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CONCEPTIONS OF DEVELOPMENT OUTLINE

SCIENTIFIC THEORY AND METHODS LOGICAL POSITIVISM THE HYPOTHETICAL DEDUCTIVE METHOD CHANGE VS. LEARNING VS. DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND THEMES IN DEVELOPMENTAL INQUIRY DEFINITION OF DEVELOPMENT STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE INTERACTIONIST/CONSTRUCTIVIST VIEW SUMMARY

RELATIONS BETWEEN CONCEPTS AND METHODS PROBLEMS OF PRESCIENTIFIC ERA: CONCEPTS WERE INSUFFICIENTLY DIFFERENTIATED FROM THE METHODS USED TO DEVELOP AND STUDY THEM BRIDGEMAN'S SOLUTION: CONCEPTS SHOULD BE DEFINED (SCIENTIFICALLY) ONLY IN TERMS OF THE OPERATIONS INVESTIGATORS USE TO STUDY AND OBSERVE THEM OPERATIONAL (CONCRETE) DEFINITION = REPRESENTATION OF A CONCEPT OR VARIABLE IN TERMS OF THE METHODS AND PROCEDURES USED TO INVESTIGATE THE PHENOMENON EXAMPLES: INTELLIGENCE = INTELLIGENCE TEST SCORE CONCRETE OPERATIONAL THINKING = CONSERVATION OF LIQUID, SOLID AGGRESSIVENESS = NO. OF HOSTILE COMMENTS CHECKED ON A QUESTIONNAIRE CONCEPTUAL (ABSTRACT) DEFINITION = CHARACTERIZATION OF A CONCEPT IN TERMS OF ITS ESSENTIAL

PROPERTIES NATURAL LANGUAGE DEFINITION = DICTIONARY DEFINITION THEORETICAL (FORMAL) DEFINITION = EXPLICIT STATEMENT OF FORMAL PROPERTIES WITHIN A SYSTEMATIC FRAMEWORK E.G. REINFORCEMENT = DRIVE REDUCTION - HULL

RELATION OF CONCEPTS AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS IN AN EXPERIMENT

INDEPENDENT VARIABLE CONCEPTUAL LEVEL CONCEPTUAL --> CONFLICT

PROCESS OR MEDIATING VARIABLE DISEQUILIBRIU M, --> EQUILIBRATIO N

DEPENDENT VARIABLE COORDINATIO N OF SCHEMES

OPERATIONAL LEVEL

INDUCTION OF PEER ARGUMENTS

PERFORMANC E ON CONSERVATIO N MEASURE

- ADAPTED FROM PETTY AND CACIOPPO, 1981

The Classical Hypothetico-Deductive Method (Logical Empiricism) Devised from classical physical sciences. Does it apply to biological and social sciences? Kerr (1998); Hempel (1966) Step 1 Formulate Problem: A priori, (prior to designing the investigation), deduce or derive one or more testable hypotheses from a plausible theory about the phenomenon of interest. Step 2 Devise Method: Design the study, develop measures and predictions, formulate predictions, execute the study. Step 3 Determine Results: Analyze data, test predictions statistically with null hypothesis. Step 4 Draw Conclusions: Interpret the data regarding support or nonsupport for the predictions and hypotheses. Suggest revised, alternative, or revised hypotheses. Suggest new variables and methods for further studies. Benefits: Framework for testing suppositions empirically. Deductive process avoids pitfalls of ex post facto, ad hoc reasoning (HARKing). (Kerr, 1998) Limitations: Assumes generalizability: that psychology can be

comprised of Auniversal laws.@ (Neglects contextual effects, e.g. historical, cultural factors relevant interpreting the results; diversity (individual and group differences that may moderate or interact with the experimental or observed variables). Alternative AScientific@ Methods Exploratory investigations, inductive interpretation of (quantitative) data. Hermeneutic framework: Contextual, grounded, interpretive; E.g. case study. (Qualitative methods)

CHANGE, LEARNING, AND DEVELOPMENT CHANGE = ANY KIND OF MODIFICATION OR TRANSFORMATION, (PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL, TEMPORARY OR LASTING, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE) LEARNING VS. DEVELOPMENT: SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE CONCEPTS --BOTH SIGNIFY: CHANGE IN AN ORGANISM EXPERIENCE PLAYING A ROLE IN CHANGE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CONCEPTS CAUSAL FRAME - LEARNING REFERS PRIMARILY TO THE EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE, WHEREAS DEVELOPMENT REFERS TO THE EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND MATURATION (PHYSICAL GROWTH) TEMPORAL FRAME: LEARNING: SHORT TERM DEVELOPMENT: LONG TERM CONCEPT OF ORGANISM LEARNING: UNILEVEL DEVELOPMENT: MULTILEVEL RANGE (SCOPE) OF FOCUS: LEARNING: MOLECULAR / MICROSCOPIC DEVELOPMENT: MOLAR / MACROSCOPIC METHODS: LEARNING: EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT: DESCRIPTIVE, CORRELATIONAL, COMPARATIVE (AND EXPERIMENTAL) CONCLUSION: THEORIES AND RESEARCH ON LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT ARE CLOSELY LINKED, AND DIFFER PRIMARILY IN SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATOR=S GENERAL ORIENTATION AND EMPHASIS

PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT IMPLIES: ORGANISM (LIVING) CHANGE OVER TIME MOVEMENT TOWARD GREATER COMPLEXITY OF ORGANIZATION (SYSTEMS) HIERARCHICAL ORGANIZATION (SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE) - A WHOLE COMPOSED OF SUBSYSTEMS - "HIGHER" STATES IN WHICH: . ORGANIZATION IS STABLE . SELF-REGULATING CAPACITY IS MAXIMIZED . ADAPTATION IS OPTIMAL IMPLICIT OR EXPLICIT VALUE JUDGMENTS REGARDING WHICH CHARACTERISTICS ARE "HIGHER" AND "MORE PERFECT," E.G. INDIVIDUALISM VS. COLLECTIVISM, COMPETITION VS. COOPERATION

ISSUES AND THEMES CONCERNING ALTERNATIVE ASSUMPTIONS THAT GUIDE DEVELOPMENTAL INQUIRY - J. KAGAN (1984) 1. ROLE OF BIOLOGY AND EXPERIENCE (NATURE-NURTURE) 2. CONTINUITY (CONNECTEDNESS) VS. DISCONTINUITY 3. QUALITATIVE VS. QUANTITATIVE CHANGE

4. GENERAL VS. SPECIFIC CONSTRUCTS

5. SUBJECTIVE VS. OBJECTIVE FRAMES

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES SEQUENTIAL PERIODS IN DEVELOPMENT OF THE ORGANISM DURING WHICH A SET OF INTERRELATED COMPONENTS CO-EXIST, PROCESSES OCCUR IN REGULARLY ORDERED PATTERNS, AND CERTAIN CONTINUITIES ARE EVIDENT.

CHARACTERISTICS OF STAGE CONCEPTS 1. CHARACTERIZE STABILITY AND CONSISTENCY WITHIN A STAGE

2. DESCRIBE QUALITATIVE CHANGES (TRANSITIONS) ACROSS A DEVELOPMENTAL SPAN

3. DESCRIBE INTERRELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE CHANGES (ASSUMES UNDERLYING STRUCTURE)

4. CHARACTERIZE AN INVARIANT SEQUENCE

5. FOCUS UPON INTRA-INDIVIDUAL CHANGES

6. IGNORE INTER-INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

LIFE SPAN PERSPECTIVE - (BALTES AND REESE)

ASSUMPTIONS:

1. DEVELOPMENT IS A LIFE LONG PROCESS.

2 . PLURALITY IN PATTERNS OF CHANGE. CHANGES AMONG MULTIFACETED SYSTEMS ARE INTERRELATED.

3. INDIVIDUAL PLASTICITY, ADAPTIVENESS

4 . HISTORICAL-CULTURAL CONTEXT AFFECTS DEVELOPMENT

5. THREE LEVELS OF ANALYSIS: - AGE GRADED - HISTORY GRADED

- NONNORMATIVE (FOCUSED ON INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES)

6. INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH

CONSTRUCTIVIST VIEW OF DEVELOPMENT:

DEVELOPMENT (AND LEARNING) ARE VIEWED AS SELFGENERATING PROCESSES IN WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTS AND ORGANIZES EXPERIENCE VIA A CONTINUOUSLY CHANGING COGNITIVE STRUCTURE

CONSISTENT WITH RATIONALIST POINT OF VIEW, BUT DENIES "PREFORMATION." AVOWEDLY CONTRADICTS EMPIRICIST (MECHANISTIC) VIEW

THIS VIEW OF DEVELOPMENT IS IDENTIFIED WITH THE THEORIES OF:

PIAGET (INDIVIDUAL CONSTRUCTIVISM)

VYGOTSKY (SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM)

Changing Perspectives on Developmental Theory and Research Quality Twentieth Century Perspective Seek universal laws Twenty-first Century Perspective Describe and explain relationships among levels of analysis, plasticity, and diversity (individual differences) with regard to times of measurement Relational units Embedded in context Interventions and observation in ecological (real world) contexts. Interdisciplinary Multilevel (Hierarchical) / Multidimensional

Goal of science

Unit of analysis Locus of organism Method

Individual (organism) Isolated / decontextualized Laboratory experiment; test, questionnaire Narrowly specialized within discipline Unilevel / Unidimensional Structural Functional Developmental Formism (structural) Mechanism (atomistic) Organismic

Disciplinary perspective Level of analysis / Dimensionality

Root Metaphors

Historical / Contextual

Theories of Human Development: Contemporary Perspectives Richard Lerner (1997) . . . [The ]major assumptive dimensions of contemporary theories of human development-systematic change and relative plasticity, relationism and integration, embeddedness and temporality, and generalizability limits and diversity--are very much intertwined facets of a common theoretical core. They form the corpus of a superordinate developmental systems view of human development. . . . Implications for Research A developmental systems perspective involves the study of active people providing a source, across the life span, of their individual developmental trajectories; this development occurs through the dynamic interactions people experience with the specific characteristics of the changing contexts within which they are embedded. This stress on the dynamic relation between the individual and his or her context results in the recognition that a synthesis of perspectives from multiple disciplines is needed to understand the multilevel (e.g. person, family, and community) integrations involved in human development. In addition, to understand the basic process of human development--the process of change involved in the relations between individuals and contexts--both descriptive and explanatory research must be conducted within the actual ecology of people=s lives. In the case of explanatory studies, such investigations, by their very nature, constitute intervention research. The role of the developmental researcher conducting explanatory research is to understand the ways in which variations in person-context relations account for the character of human developmental trajectories, life paths that are enacted in the Anatural laboratory@ of the Areal world.@

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS DEVELOPMENT INVOLVES A MYRIAD OF COMPLEX CHANGES OVER LIFE-SPAN THESE CHANGES MAY BE DESCRIBED AND EXPLAINED IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS MANY PRESCIENTIFIC AND SCIENTIFIC THEORIES HAVE BEEN PROPOSED EACH THEORY SHOULD BE REGARDED AS A "TENTATIVE EXPLANATORY FRAMEWORK" CONSTRUCTED BY A SCHOLAR OR COMMUNITY OF SCHOLARS (NOT AS "RIGHT" OR "WRONG"). THEORIES SHOULD BE COMPARED AND EVALUATED (SCOPE AND UTILITY OF EACH IS DIFFERENT)