Research Methods

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Since the days of the baby biographies, child psychology has progressed in methodology as well as theory. Using a longitudinal approach, investigators follow the same subjects over the years of interest and observe age changes. With the cross-sectional approach, the researcher tests subjects of different ages. A combination of the two procedures has been suggested (Schaie, 1970) as a more powerful approach.

Research methods have included questionnaires; ratings and rankings by teachers, peers, parents, and oneself; interviews; observation; projective tests; personality and intelligence tests; and direct experimentation. A good source for understanding the basic information on research methods in child psychology is Research Methods in Human Development (Brown, Cozby, Kee, & Worden, 1999).

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