Chapter 2 - Research Methods Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 2 - Research Methods Deck (24)
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Naturalistic Setting

Studies in which researchers observe infants in their usual surroundings, such as their own home or their regular childcare centre.


Naturalistic Observation

Studies in which researchers remain relatively passive observers in the sense that, apart from being physically present, they do not interfere in or try to influence the situation.


Narrative Records

A detailed description of the range of behaviours researchers observe.


Event Sampling

A technique in observational research in which a small number of behaviours are identified and the researcher makes a note each time they occur by making a mark on a prepared checklist.


Operational Definition

A clear, concrete verbal description that enables researchers to measure target behaviours and outcomes accurately.


Observer Bias

The phenomenon in which researchers' expectations or beliefs influence the way they record or interpret behaviour


Ethnographic Researcher

A technique for exploring the interaction of culture and biology, in which researchers from a Western culture male observations or conduct interviews in everyday settings in non-western cultures.


Laboratory Setting

A specially designed researched research space that enables researchers to control or eliminate the influence of irrelevant or distracting factors.


Independent Variable

Aspects of a research setting that researchers identify or vary, such as the presence or absence of an infant's mother, in order to determine their effect on behaviours of interest.


Dependent Variable

The main behaviour or response of interest in a study; this is the researchers' measure of the impact of the independent variable.


External Validity

The degree to which the findings of one study can be extended, or generalized, to other samples and settings.


Case Study

Also referred to as the clinical method, this is an in-depth examination of a single individual.


Baby Biography

Observational records made by parents or other caregivers of an infant's early development.


Single-subject research

A variation of the case study, in which researchers intervene or study the effects of an experimental manipulation within a single participant.


Quasi-Experimental Design

A design in which researchers collect information about groups of participants that are already formed before the study begins.


Experimental Design

A design that examines the influence of an independent variable on a dependent variable.


Random Assignment

The equivalent of flipping a coin, this technique is used to ensure that each child has an equal chance of being placed into the different groups being compared on a specific dependent variable. As a result of this precaution, potentially important differences across children are distributed across the different groups.


Longitudinal Research

A developmental design in which investigators study the same sample of participants over time, taking measures of their behaviour or ability at specified intervals.


Measurement Equivalence

Correspondence between the measures, or dependent variables, used at two different points in time


Practice Efforts

Improvement in participants' performance as a result of the repeated exposure to the measures of those abilities



A particular group of generation of participants, such as infants born in the same year.


Cross-Sectional Research

A developmental design in which two or more age groups of participants are compared in terms of their behaviour or ability at the same point.


Cohort Effects

A problem in cross-sectional research, in which age differences may actually stem from generational, or cohort, differences.


Microgenetic Research

A developmental design in which participants are observed over a period of time, perhaps 10 or more sessions, with the researchers gathering a rich set of data on which fine-grained analyses can be performed.