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What you’ll learn to do: examine how to do research in lifespan development.
How do we know what changes and stays the same (and when and why) in lifespan development? We rely on research that utilizes the scientific method so that we can have confidence in the findings. How data are collected may vary by age group and by the type of information sought. The developmental design (for example, following individuals as they age over time or comparing individuals of different ages at one point in time) will affect the data and the conclusions that can be drawn from them about actual age changes. What do you think are the particular challenges or issues in conducting developmental research, such as with infants and children? Read on to learn more.
Here are the videos included in the Word document readings:
What do infants know about the world in which they live – and how do they grow and change with age? These are the kinds of questions answered by developmental scientists. This module describes different research techniques that are used to study psychological phenomena in infants and children, research designs that are used to examine age-related changes in development, and unique challenges and special issues associated with conducting research with infants and children. Child development is a fascinating field of study, and many interesting questions remain to be examined by future generations of developmental scientists – maybe you will be among them!
We are bombarded every day with claims about how the world works, claims that have a direct impact on how we think about and solve problems in society and our personal lives. This module explores important considerations for evaluating the trustworthiness of such claims by contrasting between scientific thinking and everyday observations (also known as “anecdotal evidence”).
Psychologists test research questions using a variety of methods. Most research relies on either correlations or experiments. With correlations, researchers measure variables as they naturally occur in people and compute the degree to which two variables go together. With experiments, researchers actively make changes in one variable and watch for changes in another variable. Experiments allow researchers to make causal inferences. Other types of methods include longitudinal and quasi-experimental designs. Many factors, including practical constraints, determine the type of methods researchers use. Often researchers survey people even though it would be better, but more expensive and time consuming, to track them longitudinally.