Microgenetic design

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Microgenetic design (a.k.a. microgenetic method) is a scientific method in which the same setting is studied repeatedly in order to observe change in detail. In contrast to cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, which provide broad outlines of the process of change, microgenetic designs provide an in-depth analysis of the behavior of the system while it is changing. Although often associated with developmental psychology,[1] the method has been applied in adult settings as well,[2] and the method is applicable to any system—human or otherwise—whose behavior changes over time, and where it may be useful or important to analyze the details of these changes. The term "microgenetic" appears to have originated with Heinz Werner, who described a "genetic method" in the early part of the 20th century, and has been employed by many prominent psychologists since that time. (It is unclear when and where the "micro" neo-prefix-ism was added.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Siegler, Robert (2006). How Children Develop: Exploring Child Develop Student Media Tool Kit & Scientific American Reader to Accompany How Children Develop. New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN 0-7167-6113-0. 
  2. ^ Agre, Phil; Shrager, Jeff (1990), Routine Evolution as the Microgenetic Basis of Skill Acquisition, 12th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Cambridge, MA