A scientific, applied, and interdisciplinary field.
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of age-related changes throughout the human life span. Human development is a field of study devoted to understanding constancy and change throughout the lifespan. The investigators who study human development have a single goal: to describe and identify those factors that influence consistencies and transformations in people from conception to death. Basic issues
A theory is an orderly (logically), integrated (combined) set of statements that describes, explains, and predict behavior. There are three elements of a good theory:
Ex, a good theory of infant- caregiver attachment would
Describe (the behaviorism of babies of 6 to 8 months of age as they seek the affection of comfort of a familiar adult) -
Explain ( how and why infants develop this strong desire to bond with a caregiver) -
Predict ( the consequences of this emotional bond for relationships throughout life) Theories are important to the study of developmental science because they guide and give meaning to what we see. Once a theory helps us understand development, we better know how to improve welfare (opieke) and treatment of children and adults.
Theories of human development take a stance on three basic issues: 1.
Is development continuous or discontinuous process?
continuous A process of gradually augmenting the same types of skills that were there to begin with. ( smiling, eye contact) -
discontinuous a process in which new and different ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times. 2.
Is there one course or many development courses?
Is development determined primarily by nature or nurture and is it stable or open to change?
Nature: we mean inborn biological givens (the heredity information we receive from our parents at the moment of conception) -
Nurture: physical and social world that influences biological and psychological development
The lifespan perspective assumes that:
Development is lifelong—events occurring during each developmental period can have effects on future change.
affected by an INTRICATE ( skomplikowany) blend of biological, psychological, social forces.
every period is a joint expression of growth
( rozwoju) and decline ( niemocy)
Change is multidirectional with each domain ( dziedzina) and development. (book page 9)
Development is plastic – can be changing constantly.
Development is influenced by multiple, interacting forces. -
age-graded influences – are strongly related to age. Therefore, it is impossible to predict when they will occur and how long they will last. History- graded influences explain why people born around the same time-( cohort) -get along easier that with people born at other times. Ex. Epidemics, wars.
Non-normative influences – are events that are irregular
There are three domains of development in which change takes place across lifespan: Physical development- changes in body size, proportions, appearance, functioning of body system, perceptual and motor capacities, and physical health. Cognitive development changes in intellectual abilities, including attention, memory, academic and everyday knowledge, problem solving, imagination, creativity. Emotional end social development changes in emotional communication, self-understanding, knowledge about other people, intimate relationships, moral and reasoning behavior.
Contexts of development
Stage theorists assume that people follow the same cycle of development Context:
The scientific study of human development dates to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries....
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