• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why does methodology play a critical role in developmental research

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why does methodology play a critical role in developmental research? Developmental psychology may be defined as a branch psychology devoted to understanding all changes that human beings, experience throughout the lifespan (Berk. E. L 2003). Developmental psychology focuses hugely on development in childhood, as major changes occur in childhood, it is the scientific study of 'how we grow and develop', (Davenport 1994). Developmental psychology aims to understand the important aspects of cognition, socialisation, emotional development, and personality development through childhood to adulthood. 'Researchers are captivated by and want to understand the fascinating, complex, and often surprising arrays of behaviours children display.' (Bukatko and Daehler 2004). It can be argued that methodology plays a significant role in developmental psychology. Psychologists argue the importance of methodology in developmental psychology; Bukatko and Daehler (2004), claim that 'collecting data about children is essential, and a rewarding aspect of scientific developmental psychology, and being well grounded in research technique is important'. Thompson, (1996, p. 69) quotes; 'To me research is discovery: an odyssey of surprises, confirmations, and unexpected twists and turns that contribute to the excitement of research career...The excitement of a research career is that the story told by the data is always more interesting and provocative than even the most thoughtful theories allow, and this ...read more.

Middle

explored the sources of social support for seven, ten, and fourteen year-old children from different ethnic backgrounds. Children were interviewed individually about the people most important in their lives. The results showed that regardless of ethnic background, family was an important source of social support. Researchers who use interviews and questionnaires to collect data from children must be aware that sometimes young respondents may try to represent themselves in the most perceivable favourable form, or answer questions according to they perceptions of the researchers expectations. However, these methods are a quick way to assess children's knowledge or reports of their behaviour, although children may not always respond truthfully, honesty must be emphasised. Additionally theoretical orientation may bias questions and interpretation of answers. Case studies and single case studies have made notable contributions to the developmental process, based on an in depth examination of a single child or a few children. It informs an in-depth description of psychological characteristics and behaviours of an individual, often in form of a narrative. Freud and Piaget relied heavily on such case studies of individuals to formulate their broad theories of personality and cognitive development. The details of a child's background, cognitive skills, or behaviours can provide important insights about the process of development or even a critical analysis of theory. ...read more.

Conclusion

Research into human behaviour creates ethical issues. When children take part in research, the ethical concerns are increasingly complex. Children are more vulnerable to physical and psychological harm, additionally childhood innocence and immaturity, make it difficult for children to evaluate the purpose, and meaning of their participation in research. Thus, the American Psychological Association has developed special ethical guidelines on research on children. Children have the right to be protected from physical and psychological harm. Consent of parents on the behalf of the child should be obtained. Children have the right to concealment of their identity on all information collected in the course of research. Children have the right to be informed of the results of research in language that is appropriate to their level of understand. The BPS guidelines, which all researchers must be familiar with, apply to all adults in participation of research. Critical analysis of the common methodology widely used within developmental research, provides profound findings in developmental psychology. The wide scope of interest in human behaviour and patterns of change requires the necessity of research through such methodological techniques. Every method focuses on a particular aspect of developmental psychology, and is selected accordingly by researchers. Much emphasise is placed on the use of methodology in developmental psychology, and its critical essentiality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. MENTORSHIP ASSESSING

    Ausubel's approach of organizing and sequencing material was of particular use when planning the teaching session and in the preparation of pre-reading material for Rachel. Ausubel (1987) further advocates a method of expository teaching in order to enhance meaningful learning.

  2. Using studies from the list below, answer the questions which follow: Rosenhan (sane in ...

    By doing this, Raine et al. ignore that there are other possible reasons why persons act violently. Brain functioning can be one possible factor why a person may act violently. However, other factors must be taken into account including a person's social background, their role models, psychological predispositions, learned responses etc.

  1. Psychology Cae Studies

    They were given a choice of learner or teacher. It was rigged so that they would always get the teacher role. Just remember this. Also remember that 26 of the subjects went on to the very end. The Magnus Magnusson effect-I want to finish what I started.

  2. I have decided to do my portfolio on Beaufort Park School, for several reasons. ...

    Although the information is handled very well I think that there could be a few slight improvements. Firstly, the school doesn't have a website, and I think it would be very useful if they did. That way anybody e.g. parents can gain access to information about the school whenever needed.

  1. Free essay

    A qualitative study to explore the meaning of identity using interview data and relating ...

    [lines 45-46]. Both Jo and Tony share the fact that their fathers were taken away from them because of the war and this is the first point Tony makes when asked by the second interviewer to compare his childhood to that of his own children's.

  2. IQ and intelligence tests.

    The nature nurture debate takes on more momentum when considering how enrichment programmes affect intelligence. Enrichment programmes such as Headstart (in the USA) are designed to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds the best possible start, by giving them intensive preschool education along with social support and involvement of the children's families in their care and education.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work