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Part 1: Identify and describe a topic in life, related to developmental psychology that interests you (For ideas about the expanse of possible topics, check out the expanded and linked table of contents in the online textbook). For each of the major research design types, including a) descriptive, b) correlational, and c) experimental, use the topic of interest and explain, in detail, how you would conduct a study for each method, showcasing your understanding of the relevant components of the specific methodologies.

In your explanations, include these aspects for each design:

a) Descriptive – research question, strategy for data collection (observation, interview, survey, case study…)

b) Correlational – research question/hypothesis, predictor and outcome variables, possible third variables

c) Experimental – research question/hypothesis, independent and dependent variables, participant selection, how to randomly assign to research groups/conditions.

Be sure to be specific enough so you detail and differentiate how the data collection strategies and purposes change as you shift to each new design type.


Part 2: Using the research ideas presented in Part 1 OR identifying new topics, explain, in detail, how you would conduct a study for each method used specifically for human development questions, showcasing your understanding of the different strategies specific developmental related designs, including:

1. Longitudinal

2. Cross-sectional

3. Sequential (also called Cross-sequential)

**For example (please note, this is just a very brief example!), let’s say I am interested in the effects of pets on one’s life, I begin with a descriptive study in which I ask the question, what psychological effects do pets have on our lives? Then, I will go to a vet’s office and interview (strategy for descriptive data collection) pet owners about their experiences with their pets; I will then compile these interviews and provide a written analysis of their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. For a correlational study, I predict that pet owners with more pets have lower overall health costs. Here I can collect data from each pet owner about how many pets they own and the total cost of medical expenditures over the past year. I would also identify possible third variables. An experiment would entail the hypothesis that having pets causes lower blood pressure. I would randomly select a group of 100 non-pet owning people, controlling for health (that is no chronic diseases) or atypical lifestyles. I would randomly assign these folks to two groups, one group will receive two sibling puppies and the other group will be the control group. For the next 2 years, I will conduct regular health checks, including blood pressure, blood work (cholesterol, sugar, etc…) mental health assessments. At the end of 2 years, I will compare the overall rates of health between the two groups. If the pet group is healthier, I can conclude the pets were the cause of the more healthy outcomes.

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