Preschool-age children

1. In a classic study by Bandura (1965), preschool-age children were individually taken to a research room to watch a film. The film portrayed an adult hitting an inflatable doll with a mallet and throwing objects at the doll. Some of the children viewed the model being rewarded for his actions with candy and soda. Other children viewed the adult being scolded for his actions. Another group of children viewed no consequences for the adult’s behavior. Bandura wanted to see if children learned by observing other’s actions. After the film, children were relocated to a playroom with many toys including an inflatable doll. Using hidden cameras, Bandura observed how much aggression each child displayed.

Is this a correlation or an experiment with independent and dependent variables? Explain your response.

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What method(s) are used? What are the strengths and limits of this method(s)?

What did Bandura conclude from this research?

2. A group of researchers are interested in the development of delay strategies. A group of 3, 5, and 7-year-old children are individually taken to a research room. On the table is a plate of marshmallows. Children are told they can play with the toys, but should not eat the marshmallow. Children are observed through a one-way mirror to see if they looked at, touched, licked, or ate the marshmallows. Children are given a score for delay of gratification.

What kind of design is used? Explain your response.

What method(s) are used? What are the strengths and limits of this method(s)?

3. Researchers are interested in parenting and self-esteem. Sixty children between the ages of 8 and 12 years complete a brief questionnaire assessing self-esteem. Children’s parents also complete an interview describing their discipline methods. These researchers predict that punitive tactics are associated with levels of self-esteem.

Is this a correlation or an experiment with independent and dependent variables? Explain your response.

What method(s) are used? What are the strengths and limits of this method(s)?

4. Researchers are interested in the development of emotion management. Three groups of children (3-5-year-old, 5-7-year-old, and 7-9-year-old) played a game in which they were asked to “hide” their emotional expression. Half of the children were asked to “hide” happiness (i.e., told that if you are too happy after winning the basketball game, your best friend on the other team might feel sad) and the other half are asked to “hide” disappointment (i.e., told that you received socks as a birthday gift from your grandparents). Children were videotaped and given an emotion management score. The experimenters predicted that the oldest children would be able to “hide” emotions easily, but that the younger children would find it easier to mask a positive emotion than a negative emotion.

Is this a correlation or an experiment with independent and dependent variables? Explain your response.

What method(s) are used? What are the strengths and limits of this method(s)?

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