The Quantitative Ethology of the Zebra Finch: A Study in Comparative Psychometrics

Aurelio Jose Figueredo, Donovan Michael Ross, Lewis Petrinovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A quantitative ethogram was developed for the Zebra finch, using one-zero focal animal sampling on an ethologically comprehensive checklist of 52 behavioral items, and was assessed for both interobserver reliability and construct validity. Interobserver reliabilities were highly acceptable (an eta-squared of.923 for aggregation periods of 5 minutes). Nine common factors (Singing Parenting, Social Proximity, Social Contact, Social Submission, Social Aggression, Sex Violence, Object Handling, Surface Foraging, and General Activity) produced highly acceptable convergent validities (high factor loadings for most behavioral items) and discriminant validities (low factor intercorrelations). Applying the quantitative methods of psychometrics thus permits the verification of ethological theory and the testing of diverse hypotheses with a high degree of sophistication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-458
Number of pages24
JournalMultivariate Behavioral Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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