Report on Psychology Group Meeting - Meeting-SQUIRE'S CAFE, Friday, 16 November 2018

Venue:   Temporarily at Squire’s Café Bar in Newthorpe.          Number of members present:   5

Apologies:   Dennis, Barrie and Jan.   Report of the last meeting:  Was uploaded to the website and taken as read.

Matters discussed:

1]   As we had yet to complete our look at child development we continued with this from where we left off last time.

A]   We firstly looked at Erikson’s theory of lifelong development which is unusual because it sees this as a lifelong process and is for this reason was of particular interest to our group.  His theory of 8 stages ranging from birth to old age and death seemed very perceptive and relevant to the observations and experiences of us members.

B]    We then moved on to look at Piaget’s 4 stage theory of child development. Once given almost gospel status in education by the proponents of “informal”/”discovery” learning by facilitation and enablement but later much criticised by psychologists for its lack of scientific rigour.  This was because his work was based on nothing more than anecdotal evidence gained by observing his own three children.

2]   We then watched five short video clips made during child development studies and discussed their content.

3]   Ethically acceptable, valid and reliable research methods are fundamentally important to progress in the field of psychology and we looked at and briefly discussed the three main types namely: experimental, observational and longitudinal studies.

4]   Whilst there are a number of famous, perhaps in some cases notorious, examples of psychological experiments such as brown eyes vs blue eyes, Milgram’s conformity study and the Stanford Prison experiment we focused on the famous and continuing longitudinal National Child Development Study.  This began in 1958 and will continue throughout the lives of all its subjects.  Inevitably this study provoked much interest and discussion amongst us and those who wish to explore its methods and reports on its interim results should go to

and for further discussion to:

Next meeting:   By this time we had to close and our next meeting will take place on the 21st December, from 2 to 4 pm at Dennis Kirby’s home.

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