PSY 201 Discussion Developmental Psychology to the Study of Social Interactions

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PSY 201 Discussion Developmental Psychology to the Study of Social Interactions

Consider the following scenario: You are designing a research study to determine the effects of a new medication to treat bipolar disorder in children. Would you choose to conduct a correlational study or an experimental study? In addition, would you choose a cross-sectional or a longitudinal design? In explaining your choices, be sure to discuss (a) the pros and cons of the research designs you selected and (b) how they would affect the conclusions you are able to draw from your specific study. Finally, discuss what steps you would take to ensure compliance with APA ethical standards for conducting research with children.

DQ2 Nature-Nurture Debate

The nature-nurture debate is a long standing issue in Developmental psychology.

Explain what is meant by the “nature-nurture” debate.

Choose one aspect of your own development (physical, social, cognitive, personality) and explain how it was influenced by nature, nurture, or both.

Locate and read a scholarly research study article that examines how nature, nurture, or both contribute to some aspect of child development. Summarize the research findings and discuss what you found most interesting about the results. Include the APA article reference.

PSY 201 Discussion Developmental Psychology to the Study of Social Interactions

PSY 201 Discussion Developmental Psychology to the Study of Social Interactions

Developmental psychologists aim at describing and explaining changes across the life span in a wide range of areas such as social, emotional, and cognitive abilities. Focusing on childhood is a way of grasping numerous changes, especially in terms protect of communication: infants gradually learn to identify the common ground they have with others and engage in social interactions. The development of such abilities relies on the personal experiences shared between partners in specific contexts (Liebal et al., 2013), among which social play may offer particularly rich opportunities for children to acquire joint action and joint attention skills. Studying the different forms and functions of communication in this context paves the way for identifying the necessary ingredients for effective joint activities and therefore better understanding the architecture of human–social interactions. Even though the concept of effectiveness may cover different theoretical frameworks, the latter objectives have several applications, for example in supporting children with atypical development, especially when they have difficulty communicating both verbally and non-verbally (e.g., children with autism spectrum disorders, ASD), but also in the field of artificial intelligence. The role of robots in society raises indeed a lot of debates and challenges, as they share more and more space and tasks with humans, for instance in service robotics to assist elderly people. The robots’ ability to initiate and respond to social interactions is one of the key factors that will shape their integration in our everyday life in the future. Researchers in social robotics have been working on the question of joint action for over two decades now, sometimes in collaboration with developmental psychologists (e.g., Scassellati, 2000), in order to improve robots’ motor and communicative skills. Developmental models of human communicative behavior can indeed help define the components to implement in human–robot interactions (HRI), so as to build rich and natural joint activities (Breazeal et al., 2004; Lemaignan et al., 2017).

The objective of this paper is twofold. First, we intend to present the point of view and some research perspectives of developmental psychologists on joint attention and joint action, in particular in the context of social play. To this end, we will also define, starting from studies on non-human primates, what can be regarded as complex (or rich) and natural (or effective) interactions in both human communication and HRI. Second, we aim to show the extent to which the above-mentioned issues may be of interest to roboticists, in helping conceptualize and implement some variables associated with joint attention and joint action in the context of HRI. Collaborative tasks involving robot and human partners, regarded as tantamount to children’s social play, will thus be considered through the prism of pragmatic communication, allowing researchers to dissociate the forms and the functions of communication.

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