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Chapter 1 Psych.

GP 3 & 4
Gp 3 The 4 Goals of Scientific
Study of human development
• Developmental
psychology, also known
as human development,
is the scientific study of
progressive psychological
changes that occur in
human beings as they
age. In this class we are
mainly concerned with
infants and children but
developmental
psychologists study the
entire lifespan
Gp 3 The 4 Goals of Scientific
Study of human development
• The 4 goals are
• Description of
Behaviour
• Explanation of
behaviour
• Prediction of Behaviour
• And
• Possibly Modification of
Behaviour
Gp 3 The 4 Goals of Scientific
Study of human development
1. Description of Behaviour-
description accurately
portrays behaviour –
typically it involves looking
at norms and comparing
individuals against norms in
developmental areas – for
example if most 17 month
olds can walk but an
individual 17 month old
cannot yet walk then there
may be cause for further
investigation
Gp 3 The 4 Goals of Scientific
Study of human development
2. Explanation of
behaviour
This involves looking to
explain behaviour –
possible causes for
observations that are not
normative such as the 17
month old who cannot yet
walk or why language is
delayed in an individual
child etc.
Gp 3 The 4 Goals of Scientific
Study of human development
3. Prediction of Behaviour
This has to do with
estimating or guessing
what possible outcomes
for an individual might be
based on what we know
about norms in
development and the
individual’s current
abilities and environment.
Gp 3 The 4 Goals of Scientific
Study of human development
• 4. Modification of Behaviour
• This involves interventions
and changing the
behaviours - so a child with
delayed language could be
given some “headstart”
interventions for speech
and language or a child who
has socially unacceptable
habits (ie biting) can be
taught to express anger in a
more acceptable way.
GP 4 What do developmental
scientists study?
• 2 types of changes are looked
at in developmental
psychology ne of the first tasks
of the child development
researcher is to decide on a
basic method by which to
collect information. Scientific
inquiries generally fall into two
broad categories: those
conducted using qualitative
methods and those conducted
using quantitative methods.
• Quantitative change
• Qualitative Change
GP 4 What do developmental
scientists study?
• Quantitative
change is a change in
quantity or amount. This
can be as simple as a
change in measuring a
change in height or
weight or as complex as
counting social
interactions or counting
words in a
child’svocabulary
GP 4 What do developmental
scientists study?
• Quantitative
change The major
types of qualitative
methods include
observation, self-reports,
and the case study.
Researchers often
choose to view behavior
directly through some
kind of systematic
observation.
GP 4 What do developmental
scientists study?
• Qualitative change is a
change in quality – the book
describes it as a change in
kind, structure or
organization. This type of
change is used to describe
things that are not so easy to
count such as shyness (if a
child starts preschool very shy
but becomes more outgoing
as he feels more comfortable
then the teacher can describe
a change in quality.