Development of behaviour in the chick
Behavioural development can be studied by cross-sectional research, which involves measuring different individuals at each age, or by longitudinal research, which involves measuring the same individuals repeatedly. One problem with longitudinal studies is that age-related developmental changes and experience of the test situation are inevitably confounded if the same subjects are repeatedly tested as they grow older. Thus the general problem of repeated testing of the same subjects (known as an order effect) is particularly important in developmental studies). Both cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches have their advantages, and both raise different problems of practice and interpretation. Ideally, both methods should be used. A variety of different changes accompany and underpin the behavioural changes shown by chicks during development. Whatever the apparent variation between individuals, there is an underlying timetable of change that is remarkably constant.
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