Author

Alvero

Date of Award

12-2000

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Second Advisor

Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Behavior-based safety (BBS) is an effective approach to improving safety within organizations, and has been implemented across a wide variety of settings. The two major components of BBS are the observation process and the delivery of feedback. Literature on feedback is abundant, but experimentation and scientific evidence on effects of the observation process are nonexistent. Typically, supervisors or employees involved in BBS implementations conduct observations of other employees' behavior, but the effects of conducting observations on an observer's safety performance is not known. The present study was a first attempt at assessing these effects. A multiple baseline counterbalanced across two sets of office behaviors was conducted in a laboratory setting, and the results are promising. Substantial improvements in safety performance occurred after participants conducted observations on a video of a confederate's performance. The possible behavioral functions responsible for this change, and the implications of these findings for applied settings are discussed in detail. Future research regarding this topic is strongly recommended to further assess the effects of conducting observations on the safety performance of observers.

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