the corresponding
option is selected in the Layout page of the Analysis Settings window
(see page 444).
You can zoom the result matrix in and out. To do so, hold the Ctrl key
down and move the mouse wheel.
Understanding X0 and Y0
Transitions are also counted when there no criterion can be found for a target or
vice versa. Such transitions can be found in the cells of the matrix indicated by X0
(last row) or Y0 (last column).
 X0 refers to transitions where a target has been identified but the criterion is
not found. This happens in the following cases:
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 If the lag is positive – At the start of an observation (or interval defined
within an observation). If the first event is 2.00 Sit, this event is
considered to be the target of no event. A transition is counted from X0 to
2.00 Sit.
 If the lag is negative – At the end of an observation or interval, where the
last event is considered to be the target of no event.
 Special case – In Time lag analysis, when an event is preceded by a gap
longer than the time lag of the previous event. For example, the event
Answer occurs after a gap. If the time lag is shorter than the time between
Answer and any preceding event, then Answer is considered to be the
target of no event. A transition is counted from X0 to Answer.
You can find X0 transitions at the intersection of the X0 row and the
column of the target event.
 Y0 refers to transitions where no target is found. This happens:
 If the lag is positive – At the end of an observation or interval, where the
last event is considered to be the criterion of no event.
 If the lag is negative – At the start of an observation or interval, where
the first event is considered to be the criterion of no event.
 Special case – In Time lag analysis, when there is no event within a time
lag. For example, the event Play music is not followed by any other event
in the next 10 seconds. With a time lag of 5 seconds, the time lag of Play
music does not cover any target event. A transition is counted from Play
music to Y0. Note: when at least one event is found within a time lag, the
gap is not considered, so the transition from Play music to Y0 is not
counted. Instead, the transition from Play music to that event is counted.
You can find Y0 transitions at the intersection of the row of the criterion event and
the Y0 column.
X0 and Y0 transitions are included in the probability calculations to quantify the
probability that an event is not preceded nor followed by any events.
For instantaneous sampling – X0 and Y0 do not indicate transitions from/
to samples not scored. In lag sequential analysis, samples not scored are
ignored (see page 450).
Editing the result
You cannot edit the content of the statistics result. If you want to make any
changes to the result, export it to another program like Excel (see page 524) and
then edit it in that program.
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Saving a result
To save a lag sequential analysis result, click the Archive button on the tool bar of
the result window.
To re-open a saved result, from the Analyze menu select Lag Sequential Analysis,
then Open Archive. For more information on saving, opening and exporting
results, see page 524.
Closing a result
To close a statistics result, simply open another screen in The Observer. Please
note that the result is not saved automatically.
To return to your analysis, click the analysis in the Project Explorer.
Printing a result
To print a result table, from the File menu select Print. We advise you to select the
Landscape mode prior to printing.
Time formats
If your result includes time values, for example when you have selected to show
Intervals or Independent Variables, in the Layout page of the settings window
(page 451), some of the cells contain time values. You can specify the format of
time from the Setup menu, selecting Project Settings and Time formats. For
more information, see page 141.
Applying Windows regional settings
If you want to apply new Windows regional settings, for example when changing
the decimal symbol, restart The Observer and then run the analysis.
Customizing your result
To customize your result, click the Layout button
in the Result window.
After you made the necessary changes, click OK in the Lag Sequential Analysis
Settings window to refresh the result.
For more information on customizing tables, see also page 408.
Summary
 Sorting categories in the matrix (see below).
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 Selecting and sorting elements within a category (see page 455). Note: To
remove data from your results, you can also use the data profile's Filter
function (see Chapter 7).
 Collapsing elements within a category to view overall results (see page
456). This option allows you to lump events for different observations, event
logs, intervals, subjects and modifiers. For example, calculate the transitions
from Play independent of the modifier Type of Play.
To calculate overall results, you can also group data (see page 295).
 Hiding and showing rows and columns in the matrix (see page 457).
Sorting categories in the matrix
For example, put the Subjects at a level higher than the Behaviors, so each
subject will be shown with the list of behaviors it was scored with.
1 Click the Layout button
on top of the result window. Under
Criterion, click the category that should be sorted first. For example, if you
want to sort Behavior first, then Subjects, click Behaviors.
2 Click the Up or Down button
at the bottom of the Criterion box until
that category lies above those you want with lower priority. Next, click OK.
Click OK in the Lag Sequential Analysis Settings window to refresh the result.
To make the matrix more readable, make sure that in the Criterion box Behavior
Modifiers is just below Behaviors.
Selecting and sorting elements within categories
For example: changing the order of behaviors in the matrix.
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1 Do one of the following:
 With View Settings on the far-right side of the tool bar, select the category
whose elements you want to sort.
 Click the Layout button on the tool bar, make sure that the category is
selected in the Criterion or Target box. Double-click the category, or click
the category and then the cog button
.
A window appears listing the elements selected for that category.
2 To add or remove subjects from the result, select the boxes under Select
corresponding to the subjects you want to display, and de-select those you
want to ignore.
De-selecting subjects in the Category window does not result in removing
them from your data profile.
3 To change the order of display, click the element you want to move and click
the Up or Down buttons
to move it to the desired position.
4 Click OK. Click OK in the Lag Sequential Analysis Settings window to refresh
the result. The element changes its position accordingly, in both rows and
columns of the matrix.
For more information about selecting and sorting elements in a result table, see
page 408.
Collapsing elements in the matrix
Follow this procedure if you want to calculate transitions with elements of a
category being grouped.
Example – The type of play has been coded with modifiers. Instead of having
transitions calculated for each combination behavior*modifier, you want to
collapse modifiers in one row/column. This way the program does not
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discriminate between two events made of the same behavior but different
modifiers.
1 Click the Layout button
on top of the result window.
2 Under Criterion, clear the selection for the category whose elements you
want to collapse.
3 Click OK in the Lag Sequential Analysis Settings window to refresh the result.
Collapsing elements in the matrix is equal to group elements of that
category in a single group using the Summed method (see page 295).
If you de-select Event Logs, event logs are still analyzed separately. See
page 446 for how to analyze transitions across multiple event logs in each
observation.
You can also collapse the results for multiple observations and subjects.
To do so, open View Settings on the far-right side of the tool bar and
click Criterions/Targets/Sheets. De-select the category you want to
collaps.
Hiding/showing elements
Hiding and showing elements in the matrix does not change the frequency nor
the probability of transition for other elements. If you want to make new
calculations by adding or removing elements, you must add/remove elements in
the data profile before running the analysis.
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Reliability Analysis
This chapter is about:
 Carrying out reliability analysis – Here you find an overview of how to carry
out reliability analysis.
See page 461
 Reliability analysis results – Here you find how to read and customize the
Reliability analysis results sheets.
See page 470
 Reliability statistics – Here you find a description of the statistics used in the
reliability analysis in The Observer XT.
See page 482
11.1 Before you start
The terms Subject, Behavior, Modifier and Independent Variable in this
chapter may not be the same as those on your screen. This depends on
what terms you have specified in your project's Terminology Preferences
(see page 141).
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What is Reliability Analysis?
In The Observer XT, Reliability Analysis assesses how well events are recorded.
Reliability concerns the extent to which measurements are precise and consistent.
Precision indicates how free the measurement is from random errors. Consistency
indicates the extent to which repeated measurements of the same event produce
the same results.
Within The Observer XT, two or more observations can be tested on reliability. The
outcome of reliability analysis tells you how the two data sets are similar to each
other.
Reliability Analysis always works with pairs of observations. If you want to
compare three or more observations with each other, you have to specify each
combination of observations as the pairs for comparison.
For Observer 5 users – See the notes on page 469.
Examples
 Checking your own consistency (Intra-observer reliability) – At the beginning
of a study, you make a video of your study subjects, and code it with The
Observer. You keep both the video and the observational data file as a
reference. Periodically, for example once every six months, you score the
same video again and measure the agreement between the new data set and
the reference data set.
 Training observers (inter-observer reliability) – If a new student joins your
research group, he/she has to adopt the coding scheme used in your
research. After one month of practice, test the trainee’s data with a reference
data file. Reliability analysis helps determining when the trainee is ready for
the real work.
How are events compared between
observations?
Observations are made of events in a time series. Whether events in two
observations are scored as an agreement or as a disagreement depends on
whether the subject, behavior and modifiers in those events are the same but
also on your settings. The program considers each event selected for analysis and
searches for a matching event in the other observation within a defined
tolerance window. You can set the tolerance window in such a way that if the
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same event is found within the tolerance window, it is scored as an agreement,
otherwise as a disagreement. For more information, see page 465.
Only the events selected in your active data profile will be compared to quantify
agreement. If you run reliability analysis with the default data profile, all events in
your observations will be used for comparison.
If you plan to compare data files scored with point events only, we
advise you to define point events in a Start-stop behavior group.
11.2 Procedure overview
1 Make sure that the data profile specifying the data you want to analyze is
active, that is, highlighted in blue in the Project Explorer.
To activate a data profile, click it in the Project Explorer. For more
information on selecting data, see Chapter 7.
Reliability Analysis is meant to be applied to whole observations. It is
recommended not to apply a data profile where observations and data
are grouped or split in intervals or time bins.
2 Do one of the following:
 From the Analysis menu, select Reliability Analysis, then New.
 In the Project Explorer, click the Analysis folder. In the overview window
that appears, select Analyze data. In the window dat opens, click
Reliability analysis.
 In the Project Explorer, under Analysis click Reliability Analysis.
Result – The Reliability Analysis Settings window appears.
If this is not the first time that you start analysis, the Reliability Analysis
Settings window appears on top of the result obtained last.
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3 On the Settings page under Timing, enter the length of the Tolerance
window. You can select seconds or milliseconds as unit.
The tolerance window defines how accurate the timing of an event (when
compared between two observations) must be to be considered an
agreement or not. For example, if in Observation 1 the event Gaze at
screen occurs at 4.0 s and stops at 6.0 s while in Observation 2 it starts at
6.5 s, that is counted as an agreement when the tolerance window is set to
3 s. However, if the tolerance window is set to 2 s, the two events are
counted as a disagreement as the mismatch between their start times (2.5
s) is greater than the tolerance window.
Figure 11.1 The Reliability Analysis Settings window.
4 From the Synchronization list, select the way the two observations in each
pair are aligned:
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 Use start times – Select this option if your observations were scored live,
and you want to align them according to their 'true' start time (for
example, 14h:34min:55s).
 Align observation start times – Select this option if you want to ignore
the 'true' observation start time, and align the observations starting from
0:00:00. Tip: Select this option if you have scored the two observations
from a video file at exactly the same starting point (for example: 0:00:00).
 Align first scored events – Select this option if you want to take the first
event you scored in each observation as a synchronization point. For
example, if you have marked an event in the video like the switching on of
a light.
 Align video start time – Select this option to align the observation
according to the point of the video file from which you started the two
observations. Tip: Select this option if you have scored the two
observations from a video file at different starting points (for example:
0:00:00 for Observation 1, and 01:30:00 for Observation 2).
5 Under List of pairs, select the observations from the two lists to specify each
pair.
 If you want to carry out a batch analysis of several pairs, you can select that
here.
 If your data profile contains more result containers (see page 343), you
need to specify one of them for each observation. The lists show all the
combinations of observations and result containers. Make sure that you
select the combination you require, for example Observation 0003/ Result
2.
 Adding a pair for comparison – To select additional pairs of observations,
click the Add pair button
, then choose the observation from
the two lists on the row that has been appended.
 Removing a pair – To remove a pair of observations, select the
corresponding row and click the Remove pair button
.
 If your observations contain two or more event logs, you must select
single event logs for comparison. See the note on page 469.
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 If the list does not include an observation, it could be due to that
observation containing errors. Open the observation and check for errors
(see page 209).
You have the additional option:
 Include combined results – Select this box if you want to have an
additional result that sums up all agreements and disagreements from all
pairs of observations (see page 468).
6 Under Scope, select one of the following:
 Compare all events (default) – Select this option if you want to compare
all the events no matter whether one observation is longer than the other.
If an event has been scored in one observation during a period of time
where no events are available in the other observation group, such an
event is paired with "Outside Observation" in the list of comparison, and
this results in a disagreement. Choose this option if you think that the
possible disagreements in the time lines should be considered as a
meaningful outcome of the observation process.
 Compare time based intersection – Select this option if two observations
are of different length, and you want to compare only the events in the
time period shared by both observations.
Example – Two observers score data from a video file. One observer stops
at 30 minutes and the other at 35 minutes. The result is that the second
data file will be longer then the other. If you select this option, The
Observer compares the events in both observations from 0 to 30 minutes
and ignores the extra 5 minutes in the second observation.
7 Under Modifiers, select the following:
 Behavior Modifiers – Select this option if you want to include behavior
modifiers in the events to compare.
If some of the modifiers are numerical, you can enter a Margin on
numericals as tolerance value. Modifiers in two events of the same type
that differ by less than the margin result in an agreement. See also the
note Analyzing modifiers on page 469.
8 Select the following:
 Show missing values as – Choose the character you want to have
displayed for missing values in the confusion matrix.
 Number of decimals – Choose the number of decimals for the reliability
statistics and significance. You can choose 2 or 3 decimals.
9 Click the Layout tab. Select Show not scored elements if you want the result
to include the event types that were not scored in any observation.
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If the option is selected, the matrix of agreements and disagreements (see
page 476 for an example) will be larger. The cells corresponding to not
scored events will contain the missing value symbol.
If the option is cleared (default), only the event types that were scored in
at least one observation are included in the result.
10 Click OK.
Result – The Reliability Analysis results window appears.
 See page 476 for how to customize your result.
 See page 524 for how to save and export your result.
Notes
Limitations
You can specify up to 12 pairs for comparison. If the confusion matrix (see page
472) exceeds 1000 rows and columns, an error message appears and analysis is
not carried out.
To obtain a smaller matrix, you can do the following:
 Make sure that the Show not scored elements option is cleared (see the
previous page).
 Filter elements in the data profile (see Chapter 7).
How the reliability analysis algorithm works
For each pair of observations selected in the Reliability Analysis settings window,
The Observer analyzes the two observations in five runs. In each run, the program
scans the events on a single time line, from the start to the end, switching from
one observation to the other according to the timing.
In some cases the program analyzes the stop of events. For more
information, see Unspecified on page 473.
 Run 1 – Find matches between overlapping events. The program searches
for events of the same type in the two observations that overlap in time at
least partially. The onset and offset times of the events needs not be the
same.
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Example –
The following agreements are scored:
 Run 2 – Find matches between events within the tolerance window. The
program searches for events of the same type among all those that have not
been considered in the previous run, and scores agreements between those
which do not overlap, but their onset time differ less than the tolerance
window. Note that the stop times are not compared.
Example (the tolerance window is set to 2 s) –
The onset times of Keyboard and Mouse pointing differ by less than the
tolerance window (indicated by the arrows). The following agreements are
scored:
Stop times do not play any role in this step, however they are compared
indirectly. When you score the stop of a state without starting a new state
event, there are gaps between state events (like in the picture above). The
Observer treats such gaps as “unspecified behaviors” and find matches
between them just like state events. For more information, see page 473
and page 479.
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 Run 3 – Find disagreements: events not yet linked within the tolerance
window. The program considers the events left out in the previous runs, and
searches for any event in the other observation within the tolerance window
that has yet to be scored as agreement/disagreement. If multiple events are
available in the other observation, then the first event is considered. Pairing
always results in disagreements, because if the events are of the same type
they would have been considered in run 1 or 2.
Example (the tolerance window is set to 2 s) –
The following disagreements are scored:
 Run 4 – Find disagreements: any event within the tolerance window. The
program considers the events left out in the previous runs, however it
searches for any event in the other observation within the tolerance window,
even if that has been scored as agreement or disagreement in a previous run.
If multiple events are available in the other observation, then the last event is
considered. Pairing results in disagreements.
 Run 5 – Find disagreements: events outside the tolerance window. The
program considers the events that have not been considered in the previous
runs, and searches for the most nearby event in the other observation that has
yet to be scored as agreement or disagreement. If two events are equally far
in time from the focal event, the first of the two is considered. Pairing results
in disagreements. If the paired events are of the same type, they are scored as
'Window Error' (see page 476).
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Example –
The following disagreement is scored:
Note that 8.70 Duet Play (Obs 2) was paired to 8.00 Duet Play (Obs 1)
during Run 1. This is one of the frequent cases in which an event produces
one agreement and one or more disagreements.
 More information – Please see the following paper:
Jansen, R.G.; Wiertz, L.F.; Meyer, E.S.; Noldus, L.P.J.J. (2003). Reliability analysis
of observational data: Problems, solutions, and software implementation.
Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers 35: 391-399.
Combining multiple pairs of observations
When you selecting Include combined results, an additional page shows the
statistics calculated by pooling all pairs of observation in one matrix. You can use
this option for purely descriptive purposes, mainly for obtaining a rough indication
of overall agreement. However, note that:
 Each observation should occur in only one pair in the list.
 An overall Kappa or Rho value obtained with many pairs of observations is
likely to be affected by bias and prevalence due to the large numbers in some
cells of the matrix, not in others. Furthermore, an overall Kappa means losing
information on single pairs of observations.
 It is always a good idea to export the Kappa values for each pair of
observations, and then make a histogram of those values. How are they
distributed? Some observations, or observers, may be associated with Kappa
lower then others. There may be observations in which some behaviors
difficult to observe are prevalent, so they result in low Kappa values.
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Note for Observer 5 users
The algorithm for reliability analysis is essentially the same as the one in The
Observer 5. The only differences are:
 In The Observer 5, an event could be scored as agreement with one or more
events in the other observation. In The Observer XT, an event can be scored as
agreement with only one event in the other observation. If other events in the
second observation are close to the event in the first observation, these are
scored as disagreements.
 In The Observer 5, only the start, not the stop of a state is considered for
analysis, because the stop of states coincides with the start of another state.
In The Observer XT, any stop of a state that is not immediately followed by the
start of another state (like when you score stop codes for non-mutually
exclusive behaviors), the stop event is analyzed as Unspecified <behavior>,
where <behavior> is the name of the behavior just stopped (or the behavior
group it belongs to).
Analyzing modifiers
 If behavioral modifiers are not defined in your coding scheme, the Behavior
Modifiers options in the settings window is not available.
 If you select the Behavior Modifiers options, comparison of events is more
discriminating, as two events with the same subject or behavior but different
modifiers will result in a disagreement. De-selecting this option makes the
comparison of events less selective.
 If the events contain multiple modifiers, these are compared one by one. If
the events differ by at least one modifier (or, the numerical modifiers differ by
more than the margin set), this results in a disagreement.
 To score agreements and disagreements, the margin on numerical modifiers
is used the same way for both numerical modifiers scored in a range and
those scored as predefined values. In The Observer 10.1 and earlier versions,
the margins were only used for numerical modifiers scored in a range.
Choosing specific event logs for comparison
In the Reliability Analysis Settings window you choose observation for
comparison. If your observations include two or more event logs, this window
does not distinguish between them. To select a specific event log, open your data
profile (or create a new one) and create a Result container for each event log.
Next, filter event logs in such a way that the event logs you want to compare end
up in different Result boxes. Then, in the Reliability Analysis Settings window
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choose the combination Observation*Result container to specify an event log for
comparison.
Saving your analysis settings
You can save the settings specified in your analysis by clicking the Set as Default
button in the Reliability Analysis Settings window. If this window is gone, click
Settings on top of the result window and click Set as Default in the window that
appears.
Applying settings to a new analysis
If you are about to run reliability analysis and want to recall the settings you have
specified earlier, click the Load Default button in the Reliability Analysis Settings
window. The new settings are applied. Next, specify the observations click OK to
run the analysis.
11.3 The reliability analysis result
The reliability analysis result is created when you click OK in the Reliability
Analysis Settings window (page 461). The result has one or more tabbed pages,
one for each pair you have selected for comparison, plus an optionalCombined
results page (page 464) containing the summed results for all pairs of
observations. Each tab is named after the name of the corresponding
observations and the result container of the active data profile that you have
selected from the list:
Name of observation 1/Name of result container of observation 1 - Name
of observation 2/Name of result container of observation 2
The reliability analysis result consists of three different outputs, visible one at a
time:
 Statistics (see below)
 Confusion Matrix (see page 472)
 Comparison List (see page 476)
 The result is not automatically saved to your PC's hard disk! To save the
result, click the Archive Result button (see page 524).
 To edit a result, first export it to another program (see page 525).
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Statistics
Figure 11.2 The Statistics view in a reliability analysis result.
The reliability statistics are shown on top by default. If another view is on top, click
the Statistics button
in the result window to display the statistics. The
following statistics are calculated:
 Number of Agreements
 Number of Disagreements
 Proportion of agreements
 Cohen's Kappa and its statistical significance (P-value)
 Pearson's Rho and its statistical significance (P-value)
The statistics are derived from the Confusion matrix. For more information on their
computation, see page 482.
If you add more observation pairs to the List of pairs and run analysis again, it
could happen that the Rho value for the pre-existing pairs differs slightly from
those obtained in the previous analysis. This happens because the confusion
matrix, which is used to calculate the statistics, always contains all event types in
the observations selected, regardless of which event types were scored in a
specific observation. When you add more observations to the List of pairs, this
could result in adding event types to the confusion matrix that were not scored in
the pre-existing observations. Additional event types means extra rows and
columns. Because of the way Rho is computed (see page 484), this changes the
values of Rho in the Statistics page. If you want to keep the confusion matrix
fixed, select the Show not scored elements option (see page 464).
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Confusion matrix
To display the confusion matrix, click the Confusion
Matrix button
in the result window. The confusion matrix (Figure 11.3) shows a
matrix of events from the two observations under comparison.
Figure 11.3 The Confusion Matrix view in a reliability result.
Order of events
This matrix has one row and one column for each combination of Subject,
Behavior, their Modifiers scored in those observations.
If events contain multiple modifiers, they are sorted in the following way: the
groups, according to the sequence of modifier groups attached to the behavior in
the coding scheme; the individual modifiers, in alphabetic order first, then in
ascending numerical order. For example, when two groups of nominal modifiers
Toy (with modifiers Book and Car) and Own intent (Yes and No) were scored, the
ordering of the rows/columns is: Book and No, Book and Yes, Car and No, Car and
Yes.
Unlike in previous versions, numerical modifiers scored in a range and those
scored as predefined values are displayed in the same way. In The Observer 10.1
and earlier versions, numerical modifiers scored in a range were shown as a
group (see also page 469).
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Cell values
The values of the confusion matrix can be understood as follows:
 Dark blue cells in the diagonal contain the counts of agreements between
observations regarding the corresponding event.
 White cells in both sides of the diagonal are the counts of disagreements that
is, two different events were scored at similar times in the two observations.
 Light blue cells along the diagonals contain counts of agreements of events
that differ in numerical modifiers by less than the margin (see page 475).
 Additional rows and columns indicate special cases: No Records, Window
Error (see below).
 If you have defined two or more observation pairs for comparison, the size
of the matrix is constant across pairs of observations, because it includes
the combinations of events in all pairs no matter whether a specific event
was scored in a specific pair of observations. This means that if event A
was scored in an observation of Pair 1 and in neither observation of Pair 2,
the matrix of Pair 2 still contains the row and column for event A.
 If you have selected Show not scored elements in the Layout page of the
Reliability Analysis Settings window (see page 464), the matrix also
includes those combinations of Subject, Behavior and their Modifiers that
were not scored in those observations. Therefore, the matrix can be much
larger.
 If you select Include combined results for multiple comparisons (see
page 464), the confusion matrix of the Combined results page sums up
all agreements and disagreements from all pairs of observations.
Understanding "Unspecified"
Rows and columns named Unspecified are added to the matrix in the following
cases:
 When no behavior is scored at the start of the observation.
 A Unspecified state is added at the start of the observation for each group,
ending with the start of the first event of that group.
 When a state event ends without another event starting, that is when you
press the Stop code for a behavior.
 A Unspecified state is added that starts at the end of the event and ends at
the start of the next event for that group (see an example in the picture of
page 479).
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 When a behavior group is set to mutually exclusive and contains both state
events and point events, and you only have scored point events.
 A Unspecified state is added at the start of the observation, ending at the
end of the observation.
In such cases, there is a 'gap' between events in the same group. The Observer
considers the start of such a gap for comparison and links them to an event in the
other observation, resulting in an agreement (if the event is the same
"unspecified") or a disagreement in all other cases.
The reason why The Observer counts Unspecified events is that it needs to assess
the co-occurrence of no events, not only the events you have scored.
 Rows and columns are named Unspecified
<behavior>, where
<behavior> is the name of the behavior group or, in the case of behaviors
that are not part of a group, the name of the behavior itself.
 For combined continuous and instantaneous sampling – “Unspecified” is
not added when continuous sampling is temporarily suspended to allow
scoring of a sample.
Understanding "No Records"
Rows and columns named No Records show the occurrences of events in one
observation that cannot be paired with any event in the second observation. This
happens in the following cases:
 There is no data from the same behavior group in the other observation. In
the Comparison List, such instances are shown as <Nothing scored in
combination>.
 When you have selected Compare all events under Scope in the Reliability
Analysis Settings window (see page 464), and one or both of the following is
true:
 One observation is longer than the other.
 You have aligned the two observations in such a way that one starts earlier
than the other. For example, two live observations started at different
time, and you have selected Use start time as Synchronization method
(see page 462).
In the Comparison List, such instances are shown as <Outside Observation>.
Where do I find the events marked by No Records?
The No Records row shows the disagreements between events in
observation 2 (above the diagonal) and <Nothing scored in
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combination> or <Outside Observation> in the Comparison List (see
page 476).
The No Records column shows the disagreements between events in
observation 1 (left of the diagonal) and <Nothing scored in
combination> or <Outside Observation>.
Understanding light blue cells
Light blue cells appear along the diagonal of the confusion matrix when you use
numerical modifiers. They indicate the range of the modifier value that could
result in an agreement with the value scored in the other observation, when the
two modifiers differ by less than the Margin on numericals (see page 464 for
how to set this). You only see those cells when you have included numerical
modifiers in the comparison.
Light blue cells are always located along the diagonal dark blue cells. In general,
the higher the margin on numerical, the wider the region of light blue cells.
Figure 11.4 Light blue cells indicate agreements between numerical modifiers based on
margins. For one of the observed events (indicated by “1” in the matrix), the
rater scored 1, while the other scored 3. This results in a disagreement if the
margin is set to 1 (top), but it is an agreement if the margin is 2 (bottom).
Values reported in light blue cells are counted as full agreements in the
calculation of reliability statistics.
In The Observer XT 10.1 and earlier versions, the column named Modifier
Error reported the disagreements between events that differ in the free
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numerical modifiers by more than the Margin on numericals. This column
has been removed from the result. For numerical modifiers (both
predefined and in a range), you can now find agreements in the diagonal
and light blue cells, and disagreements in the remaining cells.
Understanding "Window Error"
Rows and columns named Window Error show the disagreements between the
events of the same type whose onset times differ for more than the Tolerance
window set in the Reliability Analysis Settings window (see page 462).
Where do I find the events marked by Window Error?
The Window Error row shows the disagreements between the same
event types where the event in observation 1 (left of the diagonal)
occurs earlier than that in observation 2 (you can check this in the
Comparison List; see page 476).
The Window Error column shows the disagreements between the same
event types where the event in observation 1 occurs later than that in
observation 2.
Customizing the matrix
 Rotating behavior modifiers in columns – Behavior modifiers can take a lot
of space in the confusion matrix. To change the orientation of behavior
modifiers, right-click anywhere in the matrix and select Rotate Behavior
Modifiers in columns.
 Making a smaller matrix – To obtain a smaller matrix containing fewer event
categories, filter data in the data profile (see Chapter 7), then run the analysis.
Comparison List
To show the comparison list, click the Comparison List button
in
the result window. The Comparison List lists all agreements and disagreements of
the compared observations. It contains from left to right:
 The result of the comparison between the records of the two observations
(left).
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 The events (with their onset time) of the first observation of each pair selected
in the analysis settings window (middle).
 The events (with their onset time) second observation selected (right).
If you select Include combined results for multiple comparisons (see page
464), the comparison list of the Combined results page sums lists the events
from all the observation pairs, ordered according the Lists of pairs in the
analysis settings. The titles of the second and third columns show the name of
the first pair.
Symbols
 Green triangle
– Marks starts of state events, including the <Unspecified
behavior> (see below).
 Blue circle
– Marks point events.
Specifying the time format
By default, the Comparison List shows the event times as time elapsed from the
point where the two observations are aligned. If you want to change the format,
do the following:
1 From the Setup menu, select Project Settings, then Time formats in the left
pane.
2 To set the time mode, select Absolute or Relative from the Project time
format list.
3 To set the time format, click the Edit button for the time mode you selected in
the previous step.
See page 139 for more information.
4 Click OK twice. Restart Reliability Analysis and have The Observer display the
Comparison List. The time and date format are applied to all the rows in the
Comparison List.
Applying Windows regional settings – If you want to apply new Windows
regional settings, for example when changing the decimal symbol, restart
The Observer and then run the analysis.
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Top rows: Observation start and Synchronization point
 Observation start – Marks the observation start time relative to the point
where the program starts comparing the data files (Synchronization point). It
is shown in the format you specify in the Time formats tab of the Project
Settings window (see above). Please note:
 If you have selected Use start times from the Synchronization list (see
page 462) and you are comparing live observations, Observation start
shows the time difference between the two start times:
 If you have selected Align first scored events from the Synchronization
list (see page 462) and there are no events starting at 0:00:00.000, the
comparison starts later than 0:00. Therefore, Observation start is negative
(for example, -0:00:5.30 if the first event starts occurs at 5.30 s).
 If you have started observing from a point in a media file later than 0:00,
and you select Align video start times from the Synchronization list (see
page 462), Observation start shows the start of the observation relative to
the video start time (for example, 0:01.00.000 if you start observing at 1
minute in the video file).
 Synchronization point – The point in time where the program starts
comparing the two files. It is always the same for both observations. It is
shown in the format you specify in the Time formats tab of the Project
Settings window (see the previous page). By default, synchronization point is
0:00:00.000.
Understanding <Nothing scored in combination>
Events in one observation are paired to <Nothing scored in combination> when
there is no data from the same subject and behavior group in the other
observation. This results in a disagreement. You can find such instances in the
confusion matrix under No Records (see page 474).
Understanding <Outside Observation>
Events in one observation are paired to <Outside Observation> when their time
stamp lays outside the time line of the other observation. For example, when the
observation is longer than the other, or you have aligned the two observations in
such a way that one starts earlier than the other. This results in a disagreement.
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You can find such instances in the confusion matrix under No Records (see page
474).
For more information on synchronization options, see page 462.
Understanding <Unspecified behavior>
Events in one observation are paired to <Unspecified (behavior group name)>
when the closest event in the other observation is the stop of a state event that is
not followed by the start of a new state event. For example, when you score the
stop of a state by using the Stop code. These instances usually result in
disagreements.
For more information on Unspecified (behavior group name), see page 479.
Note: You may also get a pair of <Unspecified> events:
The <Unspecified Verbal behavior> event marks the end of the state Answer (see
the blue bar below) which belongs to the group Verbal behavior. The end of
Answer was scored with a Stop code, so no other behavior follows it immediately.
The two <Unspecified Verbal behavior> states overlap at least partially, therefore
they result in an agreement (see run 1 in the algorithm, page 465).
 If your Comparison list includes lots of pairings between <Unspecified
behavior> and point events, it means that the behavior group in which
point events are scored is of type “Mutually exclusive”. We advise you to
put the point events in a “start-stop” group.
 For combined continuous and instantaneous sampling – “Unspecified” is
not added when continuous sampling is temporarily suspended to allow
scoring of a sample.
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Understanding multiple occurrences of the same event
Sometimes you may find an event in one observation associated with two or more
events (not necessarily of the same type) in the other observation. For example
01:32.9 Talk to self is associated with 1.27.7 Talk to self and 1:32.1 Talk to self:
This is an inevitable consequence of the fact that one observation contains more
events that the other. In such cases only one agreement is counted (usually the
one found in run 1 of the algorithm; see page 465). All other associations are
scored as disagreements, no matter if the event type is the same.
Understanding disagreements caused by modifiers
 Events with the same subject and behavior result in disagreements if they
have different modifiers. If the modifiers are numerical, they result in a
disagreement only if they differ by more than the margin value set (see page
464).
 If numerical modifiers have been defined as predefined (see page 111),
scoring modifiers that differ by more than the margin value result in a coding
error, not a modifier error in the confusion matrix.
Editing a result
You cannot edit the content of the result. If you want to make any changes to the
result, export it to another program like Excel (see page 525) and then edit it in
that program.
Saving a result
To save a result, click the Archive Results button on the tool bar of the result
window, or from the Analyze menu, select Archive Analysis Results.
To re-open a saved result, saved result, from the Analyze menu, select Reliability
Analysis, then Open Archive. For more information on saving, opening and
exporting results, see page 524.
Closing a result
To close a result, simply open another window in The Observer. Please note that
the result is not saved automatically.
To return to your analysis, click the analysis in the Project Explorer.
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Printing a result
To print a result, click the button corresponding to the page you want to print and
from the File menu, select Print. We advise you to select the Landscape mode
prior to printing.
Note for users of previous Observer
versions
Comparison method
The Observer 5 offered four methods for comparing data files. In the current
Observer XT version, you can only use one, namely the Frequency/Sequence
method. This is the most accurate method.
Analyzing multiple observations
In The Observer 5 you could analyze multiple observations by creating groups of
observations in the data profile, each containing one item of the pairs to
compare. In The Observer XT, do not create observation groups. Instead, select
the multiple pairs (see page 461) and select the Include combined results option
(see page 464).
Differences in the analysis result
If you have imported your data from The Observer 5, the reliability analysis result
can differ from that obtained in that Observer version. The main differences are:
 <Unspecified behavior> – In The Observer 5, there are no 'gaps' between
state events as they are always mutually-exclusive groups. In The Observer XT,
there may be such 'gaps', for example when you score the stop of an event
with the Stop code. The non-occurrence of an event is also analyzed in the
form of <Unspecified behavior> (see page 473 and page 479). This result in
more rows and columns in the Confusion matrix, and more lines in the
Comparison List which result in different statistics. You cannot remove the
<Unspecified behavior> from your result.
 Multiple matches for an event – In The Observer 5, an event in Observation
1 could form a match with one or more events in Observation 2. In The
Observer XT, this has been changed. An event can be matched with at most
one event in the other observation. If two or more events in Observation 2
could potentially create matches with a single event in Observation 1, only
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one of them (usually the closest to the focal event) results in an agreement,
while the others are forced to disagreements.
 Numerical modifiers
– The results in The Observer XT can include
agreements based on margins, if your observations contain numerical
modifiers. For example, modifier 5 agrees with 6 if the margin was set to 1 or
greater. In The Observer 5, numbers are treated as categories, and result in
normal agreements/ disagreements.
 <No Record> in the Comparison List – In The Observer 5, events in one file
are paired with <No Record> if they cannot be paired with any event in the
other file. In The Observer XT, such events are paired either to <Nothing
scored in combination> or to <Outside observation> depending on where
they occur (see page 478). In the confusion matrix, <No Records> (see page
474) is the sum of the counts for the two types of mismatch.
11.4 Reliability statistics
Agreements
The number of times the two observations showed a match between events. It is
the sum of the values in the diagonal of the confusion matrix.
Disagreements
The number of times the two observations showed a disagreement between
events. It is the total of the values in the off-diagonal cells, including Window
Error, Modifier Error and No Records in the Confusion matrix (see page 472).
Proportion of agreements
The proportion of agreements between events, calculated as Agreements/
(Agreements+Disagreements). The values range between 0 (No agreements) and
1 (Full agreement).
Cohen's Kappa ()
An overall measure of agreement that is corrected for agreement by chance (from
Cohen J. (1960). A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educational and
Psychological Measurement 20:1, 37-46).
Formula:
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Where:
po is the observed proportion of agreements:
pc is the proportion of agreements expected by chance:
    ain   anj wij
i j
n
n
p c = 1 – ----------------------------------------------------------2


   a ij
i
j
aij is the value of the matrix cell at row I and column j.
ain and anj are the values of the cells of row i and column j (n ranges from 1 to the
last item of the row/column).
wij is the weight of the value at row i and column j. It has two possible values: 0
for agreements (in the diagonal and in the light blue cells, see page 475), and 1
for disagreements (the remaining cells).
When the events do not include numerical modifiers or the margin set for
comparison is zero, the proportion of expected agreement is equal to
The values of k range between -1 (non-random full disagreement) to +1 (nonrandom full agreement), but for practical purposes the range from 0 to 1.00 is of
interest. A  of zero means that there is no agreement beyond chance, and a  of
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1.00 means that there is perfect agreement. Interpretations of intermediate values
are subjective.
 Significance of Kappa – To test the significance of , a standard score z is
calculated:
A one-tailed test on this score is carried out, and the probability is shown next
to . A one-tailed test is considered appropriate when the null hypothesis
states a value of zero for kappa because a negative value of kappa does not
normally have a meaningful interpretation.
The common statement that kappa is a "chance-corrected measure of
agreement" may be misleading. As a test statistic, kappa can verify that
agreement exceeds chance levels. But as a measure of the level of
agreement, kappa is not "chance-corrected"; indeed, in the absence of
some explicit model of rater decision making, one cannot know whether
or not a specific agreement was achieved by chance. For more
information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohen's_kappa.
Pearson's Rho ()
A measure of the strength and direction of the linear relationship between the
row totals and the column totals in the confusion matrix. It can be interpreted this
way: If there are no disagreements in the confusion matrix, then the total for row
1 is equal to the total for column 1, the total for row 2 is equal to the total for
column 2, and so on. This means that there is perfect correlation between the two
observations.
Rho values range between -1.0 and +1.0, where -1.0 is the perfect negative
(inverse) correlation, 0.0 means no correlation at all and +1.0 is the perfect
positive correlation.
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Formula:
Where:
N = the total number of rows (or columns) in the matrix
When you use numerical modifiers and accept agreements by a margin, such
agreements are displayed within light blue cells (see page 475). These counts are
summed up with the diagonal cell on the same row of the matrix (here below,
left), so that the totals of the columns differ from those you see in the confusion
matrix (right). The formula of Rho is applied on this new matrix.
 The 'strength' of the correlation – The correlation coefficient  represents
the linear relationship between two variables. If  is squared, the resulting
value ² represents the proportion of common variation in the two variables,
that is, the ‘strength’ or ‘magnitude’ of the relationship. In order to evaluate
the correlation between variables, it is important to know this ‘magnitude’ as
well as the statistical significance of the correlation (see below).
 Significance of Rho – To test the significance of , a standard score t is
calculated:
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A one-tailed test is carried out, and the probability is shown next to .
The test of significance of  is based on the assumption that the
distribution of the residual values (that is, the deviations of the column
totals from the regression over the row totals) follows the normal
distribution, and that the variability of the residual values is the same for
all values of the independent variable. However, Monte Carlo simulations
suggest that meeting those assumptions closely is not absolutely crucial if
your sample size is not very small and when the departure from normality
is not very large. If the number or rows and columns of your confusion
matrix is 50 or more then serious biases are unlikely, and if it is over 100
then you should not be concerned with the normality assumptions.
Kappa and Rho do not measure the same thing!
A high Rho could result even when agreement measured by Kappa is low.
Example – Events are coded by means of predefined numerical modifiers
(10, 20, 30...). If one coder consistently codes 10 points higher than the
other coder, Rho is high, but agreement is low (Kappa will be negative!).
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File management
This chapter contains information about how to manage:
 Projects
See page 488
 Exporting observational data
See page 496
 Exporting external data
See page 502
 Importing observational data
See page 509
 uLog data files
See page 521
 Media files
See page 522
 Analysis Results
See page 524
 Episode Selections
See page 527
 Independent Variable List
See page 530
 File locations
See page 532
What is file management?
File management involves the handling of different type of files that you can
open, save, rename, import or export. File management also involves the settings
for file locations.
There is a difference between Import/Export and Open/Save. Open/Save
means that when you open a file of a certain type you continue to work
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with that specific type of file. Import/Export implies a conversion from a
certain format to another type of format.
You should carry out all your file management in The Observer Project
Explorer. If you delete, move or rename files using the Windows
Explorer, The Observer may not be able to find the files again
(because Observer files contain references to other files).
File types that can be managed in The Observer XT are:
 Project files (*.vop, or *.opp from previous Observer versions) – see below.
 Project backup files (*.vpb) – See page 492.
 Template projects (*.otx) – See page 491.
 Observational Data (*.odx from The Observer XT 8 or 9, *.odf from previous
versions, or other observational data in text format) – See page 496 and page
510.
 External data – See Chapter 6.
 uLog data – See page 521.
 Media files (*.avi, *.mpg, *.mpeg) – See page 522.
 Analysis Results including charts (*.arx, or *.arm from previous versions) –
See page 524.
 Episode Selections (*.esr) – See page 527.
 Independent Variables – See page 530.
12.1 Projects
A Project is based on your research question and contains different elements.
These elements (Setup, Observations, Data Profiles, Episode Selections,
Analysis) are visible in the Project Explorer.
The different elements (Setup, Observations, Data Profiles and Analysis) and
their items can be opened either from the menu or by clicking an element or item
in the Project Explorer.
You can also import a Project from The Observer 5.
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Creating a new Project
You can create two types of projects:
 A new blank project – This empty project contains no settings.
 A project from a template – This existing template project contains settings
that can be re-used in the new project.
Creating a new blank Project
1 To open a new project:
 In The Observer XT startup window, under Create a new project, click New
blank project.
 From the File menu, select New Project (or press Ctrl+N).
2 Type in a new Project file name and click OK.
The Project file is saved in a Project directory with the same name.
A Project file name cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : ; * ? " <
>|.
Creating a new Project from a template
1 To open a new project based on an existing template project:
 In The Observer XT startup window, under Create a new project, click New
project from template.
 From the File menu, select New Experiment From Template.
2 In the New Project From Template window, click the Select button to select a
template project (*.otx) from the Template folder (see “Saving a Project as a
Template” below).
You can still open a read-only project (*.vpx) from a previous version of The
Observer XT (XT 8/9/10.1) in this window; make sure you have copied the
vpx file to this Template folder or locate the vpx file.
3 Type in a new Project file name and click OK.
The Project file is saved in a Project directory with the same name.
A Project file name cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : ; * ? " <
>|.
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See also “Creating a multiple coding station configuration” on page 494.
Saving a Project
You have the following options to save a project in The Observer XT:
 You can save a project with all its settings and data (*.vop file) – See “Saving a
Project” below.
 You can save a project with all its settings and data under a different name
(*.vop file) – See “Renaming/Copying a Project” below.
 You can also save a project as a template (*.otx file) – A template project
contains project settings, coding scheme and independent variables but no
data. You can use a template project to exchange coding schemes or to re-use
devices in the project setup. See “Saving a Project as a template” below.
The templates (*.otx) replace the read-only projects (*.vpx) from previous
versions of The Observer XT.
Saving a Project
To save a project, select File and Save or press <Ctrl+S>.
You can use auto-save to temporarily save a Project:
1 From the File menu, select Preferences.
2 In the Files and Recovery tab, select Save auto recovery and set the interval.
Auto Recovery saves all data to a temporary file. Your data are only saved
in the Project file when you actually select Save Project from the File
menu.
Renaming/Copying a Project
You can rename or copy a project by saving it under a different name. From the
File menu, select Save Project As and type in the new name of the Project.
Make sure the new project name does not contain any of the following
characters: \ / : ; * ? " < > |.
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Saving a Project as a template
1 From the File menu, select Save Project as Template.
2 Type in the name of the template project or use the current name.
3 Click the Save options button to open the Save Template Options window:
 Include Independent Variables – When you select this option, the
Independent Variables are included in the template project.
 Include hardware and software devices – When you select this option,
the hardware and software in the Devices list are contained in the
template project. This is useful, for example, if you use The Observer XT in
a observation lab and want to create a new project but use the standard
hardware and software setup of your lab.
 Template information – Optionally, you can type in additional information
about the template project.
4 Click OK twice to save the template project.
See also “Creating a multiple coding station configuration” on page 494.
Opening a Project
1 Select File, Open Project or press <Ctrl+O>. In the Open project - Select file
window, browse to the folder where the project is stored. Open the folder
with the same name as the project.
2 Under Files of type, keep The Observer XT Project (*.vop) selected and
select the *.vop file. Next, click Open.
If you want to open a project from a backup file (*.vpb), see page 493 for more
information.
If you open a project created in The Observer XT 10.1, it is automatically
updated to an Observer 10.5 project. This then can no longer be read in The
Observer XT 10.1. The Observer XT 10 automatically creates a backup (*.vpb)
copy of the project in the Projects folder which can be opened in The
Observer XT 10.1.
If your project includes Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic language characters:
 You can view Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic characters on a computer with
an English language Windows system only when the correct Chinese,
Japanese, or Cyrillic language pack has been installed.
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 If the project was created on an English language Windows system
(with Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic language pack installed), you can
view it on a Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic language Windows computer.
 In all other cases the project opens but you cannot view the Chinese/
Japanese/Cyrillic characters.
Importing a Project from The Observer 4/5
To import a Project from The Observer 4/5:
1 From the File menu, select Open Project or press <Ctrl+O>.
2 In the Open window, from the Files of type list, select The Observer 4 or 5
Project (*.opp). Select the *.opp file you want to import and click Open.
3 Next, the Import Results window appears.
This window shows which elements of the Configuration are incompatible
with The Observer XT Coding Scheme. Click Close.
In The Observer XT 10 it is not possible to export a project to a previous
Observer version. However, you can use the ODX export to import
observations in The Observer XT 8/9.
Backing up a Project
Follow this procedure to create a copy of your project that can be stored as a
backup, sent to a colleague or to our Technical Support department in case of
problems.
1 Open the project and from the File menu, select Make Backup (or press
Ctrl+B).
2 Select the following (optional):
 External data (selected by default) – Keep this option selected if you want
to include the external (physiological) data files (*.pbi) in the backup file.
If you do not select this option, the backup still contains the name of the
files (*.pbi). You can copy those files to the project’s External folder if
necessary. If your project contains no physiological data, selecting/
deselecting this option has no effect.
 Import profiles – Select this option if you want to include the import
profiles used to import the physiological data (*.eip) in the backup file.
If necessary, change the file name and file location.
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3 Click Save. Close the Information Message window.
The backup file contains a zipped copy of the Project folder and all its content
(subfolders and files) and of the log file. References to media files and external
(physiological) data outside of the Project folder and Preferences are always
saved in the backup file.
To make you aware of the importance of creating backup files, a message
appears after you saved and closed your project ten times asking whether you
want to make a backup of the project. Click OK to make a backup or Cancel to
close the project.
The actual media files are not stored in the backup file. If you want to
save these too, you should copy them to the Project folder before
creating the backup file.
If you want to quickly copy observations, references to media files and
external data, export them as ODX (see page 496).
You should store the backup file on a secure medium (CD, DVD, external hard disk
or network drive), in a separate location.
Restoring a Project
Follow this procedure to open a project from a backup file:
1 From the File menu, select Restore Backup (or press Ctrl+R).
2 Locate and select the backup file (*.vpb) you want to restore and click Open.
The Project directory and all associated files in the project are now restored.
If you open a backup file created in The Observer 7 or 8, the coding scheme is
automatically adjusted to meet the requirements of The Observer XT 10.
If your backup file includes external data and import profiles (see the options on
the previous page), these are copied to the External project folder (page 532) and
the Profiles folder (page 534), respectively.
If you chose not to include the external data, you can still recover them. Open the
Independent Variables List and point the mouse to the cells in the External data
columns. A tooltip informs you about the name of the imported file (*.pbi). You
can copy this file to the External project folder (see page 532 for its location).
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Creating a multiple coding station
configuration
A multiple coding station configuration is a way to collect and manage data
from a number of coding stations that run the Coder license version of The
Observer XT. You define a project with a coding scheme on the main Observer XT
computer and save this as a template project. Each coding station receives a copy
of this template project, where you can score events but not change the coding
scheme (because of locked project settings). You can then import the
observations from the coding stations in The Observer XT on the main computer
(see Figure 12.1).
To create a main project and copy it to the coding stations, do the following:
1 On the main Observer XT computer, create a project (see page 489) and
define a coding scheme.
Figure 12.1 A multiple coding stations configuration.
2 From the File menu, select Save Project as Template. See “Saving a Project as
a template” on page 491 for details.
3 Copy the template project to each coding station (see Figure 12.1). If the
computers are on a network, you can do this with the Windows Explorer.
Otherwise, use, for example, a USB stick. Make sure that The Observer XT 10 is
installed on those PCs. If you copy the template project to the templates folder
of The Observer XT, the program automatically locates the template. By default
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the location of this folder is:
For Windows 7– C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus\The Observer
XT\Templates.
For Windows XP- C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\ (Shared)
Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT\Templates.
4 On a coding station, start The Observer XT and from the File menu, select
New Project From Template. If the project is stored in the templates folder,
the correct location is selected automatically. Otherwise browse to the correct
location. Click the Select button and open the template project (*.otx):
 If you open a template project in the Coder License version of The
Observer XT, the suggested name for the new project is ‘[name of
template project] - sub’.
 If you open the template project in a Full License version of The Observer
XT, you can type in a name for the new project.
5 Click OK. The new project opens. Repeat steps 4-5 for all coding stations.
The Project Setup, Coding Scheme and Independent Variables in the new
project are locked (indicated by a lock icon
in the Project Explorer). You
can only unlock the template project in a Full License version of The
Observer XT: from the Setup menu, select Unlock Configuration, or rightclick the Setup folder in the Project Explorer and select Unlock
Configuration. We recommend to both keep the main project and
template project locked, to make sure the settings stay the same!
To retrieve data (ODX files) from the coding stations, do the following:
1 On each coding station, export the observations as ODX files: From the File
menu, select Export, Observational Data. Choose the observations to export
(see below) and specify whether you want to export external data and media
files. Make sure that ODX files have unique names (for example: Coding
Station 1 File 0001.odx).
2 Copy the ODX file from each coding station to the main PC (see Figure 12.1).
3 Open the main project and from the File menu, select Import Observational
Data (more details on page 509).
The observations are imported in the main project, including the observational
data, the independent variable values and the coding scheme (see page 509 for
details).
If your coding scheme or data contain special characters like ü or ç, before
opening the *.vpx and *.odx files make sure that your Windows Regional
Options support those characters. From the Start menu, select Control
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Panel. For Windows XP select Regional and Language Options, click the
Advanced tab, and from the Language for non-Unicode programs list
choose your preferred language. For Windows 7 click Clock, Language
and Region and click Region and Language. In the Administrative tab
and click Change System Locale and choose your preferred language.
Next, close and restart The Observer.
See also an important note on time formats on page 511.
12.2 Exporting observational data
You can export logged events and related data by exporting observations. You can
export observational data to:
 The Observer XT – To transfer event data from one project to another with
The Observer XT data files (*.odx) (see below).
 Microsoft Excel – To export event data including external data to a Microsoft
Excel workbook (*.xlsx) for further analysis (see page 498).
 Other software – To export event data including external data to other
software for further analysis via text files (*.txt). Also use this option if you
want to export part of your event data selected in a data profile (see page
499).
Exporting data to Observer XT data files
(*.odx)
When you work with several researchers on the same project, you may need to
export your data and import them into The Observer on a different computer.
Follow this procedure to export observational data as ODX files (with extension
*.odx) that can be imported to a project (see page 509).
1 To export event data to Observer XT ODX files, you have the following options:
 To export multiple observations at once, from the File menu, select Export
and Observational Data. In the Export Observational Data window,
select The Observer XT. In the Export Observational Data window, select
the observations you want to export.
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 To export a specific observation, right-click that observation in the Project
Explorer and select Export Observational Data and next The Observer XT.
2 Under Export options, choose the following (optional):
 Include media files – To include a copy of each media file associated with
the observations in the same folder as the ODX file.
 Include external data – To include a copy of the external data files (*.pbi)
associated with the observations.
 Create separate file per observation – If you have multiple observations
and you select this option, each observation is exported to a separate ODX
file. Otherwise, all observations are exported to a single ODX file.
3 Click OK.
4 In the Save As window, if necessary, change the file name and file location
and click Save.
Notes on ODX export
 What an ODX file contains – All selected observations are included in one
ODX file. If an observation contains multiple event logs, these are all included
in the ODX file. You cannot choose to export some of the event logs from an
observation.
ODX files also contain the coding scheme, the coding scheme settings, the
values of independent variables for the exported observations, event logs
and subjects, and the current Project Settings for those observations.
 Default names – If you export one observation, the suggested name is the
name of the observation. If you export two or more observations, the name is
formed by the first and the last observations you have selected in step 1.
 Media files – The ODX file contains the path to the media files associated
with the observations. Even if you choose not to include those media files in
the ODX file, when you import the observations to another project, the
program can find your media files and re-link them to the observations
provided that the media files are on the same computer or a network server.
For more information, see page 509.
 External data – The ODX file contains a link to the location the external data
files associated with the observations, not the external data itself. When you
next import the observations into another project, make sure that the external
data folder contains those files otherwise the program cannot open them.
 If The Observer cannot find a media file or external data file in the project, a
message is shown on opening of the observation linked to them. For media
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files, browse to the location on your PC where the file is stored. For external
data, copy the data file (with extension *.pbi) to the folder which should
contain the external data (see page 533).
 You can import an Observer XT 10 ODX file into The Observer XT 9.0, not in
versions before The Observer XT 9.0.
Exporting data to Excel files (*.xlsx)
1 To export event data to an Excel file, you have the following options:
 To export multiple observations at once, from the File menu, select Export
and Observational Data. In the Export Observational Data window, click
Microsoft Excel.
 To export a specific observation, right-click that observation in the Project
Explorer, and select Export Observational Data and Microsoft Excel.
 To export event data selected in the currently active Data Profile (indicated
in blue and bold in the Experiment Explorer), from the Analyze menu,
select Select Data, Export Selected Data and then Microsoft Excel.
 To export event data selected in a specific Data profile, in the Project
Explorer, right-click the Data Profile, select Export Data Profile and
Microsoft Excel.
2 In the Export Observational Data window, in the Observations tab, select
the observations you want to export.
If your project contains external data, the Export Observational Data
window also contains an External Data tab. See page 502 for instructions
how to export external data.
3 Under Export options, select the following:
 Create a single sheet with all observations – If you have multiple
observations, with this option all observations are exported to a single
Excel sheet.
 Create separate sheets per observation – If you have multiple
observations, with this option each observation is exported to a separate
Excel sheet.
 Create
separate files per observation – If you have multiple
observations, with this option each observation is exported to a separate
Excel file.
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 Include user-defined Independent Variables – If you select this option,
one or more columns with user-defined Independent Variables are added
to the export file.
When you click the Reset to Default button, the Export option Create a
single sheet with all observations is selected and the option Include
user-defined Independent Variables is de-selected.
You get a message when the maximum number of rows/columns of the
Excel version installed is exceeded (Excel 2007/2010: maximum number of
rows = 1.048.876, maximum number of columns = 16384, Excel 2003 and
earlier: maximum number of rows = 65.536, maximum number of columns
= 256.
Exporting data to Text files (*.txt)
Event data are always exported to a single text (*.txt) file. For more
information on how event data are exported, see page 500.
1 To export event data to a text file, you have the following options:
 To export multiple observations at once, from the File menu, select Export
and Observational Data. In the Export Observational data window,
select Other software and click OK.
 To export a specific observation, right-click that observation in the Project
Explorer and select Export Observational Data and Other software.
 To export event data selected in the currently active Data Profile (indicated
in blue and bold in the Experiment Explorer), from the Analyze menu,
select Select Data and Export Selected Data.
 To export event data selected in a specific Data profile, in the Project
Explorer, right-click the Data Profile and select Export Data Profile.
2 In the Export Observational Data window, in the Observations tab, select
the observations you want to export.
If your project contains external data, the Export Observational Data
window also contains an External Data tab. See page 502 for instructions
how to export external data.
3 Under Export options, select the following:
 Column delimiter – The selected column delimiter (comma, semi-colon,
colon, tab or space) is used in the text file to separate columns.
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 Include user-defined Independent Variables – If you select this option,
one or more columns with user-defined Independent Variables are added
to the export file.
 Create separate file per observation – If you have multiple observations
and you select this option, each observation is exported to a separate text
file. Otherwise, all observations are exported to a single text file.
4 Click OK. In the Save As window, if necessary, change the file name and the
file location.
5 From the Save as type list, select Unicode Text (in case your data file contains
Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic characters, or characters like "ä", "õ" etc.,) or ANSI
Text (in all other cases).
6 Click Save.
When you click the Reset to Default button, the Column delimiter is reset
to ‘semicolon’ and both Export options Include user-defined
Independent Variables and Create separate file per observation are deselected.
How event data are exported
 All event data are exported to one text file. However, you can export
observations to separate text files.
 Each event is exported with its original time stamp. All start and stops are
exported, also for mutually exclusive behavior groups. For each behavior, the
event type is indicated in a separate column.
 Coding scheme elements (Subject, Behavior, Modifier) that were not scored
for any of the exported observations are not included in the text file.
 Modifiers of the same group are put in the same column. All observations
contain the same number of modifier columns.
 Event logs of the same observation are merged.
Merging of event logs assumes that a specific subject-behavior
combination does not occur at the same time in two separate event
logs within the same observation.
 Observations are written as contiguous block above each other without empty
rows in between.
 The following columns are exported to both the Excel and text file (see Figure
12.2):
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 Date/time columns – Absolute date/time (dd-mm-yyyy hh:mm:ss.fff),
Date (dd-mm-yyyy), Absolute time (hh:mm:ss), Absolute time (ms),
Relative time (hh:mm:ss), Relative time (ms), Relative time (s) and
Durations (s).
 Result Container – Only for Data Profile export.
 Observation.
 Event Log.
 Coding scheme element columns (if scored) – Behavior, Subject or
Modifier.
 Event type column – State start, State stop, Point, Sample, Suspend,
Resume.
 Comment.
 Independent Variable.
A
B
Figure 12.2 Example of the columns of an text export file which was imported into Excel. A – Date/time
columns, B – Event data and independent variable columns.
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Notes on export of event data
 To export media files and external data together with observational data,
choose ODX as export format (see page 496).
 Default names – The suggested name of an exported text file with multiple
observations consists of the [Project name] - [first selected observation
name]-[last selected observation name] - “Event Logs”. You can preview
this name in the File name box.
 Exporting Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters – If your export file
contains Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters, or characters like "ä", "õ"
etc., under Save as type select Unicode Text. If you choose ANSI Text, a
warning message informs you that all the characters that are not encoded as
ANSI are exported as "?".
Exporting external data
You can export external data to an Excel file (*.xlsx) or an text file (*.txt). Export of
external data can be done either with or without the associated event data.
If you export external data and event data combined, the time basis (that
is, time-stamps at regular intervals) of the external data is used in the
export file. For more information on how combined event data and
external data are exported, see “How combined external data + event data
are exported” on page 503.
1 From the File menu, select Export and Observational Data. In the Export
Observational data window, select Excel or Other software and click OK.
To export a external data from a specific observation, right-click that
observation in the Project Explorer, select Export and Excel or Other
software.
To export external data selected in a Data Profile, in the Project Explorer,
right-click that Data Profile and select Export Data Profile.
2 If you also want to export event data, select your observations in the
Observations tab.
If you want to exclude event data from the export, make sure you select
the option Export external data only and exclude event data described
in step 4 below.
3 In the External Data tab, select the External data signals you want to export.
4 Under Export options, you can select the following:
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 Export external data only and exclude event data – If you select this
option, no event data are exported.
 Point events with the same time-stamp are exported in:
 One
column – If you select this option, point events and
instantaneous samples, that have the same time-stamp after
resampling, are exported to one column and separated by comma’s.
Select this option if you have used Point events as markers.
Columns are separated by the Column delimiter that you can select
under Export options in the Observation tab (see page 499).
For details about the result of selecting this option see “How event
data and external data are resampled” on page 504.
 Separate columns – If you select this option, point events and
instantaneous samples, that overlap in time after resampling, are
exported each to a separate column. Select this option if you have
used Point events to score behaviors and want to analyze Point events.
This option is not available, if you have selected the option Export
external data only and exclude event data.
 Missing value symbol – If the external data file contains missing values,
you can select here “Blank”, “NaN”, “–” or “.” to replace the missing
values.
External data statistics assume that there are no missing values in the
external data.
5 Under Resample options, you can select the following:
 External data sample rate – Here you can select one of the available
sample rates (Hz) based on the selected external data signals.
By default, the lowest available sample rate is selected.
 User defined sample rate – Here you can enter a user-defined sample
rate (possible range between 0.001 and 2000 Hz).
See also “How external data are resampled” on page 507.
How combined external data + event data are exported
 Event data and external data are resampled, based on the sample rate you
selected. Therefore, time stamps are equidistant for both external and event
data.
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See “How event data and external data are resampled” on page 504 and
“How external data are resampled” on page 507 for more information on
resampling.
 For a state event, the value at a sample is exported.
 For a point event and an instantaneous sample, the value at the next sample
after the event time of the point event/instantaneous sample is exported. If a
point event was scored more than once in between two samples, only the last
value is exported at the next sample.
 Each Subject - mutually-exclusive Behavior group combination is exported to a
separate column, including modifiers. Each Subject - start-stop Behavior group
combination is exported to a separate column.
 Observations are written as contiguous block above each other without empty
rows in between.
 Each independent variable is exported to a separate column. Independent
variables with event log or subject scope are exported to separate columns.
For example, when you have an observation with two event logs and an
independent variable ‘Task’, this results in two separate independent variable
columns with headings ‘Task/Event Log 1’ and ‘Task/Event Log 2’.
 The same columns are exported as when you export event data (see page
500) except for the columns Durations (s), Event Log, Event type, and
Comments.
How event data and external data are resampled
Example – You study the response of a child to playing an online game. In the
observation, two video files are recorded, one of the child’s face, one with the
screen capture of the monitor. Simultaneously, the child’s heart rate is monitored.
FaceReader is used to analyze the video recording of the child’s face. Both the
FaceReader log files with the states as observational and external data (sample
rate: 29.981 Hz) are imported into The Observer. The heart rate data are imported
as external data (sample rate: 0.5 Hz) into the observation. After import of the
FaceReader and heart rate data, you score the vocal behavior of the child
manually, as point events.
You make a Data Profile in which only the first minute of the observation is
selected, because you initially want to study the response of the child in the first
minute of the test.
In the export, besides the events in the observations, you include the external
heart rate data and FaceReader’s external data signal ‘Happy’. Under Export
options, you select ‘One column’ from the Point events with the same time-
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stamp are exported in list. Under Resample options, you select External data
sample rate with the value of external data ‘Heart rate’, which is ‘0.5’.
As a result, the event data and the heart rate data are resampled before they are
exported.
In the export file (text or Excel) with event data and external data combined (see
Figure 12.3 for an example), the column with relative time contains the time
stamps based on the chosen Sample rate (0.5 Hz in this case). Because ‘One
column’ was selected (see page 504), the State event Unknown and Point event
Vocalization that occur at the same time are exported to the same column,
separated by a comma. The Point event Vocalization is resampled at the first
sample (8.0 s) following the original time the event occurred (7.07 s).
See “How Point events are resampled” on page 506 for more information.
Figure 12.3 Example of part of an export Excel file with event data and heart rate data. In
this example, the event data have been resampled to the sample rate (0.5 Hz) of
the heart rate data. This Excel sheet shows the relative time, the observation name,
the event log name, the behavior name of the two behavior groups and event type
for each sample. For details, see the text above.
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How Point events are resampled
If you have mainly defined Point events in your coding scheme to score and
analyze your data, you should export Point events to Separate columns (see
page 502). As a result, Point events that have the same time-stamp after
resampling are written to separate columns.
Different Subject - Behavior group combinations are always exported
to separate columns.
Example – You have a Coding scheme with two Subjects and two Behavior groups
with only Point events (see figure below).
Part of the observation is shown in Figure 12.4 below.
Figure 12.4 Example of an observation with only Point events.
Simultaneously, external data is acquired with a sample rate of 1 Hz.
Next, you export the event data and external data. You export the Point events to
Separate columns and choose a sample rate of 1 Hz. Figure 12.5 shows what the
export file looks like.
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Figure 12.5 Example of an export file, in which Point events (as scored as shown in Figure 12.4) are
exported to Separate columns with a sample rate of 1 Hz (compare this with Figure 12.6 in
which Point events are exported to One column.
When you export the same event data + external data to One column, the same
Subject - Behavior group combinations that have the same time-stamp after
resampling are exported to the same column (see Figure 12.6 below and compare
with Figure 12.5).
Figure 12.6 Example of an export file, in which Point events are exported to One column
(compare with Figure 12.5 in which Point events are exported to Separate columns).
As a result, Point events from the same Behavior group with the same time-stamp
after resampling are exported to the same column.
How external data are resampled
For resampling external data, it is assumed that external data is continuous
and therefore can be described by a continuous function.
Example – You study the response of a child to playing an online game. You have
imported heart rate data (sampled with 2 Hz) and FaceReader data (sampled with
29.981 Hz). You want to export event data + external data with a sample rate of
29.981 Hz. In this case, the heart rate data needs to be resampled. This is done by
linearly interpolating the heart rate data at the sample time points for which heart
rate data is missing.
In Figure 12.7 below, picture A shows the original heart rate values (sample rate: 2
Hz) for the first 10 seconds of the observation. The picture B shows the resampled
heart rate data (with sample rate: 29.981 Hz).
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Figure 12.7 Example of resampling external data. A - Original heart rate data (sample rate:
2 Hz), B - The same heart rate data resampled with a sample rate of 29.981 Hz.
Exporting data to text files with the Find
function
With the Find function you can quickly export your data by copying them and
pasting them into another program. You can also copy a specific selection of your
events. You can use this method for a quick view of your events or a selection of
events.
To copy events into another program:
1 Open an observation.
2 From the Edit menu, select Find, or press Ctrl+F. The Find window appears.
3 Click one of the events in the list, and press Ctrl+A or right-click and select
Select All. If you want to select part of the data, specify the selection in the
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upper part of the screen.
4 Click Find.
5 You can hide columns that are not of interest. To select which columns to
show or hide, right-click a header.
6 Press Ctrl+C, or right-click and select Copy.
7 Paste the selection into the other program.
Figure 12.8 Copying a selection of events.
The Find function does not create a subset of data ready to be analyzed
(for example, to calculate statistics). For this purpose, select data in the
data profile (see Chapter 7).
12.3 Importing observational data
You can import observational data into an existing Project (see also the previous
page for importing data from multiple projects). Observational data can be:
 Exported Observer XT (*.odx) data files and Observer log files (*.odx) from
FaceReader – See below.
Please note that The Observer 10 is compatible with odx output from
FaceReader 3, not FaceReader 2.
 Observer 4 or 5 (*.odf) files – See page 513.
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 Other external data in text format containing a header, a column with time
stamps and one or more columns with codes – See page 514.
Importing Observer XT data files
When you work with several researchers on the same project, you may need to
export your data and import them into The Observer on a different computer.
Follow this procedure if you have exported observational data as ODX files (with
extension *.odx; see page 496) and you want to import them to a project.
An ODX file may contain two or more observations and event logs,
depending on how many observations you have selected for export (see
page 496).
If your coding scheme or data contain special characters like ü or ç or
Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic language characters, before importing *.odx
files make sure that your Windows Regional Options support those
characters. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. For Windows XP
select Regional and Language Options, click the Advanced tab, and from
the Language for non-Unicode programs list choose your preferred
language. For Windows 7 click Clock, Language and Region and click
Region and Language. In the Administrative tab and click Change
System Locale and choose your preferred language. Next, close and
restart The Observer.
Importing ODX files as separate observations
1 From the File menu, select Import, then Observational Data.
Alternatively, in the Project Explorer, click the Observations item, then in the
overview window, click Import observations.
2 In the Import Observational Data window, make sure that The Observer XT
(*.odx) is selected in the Files of type list.
3 Locate the folder where the exported ODX files are stored and click the one
you want to import. Next, click Open.
Result – The observations contained in the ODX file are imported and shown
in the Project Explorer. Each observation can contain more than one event log,
depending on how many event logs the exported observations contained. The
first observation of this group is opened on your screen. Repeat the procedure
to import more ODX files.
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Importing ODX files to an existing observation
1 Open the observation you want the data to be imported to.
2 Do one of the following:
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the observation name and select Import
Observational Data.
 Click the Import Data button
in the Component tool bar, then choose
Import observational data.
3 In the Import Observational Data window, make sure that The Observer XT
(*.odx) is selected under Files of type.
4 Locate the folder where the exported ODX files are stored and click the one
you want to import. Next, click Open.
Result – A message informs you that event logs from the first observation in
the ODX file have been added to the current observation.
The imported event logs retain their original names. If the observation
already contains event logs with that name, a suffix _imported [#] is
added to the imported file names.
If the ODX file contains multiple observations, data are imported only for
the first observation.
When you import *.odx files from a coding station, the start time of
the event logs will depend on the setup of your main project:
 If the Observation source in the main project is set to Offline, all event
logs that you import into one observation are set to the same start
time, in order for all observations to match the video file. This
overwrites the original start time of the coding station. If you have
specified an offset, this relative offset stays the same.
 If the Observation source in the main project is set to Live, then the
start times of each imported event log are not changed. In this case it
is important that the clocks of all the coding stations are synchronized,
so that relative differences in start time does not change after
importing it into the main project.
What happens to the coding scheme?
Elements are imported to the coding scheme – An ODX file contains
information on the coding scheme of the project it was exported from. All
elements of the coding scheme are imported, no matter whether they were
scored in those observations. When you import an observation to a project, The
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Observer checks that the elements in that observation have exactly the same
characteristics as the elements in the coding scheme of the destination project.
For example, that a behavior has the same name, properties (State vs. Point event,
mutually-exclusive or not, etc.) and modifiers.
 If the element is exactly the same, the existing element is used. Note: any
difference in Description, Sound file, Plot color and 'Always add comment'
option is ignored.
 If there is any difference in the properties, the new element is incorporated in
the coding scheme.
Possible conflicts between imported data and existing data – If your imported
data contain restrictions between subject and behavior, or connections between
a subject/behavior and a modifier that are not specified in your coding scheme,
the data already present in your project may be invalidated.
Example 1 – You import an observation where the behavior Play can be
scored for subject Child, not the subject Parent. If the project contains data
like 'Parent Play', these are marked as errors.
Example 2 – You import an observation where the behavior Play is attached to
the required group of modifiers Play type. If the project contains events like
'Play' without modifiers, these are marked as errors.
Event logs with errors cannot be analyzed or visualized. Open those
observations and edit the data to correct those errors. You can also export event
logs with errors to edit them externally and then import them again after you have
fixed them. To do this: from the File menu, select Export, Observational Data,
No, OK, No, OK and then Other software (see page 499 for further instructions).
What happens to the independent variables?
An ODX file contains the independent variables and their values assigned in the
original project. If a variable is already present in the Independent Variable List of
the destination project, it is updated with the values from the imported
observations. If it is a new variable, it is added to the Independent Variable List.
Importing media files and physiological data
If you have chosen to include Media files or external data files in the exported
observations (see page 496), the programs looks for those files in the folder
where the ODX file was stored. If the files are found, they are added to the Media
and External folders, respectively (page 532).
 Media files – The original path to the file that was written in the ODX file is
stored in the Independent Variables List under Video if the media file was not
found in the folder where the ODX is stored. When opening the observation,
the program asks you to locate that media file.
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 External data – The name of the external data file is stored in the
Independent Variables List under External Data. If the external data file (*.pbi)
is not found, a message is shown 'Physiological data file not found'. To restore
the link between an observation and a external data file, copy the PBI file to
the project's External folder.
Importing Observer 4/5 odf files
For Observer 3 data files several limitations apply. You can only import files
that are not compressed (that is, in which events are written with element
names, not codes), and with time stamps of a format that can be read by
The Observer XT.
1 From the File menu, select Import, then Observational Data.
Alternatively, in the Project Explorer, click the Observations item. In the
overview window, click Import observations.
2 In the Import Observational Data window, select The Observer 4 or 5, Pocket
Observer 2 (*.odf) under Files of type.
You can find odf files in the Data Files folder of the Observer 4/5 Project.
3 Next, select:
 Whether you want to import all behaviors in the odf file as Point events or
State events. State events will be placed in one mutually exclusive group if
this is not already in the project.
 Whether you have Multiple Subjects or a Single Subject in the odf file.
4 Click Open to finish the import of the odf file. An Information Message
window appears if the import was successful.
If necessary, you can now adjust the grouping of the imported Subjects,
Behaviors and Modifiers in your Coding Scheme (see page 118).
You can re-group elements in you coding scheme, but this could invalidate
your imported observations. If this happens, delete the imported observations
(right-click them in the Explorer and select Delete) and re-import them.
5 Click the name of the file you want to import.
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Importing other observational data
Follow this procedure if you want to import event data stored in a format different
from Observer data.
To import data with Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters or characters
like “ü” or “ç”, make sure that the import file is Unicode UTF-16 encoded.
To import data recorded with Instantaneous sampling, see page 510.
1 From the File menu, select Import, then Observational Data.
Alternatively, in the Project Explorer, click the Observations item. In the
overview window, click Import observations.
2 If you already have an Import Profile for the observational data file, select the
name of this profile from the under Files of type.
In the Files of type list, select All Files (*.*) if you want to see all files in
the folder.
3 If the data file does not have a column that specifies whether events are state
or point events, choose how to import the behaviors by selecting Point
events or State events (mutually exclusive) in the Treat new Behaviors as
group.
You cannot specify the type of modifier which is imported. If you import
multiple modifiers of different types, all modifiers are imported as
Numerical ‘range’ Modifiers.
4 Select the external data file and click Open.
Creating a Custom Import Profile
1 In the Import Observational Data window, click Custom Import Profiles.
2 In the Import Profiles window, click Create New.
3 In the Import Profile Definition window (Figure 12.9), click Browse and select
a representative file for defining your import profile. Next, click Open.
The Observer XT automatically detects header and data information in the
observational data file. If automatic header detection does not work and
you get an import error, you should use manual header detection. See
“Header detection” on page 520 for more information.
Next, you can manually assign the file content from the File content section
to the Data definition part of the Profile definition section. You do this by
dragging-and-dropping the content from the File content to the Profile
definition (see point 5, below).
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Figure 12.9 Part of the Import Profile Definition window. The window consists of two
parts: the File content section and the Profile definition section. The File content
section contains two groups: A - Header with header information from the
imported observational data file, B - Data sets with the data information from the
imported data file.
4 Select a delimiter or a combination of delimiters for both the file context in the
Header and Data Sets. Double-click <user-defined> if you want to use a
delimiter that is not in the list of delimiters. If the data file contains text
between quotes, and you do not want to have that text split according to the
data delimiters, select the quote from the Text qualifier list.
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5 If the data is correctly separated into different cells, you can drag-and-drop
content from the File content section to the corresponding cells in the Profile
definition section.
Figure 12.10 The original location of date and time information in the Header section and
the new location in the Profile definition section you can drag-and-drop them to.
If the Header contains date and time information, drag-and-drop this to the
Start date box and the Start time box in the Profile definition section (Figure
12.10).
 Specifying the date format
 When you drop the date in the Start Date box, the Select Date Format
window opens. If the date matches one of the predefined formats, The
Observer automatically selects one. Converted Date shows the
converted date and Conversion is OK. Click OK.
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 You can also define your own format by typing a 'd' for each number
representing 'day', an 'M' for 'month' and a 'y' for each number
representing 'year'. If Conversion is OK, then click OK.
 Specifying the time format
 When you drop the time in the Start Time box, the Select Time
Format window opens. If the time matches one of the predefined
formats, The Observer automatically selects one. Converted time
shows the converted time and Conversion is OK. Click OK.
 You can also define your own format by typing an 'H' for each number
representing 'hour', an 'm' for 'minute', an 's' for second and a 'D' for
each number representing millisecond (see the next picture). If
Conversion is OK, then click OK.
6 Next, you can assign Data Set information to the corresponding columns in
the Data definition part.
 Missing samples – If your data set contains missing samples indicated by
non-numeric symbols, you need to specify this symbol first. If you do not
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do this, The Observer will interpret the symbols as indicating that all the
file up to that point is the header.
 Select the Treat as number checkbox.
 Type in the non-numeric symbol in the Treat as number field or
click the button next to it to select one or more predefined
symbols.
 To select a specific text, click <User Defined>, click OK and enter
this text after a comma (,).
 If text is identified by a character, select this from the Text qualifier
list.
 Time – Drag-and-drop one of the cells containing time stamps to the Time
column (see Figure 12.11). The Select Time Format window opens. Under
Select Format in the Select Time Format window you can select a
Numeric Value or a Date/time format. Click OK if the Converted time
shows the right format and Conversion is OK.
 Subject, Behavior, Behavior Modifier, Comment
Drag-and-drop one of the cells containing information on Subject,
Behavior, Behavior Modifier and Comment from the Data Sets sheet to
the corresponding column in the Data definition sheet.
To import multiple modifiers, select multiple modifier columns in the
Data Sets group and drag them to the Behavior Modifier column in the
Data definition group.
Effects of import of modifiers on the coding scheme – The modifiers
placed in different columns in the import file will be automatically
organized in separate groups in the coding scheme.
 Event Type – If the import file contains a column that specify whether the
event line is a start/stop of a state event or a point event, drag this column
to the Event Type column in the Data definition group. In the Define
Event Keywords window that appears, under Keyword enter the text that
identifies the start of a state event, the stop of a state event and the point
event in the import file, respectively. Click OK to confirm.
After dragging the Event Type column, the Treat new behaviors as option
(page 514) is disabled because the program recognizes events
automatically.
7 Click OK. Type in the profile name. You can also add a Description. Next, click
OK. Note: If you want to save the profile with a new name, click Save As
instead of OK in the Import Profile Definition window.
8 Close the Profile Definition window.
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9 Select the newly created import profile and click Close.
10 Select the observational data file and click Open to finish the import of the
observational data file.
Figure 12.11 The original location timestamps (column C) and the new location (Time
column) in the Profile definition section. After drag-and-drop, data are grayed in
the original location.
If the import file contains data collected with Instantaneous Sampling, the
Define Event Keywords window does not recognize the samples. We
advise you to import sample data via the ODX files (page 510).
Editing an existing Import Profile
If you want to import an observational data file that is very similar to another data
file for which you already have an Import Profile, then you can edit the existing
Import Profile.
1 In the Import Observational Data window, click Custom Import Profiles.
2 Select the Import Profile from the list in the Import Profiles window and click
Edit.
In the Select Sample File group, you see the original sample file behind
Profile based on.
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3 Click Browse to select the new observational data file and click Open.
4 Follow the instructions 4-6 under Creating a new Import Profile above.
5 Click Save Profile As when you are finished filling in the Data definition
sheet.
6 Type in the name for the Import Profile.
7 Click OK.
8 Close the Profile Definition window.
9 Close the Import Profiles window. Make sure you select the right import
profile.
10 Select the observational data file and click Open to finish import.
Header detection
When you create a Custom Import Profile when you want to import an
observational data file, The Observer XT usually automatically detects header and
data information in the file. In some cases, however, the format of the file
prevents The Observer from automatically detecting header and data. For these
cases, new Header detection methods have been added to the Import Profile
Definition window.
The methods for Header detection are:
 Automatic - This method (which was already available in previous Observer XT
versions) is selected by default and works most of the time.
 Specify tag - If automatic detection does not work, you can specify the line
(with either nominal or numerical information) that indicates the end of the
header part of the file. If necessary, you can also specify the number of rows
between this ‘header end line’ and the data.
 Specify row number - If automatic detection does not work but the data file
always has the same number of rows in the header, you can specify the
number of rows in the Import Profile.
Specify tag
Select this method if the external data file has a variable number of header lines
rows and header and observational data are always separated by the same
‘header end line’.
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Example - The header always ends with a line containing the following text:
“[ObsData]”. After this header end line there are always two empty lines before
the data starts. So, in the End tag box you enter: “[ObsData]” and in the Extra
rows box you enter a value of ‘2’.
Specify row number
Select this method if the header contains less than 10 lines. In the Fixed rows
box, enter the appropriate number of rows.
12.4 uLog data files
Data files created by the uLog software have extension *.nxl. When imported in
The Observer XT, they are stored as event files in the Event Data folder of your
project. The original *.nxl files are not removed from your PC.
Importing uLog data files
You can import one or more uLog data files to an existing observation or to a new
observation.
1 Do one of the following:
 From the File menu, select uLog, then Open uLog Data.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the observation name and select Import
uLog Data.
 Click the Import Data button
in the Component tool bar and select
Import uLog data.
2 Select the data files to be imported and specify whether you want to import
the data to an existing observation or to a new observation.
For more information, see page 221.
Exporting uLog data files
You can export uLog data files as event logs. First, make sure that the uLog data
files have been imported in The Observer (see above), then export them as ODX
or text files (see page 496).
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12.5 Media files
The Observer supports playback of the following digital media formats:
 MPEG-1.
 MPEG-2 (including VOB files, but not commercial DVDs).
 MPEG-4 (including DivX and Xvid).
 Uncompressed AVI.
 DV-AVI.
In general, if a movie plays in the Windows media player, then it is likely it can
also be played in The Observer. See the Media Recorder Reference Manual for a
detailed description of the digital media formats.
The Observer only supports playback of standard-definition videos. If
you have AVCHD videos, you can obtain the H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10)
decoder from us to play them back. Please contact Noldus Technical
Support.
You can also play audio files using an appropriate plug-in. For more
information, see page 244.
Why add media files?
If you have not added a media file to a new Observation, you can afterwards add
one or more media files to an existing Observation. This is useful if you want to
log events from different scenes or from two cameras recording the same scene
from different angles.
You can add two media files to an existing observation in the standard version of
The Observer. With the Multiple Video add-on module you can add a total of four
media files to an observation.
Adding a media file
To add a media file in an existing observation, open the observation, then do one
of the following:
 In the Project Explorer, under the name of that observation right-click Media
Files and select Open Media File. Select a media file in the Video selection
window and click OK.
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 Click the Import Data button
in the Component tool bar, then select
Import Video. Select a media file in the Video selection window and click
OK.
The media file is always added with the Observation as the Scope. The
Scope determines at what level you can score using this media file.
Adding two or more media files
Depending on your license, you can add multiple media files to the same
observation. See the procedures on page 239.
Replacing a media file
1 Open the Independent Variable List window by doing one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, select Independent Variables.
 Click the Independent Variables button on the tool bar.
 In the Project Explorer, click Independent Variables.
2 Click on the name of a media file you want to replace and click the ellipsis
button
Open.
. In the window that opens, select another media file and click
Removing a media file from an observation
To remove a single media file from an observation, click the corresponding cell in
the Video column and press Delete.
The video file is only removed from your project, not deleted from disk.
Removing a media file variable
The instructions below remove a Video column in your Independent Variable List.
This means that all the links between the video files in that column and the
observations are removed. To remove a specific video file from your project, see
above.
1 Open the Independent Variable List window by doing one of the following:
 From the Setup menu, select Independent Variables.
 Click the Independent Variables button on the tool bar.
 In the Project Explorer, click Independent Variables.
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2 Right-click in a Video column and select Delete independent variable, and
click OK.
12.6 Analysis results
Analysis results are created when you run behavioral analysis, numerical analysis,
reliability analysis or lag sequential analysis. However, they are not saved
automatically.
Saved (archived) Analysis Results can contain one or more Charts.
Saving Analysis Results and associated charts
1 Make sure that the analysis result is open on the screen. In the Component
tool bar, click the Archive button
.
2 Change the result file name or accept the suggested name, then click Save.
3 The Analysis Result now appears in the Project Explorer in the appropriate
folder under Analysis.
 The destination folder is named as the type of analysis you have run, and
is located under Analysis Results in the current Project folder. You cannot
save your analysis results outside that folder.
 The default name for the Analysis Results file is: <prefix><number>.arx.
The prefix varies according to the type of result (Behavior Analysis,
Reliability Analysis etc.). The number is augmented by 1 every time you
save the result with the default name.
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Opening analysis results
You can open one or more analysis results for re-inspection or export. You can
only open analysis results from the current project.
1 From the Analyze menu, select the analysis type and then Open Archive.
2 Select the result file you want to open and click Open.
The result window opens. You cannot re-run calculations in a saved and reopened analysis result.
To open an analysis result you can also:
 Click the Analysis result in the Project Explorer.
 Right-click the Analysis result in the Project Explorer and select Open
Analysis Result.
 If an analysis result of the same type is open, click the Open Archive
button
on the Component tool bar.
To open an analysis result that was created in a previous version of The
Observer XT, select The Observer XT 6.x Analysis Result Files (*.arm)
from the Files of type list.
Exporting analysis results
You can export analysis results to Excel or ASCII (text). Either format can be
imported into Excel or a statistical program for further analysis.
You can only export the current analysis result or those saved
previously. If you plan to export many results, first save each of them,
or export each of them before creating the next one.
1 Make sure that the analysis result you want to export is open on the screen
(see the previous page). From the Analyze menu, select Export Analysis
Results, or click the Export button
on the Component tool bar.
2 In the Export Analysis Results window, browse to the folder where you want
to store the exported file. By default, this is the Export folder within your
project folder.
3 From the Save as type list, select the format you require:
 Excel Workbook (*.xlsx).
 Text File (*.txt).
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If you choose Text Files, next to Encoding, select whether you want to
export as Unicode (UTF-16) (choose this if your export file contains
Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters, or characters like "ä", "õ" etc.) or
ANSI. Furthermore, select the column separator from the List separator
list.
 Additionally, you can select the option Merge header rows.
4 In the File name field, type in a name or accept the suggested name and click
Export.
Notes
 Exporting to Text files – If the results are in separate sheets in the Analysis
Results window, then these sheets are exported to separate text files. The
name of such a file is: [File name]_[name of sheet].txt.
 Exporting to Excel –
 You get a message when the maximum number of rows/columns is
exceeded (Excel 2007/2010: maximum number of rows = 1.048.876,
maximum number of columns = 16384, Excel 2003 and earlier: maximum
number of rows = 65.536, maximum number of columns = 256.
 If the results are in separate sheets in the Analysis Results window, then
these sheets are exported as separate worksheets within the Excel file.
 Copy and paste – You can also export analysis results directly by copying and
pasting the cells into, for example, an Excel-sheet:
i
Drag the mouse to select the rows and columns you want to export. Select
Copy in the Edit menu. If you want to copy the whole result including the
headings, select Select All in the Edit menu and subsequently select
Copy.
ii Open the document you want to paste the result to, and press Ctrl+V.
 Exporting Chinese, Japanese, and Cyrillic characters – If your export file
contains Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters, or characters like "ä", "õ"
etc., under Encoding select Unicode (UTF-16). If you choose ANSI, a warning
message informs you that all the characters that are not encoded as ANSI are
exported as "?".
Saving a Chart
See page 431 how to create a Chart. Make sure the corresponding Analysis
Results are saved.
526
The Observer XT
File management
1 In the Chart window, click the Save Chart in Archive button
.
2 In the Analysis Chart window, enter the Chart name.
3 Click OK to save the chart in the Analysis Results archive.
Opening a Chart
In the Project Explorer, under an archived Analysis Result, click a Chart to open it.
Exporting a Chart
1 Open the Chart (see above).
2 In the Chart window, click the Export button
.
3 Enter the File name and select one of the image formats from the Save as
type list.
4 Click Save to export the Chart.
12.7 Episode selections
With an episode selection (page 368) you can create a selection of events from
the Event Log. From this episode selection you can generate a media file
containing the selected episodes (available with an additional module of The
Observer XT). You can export an episode selection to a text file.
By exporting an episode selection, you also export the physiological
data associated with the observations listed in the episode selection to
text.
Opening an episode selection
Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, select Episode Selection, then Open. Select an
episode selection and click OK.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click Episode Selections and select Open
Episode Selection. Select an episode selection and click OK.
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Chapter 12
 In the Project Explorer, open the Episode Selections folder and click the
episode selection you want to open.
Deleting an episode selection
Do one of the following:
 From the Analyze menu, select Episode Selection, then Delete. In the
Remove Episode Selection window, select the Episode Selection you want
to delete and click OK.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click the Episode Selections folder and select
Delete Episode Selection. Select the episode selection you want to delete
and click OK.
 In the Project Explorer, right-click an episode selection and select Delete
Episode Selection.
Exporting an episode selection
You can choose to export all created episode selections at once or each episode
selection separately.
If you export an episode selection, The Observer automatically also
exports the associated physiological data to ASCII.
1 To export all episode selections at once, from the Analyze menu, select
Episode Selection, then Export.
To export a single episode selection, In the Project Explorer right-click the
episode selection and select Export Episode Selection.
2 In the Episode Selection Export window, browse to the folder where you
want to store the episode selections.
3 In the File base name field, enter a name.
4 Select whether you want the files to be exported as Unicode (UTF-16) (choose
this if your export file contains Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters, or
characters like "ä", "õ" etc.) or ANSI text files from the Encoding list.
528
The Observer XT
File management
5 Select the column separator you require from the List separator list. By
default, Windows default list separator is selected.
You can check what your current Windows list separator is in the
Control Panel, under Regional Settings.
6 Click Export.
Notes
 Default folder – By default, The Observer opens the Export folder of your
project.
 Exporting physiological data – The associated physiological data are
exported to a separated file: [Base filename]-[Episode Selection name]physiological data set number (#).txt. If you have an episode selection with
more than one associated physiological data file, each data file is exported to
a separate text file. For example, if you have 2 Episode Selections with 3
physiological data files each, the result of the export is 2 files with events and
6 files with physiological data.
Figure 12.12 The result export of an episode selection. The associated physiological data are also
exported.
If you have set roll-on and roll-off times, the samples within these intervals
are also exported.
 Exporting multiple episode selections – The name of each text export file is:
[Base filename]-[Episode Selection name] (#).txt.
 Exporting Chinese, Japanese, and Cyrillic characters – If your export file
contains Chinese, Japanese, or Cyrillic characters, or characters like "ä", "õ"
etc., under Encoding select Unicode (UTF-16). If you choose ANSI, a warning
message informs you that all the characters that are not encoded as ANSI are
exported as "?".
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Chapter 12
12.8 Independent Variable list
Exporting independent variables
You can export the independent variables (i.e., system variables, user-defined
variables, external variables). The independent variables are exported in two files.
One file contains the Header with variable names and their properties:
The other file contains the actual values of the variables for each combination of
observation, event log and subject (see Structure of the values file below).
1 From the File menu, select Export, then Independent Variables.
2 In the Independent Variable List Export window (Figure 12.13), browse to the
folder where you want to store the variable list.
3 In the File base name field, enter a name. An example of the file names is
shown in the File name example box:
 [file name entered in step 3] - Independent Variables Header (1).txt is the
file containing the variable definitions.
 [file name entered in step 3] - Independent Variables Values (1).txt is the
file containing the variable values.
4 Select whether you want the files to be exported as Unicode or ANSI text files
from the Encoding list.
5 From the List separator list, select the column separator you require. By
default, Windows default list separator is selected.
6 Click Save.
To check what your current Windows list separator is, open the
Regional Settings in the Control Panel.
530
The Observer XT
File management
Figure 12.13 The Independent Variables List Export window.
Structure of the values file
 The values file contains the values of all independent variables, including the
system variables, and those you chose not to display in the Independent
Variables List (see page 126).
 Each combination of observation, event log and subject is written in a row.
Values of variables with Subject scope are written in those rows.
 If a variable has Event log or Observation scope, it gets an additional row.
Values of such variables are written in those rows.
 All other cells are filled in with missing values ("").
Example - The project contains two observations, each with one event log and
two subjects (Child 1 and Child 2). The independent variables include the userdefined variable Age with Subject scope and the system variable Start date
with Observation scope.
Reference Manual
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Chapter 12
The export file opened with the Notepad contains the following:
For Observation 1, we can distinguish:
 A – First line containing the variable names. Note the Age variable at the end
of the line.
 B – Two lines, each specifying one subject (Child 1 or Child 2), with the values
of Age. Note the age values at the end of the lines. Values of variables with
other scope than Subject are exported as "" for those lines.
 C – A line specifying the event log. In this file there are no variables with Event
Log scope, thus all values for this line are "". Note that this line does not
contain the subject names.
 D – A line specifying the observation. This line contains the values of the
system variables, since those have Observation scope. Note that this line does
not contain the event log and subject names.
12.9 File locations
General folders
The default application folder of The Observer is C:\Program Files\Noldus\The
Observer XT 10. You can specify the application folder during installation. The
application folder is only written to during installation.
All files that The Observer writes to or reads after installation are, by default:
532
The Observer XT
File management
For Windows XP –
 C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\ Noldus\The
Observer XT\Projects - contains all project folders.
 C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\ Noldus\The
Observer XT\Media - contains all media files.
 C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\ Noldus\The
Observer XT\Templates – contains all templates.
For Windows 7 –
 C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT \Projects -
contains all project folders.
 C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT \Media -
contains all media files.
 C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Noldus\The Observer XT \Templates -
contains all templates.
For users of previous Observer versions (below The Observer XT 8) –
The general folders Export and External under ...\The Observer XT\ have
been removed in The Observer XT 10. However, such folders may be still
present on your PC because they were created when you installed The
Observer XT 6/7.
The application folder and all other Observer folders can be network folders.
However, in that case the program or Projects might not be accessible by all
users.
Project-level folders
Each project you make has its own folder. It is named as the project and has a
fixed structure. It contains the following subfolders:
 Analysis Results - with the analysis results files (*.arx) and sub-folders with the
analysis charts (*.nac).
 Episode Selections - with the episode selection files (*.esr).
 Event Data - with the binary observational data files.
 Export - with the exported files (*.odx, *.txt, *.xls).
 External - with the imported binary physiological data (*.pbi).
 Intermediate – with files created by the external data analysis.
 Plug-ins – with settings of installed external event generator plugins.
 Log - with The Observer log file (*.log).
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Chapter 12
 Observer 5 - with the Observer 5 export (*.opp, *.ocp, *.odf).
The Profiles for import of observational (*.oip) and physiological data (*.eip) are
stored in:
For Windows XP – C:\Documents
Data\Noldus\Common\Profiles.
and
Settings\All
Users\Application
For Windows 7 – C:\ProgramData\Noldus\Common\Profiles
These files are common for Noldus applications.
Log and dump files (for Technical Support)
The Observer continually records computer events to a log file. In the case you
encounter problems using the software, the Technical Support Department may
ask you to send us two files, the log file Observer.log and the dump file The
Observer XT 10.dmp. These are stored on:
For Windows XP –
 Log file – C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Noldus
\The Observer\XT 10.0\Log.
 Dump file – C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings
\Temp\
For Windows 7 –
 Log file – C:\ProgramData\Noldus\The Observer\XT 10.0\Log.
 Dump file – C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Temp\.
534
The Observer XT
A
Settings overview
(thematic)
In this Appendix you find an overview of all the settings in The Observer XT with a
reference to the page number. The overview is organized according to the
workflow of the program.
Observation source
page
• Offline Observation (score events from pre-recorded media files) 81
• Live Observation (Score events live)
81
- Video Settings
83
- DAQ Hardware Settings
82
- uLog Settings
82
- Automatic linking of video
83
- External Programs
232
Observation method
page
Continuous Sampling
87
Instantaneous Sampling
87
Combine Continuous and Instantaneous Sampling
87
Reference Manual
535
Appendix A
Observation duration
89
Coding Scheme Settings
page
Keycodes
Keycodes are required
93
Case-sensitive keycodes are allowed
94
Generate keycodes automatically
94
Stop keycodes
94
Default keycode length
94
Coding Scheme
536
Validate while editing coding scheme
94
Check for compatibility with Pocket Observer 3
95
Observation settings
Observation base name
page
150
Prompt for confirmation to end observation
151
Edit Independent Variables (before/after observation)
151
Hide 'manual' variables
151
Time Formats
Show date with absolute times
page
139
Show frame numbers while observing from videos
139
Scoring options
Auto Record Subject
page
152
Pause playback of video when scoring an event
152
Always press Enter to confirm event line
153
Repeated scoring of active behaviors (allow/ignore/Ask me for)
153
Quick review (interval/speed)
154
The Observer XT
Settings overview (thematic)
Sound feedback
Sound feedback (during coding)
page
155
Sound selection
155
Playback control options
page
157
Slider range
Lock configuration
Lock/unlock configuration
page
79
Data Selection Settings
286
Analysis settings
page
397
for Behavior Analysis
for Numerical Analysis
397
for Lag Sequential Analysis
441
for Reliability Analysis
461
View Settings (general)
42
Preferences
page
Files (file paths) and recovery (enable/disable, auto recovery interval) 143
Terminology
141
Warnings (enable/disable)
142
Reference Manual
537
B
Settings overview
(alphabetical)
In this Appendix you can find an overview of all the settings in The Observer XT (in
alphabetical order) with a reference to a page number for more information.
Setting
Settings group
page
• Analysis Settings
- for Behavior Analysis
Behavior Analysis
397
- for Numerical Analysis
Numerical Analysis
397
- for Lag Sequential Analysis)
Lag Sequential Analysis
441
- for Reliability Analysis)
Reliability Analysis
461
• Automatic linking of video files
Observation source /
Devices
83
• Auto Record Subject
Scoring Options
152
• Auto recovery (enable/disable, auto Preferences
recovery interval)
143
• Case-sensitive keycodes
Coding Scheme Settings
94
• Check for compatibility with Pocket Coding Scheme Settings
Observer 3
95
• Coding Scheme Settings
92
Reference Manual
Setup menu
539
Appendix B
Setting
Settings group
page
• Confirm end of observation (enable/ Observation settings
disable prompt for confirmation)
151
• Confirm event line (always press Enter Scoring options
to confirm event line)
153
• DAQ Hardware Settings
82
Observation source /
Devices
• Data selection settings
286
• Duration of observation
Observation duration
89
• External Programs
Observation source /
Devices
232
• Files (file paths) and recovery
Preferences
143
• Independent variables (edit
before/after observation)
Setup
151
• Keycode length
Coding Scheme Settings
94
• Keycodes are required
Coding Scheme Settings
93
• Keycodes (generate automatically)
Coding Scheme Settings
94
• Live scoring
Observation Source
81
• Lock Configuration
Setup
79
• Manual variables (hide/show)
Observation settings
151
- in the Behavior Analysis result
Analysis Settings
397
- in the Numerical Analysis result
Analysis Settings
397
- in the Lag Sequential Analysis result
Analysis Settings
441
- in the Reliability Analysis result
Analysis Settings
461
- Time Formats
Project Settings
139
- in the Behavior Analysis result
Analysis Settings
397
- in the Numerical Analysis result
Analysis Settings
397
- in the Lag Sequential Analysis result
Analysis Settings
441
- in the Reliability Analysis result
Analysis Settings
461
• Missing values (display as)
• Number of decimals
540
The Observer XT
Settings overview (alphabetical)
Setting
Settings group
• Observation base name (define)
Observation settings
• Offline scoring (from pre-recorded Observation source
media files)
page
150
81
• Open ended observation
Observation duration
89
• Playback control options
Project Settings
157
when Scoring options
152
• Pause playback
scoring an event
of
video
• Preferences
File menu
143
• Observation method
Project Setup
87
• Project Settings
Setup Menu
149
• Observation source
Project Settings
80
• Quick review (interval/speed)
Scoring options
208
• Repeated scoring of active behaviors Scoring options
(allow/ignore)
153
• Sample interval length
Observation duration
87
• Scoring options
Project Settings
152
- in the Behavior Analysis result
Analysis Settings
397
- in the Numerical Analysis result
• Show elements not scored
Analysis Settings
397
• Slider range
Playback control options
157
• Sound feedback during coding
Project Setup/ Sound
feedback
155
• Sound selection
Project Settings/ Sound
feedback
155
• Stop keycodes
Coding Scheme Settings
• Terminology
Preferences
94
141
• Time formats
Project Settings
139
Reference Manual
541
Appendix B
542
Setting
Settings group
• Timer display
Project Settings
page
139
• Time Settings
Project Settings
139
• uLog Settings
Observation sources /
Devices
82
• Validate while editing coding scheme Coding Scheme Settings
94
• Video Settings
Observation source /
Devices
82
• View Settings
Component tool bar
42
• Warnings
Preferences
142
The Observer XT
C
Keyboard shortcuts
All the common functions in The Observer XT have keyboard shortcuts. You can
use the keyboard to activate all the functions in The Observer XT that are on the
menus. Press Alt plus the letter underlined in the menu and then select the
desired function by scrolling down to the function or by pressing the underlined
letter. For example, to go to Preferences on the File menu, press ALT+F, f.
Why Keyboard Shortcuts?
Keyboard shortcuts allow you to use The Observer XT without taking your hands
off the keyboard. Using keyboard shortcuts can also help in the prevention of
repetitive strain injury.
Keyboard shortcuts are only available when the corresponding menu or window is
active.
C.1
General
Ctrl+N
New project
Ctrl+O
Open project or project backup
Ctrl+S
Save project
Ctrl+Shift+S
Save As project
Ctrl+P
Print
Reference Manual
543
Appendix C
C.2
Coding Scheme
Ctrl+E
C.3
544
Add new element
Ctrl+Del
Delete element
Ctrl+C
Copy
Ctrl+V
Paste
Ctrl+Shift+E
Add new group
Carrying out observations
Alt+F6
New observation
Ctrl+Shift+N
New observation
Ctrl+Alt+F6
Open observation
Ctrl+Alt+O
Open an event log within the observation
currently open
Ctrl+E
Add new element
Enter
Accept entry and go to first column of next row
Ctrl+Alt+B
Start observation
Ctrl+Alt+Q
Stop observation/ stop reviewing
Ctrl+Alt+X
Suspend observation
Ctrl+Alt+V
Resume observation
Ctrl+End
Go to end of Event Log Data File
Ctrl+Home
Go to begin of Event Log Data File
Ctrl+Shift+Down-arrow
Go to Next sample
Ctrl+Shift+Up-arrow
Go to Previous sample
Ctrl+Enter
Finish sample
The Observer XT
Keyboard shortcuts
C.4
Playback control
Ctrl+4
Play forward
Ctrl+Shift+4
Play backward
Ctrl+=
Play one speed faster
Ctrl+- (key next to 0)
Play one speed slower
Ctrl+Up-arrow key
Jump to begin
Ctrl+Down-arrow key
Jump to end
Ctrl+0
Pause/Stop
Ctrl+Left-arrow key
Step frame backward
Ctrl+Right-arrow key
Step frame forward
Ctrl+Shift+Left-arrow key
Step 10 frames backward
Ctrl+Shift+Right-arrow key
Step 10 frames forward
Ctrl+Shift+Home
Loop on/off
Ctrl+Backspace
Quick review
Ctrl+Shift+=
Offset
Ctrl+1
Play forward at speed 1/25xa
Ctrl+2
Play forward at speed 1/5x
Ctrl+3
Play forward at speed 1/2x
Ctrl+4
Play forward at speed 1x
Ctrl+5
Play forward at speed 2x
Ctrl+6
Play forward at speed 4x
Ctrl+7
Play forward at speed 8x
Ctrl+8
Play forward at speed 16x
Ctrl+Shift+1
Play backward at speed 1/25x
Ctrl+Shift+2
Play backward at speed 1/5x
Ctrl+Shift+3
Play backward at speed 1/2x
Ctrl+Shift+4
Play backward at speed 1x
Ctrl+Shift+5
Play backward at speed 2x
Ctrl+Shift+6
Play backward at speed 4x
Ctrl+Shift+7
Play backward at speed 8x
Ctrl+Shift+8
Play backward at speed 16x
Ctrl+Alt+1
Play forward at 1st available speedb
Ctrl+Alt+2
Play forward at 2nd available speed
Reference Manual
545
Appendix C
Ctrl+Alt+3
Play forward at 3rd available speed
Ctrl+Alt+4
Play forward at 4th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+5
Play forward at 5th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+6
Play forward at 6th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+7
Play forward at 7th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+8
Play forward at 8th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+1
Play backward at 1st available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+2
Play backward at 2nd available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+3
Play backward at 3rd available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+4
Play backward at 4th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+5
Play backward at 5th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+6
Play backward at 6th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+7
Play backward at 7th available speed
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+8
Play backward at 8th available speed
Ctrl+.
Zoom+ (x-axis)
Ctrl+Mousewheel
Zoom+ (x-axis) or Zoom- (x-axis)
Ctrl+,
Zoom- (x-axis)
Ctrl+Shift+.
Zoom+ (y-axis)
Ctrl+Shift+,
Zoom- (y-axis)
a
If a fixed play speed is not available, nothing happens. If the video is
already playing, it keeps playing at the current speed.
b
The Ctrl+Alt(+Shift) shortcut-keys can be used for jog/shuttle devices. The
speeds are not fixed but are set when they are available. For example, if
only speed 1 (forward/backward) is available, pressing Ctrl+Alt+1 selects
speed 1. If all speeds are available, pressing Ctrl+Alt+1 selects speed 1/25,
pressing Ctrl+Alt+2 selects speed 1/5 etc.
546
The Observer XT
Keyboard shortcuts
C.5
Data Profile
General
Ctrl+Alt+F7
New Data Profile
Alt+F7
Show current Data Profile
Components window
Enter
Add box of selected component
Data Selection window
C.6
Arrow key
Move the mouse pointer 10 pixels within the
Data Selection window
Shift+arrow key
Move the mouse pointer 1 pixel within the
Data Selection window
Alt+arrow key
Connect, move, size depending on the current
position of the pointer
Grids
(e.g. Event log, Episode selection window)
Ctrl+left-arrow key
Event log: move 1 second backward or 1 frame
backward when video is available. Episode
Selection: move one row backward
Ctrl+right-arrow key
Event log: move 1 second forward or 1 frame
forward when video is available. Episode
Selection: move one row forward
Ctrl+up-arrow key
Jump to start
Ctrl+down-arrow key
Jump to end
Arrow keys
Move highlight in direction of key
F2
Edit Event Time in Event Log
Ctrl+I
Insert row or Episode
Tab
Go to next cell in row. If last cell, do nothing
Shift+Tab
Go to previous cell in row. If first cell, do
nothing
Enter
Accept entry and go to same column, next row.
Page Up
Go to row - no. of rows visible in window and
highlight same location (and deselect)
Page Down
Go to row + no. of rows visible in window and
highlight same location (and deselect)
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547
Appendix C
C.7
C.8
Ctrl+Home
Go to first cell of first column
Ctrl+End
Go to last cell of last column
Up-arrow key
Step one row up
Down-arrow key
Step one row down
Shift+Down-arrow key,
Shift+Up-arrow key
Select row
Selecting and editing
Ctrl+X
Cut
Ctrl+C
Copy
Ctrl+V
Paste
Ctrl+Delete or Delete
Delete
Shift+arrow keys
Expand/ contract block selection in direction of
arrow key
Ctrl+A
Select all
Windows
General
Esc
Cancel action
F1
Help
F2
Rename/edit
Alt+F4
Close application
Shift+F10 or
context-menu key
Open context menu of selected item
Alt+Spacebar
Open shortcut menu of selected window
Ctrl+Esc
Display Start menu
Alt+underlined letter
Application: open corresponding main menu
Dialog: carry out corresponding command
548
The Observer XT
Keyboard shortcuts
F10
Activate main menu bar
Main menu: Down-arrow
key
Open menu-item/cycle through sub-items
Main menu: Up-arrow key
Open menu-item/cycle through sub-items
Main menu: Right-arrow key Open sub-items/Cycle through items
Main menu: Left-arrow key
Close sub-items/Cycle through items
Spacebar
Select/clear box (if active option is a checkbox)
Arrow keys
Move/nudge cursor or selected item
Mousewheel
Scroll up or down
Ctrl+Mousewheel
Zoom in or out
Shift+Mousewheel
Scroll left or right
Project Explorer
End
Display the bottom of the active window
Home
Display the top of the active window
* on numeric keypad
Display all subfolders under the selected folder
+ on numeric keypad
Display the contents of the selected folder
- on numeric keypad
Collapse the selected folder
Left arrow key
Collapse current selection if it is expanded, or
select parent folder
Right arrow key
Display current selection if it is collapsed, or
select first subfolder
Up arrow key
Previous item
Down arrow key
Next item
Dialogs
Ctrl+Tab
Cycle thru tabs (direction: left -> right and top > bottom)
Ctrl+Shift+Tab
Cycle thru tabs in reverse order
Tab
Cycle thru options (direction: left -> right and
top -> bottom)
Shift+Tab
Cycle thru options in reverse order
Arrow keys
Cycle thru options if option group (radio button
group) is active
Switch applications
Alt+Tab
Switch between open applications
Alt + Esc
Cycle through applications in order they were
opened
Reference Manual
549
D
File formats
This Appendix describes the different type of files used in The Observer XT and
their formats. These include:
 Observer XT files (see also Chapter 12‘).
 Media files.
 ASCII files - this includes a description of export files of external data
acquisition (DAQ) systems (from BIOPAC, Data Sciences, Polar) and their
predefined import profiles.
 Physiological (external) data files (see also Chapter 6).
D.1
The Observer XT
The Observer XT uses different file types. Most file types used in The Observer XT
are binary files. These cannot be edited inside or outside the program. Export files
are in ASCII, Excel or XML and can be edited in a program (e.g., Word, Notepad,
XML Editor) outside of The Observer.
Some program files used by The Observer XT are in XML format. Do
not edit files of XML format with any editor.
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551
Appendix D
The following files (file description, extension and file format) are used in The
Observer XT:
File description
Extension
File format
Application
Application executable file
EXE, DLL
Binary
Application Settings
APS
XML 1.0
Application Log File
LOG
ASCII
Window positions
POS
XML 1.0
Scheme definition
XSD
XML 1.0
Stylesheet language
XSL
XML 1.0
Project database
VOP
Microsoft Access
Project Backup
VPB
Binary (ZIP)
Project Template
OTX
XML 1.0
Event Log Data File
(*)
Binary
Export Data File
ODX
XML 1.0
Analysis Results File
ARM (version 6.x), ARX
(this version)
- Binary (ARM),- XML 1.0
(ARX)
Episode Selection File
ESR
Binary
Observer 5.0 export
OPP, OCP, ODF
ASCII
Media Files
AVI, MPG, WMV
Digital Video Format
Import Profile File
EIP, OIP
XML 1.0
Hardware Profile
EDP
XML 1.0
Physiological Data file
PBI
Binary
Sync out file
PSO
Binary
Projects
External Files
552
The Observer XT
File formats
(*) Event log files do not have an extension. Event log files from previous versions
have extension *.ods.
D.2
Media files
The Observer XT supports the following digital media formats:
 MPEG-1.
 MPEG-2.
 MPEG-4 DivX.
 H.264.
 Uncompressed AVI.
 DV-AVI.
In general, if a movie plays in the Windows Media Player, then it is likely it can
also be played in The Observer XT.
If you create a video highlights clip with the Episode Selection, then the formats
available depend on what encoding software (codec) is installed on your
computer.
See the Media Recorder Reference Manual for more information about
video file formats.
D.3
Text files
The Observer works with two types of text files:
 Text files that are created in The Observer XT for export.
 External data text files (either observational or physiological) that are imported
into The Observer XT.
Text export files
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The following elements from The Observer XT can be exported to an ASCII file:
 Analysis Results.
 Episode Selection.
 Observational Data.
 External Data.
 Independent Variable List.
You can save these elements to ASCII as the following types of file:
 Excel 97-2003 Worksheet (*.xls).
 Excel 2007 Worksheet (*.xml).
 XML Data file (*.xml).
 Text file (*.txt).
Text import files
Observational data file
ASCII files for import can either be observational or physiological files. An
observational import file must at least contain 10 lines of data. A line of data must
at least contain a time stamp and a code, separated by a delimiter. The
observational data file does not need to contain a header (see Figure D.1).
See also The Observer 5.0 Reference manual for a detailed description of the ODF
format (page 652).
Figure D.1 An example of an observational data file in ASCII-format with a semicolon as
delimiter and three columns with codes.
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External data files
A external data ASCII file must contain data that was sampled with a constant
sample rate. This external data file must at least contain 15 data lines. It should
preferably contain a header with information describing the data sets. This
information about the data set, such as data set name, date and time information,
sample rate, is typically stored in the header section of a DAQ export file.
If you export data from a DAQ system, make sure you include the
header information.
The Observer XT comes with predefined import profiles for the import of external
data files from the following suppliers of DAQ systems (software package
between brackets):
 MindWare (BioLab 3.0.1 and higher).
 BIOPAC (Acqknowledge version 3.7 and higher).
 DSI (Dataquest A.R.T. version 2.3 and higher).
 Polar (Polar Precision Performance version 4.01 and higher).
MindWare
In the MindWare BioLab program, you can export data to Text.
The following figure shows part of a BioLab export ASCII file.
Figure D.2
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Example of (part of) an export file of the MindWare BioLab program.
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The figure below shows the Import Profile Definition window in The Observer XT
with the information from this MindWare BioLab export file. The contents of the
MindWare BioLab export file is assigned to the Header and Data sets part of the
File Content section.
Figure D.3 The Import Profile Definition window with the information from the
MindWare BioLab export file assigned to the File Content section.
BIOPAC
In BIOPAC’s Acqknowledge program, you can export data to ASCII under Save As
in the File menu. Make sure you select the Include Header option.
The following figure shows part of a BIOPAC Acqknowledge export file.
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Figure D.4
Example of (part of) an export file of the BIOPAC Acqknowledge software.
The figure below shows the Import Profile Definition window in The Observer XT
with the information from this BIOPAC Acqknowledge export file. The contents of
the Acqknowledge export file is assigned to the Header and Data sets part of the
File Content section.
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Figure D.5 The Import Profile Definition window with the information from the
Acqknowledge export file assigned to the File Content section.
DSI
The Data Sciences Dataquest® A.R.T. system is used for the collection of
telemetered data. Below you see an example of a DataQuest file with EEG data.
Figure D.6
Example of part of a DSI DataQuest A.R.T. file.
Figure D.7 shows the Import Profile Definition window in The Observer XT with
the same DataQuest file.
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Figure D.7 The Import Profile Definition window with the information from the DSI
DataQuest A.R.T. file assigned to the File Content section.
The header contains information about date & time, the unit of time at which the
samples were taken (seconds), and information about the channels. In this
example, the EEG from three dogs was measured. The unit was millivolts (mV).
The header of the DataQuest A.R.T. file contains no information about the sample
rate of the DAQ system. The sample rate is calculated based on the first column
with sample times of the data part of the file. In this case the samples are taken at
an interval of 0.002 seconds. This corresponds to a sample rate of 500 Hz.
Polar (Polar Precision Performance software)
The Polar system is used for monitoring heart rate. After data acquisition the data
can be transferred to a computer (not available with all Polar systems). The data is
stored in a HRM file. These HRM files can be directly imported into The Observer
XT.
The settings on the Polar receiver determine what header information is written to
the HRM file. Please refer to you Polar manual for a detailed description of the
settings.
Below you see an example of part of a Polar HRM file.
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Figure D.8
Example of a Polar HRM file with heart rate data.
Figure D.9 shows an example of the Import Profile Definition window in The
Observer XT with the same Polar file.
Figure D.9 The Import Profile Definition window with the information from the Polar
HRM file assigned to the File Content section.
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The header contains information about date and time, the length of the recording
period (00:12:54:08) and the sample interval (5 sec). It also contains information
about settings of the upper and lower limit of the heart rate.
Depending on the settings of the receiver, the HRM file can contain
additional information. This does affect subsequent import of HRM
files acquired with different type of receivers.
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E
Technical Support
E.1
Knowledgebase
If you encounter a problem using The Observer XT or any other Noldus system,
you can search through hundreds of entries in a database of questions submitted
by our customers to the Noldus support department with answers by our support
staff.
You find the Knowledgebase at our website (www.noldus.com) in the Support Knowledgebase section.
E.2
Help Desk
If you have any problems, questions, remarks or comments, please let us know.
You can contact us via our website (www.noldus.com) and fill out a Support
Request Form (preferred), phone during normal working hours in two time zones
or fax. You can also contact us via the The Observer XT program. From the Help
menu choose Noldus Online and subsequently Contact Help Desk. If you
encounter a problem with the program, you can also select Report an Issue. This
opens a form on our website which is sent to the help desk when submitted.
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Please check the Reference Manual before contacting our support
department. Press F1 to open the PDF of the Reference Manual, then
search for the topic related to what you are having problems with.
If the program crashes – Click the Send button on the window that
appears to report the problem to Microsoft. Next, contact our Technical
Support.
Before you contact Technical Support, please have the following information
available. To find this information, go to the Help menu and select About The
Observer XT:
 The version number of your copy of The Observer XT.
 The name of the registered user of The Observer XT (click User Info).
 The license number of your copy of The Observer XT (click User Info).
Please refer to the About Noldus - Contact section on our website
(www.noldus.com) for other contact information.
E.3
Service contracts
Your licence of The Observer XT comes with a standard service package of one
year. This includes a one-year period of free support.
We can offer you even greater value and reassurance by providing comprehensive
service contracts. Our Plus and Platinum service contracts both extend the
standard service you are entitled to as well as provide peace of mind at defined
cost.
Please look for more information on our website (www.noldus.com) under
Human Behavior or Animal Behavior in the Services - Service Contracts
section.
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F
Glossary
This appendix contains an alphabetical listing of the technical terms used in the
manual and the software, with an explanation.
AC adapter – A hardware device that transforms the AC mains voltage to a DC
voltage that can be fed into an electrical apparatus, such as a video camera. Also
known as a mains adapter.
ActiveMovie – A media file player, developed by Microsoft, that supports the
MPEG digital video format.
Activity – In biology a term used to denote general muscular activity without
making any distinction between particular behavior patterns. A variety of methods
have been developed for automatic activity monitoring, based on rotations of a
running wheel, interruptions of infrared beams, Doppler radar, etc. Measures of
general activity are used in the study of rhythms, sleep and the effect of drugs on
behavior. However, since “general activity” encompasses a range of different
behavior patterns, activity data are inadequate to answer the research questions
in most behavioral studies. Therefore, direct observation and coding of behavior
is essential.
Actor – See Subject.
Ad libitum sampling – A recording or observation method whereby there are no
systematic constraints on what is recorded or when. It is often referred to as “ad
lib sampling”. Ad libitum sampling can be done using start-stop behaviors in The
Observer XT. See also Behavior sampling.
Analog – A signal composed of a continually varying waveform. See also Digital.
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Analog-to-digital converter – A hardware device that changes an analog signal to
a digital quantity; a process known as digitization. An A/D converter is an essential
component of a frame grabber used in video image processing.
Aperture – A circular opening, mounted in the lens, of which the diameter can be
varied. The size of the aperture is expressed numerically as the ratio between the
lens diameter and the focal length. Standard values are 1:1, 1:1.2, 1:2, 1:2.8, etc.,
with the second number being the aperture number. The smaller the aperture
number, the larger the lens opening and vice versa. With a small aperture setting,
images are rather dark, while by putting your aperture wide open, images
become lighter.
Aspect ratio – The relative horizontal and vertical sizes in computer graphics. An
aspect ratio of, for example, 2:1 means that the width of the graphic is twice as
large as the height. The current standard for a computer monitor is 3:4. It is
important to maintain the aspect ratio constant to avoid distorting the graphics
when resizing.
Auto focus – A mechanism that causes a lens to automatically focus on an object.
This is a standard feature on most camcorders and auto-focus lenses are also
available for CCD cameras. Note that a change in focus also results in a change of
the size of the scene observed by the camera. See also Manual focus lens.
AV connector – See SCART connector.
AVI – See Video for Windows.
Behavior – A category of the behavioral process that you want to measure
through observation and event recording. A behavior is either a state behavior or
a point event. Behaviors can be grouped. You can attach modifiers to behaviors to
specify directions, intensities or other nuances of behavior. All behaviors and
modifiers together form the ethogram of your study subject. You can replace the
term 'behavior' with your own terminology by setting Preferences.
Behavioral modifier – See Modifier.
Behavior sampling – A recording method whereby all occurrences of certain
behavior patterns are recorded. With The Observer, this method is technically
identical to ad libitum sampling.
Behavior group (class) – In The Observer, a group of behaviors that together
form a dimension of a subject’s behavioral repertoire.
B-frames – Frames in an MPEG-4 digital video file that contain information about
how they differ from the following I-frame for decoding. See also I-frames, Pframes, MPEG and Codec.
Bit – The smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single value, either 0 or 1.
Bitmap – A file format (extension *.bmp) used by a number of graphics and page
layout programs.
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BNC cable – A Coax cable with a BNC connector on each end.
BNC connector – A video connector (see figure below) with a bayonet catch,
attached to a coax cable. BNC connectors are suitable for low voltages and very
high frequencies (up to 3 GHz).
Brightness – The value associated with a pixel representing its grey-level value.
For example, in a monochrome 8-bit system, black=0 and white=255.
Camcorder – A compact and light-weight video camera with built-in video
cassette recorder and a miniature monitor. Several different systems exist, e.g.
Video-8, Hi-8.
CCD – Charge-Coupled Device. The heart of the image sensor used in video
cameras.
CCD camera – Video camera based on a CCD image sensor. Virtually all modern
video cameras are CCD cameras.
CCIR – Comité Consultatif International des Radio- communications. Institute that
sets standards for audio and video equipment. One of the most important is the
video standard for most European countries: 625 lines and 50 fields per second
(25 frames per second).
Check box – An item within dialog boxes that displays a setting, either selected
(on, with -mark) or deselected (off, empty). Clicking a check box or its text label
reverses its setting. One or more check boxes can be selected.
Chroma filter – A filter that removes the chrominance component from a color
video signal. What is left is the luminance component, i.e. a black/white signal. A
chroma filter can be practical when using a color camera in combination with a
monochrome frame grabber.
Chroma signal – See Chrominance.
Chrominance – The color component in a video signal. It is the colorimetric
difference (dominant wavelength and purity) between any color and a reference
“white” of equal luminance. In three-dimensional color space, chrominance is a
vector that lies in a plane of constant luminance. See also Luminance.
Cinch connector – See Phono connector.
Coax cable – Coaxial cable. Shielded cable for low-noise transmission of highfrequent video signals. A coax cable has a characteristic impedance (total
effective resistance of an electronic circuit) which should be adapted to the
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Appendix F
equipment it is connected to. The standard for video connections is 75 ohm,
although 50 ohm is acceptable for short distances (1-2 meter).
Codec – Stands for code-decode and refers to the process of creating (coding)
and reading (decoding) a video file. Codec often also refers to an application that
can both compress analog audio and video data into digital information and
decompress a compressed incoming bitstream, splitting it into its audio and video
components and converting them into analog signals for playback. Compressed
data require far less storage space than usual. The extent to which data are
compressed is expressed as a compression ratio. See also DivX and Xvid.
Codes window – The Codes window gives a list of the codes, for the subjects,
behaviors and modifiers, you defined in the coding scheme. In the Codes window
you can look up the (multi-)key code for a particular coding scheme element and
use the keyboard to score. You can also click the code directly in the Codes
window to score.
Coding behavior – Transcribing observed behavior into quantitative
measurements relating to specific behaviors. This operation (also referred to as
event recording) is done either live or from (digital) video tape or media file, and
forms the core of structured observation. The success depends to a large extent
on the quality of the coding scheme or ethogram.
Coding scheme – In The Observer XT, the complete set of information that
defines how behavioral data are collected, including information about subjects,
behaviors and modifiers, settings for keycodes, etc.
Color resolution – The number of color levels that can be represented in a pixel.
The color resolution is typically a power of 2. For instance, an 8-bit monochrome
frame grabber is able to digitize an image into 256 grey values, so the color
resolution is 256. See also Image resolution or Image digitization.
Component view – The part of The Observer’s interface where all project
procedures (define coding scheme, carry out observations, select data, run
analysis, view results) are carried out. When you click on an item in the Project
Explorer, the Component view shows a dialog or view, in which you can define
the parameters for that item.
Composite video signal – The standard TV video signal in which the color
(chrominance) and brightness (luminance) signals have been mixed. As a result of
cross-color interference, the quality of color images is not optimal. For high-quality
color display, it is recommended to use a system with separate transmission of
chrominance and luminance (S-Video) or, even better, separate transmission of
each primary color (RGB).
Compression – Compressing or packing data stores data (video, audio, or some
combination) in a format that requires less space than usual. Data compression is
also widely used in the transmission of data, backup utilities, spreadsheet
applications, and database management systems. Bitmapped graphics can be
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Glossary
compressed to a small fraction of their normal size. The extent to which data is
compressed is expressed as a compression ratio. Compression expansion boards
compress data automatically as it is written to a disk and then decompress the
data when it is retrieved. The data compression is invisible to the user but can
effectively double or triple the capacity of a disk drive. Data compression can also
be carried out by software encoding/decoding. See also Decompression,
Hardware encoder, Software encoder, MPEG, JPEG.
Confirmatory analysis – A form of statistical analysis aimed at testing the
consistency of the observed results with a null hypothesis, given a preset level of
statistical significance. See also Exploratory analysis and Descriptive statistics.
Contextual variable – Any variable that describes the conditions (e.g.
environmental, social) in which something occurs (which is described by the
actual behavior). For instance, variables that describe the weather conditions, or
how close to each other are individuals in a group.
Continuous sampling – An event recording method whereby one or more
subjects are observed for a specified length of time and all occurrences of the
behaviors of interest are recorded. The result is a complete record of the behavior
during the observation time, with the time at which each instance of a behavior
occurred (for point events) or began and ended (for state behaviors).
Continuous variable – A variable that (at least theoretically) can assume an
infinite number of values between any two fixed points. For instance, between
the two measurements 1.5 and 1.6 m there is an infinite number of lengths that
could be measured if one were so inclined and had a precise enough method of
calibration to obtain such measurements. Any given reading of a continuous
variable, for instance 1.577 m, is therefore an approximation to the exact reading,
which in practice is unknowable. Examples of continuous variables are
physiological signals (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) and environmental
parameters (temperature, irradiation, etc.) that must be sampled at fixed intervals.
A subject’s behavior is classified in discrete categories that are scored during a
coding session.
Contrast – The degree of difference between the darkest (lowest brightness) and
the clearest (highest brightness) parts of an image. A high contrast indicates that
the image contains largely black and white brightness values; medium contrast
indicates that the image contains a wide range of grey level values; a low contrast
image contains a small range of grey level values.
C-signal – Chrominance or color component in a composite video signal. It is
composed of the three primary colors red, green and blue. In a composite video
signal it is mixed with the luminance (brightness) component, while in S-Video
and RGB signals the components are transmitted separately. See also Y-signal.
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DAQ co-acquisition – Collecting external data (for example, physiological data)
together with manually coded (behavioral) data. DAQ co-acquisition is only
available when you have selected live scoring.
Data AcQuisition (DAQ) system – System with which you can acquire external
data. See also External data.
Data profile – The group of settings regarding data selection. You can use a data
profile, for instance, when you need to analyze many data files regarding either
male or female subjects, but you are only interested in male subjects. You can
save a data profile and use it to perform the same analysis as you make more
observations.
Data record – A line in an observational data file, consisting of a time code,
followed by the components subject, behavior, behavior modifier, comment (not
all these elements are necessarily present).
Decoder – See Hardware decoder, Software decoder.
Decompression – Decompressing data consists of decoding a compressed
bitstream or file into its digital form. See also Compression, Hardware decoder.
Default – A standard setting used in a program when no other is specified by the
user. For instance, in The Observer XT the default behavior type is State behavior.
Default state event – See Initial state event.
Dependent variable – Any variable whose value is determined by that of one or
more other variables during the observation. Basically, everything that you
observe in subjects during a session can be considered to be a dependent
variable. In contrast, the weather conditions do not depend on what happens in
your study, therefore they are an example of independent variables.
Descriptive statistics – Quantities that provide a numerical summary to describe
the properties of the frequency distribution of the variable under study concisely
and accurately. For instance, the mean and standard deviation of the duration of a
behavior. In contrast, a histogram provides a non-numerical summary of the same
properties. See also Exploratory analysis.
Digital – A signal composed of discrete elements (digits), usually ones and
zeroes. The opposite of analog.
Digital image – An image composed of discrete pixels of digital brightness
values.
Digital media (file) – See media file.
Digital-S – See Digital video tape standards.
Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) – A type of CD-ROM with capacities from 4.7 GB to 17
GB and access rates of 600 KBps to 1.3 MBps. DVD drives are backward-compatible
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with CD-ROMs, that is, you can play your old CD-ROMs and your new DVD-ROMs
with the same device. You cannot score from DVDs in The Observer XT.
Digital video – A discrete video signal represented by numerical values that
describe the video signal’s luminance and chrominance. It is a full-motion video,
playing in digital form on a computer. Digital video should not be confused with
analog video played directly on the computer through the use of special
expansion boards.
Digital video format – An international standard created by a consortium of 10
companies (including Sony, Philips and JVC) for a consumer digital video format.
DV is now the standard format for most digital video devices. It can be stored on
DV tape, or as a media file (DV-AVI files). Given the high quality of video they
produce, DV-AVI files require large space on disk (12.5 GB per hour of video).
Digital Video is used at its best together with the FireWire standard as connection
protocol. See Also FireWire.
Digital video on tape – A digital video file stored on tape, i.e. a magnetically
coated strip of plastic on which data are encoded in a digital way, that is
measured at discrete intervals. Tapes have large storage capacities, ranging from a
few hundred Kb to several Gb. Accessing data on a digital tape is faster than on
analog tapes, but slower than on digital video files on disks. Digital tapes are
sequential-access media, which means that to find a particular point on the tape,
the tape must go through all the preceding points. See also Analog video tape,
Digital media, Digital Versatile Disk, Digital video tape standards.
Digital video tape standards – Standards of digital video files on tape and digital
VCRs include: DVCAM (developed by Sony), DVCPRO (developed by Panasonic),
Digital-S (developed by JVC), and the general consumer standard DV.
Digitization – The process of converting an analog signal into a digital value. See
also Image digitization, Hardware encoder, Compression.
Digitizer – See Hardware encoder.
Dip switch – Also referred to as DIP-switch (Dual Inline Package switch). Dip
switches are tiny switches that exist, for example, on computer expansion boards.
Dip switches can be put on or off manually (with a pen or pencil). One or a group
of dip switches controls the settings of a particular computer component (for
example an expansion board). Since the components on which dip switches are
placed are commonly internal (inside the computer), dip switches are normally
only set at installation. Dip switches are often placed in lines, next to each other,
and are then called dip switch banks.
Disk media – Disk media are devices used to store digital files. Disk media allow
for large storage capacity, and, unlike digital video on tape, quick access times.
Examples of disk media are the computer’s hard disk, a CD-ROM or a Digital
Versatile Disk (DVD).
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DivX – DivX is a specific codec for MPEG-4, which gives a good compression and
quality. The DivX codec playing back MPEG-4 files is available for free (from
www.divx.com).
Driver – A program or part of a program that is used to control a hardware device.
For instance, printer drivers control how information is sent to a printer.
DV – See Digital video tape standards.
DV-AVI – Digital Video AVI, an uncompressed video format providing high quality
video, but very large file size.
DVCAM – See Digital video tape standards.
DVCPRO – See Digital video tape standards.
DVD – See Digital Versatile Disk.
EBU – European Broadcast Union. Organization that defines video standards.
Editing system – See Video editing system.
Encoder – See Hardware encoder, Software encoder.
Episode selection – In The Observer XT, a script that determines which episodes
or parts of the original digital tapes or media files have to be copied to a
destination tape or disk.
Ethogram – An inventory of descriptions of the behavioral patterns of a species. It
is the starting point of the study of animal behavior. Because a behavioral study is
rarely concerned with the entire behavioral repertoire of a species, a practical
definition of an ethogram is the set of behaviors being considered (for instance,
courtship, threat displays).
Ethology – The biological study of behavior, based on a combination of functional
and causal types of explanation. Characteristic of ethological research are
observations of the form of behavior, and the setup of experiments concerning
the causation and function of the behavior. Great emphasis is placed upon the
observation of organisms in the natural environment. Ethologists describe what
organisms do in terms of relatively simple components of behavior (movements,
postures, etc.) and give these descriptive rather than interpretive labels, together
forming an ethogram. It is a fundamental assumption of ethology that the
apparently continuous stream of behavior can be seen (and measured) as a series
of discrete events. Although ethology was founded by researchers of animal
behavior, its approaches and observational techniques are increasingly employed
in the study of human behavior.
Euro connector – See SCART connector.
Event Log – All your events and comments that are logged when you carry out an
observation. The data of an Event Log (which may refer to one or more subjects or
behavior groups) are written in a separate file, named Event Log file (with
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Glossary
extension *.ods). An Observation can contain more than one Event log, for
example when you import data files from different coding stations into one
Observation. However, you cannot store data in separate Event Logs within one
manually scored Observation.
Event Log window – The window in which you score and edit your data. When
you are done scoring data, what is contained in this window is essentially your
Event log file.
Event recorder – An apparatus with which you can record sequences of events
and the time at which they occur. The Observer allows your computer to function
as an event recorder.
Event recording – The process of registering a sequence of events and the time
at which they occur.
Expansion board – A card that has to be placed inside the computer’s system unit
and that extends or enhances the possibilities of your system. For instance, a
frame grabber allows you to store video pictures coming from a VCR or video
camera in a file on disk. Expansion boards are very sensitive devices because of
the integrated electronic circuits. They come in different sizes (full and half size)
and are designed for a specific expansion bus.
Expansion bus – A communication channel in a personal computer to which
expansion boards can be attached. There are a number of different bus
architectures, e.g. ISA, EISA, MCA, and PCI. The EISA bus is downward compatible
with the ISA bus. The connector attaching the expansion bus to the expansion
board is called expansion slot, and forms part of the computer's motherboard.
Exploratory analysis – A preliminary analysis of observational data, aimed at
summarizing results in a presentable form, such as graphical event plots and
tables or matrices with descriptive statistics. See also Descriptive statistics.
Exploratory graphics in The Observer XT include behavior and external data plots.
External data – Data that have been acquired with a separate Data AcQuisition
(DAQ) system. This can be, for example, physiological data (e.g., heart rate, ECG,
EEG, blood pressure), environmental data (e.g., temperature, humidity) or eyetracking data. With The Observer XT you can import any external data stored in
ASCII-format. You can synchronize logged events and associated external data and
subsequently visualize, select and export these data.
FireWire – An international standard protocol for communication between
different pieces of equipment. Originally developed by Apple, FireWire is the
implementation of the more general IEEE 1394 standard. The FireWire protocol is
adopted by a number of video devices (Camcorders, digital video recorders, DVD
players etc.) and is best used when transferring Digital Video (DV) data. In The
Observer, all video devices making use of FireWire connections are named
FireWire devices.
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FireWire cable – Cable used to connect digital devices that use the FireWire or
IEEE 1394 communication standard. FireWire cables have connectors similar to USB
connectors. To connect a FireWire device to your PC, you need a FireWire cable
with connectors shown in the figure below. You can recognize the FireWire port
on your video device from the symbols here in the margin, or by the label DV IN/
OUT.
Firmware – Software embedded in a hardware device.
Fixed action pattern – Relatively stereotyped movements that are speciesspecific. Although sometimes variable in intensity, and forming intermediates with
other patterns, fixed action patterns are nearly always recognizable by their form.
They are important in behavior studies because they are readily identifiable units
that break up the stream of behavior. Examples: rhythmic movements of wings
during courtship, the escape response of a squid, the human laughter.
Focal length – The distance from the optical center of a lens to the focus, that is,
the plane where the image is projected “sharply” (100% sharpness only occurs if
the original is located at far distance from the lens). The focal distance is indicated
with the letter f (e.g. f = 8 mm), not to be confused with the aperture number (e.g.
F/8). To calculate the focal distance of the lens needed for a particular application,
you need to know three dimensions: the size of the scene (height, width), the
size of the sensing area of the camera (height, width), and the distance between
the camera and the scene. The focal distance of a standard (usually 8 mm) lens
for a video camera equals the diagonal of the plane of projection (i.e. the CCD
chip).
Focal subject – A subject for which a complete record is made of the behaviors in
one or more behavior groups during the observation. For instance, when you are
studying a group of subjects, you may be interested in everything one subject
does (the focal one), but not in what other subjects in the group do.
Frame – A video image. More precisely, the total number of lines that represent
an image on a display device. In two-field, interlaced raster scanning, a frame
covers the time interval between the vertical retrace at the start of the first field
and the end of the second field. See also Frame frequency, Interlacing.
Frame frequency – The number of frames displayed per second. The standard for
North America, Japan, and several Latin American countries is 30 frames/seconds,
for the rest of the world it is 25 frames/second.
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Glossary
Gray value – Variations in the luminance value of “white” light, from black to
white. Shades of gray are defined as gray-scale gradations that differ by the
square root of 2. In an 8-bit monochrome system, these values can range from 0
to 255 (0=black and 255=white). Also referred to as gray-scale value.
Hardware decoder – A device that decompresses a compressed incoming
bitstream, and splits it into its audio and video components, and eventually
converts those data into analog signals for playback. See also Compression,
Decompression, Hardware encoder.
Hardware encoder – A device that captures and converts video images into
digital information (digitizes), and compresses analog audio and video data. Also
called a digitizer. In order to playback this data you have to decode it, using a
decoder. See also Compression, Decompression, Hardware decoder.
H.264 – A video file format with high compression and high quality. It is a type of
MPEG-4 format. The H.264 format is also known under the name MPEG-4 part 10.
HDMI – High-Definition Multimedia Interface. An interface standard for
communication. It is designed for high definition audio and video signal transfer
between devices such as Blue-ray or DVD players, and monitors and HD digital
televisions. Many modern digital video cameras have HDMI outputs. The video
signal is the same as DVI (Digital Video Interface, which is the digital output used
for computer monitors), except that it also includes digital rights management (so
the video cannot be copied if the source video is protected). Because the video is
completely uncompressed it requires a large bandwidth (10 Gb/s) and this means
that the raw signal coming from HDMI is not suitable for storage as a video file
unless converted and compressed to a format such as MPEG-4.
Hi-8 – Video system, developed by Sony. It is an improved version of the Video-8
system.
Horizontal resolution – The number of vertical lines displayed by a camera or
monitor, or the number of pixels that can be displayed separately. The larger the
resolution, the higher the image quality and accuracy. See also Vertical resolution.
Hue – Also known as color, a hue (such as red) refers to a specific wavelength of
light. Hues range from red to violet. The full visible spectrum appears in a
rainbow.
IEEE 1394 – The standard name for a FireWire connection. See FireWire.
I-frames – Frames in an MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 video file that contain all the
information necessary to decode the image on that frame. The Observer XT
requires at least 5 i-frames per seconds for accurate timing. See also P-frames, Bframes, MPEG and Codec.
I-Link – Sony's term for IEEE 1394 or FireWire.
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575
Appendix F
Image – A rectangular picture of a scene, made by a video camera. A video
camera produces a fixed number of images per second. This number is 25 for PAL
cameras and 30 for NTSC cameras. The images are sent to a monitor or frame
grabber in the form of a video signal.
Image digitization – The transformation of an analog video signal to a digital
image. This process, carried out by a frame grabber or encoder, is an essential
component of digital image processing. You can think of this process as follows:
(1) The frame grabber places a (virtual) raster on top of each incoming image,
thus dividing the picture into a large number of small rectangles called pixels (2)
For each pixel, the frame grabber quantifies the light intensity and translates this
to a positive whole number.
Image resolution – The number of pixels into which the frame grabber divides a
video image.
Image sensor – See CCD.
Import profile – A profile used to import external data. In the import profile you
can define, e.g., the sample rate or sample interval of your external data.
Independent variable (IV) – Any quantity or quality that does not depend on
what happens during the observation session and potentially determines the
value of a dependent variable. Independent variables include the environmental
conditions and those experimental parameters that can be manipulated by the
researcher. This contrasts with the various parameters derived from observed
behavioral events that constitute the dependent variables. Typical independent
variables are treatment parameters (substance, dosage, treatment duration, etc.)
or environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.).
Independent Variable List – A list with all the variables in your project, which
may include independent (user-defined) variables, media files, external data and
system variables.
Initial state event – Each behavior group (class) can – but does not have to –
contain one initial state event. This default state can also be the null behavior of
its group of behaviors, that is, the state that indicates that nothing relevant is
occurring in a particular group. Initial state behaviors automatically appear in the
Event Log window at the start of an observation for each behavior group that has
been set to Mutually exclusive and Exhaustive. Initial state events prevent
potential analysis problems at the beginning of live recordings, when you have
subjects doing 'nothing'. In The Observer XT 6/7, Initial state events were called
Default state event.
Instantaneous sampling – A recording method whereby the behavior of one or
more subjects is recorded at fixed intervals / s. At the instant of each, the observer
records the behavior that the animal performs at that instant. The result of
instantaneous sampling is usually expressed as the proportion of all s on which
the behavior was occurring. Instantaneous sampling is often used to determine
576
The Observer XT
Glossary
the time budgets of behavioral states for multiple animals. Instantaneous
sampling is also known as “time sampling” or “point sampling”.
Interlacing – The means by which an image is scanned, where the odd and even
fields are displayed alternately (see figure below). Interlacing is used to reduce
flicker in an image.
IV – See Independent variable.
Jog function – Function available on some video recorders. With this function it is
possible to move one frame back or forward. It can be used for frame-accurate
searching. Noldus offers a video control keyboard with a jog/shuttle dial that you
can use for controlling media files.
JPEG – Stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is a compression technique
for color images. It can reduce files sizes to about 5% of their original size, but
some detail might be lost in the compression. See also MJPEG, MPEG.
Keyboard shortcut – See Shortcut key.
Keyframes – See I-frames.
LED – Light-Emitting Diode. A tiny light, mostly colored, that is often present on
electronic apparatuses, especially on audio, video and computer equipment to
indicate the functioning of specific functions.
Light intensity – The amount of light produced by a light source, measured in lux.
Luminance – The brightness component in a composite video signal. It is a single
value that defines the amount of lightness or white component in an image. See
also Y-signal, Chrominance.
Lux – Unit of light intensity. Equal to the number of lumen per meter. The
following are a few common reference values: candle light from 20 cm distance:
10-15 lux; standard indoor room light: 100 lux; brightly illuminated office room:
400 lux; sunlight, one hour before sunset: 1000 lux; daylight, overcast: 5000 lux;
daylight, bright sky: 10.000 lux; intense sunlight: 20.000 lux or more.
Macro – A set of instructions for automating a computer program task.
Manual focus lens – A lens that manually has to be focused on an object, as
opposed to an auto focus lens which focuses automatically.
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577
Appendix F
Manual variable – An independent variable that you can edit by opening the
Independent Variable List. You are never prompted to edit a manual variable.
Media file – A media file is a digital video file on disk. This can be either the
computer’s hard disk, a CD-ROM, or a Digital Versatile Disk (DVD).
Media file player – A hardware or software device that enables you to playback
media files (that is, digital video files on disk) such as the Windows Media Player.
MJPEG – Motion-JPEG extends the JPEG standard for storing and compressing
digital images by supporting video. In MJPEG, each frame in the video is stored
with the JPEG format. See also MPEG.
Modifier – Anything that specifies a behavior more precisely. Modifiers can be
used to record, for example, the substrate from which an animal feeds, the type of
toy a child chooses, or the size of the prey an animal consumes etc. Modifiers can
be nominal as well as numerical. You can replace the term 'modifier' with your
own terminology by setting Preferences.
Module – A section of a larger program.
Monochrome – Any combination of colors of the same hue, but of different
saturations and intensity. Generally, a monochrome image is known as black and
white.
MOV – See QuickTime.
MPEG – Stands for Moving Picture Experts Group. It is a file format for
compressing full-motion digital video, with the extension MPG.
MPEG encoder – A hardware or software device that records, digitizes, and
compresses analog audio and video data, and stores it in MPEG format. In order to
playback this data you have to decode it, using an MPEG decoder. See also
Compression, Decompression.
Multi-subject project – A project for observations in which several subjects can
initiate behavior. This type can be used for observations with several (focal)
subjects.
Mutually exclusive – Behaviors within a behavior group (class) are mutually
exclusive when they exclude each other. When one of the behaviors is active, the
other behaviors within the same group cannot be active. The advantage of having
mutually exclusive behaviors is that during coding you do not need to stop
behaviors. When you start a new behavior, the previously coded behavior
automatically stops. In the Observer 5 state behaviors within a behavioral class
must be mutually exclusive. In The Observer XT a behavior group may contain
either mutually exclusive behaviors or start-stop behaviors.
Nominal variable – A variable whose values contain letters or special characters,
as well as numbers. See also Numerical variable.
578
The Observer XT
Glossary
Non-exclusive behaviors – Behaviors are non-exclusive if they can overlap in
time, that is, they occur simultaneously. This applies in particular to state
behaviors.
NTSC – National Television Standards Committee. Organization that has set the
American standard for color TV, based on 525 lines and 60 Hz. The NTSC standard
is used in 32 countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and several
Latin American countries.
Null behavior – A state that indicates that nothing of relevance is presently
occurring.
Numerical variable – A variable whose values are only numbers. See also
Nominal variable.
Observation – All the event logs (behavioral data files), video files and external
data files in your project. See also Event log.
Observational method – A set of modes of inquiry, systematic procedures and
techniques used to collect proper information on a system. In behavioral sciences,
this implies performing meticulously detailed descriptions of behavior, whatever
the context. The behavioral scientist tries to ensure that the categories used to
describe behavior (behaviors) are objective; in other words, that they refer to its
observable form and are capable of consistent use over time and between
observers. See also Ethology, Ethogram, Recording method.
Offline scoring – In the Observer XT, scoring from digital tape or media files.
Offset – The point in time at which an event log, media file or external data file
starts. By changing the offset you can synchronize event logs, video files and
external data files.
On/Off signal – Signal type used to synchronize external data and Observer data.
An On/Off signal can be used if the external data are sampled at a low rate (less
than 10 Hz) and without interruption. See also TCAP.
Optical disk – A CD or DVD.
Oscilloscope – Apparatus that displays the amplitude of an electrical signal
against time. It helps adjust the output of the devices that generate the signals.
PAL – Phase Alternating Line. A standard color-encoding system, based on CCIR
video (625 lines and 25 frames/second) and FM-modulated audio signals. It is
used in all of western Europe (except France), China, Indonesia and Australia.
There are several “dialects” within the PAL standard, which causes varying degrees
of compatibility between countries.
P-frames – Frames in MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 digital video files that contain
information about how they differ from the previous I-frame for decoding. See
also I-frames, B-frames, MPEG and Codec.
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579
Appendix F
Phone connector – A male plug for a two-wire cable, particularly used to insert
microphone cables (see figure below). Not to be confused with Phono connector.
Phono connector – A cylinder-shaped connector (see figure below), also called a
tulip or cinch connector or RCA jack, with a protruding pin. It is a plug and socket
for a two-wire coaxial cable used to connect audio and video components. Not to
be confused with Phone connector.
Pixel – Picture element. The smallest dot that the computer and monitor can
display, or the representation on the screen of the value of a bit. Its gray value or
color value is represented by a number.
Plug-in – A computer program that interacts with a main application (in this case
The Observer XT) to provide a certain, usually very specific, function on demand.
Typical examples are plug-ins that read audio files. A standard plug-in application
is installed when you install The Observer XT.
Plug-in board – See Expansion board.
Point event – A behavior without measurable or relevant duration. Either the
duration is very (unmeasurably) short (for instance, for a behavior like 'hitting'), or
you are not interested in the duration of the event but only in its occurrence (for
instance, in the case of 'talking'. Point events can be represented by a point in the
flow of time, because they have (or you give them) no duration. In contrast, state
behaviors describe the condition of a subject for some time, therefore they can
be represented by a segment in the time line.
Preferences – A number of settings allowing you to define file paths, auto
recovery, terminology of your coding scheme elements, appearance of your
Observer screen, and to select in what situations you want to get warnings.
Project – In The Observer, a project groups all the information belonging to one
experimental setup. All observations in a project have the same coding scheme
and independent variables (but not necessarily the same independent variable
values). Projects contain not only the actual data you collect, but also your coding
scheme, data profiles and analysis settings and results.
Project Explorer – The tree view part of The Observer's interface where you can
view and manage the files and elements of your project. By default, it is located
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The Observer XT
Glossary
on the left side of the screen when you start The Observer. Click on items in the
explorer to view them in the Component view.
QuickTime – A file format for storing video and animation information with the
extension MOV. QuickTime is built into the Macintosh operating system. PCs can
also run files in QuickTime format, but they require a special QuickTime driver.
See also Video for Windows, MPEG.
RCA jack – See Phono connector.
Real time – The current time of day. It is identical to the system time stored in
your computer’s internal clock, provided that this has been set and is operating
correctly. The real time cannot be modified by you from within The Observer. The
Observer uses it as the current time during observation, unless you have adjusted
the current time in the View settings when starting an observation.
Recording method – The aspect of the data collection method that determines
which subjects are watched, when and how. The Observer XT supports continuous
recording, ad libitum sampling (using start-stop behaviors) and instantaneous
sampling.
Resolution – See Color resolution or Image resolution.
Resuming an observation – In The Observer, restarting an observation after it
has been suspended. The data analysis ignores suspended periods. Behavioral
states that are interrupted by a suspended period are treated as a single behavior.
Roll-off time – The time that the video keeps playing, during playback in the
Episode Selection, after the stop time of an event. This is useful if the State event
has a short duration or if you want to play back Point events (which by definition
have no duration). Maximum Roll-off time is 00:09:59.999.
Roll-on time – The time that the video starts playing, during playback in the
Episode Selection, before the start time of an event. This is useful if the State
event has a short duration or if you want to play back Point events (which by
definition have no duration). Maximum Roll-on time is 00:09:59.999.
Sample interval – The interval at which (external) data are sampled, e.g. a sample
interval of 20 msec.
Sample interval length – The interval at which instantaneous samples are
scored.
Sample rate – The rate at which (external) data are sampled e.g. a sample rate of
500 Hz.
Saturation – A measure of how pure a color is, in relation to its brightness. For
example, a fully saturated red would be a pure red. The less saturated, the more
pastel it appears.
Reference Manual
581
Appendix F
SCART connector – A 21-pin connector (see figure) with which many video
recorders and monitors are equipped. The SCART connector, also referred to as AV
connector or Euro connector, contains pins for audio, video as well as control
signals. There is no well-defined standard; some SCART connectors only allow
transmission of composite video signals, while others have separate pins for RGB
input and output. The latter type (known as SCART-RGB), which is technically
superior, is found on S-VHS equipment.
SCART-RGB connector – See SCART connector.
S-connector – See S-Video connector.
SECAM – Séquentiel Couleur à Mémoire. A color-encoding system, which
originated in France, and which is almost identical to the PAL standard, except that
the audio signal is AM-modulated. The video signals are compatible and
interchangeable. It is used with CCIR video, in 42 countries, including France,
eastern Europe, the Middle East and large parts of Africa.
Separated Y/C – See S-Video connector.
Sequence sampling – Sequence sampling refers to an observation in which
interaction sequences are scored rather than the behaviors of a particular
individual.
Shortcut key – Keystrokes that call up a menu item (e.g. CTRL+SHIFT+D -> New
Data Profile) or result in a specific action (e.g. CTRL+S -> Save the current project).
They are usually the combination of a modifier key (for example the Alt key) and a
character key. See Appendix “Keyboard shortcuts”.
Shuttle mode – A tape speed option of a shuttle function. A shuttle function is a
knob, that can be turned left and right. By turning this knob clockwise, the tape
speed increases from still to advanced forward play. Counter-clockwise turning of
the shuttle knob causes an increase in backward tape speed. The increase of the
tape speed goes stepwise; the more shuttle modes, the smaller the steps. A
shuttle function is made for frame-accurate searching. Noldus offers a video
control keyboard with a jog/shuttle dial that you can use for controlling media
files.
Single-subject project – A project for observations of a single individual, in which
each act is initiated by the subject under observation. This can apply to
observations on a single animal in a cage or experimental set-up, as well as to
582
The Observer XT
Glossary
observations of one subject in a group, where one is only interested in its
individual behavior and/or the behaviors directed at other subjects.
Software decoder – A program that decodes a compressed video file for
playback. See also Hardware decoder, Software encoder.
Software encoder – A program that encodes (compresses) an uncompressed
digitized video feed (combined with the audio feed) to one of the available
formats of the program. In contrast to hardware encoding, software encoding
uses the processor (CPU) of your computer to encode the recording, so creating
high-quality recordings requires a fast processor. See also Hardware encoder.
Start-stop behavior – A behavior that you can start and stop independent of other
behaviors; unlike mutually exclusive behaviors that you stop by starting another
behavior from the same group (class).
State behavior – A type of behavioral pattern with a distinct start and end, of
which – besides the frequency of occurrence – the duration is recorded. Examples
are walking, playing, grooming, etc.
State event – See State behavior.
Stereotypy – Short for stereotyped behavior pattern, a pattern that shows a high
degree of fixity or constancy from one occasion to the next or even from one
individual to another.
Sub-D connector – A standard 9-pin or 25-pin connector (see figure below), used
on computers (e.g. for the RS-232 port) and video cameras (e.g. color cameras
with RGB output).
Subject – Subjects can be individual animals or humans, but also, for instance,
hands (on a keyboard), muscles in the face or shoals of fish. You can replace the
term 'subject' with your own terminology by setting Preferences.
Subtitle duration – The time that the Subtitle text is shown during playback of a
media file generated from an Episode Selection.
Subtitle text – The overlay text shown when playing a media file generated from
an Episode Selection. The text shown is that in the Event Name column of the
Episode Selection. By default, subtitles are shown for all events.
Suspending an observation – In The Observer, pausing the observation, for
instance when the subject is out of sight. While the observation is suspended, the
elapsed time is incremented, but the observed time is not. The data analysis
ignores suspended periods. Behavioral states that are interrupted by a suspended
period are treated as a single behavior.
Reference Manual
583
Appendix F
S-Video – A video signal, also referred to as Separated Y/C signal, in which the
chrominance (Y/C) and luminance (Y) components are transmitted separately. See
also Composite video signal, RGB, S-Video connector
S-Video connector – A video connector (see figure below), also referred to as
Separated Y/C connector, designed for separate transmission of chrominance Y/C)
and luminance (Y) signals. This (usually 4-pin) connector is sometimes referred to
as “S-VHS connector”, but this is incorrect, because it is found on all sorts of highquality video equipment, including Hi-8 and S-VHS recorders, as well as highresolution monitors.
Synchronization – Changing the start time of a data set (Event Log, Digital Media,
External Data) relative to other data set start times.
Synchronization signal – A signal from the Observer XT PC to an external Data
AcQuisition system, containing time information. The synchronization signal must
be recorded by the DAQ system and sent back to The Observer PC where it is
compared with a reference copy retained in the PC. In this way, external data and
behavioral data are synchronized.
System date – The date stored in your computer’s internal clock. It cannot be
modified by you from within The Observer.
System time – The time stored in your computer’s internal clock. The system time
cannot be modified from within The Observer. The program also uses it as the
current time during observation, unless you have adjusted the current time in the
View settings when starting an observation. See also Real time.
System variable – System variables include the Start Time, Stop Time and
Duration of your observation.
TCAP (Time Code Auxiliary Parity) – Signal type used to synchronize external data
and Observer data. A TCAP signal is a series of bits (called frame) that is sent
repeatedly from the PC to the DAQ device. Each frame contains the current date
and time and additional information. See also On/Off.
Text file – Commonly used term referring to a file that only contains ASCII
characters higher than 31, that is no control codes such as those inserted by a
word processing program. Also referred to as “ASCII file”.
Time code – The time information in each event line of your event log specifying
when the event took place. You can change the time format in the View settings
when starting an observation.
584
The Observer XT
Glossary
Transition – A label that you can insert in your Episode Selection to distinguish
events or groups of events. A transition is indicated by an orange row (title row).
When you playback the media file generated from an Episode selection, you will
see a transition as an interval between two video fragments. If you like you can
add an overlay text (subtitle) to a transition.
Tulip connector – See Phono connector.
TV standard – Standard governing the way in which TV and video signals, in color
or black/white, are transmitted. TV standards refer to the number of lines,
bandwidth of the video and audio signals, the method of encoding color and
brightness information, method of sound modulation, etc. See also CCIR, NTSC,
PAL, SECAM.
uLog – uLog is a tool for the automatic recording of user-system interaction. uLog
is automatically installed with The Observer XT. uLog is available as uLog Lite (with
limited functionality) or uLog Pro (with full functionality).
Unit of behavior – A specific combination of movements and postures,
constituting an element from the behavioral repertoire of a species, that always
occurs in the same form and which differs from other such combinations. With
The Observer, these units can be coded as behaviors.
User-defined variable – See Independent variable.
Vertical resolution – The number of horizontal lines displayed by a camera or
monitor. See also Horizontal resolution.
VGA – The term Video Graphics Array (VGA) refers specifically to the display
hardware first introduced by IBM in 1987. Nowadays it is also used as a prefix to
refer to the analog computer display standard, the 15-pin D-sub connector or the
relatively low-resolution video display, similar to TV-standards.
Video for Windows – A file format for storing video and audio information with
the extension AVI (Audio Video Interleave). The audio and video data are
interleaved for each block of time. AVI files are limited to 320 x 240 resolution, and
15 frames per second, neither of which is adequate for full-screen, full-motion
video. However, it does not require any special hardware. See also MPEG,
QuickTime.
Video Highlights Module – See Episode selection.
Video image – See Frame.
Video window – The window that shows the video image when you carry out an
observation. You can only view the Video window if you are scoring data online
with a video signal, or offline (media files an tapes). As soon as the live video is
detected or the tape/media file is playing, the video image is shown in the Video
window.
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Appendix F
View settings – From the View settings list you can select what windows you want
to be visible in the Component view. For instance, when you have opened the
coding scheme, in the View settings list you can select Subjects, Behaviors,
Modifiers, Properties and Combinations. Selecting/clearing these options shows/
hides the Subjects window, Behaviors window, etc.
XML – The eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a standard for creating custom
markup languages. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured
data across different information systems and programs.
Xvid – Xvid is a specific codec for MPEG-4, which gives a good compression and
quality. The Xvid codec for recording and playing back MPEG-4 files is available for
free (from www.Xvid.org), and this codec also allows you to make compressed
MPEG-4 movies.
Y-signal – Luminance or brightness component in a composite video signal. In a
composite video signal it is mixed with the chrominance (color) component, while
in S-Video and RGB signals the components are transmitted separately. See also Csignal, S-Video.
Y/C-signal – See S-Video.
586
The Observer XT
G
License Agreement
1 LICENSE. Noldus Information Technology b.v. ('Noldus') grants you a nonexclusive license to use the software and accompanying documentation
(collectively called the 'Software' in this agreement) in accordance with the
following terms. Noldus retains title and all ownership rights to the Software.
Noldus will allow you to make back-up copies of the Software, always
including copyright notices, provided that these copies are only for your own
use. Noldus grants you the right to transfer this license and the Software to
another party, provided that (a) the other party accepts all terms of this
agreement, (b) all copies of the software are transferred and you discontinue
use of the Software after transferring, (c) Noldus is promptly notified of the
license number of the Software and the name and address of the other party,
and (d) Noldus is not required to supply new media. You may not sublicense,
assign or transfer the license or the Software except as expressly provided in
this agreement. Any attempt otherwise to sublicense, assign or transfer any of
the rights, duties or obligations hereunder is void. You may not receive money
or any other form of compensation for transferring the license.
2 TERM AND TERMINATION. Failure to comply with any of these terms will
terminate this agreement and your right to use the Software. You may also
choose to terminate the agreement at any time. Upon termination of this
agreement, you must immediately destroy the Software and all copies of it.
3 LIMITED WARRANTY. Noldus warrants that the media on which the Software is
furnished are free of defects in workmanship and material under normal use,
and that the Software will perform substantially in accordance with the
specifications set forth in the documentation provided with the Software, for a
period of ninety (90) days from the date of purchase by you. During the 90-day
warranty period, if the Software does not perform as warranted, Noldus at its
sole option will (a) provide, without charge, a replacement of the media, (b)
Reference Manual
587
Appendix G
provide, without charge, corrected Software, (c) replace, without charge,
Software with a functionally similar program, or (d) refund the fees paid for
licensing the Software. These are your sole and exclusive remedies for any
breach of warranty. Do not return any product until you have called Noldus or
its supplier and obtained a return authorization number.
4 DISCLAIMER. Software is licensed 'as is' without warranty as to its
performance. Except for the limited warranty provided above, there are no
warranties expressed or implied, including but not limited to implied
warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, and all such
warranties are expressly disclaimed. In no event shall Noldus or its suppliers
be responsible for any indirect or consequential damage or lost profits, even if
Noldus and its suppliers had been advised of the possibility of such damage.
5 MISCELLANEOUS. The Software and accompanying documentation are
protected by both Dutch copyright law and international copyright treaty
provisions. This agreement will be governed by the laws of The Netherlands.
6 OTHER SOFTWARE. The Observer XT contains:
 Runtime Modules of IBM High Resolution Time Stamp. Copyright © IBM
Corporation 2001. All rights reserved.
 The ZipArchive Library - Creation, modification and decompression of "zip"
format archives. Copyright © 2000 - 2007 Artpol Software - Tadeusz Dracz.
 MainConcept codecs. Copyright  2009 MainConcept AG, Aachen.
These files or modules may not be reverse assembled, reverse compiled or
otherwise translated.
588
The Observer XT
Index
1-9
32-bit
windows 7 ...................................... 46
windows xp .................................... 46
64-bit
windows 7 ...................................... 46
A
About The Observer XT ........... 14, 15, 564
Abscissa ................................................ 436
Absolute time format ........................... 139
AM and PM ................................... 140
AC adapter ........................................... 565
Acqknowledge
see BIOPAC .................................. 555
Action by external program ................. 232
Action-reaction ..................................... 192
Activating
a coding scheme element ........... 124
data profile ................................... 350
Active
coding scheme element .............. 124
state .............................................. 166
ActiveMovie ......................................... 565
Activity .................................................. 565
Actor ..................................................... 565
Ad libitum sampling ............................. 565
Add
a new line in the Event Log ......... 185
an element to a scored event line
....................................................... 184
an element to the coding scheme
while observing ........................ 179
comment ..............................167, 172
Reference Manual
independent variables .......... 65, 128
media files ........................... 135, 522
new element ................. 97, 103, 114
series to chart ...............................435
subtitles to a media file ................ 391
user-defined variable ....................128
Adobe Acrobat .......................................12
Agreements ................................. 473, 482
Aligning observations .......................... 462
in reliability analysis result ...........478
Allow other values ...................... 132, 133
AM notation .........................................140
Analog .................................................. 565
Analog-to-digital converter ................... 566
Analysis .................................... 25, 68, 524
behavior analysis ............. 34, 68, 396
lag sequential analysis .......... 34, 440
notes about previous Observer
versions ............................ 451, 481
numerical analysis ........... 34, 68, 396
reliability analysis .................. 34, 460
Analysis chart
see Charts
Analysis result
behavior analysis .......................... 403
customizing for charts .................. 431
exporting ...................................... 525
folder ............................................ 533
lag sequential analysis ................. 451
numerical analysis ........................ 403
opening ........................................ 525
reliability analysis ......................... 470
saving ...........................................524
statistics ........................................ 403
Analysis settings
behavior analysis .......................... 398
for lag sequential analysis ............450
for reliability analysis ....................470
for statistics ................................... 401
589
Index
numerical analysis ........................ 398
Analyzed duration ........................251, 409
Analyzing data .................................22, 25
AND logic
data selection ............................... 338
ANSI ..................................... 502, 526, 529
Aperture ............................................... 566
Aspect ratio .......................................... 566
Audio channel ........................................ 86
Audio files ............................................ 244
Auditory feedback
sound ........................................... 155
Auto focus ............................................ 566
Auto record subject ............................. 152
Automatic
grouping ....................................... 296
header detection ......... 262, 270, 520
synchronization ............................ 271
Automatically
correcting errors in event log ...... 209
generate keycodes ......................... 94
stop an observation ..................... 175
AV connector ........................................ 566
AVI ....................................... 522, 553, 566
see also DV-AVI ............................... 84
Axes
scaling chart axes ......................... 436
B
Backing up a project ............................ 492
Backup ................................................... 35
Bar chart .........................................36, 434
Batch analysis (reliability) .................... 463
Behavior .........................................18, 566
add to coding scheme while
observing .................................. 179
codes ............................................ 106
color ............................................. 107
delete from coding scheme ........ 123
description ................................... 106
filtering ......................................... 313
590
find ............................................... 213
frequently-asked questions ..........109
grouping in the coding scheme ..110
maximum number ........................ 101
modifiers ...................................... 107
mutually-exclusive and exhaustive
....................................................... 109
mutually-exclusive and nonexhaustive .................................109
name ............................................. 103
nesting ..........................................327
properties ..................................... 106
start-stop .............................. 102, 109
triggering ...................................... 192
Behavior analysis .................................. 396
grouped numerical modifiers ...... 411
Behavior data plot
see event plot
Behavior group ..................................... 110
maximum number of hierarchical
levels .........................................110
Behavior group (class) ......................... 566
Behavior sampling ...............................566
Behavioral class
see behavior group ......................110
Behavioral modifier ..................... 107, 566
B-frames ............................................... 566
BioLab
see MindWare .............................. 555
BIOPAC
data acquisition system ....... 257, 555
import profile ...................... 259, 557
Bit ......................................................... 566
Bitmap .................................................. 566
Blood pressure data ................ 22, 30, 257
BNC cable ............................................. 567
BNC connector ..................................... 567
Brightness ............................................ 567
Built-in microphone ...............................86
The Observer XT
Index
C
Calculating Statistics ......................68, 395
for multiple event logs ................. 425
note for observer 5 users ............. 397
procedure overview ..................... 397
selecting statistics ........................ 400
Camcorder ........................................... 567
Carrying out an observation ... 29, 65, 147
procedure in short ....................... 158
with external data ........................ 218
with external programs ................ 232
with plug-in applications .............. 244
with screen capture ..................... 241
with uLog ..................................... 219
CCD camera ......................................... 567
CCIR ...................................................... 567
Channels ................................. 91, 99, 118
see combinations ......................... 118
Characters (Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic) 29,
46, 49, 75, 92, 93, 96, 99, 103, 106, 117,
............................................. 128, 131, 136
Chart category name
editing .......................................... 435
Charts ..................................................... 36
chart title ...................................... 436
chart type ..................................... 434
creating ........................................ 431
data labels .................................... 436
deleting ........................................ 437
editing .......................................... 435
exporting ...................................... 438
formatting .................................... 435
formatting axes ............................ 436
gridlines ....................................... 436
legend .......................................... 436
opening ........................................ 437
printing ......................................... 438
renaming ...................................... 437
required analysis settings layout . 431
saving ........................................... 437
scaling axes .................................. 436
selecting data ............................... 434
Reference Manual
smoothing .................................... 436
trendline ....................................... 436
Check box ............................................. 567
Check for Updates .......................... 13, 37
Checking
coding scheme ............................. 120
event log .............................. 202, 209
for Pocket Observer compatibility ..95
Chinese characters ..46, 49, 96, 128, 131,
.............................................. 136, 137, 138
exporting episode selections ....... 529
exporting results ........................... 526
importing data .............................. 514
Chroma filter ........................................ 567
Chroma signal ...................................... 567
Chrominance ........................................ 567
Cinch connector ................................... 567
Coax cable ............................................ 567
Code
keycode ........................................ 106
Codec ..............................47, 84, 391, 568
Coder license .........................................29
Codes window ............................. 200, 568
customize ..................................... 201
inactive coding scheme elements 124
Coding behavior ................................... 568
Coding error .................................. 94, 120
Coding options
for key codes ..................................93
for stop codes .................................94
Coding scheme ....................... 21, 27, 568
add an element while observing .179
add comment ...............................100
check ............................................ 120
combinations ................................100
create ....................................... 64, 90
delete element ............................. 123
edit ................................................ 122
exchanging ............................ 77, 494
importing with odx files ............... 511
online validation of ........................94
remove an element while observing
....................................................... 182
settings ...........................................92
591
Index
use coding scheme sounds ......... 156
Coding scheme restrictions ................... 29
Coding stations ...................................... 30
Cohen’s Kappa ..................................... 482
Collapsing elements in a result
behavioral and numerical analysis
....................................................... 409
lag sequential analysis ................. 456
Color resolution ................................... 568
Colors
changing in an event plot ............ 367
changing in external data plots ... 367
Combinations ....................................... 118
deleting ........................................ 120
Combined results (reliability analysis) 464,
............................................. 470, 473, 477
Combined sampling
behaviors ...................................... 101
definition ........................................ 87
why use .......................................... 88
Combining
filters ............................................ 308
groups .......................................... 302
intervals ................................402, 451
Command line options ........................ 234
Comment .............................. 27, 159, 182
Comparing events in two observations
.............................................................. 460
comparison list ............................. 476
how the program works ............... 465
how to align observations ........... 463
selecting pairs .............................. 463
Compatibility
check for Pocket Observer
compatibility ............................... 95
Complex data selections ...................... 337
Component view .................... 40, 43, 568
Components pane ............................... 287
Component-specific tool bar ................. 39
view settings .................................. 40
Composite video signal ....................... 568
Compression ........................................ 568
Compulsory
variable value update ................... 134
592
Computer events .................................. 219
Computer specifications ........................47
Configuration file (for uLog) ................ 226
wrong file loaded ......................... 231
Confirmatory analysis ........................... 569
Confusion matrix .................................. 472
Connecting
selection boxes ............................ 291
Connecting arrow
deleting ........................................ 292
Connection (for uLog) .......................... 223
troubleshooting ............................ 231
Contact Help Desk ...............................563
Contextual variable .............................. 569
Continuous Sampling ........................... 569
behaviors ...................................... 101
definition ........................................87
statistics ........................................ 413
subjects ...........................................97
why use ..........................................87
Continuous variable ............................. 569
Contrast ................................................ 569
Copying
a project ................................. 77, 490
a project to multiple computers ... 494
backup copy of a project .............. 492
data profile ................................... 351
events in the episode selection ... 382
timecode from video to event log 186
transitions in the episode selection
....................................................... 382
Correcting errors in event log automatically
...............................................................209
Count method
selecting data ...............................298
Count transitions across subject-behavioral
class combinations ...............................443
Creating
a new event log ............................ 252
a new project from a template ......73
a project ........................................ 489
blank episode selection ............... 370
charts ............................................ 431
coding scheme ...............................64
The Observer XT
Index
data profile ................................... 349
data selection ............................... 289
episode selection ......................... 368
episode selection from single event
log ............................................. 371
new blank project ....................62, 72
new DAQ hardware settings profile
....................................................... 272
new import profile ....................... 261
new observation .......................... 159
new project .................................... 72
new project from template ......62, 73
results box .................................... 293
Criterion event ..................................... 440
C-signal ................................................. 569
Current time
of observation .............................. 198
Customizing
codes window .............................. 201
event log window ........................ 203
event plots ................................... 362
lag sequential analysis result ....... 454
observation screen ....................... 195
playback control window ............. 206
reliability analysis result .......476, 477
statistics result .............................. 408
timers window ............................. 199
video window .......................206, 207
windows ...............................196, 197
Cyrillic characters .... 46, 49, 96, 128, 131,
.................... 136, 137, 138, 514, 526, 529
D
DAQ
see Data AcQuisition system
DAQ co-acquisition .............................. 570
Data Acquisition System ....... 22, 551, 570
Data labels
charts ............................................ 436
Data profile .....................22, 32, 286, 570
activating ...................................... 350
Reference Manual
copying .........................................351
creating .........................................349
deleting ........................................ 351
editing ..........................................350
managing ..................................... 349
opening ........................................ 349
renaming ...................................... 351
resetting ....................................... 351
saving ...........................................350
viewing .........................................349
Data record ...........................................570
Data selection
AND logic ...................................... 338
compared to The Observer 4/5 .... 346
complex selections .............. 289, 337
creating .........................................289
multiple results logic ....................339
OR logic ........................................ 338
Data Selection screen .......................... 286
Data Selection window ........................ 288
Dataquest
see DSI ..........................................555
Decimals
in independent variable values ...129,
....................................................... 130
in lag sequential analysis .............443
in reliability analysis .....................464
in statistics .................................... 398
separator ....................................... 129
Decoder ................................................ 570
Decompression .................................... 570
Default .................................................. 570
file locations ........................ 143, 532
keycode length ...............................94
Default state event ...............................570
initial state event .......................... 107
Defaults .......................151, 154, 156, 158
Defining
a new element in the Event Log ..179
behaviors ...................................... 100
file paths ....................................... 143
free intervals .................................319
independent or user-defined variables
...................................................128
593
Index
modifiers ...................................... 110
subjects .......................................... 96
subjects as modifiers ................... 118
terminology .................................. 141
time bins ...................................... 336
Delay .................................................... 235
Deleting
a coding scheme element ........... 123
a coding scheme element while
observing .................................. 182
a media file ..........................240, 523
a media variable ........................... 523
a scored element in the event Log
....................................................... 184
an episode selection .................... 528
charts ............................................ 437
coding scheme element .............. 123
coding scheme element while
observing .................................. 182
combinations ............................... 120
connecting arrow ......................... 292
current element from event log .. 202
data profile ................................... 351
event rows from event log .......... 185
group of selection boxes ............. 292
media variable .............................. 523
selection box ................................ 292
transitions from an episode selection
....................................................... 382
variables from independent variable
list ............................................. 127
Dependent variable ............................. 570
Description
of behaviors ................................. 106
of your coding errors ................... 121
of your external data .................... 137
of your independent variables ..... 128
of your media file ......................... 136
of your modifiers .......................... 117
of your observation ...................... 160
of your project ................................ 75
of your subjects .............................. 99
Descriptive statistics ............................ 570
Diagonal cells ...................................... 475
594
Digital ...................................................570
Digital image ........................................ 570
Digital media (file) ...............................570
Digital tape .............................................81
Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) .................. 570
Digital video .........................................571
Digital video format ............................. 571
Digital video on tape ............................ 571
Digital video tape standards ................ 571
Digital-S ................................................ 570
Digitization ...........................................571
Digitizer ................................................ 571
Dip switch ............................................. 571
Disagreements ............................ 473, 482
caused by modifiers .....................480
Disk media ...........................................571
Disk space ..............................................48
DivX ............................................... 84, 572
Docking and undocking windows ....... 207
Docking/undocking Video window ..... 206
Double scoring of active behaviors ..... 153
Download page ............................... 16, 37
Download technical notes .....................14
Driver ....................................................572
DSI
data acquisition system ................ 555
import profile ...................... 259, 558
Dump file for Technical Support ..........534
Duration
as percentage ...............................419
change ..........................................187
observation ............................ 89, 250
of analyzed observation ...... 251, 409
total duration ....................... 417, 424
DV ......................................................... 572
DV-AVI .................................... 84, 522, 572
record live video to dv-avi files .... 179
DVCAM ................................................. 572
DVCPRO ................................................ 572
DVD ......................................................572
DV-device
firewire device .............................. 179
The Observer XT
Index
E
EBU ....................................................... 572
ECG data .........................................30, 257
Editing
a chart .......................................... 435
an import profile ..................269, 519
chart category name .................... 435
coding scheme .....................180, 182
coding scheme element .............. 123
data .............................................. 184
data profile ................................... 350
event data in Event plot ............... 361
independent variables .........134, 151
statistics results ............................ 407
Editing system ...................................... 572
EEG data .................................. 22, 30, 257
Elapsed time
of observation .............................. 198
EMG data ..........................................22, 30
Encoder ................................................ 572
End of state event ........................169, 170
Ending an observation ......................... 159
automatically ................................ 175
manually ....................................... 176
prompt for confirmation to end ... 151
Environmental data
see external data .......................... 257
Episode Selection ... 24, 34, 355, 527, 572
changing duration of roll-on/roll-off
times ......................................... 387
changing duration of subtitles ..... 387
copying events ............................. 382
copying transitions ....................... 382
creating ........................................ 368
creating a blank one ............369, 370
creating from current data profile 369
creating from single event log .... 371
delete ........................................... 528
deleting transitions ...................... 382
exporting ..............................388, 528
exporting to text ........................... 388
generating a media file ............... 389
Reference Manual
hiding a column ........................... 385
open ............................................. 527
playing a point event ................... 387
playing an event ........................... 387
playing back .................................386
properties .................... 387, 392, 393
rename .........................................374
showing columns ......................... 383
sorting columns ............................ 386
sorting rows .................................. 386
with instantaneous sampling ....... 369
Episodes
moving ..........................................380
Error message ........................................15
Errors in event log ....................... 209, 512
after deleting combinations ......... 120
automatic fix .................................209
Ethogram .............................................. 572
Ethology ............................................... 572
Euro connector ..................................... 572
Event files ...............................................22
Event Log .............. 22, 148, 149, 250, 572
add a new row .............................. 185
analyzing multiple ........................ 425
change or delete a scored element
....................................................... 184
checker .........................................209
checking import ........................... 253
containing errors ................. 177, 209
event logs in view settings ...........196
export .................................. 194, 496
import .................................. 252, 510
in reliability analysis .....................469
multiple in one observation ......... 248
not overlapping in time ................ 428
overlapping in time ......................426
remove one or more event rows .185
re-open .........................................187
start time ...................................... 199
stop time ...................................... 199
Event Log start time .................... 250, 254
Event Log stop time ............................. 250
Event Log window ....................... 202, 573
customize ..................................... 203
595
Index
Event Name .......................................... 384
Event plot ........................ 23, 33, 354, 356
changing colors ............................ 367
copy and paste ............................. 361
customizing .................................. 362
double data labels ....................... 363
exporting ...................................... 361
interpret ....................................... 358
make screenshot .......................... 361
playing back data ......................... 360
printing ......................................... 362
showing/hiding events ................ 364
showing/hiding plots ................... 366
showing/hiding video .................. 366
sorting plots ................................. 365
specifying time format ................. 364
specifying time mode .................. 364
Event recorder ...................................... 573
Event recording .................................... 573
Events
find ............................................... 213
point events ................................. 109
sample events ................................ 87
state events .................................. 109
Example projects ..............................16, 37
Excel
export .......................... 496, 498, 502
maximum number of rows/columns
...............................................499, 526
Excel 2003 ........................... 499, 526, 554
Excel 2007 ............................................ 554
Excel 2007/2010 ...........................499, 526
Exchanging
coding scheme ................ 63, 77, 494
Exhaustive behaviors ........................... 103
Expansion board .................................. 573
Expansion bus ...................................... 573
Exploratory analysis .............................. 573
Exporting
an analysis result .......................... 525
an episode selection ............388, 528
charts ............................................ 438
data with Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic
characters ................................. 502
596
event plot ..................................... 361
external data .................................497
independent variables ................. 530
media files .................................... 497
observational data ............... 194, 496
selected data ............... 388, 498, 499
to excel ................................ 498, 502
uLog data files .............................. 521
Extension (of file name) .......................552
External data .....22, 30, 36, 218, 257, 573
carry out observations with ..........218
description .................................... 137
external data in view settings ...... 196
folder ............................................ 533
header detection .......................... 269
import .................................... 66, 258
in independent variable list ......... 137
interval selection ................. 320, 321
label .............................................. 137
module ...........................................56
nesting ..........................................333
plots .............................................. 359
scope ............................................ 138
show/hide .................................... 191
specify external data acquisition ..218
synchronize with logged events ..270
type ............................................... 138
visualization .................................. 359
External data plot .................................356
External programs ................................232
action ............................................ 232
automatic linking of media files ..235
plug-in ...........................................245
Eye-tracking data ....................................22
see external data .......................... 257
F
File extension ....................................... 552
File formats ...........................................551
File locations ............................... 532, 533
setting preferences for ................. 143
The Observer XT
Index
File management ................................. 487
Filter keys ............................................. 254
Filtering ................................................ 285
behaviors ...................................... 313
independent variables ................. 310
methods ....................................... 307
observations ................................. 309
procedure in short ....................... 308
rules .............................................. 339
selecting data ............................... 307
subjects ........................................ 315
Find function ........................................ 213
Finding events ..................................... 213
Firewall ................................ 224, 228, 231
FireWire . 57, 58, 59, 83, 84, 86, 573, 574
Firmware .............................................. 574
First
latency to ...................................... 420
Fixed action pattern ............................. 574
Focal length ......................................... 574
Focal subject ........................................ 574
Folders ................................................. 532
Formatting
charts ............................................ 435
Frame ................................................... 574
Frame frequency .................................. 574
Free interval selection
difference with nesting ........323, 325
external data ................................ 320
observation time .......................... 320
observational data ........................ 320
Free intervals ........................................ 285
defining ........................................ 319
selecting data ............................... 316
Frequency
of numerical modifiers ................ 415
of transitions ................................ 443
rate ............................................... 415
see also total number .................. 419
Reference Manual
G
Generating
a media file ................................... 389
separate output file for every episode
...................................................390
Graphs
see Charts
Gray value ............................................ 575
Group
merged .........................................295
summed ........................................ 295
Group in the coding scheme
behaviors ...................................... 110
modifiers ...................................... 118
Grouped numerical modifiers .............. 411
Grouping .............................................. 285
behaviors ...................................... 304
combining groups ........................ 302
event logs ..................................... 301
modifiers ...................................... 305
numerical variables ......................301
observations .................................300
relation with coding scheme ....... 300
selecting data ...............................295
subjects .........................................302
Grouping data
selecting data ...............................296
GSR data .................................................30
H
H.264 ............................................. 57, 575
Handheld computer ...................... 28, 195
Hardware decoder ...............................575
Hardware devices
save in template project .................78
Hardware encoder ...............................575
Hardware key .........................................52
Upgrading .......................................53
HDMI ....................................................575
597
Index
Header
specify row number ..................... 520
specify tag .................................... 520
Header detection .........................269, 520
automatic .................... 262, 270, 520
Heart rate data ...............................30, 504
Help
help desk ...................................... 563
menu .............................................. 13
Noldus technical support ............. 563
Hi-8 ....................................................... 575
Hibernation .......................................... 178
Hiding
columns in event log window ..... 203
columns in the episode selection 385
independent variables in independent
variable list ................................ 126
manual variables .......................... 151
rows and columns in analysis result ..
412
Higher than
external data nesting ................... 334
external data selection ................. 321
Horizontal resolution ........................... 575
Hue ...................................................... 575
I
IEEE 1394 .............................................. 575
I-frames ................................................ 575
Ignore recurring criteria ..............442, 448
Ignore recurring targets ..............443, 449
I-Link ..................................................... 575
Image ................................................... 576
Image digitization ................................ 576
Image resolution ................................. 576
Image sensor ....................................... 576
Import profile ....................................... 576
create new ...........................261, 514
edit .......................................269, 519
folders .......................................... 534
598
Importing
a project from the Observer 4/5 ..492
event log data from The Observer XT
.............................................. 252, 510
external data .......................... 66, 258
independent variables ................. 512
media files and external data with odx
files ...........................................512
Observer 3/4/5 ODF files .............513
Observer XT data files ................... 510
other observational data .............. 514
text import files ............................ 554
the coding scheme ......................511
uLog data files .............................. 521
Inactive coding scheme element ........ 123
in analysis results ......................... 124
re-activating .................................. 124
Include combined results ........... 464, 477
Incomplete events ...............................183
Independent variable ............ 65, 125, 128
description .................................... 128
edit before/after observation ....... 151
export ...........................................530
filtering .........................................310
format ...........................................129
importing with odx files ............... 512
label .............................................. 128
maximum number ........................ 128
predefined variable values ...........131
print .............................................. 127
scope ............................................ 148
set preferences for terminology ..141
type ............................................... 128
update ..........................................134
Independent variable (IV) ....................576
Independent Variable List ........... 125, 576
add digital media ......................... 135
add user-defined variable ............128
hide/show variables .....................126
Initial State Event ................. 107, 161, 576
Initialize subject states ........................ 161
Inserting
selection box ................................291
Installation ..............................................45
The Observer XT
Index
USB stick ......................................... 50
Installation DVD ..................................... 46
Instantaneous Sampling
behaviors ...................................... 101
definition ........................................ 87
importing data via ascii ................ 519
lag sequential analysis ................. 450
next sample .................................. 360
previous sample ........................... 360
statistics ........................................ 414
subjects .......................................... 97
why use .......................................... 87
Instantaneous sampling ...................... 576
Interface
The Observer XT interface .............. 40
Interlacing ............................................ 577
Intermittent sampling
see Instantaneous Sampling .......... 87
Inter-observer reliability ....................... 460
Interval sampling
see Instantaneous Sampling .......... 87
Intervals ............................................... 402
based on external data ........320, 321
based on observation time .......... 320
based on observational data ....... 320
effect of suspending the observation
...............................................321, 327
how they are calculated ............... 422
minimum interval length ............. 334
remaining time ............................ 174
start criteria .................................. 320
stop criteria .................................. 321
Intra-observer reliability ....................... 460
Introduction ........................................... 11
IP address .....................................223, 226
incorrect ....................................... 231
IV .......................................................... 577
J
Japanese characters 46, 49, 96, 128, 131,
............................................. 136, 137, 138
Reference Manual
exporting episode selections ....... 529
exporting results ........................... 526
importing data .............................. 514
Jog function ..........................................577
JPEG ......................................................577
K
Kappa (Cohen’s) ................................... 482
significance .................................. 484
Key code
behavior code ...............................106
case-sensitive codes .......................94
coding options for key codes .........93
default length .................................94
generate automatically ...................94
modifier code ...............................117
required ..........................................93
start codes .................................... 106
stop codes ......................................94
subject code ...................................99
Keyboard events .................................. 222
Keyboard shortcuts ..................... 543, 577
Keyframes ............................................. 577
Knowledge Base ....................................14
L
Lag sequential analysis ................. 34, 439
across event logs .......................... 446
collapsing observations or subjects
....................................................... 457
customizing the result .................. 454
exporting the result ......................525
layout of result ............................. 443
overview ....................................... 440
procedure ..................................... 441
result ............................................. 451
with instantaneous sampling ....... 450
Latency ................................................. 420
599
Index
LED ....................................................... 577
Legend
charts ............................................ 436
License agreement .............................. 587
License key ............................................ 52
License number ..................................... 14
Light intensity ...................................... 577
Line chart .......................................36, 434
Linking Behaviors to Subjects .............. 118
Live scoring ............................................ 81
on a netbook .................................. 47
with external data acquisition ...... 271
Location
media files .................................... 533
projects ......................................... 533
templates ..................................... 533
Lock coding scheme ............... 35, 79, 179
Lock Configuration .................. 35, 79, 179
Locking project setup ............. 35, 79, 179
Log file for Technical Support .............. 534
Log file name (for uLog) ...................... 227
Logging computer events .................... 219
Loop function ....................................... 208
Lower limit
external data nesting ................... 334
Lower than
external data nesting ................... 334
external data selection ................. 321
Luminance ........................................... 577
Lux ........................................................ 577
M
Macro ................................................... 577
Managing
data profiles ................................. 349
Manual focus lens ................................ 577
Manual grouping
selecting data ............................... 296
Manual offset ....................................... 279
Manual synchronization ...................... 276
Manual variable ...........................135, 578
600
hide ............................................... 151
Margin on numericals ......... 469, 475, 476
Maximum
in behavior analysis ......................416
in numerical analysis ....................422
number of behaviors ....................101
number of external data files ....... 137
number of hierarchical levels for
behaviors .................................. 110
number of hierarchical levels for
modifiers ................................... 118
number of media files .................. 135
number of modifiers ....................110
number of subjects ........................96
number of user-defined variables 128
Maximum duration
observation .....................................89
Mean
in behavior analysis ......................416
in numerical analysis ....................423
per minute .................................... 425
Media
location ...........................................51
Media file .................................... 522, 578
adding subtitles ............................ 391
automatic linking to an observation
....................................................... 235
description .................................... 136
file formats ................................... 553
folder ............................................ 533
generating from episode selection
....................................................... 389
import ...........................................194
in independent variable list ......... 135
label .............................................. 136
levels of association with data ..... 238
position .........................................163
record to disk .................................84
remove ................................ 240, 523
remove column in independent
variable list ................................523
replace ................................. 240, 523
scope ............................................ 137
score from ......................................81
The Observer XT
Index
select multiple media files at the
observation level ...................... 239
setting preferences for file paths 144
use multiple media files
simultaneously .................238, 523
Media file player .................................. 578
Media Recorder 29, 57, 83, 232, 233, 234,
..................................... 235, 391, 522, 553
Memory .................................................. 48
Menu events ........................................ 222
Menus
right-click ........................................ 41
Merged behaviors ................................ 305
Merged groups .................................... 295
Merged subjects .................................. 302
Microphone
built-in ............................................ 86
MindWare
data acquisition system .......257, 555
import profile .......................259, 556
Minimal interval length
external data nesting ................... 334
Minimal sampling time for external data
.............................................................. 273
Minimum
in behavior analysis ...................... 416
in numerical analysis .................... 422
Missing data .................................183, 209
Missing values
in lag sequential analysis ............. 443
in reliability analysis ..................... 464
in the statistics result ................... 398
MJPEG ................................................... 578
Mobile scoring device ........................... 28
Modifier .......................................110, 578
add to coding scheme while
observing .................................. 179
analysis in the observer 5 ............ 397
assign modifiers to behaviors ...... 115
behavioral modifier ...................... 107
code ............................................. 117
comparing in reliability analysis .. 464,
....................................................... 469
define ........................................... 111
Reference Manual
define subjects as modifiers ........ 118
delete from coding scheme ......... 123
description .................................... 117
find ............................................... 213
grouping in the coding scheme ..118
maximum number of hierarchical
levels .........................................118
maximum number per behavior ..110
name ............................................. 112
nominal ........................................ 113
numerical ............................. 112, 183
numerical analysis ........................ 396
numerical modifier statistics ........ 422
properties ..................................... 116
scoring combinations of .............. 118
subject modifier ........................... 100
Modifier disagreements (in reliability
analysis) ................................................ 482
Modifier error (in reliability analysis) ... 475
Modifier group in the coding scheme
delete ...........................................123
maximum number of hierarchical
levels .........................................118
Modify coding scheme ............... 180, 182
after observing ............................. 182
while observing ............................ 180
Module ................................................. 578
mobile scoring ................................56
Multiple video ...............................238
physiological inputs ........................56
uASQ ...............................................56
video ...............................................55
Monochrome ....................................... 578
MOV ......................................................578
Moving
coding scheme elements .............122
episodes ....................................... 380
events in an episode selection .... 380
group of selection boxes .............291
selection box ................................291
MPEG ....................................................578
MPEG encoder ...................................... 578
Multiple agreements for an event ....... 481
Multiple coding stations ............... 30, 494
601
Index
Multiple event logs ............. 149, 248, 252
analyzing ...................................... 425
Multiple results logic
data selection ............................... 339
Multi-subject project ............................ 578
Mutually exclusive ............................... 578
behaviors ...................................... 102
modifiers ..............................113, 118
Mutually-exclusive and exhaustive ...... 109
Mutually-exclusive and non-exhaustive 109
N
Name
for behaviors ................................ 103
for independent variable ............. 128
for modifiers ................................. 112
for observation .....................150, 160
for project ....................................... 72
for subjects ..................................... 97
Nesting ................................................. 285
difference with interval selection 323,
................................................... 325
effect of suspending the observation
....................................................... 327
over behaviors .............................. 327
over external data ........................ 333
over subjects ................................ 331
procedure in short ....................... 326
rules .............................................. 341
selecting data ............................... 325
Netbook ................................................. 47
Network name ..................................... 226
incorrect ....................................... 231
New
behavior ....................................... 103
chart ............................................. 431
DAQ hardware settings profile .... 272
line in event log ........................... 185
modifier ........................................ 114
observation .................................. 159
project ............................................ 72
602
subject ............................................97
what’s new .....................................25
No Records (in reliability analysis) ....... 474
Noldus Help Desk ..................................15
Noldus Online ...................................... 563
Noldus website ......................................13
Nominal modifier .................................113
Nominal variable .................................. 578
Non-exclusive behaviors ......................579
Nothing scored in combination .. 474, 478
NTSC .....................................................579
Null behavior ........................................ 579
Numerical
analysis .................................. 36, 396
statistics ........................................ 422
Numerical offset .................................. 277
Numerical analysis
grouped numerical modifiers ...... 411
Numerical modifier groups .................. 411
Numerical modifiers ............................ 112
find ............................................... 216
statistics ........................................ 183
treated as categories ....................412
Numerical variable ...................... 129, 579
O
Observation ......................... 149, 249, 579
carrying out an observation ...........29
change name and description ..... 193
change start and stop times ......... 187
current time .................................. 198
customize observation screen ..... 195
data outside .................................. 253
elapsed time .................................198
exporting ...................................... 496
filtering .........................................309
import data to an observation ...... 193
importing ...................................... 509
manually stop ...............................176
new ............................................... 159
observed time .............................. 198
The Observer XT
Index
play back observation data .......... 212
remaining time ............................ 198
re-open ......................................... 187
resume ......................................... 211
save .............................................. 177
set an observation for live scoring
(without video) ........................... 81
set an observation for scoring from
media files .................................. 81
start ......................................164, 478
start time ...................................... 199
stop automatically ........................ 175
stop time ...................................... 199
suspend ........................................ 210
with external data ........................ 218
with external programs ................ 232
with multiple event logs ......248, 425
with plug-ins ................................. 244
Observation duration .....................89, 250
analyzed duration ........................ 251
extending ..................................... 253
reducing ....................................... 254
Observation settings ............................ 149
Observation source ............................... 80
Observation start time ........ 249, 253, 254
Observation stop time ........ 249, 253, 254
Observation time
interval selection .......................... 320
Observation vs. event log ............148, 249
Observational data
header detection .......................... 520
Observational method ......................... 579
Observed time
of observation .............................. 198
Observer 5 users ...25, 319, 346, 469, 481
Observer 9 users ........... 35, 149, 248, 252
Observer XT data file ............................ 496
ODF
import Observer 3/4/5 ODF files . 513
ODX files ......................................495, 496
exporting data .............................. 496
importing data .............................. 510
what data they include ................ 497
Offline scoring ...............................81, 579
Reference Manual
Offset 163, 191, 203, 235, 277, 279, 579
number of offset values ............... 276
On/Off signal ....................................... 579
One-zero sampling ................................87
Opening
a media file ................................... 522
a project ................................. 76, 491
a template project ................... 62, 73
an analysis result .......................... 525
an episode selection ....................527
an observation or event log ......... 187
charts ............................................ 437
data profile ................................... 349
multiple media files ............. 239, 523
other observational data .............. 514
the coding scheme ........................91
the independent variable list ....... 125
Optical disk ..........................................579
Optional
variable value update ................... 135
OR logic
data selection ...............................338
Order
of data entry .................................183
of selection boxes ........................ 344
Ordinate ............................................... 436
Oscilloscope .........................................579
OTX file ........................................ 488, 552
open a project from .......................73
save as ............................. 63, 77, 490
Outside observation (in reliability analysis)
...............................................................474
Overlap of event logs ................. 425, 426
Overlay timings .................................... 394
Overview
window ...........................................42
Overview of the program .......................18
Overwrite current Episode Selection values
...................................................... 393, 394
603
Index
P
PAL ....................................................... 579
Pausing
an observation ............................. 204
playback when scoring an event . 152
video ............................................. 205
PDF ......................................................... 12
Pearson’s Rho ...................................... 484
Percentage (analysed duration) .......... 420
Percentage of time spent .................... 419
P-frames ............................................... 579
Phone connector ................................. 580
Phono connector ................................. 580
Physiological data
see External data
Pie chart .........................................36, 434
Pixel ...................................................... 580
Playback Control .................................. 357
playback control in view settings . 197
Playback Control window .................... 204
customize ..................................... 206
Playing
backward ...................................... 205
forward ......................................... 205
play back the data after scoring .. 212
play back the data in chart ........... 360
playback speed ............................ 205
the episode selection .................. 386
Plot
external data ................................ 359
Plug-in .................................................. 580
plug-ins in view settings .............. 197
Plug-in applications ......................244, 522
Plug-in board ........................................ 580
PM notation ......................................... 140
Pocket Observer ............................28, 195
compatibility ................................... 95
transfer coding scheme ................. 92
transfer observations ................... 195
Point events ........................ 107, 109, 580
comparing in reliability analysis ... 461
paired with Unspecified ............... 479
604
playing back in the episode selection
....................................................... 387
see also sample events ................ 107
Point sampling
see Instantaneous Sampling ..........87
Pointing devices ................................... 222
Polar
data acquisition system ................ 555
import profile ...................... 259, 560
Pooling data (reliability analysis) ......... 468
Positioning
media file ..................................... 163
Precision Performance
see Polar ....................................... 555
Predefined variable values ................... 131
replacing or deleting ....................133
Preferences ................................. 141, 580
for auto recovery .......................... 144
for files and recovery ................... 143
for terminology ............................. 141
for warnings .................................142
Previous Observer versions .....25, 35, 46,
............ 149, 248, 252, 319, 346, 469, 481
Printing
a reliability analysis result ............481
a statistics result ........................... 407
charts ............................................ 438
event plot ..................................... 362
lag sequential analysis result ....... 454
the independent variable List ...... 127
Probability of transitions ......................443
Profile
data profile ................................... 261
Project ......................................... 488, 580
backup ..........................................492
create new ............................. 72, 489
create new blank ............................72
create new from template .............73
definition ...................................... 143
description ......................................75
explorer ..........................................40
folders ...........................................533
for multiple coding stations ......... 494
import an Observer 4/5 project ... 492
The Observer XT
Index
location .......................................... 51
locked settings ............................. 494
name .............................................. 75
open an existing ....................76, 491
properties ....................................... 74
rename/copy ................................ 490
restore .......................................... 493
save .............................................. 490
set preferences for digital media 144
set preferences for project location
....................................................... 143
set preferences for templates ..... 144
setup project .................................. 71
with Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic
characters ................................. 491
Project Explorer .................................... 580
Project Settings ..............................21, 150
locked ........................................... 494
time formats ................................. 139
Project setup .......................................... 20
lock ................................................. 79
unlock ............................................. 80
Proportion (all samples) ...................... 420
Proportion (scored samples) ............... 421
Proportion of agreements ................... 482
Proportion of time spent ..................... 419
Q
Questionnaire ..................................30, 37
module ........................................... 56
Quick review ................................173, 208
QuickTime ............................................ 581
R
Rate per minute (analysed duration) .. 419
Rate per minute (interval duration) ..... 418
Rate per minute (observation duration)
.............................................................. 418
Reference Manual
RCA jack ................................................ 581
Re-activating a coding scheme element
...............................................................124
Read-only project .................................179
Real time .............................................. 581
Reciprocal behavior ............................. 170
Recommended computer ......................47
Recording
computer events .......................... 219
digital media file to disk .................84
icon ............................................... 164
live video (general) ......................178
live video to dv-avi files ................ 179
to tape ............................................84
Recording method ...............................581
Registered user ......................................14
Relative
time format ................................... 139
Relative Event Time .............................. 385
Reliability analysis ......................... 34, 459
choosing specific event logs ........ 469
combined results .......................... 468
customizing the result ......... 476, 477
exporting the result ......................525
for previous Observer users 469, 481
layout of the result .......................464
notes ............................................. 465
overview ....................................... 460
procedure ..................................... 461
result ............................................. 470
statistics ........................................ 482
with point events only .................. 461
Remaining Interval Time ......................174
Remaining time
of observation .............................. 198
Remote desktop ................................... 161
Renaming
a project ........................................ 490
a results box .................................294
an episode .................................... 380
an episode selection ....................374
charts ............................................ 437
data profile ................................... 351
Repeated scoring of active behaviors .153
605
Index
Replacing a media file .................240, 523
Report an Issue ....................... 14, 37, 563
Resetting
data profile ................................... 351
Resolution ............................................ 581
Restoring a backed up project ............ 493
Restrict lag to subject-behavior group 443
Restricted user .................................29, 48
Result container ................................... 450
Results box
changing the name ...................... 294
creating ........................................ 293
renaming ...................................... 294
Resuming an observation ... 204, 211, 581
Review
quick review ................ 154, 205, 208
Rho (Pearson’s) .................................... 484
significance .................................. 485
Roll-off time .................................385, 581
changing duration ........................ 387
Roll-on time .......................................... 581
changing duration ........................ 387
Roll-on/Roll-off time ............................. 394
S
Sample
interval ......................................... 263
number of samples prescan TCAP 276
Sample groups ..................................... 110
Sample interval .................................... 581
Sample interval length ......................... 581
Sample projects ...............................16, 37
For animal research ........................ 37
For human research ....................... 38
Sample rate ......................... 263, 273, 581
Saturation ............................................. 581
Saving
a configuration to Pocket Observer
......................................................... 92
a project .................................77, 490
a project as a template ............63, 78
606
a project as backup ......................492
a statistics result ........................... 407
an analysis result .......................... 524
an import profile .......................... 268
charts ............................................ 437
data profile ................................... 350
digital media files ......................... 178
observations .................................177
Scaling axes
in charts ........................................ 436
Scan sampling
see Instantaneous Sampling ..........87
SCART connector .................................. 582
SCART-RGB connector ........................... 582
Scatter charts ..........................................36
Scatter plot ...........................................434
S-connector ..........................................582
Scope ....................................................148
in reliability analysis .....................464
of a media file .............................. 137
of an independent variable ..........133
of external data ............................ 138
Scored Samples .................................... 421
Scoring
data (general) ...................... 159, 165
from video ....................... 21, 82, 161
live ...................... 21, 81, 82, 83, 161
the end of a state event ...... 169, 170
the end of events with modifiers .170
Screen capture
vga2usb device ............................. 241
Screen capture module ........................ 242
SDK ....................................................... 246
automatic synchronization ...........247
event data plug-in ........................ 248
exporting data .............................. 248
external applications ....................246
observational data ........................ 247
plug-in viewer COM object ..........247
SECAM .................................................. 582
Selecting
media files .................................... 239
statistics ........................................ 400
the windows on your screen during
The Observer XT
Index
observation ............................... 196
Selecting data ..................................22, 32
behaviors ..............................313, 327
changes relative to The Observer 4/5
....................................................... 346
data profile ................................... 286
data selection screen ................... 286
external data ........................321, 333
filtering .................................285, 307
for creating a chart ....................... 434
free intervals ........................285, 316
grouping ...............................285, 295
grouping methods ....................... 296
independent variables ................. 310
merged groups ............................ 295
nesting .................................285, 325
observations ................................. 309
subjects ................................315, 331
summed groups ........................... 295
time bins ..............................285, 335
why select data? ........................... 284
working with selection boxes ...... 290
Selecting data for analysis ................... 283
Selecting data for export .... 388, 498, 499
Selection box
changing criteria .......................... 293
connecting ................................... 291
deleting ........................................ 292
inserting ....................................... 291
moving ......................................... 291
selecting a group ......................... 291
Selection boxes .................................... 290
order ............................................. 344
Selection criteria
changing ...................................... 293
Separated Y/C ....................................... 582
Sequence sampling ............................. 582
Series
add to chart .................................. 435
formatting .................................... 436
Series name
add to a chart ............................... 435
Service contract ................................... 564
Reference Manual
Setting up the equipment for using
FireWire devices .....................................57
Settings
analysis settings ........................... 413
coding scheme settings .................92
observation settings .....................149
overview .............................. 535, 539
project settings ...............................21
re-use via a template project .........78
synchronization ............................ 276
video editing settings ................... 389
View settings ..................................42
Setup ......................................................20
lock .................................................79
unlock .............................................80
Shortcut keys ............................... 543, 582
shortcut keys ........................................ 543
Show date with absolute times. ..........139
Show frame numbers
time format ................................... 139
while observing from videos ........ 363
Show grid ............................................. 288
Show intervals as .................................446
Show not scored elements .................. 446
Show/hide
codes ............................................ 196
external data .................................196
playback control ........................... 197
Plug-ins .........................................197
SyncBox .........................................197
time formats .................................197
timers ............................................ 197
videos ...........................................196
Showing
columns in the episode selection 383
hidden rows and columns in an
analysis result ........................... 413
options in the view settings ......... 196
variables in the independent variable
list .............................................. 126
Showing/hiding
plots .............................................. 366
videos .................................. 366, 367
607
Index
Showing/hiding events
event plot ..................................... 364
Showing/hiding plots
event plot ..................................... 366
Showing/hiding video
event plot ..................................... 366
Shuttle mode ....................................... 582
Signal-to-noise-ratio ............................. 276
Single-subject project .......................... 582
skin temperature data ......................... 257
Smoothing
line charts ..................................... 436
Smoothing factor ................................. 276
Snap to grid .......................................... 288
Software decoder ................................ 583
Software development kit
SDK ............................................... 246
Software encoder ................................ 583
Software settings
save in template project ................ 78
Sorting
columns of an episode selection 386
lag sequential result ..................... 455
plots in an event plot ................... 365
rows of an episode selection ....... 386
Sound ................................................... 155
for behaviors ................................ 108
for modifiers ................................. 117
for subjects ..................................... 99
Sound selection ................................... 155
Specifying time format
event plot ..................................... 364
Specifying time mode
event plot ..................................... 364
SPSS
exporting merged headers ....39, 526
Standard deviation
in behavior analysis ...................... 417
Standard error
in behavior analysis ...................... 417
Standby ................................................ 178
Start Criteria
intervals ........................................ 320
Start observation ..........................164, 204
608
Start time
change ..........................................187
of event log .................................. 199
of observation .............................. 199
Start-stop behavior .............. 102, 109, 583
State behavior ...................................... 583
repeated scoring of active behavior
....................................................... 153
State events ......................... 107, 109, 583
State lag analysis ......................... 440, 441
examples ...................................... 447
Statistics
calculate statistics ...........................34
for multiple event logs ................. 425
latency ..........................................420
maximum ............................. 416, 422
mean .................................... 416, 423
mean (per minute) .......................425
minimum ............................. 416, 422
of reliability .......................... 471, 482
percentage (analysed duration) ... 420
proportion (all samples) ............... 420
proportion (scored samples) ........ 421
rate per minute (analysed duration)
....................................................... 419
rate per minute (interval duration)
....................................................... 418
rate per minute (observation duration)
...................................................418
scored samples ............................. 421
select ............................................ 400
standard deviation ........................ 417
standard error ...............................417
total duration ....................... 417, 424
total number .................................419
total number (all samples) ...........421
total number (scored samples) .... 421
total value ..................................... 424
Statistics result ...................................... 403
close ............................................. 454
customize ..................................... 408
edit ................................................ 407
exporting ...................................... 525
interpret ........................................ 403
The Observer XT
Index
open ............................................. 525
print ......................................407, 454
re-open .................................407, 454
save .............................................. 407
Stereotypy ............................................ 583
Stop codes ............................................. 94
Stop Criteria
intervals ........................................ 321
Stop time .............................................. 138
change ......................................... 187
of event log .................................. 199
of observation .............................. 199
Stopping an observation ...................... 176
automatically ................................ 175
maximum duration ......................... 89
Sub-D connector .................................. 583
Subject ...........................................96, 583
add to coding scheme while
observing .................................. 179
code ............................................... 99
combination ................................... 99
define as modifier ........................ 118
delete from coding scheme ........ 123
description ..................................... 99
filtering ......................................... 315
find ............................................... 213
initialize states ............................. 161
maximum number ......................... 96
modifier ..................................91, 100
name .............................................. 97
nesting ......................................... 331
scoring automatically ................... 152
setting preferences for terminology
....................................................... 141
Subject group
delete from coding scheme ........ 123
Subject properties .................................. 98
Subject-Behavior Combinations ...104, 118
Subtitle Duration ..........................385, 583
Subtitle text .......................................... 583
Subtitles
changing duration ........................ 387
using a single color ...................... 393
using coding scheme colors ........ 393
Reference Manual
Summed behaviors .............................. 305
Summed groups ................................... 295
Summed modifiers ...............................305
Summed observations ......................... 302
Summed subjects .................................302
Support
request form ...................................15
Suspending an observation ........ 210, 583
effect on intervals ............... 321, 327
effect on statistical analysis ..........422
Suspending and resuming
observation with mutually exclusive
behaviors .................................. 210
observations with start-stop behaviors
...................................................211
S-Video .................................................. 584
S-Video connector ................................584
SyncBox
syncbox in view settings .............. 197
Synchronization ........................... 163, 584
numerical offset ........................... 277
Synchronization (in reliability analysis)
...................................................... 462, 478
Synchronization signal ................ 272, 584
on-off ............................................ 273
time code ..................................... 274
Synchronize ..........................................235
Synchronizing
automatically ................................271
event logs, video and external data
after data acquisition ................ 190
events and external data during live
scoring ...................................... 270
manual offset ...............................279
manually ....................................... 276
offset function .............................. 279
synchronization settings .............. 276
System date ..........................................584
System requirements .............................46
computer ........................................47
disk space .......................................48
for normal use ................................47
for simple live observations ...........47
memory ..........................................48
609
Index
operating system ........................... 46
recommended computer ............... 47
Windows 7 ...................................... 46
Windows XP .................................... 46
System time ......................................... 584
System variable ............................138, 584
format ........................................... 139
T
Target event ......................................... 440
TCAP ..................................................... 584
Technical Notes ...............................14, 51
Technical Support ................................ 563
Template information ............................ 78
Template project ..............................39, 62
opening .......................................... 73
re-use settings ................................ 78
saving ............................................. 78
Templates
location ..................................51, 495
Temporary files .................................... 144
Terminology ........................................... 13
set preferences for ....................... 141
Test computer ...................................... 220
Text ...............................................525, 553
export files ................................... 553
exporting analysis results to text . 525
exporting observations to text .... 194,
....................................................... 499
exporting to .................................. 388
files ............................................... 496
import files ................................... 554
Text files .......................................496, 584
The Observer XT
Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic characters
......................................................... 49
download page ........................16, 37
error messages .............................. 15
file types ...............................488, 551
getting started ................................ 61
Help menu ..................................... 13
610
how it works ...................................19
icon ............................................... 194
import Observer 3/4/5 ODF files ..513
interface .........................................40
introduction ....................................11
log file .............................................15
open an Observer 4/5 project 76, 492
overview .........................................18
right-click menus ............................41
SDK ............................................... 246
service contracts ........................... 564
upgrade ..........................................14
user info ....................................... 564
what data are entered ....................18
what’s new .....................................25
with uLog ...................................... 219
The Observer XT Home Page .................13
Time
between command and start/stop
....................................................... 234
change the observation’s Start and
Stop time ................................... 187
change the timestamp for a scored
event .........................................186
copy timestamp from video to event
log ............................................. 186
current observation time .............. 198
elapsed observation time .............198
event log start time ......................199
event log stop time ......................199
event time .................................... 165
imported from coding stations .... 511
observation start time .................. 199
observation stop time .................. 199
observed observation time ..........198
offset time .................................... 191
remaining observation time ......... 198
start time ...................................... 138
stop time ...................................... 138
time interval for auto recovery ..... 144
Time bins ..................................... 285, 402
defining ........................................ 336
selecting data ...............................335
Time Code (TCAP) ................................274
The Observer XT
Index
Time Code Auxiliary Parity ................... 584
Time Formats ....................................... 139
absolute ........................................ 139
in lag sequential analysis result ... 454
in reliability analysis result ........... 477
in the event log ............................ 203
relative .......................................... 139
show frame numbers ................... 139
Time formats ........................................ 139
time formats in view settings ...... 197
Time lag analysis ..........................440, 442
examples ...................................... 448
Timers
timers in view settings ................. 197
Timers window ..................................... 198
customize ..................................... 199
Tolerance window ............................... 462
Too many cells in analysis result .397, 444
Tool bar
component-specific ........................ 39
Total duration ...............................417, 424
Total number ....................................... 419
Total number (all samples) .................. 421
Total number (scored samples) ........... 421
Total value ............................................ 424
Transitions ........................... 440, 446, 585
across event logs ......................... 446
deleting ........................................ 382
for samples not scored ................ 450
frequency and probability ............ 443
in case of gap between events ... 448
matrix ........................................... 451
Trendline
charts ............................................ 436
Triggering behavior ............................. 192
Tulip connector .................................... 585
TV standard .......................................... 585
Typographical conventions .................... 12
U
uASQ ................................................30, 37
Reference Manual
uLog ............................................ 219, 585
coding scheme ............................. 228
configuration file .......................... 226
connected setup .......... 223, 224, 228
importing/exporting data files ..... 521
non-connected setup .......... 227, 229
procedure overview .....................220
settings in The Observer XT ..........221
troubleshooting ............................ 231
uLog Pro .................................................30
Undo coding actions ............................ 186
Unicode (UTF-16) .........502, 514, 526, 529
Unit of behavior ................................... 585
Unlock coding scheme ..........................80
Unlock Configuration .............................80
Unlock project setup ..............................80
Unspecified (in reliability analysis) .....473,
...................................................... 479, 481
with point events .......................... 479
Upgrading .... 14, 25, 35, 46, 48, 53, 149,
.....................248, 252, 319, 346, 469, 481
Upper limit
external data nesting ................... 334
USB stick ............................................... 242
User info .................................................14
User-defined variable ........................... 585
independent variable ................... 128
UTF-16 ..........................514, 526, 528, 529
V
Validating the coding scheme ...............94
Validity Check ....................................... 266
Variable
export ...........................................127
Independent variable .....................65
remove from independent variable list
...................................................127
scope ............................................ 148
show/hide in independent variable list
...................................................126
611
Index
Vertical range
changing in event plot ................. 368
Vertical resolution ................................ 585
VGA ....................................................... 585
VGA2USB device ............................85, 241
Video ................................................22, 56
duration ........................................ 206
file location .................................. 206
folder (Media) .............................. 533
multiple ................................207, 238
pausing when scoring an event .. 152
properties ..................................... 206
record live video (general) .......... 178
record live video to dv-avi files .... 179
recording during a live observation
......................................................... 83
recording to tape or hard disk ....... 84
scoring from video files ................. 81
show/hide .................................... 191
size ............................................... 206
synchronize event logs, video and
external data ............................. 190
via remote desktop ...................... 161
video files in view settings .......... 196
video technology ........................... 34
Video codecs ........................................ 391
Video for Windows ............................... 585
Video highlights clip ............................ 389
Video Highlights Module ..................... 585
Video image ......................................... 585
Video tape
scoring from digital tape ................ 81
Video window ..............................206, 585
customize ..................................... 206
Videos
removing videos from your
observation ............................... 523
replacing videos ........................... 523
View settings .... 40, 42, 43, 196, 288, 586
episode selection ......................... 375
Viewing
data profiles ................................. 349
Visualization ......................................... 354
event plots ................................... 356
612
external data ........................ 356, 359
what is it ....................................... 354
with plug-in data ........................... 245
Visualizing data .................23, 33, 67, 353
chart .............................................. 245
episode selection ......................... 245
plug-in data ................................... 245
VPX file ...................................................73
see OTX file ..................... 39, 77, 489
W
Warning ..................................................12
never show ................................... 142
set preferences for .......................142
Wav .............................................. 108, 117
What’s new in The Observer XT .............25
Window error (in reliability analysis) ... 476
Window events ..................................... 222
Windows
Chinese/Japanese/Cyrillic characters
.........................................................49
data folders ................................... 532
show/hide .................................... 196
Windows 7 ..............................................46
Windows regional settings .454, 477, 529,
...............................................................530
for variable format ............... 129, 130
Windows XP ............................................46
Wmv ........................................................85
X
X0 .......................................................... 452
XLSX
files ............................................... 496
XML ....................................................... 586
Xvid ....................................................... 586
The Observer XT
Index
Y
Y/C-signal ............................................. 586
Y0 ......................................................... 452
Y-signal ................................................. 586
Z
Zooming in/out
visualizing data ............................ 362
Zooming in/out relative to amplitude . 363
Zooming in/out relative to time .......... 363
Reference Manual
613

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