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Old Sunday, March 03, 2013
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Question Methods to study infant behavior? What was the answer?

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What is the answer of Question Number 3 of Paper-II Psychology 2013
Regarding Methods of study of Infant Behavior?
Plz reply
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Old Sunday, March 03, 2013
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Observation.
Cross sectional and longitudinal technique can be applied for observation method.
-
Interview/questionnaire.
Infant's parents are asked questions about their infant's behavior.
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1)habituation

2)foot-kick method

3) amplitude sucking method

4) head turn method
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Arrow Jean piaget!

Was not it jean piaget's theory of infant beahaviour ?
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Experimental Method
Observational Method
Combining Experimentation and Observation
Longitudinal Method
Cross Sectional Method
Accelerated Longitudinal/Cross-Sequential Method
Case Study Method
Interview Method
The Correlational Method
Biographical Method
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• METHODS OF studying infant behaviour


• Experimental Method
• In such methods, researchers control conditions so as to rule out all other influences, except the one being studied.
• Example is the famous experiment of John Watson with Little Albert.
• It starts with the formulation of a hypothesis (a proposition that can be supported or disapproved by the observation of known facts)
• Advantages: Control and Precision
• Disadvantages: results may not always apply to everyday settings; lab settings can’t fathom all the cause-and effect relationships present in the real world; topics like child abuse etc can’t be studied in lab settings.


Observational Method
• Naturalistic Observation – a method of collecting data in which researchers carefully observe and record naturally occurring beh in everyday settings.
• An example is the famous study of Jane Goodall’s study of chimpanzee social beh.
• Researchers go to homes, schools, playgrounds etc to watch and record the everyday beh of children and adults. Can study conflict in families through such method.
• Researchers try to be precise and systematic in recording their observations; try to keep their observations in quantitative form.
• Advantages: can describe human beh in real-life situation; very useful for studying social relevant issues.
• Disadvantages: can’t tell us why a certain beh occurs; suffers from the danger of observer bias.


Combining Experimentation and Observation
• Some researchers prefer combining experimentation and observation.
• Example:
– Observation: Tendency of baby animals to cling to their mothers is a genetically based beh and baby animals cling to their mothers because they feed their babies.

– Experiment: Harry Harlow conducted the famous experiment to test this observation. He found that baby-monkeys separated from their real mothers will cling to a soft terrycloth “surrogate mother” that does not dispense food in preference to a wire “surrogate mother” that does dispense food. Harlow’s experiment showed that feeding by a mother is not necessary to the formation of a baby’s attachment.



Longitudinal Method
• A study of the same group of subjects over a number of weeks, months or years.
• The aim is usually to measure the degree to which a certain potentially influential factor affects people over a relatively long period of time.
• Example:
– Studying the case of early day care – i.e. whether entering full time day care as a very young baby in any way effects the quality of a child’s development.
– In such case, a longitudinal study would be conducted in which the researchers would select 2 groups of babies: one being placed in day care and the other being raised at homes. Both would be similar in family background. Researchers would study both these groups over a certain period of time, e.g. 14 years.
• Advantages: scientific, precise, detailed observations.
• Disadvantages: time-taking, costly.



Cross Sectional Method
• A study in which researchers compare groups of people of different ages at the same time.
• Advantages: cheap, less time needed
• Disadvantages: is limited in results; although they show what children of different ages are like, they are not good at showing the process of development
• Example:
– Studying the case of early day care – i.e. whether entering full time day care as a very young baby in any way effects the quality of a child’s development.
– In Cross-sectional Method, a sample of children ranging in age from 1-14 yrs shall be selected – half placed in day care and other half raised at homes. Again the families shall be matched. Assessment and comparison of children looked after in day care vs. home in 1-yr group, 2-yr group, 3-yr group and so on.





Accelerated Longitudinal/Cross Sequential Method
• A type of longitudinal study in which researchers study several different age groupings simultaneously and follow them over a specified period of time.
• Example:
– In the same previously mentioned example of day care, when this method shall be applied, the researchers shall begin studying groups of 1-, 4-, 7-, and 10 yrs old and follow each of them for 4 years. Hence the developmental span of 14 yrs would be covered in a much shorter time.
• Case Study Method
• The researcher undertakes a study of behaviour of one person or a few persons in depth.
• A favorite method employed by Sigmund Freud.
• Advantages: detailed descriptive info useful for forming a hypothesis is received.
• Disadvantages: observer bias; might not be representative of the larger population; time-consuming; expensive.
• Interview Method
• Asking questions from subject with the purpose of getting information from the person being interviewed.
• Often done in a clinical setting.
• Might be structured or unstructured.
• Advantages: good in gathering information, focused approach, helps in diagnosis of problems.
• Disadvantages: interviewer bias; unreliable; cannot be generalised; can’t be used in case of infants.



Biographical Method
• Method of studying developmental changes that tries to reconstruct an individual’s past.
• The researcher starts with a group of 70 yrs old and follows their life backwards.
• Researcher tries to reconstruct their subject’s past by interviewing them and consulting other sources.
• Advantages: detailed insight into the development process

chnage according to infants
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