The goal of the microgenetic method is direct observation of the process of change that occurs in learning and cognitive development. Individuals engage in the same problem-solving task over repeated occasions, and changes in the strategies they apply to the task are observed. The repeated finding from microgenetic research is intra-individual variability. That is, although the task environment remains constant, an individual over time exhibits a range of alternative strategies that are applied to the task. The frequency with which a strategy is chosen is likely to undergo change over time, in the direction of more frequent usage of better, more effective strategies and less frequent usage of less effective strategies. Thus, as new knowledge is being acquired, developmental change may also occur in the strategies by means of which this knowledge is acquired.
Kuhn, D. (1995). Microgenetic study of change: What has it told us? Psychological Science, 6, 133-139.
Siegler, R., & Crowley, K. (1991). The microgenetic method: A direct means for studying cognitive development. American Psychologist, 46, 606-620.