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Chapter 2
PS3313

CHAPTER 2

THEORIES AND RESEARCH

 

There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods, that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be

 

Theory is a logically set of ideas or beliefs that seek to organize, explain and predict data in order that one can make a hypothesis (guess or explanation)  that can be tested by research.

 

 

THEORETICAL ISSUES

 

THERE ARE THREE BASIC THEORETICAL ISSUES ON WHICH DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENTIST DIFFER?

 

 

1.  Which is more important, heredity or environment?

      If heredity, then one is destine to be a certain way. If environment, we can control what we become.

 

2.  Active (initiate events) verses passive (react to events) character of development.  If passive, we can manipulate and predict development.

 

 

3.  Is development continuous or does it occur in stages?

          Are we continuously changing or developing thru out the life span, or does certain things occur at various times

          thru our life span?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES

 

THERE ARE SIX THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN DEVEVLOPMENT

 

PSYCHOANALYTIC.Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson

believes that behavior is controlled by powerful unconscious urges.

 

LEARNING.Ivan P. Pavlov,  Burrhus F. Skinner, John B. Watson, ...believes people are responders; and environment controls behavior.

 

HUMANISTIC. Abraham Maslow,.. Carl Rogers.believes people have the ability to take charge of their lives and foster their own development or behavior.

 

COGNITIVE. Jean Piaget.believes Qualitative changes in thought occur between infancy and adolescence.  Person is active initiator of development or behavior.     

 

ECHOLOGICALBowlby and Ainsworth.believes humans have the adaptive mechanisms to survive; critical or sensitive periods are stressed; biological and evolutionary bases for behavior and predisposition toward learning are important.

 

CONTEXTUAL.Bronfenbrenner.believes development occurs through interaction between a developing person and five

 

 

 

surrounding, interlocking contextual systems of influences, from microsystem to chronosystem.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Actualization

needs to find self

fulfillment or realize

ones potential

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Esteem

  need to achieve, be

competent, and gain approval

and recognition

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Belongingness

  need to affiliate with others, to be   

 accepted to belong and to be loved

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Safety

  need to feel secure and safe,   

   out of danger

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Physiological

need to have basic physical necessities to sustain life fulfilled

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maslow believed that only when people have satisfied basic needs can they strive to meet higher needs .  Starving persons will take great risks to get food; only when they have obtained it can they worry about the next level of needs, those concerning personal         safety,security etc.  These needs, in turn, must be substantially met before people can freely seek love and acceptance, esteem and achievement, and finally self-actualization, the full realization of potential.  According to Maslow, a satisfied need is no longer a motivator of behavior.

 

 

RESEARCH METHODS

 

When research is conducted, two key issues prevail.

 

       How participants are chosen for the research?

 

       How data is collected for the research?

 

These decisions depend on what questions the researcher wants to answer.

 

Research in human development works within two methodologies:

 

Quantitative = focus is on “hard” data (numbers, statistics)

                                                             

Qualitative =focus on “soft” data (subjective experience, feelings

 

 

SAMPLING

 

When studying a population, it is generally to costly and time consuming to study an entire population.  Consequently, a sample is taken.

 

Sampling…… Simply refers to group of participants chosen to represent the entire group being studied.

 

Care must be taken to ensure the sample is representative, that is, it must show or include relevant characteristics of the target population.

 

FORMS OF DATA COLLECTION

 

Four common ways of gathering data include:

 

       Self Reports

       Interviews

       Questionnaires

       Laboratory Observation

 

 

 

BASIC RESEARCH DESIGNS

 

There are a number of research designs.  The more common designs are:

 

          Case Studies  (In dept study of a single individual, example Wild Child)

       Ethnographic Studies (In dept study of a culture or subculture)

       Correlation Studies (attempts to find positive or negative

                                                     relationships between variables)

       Experimental Studies (controlled procedures in which 

                                                                             variables manipulated)

 

                                                                 

DEVELOPMENTAL RESEARCH DESIGN

 

       Longitudinal Studies (date collected on the same person over a

                                                                                    period of time)

       Cross-Sectional Studies (data collected on people of different

                                                           Ages at the same time)

       Sequential Studies (data collected on successive cross-sectional

                                                            Or longitudinal samples)

ETHNIC RESEARCH

 

 

Should research that might harm its participants ever be undertaken? 

 

 

How can we balance the possible benefits against the risk of mental, emotional, or physical injury to individuals?

 

“Genie” and “The Wild Child” are good examples

 

 

       Right to informed Consent (young children cannot give

                   Meaningful voluntary consent since they cannot fully

                  Understand what is involved)

 

       Avoidance Deception (can consent exist if participants are

           Deceived about nature and purpose of the study or procedures

 

       Right to privacy and Confidentiality (is it ethical to use

          One way mirrors and hidden cameras to observe people without

          Their knowledge?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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