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Research Designs and Methods Assessment

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1178 words Published: 13th Apr 2018

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  • Shallene K Green


Research Designs and Method

There are three most commonly used research designs used in human lifespan development research. These designs are used widely to test traits and characteristics in human development. They include cross-sectional, longitudinal and cross-cultural designs (Toplak, West & Stanovich, 2014). To understand each design, is to look at how each can change and affect a life.

Cross-sectional research design is a method used by researchers to study humans of different ages who have the same character and trait of interest at a single time. Researchers obtain the information that is currently seen in a population, but they do not change the variables. This research design explains the traits that exist within a population, but they do not show the cause and effect relation between variables. In addition, the design allows researchers to look at various things at once such as income and poverty among others (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2014).

A longitudinal research design is a study that observes one group of a population at different times. In this study, the researcher follows the same group of subjects during various stages of development to measure variables.

Cross-cultural study involves the comparison of groups from different cultures. This is a very important way of measuring human development. People may vary largely depending on cultures, and behaviors. (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2014).

Throughout their lives, humans undergo various stages of development. Studies are very important in understanding how humans learn, act and mature (Toplak, West & Stanovich, 2014). To understand the difference and apply the learnings it to better understand humans.

Research studies are very important in learning things such as social stereotype. The knowledge of stereotypes increases with the advancement in age, and it means that younger children may not know some of these stereotypes. For example, there might be a stereotype that football should be played by the boys but not girls. Younger children may not be exposed to this stereotype and, therefore, cannot make a judgment. This creates a pattern in that younger children do not have this bias, but older children will have formed an opinion (WU, &Hillman, 2013).

A trend in older and mature humans are more error prone than at a younger age. If children are made aware of this stereotype, they may as well lead them to making conjunction errors. The knowledge of this stereotype is apparently known to older ages than in younger ages (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2014).

What is found is that thinking capacity largely varies with age. A study showed most young ages struggle a lot with reading and often use a lot of efforts to understand or even respond. Older ages find reading easy and effortless as more of a second nature. These changes are well observed throughout the growing and gaining of a child, and periods are established with developmental trends (WU & Hillman, 2013).

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Different methods offer numerous ways which the scientist uses to get information. In a cross-sectional study, the researcher will use interviews to get information on a certain trait in an age group, and it will be used it to compare with another age group (van de Weijer, Van Cleempoel, & Heynen, 2014). Interviews are mainly conducted in the initial stages of a project. This information obtained through interviews might be valuable but may not be valid since it is subjective (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2014).

In a longitudinal study, a researcher may opt to use observation methods to obtain information. This method measures the changes in traits and characteristics at different times while be watched. Observation is a very reliable method since the information gathered is not subjective, but it is based on what the researcher sees and observes to report (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2014).

Across cultural studies, literature reviews collect information. Since this study compares different traits in different cultures, the scientist may refer to past studies that have been conducted regarding the cultures in question. Literature materials will include newspapers, magazines, reports and any other published materials. This method is well preferred because it is not expensive (WU &Hillman, 2013).

A study conducted in a high school showed that games and gaming culture could become a problem that may initially be complex to be fun filled. Gaming culture was also established to make an unfamiliar task appear familiar. This was by providing a language that students could understand. The students could easily use the gaming language to communicate with each other which made it fun filled. Findings showed that high school students could understand given feedback from other students who were younger. It clearly showed that negative remarks badly affected them. What was shown is that students have to believe that they have in possession the competence required to perform a task (WU &Hillman, 2013).

A observation method that has it strengths and limitations. Its strengths arise from the fact that the researcher gets firsthand information. It provides access to people in real life situation. Its limitation is its too subjective and depends on the role of the researcher (WU &Hillman, 2013).

The interview has its strength in that it enables the researcher to capture verbal and non-verbal cues. The major limitation of interviews is that it is too costly (Burns, 2014).

Video recordings provide accurate and up to date information that is so useful to the researcher only that it is so expensive (WU &Hillman, 2013).

The changing economic and social context has been a factor influencing outcomes of human development. Households and families have largely been changing to respond to the economic and social changes (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2014). There has been changing perspectives on the family diversity. Some researchers have thought that small families are easy to maintain than larger families. And with research it can direct or change the thought of families going forward.


Burns Cunningham, K. (2014). Social research design: framework for integrating philosophical and practical elements. Nurse Researcher, 22(1), 32-37.

(Toplak, M. E, West, RF, & Stanovich, K.E. 2014) rational thinking and cognitive sophistication:

van de Weijer, M., Van Cleempoel, K., & Heynen, H. (2014). Positioning Research and Design in Academia and Practice: A Contribution to a Continuing Debate. Design Issues, 30(2), 17-29.

WU, C, &Hillman, C.H. (2013).aerobic fitness and the attentional blink preadolescent children. Neuropsychology, 27(6), 642-653


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