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Developmental Psychology Essay

  • Submitted by: kattwright
  • on June 11, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 2,646 words

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Below is an essay on "Developmental Psychology" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Developmental Psychology

Introduction

Developmental Psychology is the discipline that seeks to identify and explain the changes (in behaviour) that individuals undergo throughout the lifespan (from the moment of conception until they die)

Design Issues in Developmental Research:
  * Sampling bias (representative sample)
  * Observer effects (mother/teacher/researcher)
  * Selective attrition (problem in longitudinal studies)
  * Practice effects (repeated measures – influence performance)
  * Validity/reliability of tests (tests of children – modified adult tests)

Research Designs

  1. Cross Sectional: different subjects are studied at different ages
  * Main advantage is that data can be collected over a wide age range in a short time
  * However this approach yields no information about past determinants of the age-related changes or about individual development
  * Problem of ‘cohort variation’   each age group was born in a different year and therefore has experienced different environmental influences

  2. Longitudinal: same subjects at a variety of ages as they develop
  * Problems: time and cost, subject loss (selective attrition), cross-generation data (how relevant is our early data), inflexibility (stuck with the sample and with the measure we initially decided upon)

Formulate hypothesis   select research method and design study   collect data   analyse data and draw conclusions   report findings

Stage theories: discontinuity in development   Stage represent periods when there is qualitative change

Learning theories: changes are quantitative rather than qualitative   continuity in development

Developmental Theories

Normative-Descriptive Approach: involves description of the normal or average status of children on specified characteristics at different age levels   maturational theory

Gesell’s maturational theory
  * Development is intrinsically guided (predeterministic), stressed precise observations to...

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