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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses problematic aspects of contemporary research in developmental psychology that impede progress toward the goal of establishing a cumulative developmental science. One key perspective is the importance of recognizing the need to balance the theoretical relevance of sense meaning with the objective measurement of reference meaning and to adopt optimal strategies for combining measurements reflecting multiple attempts, operations, and levels. It is also efficacious to use qualitative information from the context of discovery as a complement and guide to improve the efficacy of quantitative research in the context of justification. Various methodological issues are addressed, including sample selection, design, anchoring of findings, research on atypical participants and interventions, issues related to observing behavior, missing data, nonlinear effects, inferring causality, and assessing statistical significance. Long-term strategies for enhancing developmental research include better analytic techniques and data warehousing and explicit efforts to improve research methodology.

Keywords: measurement, research methodology, longitudinal design, statistical significance, atypical development, causal inference, sampling strategies, Paul Meehl, data analysis

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