Time sampling

Behavioural diaries can give us a depth of understanding of why behaviours are occuring, and how they are maintained.

However, it can be exhausting to record every single time a behaviour happens if the behaviour is quite frequent. There are a number of ways to measure more frequent behaviours including creating a talley of how many times the behaviour occurs within a set time, for example, how many times x occurs within 30 minutes.

Another method to measure frequent behaviours is to use a time sample. You can download a form for free in the resources section. Basically, you record the presence or absence of a behaviour within a set timeframe. For example, if x occured within the 1 minute of monitoring, then you make a note of it.

Why is monitoring frequent behaviours helpful?

Firstly, it is important to set a baseline for behaviours, so you can understand the full extent of problems. Sometimes problems are under or over reported. There may also be patterns in the behaviours you haven’t previously noticed. And used in conjunction with a behaviour diary, these other monitoring forms can give you useful information about what is going on.

Secondly, it’s important to track improvements over time.


Be sure to check the resources section for the FREE time sampling form you can use.