Chinese brought toys painted with lead paint, and society got mad They’re cute! o Evolutionary benefit – we are more caring towards cute things OVERARCHING THEMES Directionality of development o Do we become more complex? o Sometimes we have to become simpler for proper development to occur E.g. Synaptic Pruning leads to several milestones including the Loss of Language phenomena Failure in synaptic pruning is shown to be correlated with autism Continuity & Discontinuity o Continuity: Very slow growth or flowing process – like a tree o Discontinuity: Step-like processes – like a butterfly Huge changes mixed with long periods of stagnancy o Continuous is usually synonymous with NURTURE o Discontinuous is usually synonymous with NATURE o Both happen in different processes and at different stages of development Active vs Passive o Children are somewhat active in their development Attitudes and unique characteristics shape how parents and others interact with them. E.g. parents would be less eager to read to a grumbling child o Parent-child interactions are bi-directional, but development becomes more active over time.
RESEARCH METHODS Basic Research Methodology Changing variables that are age related – age-related research design DATA COLLECTION Case Studies o A few people (and their families) are observed o Rare and unusual situations are studied and published o E.g. Dr. John Money studied child with circumcision accident. Penis was then removed and replaced with female parts. Is gender a biological (XX or XY) or cultural phenomenon? “Gender is Nurture” – Dr. Money Bias – wanted child to be happy with life Child was always unhappy and felt uncomfortable to the point that he was relieved to find out about his infant accident. He then became male with hormone treatment but killed himself – irreparable damage had been done Systematic Observation/Observational Research o Naturalistic Observation Monitoring children in real-life situations as they behave spontaneously classrooms, playgrounds, etc. Children are completely unaware about study Variables are decided beforehand o Structured Observation Researcher creates setting likely to elicit behaviour of interest Especially scenarios that don’t occur in everyday or public life Children’s awareness of study may cause them to behave differently o Observer Bias Researcher tends to notice or interpret behaviours to support hypotheses Solutions: Create firm guidelines and definitions prior to observation Blind observation – someone who doesn’t know the hypothesis take observations Inter-observer reliability – multiple observers cross-check to make sure percentage of agreement is acceptable o Observer Influence Subjects’ change behaviours because of awareness of observation Solutions: Disguise observations Habituate participates to researchers’ presence
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- Fall '13
- Developmental Psychology