Psychology Study Material: Applied Research and Developmental Psychology

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Applied Research

Quasi Experimentation

  • Kind of research that fits into the experimental framework, although it is not planned, initiated or controlled by the experimenter: it is “sort of experimentation” .
  • It is the experimentation in which the independent variable occurs, or has occurred, naturally and the researcher studies its impact the way it is done in a laboratory experiment

Groups in a Quasi- Experiment

  • Exposure Group
  • Comparison Group

Quasi- Experimental Design

  • Retrospective/Ex Post Facto Design: Ex post facto means “after the fact” . There are two groups, the exposure group and the comparison group. The process of “constructing” comparable exposure and comparison groups is called “matching” . The subjects are already naturally divided like that. However, the experimenter selects the relevant subjects according to the nature of the research.
  • Prospective Design: This design is similar to the retrospective design, except that in a prospective design, variations in the independent variable are measured as they occur, rather than retrospectively. Researchers are equally careful in interpreting the prospective and retrospective quasi- experiments. In neither case, the subjects are randomly assigned to the exposure and the control groups. Generally, prospective designs are more persuasive than retrospective designs, especially when the independent variable occurred long ago
  • Time series Design: This design is mainly concerned with observing whether the values of the dependent variable change in apparent response to changes in an independent variable.

Examples of Quasi Experimentation

Twin Studies

Twin studies investigate different aspects of behaviour and mental processes of twins, whether identical or fraternal. The studies on identical twins reared apart have generated very significant results. They have shown amazing similarities as well as differences among such twins.

Adoption Studies

Most people have one set of parents. However, 1 % of the infants born in western countries every year are adopted at or near by persons unrelated to them. Such children have two sets of parents: parents who rear them and those who give them their genes. Social scientists have used this to help determine, with fascinating results, how much influence genetic factors and family environment have over behaviour. Like twin studies, adoption studies suggested that many human behaviours are genetically influenced. That is why the nature- nurture issue is always remaining controversial.

Single- Case Research Designs

  • A type of research in which a single case is focused upon and studied.
  • This approach is employed in rarely occurring cases.

Developmental Psychology

The branch of psychology that studies how growth and physiological/psychological/social changes take place over the life span also called Life-span Psychology; it is concerned with the changes in cognitive, motivational, and psycho physiological, and social functioning that occur throughout the human life span. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, developmental psychologists were concerned primarily with child psychology.

Developmental Psychology
  • Development “The process of growth and differentiation”
  • Development refers to the progressive changes in size, shape, and function during the life of an organism by which its genetic potentials (genotype) are translated into functioning mature systems (phenotype) . Most modern philosophical outlooks would consider that development of some kind or other characterizes all things, in both the physical and biological worlds.