In order to study human development and perform naturalistic observation I went to the mall. I selected a 9-year-old white girl as the subject for my observation. I observed the subject for 30 minutes. During my observation the subject was not interrupted and was not aware of my study. The girl was spending time with her mother and brother at the mall. She was enjoying herself. She played some games with her brother.
The games included jumping and running.
During one of the games the girl had a short conversation with her brother. After that the girl started drawing pictures in her notebook. Mother of the subject had a very satisfied expression on her face when she saw the drawing her daughter made. During the whole observational period the girl looked relaxed and happy. The approximate height of the subject is 4ft 2in, the approximate weight is 70 lbs. She was well-dressed, her clothes were new and tidy. The girl was physically developed according to her age.
During my whole observation the subject was very active, the girl was running and jumping, it was obvious that she had a good coordination. The child was also drawing pictures in her notebook, so I came to the conclusion that both her gross motor skills and fine manipulative skills were developed properly. Cognitive development of the subject was on a sufficient level. I observed the girl when she was buying an ice cream, she saw that one of the portions was on the bigger plate, but she chose one on the smaller plate because she liked the shape of it more.
The girl was able to understand that if something changes in appearance it does not mean that the quantity of it changed. According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, the girl was on the concrete operational stage. It is the very important stage, because the child starts thinking logically and operationally. Being on this particular stage is absolutely adequate for children at the age of 9. The girl was emotionally and socially well developed. She obeyed the rules of the game and the rules of the mall while playing.
During my observation the girl demonstrated that she was able to work in a team with her brother. She was friendly and well socialized. According to Erikson’s stages of social and emotional development this kind of behavior means that the girl was on the ‘school age’ stage. It is absolutely normal to be on this stage of social and emotional development at the age of 9. After my observation I came to the conclusion that the subject meets the milestones and stages for the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Judging from the drawing that the girl made we can assume that the girl is gifted. According to my naturalistic observation there is nothing unusual in the development of the girl. According to her age she is absolutely adequate. The observation was a very interesting and informative process. It gave me the opportunity to apply different theories of development. The biggest advantage of this psychological method is the opportunity to observe the subject in the natural surrounding and watch his natural behavior.
To sum up, during my naturalistic observation I applied Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and Erikson’s theory of emotional and social development. Both of these theories gave me the opportunity to understand the subject better. According to my observation, all physical skills of the girl were developed properly. After analysis I came to the conclusion that the subject is on the concrete operational stage of cognitive development, and on the ‘school age’ stage of social and emotional development. The girl is normally developed according to her age.