SDIS and GSEQ: Tools for Analyzing Coded Sequential Data

Sequential data arises when subjects (infants, client/therapist or husband/wife dyads, etc) are observed or recorded, and their actions, utterances or other behavior is coded in terms of behavioral categories. The coding of such data is often difficult because the "data" takes a variety of forms, and general statistical packages offer little help with encoding such data.

The analysis of sequential data typically involves analysis of the frequencies of behavioral codes with lag sequential methods or log-linear models, but again the practical analysis of such data is often difficult to accomplish with standard statistical packages.

This workshop describes sequential data and sequential analysis, and introduces SDIS and GSEQ, tools for coding and analyzing sequential data. Bakeman and Quera have defined a standard format for coded sequential data (SDIS, or Sequential Data Interchange Standard) and have written a set of computer programs that analyze such data (GSEQ, or Generalized Sequential Querier, which runs on IBM compatible computers). During the workshop, SDIS conventions will be demonstrated, preferably with examples of coded data participants bring with them.

Given data in SDIS format, GSEQ then produces tables of cross-classified tallies and sequential statistics associated with these tables. Users can define both tables and statistics in a variety of quite flexible ways. Again, these will be demonstrated, using examples participants suggest whenever possible.

Usually sequential data are associated with different subjects (dyads, families, etc.), who are themselves associated with different levels of various research factors. Sequential indices for different subjects are typically analyzed using standard statistical packages such as SPSS. Thus, the final topic demonstrated will be techniques for exporting GSEQ data to other analysis packages.

Analyzing Interaction: Sequential Analysis with SDIS and GSEQ (1995) by Bakeman and Quera (Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-44901-4) is the recommended text for this workshop and will be available in the York University bookstore (under Math 000).