Speaker: Dr. Sophie von Stumm
Title: Big Data in Developmental Psychology: Using new technologies for studying early life environments.
Date: 3rd Oct. 2017, 1PM
Location: Clore Management Building, Room 101, Birkbeck College, London, WC1E 7HX
Abstract: Digital technologies will revolutionise social science research methods, because they enable unobtrusive, yet detailed observations of phenomena as they occur in natural settings and develop in real-time. To illustrate the benefits and challenges of digital technology for naturalistic observations in developmental psychology, data and findings from a new study using digital audio recorders will be presented.
From the day-long recordings of 107 English-speaking children aged 24 to 48 months, measures of the language quantity and quality (i.e. lexical diversity) were extracted that children were exposed to in their family homes. The data suggest that (a) children's language exposure is unstable within families across time; (b) previous estimates of the the number of adult words that children hear throughout early life are highly inaccurate; and (c) children's cognitive and language development is associated with their language environment.
The findings demonstrate that digital technologies can help studying complex developmental phenomena and untangling their underlying mechanisms and elements.