The study of social psychology in the behavioral observation of a crying
An infant crying is a behavioral trait of all new born babies. An infant’s
first instinct when born is to cry. Why do infants cry? When infants cry it
can be for a various amount of reasons. As a parent it is their
responsibility to figure out what is wrong and keep the infant from crying.
The research method used is naturalistic observation. The subject is
observed in its natural setting, so there is no influence on its behavior.
This paper provides awareness of why infants may cry and what one can do to
Critical Observation Paper
Subject A being the parent was observing subject B being the infant.
Subject A observes that subject B cries for various reasons. When an
infant expresses a need to cry it is the parents responsibility to find out
why they are crying. A primary trait of infants is to cry when they want
to communicate their needs and discomforts that require some attention.
The parent primarily needs to make sure the infant is not in any pain or
discomfort that requires any medical attention. Once that is accomplished
its all about trial and error.
Infants who cry excessively may have gastrointestinal problems which,
is a form of abdominal pain (Illingworth 1954). This form of abdominal
pain is called “colic” which is a crying behavior in infants (Illingworth
1954). During these crying episodes parents need to be more attentive and
loving to the infant. Calmly acknowledging and accepting their feelings
may be what the infant needs.
When infants cry it may be difficult to know why they are crying.
There are many ways to find out why the infant is indeed crying. For
example, subject B is crying and subject A feeds the infant. The infant is
not crying anymore. Now subject A realizes the reason the infants was
crying was because it was hungry. Some methods to try when an infant is
crying is to rock or simply try to distract the infant with singing or
Naturalistic Observation is the best method used in this situation
since the subject is an infant. This observation method operates well when
using it on infants because it prevents any abuse or forcing them to cry
for an observation. Using this method for the reason that researchers can
observe how infants react in the natural setting. For instance, an
infant’s reaction to their mother leaving the room in their own home would
be different to a mother leaving the room in a stranger’s home.
Gathering information on why infants cry, the researcher chooses to
study a large group of infants rather than an individual infant. For
instance, an individual infant that is chosen could be a special case and
be an infant who has colic, diaper rash, or an ear infection. The infant
who has colic, diaper rash, or an ear infection is going to cry more than
the infants that do not. The group method can increase the results of the
observation because more than one infant is being used for the observation.
In order for the research to be impartial, this observation consisted
of more than one observer. Therefore, the research could be compared and
would not be one sided. This method would ensure that the researcher is not
making an opinion of the observation rather than a general view. The
infants would also be monitored by video, so that the observation can be
viewed in different perspectives. The researchers would in addition
randomly pick infants for the observation. Case in point, picking infants
from different parts of the country would prevent the observation from
being prejudice because the infants are different ethnic backgrounds. In
the observation the infants would be treated equally and attend to their
needs in the same way.
These methods would increase the observation to be accurate and
truthful. The Naturalistic observation method can be a predicament. The
only way to make an observation is for the infant to be crying. Since the
infant can not be influenced in anyway the researcher has to wait for the
infant to go through an emotion.
Crying is an infant’s way to communicate to their parents or others.
When infants cry they are communicating to have their needs taken cared of
and acknowledged. An infant who is crying because their diaper needs to be
changed gets their diaper changed, an infant who is hungry gets fed, and an
infant who is sleepy gets put down to sleep. These are all ways to solve
infant’s needs when they cry.Overall, the one reason infants cry is they
want to feel the love and embrace of the parents’ arms. Most infants just
want to be held, to feel the security and safety of their parents.
Aldrich, C.A.; Sung, C.; And Knop, C. (1945). The Crying of Newly Born
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Illingworth, R. (1954). Three-months Colic. Archive of the Disease of
Childhood. 29, 165-170.
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