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Chapter One Introduction PowerPoints prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter One Introduction PowerPoints prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter One Introduction PowerPoints prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College

2 Studying the Life Span: Five Characteristics The study of human development is the science that seeks to understand –how and why all kinds of people change over time –how and why they remain the same –the generalities and the specifics Focus is on all kinds of people -age, socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, background, culture, and nationality

3 Studying the Life Span: Five Characteristics, cont. Change from conception to death—the five characteristics –A Life-Span Perspective multidirectional—nonlinear progression (1) multicontextual—a number of contexts (2) multicultural—many cultural settings (3) multidisciplinary—many academic disciplines contribute data (4) plasticity—change through the life span (5)

4 Multidirectional (1) Each aspect of life is multidirectional –physical health, intellectual growth, and social interaction –up, down, stable or erratic Dynamic Systems –process of continual change within a person or group, in which each change is connected systematically to every other development in each individual and every society

5 Growth in height and weight is not linear Fluctuations in body weight are affected by many other changes –appetite, nutrition, family, stress, exercise, culture, food supply, and climate –historical changes can have powerful effects “obesity epidemic” in the U.S. today Physical Growth

6 Butterfly effect—the idea that a small action or event may set off a series of changes culminating in a major event Opposite Idea –a large change may have little or no effect Family Dynamics –influence vulnerability or resiliency –strong bond with loving caregiver can protect against adversity of many kinds Effects, Large and Small

7 Humans develop in many contexts that influence development –physical and family –focus on three facets of social context historical, socioeconomic, and cultural Multicontextual (2)

8 Three Broad Contexts Within the Social Context

9 Historical Context Historical context involves cohorts, social constructions –impact of historical context varies with age

10 Socioeconomic includes –socioeconomic status (ses), education, income, neighborhood, occupation of household head The Socioeconomic Context

11 Families and Neighborhoods Economics –poverty Collective Efficacy—neighbors that create a functioning, informal network of people who show concern for each other and their block Supportive Family Relationships –quality of parenting –family support best predictor of health and happiness

12 Cultural—set of values, assumptions, and customs as well as physical objects such as clothing, housing, etc. –includes all decisions people make –is dynamic, supportive The Cultural Context

13 Who Sleeps with Whom? Example from Figure 1.2 showing configuration of sleeping arrangements –in Western cultures, husband and wife sleep together –not all cultures have the same ideas about sleeping arrangements

14 Two examples of various practices provide insights into culture—(1) Too Rich to Marry? And (2) The Children’s House Multicultural (3)

15 Too Rich to Marry? Worldwide, the richer the man, the more likely he is to marry Is a woman a less desirable mate if she earns more income and therefore would be less dependent on the male? –higher income for women reduced marriage prospects in Japan increased marriage prospects slightly in U.S. increased marriage prospects significantly in Sweden findings reflective of a country’s gender equality

16 The Children’s House Kibbutz Sleeping Arrangements –different sleeping practices, with some children sleeping in Children’s House, while others slept at home –children who slept away ended up having negative consequences difficulty talking about, relating to family members

17 Ethnicity, Race, and Income Ethnic group—collection of people who share certain attributes, almost always including ancestral heritage and often including national origin, religion, customs, and language People can belong to more than one culture

18 Ethnicity, Race, and Income, cont. Race—a social construction by which biological traits are used to differentiate people whose ancestors came from various regions of the world –a distorted concept SES variations tend to follow ethnic variations

19 Ethnicity, Race, and Income, cont. The Person Within the System –divergent directions, contextual influences, cohort effect

20 Multidisciplinary (4) Body, Mind, and Spirit Three domains –biosocial –cognitive –psychosocial Williams Family Example Combination of Nature vs. Nurture

21 Plasticity (5) Plasticity—capacity to change Characteristics can be molded into different forms and shapes or a durability can be maintained Provides hope and realism –change is possible –people must build on what came before (raw materials = genes, families, cultures, experiences)

22 The Person Within the Context Person is guided in divergent directions by many contextual influences No one is “average”— each person unique –each person has unique genes and experiences –Paul Baltes (Founder of lifespan developmental study) “We need to keep in mind that the future is not something we simply enter, the future is also something we help create.”

23 Developmental Study as a Science Based on objective evidence (objective) Laden with personal implications and applications (subjective)

24 Scientific method—general way to seek evidence to answer question, involving four basic steps and sometimes a fifth. 1. formulate a research question 2. develop a hypothesis hypothesis—a specific prediction that is stated in such a way it can be tested and either confirmed or refuted Scientific Method

25 Scientific Method, cont. 3. test the hypothesis 4. draw conclusions 5. make findings available replication—the repetition of a scientific study using the same procedures on another group of participants to verify or refute the original study’s conclusion

26 Research Methods Four Methods of Testing Hypotheses –observations –experiments –surveys –case studies

27 Observation Scientific observation—observing and recording (unbiased) in a systematic way what people do –Limitation: it does not indicate what causes behavior we observe

28 Correlation and Causation –Naturalistic observation provides no definitive answers about causes –Correlation exists between two variables if one variable is more (or less) likely to occur when the other occurs –correlation indicates a connection, but does not specify reason (cause) for it Observation, cont.

29 Experiment—investigation designed to untangle cause from effect –independent variable—imposed treatment or special condition –dependent variable—specific behavior being studied –experimental group—participants who are given particular treatment –comparison (control) group—participants who are not given special treatment but are similar to experimental group in other relevant ways The Experiment

30 How to Conduct an Experiment

31 The Survey Survey—information collected from personal interview, questionnaire, etc.

32 Case study—intensive study of one individual or situation The Case Study

33 Developmental research must be able to deal with changes that continue over time –research design allows researchers to include time, or age, as a factor –three basic designs: cross-sectional, longitudinal, cross-sequential Studying Changes over Time

34 Cross-sectional research-research that studies groups differing in age but sharing other important characteristics (education, SES, ethnicity) Cross-sectional Research

35 Longitudinal research—research that studies individuals over a long period; valuable developmental information from longitudinal studies includes –adjustment to divorce –role of fathers in child development –prevention of teenage delinquency Longitudinal Research

36 Cross-sequential research—research that studies several groups of people of different ages, then follows those groups longitudinally Cross-Sequential Research

37 Cross-sectional, Longitudinal, and Cross- Sequential Research: Which is Best?

38 Cross-sectional, Longitudinal, and Cross- Sequential Research: Which is Best?, cont.

39 The Ecological-Systems Approach: A Synthesis Ecological-systems approach—research that takes into consideration the relationship between the individual and the environment –Uri Bronfrenbrenner




43 Ethics and Science General principles of code of ethics –never harm participants either physically or psychologically –explain purposes and procedures of study –secure informed consent –keep data on participants private –allow participants to stop at any time

44 Implications of Research Deliberate or accidental deception? Misinterpretation? Replicable?

45 Are scientists studying issues that are crucial to human development? –human sexual urges and actions to prevent STDs, pregnancy, and sexual abuse and to cure infertility –stress, poverty, and prejudice –children’s anger –retirement What Should We Study?

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