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Tyisha Charles CH3058354 Developmental Psychology

Objective 10: Contrast correlational and experimental research designs, and cite the strengths and limitations of each. There are two main types of research designs used in all research on human behaviour. 1) Correlational Design 2) Experimental Design Research Design
Information on individuals are gathered generally in natural life circumstances without altering the experiences of these individuals.




The relationships Conclusions cannot between two variables be made about cause can be studied. and effect relationships.

Investigators examine relationships by using a correlation coefficient which is a number that describes hoe two measures or variables are associated with each other. A correlation coefficient is a value from +1.00 to -1.00 that shows the strength of the relationship with 0 being the lowest meaning no relationship. The night the number, the stronger the relationship. The sign of the number whether it is (+) or (-) indicates the direction of the relationship. With the positive sign (+) as one variable increases so does that other, but with a negative (-) as one variable increases the other decreases. Researcher can infer cause and effect because an even-handed procedure is used to assign persons to two or more treatment conditions. Cause and effect relationships can be detected because the researcher directly controls or manipulates changes in the independent variable by exposing participants of the experiment to the treatment conditions The independent variable: the variable used by the researcher to cause change in another variable The dependent variable: the variable that is expected to be influenced by the independent variable Random assignment using an unbiased procedure such as drawing numbers from a hat or flipping a coin in used to select participants for a study to ensure that there is equal distribution of participants characteristics across treatment conditions, thus preventing the reduction of accuracy in the researchers findings. 1 Cause and effect relationships can be made. Studies conducted in the laboratory may not reflect the real world. In field experiments control or manipulation of the independent variable is weaker than in the laboratory. In natural experiments lack of random assignment reduces the accuracy of the research


Objective 11: Describe three research designs for studying development, and cite the strengths and limitations of each.

Designs for Description Studying Development LONGITUDINAL Participants are studied repeatedly at DESIGN
different ages, and changes are noted as they get older.

Researchers can identify common patterns as well as individual differences in development because this design tracks the performance of each person over time. Investigators are permitted to examine relationships between early and later events and behaviours

Participants may move away or drop out of the study for other reasons, changing the original samples representation of the population to whom the researchers would like to generalize their findings. From repeated study persons may become test-wise and their performance may increase because of better test-taking skills and increased familiarity with the test and not because of factors commonly associated with development Individuals born in the same time period are influenced by a particular set of historical and cultural conditions; results based on one cohort may not apply to people developing in other times. This is called cohort effects


Groups of people varying in age are studied at the same point in time.

Researchers are not concerned with dropouts or the practice effect because participants are only measured once. Less time consuming that the longitudinal design

Cross-sectional research does not provide evidence about development at the level which it occurs Like longitudinal research, this research design can be affected by the cohort effects. Participant may not reflect age-related changes but unique experiences associated with the historical period in which the age groups were growing up. The same problems for both Longitudinal and Cross-sectional Designs may be encountered but this design helps to indentify difficulties.


Several similar crosssectional or longitudinal studies called sequences are conducted at different times.

Cohort effects can be ruled out by comparing participants of the same age who were born in different years. If the results do not differ cohort effects are not operating. Longitudinal and Cross-sectional comparisons can be made to confirm findings. Helps explain diversity in development. 2

Objective 12: Discuss special ethical concerns in lifespan research. Ethical issues are presented from research into the lifespan because in the quest for scientific knowledge persons are sometimes exploited. 1) Protection from Harm When harm seems possible during the course of the research, investigators should find another way of gaining the information they need or abandon the investigation entirely. No harm whether it is physical or psychological should come to a person through a research study. 2) Informed Consent All aspects of the research should be explained to participants before they take part in the study in a language appropriate for their level of understanding. All persons have to right to discontinue participation in a research study at any time. The ethical principle of informed consent requires special safeguards for children and for elderly persons who are cognitively impaired or who live in settings for the chronically ill. When children or the elderly take part in research, the ethical concerns are especially complex. Immaturity makes it difficult or impossible for children to evaluate for themselves what participation in research will mean. Mental impairment rises with very advanced age and because of this some older adults cannot make voluntary and informed choices. Others are unusually vulnerable to pressure for participation in research because of life circumstances. 3) Privacy All information concerning the identity of participants, collected in the course of the research should be kept confidential even in written reports or informal discussions about the research. 4) Knowledge of Results Participants have the right to be informed of the results of research in a language appropriate to their level of understanding. Results of research in which the participant was involved should not be kept from the participant if he/she desire to know. 5) Beneficial Treatments If experimental treatments believed to be beneficial are under investigation, participants in control groups have the right to alternative beneficial treatments if they are available.