Features of the category "age"
The study of such a phenomenon as age,is associated with some difficulties. In particular, there are difficulties with its definition. Chronological (reflecting the number of lived years), biological (physiological indicators of the body at the moment) and psychological age (the level of development of the psyche, including intellectual and psychosexual development) stand out. These categories determine the subject and methods of age-related psychology. However, the subject of its study is not only the concept of age. These include also those changes that the psyche undergoes at each stage of development. Changes in the transition of a subject from one age category to another can be different (quantitative, qualitative, evolutionary and revolutionary, as well as situational).
Methods of age psychology are diverse. Almost all of them are borrowed from related disciplines and are used for a comprehensive study of the changes taking place in the human psyche at a given moment in his life. The methods of research in age psychology are selected depending on the goals and strategy of the study.
The most common method (coming fromgeneral psychology) - observation. The researcher records the facts and disposes them in chronological order. Observation is indispensable when working with young children. Despite the apparent simplicity, it is quite difficult to implement. All methods of age psychology should contribute to the attainment of the goal. Observation should be objective, schematic, systematic and inconspicuous for the observed.
Interrogative methods of age psychology include questioning, conversation, test tasks, analysis of products of activity. Here the subject is actively involved in the research process.
Here the goal is set, a plan is drawn up,the experiment itself is conducted, followed by the collection and analysis of data. The subject may or may not know about the research. During the experiment special conditions are created so that the researcher can study the specific qualities of the subject.
All listed methods of age psychologycan refer to the following groups of methods: the method of transverse shearing (the qualities of the subject are studied once to ascertain certain facts about age) and the longitudinal method (the subject is subjected to research over time to identify dynamic changes in the development process).</ p>