Naturalistic Observation

Topics: Developmental psychology, Scientific method, Psychosexual development Pages: 3 (870 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Naturalistic Observation
This paper is going to describe the behavioral and cognitive traits that can be inferred from that behavior of a two year old child that I observed in the park as she was playing with her mother. The child that I observed is a girl, has blonde hair and is physically well-developed for her age. She is around two, weighs approximately twenty (20) pounds and is about two (2) feet tall. Physical Development

When it comes to the stage of cognitive development in terms of Piaget’s theory, the girl was quite certainly at the preoperational stage. According to Piaget, at this stage children begin to develop symbolic modes of thinking, and even though their logic is often faulty, it is enough to satisfy their basic needs at this stage and advance further development. A landmark experiment that proves that a child is at this stage is when he or she witnesses the experimenter pour water from a glass of one shape into a glass of a different shape. If the child claims that the amount of water has changed, then he or she is at preoperational stage. Unfortunately, I was not able to see indicators as clear as this one; however, I could be sure that the child I was observing was at this stage because she was able to speak almost fluently and understood everything that her mother told her. According to Piaget, language use is one of the crucial skills at this stage. Since she is only two, I could conclude that she mastered that ability relatively recently. Emotional and Social Development (Erikson’s Stages)

In terms of Erikson’s phases of psychosexual development, I would judge the girl I observed to be at the anal stage. Anal stage, according to Erikson takes place between the first and third years of a child’s life. Since the girl I observed was around the age of two and was normally developed in all other respects, I assume that she has reached that stage. Furthermore, Erikson argued that the main task of that stage is toilet...

References: Berk, L. (2009). Development Throughout the Lifespan. London: Pearson.
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