Definition: Data is taken on behavior in intervals of time (ever 10 seconds or every 1 minute) A behavior is recorded as ‘occurring’ if it is observed during any portion of the interval of time. If the behavior is recorded as occurring for two 10-second intervals in a minute then this can be calculated as the behavior occurring 20 seconds every minute.
Why it matters: It is effective for measuring behaviors that have no discrete beginning or end while also allowing for duration to be estimated. If the intervals are not small enough then it can result in an overestimation of duration.
Example of use: A teacher is measuring out-of-seat behavior but event recording does not fully capture the information wanted because the student occasionally stays out of his seat for several seconds. The teacher uses partial interval data collection for 10-second intervals to measure out-of-seat behavior. The data allows the teacher to estimate amount of time out of seat (duration).
Gast, D. L., Ledford, J., & ebrary, I. (2014). Single case research methodology [electronic resource]: Applications in special education and behavioral sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.
Gresham, F. M., Watson, T. S., & Skinner, C. H. (2001). Functional Behavioral Assessment: Principles, Procedures, and Future Directions. School Psychology Review, 30(2), 156.