Child Development 133 
Research Methods in Human Development

Sections 02 & 06
Hembree            Fall, 2009


  Exam Guide #3

Check out the exam handout for more information about the exam (12/1).


Terms from previous exams (extra credit question):
conceptual/operational; definition of constructs

reliability and validity (and reliability vs. validity)
purpose of each section of research paper

External vs. internal validity - how to improve external validity in studies

Analyzing Data (Ch. 5, 10 & t-test and Chi-square handouts)
* you may bring clean copies of the t-test and chi-square handouts with you for use on exam. Any necessary statistical tables will be provided.

z-scores - be able to compute and interpret
descriptive versus inferential statistics
statistical hypothesis testing and logic behind it (what does "significant" mean?)
null hypothesis/experimental hypothesis
t-test - be able to do problems like those on problem set
be able to INTERPRET t-test
alpha and type I and Type II error
power and what increases power
interpreting non-significant results (e.g., power or error)
Chi-Square (be able to compute and interpret)
critical values/using tables (for t-test & Chi Square) 
when to use t-test, chi-square, r (correlation), ANOVA (F)


Experimental Design (Ch. 9, 12) :
levels and variables
questions to consider in designing studies (e.g., How many variables/levels to test?)
(pre-experimental) pretest-posttest designs (e.g., one-shot case study) - and problems with these designs
two-group experimental design (experimental group/control group)
random assignment vs correlated assignment (matched or natural pairs, repeated measures)
Independent (between groups) vs. correlated/repeated measures (within groups) designs
Repeated measures designs - Advantages and disadvantages of repeated measures designs and when to use
Order effects, practice effects, carry-over effects
Ways to increase design complexity and advantages of doing so
Factorial designs
main effects vs. interaction effects (and their interpretation)
be able to draw and interpret 2X2 design results
advantages of factorial designs
**Note: be able to identify or evaluate a study's design

Developmental Designs (Brown et al. supplementary reading)
Special problems associated with the study of development/change
developmental designs as quasi-experimental designs
Cross-sectional vs. longitudinal designs (and advantages and disadvantages of each)
Cohort (and problems with cohort in developmental research)

Ethics (Ch. 14 + guiding questions from chapter)
nformed consent/problems obtaining informed consent
balancing benefits and costs
Deception (when can/should you use deception? Are there times when deception research may be useful?)
invasion of privacy/confidentiality
coercion to participate
physical and mental harm/risk
scientific misconduct
special considerations in doing research with children
Institutional Review Boards
in-class discussion + guiding questions


Short Essay

One of the following questions will be selected for the essay portion of the exam.

1) Discuss ethical issues associated with behavioral research.  Specifically:

  • What are some general principles that all researchers must abide by? How do researchers go about ensuring that ethical standards are met?

  • Why are children especially vulnerable and what (special) steps must be taken to ensure their protection as subjects?

  • When and how should deception be used, and under what circumstances?

2) How is it that developmental psychologists go about studying development (or change)? Discuss the difficulties associated with studying development and the advantages and disadvantages of longitudinal and cross-sectional designs. What role does cohort play in these designs and how does cohort affect external or internal validity in these designs? (Be sure to provide examples.)

3) Discuss different ways that scientists increase the complexity of designs (e.g., increased # of levels of a variable, factorial designs) and the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. As an example, design a factorial study to test the effects of having a peanut butter sandwich and/or orange juice for lunch on children's test performance. If you conducted the study and found a main effect for having the peanut butter sandwich and an interaction between peanut butter and orange juice, what might your data look like (draw and label a graph and/or give hypothetical results in a table)? How is this design an improvement over separate studies examining the effects of peanut butter and orange juice?


Send problems, comments or suggestions to:

California State University, Sacramento
College of Education
Department of Child Development

Updated: August, 2009


ce="Arial" color="#000000">Updated: August, 2009