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Lecture 3

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Elizabeth Johnson

January 16/2012 Lecture 3 PSY210 Early Stages of development: Zygote(first trimester) Embryonic: begins first, ends second Fetus begins second, ends at birth New born: postnatal period Infant: following birth preceding toddlerhood Toddler: 18-24 months Embryonic stage: 2-8 weeks post conception Consists of the differentiation of the major physiological structures and systems The stage in which the child is most affected by outside sources Fetal period: 2 months after conception and lasts until birth Rapid muscular development occurs Rapid development in CNS Fetal movement usually by 4 months Reflexes usually appear about 5 months (statle reflex seen earlier in female fetus) th Eyes can open and close by 6 month Can form auditory memories Fetal Auditory System: -all sounds that reach womb are low pass filtered (high frequencies removed) -physiological noises first heard by the fetus Scientific Method: identify question of interest, form hypothesis, select method for collecting data Possible methodologies: -Interview or survey Observation (direct or structured)- direct: researchers go into natural setting and observe behaviour. Strengths: easy to use with infants and toddler who cannot give a verbal response. Findings are most likely to reflect natural behaviour (high on ecological validity). Weakness: some behaviours are so infrequent (and / or undersirable) that they are not likely to be observed. Another weakness is that there are many things happening so can’t determine cause. Simply knowing you are being observed can change behaviour (participant reactivity) also another problem is observer bias(impacts researcher’s judgement based on knowledge of hypothesis). Example: study: the more the parent interacts with the child the more the child vocalizes. Experimenter visited twice a month for 30 mins. recorded how frequently parents vocalized to children + amount of physical contact Good things about this study: to minimize observer bias: the events were recorded and coded by independent observers, and they revisited place To minimize participant reactivity: give them time to get used to being observed and be as unobtrusive as possible Structured: observation method in which the investigator cues the behaviour of interest and observes participants responses in a controlled setting (such as a lab) Example: abused preschoolers might exhibit more negative social behaviours than non abused preschoolers. 14 abused and 14 non-abused children. Recorded instances of social interaction, aggression towards others, and number of negative verbalizations towards others. RESULTS: abused children initiated few social interactions, when abused children did interact with playmates, these interactions were typically negative. Non abused children often ignored abused children’s attempts at initiating social contact. Conclusion: abused children are playmates who are likely to be disliked, and even rejected, by their peers. Correlation: relations between variables and strength of those variables, ranging from -1 to +1. Negative correlation 1 increases while the other decreases, positive correlation both increase Example: watching a lot violent tv will promote aggressive behaviour in children. Observation shown that children who watch a lot of tv tend to display more violent behaviour. Don’t know the direction maybe violent kids like violent tv. DOESN’T INFER CAUSATION Example: smart kids have more friends, result: positive correlation between school marks and number of friends Can’t conclude because having more friends may cause children to perform better in school. OR third variable may be causing both pattern (parents who are warm and supportive mayb have children who are smart AND have lots of friends Experiment (field or laboratory)- Can determine cause and effect. You manipulate the independent and measure the dependent. Random assignment is super important for an experiment Case study: study individual persons Cross sectional: compare different individuals of different age levels at approximately same time Longitudinal: study where same people are studied over a period of time.
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