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
-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
-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