Multiple-Time-Scale Design and Analysis

Pushing Toward Real-Time Modeling of Complex Developmental Processes

Authored by: Nilam Ram , Manfred Diehl

Handbook of Intraindividual Variability Across the Life Span

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415534864
eBook ISBN: 9780203113066
Adobe ISBN: 9781136285233


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Key postulates of the life-span developmental framework (Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 2006), developmental systems theory (Ford, 1987; Overton & Lerner, 2012), probabilistic epigenesis (Gottlieb, 2007), and the bioecological framework (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006) all include the idea that human development is multiply determined. Influences at different levels (e.g., neurobiological, psychological, social, and cultural/ecological) are reciprocally interlinked to produce overall behavioral development and developmental plasticity (Lerner, 1984; Li, 2003). This complexity means that development proceeds at different rates in different behavioral domains and during different periods of the life span, and in different ways for different individuals (e.g., multidirectionality; Baltes, 1987). As such, the study of developmental phenomena, under optimal circumstances, calls for multivariate observation and analysis at multiple levels and on multiple time scales (Li, 2003; Li & Freund, 2005). Studying change inherently leads to questions about the time scale(s) on which those multivariate observations should be assessed and modeled, and, more generally, how the functional processes that manifest at different time scales are connected.

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