Discontinuous Measurement – Interval Recording/Time Sampling

Discontinuous-Measurement-RBT-BCBA-Exam-2022

Question: What is time sampling and how do I record the data?

Time sampling, also known as interval recording, is a type of discontinuous measurement where you only record data for a set period of time. This set period of time is the difference between discontinuous measurement and continuous measurement. In other words, you are using a sample of total time to evaluate behaviors.

What are the three types of time sampling?

Partial interval: If the target behavior occurs at all during the interval, you count it as a response

Whole interval: If the target behavior occurs for the whole interval, you count it as a response

Momentary time sampling: If the behavior occurs at the end of the interval, you count it as a response

Examples

For our examples, we will use a period of time of 30 seconds with 10 second intervals. This means you will only be taking data for 30 seconds, and have 3 data points. You can use any number of combinations (1 minute/10 second intervals, 10 minutes/30 second intervals, etc.)

Partial Interval

If the target behavior occurs at all during the interval

IntervalsData Point
1-10 secondsDid it occur? yes/no
11-20 secondsDid it occur? yes/no
21-30 secondsDid it occur? yes/no

Whole Interval

If the target behavior occurs during the entire interval

IntervalsData Point
1-10 secondsDid it occur the entire interval? yes/no
11-20 secondsDid it occur the entire interval? yes/no
21-30 secondsDid it occur the entire interval? yes/no

Momentary Time Sampling

If the target behavior occurs at the end of the interval

IntervalsData Point
1-10 secondsDid it occur at the end of the interval (at 10 seconds)? yes/no
11-20 secondsDid it occur at the end of the interval (at 20 seconds)? yes/no
21-30 secondsDid it occur at the end of the interval (at 30 seconds)? yes/no

And that’s it! All you need is a stopwatch, some intervals, and a data sheet. For visual examples make sure you watch the video below. For study materials, check out our shop. For continuous measurement click here!

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