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Observing Animal Behaviourdesign and analysis of quantitative data$
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Marian Stamp Dawkins

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198569350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198569350.001.0001

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When all you need is one

When all you need is one

(p.43) 3 When all you need is one
Observing Animal Behaviour

Marian Stamp Dawkins

Oxford University Press

Sometimes single observations, such as the sighting of an animal thought to be extinct, or a chimpanzee making tools, are enough to change forever the way people think about the world. This chapter explores the situations when single observations are enough to destroy a hypothesis and the situations in which they are not. By emphasizing the power of the single unexpected or quantitative observation, the chapter paradoxically paves the way for an understanding of why, in most situations, repeated observations with large sample sizes are needed.

Keywords:   coelocanth, tool use, extinction, unexpected observation, testing hypotheses

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