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Methods Studying Child Development.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 302

Methods for Studying Child DevelopmentA The Scientific MethodAn approach to testing beliefs that involveso1 Choosing a questiono2 Formulating a hypothesis ie an educated guesso3 Testing the hypothesiso4 Drawing a conclusionImportance of Appropriate MeasurementRelevance to HypothesesReliabilityValidityReliabilityThe degree to which independent measurements of a given behavior are consistentInterrater reliability The amount of agreement in the observations of different raters who witness the same behaviorTestretest reliability Attained when measures of performance are similar on two or more occasionsValidityDegree to which a test or experiment measures what it is intended to measureResearchers strive for two types of validityoInternal validity the degree to which effects observed within experiments can be attributed to the variables that the researcher intentionally manipulatedoExternal validity the degree to which results can be generalized beyond the particulars of the research is realistic and applicable to real life situationsB Contexts for Gathering Data about InfantsInterviewsNaturalistic ObservationStructured Observation1 InterviewsStructured interview A researcher procedure in which all participants are asked to answer the same questionsClinical interview A procedure in which questions are adjusted in accord with the answers the interviewee providesCaveat Although interviews yield a great deal of data quite quickly and can provide indepth information about individual children the answers to interview questions are often biased2 Naturalistic Observation
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