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

77 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3490
Jean Varghese

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[PSYC 3490] Comprehensive fall guide including any lecture notes, textbook notes and exam guides.find more resources at 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 find more resources at
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