SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide


Applying Developmental Science

Lerner, R. M., Fisher, C. B., & Weinberg, R. A. (2000). Applying developmental science in the 21st century: International scholarship for our times. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24, 24-29


This article outlines a movement away from the ideas of more basic research designed to understand or test theories of behavior to an applied theory of development. The goal of Applied Developmental Science (ADS) is to incorporate a multifaceted approach to research with a focus on applying what we learn to helping improve the lives of people around the world.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Although it has been the norm for researchers in many fields, why should we be concerned with decontextualized research?
  2. What are some of the challenges researchers face when trying to apply what they have learned about behavior in a laboratory setting to real world problems?
  3. Using the example of childhood obesity, what (and who) would be involved in an applied developmental approach to addressing this issue?

Nature versus Nurture

Eagly, A., & Wood, W. (2013). The nature-nurture debate: 25 years of challenges in understanding the psychology of gender. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 340-357.


This article describes the history of research on explanations for gender differences in a variety of psychological constructs including depression and mate selection from the perspective of the nature-nurture debate. The authors focus on both biological and environmental factors, but suggest a more integrated approach might be more useful in understanding gender differences.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some of the historical and cultural changes that have led researchers to focus on either the biological or environmental factors when explaining gender differences?
  2. How has the media’s interpretation of the research on gender differences impacted how people think about their own lives or behaviors? Should we be concerned with what or how the media reports on psychological findings?
  3. The research on gender differences is somewhat inconsistent with some studies finding significant differences and others finding no differences. In thinking about the ways in which these studies have been conducted, what are some methodological issues that might help explain these inconsistent findings?