Teacher Resource

support material

Statistical Analysis Primer

Kathryn Orzech
  • Support Material Type:
    • Instructions

The Animal Observation Project asks you to analyze data from your 2-hour observation in several ways. These ways are:

  • Calculating percentages of time spent in different behaviors
  • Calculating durations of behaviors
  • Determining typical sequences of behaviors 

Calculating percentages of time spent in different behaviors

Number of minutes spent doing the behavior of interest/Number of minutes spent doing all observed behaviors x100

28 minutes grooming others/110 minutes of total behavior observed

.25 X 100 = 25% of time spent grooming others

Calculating durations of behaviors

Sum of all minutes of doing that behavior/Number of times that behavior was observed

28 minutes grooming others/18 times grooming others observed

Average 1.5 minutes per grooming others each time behavior was observed

Determining typical sequences of behaviors

Examine data sheet for patterns

For example, typical sequence around grooming:

  • Approach others
  • Grooming others
  • Examining and eating items found in others' fur
  • More grooming others

Information on the Internet


Morbeck, Mary Ellen, Alison Galloway and Adrienne L. Zihlman, Eds. 1997. The Evolving Female: A Life History Perspective. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.

Patterson, J.D. 2001. Primate Behavior: An Exercise Workbook, 2nd Edition. Waveland Press. Prospect Heights, Illinois.

About This Page

University of Arizona

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Kathryn Orzech at

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