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Lecture 2

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Stuart Kamenetsky

1/8 Lecture 2 Goals of Research: -exploration: to determine whether or not a phenomenon exists. -descriptive and observational methods most common -Description: examining a phenomenon to more fully define it or to differentiate it from other phenomena -Prediction: identifying relationships that enable us to speculate about one thing by knowing about some other thing - does X cause Y -Explanation: examining cause and effect relationships Descriptive Methods are always Popular as a Result of: -urgent and applied need for descriptive information about age changes -influence of Ethology (description, classification, and analysis of animal behavior) -electronic recording which permits observation and analysis of complex behavior What is Naturalistic Observation? -the study of behavior in its natural setting (also called field study). Often a descriptive method: -first step in understanding behavior -more natural and realistic than experiment or questionnaire -appropriate for studying children because they are prone to behaving differently in an unnatural setting. -its main limitation is the lack of control over any of the variables involved. -as a result it is suitable for initial development of hypotheses and ideas that are then followed up by experimentation Basic Types of Observational Methods: -Diary descriptions: recording of developmental changes that occur. Demands prolonged and frequent contact with the child. -very difficult t
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