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Lecture 2

PSY311 Lecture 2 Jan 8.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY311H5
Professor
Simone Walker
Semester
Winter

Description
PSY311 Lecture 2 Jan 8, 2014 Methods of study: - (Meta) analysis of studies of distinct age groups o Library/statistical type of study Goals of Research: - Exploration: to determine whether or not a phenomenon exists o Ex. Studying families of the same sex (whether or not attachment happens, etc.) - Description: examining a phenomenon to more fully define it or to differentiate it from other phenomena o Second step from exploration o Ex: going to the mall phenomenon (do people only go there to shop?). - Prediction: identifying relationships that enable us to speculate about one thing by knowing about some other thing o In child development: age (variable) used to predict another variable like vocabulary development, emotional reactions, etc. o But prediction doesn’t explain the phenomenon, all we can say is that the two are relation to one another, not causal relationships o Prediction research extremely prevalent in social development, very few cases of causality in field (most research is correlational).  Keep in mind when writing paper (ex. Try to avoid ‘This causes this’). - Explanation: examining cause and effect relationships o Random assignments into two different groups: experiment and control o Age comparison always correlational Descriptive methods are always popular as a result of: - Based upon observation (ex. studying one year old). - Naturalistic observation - Urgent and applied need for descriptive information about age changes - Influence of ethology (description, classification and analysis of animal behaviour). - Electronic recording which permits observation and analysis of complex behaviour o Ex. Interaction between mom/dad and child o Sophisticated/objective research What is naturalistic observation? - The study of behaviour in its natural setting (field study): o First step in understanding behaviour o More natural and realistic than experiment or questionnaire  Not participating in experiment, not being put in a condition that would make you react in an expected way  Questionnaire: forced to make a choice o Appropriate for studying children because they are prone to behaving differently in an unnatural setting.  Ex: in a new setting children will cry and cling on to parents o Its main limitation is the lack of control over any of the variables involved  Ex: observing children in a playground (everyday: a different set of kids, weather, teacher present/not present, etc.) o As a result it is suitable
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