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How To Study Human Development


There are two methods in the history of Human Development

  1. Non-Experimental Methods
  2. Experimental Methods

How To Study Human Development

There are two methods in the history of Human Development

  1. Non-Experimental Methods
  2. Experimental Methods

Non-Experimental Method

Case Study Method

It ison of the earliest sources of information about an infant's development being unable to talk, more precisely, express and respond as required by other methods of research the case study is the most effective method for study of development especially in infants.

Case studies offer useful and in-depth information about an individual but have the following weakness it does not tell the researcher about the exact cause and effect relationship.

Case studies do not explain behaviour the observer-bias is also there in case study.

Naturalistic Observation

In this type of study researchers observe and record people's behaviour in real life setting such as in pre-schools or nursing homes observing subjects in their natural enviornment it is utilized where lab research is unrealistic or costly or would affect the subject's behaviour, one type of naturalistic observation is time sampling in which a particular behaviour's occurrence frequency in a given time period is observed.


How often a baby cries in a day?? How often a person chows aggression in a week??


It allows the researcher to observe the subject in his/her natural enviornment because some behviours can best be studied as and when the behaviour occurs.


To study prisoners in a person as it would be unethical to imprison some persons for the sake of study.

As the behaviour takes place in a natural enviornmentthe results would be easy to generalize to a large population, unlike that of laboratory studies.


The experimentor can not control the outside variable and thus it is difficult to observe the exact impact of each variable on a behavior.

Laboratory Observation

Its a type of study in which the researcher has control over external variables, occurs in a laboratory and is one of the most scientific and reliable method of observation.

It can also tell the researcher the exact cause and effect relationship. it is difficult to generalized with high degree of occurancy the findings and results of laboratory observations. many important aspects of human behavior cannot be studied in a laboratory setup due to ethical reasons.


In this study face to face conversation is conducted with the reseacher asking questions and the person has to respond.

The reseacher asks questions about peopl's attitude opinion, behavior and other aspects of their lives. it is very simple and easy to conduct method.


The answer/responder can give fasle or modified answers. there is no method to verify his truthfullness. the accuracy of answers also depends upon the memory of the person and his/her ability to express his emotions and behaviors in words. the wording of the question can influence the perception of people and they might answer differently.

Correlational Studies

This study is unducled to see how different variable are related to each other ans their correlation is determined, there are three possible results of a correlational study.

  1. A possitive correlation-both variables increase/decrease at the same time.
  2. A negative correlation as one increases the other decreases.
  3. No correlation No relationship b/w two variables.

The co-efficient of correlation is a measure of correlational strength ranging from -1.00 to +1.00.


Suppose a researcher wants to determine the relationship between two variable like a parent's intelligence and a child's language ability.

Both the factors should be measured carefully among members of a group and can even be varied to see the effect of one variable on the other.

If there ia s positive coreelation means as the parent's intelligence increases, the child's vocabulary will also increase.

These studies show the magnitude and direction of relationship between the variables. Through, they suggest the magnitude and direction but cannot prove that one variable has effect on the other. moreover correlation cannot be taken as that one factor has a causing effect on the other.


A study might suggest that there is a relationship between academic success and self-esteem but it cannot show wheather acadamic success is the caause for self-esteem increase. there might be other causes behind it like congnitive abilities.

Types Of Correlationl studies

  1. Naturalistic Observation
  2. The Survey Method
  3. Archival Research

Experimental Method

It is a rigorously controlled procedure in which the investigator manipulats the variables to study how one affects another.

These studies can be replicated by other experiments too so that the resukts canbe verified and conclusions are drawn.

This method of study gives the exact cause effect relationship results.

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