ConversationGetting Help Of A Research Project: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and his psychology professor. Professor: Good afternoon, Alex. Can I help you with something? Student: Well, I wanted to talk with you about the research project you assigned today. I, um, hope you could clarify a few things for me. Professor: I'll certainly try. Student: OK, all we have to do is do two observations and take notes on them, right? Professor: Oh, that's a start, but you'll need to do some research, too. Then you'll write a paper that's not so much about the observations but a synthesis of what you observed and read. Student: OK, and what about the children I am supposed to observe? Professor: Not children, a single child observed twice. Student: Oh, OK! So I should choose a child, with the permission of the child's parents, of course, and then observe that child a couple of times and take good notes, then? Professor: Actually, after your first observation, you'll go back and look through your textbook or go to the library and find a few sources concerning the stage of development this particular child is in. And then, with that knowledge, you'll make a second observation of the same child to see if the expected developmental behaviors are exhibited. Student: Can you give me an example? Professor: Well, uh, if you observe a four-year-old child, uh, for example, my daughter's four years old, you might read up on Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development. We covered those in class. Student: Uh huh. Professor: Most likely, what stage would a child of that age be in? Student: Um, the pre-operational stage? Professor: Exactly! If that's the case, her language use would be maturing and her memory and imagination would be developed. Student: So she might play pretend, like she can pretend when driving her toy car across the couch that the couch is actually a bridge or something. Professor: That's right! In addition, her thinking would be primarily egocentric. Student: So she'd be thinking mostly about herself and her own needs and might not be able to see things from anyone else's perspective? Professor: Um hmm. Student: But, what if she doesn't? I mean, what if she doesn't demonstrate those behaviors? Professor: That's fine. You'll note that in your paper. See, your paper should compare what is expected of children at certain stage of development with what you actually observe. Student: OK. I have one more question, though. Professor: And what's that? Student: Where can I find a child to observe? Professor: Um, I'd suggest you contact the Education Department secretary. She has a list of contacts of various schools and with certain families who are somehow connected to the University. Sometimes they are willing to help out students with projects like yours. Student: OK, I'll stop by the Education Department Office this afternoon. Professor: And if you have any trouble or any more questions, feel free to come by during my office hours.