Basic concepts of infant behavior and development

empiricism
education should provide the skills to make rational choices; inspired by locke
Arnold Lucius Gesell
Nature. First to use natural observation
maturation
genetic timetable for the patterning of development
John B. Watson
Nurture. taught children to be afraid of cuddly animals
Sigmund Freud
psychological experiences of children
Anna Freud
create nurturing psychological experiences
Stone, Smith, and Murphy’s The Competent Infant
discover signs of infant intelligence
Three features of developmental change
1. Changes are not reversible2.changes are stable3.

changes occur in sequence

habituation
decrease in interest of a repeated stimulus
recovery
increase in interest due to a change in stimulus
response-contingent behavior
operant conditioning
Problem with infant studies
just because an infant doesn’t respond doesn’t mean he or she cannot respond
Gibson and Walk
visual cliff experiment, researched autonomic nervous system responses
actometer
measures gross motor activity
Hormonal activity recorded
by blood or saliva tests
Event-related potentials (ERPs)
Average of electrical activity inside the brain recorded from the central nervous system with electrodes
Neuroimaging techniques
create pictures of the brain showing where in the brain an activity is taking place
CT (computed tomography)
use x-rays to track glucose in the brain but do not require sedation.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance)
use x-rays to track glucose in brain. requires sedation
observational research methods
natural variations rather than random assignment
attrition
subject of longitudinal study drops out prematurely
cross-sectional study
different group of children at each age period of interest
predictor variable
independent variable
outcome variable
dependent variable
reliability
how consistent is this method
validity
how accurately does the study measure what it’s supposed to measure
representative research
conclusions can be applied to infants who were not direct participants in the study
microanalysis
natural observation that includes what is said, nonverbal social expressions, timing, etc.
coding
process by which observer record the presence or absence of the predefined categories
macroanalysis
focusing on the overall features in a behavior
rating scale
list of categories in relation to numerical value
solitary play
child plays alone
parallel play
play next to someone
associative play
respond to others during play but maintain different goals
cooperative play
play is joint and requires working together
two goals of qualitative research
1.

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focus on meaning of situation for subject2. role of researcher taken into account

participant observer
researcher taken into account as to how they are effecting the subject
baby biography
first qualitative research
qualitative study
detailed study that takes narrative form and explains behavior
credibility
what validity is in quantitative research. credibility increases as experience increases
constant comparative method
qualitative researches constantly revise their interpretations
case study
same subject observed over a long period of time
generalizability
data applicable to anyone