- 3 (maybe 4) possible functions of theory
- What do we know?
- Hypothesis/Research Questions
3. Developmental Theory
- Origins of knowledge
o What’s innate? What’s learned? How does change take place?
o Assumptions: children are active!
Functions of Theory
3 (maybe 4) functions:
Describe: what’s seen in specified phenomenon
Explain: the phenomenon (That “Aha! I understand!” moment)
o Why are we seeing what we’re seeing?
Predict: what’s going to happen next to try to get a more detailed understanding
o Psychologists tend to hang around the prediction function
*Control?*: suggested theories might be used to control behaviors -> contributed to the
thought that lead to the eugenics movement in the 70’s
o Help? – moving away from trying to control behavior and more toward
application and helping to change things
o There’s a fine line between control and help
- By definition left unstated because they’re assumed
- Replication of events = assumed (ex. Drop a pen, assume you can drop it again and
it’ll fall again) Jan. 9/13
- Assumptions depend on time and place
o Ex. It was once assumed that infants’ first words were always nouns; a 1996
study of Chinese children showed their first words were verbs.
What do we know already?
- There are holes in everything we “know” (ex. Two identical studies producing
- Studies are published so we can read them to see what we already know, and
analyze for holes and weakness
Hypothesis/ Research Questions
- Collect empirical data to address question;
o Empirical data