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History, Theories and Methods

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Presentation on theme: "History, Theories and Methods"— Presentation transcript:

1 History, Theories and Methods
Chapter 1

2 What are the Theories of Child Development?
1. Psychoanalytic 2. Learning 3. Cognitive 4. Ecological 5. Sociocultural

3 1. Psychoanalytic: Children are caught in a conflict inside between their sexual/aggressive drives, and conflict with parental and societal expectations. Child’s observable behavior, thoughts and feelings reflect the outcome of this hidden conflict. How parents manage child’s sexual/aggressive drives is crucial to their development. First to focus on the child-parent interaction in development. There are two Theorists:

4 a. Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development
Focus on emotional and social development Study of the origins of psychological traits such as dependence, obsessive neatness, and vanity. Believe our personality has several components that develop over time. Theorized that there are 3 parts to the personality.

5 Parts of the Personality:
1. Id: Unconscious. Biological demands and instant gratification present at birth 2. Ego: Conscious. The conscious self that seeks gratification, but curbs the id to avoid social disapproval 3. Superego: Conscious. Monitors the intentions and behavior of ego by allowing guilt and shame for behavior. The internalization of society and parental right or wrong. Stage theorist

6 Fixation: too much or to little gratification during a particular stage can cause fixation in that stage Phallic-Masturbation focused

7 b. Erikson’s Psychosocial Development
Extended stages to adulthood. Focus on our emotional life and psychological traits, but there is a focus on social relationships rather than sexual/aggressive instincts. Emphasis is on the ego, or sense of self Social relationships and physical maturation contributes tour our development Mastery of developmental task/challenge at each stage needed to move to next stage Early experiences of parent/child relationship affect future developments and/or accomplishments Focus on a life crisis that people might encounter during each stage. Resolution of each stage of each crisis bolsters our sense of identity (who you are and what you stand for) and their expectation of future success.

8 Erickson’s Stages of Personality Development

9 2. Learning Focus on how learning affects a person’s behavior.
Emphasis on experience and the consequences of our behavior.

10 a. Behaviorism: Children are born a blank slate, learning determines what the child will be: John B. Watson: “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” (1930) Study of development must be more scientific and focus on observable behavior only, not on things like thoughts, feelings, and drives.

11 Examples of Behaviorism:
Little Albert Pavlov’s Dogs Rat in a Skinner Box


13 b. Social Cognitive Theory
Developed by Bandura; learning occurs by observing other people, by reading, or by engaging in different media. Observational learning occurs through modeling the same behavior of another person (called a model) Observational learning can lie latent until the behavior observed is needed or applicable. A combination of reward, punishment, and imitation.

14 Bandura’s Early Experiment In Observational Learning:
BoBo Doll

15 3. Cognitive Theory Focus on peoples mental processes.
How children perceive and mentally represent the world, how they develop thinking, logic, and problem solving abilities. Developed by Piaget; intrigued by children’s wrong answers (pg. 9-10) Scheme – pattern of action of mental structure that is involved in acquiring or organizing knowledge Adaptation – interaction between the organism and the environment Assimilation – process of responding to new objects or events according to existing schemes Accommodation – Scheme is changed to incorporate novel object or event Equilibration – balance achieved by assimilating new events into existing scheme Piaget viewed children as mentally assimilating and accommodating aspects of their environment.

16 3. Cognitive Theory, cont. The way children construct knowledge changes over time depending on their age. These changes fall into distinct stages of cognitive development, which change as the child's thinking changes and develops. Q: What are Piaget’s stages of Cognitive development?

17 4. Ecological Systems Theory:
Explains development in terms of the interaction between people and the settings in which they live. Each layer of our environment has a powerful effect on our development. The developing person is imbedded in a series of complex and interacting systems.


19 Bronfenbrenner’s Systems Approach
Microsystem – interactions of the child with other people in the immediate setting such as the home, school or peer group Mesosystem – interactions of various settings with the microsystem such as the parent-teacher conference or the school field trip to the zoo Exosystem – institutions which indirectly affect the development of the child such as the school board or the parent’s place of employment Macrosystem – involves the interaction of the child with the beliefs, expectations, and lifestyle of their cultural setting Chronosystem – refers to the influence of environmental changes that occur over the life course.

20 5. Sociocultural Perspective
Developed by Vygotsky Humans are affected by the cultural and social environment in which they are born Focus is on the transmission of information and cognitive skills from generation to generation Learning consists of social engagement from a more skilled individual to a lesser skilled individual (example: an older sibling teaching a younger sibling to ride a bike) Believed social interaction is necessary for child to acquire cultural skills.

21 How do we Gather Information about Children for Research?
Naturalistic observation: Research conducted in the natural setting, out in the field. Observer takes great pains not to disturb the environment. Interference can result in “bias” in the research results. Case study: Carefully drawn account of an individual’s behavior; may use diaries, questionnaires, standardized tests, interviews, information from public records. Naturalistic: Home, classroom, playground.

22 What are the Two General Research Designs?
1. Correlational studies 2. Experimental studies

23 1. Correlational Studies
Correlation: Determines whether one behavior or trait being studied is correlated with, or is related to another behavior or trait. Use of a statistical formula to obtain information on the strength and direction of a relationship between two variables. The strength and direction of the relationship is expressed as a number called the correlational coefficient. IMPORTANT: Correlational studies never indicate a cause and effect relationship between variables. This is one of its weaknesses.

24 Correlation Coefficients: What do they tell us?
Strength Size of the number between 0 and 1 Closer to 1 is a stronger relationship Direction Indicated by + or - sign Positive (+): as one variable increases, so does the other Negative (-): as one variable increase, the other decreases


26 Correlations:

27 2. Experimental Method A study where one group of subjects receives the treatment and the other group does not. Subjects are then observed to see if the treatment makes a difference in their behavior. Most preferred method for investigating cause and effect. Experiments are usually conducted to test a hypothesis.

28 An Experiment Has 2 Variables:
Independent Experimenter manipulates directly Expected to be the cause for changes in the dependent variable. (“treatment” or “experimental” group) Dependent Experimenter measures, but does not manipulate Expected to be the effect from the independent variable (“placebo” or “control” group)

29 Experiments, cont. Random assignment – subjects assigned to a group randomly Ethical/practical consideration – researchers look at the ethics and practical assignment of participants; sometimes correlational evidence must be settled for rather than experimental. Animal subjects – used to generalize findings to humans when it is not ethical or practical to use humans in the experiment

30 What are the 3 Common Methods Used to Study Children Over Time?
1. Longitudinal studies 2. Cross Sectional studies

31 1. Longitudinal Research
Seeks to study development over time; some subjects’ characteristics such as height, weight, and/or changes in mental capabilities observed repeatedly over time; a larger number of participants is needed for this type of study Typically time of study spans months or a few years Longitudinal researchers have to enlist future researchers to continue the study.

32 2. Cross-sectional Research
Cross-sectional research observes and compares subjects of different ages; a larger number of participants is needed for this type of study Cohort effect – group of people born at the same time; experience cultural and other events unique to their age group; children of a particular cohort will have different life experiences than their parents

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