3 - PSY 350 PSY Child Psychology Research Methods 9/13/10...

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Unformatted text preview: PSY 350 PSY Child Psychology Research Methods 9/13/10 Outline Outline Goals of Developmental Research Criteria for Research Data Collection Methods Research Designs Ethical Standards Goals of Developmental Research Research Basic research: advance scientific knowledge of human development; gain new knowledge knowledge Ex: determining whether basic emotions develop Ex: universally in all children universally Applied research: answer practical questions related to improving children’s lives; used to solve specific problems solve Ex: assessing the effectiveness of violenceprevention programs in school Goals of Developmental Research (cont.) Research Action research: provide data that can provide be used in social policy decision making; “mission-oriented research” making; Ex: Federal regulations regarding education of children w/ special needs, toy safety standards, foster care requirements, etc. etc. Criteria for Research Criteria I.e., what distinguishes scientific evidence I.e., from speculation & casual observations? from Objectivity: data collection & analysis should be unbiased by investigators’ preconceptions preconceptions Is total objectivity possible? Should get same results each time data is Should same collected under the same set of conditions same Independent observers should agree in Independent description of results description Reliability: consistency of research findings- Criteria for Research (cont.) Criteria Replicability: other researchers can other use same procedures as initial same investigator and obtain same results same Validity: data being collected actually data reflect the phenomenon being studied Ex: a scale used to measure intelligence Ex: based on hair color completely lacks validity validity Methods of Data Collection Methods Naturalistic observation: observe observe actual behavior of people in the course of their daily lives of Pros: direct way to gather information direct about full range of behaviors about Cons: people behave differently when they people know they’re being observed; information easily lost as it’s impossible to record everything everything Methods of Data Collection (cont.) (cont.) Experiments: study cause-effect relationships, i.e., introduce a change in person’s experience & measure the effect person’s Experimental group: exposed to treatment exposed condition condition Control group: does not receive treatment Pros: control; can demonstrate causal effects Cons: validity may be questionable, as people validity behave differently in experimental situation, especially children Methods of Data Collection (cont.) (cont.) Clinical Method: tailor questions to tailor individual, with each question depending on last answer depending Pros: understand children’s thinking & understand develop patterns based on responses develop Cons: relies heavily on verbal expression, relies which is problematic for very young children children Clinical method (cont.) Clinical Piaget’s work with children to prove Piaget’s how thinking becomes organized over time (p. 37): time 5 year-old Piaget: “When you are in bed and you “When dream, where is the dream?” dream, Child: “In my bed, under the blanket.” Piaget: “Is the dream there when you “Is sleep?” sleep?” Child: “Yes, it is in my bed beside me.” Research Designs Research Plan developed before conducting a Plan study; details study; who will be included, how & when data will be collected, how and how data is analyzed. Research Designs (cont.) Research Longitudinal design: data is gathered about data the same group of people as they age over an extended period of time (e.g., from birth to adolescence) adolescence) Pros: discover patterns of continuity in behavior discover & changes (e.g., personality traits) that occur over time time Cons: Expensive; time-consuming; dropout of Expensive; subjects; risk of confounding age diff. with cohort** differences cohort** **Cohort: group of people born about same time, group thus likely to share certain experiences thus Research Designs (cont.) Research Cross-sectional design: collect collect information about groups of various ages at one time; most widely used one Pros: Less time-consuming & less Less expensive expensive Cons: provides disconnected snapshot of provides development; all factors other than age must be kept constant (sex, ethnicity, educational level, etc.) educational Research Designs (cont.) Research Cohort Sequential: combines features of combines longitudinal & cross-sectional approaches by studying several cohorts over time studying Ex: 1971 study on how different family members Ex: as well as fam. generations cope with stressful life transitions; 300 families, include grandparents, middle-aged parents, grandgrandparents, children (Bengston, 2005) Pros: can separate age-related factors from can cohort factors cohort Cons: same as longitudinal & cross-sectional (to same lesser degree) lesser Research Designs (cont.) Research Microgenetic design: children’s dev. children’s studied intensely over brief period of time (few hours or days), esp. when children are on threshold of change children Ex: calculating 6 + 2 by counting up from 6 Ex: instead of starting at 1 instead Pros: can provide record of change as it can occurs occurs Cons: limited to changes which occur over limited short period of time short Ethical standards Ethical Research must always be evaluated for Research its ethical soundness its Institutional Review Boards (IRBs): groups responsible for evaluating & overseeing of research practice at universities & governmental agencies universities Developed in large part due to revelation Developed of horrific experiments conducted in concentration camps during World War II concentration Ethical Standards (cont.) Ethical Ethical standards address: Freedom from harm: ensures participants ensures will not be physically or psychologically not harmed harmed Informed consent: participants volunteer participants to be in study Must not be coerced or forced to be in study; For young children, parental consent required For Ethical Standards (cont.) Ethical Confidentiality: personal information personal confined to scientific use Often code numbers assigned to assure anonymity; Exceptions to confidentiality are made when serious issues arise (child abuse, suicidal ideation, etc.) ideation, p. 45 p. “Dear Parent or Guardian: In response to the mayor’s proposal to re-route a major In highway past our elementary school, we will conduct a study of the relationship between road noise and learning in our students. With the assistance of Dr. Heezrite of Baloney University, your child has been randomly assigned to the following group; randomly X During a lesson in math, your child will be exposed to unexpected loud noises, similar to truck horn blasts, after which he/she will be given a test covering the content of the lesson. covering _ After a lesson in math, your child will be given a After test covering the content of the lesson. test Thank you for your cooperation in our effort to provide Thank the best learning environment for our children.” the ...
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