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chpt 2.doc

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Justin Mc Neil

Chapter 2 Research Strategies From Theory to HypothesisoResearch usually begins with a hypothesisA prediction drawn from a theoryoSometimes research pits a hypothesis taken from one theory against a hypothesis taken from anotherExample a theorist who emphasized the role of maturation in developmentwould predict that adult encouragement will have little effect on the age at which children utter their first words learn to count A socialcultural theorist incontrast would speculate that these skills can be promoted through adult teachingoOther research test predictions are drawn from a single theoryoOther research is not based on any previous theoryCommon Research MethodsHow does a researcher choose a basic approach to gathering info about children Common methods1Systematic Observation2Self reports3Clinical case studies4Ethnographies of the life circumstances of a specific group of childrenSystematic ObservationoObservations of the behaviour of children and of adults who are important in their lives can be made in different waysoNaturalistic Observationgoing into the field or natural environment and recording the behaviour of interestoexamplObserving 3 or 4 years olds in child care centre the researchers recorded eeach instance of crying reactions of nearby children ignored watched commented caregiver reaction explaining why child was upset offering comfort were notedto see if adult sensitivity was related to children s caring responsesoThe great strength of naturalistic observation is that investigators can see directly the every behaviours they hope to explainoMajor limitationsnot all children have the same opportunity to display a particular behaviour in everyday lifeexample some children might have witnessed a child crying more often than others or been exposed to more cues for positive social responses from caregiversoSo researchers came up with Structured ObservationsIn which the investigator sets up a laboratory situation that evokes the behaviour of interest so that every participant has an equal opportunity to display the responseoIt permits greater control over the research situation than does naturalistic observationoThe method is especially useful for studying behaviour parentchild friendshipinteraction that investigators rarely have an opportunity to see in everyday lifeExample when aggressive and nonaggressive 10 year old boys were observed playing games in lab the aggressive boys and friends violated game rules cheated and encouraged eachother to do so they were angrier then the non aggressive friendsoDisadvantageMost of the time wecannot be certain that participants behave in the lab as they do in their natural environmentsCollecting Svstematic ObservationsoThe procedures used to collect systematic observations vary depending on the research problem posedoSome investigators choose to describe the entire behavior streameverything said and doneover a certain time periodoWhen researchers need info on only onefew kinds of behaviour they can use more efficient proceduresoOne approachEvent samplingThe observer records all instances of a particular behaviour specified time periodIn the study of preschoolers responses to their peers distress reported earlier the researchers used event sampling by recording each instance in which a child cried followed by other childrens reactionsoAnother approach Time samplingThe researcher records whether certain behaviours occur during a sample of short intervalsFirst a checklist of the target behaviours is preparedThen the observation period is divided into a series of brief time segmentsExample a half hour observation period might be divided into 120 fifteensecondintervalsThe observer watches the target person and checks off behaviors during each interval repeating process until observation period is completeThere are ingenious ways to observe childrens difficult to capture behaviorusRecording video camerasLimitations of Svstematic ObservationsoObserver influenceThe effects of the observer on the behaviour studiedThe presence of a watchful unfamiliar individual may cause both children and adult to react unnaturally
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