The use of Sociometers for Research Data Collection

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The use of sociometers in research data collection is a new way of using technology to get accurate and honest results from research. Collecting research information from observational studies can be difficult. Nonlinguistic information is not always easily perceived, but sociometers are a valuable tool in the collection of research data. This article will discuss the use of sociometers for research data collection.

Sociometers are a form of technology that can be worn and used to monitor the subtle changes in communication that can be easily overlooked. These meters have been used in the workplace to analyze and understand social interaction of individuals in common workplace environments. This tool is "capable of capturing interaction patterns base on the relative location and proximity of individuals across the information channels and the social signals derived from voice tone and activity level of face-to-face interactions" (Arena, Pentland, & Price, 2010, pp.8).

The sociometer has been used in a variety of experiments to determine its validity as a tool for studying nonlinguistic communication. Many different workplaces have been studied while using this device. The results have shown that this device can accurately predict the outcome of a variety of interactions in the beginning of the interaction (Arena, Pentland, & Price, 2010). The sociometer is an amazing piece of technology that aids in the collection of research data.

Sociometers can be used in several ways to gather nonlinguistic information about behavior. In this experiment, Sociometers are used "to discover patterns of activity that usually go unobserved in the call center," and "to evaluate relationships between traditional performance indicators and the social interactions that take place" (Arena, Pentland, & Price, 2010, pp13). The goal of this experiment is to use the Sociometers in research and compare the use of this tool with traditional methods of observational research studies. This experiment utilized 90 participants who were monitored for a month's time (Arena, Pentland, & Price, 2010). The use of dependent and independent variables this experiments.

Sociometers are small devices that an employee can wear during research collection. These devices pick up subtle signals from the body that can be used to understand the interaction of employees. These signals can help us determine valuable information about the interaction of employees in an organization. This method of research is nontraditional, but the many experiments conducted on the use of this tool in research have proven the validity of this tool's ability to collect data.


Arena, M., Pentland, S., & Price, D. (2010). Honest Signals - Hard Measures for Social Behavior. Organization Development Journal,28(3), 11-20. Retrieved September 13, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Complete. (Document ID: 2127733261).

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