The scatter plot is an interval recording method that can help you discover patterns related to a problem behavior and specific time periods. The scatter plot is a grid with time plotted on the vertical line divided into periods of time. It helps determine when the behaviors are occurring, and can be very powerful information when the team feels there is ‘no pattern’ or the behavior happens ‘randomly.’ An example is seen above.
- Can incorporate use of frequency, duration, latency, etc
- Text can be written in cells to provide more detail
- Provides powerful visual to help team detect patterns in occurrences of behaviors.
- Requires consistent data collection, which can be intensive
- Does not provide information about antecedents or consequences. Teams may consider combining the standard scatter plot with other ABC Recording forms.
When should scatter plots be used?
- When teams need more information about when the behavior is happening over the course of a day or period of time.
- When other sources of information have not clarified patterns of behavior
Adapted from University of Kansas http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/?q=behavior_plans/functional_behavior_assessment/teacher_tools/scatter_plot