Shared Flashcard Set


Lifespan and Development
For Forest Institute graduate students-Cline's Class Chap 2

Additional Psychology Flashcards





Positive Elements and Limitations of Theories



- theories have limitations bc they are products of human thoughts and experience

-practitioners should know enough scientifically based theories to have the basis for for studying and explaining behavior ; one is never sufficient

-theories must be testable, internally consistent, enable predictions and encourage problem solving

Two Questions of Greatest Importance

-What types if empirical evidence have been obtained to support the credibility/external validity of the major theoretical constructs and enable predictions or probabilities to be accurately made?

-What useful guidance for solving practical problems of child rearing, education, clinical intervention, and health promotion, does the theory provide to promote optimum development (as defined by the particular culture)?

Features of the Naive Theory

-common sense explanations for raising, teaching, or supervising children; interacting and predicting behaviors of family members; trying to influence behaviors of social groups

-not systematically designed

-does not meet criteria of intentionally designed theory

-allows for supernatural explanations and indeterminate factors such as luck

-differ greatly across cultures

Cross-Cultural Theoretical Perspectives

-developmental theories (especially non-Western) often are derived from religious or philosophical perspectives

-individual development secondary due to emphasis on well-being of group (interdependence)

-range of gender differences in behavior and assumptions

Empiricist Research Methods

-look at stats

-modern scientific methods designed to control causal factors that may interfere with what is being studied

-utilizes some type of experimental design; identifies variables, collects data, can also use quasi-experimental design

-microgenetic methods: involve collecting many successive samples of a particular behavioral process

-results analyzed statistically

-other: single-subject functional assessment designs, self-report surveys using rating scales, observation and coding of behaviors that have been operationally defined, and detection of relationships among multiple sets of controlled variables

Rationalist Research Methods

-watch things, case studies

-primarily observational or clinical in nature

-give detailed descriptions of complex behaviors, thoughts and feelings of their subjects

-observational and interview techniques

-results are primarily descriptive in nature

Sociohistorical Research Methods

-take into account the cultural, social and historical factors that may be influencing development change

-relies on rich description of ecological factors that interact with individual development paths

-use participant observations, case studies, and attempt to provide triangulation to strengthen the generalizability of their results

-often used by lifespan theorists

Neuropsychological, Developmental Psychobiological and Dynamical Systems Methods

-use brain scans, computer simulations

-using data derived from microgenesis (collection of multiple samples of an ongoing process with results displayed in graphs or other visual displays usually generated by computers)

-more accessible now bc of computer sophistication


Using Research Evidence to Evaluate Theoretical Perspectives

-evidence presented from one perspective will not always be accepted by researchers of another

-if research is done well, it is usually considered sufficient to provide support for the construct under study

Putting Theoretical Perspectives into Practice

-distinguish between inert information (memorized but not understood) or activated ignorance (taking incorrect information and using it)

-activated knowledge-thinking within the knowledge of thie discipline; essential for problem solving and problem finding


Activated Knowledge Questions

Examples of This


-Can I explain the underlying system of ideas that defines this theory?

-Can I explain the most basic ideas in it to someone who doesn't understand it?

-Could I write a glossary of its most basic vocabulary?

-Do I understand the extent to which the theory involves a great deal or very little expert disagreement?

-Have I written out the basic logic of the theory?

-Can I compare and contrast the logic of the theory with that of other theories?

-To what extent can I relate the subject to significant problems in the world?

-To what extent can I relate the subject to significant problems in the world?

-To what extent has thinking in this field helped me to become more intellectually autonomous?

Activated Knowledge
-thinking within the knowledge of the discipline; essential for problem solving and problem finding
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