The science that seeks to understand how and why people of all ages and circumstances change or remain the same over time.
Based on observations, repeated experiences, verifiable experiments, not theoretical.
The repetition of a study, using different participants.
What prevents SIDS in infants?
Putting babies to sleep on their backs.
A general term for the traits, capacities, and limitations that each individual inherits genetically from his or her parents at the moment of conception.
A general term for all the environmental influences that affect development after an individual is conceived.
A time when a particular type of developmental growth (in body or behavior) must happen if it is ever going to happen.
A time when a certain type of development is most likely, although it may still happen later. For example, early childhood is considered a sensitive period for language learning.
A view of human development as a ongoing, ever-changing interaction between the physical and emotional being and between the person and every aspect of his or her environment, including the family and society.
An approach to the study of human development that takes into account all phases of life, not just childhood or adulthood.
The view that in the study of human development, the person should be considered in all the contexts and interactions that constitute a life.
A group defined by the shared age of its members. Each cohort was born at about the same time and moves through life together, experiencing the same historical events and cultural shifts.
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
A person's position in society as determined by income, wealth, occupation, education, and place of residence. AKA social class.
People whose ancestors were born in the same region and who often share a language, culture, and religion.
A group of people who are regarded by themselves or by others as distinct from other groups on the basis of physical appearance. Social scientists think race is a misleading concept.
Cells in an observer's brain that respond to an action performed by someone else in the same way they would if the observer had actually performed that action.
A research design that compares groups of people who differ in age but are similar in other important characteristics.
A research design in which the same individuals are followed over time and their development is repeatedly assessed.
A hybrid research design in which researchers first study several groups of people of different ages (a cross-sectional approach) and then follow those groups over the years (a longitudinal approach). (Also called cohort-sequential research or time-sequential research.)
A number between +1.0 and -1.0 that indicates the degree of relationship between two variables, expressed in terms of the likelihood that one variable will (or will not) occur when the other variable does (or does not). A correlation indicates only that two variables are related, not that one variable causes the other to occur.
Research that provides data that can be expressed with numbers, such as ranks or scales.
Research that considers qualities instead of quantities. Descriptions of particular conditions and participants' expressed ideas are often part of qualitative studies.
Code of Ethics
A set of moral principles that members of a profession or group are expected to follow.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
A group that exists within most educational and medical institutions whose purpose is to ensure that research follows established guidelines and remains ethical.