child notes - Child Psych Chapter 2 Studying Child...

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Child Psych Chapter 2 Studying Child Development 1) Research Methods in Developmental Psychology researchers want to gather data that are objective, measurable, and capable of being replicated in controlled studies by other researchers these studies are based on the scientific method (use of objective, measurable, and repeatable techniques to gather information) A) Measuring Attributes and Behaviors Identify variables (factors having no fixed or constant value in a given situation) In child psych these variables are individual attributes, experiences, or behaviors that differ from one time to the next or from one person to another. Wan to identify causal relationship (which variables cause others to occur) First problem faced: operationally defining (specifying in measurable terms the variables under study). The variables must be defined in terms of precise measurement procedures that other researchers can use if they wish to repeat the study. Variables must be valid and reliable. Validity (how well an assessment procedure measures to variable under study). Reliability (degree which same results will be obtained consistently if administered repeatedly) High test - retest reliability : obtain similar results on different occasions High inter-rater reliability : obtain similar results from several observers B) Methods of Collecting Data 1) Naturalistic Observation (researchers observe and record children’s behaviors in real-life settings such as playgrounds, homes, or schools. NO MANIPULATION OF VARIABLES) Researchers must use clear operational definitions of behaviors of interest Must be aware children may act differently around researchers. Participant reactivity (tendency of individuals who know they are under observation to alter their natural behavior). Observer bias (tendency of researchers to interpret ongoing events as being consistent with their research hypothesis. Researchers are able to observe the events and behaviors that precede the target
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSYCH 350 taught by Professor Anderson during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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child notes - Child Psych Chapter 2 Studying Child...

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