Chapter 1

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
WHAT IS DEVELOPMENT?
1. Development
* Systematic continuities and changes in the individual that occur between conception and death 2. Changes are systematic because they are orderly, patterned, and enduring * Temporary mood swings and other transitory changes in our appearances, thoughts, and behaviors are excluded 3. Continuities in development

* Ways in which we remain the same or continue to reflect the past WHAT CAUSES US TO DEVELOP?
4. Two important processes that underlie developmental change: maturation and learning 5. Maturation
* Biological unfolding of the individual according to species-typical biological inheritance and an individual person’s biological inheritance * Maturation is partly responsible for psychological changes such as increasing ability to concentrate, solve problems, and understand another person’s thoughts or feelings * Results from the aging process rather than from learning, injury, or illness 6. Learning

* The process through which our experiences produce permanent changes in our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors * Relatively permanent change in behavior (or behavioral potential) WHAT GOALS DO DEVELOPMENTALISTS PURSUE?

7. Three major goals of the development sciences
* Describe
* Explain
* To optimize development

8. Description
* Human developmentalists observe the behavior of people of different ages, seeking to specify how people change over time * They focus on typical patterns of change (normative development) and on individual variations in patterns of change (ideography development) * Normative development are developmental changes that characterize most or all members of a species * Ideographic development are individual variations in the rate, extent, or direction of development * They seek to understand the important ways that developing humans resemble each other and how they are likely to differ as they proceed through life 9. Explain

* Determine why people develop as they do and why some people develop differently than others * Centers both on normative changes within individuals and on variations in development between individuals 10. Optimize development

* Optimize development by applying what they have learned in attempts to help people develop in positive directions * Breakthroughs:
* Promote strong affectional ties between fussy, unresponsive infants and their frustrated parents * Assist children with learning difficulties to succeed at school * Help socially unskilled kids and adolescents prevent the emotional difficulties that could result from having no close friends and being rejected by peers SOME BASIC OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF DEVELOPMENT

11. A continual and cumulative process
* First 12 years are important for setting the stage for adolescence and adulthood * Human development is a continual and cumulative process * The one constant is change, and the changes that occur as each major phase of life have major implications for the future 12. A holistic process

* Unified view of the developmental process that emphasizes the important interrelationships among the physical, mental, social, and emotional aspects of human development * Boys who have early puberty are more popular than boys who reach puberty later * Kids who do well in school tend to be more popular than kids who perform poorly * Popularity depends not only on the growth of social skills but also on aspects of both cognitive and physical development * Holistic perspective is one of the dominant themes of human development today *

13. Plasticity
* Capacity for change
* Developmental state that has the potential to be shaped by experience * EX: Somber babies living in barren, understaffed orphanages become cheerful and affectionate when placed in socially stimulating adoptive homes...
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