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Alastair Younger

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013 lecture 1 RESEARCH METHODS IN CHILD PSYCHOLOGY - greatest amount of development occurs in adolescents - psychology is a science - child psychologist use the scientific method └> can be observed & measured - research methods break down into 3: └> descriptive, correlational, experimental Descriptive - interview kids & ask them questions st - 1 category of descriptive methods is observation - 2 category of descriptive methods is naturalistic observation (observing children in their natural habitat such as at home, school, daycare or in a shopping mall) └> who do the children interact with? How do they react? ex. How do shy kids get treated by their peers? (naturalistic observation) ● Advantages: - high in ecological validity ● disadvantages: - researchers can influence the recording & observations by their own knowledge/stereotypes - also observer bias (expectations of the observer) └> to prevent it: 1. Observational protocol 2. Are the observers reliable? Get a 2 opinion & if they have an agreement of information then its reliable 3. Time sampling- ensures that participants look at a child at the same period of time ● disadvantages: observer influence IV= independent variable (to apply) DV= dependent variable (we measure) Structured Observation - modify situations where they observe WHY? └> to study infrequent behaviours └> to standardize environment for all children Mary Ainsworth- child psychologist who studied the mother & child phenomenon such as how children react when mom leaves the room so she conducted a “strange situation” which she modified for her study - strange situation is a structured observational procedure Descriptive methods CONT’D…… - use interviews & questionnaires ● disadvantages: lying (children don’t want to be seen under the “naughty” spotlight) Correlational methods - measure 2 or more variables - direction of relationship (+ or - ) - strength of relationship (from 0 to .99) POSITIVE ↑ ↑ or ↑↑ ex. Age is positively correlated to height (the older u are, the taller u are) NEGATIVE ↓↑ or ↑↓ ex. Retiring is negatively correlated with salary (as u move closer to retiring ur salary will decrease due to unemployment) Experimental studies - assign participants randomly to 2 group
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