PSC140Lec2_6.22.10 - Studying Children Lecture 2 ...

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Unformatted text preview: 6/21/10 Studying Children Lecture 2 June 22, 2010 PSC140 SSI The goal   To describe, explain, and predict behavior To advance basic knowledge   Basic research     To answer practical questions   Applied research The challenges   The processes we are interested in may be internal and invisible   Internal processes are difHicult to measure objectively Very young children cannot tell us what they are thinking or feeling   Young children are not always compliant   1 6/21/10 The Scien9fic Method 1. Choose a question to be answered 2. Formulate a hypothesis regarding the question 3. Develop a method for testing the hypothesis 4. Use the data from the method to draw a conclusion Appropriate Measurement: Reliability  Reliability  Whether independent measurements of a behavior are consistent  Interrater reliability  Agreement between two raters observing the same behavior  Test ­retest reliability  Similarity in a performance on multiple occasions Appropriate Measurement: Validity  Validity  Whether a test measures what it is intended to measure  Internal validity  Whether results can be attributed to the  External validity  Whether results can be generalized beyond experimenter’s intentional manipulations the speciHic research 2 6/21/10 Two things to remember! 1.  2.  It is not just what you know, it is how you know it. The best method of doing research depends on the question you are asking. Where should I do my research? What specific methods should I use? 3 6/21/10 Naturalis9c Observa9ons   Procedure of recording children’s behavior in their usual everyday environments Naturalis9c Observa9ons Advantages   Provide useful information about children   Illuminates social interaction processes   Children behave in natural, everyday ways   Easy to generalize to real life Naturalis9c Observa9ons Disadvantages Many things inHluencing behavior at the same time   Hard to pinpoint explanations of behavior   Hard to study rarely occurring behaviors   4 6/21/10 Structured Observa9ons   Presenting identical situation to children and recording each child’s behavior Structured Observa9ons Advantages   Provide useful information about children   Enables direct comparison of different children’s behaviors   Allows control over inHluences on behavior so stronger conclusions can be drawn Structured Observa9ons Disadvantages Children may act in unnatural ways   Harder to generalize to real life   Hard to pinpoint explanations of behavior   Does not provide information on children’s subjective experiences   5 6/21/10 Psychophysiological Measures   Measures of body functioning that reHlect psychological processes Psychophysiological Measures Advantages   Physiological reactions let us get under the skin to the internal processes   Physiological reactions may be more truthful than other sources Psychophysiological Measures Disadvantages Physiological reactions are affected by many things   Not necessarily clear what aspect of the environment is causing the reaction   6 6/21/10 Interviews   Structured interview   A procedure in which all participants are asked to answer the same questions   Clinical interview   A procedure in which questions are adjusted according to the answers the interviewee has supplied Interviews Advantages   May provide in ­depth information about children, from their own perspectives   Provide a lot of information quickly and cheaply (structured)   Allows Hlexibility for following up unexpected answers (clinical) Interviews Disadvantages Interviewees’ responses may be biased   Memory of interviewee may inaccurate   Does not allow for strong predictions of future behavior   Not applicable to very young children   7 6/21/10 Secondary Sources   Gathering information about children from other people who know them well Secondary Sources Advantages   Reporters are highly knowledgeable about the speciHic children   Access information children are not able to give Secondary Sources Disadvantages Reporters may not have objective perspectives   Does not provide information on children’s subjective experiences   8 6/21/10 The study sample From your population (large group of all potential participants), you select your sample (small subgroup of chosen participants)   The sample must be representative of the population     Similar on key characteristics   Without representativeness, study loses external validity Experimental designs Studies involving random assignment of participants to one of two conditions   Experimental condition     Involves the speciHic procedures that   manipulates the independent variable Control condition   The same procedures as the experimental condition WITHOUT the manipulation of the independent variable Experimental designs   Independent variable   The variable the researcher manipulates to study its effect   Dependent variable   The variable the researcher thinks will be affected by the independent variable 9 6/21/10 Maternal Sensi9vity Interven9on (Veldermen et al., 2006) Can we train parents to be sensitive? Mothers randomly assigned to control group or one of two sensitivity training groups   At follow ­up, training mothers were more sensitive with their infants   Experimental designs Advantages   Cause and effect relationships can be established! Experimental designs Disadvantages Not all things we are interested in can be manipulated   Experimental situations can be artiHicial   Ethical considerations   10 6/21/10 Correla9onal designs   Studies examining how variables are related to each other   Whether they are related   The direction of the relationship   The strength of the relationship   Correlation   The association between two variables Toddlers’ Prosocial Behavior How are maternal features related to toddler’s prosocial behaviors?   Observations of 18 ­month ­olds (not) helping   Mother ­child conversations   Mothers who talk more about emotions have toddlers who help more 11 6/21/10 Correla9onal designs Advantages Allows comparison of groups that cannot be manipulated   Based on everyday experiences   Correla9onal designs Disadvantages   Does not support causal inference   Correlation does not imply causation Does not address the third ­variable problem X Y Z   Cross ­sec9onal designs   Studies comparing children of different ages on a speciHic behavior or characteristic 12 6/21/10 Children’s Emo9on Regula9on Understanding How does children’s understanding of emotion regulation strategy efHicacy change with age?   Emotion regulation understanding task   4 ­year ­olds   6 ­year ­olds   8 ­year ­olds Cross ­sec9onal designs Advantages   Provide useful information about differences in age groups   Quick and easy to collect data Cross ­sec9onal designs Disadvantages Does not allow comparisons of different children’s patterns of change over time   Does not provide information on stability of individual differences over time   13 6/21/10 Longitudinal designs   Studies where the same children are studied repeatedly over a substantial period of time Cohort   A group of individuals who share a common   deHining characteristic  ­ ­ age The Children of Kauai What are the long ­term outcomes of adverse rearing conditions?   Dr. Emmy Werner (UCD HCD Dept.)   Followed entire 1955 birth cohort of island of Kauai over 40 years (~700 children)   Of the high ­risk children, 2/3 had poor outcomes   1/3 of children turned out well   Resilience Longitudinal designs Advantages Provides information on children’s patterns of change over time   Provides information on stability of individual differences over time   14 6/21/10 Longitudinal designs Disadvantages Time ­consuming, expensive, and difHicult   Attrition problems   Cohort effects   Repeated use of measures compromises external validity   Microgene9c designs   Studies involving intensive observations of children’s behavior over a short period of rapid developmental change Children’s Strategy Learning (Siegler & Chen, 1998) How do children learn rules for solving balance scale problems?     4 ­ and 5 ­year ­olds got pretest, feedback, posttest Microgenetic analysis of each test shows rule learning 15 6/21/10 Microgene9c designs Advantages Can reveal the process of change   Provide detailed picture of individual change patterns   Microgene9c designs Disadvantages   Does not provide information on typical patterns of change over time   Does not provide information on individual patterns of change over time How do we maintain ethical standards? Institutional Review Board Informed consent ConHidentiality DebrieHing 16 ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/12/2011 for the course PSC 140 taught by Professor Lagatutta during the Summer '08 term at UC Davis.

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