Methods[1] - 3 broad goals in scientific method 1...

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3 broad goals in scientific method 1) Description: characterizing the behavior of humans of different ages & trace how that changes over time. This involves both “normal” development & individual differences, or the variations that make us each unique, in development. 2) Explanation: Here we seek to understand 1) why humans develop in a typical manner & 2) why some individuals develop differently than others. This is also an attempt to understand the contributions of nature/genes & nurture/environment to development. 3) Optimization: Or how can we enhance our capacities, avoid developmental difficulties, & overcome any developmental deficits when they occur. I. Scientific Method – a process of generating ideas & testing them by making observations. A. Theory : a set of concepts & propositions intended to describe or explain a phenomenon. That is, a theory is as summary statement, a general principle or set of principles about a class of events. So they can be applied to specific classes of events. They are used to: 2. Explain a phenomena 3. Predict new information (i.e., suggest possibilities you don’t yet know
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for sure are true). a. Psychologists generally want to make predictions about large numbers of people, but the same principles holds when you make predictions about your own life Scientific theories need to be distinguished from beliefs Beliefs are based on leaps of faith, not on reliable facts and systematic observations, whereas theories are based on systematic observations that can be repeated by others to yield similar conclusions B. Evaluating Theories: The Role of Research o Hypotheses are educated guesses or predications specific enough for their validity to be tested with the scientific method. o Scientists use deductive reasoning (going from the general to the specific) to generate testable hypotheses from their theories. o Scientists then test the hypotheses. The results of these tests (for better or worse) feed back into the theory via inductive reasoning (going from the specific to the general). A good theory should be:
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  • Spring '08
  • Hubertz
  • i. Scientific Method, variable increase levels, Professional personality assessors, experimenter greater control, B. Observer-Report Data

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Methods[1] - 3 broad goals in scientific method 1...

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