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Chapter 1

History, Theory, and


Research Strategies
Developmental Science

The study of constancy


and change throughout
the lifespan

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The Field of
Developmental Science

Scientific
Applied
Interdisciplinary

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Theory
An orderly, integrated
set of statements that
describes
explains
predicts
behavior

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Basic Issues
in Development

Continuous or discontinuous?
One course of development or many?
Relative influence of nature and
nurture?
Contexts of Development

Unique combinations
of personal and
environmental
circumstances can
result in different
paths of change

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Basic Issues
Nature vs. Nurture

Nature Nurture
Hereditary Physical and
information social forces
Received at Influences
conception biological and
psychological
development
Stability and Plasticity
Stability Plasticity
Persistence of Development is
individual open to lifelong
differences change
Lifelong patterns Change occurs
established by based on influential
early experiences experiences
Development as a
Dynamic System
Ongoing process from conception
to death
Molded by network of influences:
biological
psychological
social
Lifespan Perspective

Development is
lifelong
multidimensional and
multidirectional
highly plastic
influenced by multiple,
interacting forces

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Periods of Development
Prenatal Conception to birth
Infancy and toddlerhood Birth2 years
Early childhood 26 years
Middle childhood 611 years
Adolescence 1118 years
Early adulthood 1840 years
Middle adulthood 4065 years
Late adulthood 65 yearsdeath
Major Domains
of Development

Figure 1.2
Influences on Development
Multiple, interacting forces:
Age-graded
History-graded
Nonnormative

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Resilience
Ability to adapt effectively
in the face of threats to
development
Factors in resilience:
personal characteristics
warm caregiver relationship
social support outside family
community resources and iofoto/Shutterstock

opportunities
Lifespan View of
Development

Figure 1.3
Scientific Beginnings

Theory of
Darwin
evolution

Normative
Hall, Gesell
approach

Mental testing
Binet
movement
Early Scientific Theories
Theory of evolution
Natural selection
Survival of the fittest
Normative approach
Child study movement
Development as a maturational process
Mental testing movement
First successful intelligence test
In forefront of naturenurture controversy
Psychoanalytic Perspective
Freud and Erikson

Emphasis on
individuals unique
life history
Conflicts between
biological drives and
social expectations
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Freuds Three Parts
of the Personality
Largest portion of the mind
Id Unconscious, present at birth
Source of biological needs/desires

Conscious, rational part of personality


Ego Emerges in early infancy
Redirects id impulses in acceptable ways

The conscience
Superego Develops from ages 3 to 6 through
interactions with caregivers
Freuds Psychosexual Stages
Oral
Anal
Phallic
Latency
Genital
GWImages/Shutterstock
Eriksons
Psychosocial Stages
Basic trust vs. mistrust Birth1 year

Autonomy vs. shame/doubt 13 years

Initiative vs. guilt 36 years

Industry vs. inferiority 611 years

Identity vs. role confusion Adolescence

Intimacy vs. isolation Early adulthood

Generativity vs. stagnation Middle adulthood

Integrity vs. despair Late adulthood


Behaviorism and
Social Learning Theory

Classical
Stimulusresponse
conditioning

Operant Reinforcers and


conditioning punishments

Social learning Social-cognitive


theory approach
Behaviorism and
Social Learning Theory
Contributions:
behavior modification
modeling, observational learning
Limitations:
narrow view of environmental influences
underestimates individuals active role
Piagets Cognitive-
Developmental Theory
Children actively construct knowledge by
manipulating and exploring their world.
Mental structures adapt to better fit with
environment.
Development moves through four broad
stages.
Piagets Stages

Sensorimotor
Preoperational
Concrete operational
Formal operational

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Information Processing
View of the human mind as a
symbol-manipulating system
Development as a continuous
process
Use of rigorous research methods
Little insight into creativity or
imagination
Developmental Cognitive
Neuroscience
Relationship of brain changes to cognitive
processing and behavior patterns
Brings together researchers from
psychology
biology
neuroscience
medicine
Practical applications
Ethology
Adaptive value and
evolutionary history
of behavior
Acquisition of
adaptive behaviors:
critical period
sensitive period
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Evolutionary Developmental
Psychology
Adaptive value of
cognitive
emotional
social
competencies as they change with age
Personenvironment system throughout
the lifespan
Vygotskys
Sociocultural Theory
Transmission to the next
generation of a cultures
values
beliefs
customs
skills
Cooperative dialogues
between children and more
expert members of society
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Ecological Systems Theory

Figure 1.5
Ecological Systems Theory
Layers of the
environment:
microsystem
mesosystem
exosystem
macrosystem
Zurijeta/Shutterstock Chronosystem:
temporal dimension
Common Research Methods
Systematic observation
Naturalistic observation
Structured observation
Self-reports:
Clinical interview
Structured interview, questionnaires,
tests
Clinical, or case study, method
Ethnography
Systematic Observation
Naturalistic Structured
Observation Observation
Observation of Observation of
behavior in natural behavior in laboratory
contexts Gives all participants
Reflects participants opportunity to display
everyday lives behavior
Self-Reports
Clinical Structured
Interview Interview
Conversational style All participants are
Probes for asked the same
participants questions in the
viewpoint same way
Provides large Permits comparisons
amount of information and efficient data
in brief period collection
Clinical/Case Study Method
Full picture of individuals
psychological functioning
Combines information from
interviews
observations
test scores
Ethnography

Participant observation
of culture or social group
Rich, descriptive insights
Does not permit
generalization from
findings
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General Research Designs
Correlational Experimental
Reveals relationships Participants randomly
between participants assigned to treatment
characteristics and conditions
behavior Detects cause-and-
Does not permit effect relationships
cause-and-effect Findings may not
inferences apply in real-world
conditions
Correlation Coefficients

Figure 1.6
Experimental Design

Independent Dependent
Variable Variable
Manipulated by Measured, but not
experimenter manipulated, by
Expected to cause experimenter
changes in another Expected to be
variable influenced by
independent variable
Random Assignment
Unbiased procedure used to assign
participants to treatment conditions
Increases chances that characteristics will be
equally distributed across conditions

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Modified Experiments
Field Experiment Natural/Quasi-
Conducted in Experiment
natural settings Compares existing
Capitalizes on differences in
existing treatment
opportunities Participant groups
for random matched as much
assignment as possible
Developmental
Research Designs
Same group studied
Longitudinal
at different times

Different groups studied


Cross-sectional
at the same time

Compares similar
Sequential cross-sectional or longitudinal
studies (sequences)
Problems in Conducting
Longitudinal Research
Participant dropout
Practice effects
Cohort effects

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Improving
Developmental Designs
Sequential designs
Compare several similar cross-sectional or
longitudinal studies
Permit longitudinal and cross-sectional
comparisons
Combining experimental and developmental
designs
Experimental manipulation of experiences
Provides evidence of causal association between
experiences and development
Rights of Research
Participants

Protection from harm


Informed consent
Privacy
Knowledge of results
Beneficial treatments

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