Developmental Psychology

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1.1. Nature – nurture
Nature refers to the inherited (genetic) characteristics and tendencies that influence development. It is the abilities that are present at birth, as well as any abilities determined by genes. On the other hand, nurture is the processes caused by our environment that influences our development. Everything is learned through our interactions with our environment and as a result of our experiences. In the past, hereditary and environmental factors were considered to be operating separately from each other. It was one or the other - nature (hereditary) or nurture (environment). Today it is generally agreed that hereditary and environment are both important factors; development is a combination of both.

Example: Average longevity is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. To increase your chances of a long life you need to come from a family with a history of individuals who lived to a ripe age (genetic factors). Environmental factors; such as diseases, toxins, lifestyle and social class are also important factors that influence longevity. A person who makes poor lifestyle choices and live in an impoverished area will decrease his/her chances of a long life. Therefore it can be said that both nature and nurture play a role in a person living to a ripe age.

1.2. Stability – change
The stability versus change concept explores how much of one's behaviour is consistent and how much is changeable over a lifespan. Simply put, we can ask whether development is best characterized by stability (for example, does a behaviour or trait such as shyness stay stable in its expression over time?) or change (could a person's degree of shyness fluctuate across the life span?). Stability at a basic level is vital for us to recognize that we are still the same person as we grow older. But we also like to believe that our characteristics are not set in stone, that we can change ourselves if we want to. Psychoanalysts believe that personality...
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