Scientific Method and Human Development

1905 words 8 pages
Psych 09-2
Psychology of Human Development
SY 2011 – 2012 Second Semester

Week No. 1 of 17 (Nov. 17-21)

Please read the following topics carefully
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Berger, KS (2008) The Developing Person Through the Life Span, Seventh Edition Worth Publishers

Nature and Characteristics of Human Development


At the end of the session, the student is expected to: 1. Define development, focusing on three elements of its scientific study and noting how dynamic-systems theory highlights the interactive nature of development. 2. Describe the ecological-systems
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There are many ways to test hypotheses. One method is scientific observation of people in their natural environment or in a laboratory setting. Observation is limited in that it tells us only if two variables are correlated. Experiments can reveal cause-and-effect relationships by allowing experimenters to observe whether a change in an independent variable affects some specific behavior, or dependent variable. In an experiment, the participants who receive a particular treatment constitute the experimental group; the participants who do not receive the treatment constitute the comparison group (control group). Statistics are often used to analyze experimental results. Sometimes results are reported by effect size. To determine whether a difference between two groups occurred purely by coincidence, or chance, researchers apply a test of significance. The survey is especially vulnerable to bias: The group being surveyed may not be representative of the group of interest, the phrasing and order of the questions may affect the responses obtained, and people may give answers to make themselves look better. The interpretation of case study data depends on the researcher’s insightfulness. In cross-sectional research, groups of people who are different in age but similar in all other important ways are compared on the characteristic


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