The next section challenges the perception that videocan be treated as an objective record of events and then presents examplesof questionable videotaping practices.
I also discuss why the advent ofdigital video increases the potential for misuse.
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More subtly, the context shared by the participants of thevideotape may be difficult or impossible to capture and present to subsequent viewers. Forexample, Clark & Schaefer (1989) examined conversations between people.
Ifone person is explaining something, she looks to the other person forsigns, such as a nod or "uh huh" that he has understood sufficiently well for her tocontinue.
Video captures aspects of human behavior, such as gaze and body language, that are not available in any other form. Researchers often treat videotaped records of human behavior as objective scientific data: they can be viewed repeatedly,individual events can be counted and findings can be verified independently by other researchers.
Unfortunately, the appearance of objectivity is just that: an appearance.
A camera shot ofher face as she speaks will capture the exact words she spoke but not the shared understanding that evolved. Later, it could be usedto "prove" that it was what she "really" meant.
Another problem arises when video captures conversations between peoplewith shared prior experience, who speak in short-hand.
The subsequent section frames the discussion within amore general ethical framework.
I briefly review the perspectives of otherprofessional groups, particularly with respect to their use of video.
In either case, I contend that we are obligated as aprofession to try to deal with these issues as effectively as possible.
As a community, we must educate ourselves aboutpotential misuse and encourage responsible behavior.
When casual conversations are recorded, the ways of resolving misunderstandings changes.