DEVELOPMENTAL & EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
What is this field?
The field of Developmental and Educational Psychology focuses on changes that occur across the lifespan and how we learn. This field has been in existence since the 18th century with the works of Watson and Rousseau, leading up to the popularly controversial work of Sigmund Freud and the revolutionary Charles Darwin. Development occurs in many stages, with leading minds such as Piaget and Erikson attempting to classify these stages.1-2 Advancements in this field have led us to understand that development continues across the lifespan, that we do not stop developing after childhood.3
What do these researchers study?
- Preferential looking
- Classical conditioning
- Developmental milestones
- Play-based learning
- Attachment and temperament
- Self-concept (“mirror test”)
A popular concept in this field is the ever-debated nature versus nurture argument, with modern minds understanding that both are necessary to shape who we are. Researchers also examine concepts such as developmental milestones, attachment and temperament, and the concept of self. The latter is often studied using the Mirror Test which involves showing an infant a mirror and waiting to see if they notice a mark placed somewhere on their body.4 Stability versus change, another hallmark question in this field, is often accomplished by running large-scale longitudinal studies such as the 1958 National Child Development Study.5
How can Labvanced match these famous designs?
While developmental studies are commonly performed in labs, there are many advantages to shifting to an online setting. Developmental researchers using Labvanced have utilized the following features, among many others:
- Infant and child-friendly eye tracking and head tracking settings: Labvanced offers special eye tracking settings tailored to the attention of infants and young children. For example, calibration targets can be set as cartoon pictures of animals with accompanying sounds and the Virtual Chinrest can be disabled for younger infants.
- Example: Researchers using Labvanced have created many studies of preferential looking in infants with eye and head-tracking software.
- Check out the eye tracking video playlist here.
- Audio/video presentation: In your study, you can add objects that present audio or video files to the participant. These can be controlled with any trigger, even eye tracking.
- Audio/video recording: Labvanced can also record the participant’s voice or voice and camera image. Aside from collecting this as data, researchers have the option of presenting the recording to the subject within the study.
- Example: The Mirror Test - have the parent/guardian place a dot on the child’s nose. Run a study in which the child is recorded via the device camera with the video feed being displayed on the screen like a mirror.
- Check out the video here.
- Longitudinal Studies: Pre-set the dates and times that your participants should be asked to return for the next session of your study.
- Example: Studying working memory in children aged 5 and following their development until age 10.
What are the advantages of online experimentation?
- Longitudinal studies are easier when you can pre-plan sessions and let us handle the email reminders for your participants.
- Reduced artificiality: Introducing children to a lab setting is problematic because it does not capture a real-life setting; it is artificial and this may influence performance as the child is hyper-attentive to the new surroundings.6
- Access vulnerable populations: Children and the elderly are vulnerable populations due to the pandemic 7
- Kid-friendly: Children are difficult to bring into the lab due to unique needs, discomfort with strangers/unfamiliar places, and parent schedules8
Additional Use Cases
Explore these topics to see more applications of Developmental & Educational Psychology:
- Maternal emotions at bedtime9
- Forming peer friendships in a time of social distancing10
- Loneliness in retirement communities due to COVID-1911
- Lantz, S. E., & Ray, S. (2021). Freud Developmental Theory. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
- Orenstein, G. A., & Lewis, L. (2020). Eriksons stages of psychosocial development. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
- American Psychological Association. (2014). Developmental Psychology Studies Humans Across the Lifespan. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/education-career/guide/subfields/developmental
- Bard, K. A., Todd, B. K., Bernier, C., Love, J., & Leavens, D. A. (2006). Self‐awareness in human and chimpanzee infants: What is measured and what is meant by the mark and mirror test?. Infancy, 9(2), 191-219.
- Center for Longitudinal Studies. (n.d.). 1958 National Child Development Study. Retrieved from https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/cls-studies/1958-national-child-development-study
- Miller, S. A. (2017). Developmental research methods. Sage publications.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Families and COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/groups/families-covid-19.html
- Lumer Learning. (n.d.). Lifespan Development. Lumen. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-lifespandevelopment/chapter/challenges-conducing-research/
- Teti, D. M., Kim, B. R., Mayer, G., & Countermine, M. (2010). Maternal emotional availability at bedtime predicts infant sleep quality. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 307.
- Pulgar, J., Ramírez, D., Umanzor, A., Candia, C., & Sánchez, I. (2022). Long-term collaboration with strong friendship ties improves academic performance in remote and hybrid teaching modalities in high school physics. arXiv preprint arXiv:2203.05638.
- Frueh, S. (2022, January 7). Pandemic Isolation and the Elderly: A Doctor Reflects on the Impacts. Retrieved from https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2022/01/pandemic-isolation-and-the-elderly-a-doctor-reflects-on-the-impacts