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Getting at Developmental Processes Through Experiments


Freund, Alexandra M (2015). Getting at Developmental Processes Through Experiments. Research in Human Development, 12(3-4):261-267.

Abstract

Birren and Bengtson’s (1988, p. ix) assessment of the field of aging research that it is “data rich and theory poor” still holds today and applies to developmental science as a whole. The accumulation of descriptive results that are not integrated into overarching theories of development lead to less progress in gaining knowledge about developmental processes than one might wish for, particularly considering its importance for enhancing development across the life span. My wish is that we as developmental researchers become more theory-driven and creative in our empirical approaches to study development. Complementing age-correlative studies, I propose that we make more use of experimental approaches that target the causal mechanisms driving developmental changes (or stability) more directly than by comparing different age groups.

Abstract

Birren and Bengtson’s (1988, p. ix) assessment of the field of aging research that it is “data rich and theory poor” still holds today and applies to developmental science as a whole. The accumulation of descriptive results that are not integrated into overarching theories of development lead to less progress in gaining knowledge about developmental processes than one might wish for, particularly considering its importance for enhancing development across the life span. My wish is that we as developmental researchers become more theory-driven and creative in our empirical approaches to study development. Complementing age-correlative studies, I propose that we make more use of experimental approaches that target the causal mechanisms driving developmental changes (or stability) more directly than by comparing different age groups.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:22 Jan 2016 13:02
Last Modified:01 Sep 2016 00:01
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1542-7609
Additional Information:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Human Development on 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15427609.2015.1068033
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2015.1068033

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