Behavioral Coding & Analysis

Solutions for

Behavioral Coding & Analysis

A very important part of studying human behavior is performing observations. What better way to tell how someone behaves than to observe that person? The behaviors of an individual or group of individuals within a particular social context of interest, such as the classroom, the playground, the peer group, the home, the clinic, or the workplace can be recorded and coded. Each code is used to mark the occurrence of a specific behavior or set of behaviors.

Solutions for Behavioral Coding & Analysis
Coding scheme The Observer XT classroom

Easily design a coding scheme

Designing a behavioral coding scheme is a crucial step in behavioral research. The coding scheme is the actual measuring instrument. Choices made at this stage determine what you can do with your data at later stages.

  • Describe complex phenomena in a few keystrokes. The coding scheme has a powerful syntax.
  • Record social interactions, group processes, and other complex behaviors with a minimum of different codes, minimizing learning efforts and errors.
  • Add or change codes while observing.

Free white paper

7 tips to set up a coding scheme 

Setting up a coding scheme is not as straightforward as it may seem. It often requires quite some thinking to define the perfect scheme for behavioral coding.

In this free white paper, we will explain the basics of behavioral coding and how to set up a coding scheme. Moreover, we present several examples of studies that used a scheme for behavioral coding as a tool.


woman hands typing on a laptop

Behavioral coding software

The Observer® XT is the professional human behavior research software. It supports the entire workflow of your project: synchronize, visualize, and analyze your observational data. 

Easily code behavior, start and stop recordings from The Observer XT, and automatically import video, audio, eye tracking, physiology, and emotions. You can benefit from our experience with different hardware set-ups ranging from video recording to interfacing with data acquisition systems, or synchronized starting of other programs or systems.


Customer quote

The Observer XT has helped me capture children's natural behavior in an unobtrusive manner and this has added value to the behavioral interpretations I could draw. This tool is best suited for observational research where subjects can be observed without their awareness, which adds to the authenticity of findings. It is easy to use and gives data that can well be statistically analyzed.



A practical example in video

Marie Bocquillon of the University of Mons in Belgium uses Noldus' behavioral analysis software for her research about improving teacher practices. The Observer XT and MediaRecorder allow her to record the sessions and score the behaviors of her future teachers at the same time. 

Watch the movie to find out why Marie thinks that future teachers should look critically at their own performances.


Customer quote

The Observer XT is used in over 13,500 publications. Get your free trial to try it out!


mother cuddling a little girl

Video analysis tool

The analysis of data often begins with visualizing data streams. In The Observer XT all data streams are displayed alongside and play in perfect sync. Visualization creates a direct reference between video, audio, and other data: a great tool for quality improvement.

With drag and drop, you can easily build filters based on combinations of independent variables, behaviors, physiological data, and time criteria, such as behaviors being active, or select subjects by independent variable. You can also perform a lag sequential analysis to analyze the order of events. 

Discover all the possibilities by trying it out for yourself!


Interesting publications

A diverse collection of scientific articles citing Noldus products are published in renowned journals. The following list is only a small selection of scientific publications. Please contact us if you need more reference material.

  • Kanakri, S. (2017). Acoustic design and repetitive speech and motor movement in children with autism. Environment and Ecology Research, 5 (1), 39-44. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2017.050105
  • Muesbeck, J.; St. John, B.M.; Kant, S. & Ausderau, K.K. (2018). Use of Props During Mealtime for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Self-Regulation and Reinforcement. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research: Occupation, Participation and Health, 38 (4), 254-260.
  • Schinkel, M.G.; Chambers, C.T.; Corkum, P. & Jacques S. (2018). Dyadic analysis of siblings’ relationship quality, behavioural responses, and pain experiences during experimental pain. Pain, 159 (8), 1569-1579.
  • Tarle, S.; Alderson, R.; Arrington, E.; Roberts, D. (2019). Emotion regulation and children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the effect of varying phonological working memory demands. Journal of Attention Disorders.

Relevant blogs


To be ravenous or to be social

Prosocial behavior, a voluntary behavior to benefit another, is an interesting concept from an evolutionary point of view. At first sight it may seem logical to be social.

How does handedness relate to infant language development?

Developing motor skills appears to be related to language abilities. The research team of Sandy Gonzalez investigated whether consistency in handedness predicts receptive and expressive language.

5 examples of infant studies

Researchers perform infant studies to properly monitor and understand all kinds of development factors. In this blog post, five examples of infant studies are highlighted.
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