For this assignment you will spend 1 hour in some kind of high traffic retail environment (restaurant, store, mall, etc.). Prior to your visit you must first determine exactly what behaviors you plan to record. (Some examples include: the number of people who examine a product, the number of people who buy a product, which direction people head in when they enter a store, how many items people buy or put in their cart, how long people spend shopping.) You should also collect some basic demographic information that is easily discernible from observation alone (i.e. – gender, approximate age, approximate race).
Your two-page write-up should include a description of the environment (and where you are located within it), a description of the behaviors you recorded, a summary table of the results of your observations, and an attempt to explain your results. You can move around the environment if it is necessary to effectively measure your target behaviors. You should also spend the entire time observing and/or taking notes on your observations (i.e. – no phone calls, texting, surfing the web, playing games, or other distractions). Finally, your observation should be disguised (i.e. – no one should know that you are observing them).