My Study Notes from Chapter 1(History, Theory, & Research Strategies) from Development Through the Lifespan, 3rd ed. By: Laura E. Berk. ISBN: 0-205-39157-5

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Chapter 1: History, Theory, & Research Strategies

                *~Chapter Summary~*

        Human development is the study of all aspects of constancy & change throughout the lifespan. Theories lend structure & meaning to the scientific study of development. This chapter provides an overview of philosophical & theoretical approaches to the study of human development from medieval to modern times & reviews majore research strategies used to study human behavior & development.

        When compared & contrasted, historical philosophies & contemporary theories raise 3 basic questions about what ppl are like & how they develop:

Is development a continuous or discontinuous process?

Is there one course of development or many?

Are genetic or enviromental factors more important in determinging development?

Although some theories take extreme positions on these issues, many modern ones include elements from both sides. The lifespan perspective recognizes that great complexity exists in human change & the factors that underlie it.

        Research methods commonly used to study development include systematic observation, self-reports, clinical or case studies of single individuals, & ethnographies of the life circumstances of specific groups of ppl. Investigators of human development generally choose either a correlational or an experimental research design. To study how their subjects change over time, they apply special developmental research strategies--longitudinal, cross-sectional, & longitudinal-sequential designs. Each method & design has both strengths & limitations. Conducting research w/ human subjects also poses special ethical dilemmas.

        Theory & research are the cornerstones of the field of human development. These components are helping us understand & alleviate many pressing problems faced by children & adults in today's world.


*~Learning Objectives~*

(Page Number are in parenthesis)

Explain the importance of the terms interdisciplinary & applied as they define the field of development (5)

Explain the role of theories in understanding human development & describe 3 basic...