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Child Development, 3/e by Robert Feldman

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1 Child Development, 3/e by Robert Feldman
Chapter 2 Theoretical Perspectives and Research: Asking and Answering Questions on Children’s Development Created by Barbara H. Bratsch

2 What are the major perspectives on child development?
What is the scientific method, and how does it help answer questions about child development? What are the major research strategies and challenges? Questions Feldman Child Development, 3/e

3 What are Theories?? Theories are explanations and predictions
concerning phenomena of interest, providing a framework for understanding the relationships among an organized set of facts or principles

4 Major Perspectives on Child Development
Psychodynamic Behavioral Cognitive Contextual Evolutionary

5 Psychodynamic Perspective
Frued’s ( ) psychoanalytic theory suggests that unconscious forces act to determine personality and behavior Psychosexual development – a series of stages that children pass through in which pleasure, or gratification, is focused on a particular biological function and body part Fixation – behavior reflecting an earlier stage of development

6 Three aspects of personality according to Freud:
Id: raw, unorganized, inborn part of personality present at birth Ego: rational and reasonable part of personality Superego: the aspect of personality that represents a person’s conscious, incorporating distinctions between right and wrong

7 Psychosocial Theory Erikson’s ( ) psychosocial development encompasses changes in our interactions with and understandings of one another, as well as in our knowledge and understanding of ourselves as members of society Erikson suggested that growth and change continue throughout the life span

8 Behavioral Perspective
Behavioral perspective suggests that keys to understanding development are observable behavior and outside stimuli in the environment. If we know stimuli, we can predict behavior

9 Classical Conditioning
John B Watson ( ) was one of the first American psychologists to advocate a behavioral perspective Classical conditioning – an organism learns to respond in a particular way to a neutral stimulus that normally does not bring about that type of response

10 Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning is a form of learning in which a voluntary response is strengthened or weakened by its association with positive or negative consequences B.F. Skinner ( ) believed that individuals learn to act deliberately on their environments to bring about a desired state of affairs

11 a stimulus is provided that increases the probability that a
Reinforcement a stimulus is provided that increases the probability that a preceding behavior will be repeated Punishment the introduction of an unpleasant or painful stimulus or the removal of a desirable stimulus, will decrease the probability that a preceding behavior will occur in the future Behavior Modification a formal technique for promoting the frequency of desirable behaviors and decreasing the incidence of unwanted ones

12 Social-Cognitive Learning Theory
Albert Bandura developed an approach to the study of development that emphasizes learning by observing the behavior of another person, called a model. Bandura named this social-cognitive learning theory

13 Cognitive Theory Jean Piaget ( ) proposed that all people passed in a fixed sequence through a series of universal stages of cognitive development

14 Children’s adaptation to new information can be explained by two principles:
Assimilation – the process in which people understand an experience in terms of their current stage of cognitive development and way of thinking Accommodation – the process that changes existing ways of thinking in response to encounters with new stimuli or events

15 Information processing approaches deals with how individuals take in, process and store information – similar to a computer. This approach assumes that even complex behavior such as learning, remembering, categorizing, and thinking can be broken down into a series of individual, specific steps.

16 Cognitive Neuroscience Approaches
Cognitive Neuroscience Approaches focus on how brain processes are related to cognitive activity

17 Two theories fall into this category:
Contextual Perspective considers the relationship between individuals and their physical, cognitive, personality and social worlds. A child’s unique development cannot be viewed without seeing the child in social and cultural context Two theories fall into this category: Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological approach Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory

18 Microsystem – everyday environment eg. homes, friends, caregivers
Urie Brofenbrenner suggested 5 environmental levels that influence every biological organism: Microsystem – everyday environment eg. homes, friends, caregivers Mesosystem – connections between aspects of the microsystem eg. child to parent Exosystem – encompasses social institutions eg. government, community, schools Macrosystem – larger cultural influences eg. society in general, religious systems, political thought Chronosystem – underlies all other systems eg. historical events and changes


20 Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory
emphasizes how cognitive development proceeds as a result of social interactions among members of a culture

21 Evolutionary Perspective
a theory that seeks to identify behavior that is the result of our genetic inheritance from our ancestors 1859 Charles Darwin discusses natural selection in On the Origin of Species Konrad Lorenz ( ) demonstrated the importance of biological determinants in influencing behavior patterns

22 Scientific Method and Research
Scientific method is the process of posing and answering questions using careful, controlled techniques that include systematic, orderly observation and the collection of data. Three steps 1) Identifying questions of interest – formulate a theory 2) Formulating an explanation – develop a hypothesis 3) Carrying out research – operationalize hypothesis, select a research method, collect and analyze data


24 Two categories of research
Correlational research – looks for a relationship between two factors Experimental research – looks for causal relationships between various factors


26 Correlational Studies
Correlation coefficient ranges from +1 to –1 Positive correlation = one factor increases, other factor increases Negative correlation = one factor increases, other factor decreases Zero correlation = no relationship exists

27 Types of Correlational Studies
Naturalistic Observation – observation of naturally occurring behavior without intervention Case studies – an in-depth interview with an individual or small group of individuals Diaries – participants keep track of their own behavior on a regular behavior Survey Research – A group is chosen to represent a larger population and are asked questions about their attitude, behavior, or thinking on a given topic

28 Experimental Research
Experiment – a process in which an investigator, the experimenter, devises 2 different experiences for subjects (participants) Treatment – A procedure applied by an experimenter based on 2 different experiences devised for subjects (participants)

29 Treatment group – receives the treatment
Control group – receives no treatment or an alternate treatment Independent Variable (IV) – the manipulated variable Dependent Variable (DV) – the variable measured and expected to change as a result of manipulation Sample – participants chosen for an experiment Field study – research carried out in a natural setting Laboratory study – research carried out in a controlled setting so certain variables can be held constant

30 Two Approaches to Research
Theoretical Research – research designed to test developmental explanation and expand scientific knowledge Applied Research – research meant to provide practical solutions to immediate problems

31 Three Strategies to Measure Developmental Change
Longitudinal Research – behavior of one or more individuals is measured as the subjects age Cross-Sectional Research – people of different ages are compared at the same point in time Cross – Sequential Studies – a number of different age groups are measured at several points in time


33 Ethics and Research Freedom from harm Informed consent
Use of deception Maintenance of privacy

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