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PSYC 3490- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 77 pages long!)Premium

77 pages120 viewsFall 2017

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 3490
Professor
Jean Varghese
Study Guide
Final

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York
PSYC 3490
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Adult Development and Aging Chapter 3 Notes
Chapter Three The Study of Adult Development and Aging: Research Methods
VARIABLES IN DEVELOPMENTAL RESEARCH
Variable is a harateristi that aries fro idiidual to idiidual
Dependent variable is the outcome that researchers observe
Independent variable is the factor that the researcher manipulates
Researchers use an experimental design to study a question of interest decide on
conditions that will allow them to manipulate a particular independent variable
o Randomly assigns respondents to groups. These groups represent different
levels of the independent variable, such as exposure to a treatment (in the
experimental group) versus no exposure to treatment (in the control group)
o Researcher then compares the two groups on the dependent variable
Because age cannot be experimentally manipulated, we say that studies of aging
represent the quasi-experimental design in which researchers compare groups on
predetermined characteristics. Same is true for sex, ethnicity, or social class differences
(no cause-and-effect conclusion)
DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS
To e ale to ake legitiate lais aout age ad ot the soial or historial period,
researchers must be able to build controls into their data designs and analyses that can
rule out these social and historical factors
Studies on aging use a descriptive research design, providing information about age
differences but not attempting to rule out social or historical factors
o For example, there is no way of knowing whether a health problem is a natural
result of aging or a result of environmental conditions
Age, Cohort, and Time of Measurement
Three fators that joitly ifluee the idiidual’s perforae o a gie psyhologial
measure at any point in life
Age is an objectively determined measure of how many years (and/or months or days) a
person has lived up to the present moment
Cohort is the ter e use to desrie the year or period of a perso’s irth
Time of measurement tells us the year or period in which a person is tested
o Issues of these fators: e do’t ko hether a 80-year-old perso’s
performance reflects aging or the circumstances associated with growing up in
the 1930s descriptive research designs would not help figure this out
Cohort effects refer to the social, historical, and cultural influences that affect people
during a particular period of time
o Ex. The baby boomers were thought to have become their rebellious selves
because their parents were so permissive in raising them
Social historical, and cultural influences that are presently affecting people are called
time-of-measurement effects also normative history-graded influences that affect
many people who are alive at the same time
Longitudinal Designs
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Adult Development and Aging Chapter 3 Notes
In a study using a longitudinal design, people are followed repeatedly from one test
occasion to another
o By observing and studying people as they age, researchers aim to determine
whether participants have changed over time as a result of the aging process
A variant of the longitudinal design is the prospective study, in which researchers
sample from a population of interest before they develop a particular type of illness or
experience a particular type of life event
o The studies are very similar to those that you experience in your own life
Researchers also face the challenge of determining whether changes observed over
tie i logitudial studies result fro the perso’s o agig or the hagig
environment in which the person functions
An issue is that it takes years to see the study come to fruition takes money and a
great deal of clerical effort to keep the project going
Problem of attrition, as participants either die or drop out of the study for other reasons
The problem of losing participants is compounded by selective attrition, the fact that
the people who drop out of a longitudinal study are not necessarily representative of
the sample that was originally tested
o They may drop out because of illness, lack of motivation, instability, death, or
they have moved away
o One direct consequence of selective attrition is that the data from the study
become increasingly skewed as the study wear on
o In a process called terminal decline, individuals gradually lose cognitive abilities
as they draw closer to death
Cross-sectional Designs
In a study using a cross-sectional design, researchers compare groups of people with
different ages at one point in time
o Older adults compared with younger adults
o Most frequently used in developmental science and in research on aging
The challenge they face in cross-sectional research is to make sure they are actually
studying the effects of age rather than simply documenting differences between cohorts
The key to controlling for cohort differences is to select younger samples comparable in
important ways to the older sample
Also reflects on differences on the effects of current social and cultural influences
Areas of concern:
o Researchers have to settle for an age range for the older group that is larger than
is desirable
o Determining acceptable age ranges is the question of how to divide samples
when sampling the adult years. Is it better to divide samples of people in cross-
sectional studies into decades and then examine age differences? Or is it better
to compare people at the two extremes of the adult span?
o The possibility that different age groups will react differently to the test
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