Measuring change: Current trends and future directions in microgenetic research

Emma Flynn*, Robert Siegler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This special issue is dedicated to research that adopts the microgenetic method in order to investigates change as it is happening. In this commentary we reflect on the diversity of the articles included in this special issue, and examine how the findings from these articles relate to five critical features of change: path, rate, breadth, variability and source. The over-arching theme from these findings is that the tidy results reported in cross-sectional studies are not in fact as tidy as they originally appear. Most important, the untidiness within the data is informative when attempting to explain development and learning. In the second half of this commentary we highlight some current questions relating to the use of the microgenetic method: is the 'microgenetic method' a method, a theory, or a philosophy; is change development, learning, or both; what is the relation between microdevelopment and macrodevelopment; and what is the next step for the microgenetic method?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Change
  • Cognitive development
  • Microgenetic
  • Theory acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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