Psychology Development

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SECTION

ONE

THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE
All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. —WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE English Playwright, 17th Century

This book is about human development—its universal features, its individual variations, its nature. Every life is distinct, a new biography in the world. Examining the shape of life-span development allows us to understand it better. A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development is about the rhythm and meaning of people’s lives, about turning mystery into understanding, and about weaving a portrait of who each of us was, is, and will be. In Section 1, you will read “Introduction” (Chapter 1).

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We reach backward to our parents and forward to our children, and through their children to a future we will never see, but about which we need to care. —CARL JUNG Swiss Psychiatrist, 20th Century

LEARNING GOALS
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Discuss the distinctive features of a life-span perspective on development. Identify the most important processes, periods, and issues in development. Describe the main theories of human development. Explain how research on life-span development is conducted.

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INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER OUTLINE

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THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE
The Importance of Studying Life-Span Development Characteristics of the Life-Span Perspective Some Contemporary Concerns

THE NATURE OF DEVELOPMENT
Biological, Cognitive, and Socioemotional Processes Periods of Development The Significance of Age Developmental Issues

THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT
Psychoanalytic Theories Cognitive Theories Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories Ethological Theory Ecological Theory An Eclectic Theoretical Orientation

RESEARCH IN LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT
Methods for Collecting Data Research Designs Time Span of Research Research Journals Conducting Ethical Research Minimizing Bias

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CHAPTER 1 • Introduction

P R EV IEW
This book is a window into the journey of human development—your own and that of every other member of the human species. Every life is distinct, a new biography in the world. Examining the shape of life-span development helps us to understand it better. In this first chapter, we explore what it means to take a life-span perspective on development, examine the nature of development, discuss theories of development, and outline how science helps us to understand it.

1 THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE
The Importance of Studying Life-Span Development Characteristics of the Life-Span Perspective Some Contemporary Concerns

Each of us develops partly like all other individuals, partly like some other individuals, and partly like no other individuals. Most of the time, our attention is directed to an individual’s uniqueness. But as humans, we have all traveled some common paths. Each of us—Leonardo Da Vinci, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and you—walked at about 1 year, engaged in fantasy play as a young child, and became more independent as a youth. Each of us, if we live long enough, will experience hearing problems and the death of family members and friends. This is the general course of our development, the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the human life span. In this section, we explore what is meant by the concept of development and why the study of life-span development is important. We outline the main characteristics of the life-span perspective and discuss various sources of contextual influences. In addition, we examine some contemporary concerns in life-span development.

The Importance of Studying Life-Span Development
How might people benefit from examining life-span development? Perhaps you are, or will be, a parent or a teacher. If so, responsibility for children is, or will be, a part of your everyday life. The more you learn about them, the better you can deal with them....
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