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Ch 3: Research Methods and the Study of Adult Development and Aging

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the research methods and tools used in the study of adult development and the aging process. These lessons are just a portion of Study.com's psychology courses.

Research Methods and the Study of Adult Development and Aging - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you'll learn how to identify the different types of research methods and measurements used to investigate aging and lifespan issues in adults. Each lesson is devoted to a specific topic, through which you'll develop an understanding of both the scientific and non-scientific ways of acquiring information and solving problems. You'll find out how qualitative research can help enhance our knowledge of human behavior, as well as how numerical data and statistics are used to conduct quantitative inquiries.

As you progress through the chapter, you'll learn about measurements in research, including how scientists observe, record and assess behavior in adults. You'll also find out how cross-sectional and longitudinal research can be used to study adult populations during specific periods or over time. When you complete this chapter, you should be able to identify and discuss the following:

  • The characteristics of high-quality research
  • Research types, including basic, applied, experimental and statistical, among other forms
  • Psychological research tools, including those associated with observing, measuring and experimenting
  • The importance and types of research measurements and their use in the investigative process
  • How cross-sectional and longitudinal studies can be used to investigate developmental and lifespan concerns

VideoObjective
What is Research? - Definition, Purpose and Typical ResearchersDefine research. Discuss the purpose of inquiry and who typically conducts research.
How to Produce High-Quality ResearchDiscuss the attributes of high-quality research, including its relationship to past inquiries, generalizability, incrementalism, logic and theory. Address the issues of feasibility and potential for replication, as well as how research can facilitate new ways of thinking or improve society.
Nonscientific and Scientific Research: Definitions and DifferencesDifferentiate between nonscientific and scientific research.
Psychological Research Tools: Observation, Measurement and ExperimentationDefine and discuss the tools of psychological science, including observation, measurement and experimentation.
Non-Experimental and Experimental Research: Differences, Advantages and DisadvantagesDistinguish between non-experimental and experimental research, including the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Research Methodologies: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed MethodDefine the differences found among quantitative, qualitative and mixed method studies.
Basic Research and Applied Research: Definitions and DifferencesDifferentiate between basic and applied research.
Purposes of Research: Exploratory, Descriptive and ExplanatoryExplain the three reasons for conducting social research, including its explanatory, exploratory or descriptive purposes.
The Importance of Measurement in the Research ProcessExplain why measurement is an important part of the research process.
The Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative MeasurementDistinguish between qualitative and quantitative measurement.
Measurement Approaches in Adult Development and Aging ResearchDiscuss the approaches scientists use to measure behavior in adult development and aging research, including systematic observation, self-reports and representative samplings.
Age, Time and Cohort Effects of Measurement in Adult Development and Aging ResearchExplain how studies of adult development and aging are built upon the factors of age, cohort and time of measurement. Include the cohort-sequential, cross-sequential and time-sequential measurements, as well as Scale's 'most efficient design.'
An Overview of Qualitative ResearchProvide a brief overview of qualitative research.
What is Qualitative Research? - Definition, Sources and ExamplesDiscuss the various sources used in qualitative research, such as archival records, direct and participant observation, documentation, focus groups, interviews and physical artifacts.
Correlational Research: Definition, Purpose and ExamplesDefine and discuss correlational research.
Longitudinal Designs: Definition and ExamplesDescribe and discuss longitudinal designs.
Cross-Sectional Designs: Definition and ExamplesDefine and discuss cross-sectional designs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cross-Sectional, Longitudinal and Sequential DesignsDiscuss the advantages and disadvantages of cross-sectional, longitudinal and sequential models. Include the concept of ecological validity.

18 Lessons in Chapter 3: Research Methods and the Study of Adult Development and Aging
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Research? - Definition, Purpose & Typical Researchers

1. What is Research? - Definition, Purpose & Typical Researchers

Psychological research helps to shape our society - from the way we raise our children to the way we treat our criminals and military enemies. But what is research and who conducts it? This lesson explores the purposes of research in psychology and the individuals who observe, record, and alter our behavior.

How to Produce High-Quality Research

2. How to Produce High-Quality Research

Psychology is a science that requires high quality research due to the inherent complexity of human thoughts, behaviors and emotions. One way to go about producing high quality research is to follow certain guidelines that all true sciences follow.

Nonscientific and Scientific Research: Definitions and Differences

3. Nonscientific and Scientific Research: Definitions and Differences

Explore the way people 'know' information without using a scientific methodology. Have you ever fallen for nonscientific research and then presented it as fact?

Psychological Research Tools: Observation, Measurement & Experimentation

4. Psychological Research Tools: Observation, Measurement & Experimentation

What are the primary ways a psychologist goes about conducting research? In this lesson, we will look at the three main ways a researcher can go about learning something, as well as some of the more famous psychological research that has used these techniques.

Non-Experimental and Experimental Research: Differences, Advantages & Disadvantages

5. Non-Experimental and Experimental Research: Differences, Advantages & Disadvantages

How is a non-experimental design scientific? We will look at what it means to use experimental and non-experimental designs in the course of psychological research. We will also look at some classic examples of different types of research.

Research Methodologies: Quantitative, Qualitative & Mixed Method

6. Research Methodologies: Quantitative, Qualitative & Mixed Method

While there are many ways to conduct an experiment in psychology, there are only so many ways you can describe it. In this lesson, we will discuss the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of the qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.

Basic Research and Applied Research: Definitions and Differences

7. Basic Research and Applied Research: Definitions and Differences

In this lesson, we look at the difference between basic and applied psychological research and discover why there is a separation. Through examples, we'll answer the questions, 'What is the purpose of research if it doesn't apply to the real world?' and 'How are the two interrelated?'

Purposes of Research: Exploratory, Descriptive & Explanatory

8. Purposes of Research: Exploratory, Descriptive & Explanatory

There is a parallel between how people come to understand something and the process of researching an idea. This lesson explores the purposes of research as well as three approaches to research in psychology: exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory.

The Importance of Measurement in the Research Process

9. The Importance of Measurement in the Research Process

Why is it important to measure variables in a study? And, how do you go about doing it? In this lesson, we'll examine the importance of measurement, along with some common types of psychological measurement.

The Difference Between Qualitative & Quantitative Measurement

10. The Difference Between Qualitative & Quantitative Measurement

In research, there are generally two types of data. In this lesson, we'll look at quantitative and qualitative measurement, when each are used, and how researchers can sometimes use both.

Measurement Approaches in Adult Development & Aging Research: Definition, Approaches & Examples

11. Measurement Approaches in Adult Development & Aging Research: Definition, Approaches & Examples

This lesson will explore two common ways in which a researcher could measure changes in middle aged and older adults. In addition, a common tactic to ensure results are valid is also discussed.

The Building Blocks of Adult Development & Aging Research: Age, Cohort & Time of Measurement

12. The Building Blocks of Adult Development & Aging Research: Age, Cohort & Time of Measurement

This lesson explores some of the fundamental building blocks of designing a research study that has to do with how people change over time. This lesson examines ways a researcher can parse out the difference between group changes and changes over time.

An Overview of Qualitative Research

13. An Overview of Qualitative Research

Sometimes, a research study does not have results made up of numbers. In this lesson, we'll look at qualitative research, compare it to quantitative research and examine some of its strengths and limitations.

What is Qualitative Research? - Definition, Sources & Examples

14. What is Qualitative Research? - Definition, Sources & Examples

Sometimes research does not involve simple numbers that you can analyze. When that happens, where do researchers get their data? In this lesson, we'll look at qualitative data and the major sources of it.

Correlational Research: Definition, Purpose & Examples

15. Correlational Research: Definition, Purpose & Examples

This lesson explores, with the help of two examples, the basic idea of what a correlation is, the general purpose of using correlational research, and how a researcher might use it in a study.

Longitudinal Designs: Definition & Examples

16. Longitudinal Designs: Definition & Examples

This lesson discusses the uses and procedures in running a longitudinal design. In addition, we also explore some of the benefits and issues that can occur when using such a design.

Cross-Sectional Designs: Definition & Examples

17. Cross-Sectional Designs: Definition & Examples

This lesson explores the process and requirements in using a cross-sectional design. Two examples are used, one common and one uncommon, to demonstrate how cross-sectional designs can be used in quasi-experiments.

Cross-sectional, Longitudinal & Sequential Designs: Advantages & Disadvantages

18. Cross-sectional, Longitudinal & Sequential Designs: Advantages & Disadvantages

This lesson examines the three main ways of conducting research on adults and older individuals. Specifically, we will examine the three types, some of their advantages, and some of their disadvantages.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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