Human Development

Topics: Psychology, Developmental psychology, Educational psychology Pages: 8 (2277 words) Published: June 19, 2013
1. Development
Describes the growth of humans throughout the lifespan, from conception to death. The scientific study of human development seeks to understand and explain how and why people change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual, and personality development.

The scientific study of development is important not only to psychology, but also to sociology, education, and health care. Development does not just involve the biological and physical aspects of growth, but also the cognitive and social aspects associated with development throughout life.

The study of human development is important in a number of subjects, including biology, anthropology, sociology, education, history, and psychology. Most important, however, are the practical applications of studying human development. By better understanding how and why people change and grow, we can then apply this knowledge to helping people live up to their full potential.

2. Human Development
Refers to the study of the human cycle from conception to death. It focuses on the continuous chronological processes or changes which are cumulative. It encompasses the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional changes that occur in an individual.

3. Stages of Development
Infancy (1 month to 1 year)
Early Childhood (2 to 6 years)
School Age ( 7 to 12 years)
Adolescence (13-20 years)
Early Adulthood (21-30 years)
Middle adulthood (31-50 years)
Late Adulthood (51 years and above)

4. Aspects of Development
Cognitive development is primarily concerned with the ways in which infants and children acquire, develop, and use internal mental capabilities such as problem solving, memory, and language. Major topics in cognitive development are the study of language acquisition and the development of perceptual and motor skills. Piaget was one of the influential early psychologists to study the development of cognitive abilities. His theory suggests that development proceeds through a set of stages from infancy to adulthood and that there is an end point or goal.

Developmental psychologists who are interested in social and emotional development examine how individuals develop social and emotional competencies. For example, they study how children form friendships, how they understand and deal with emotions, and how identity develops. Research in this area may involve study of the relationship between cognition or cognitive development and social behavior.

Physical development concerns the physical maturation of an individual's body until it reaches the adult stature. Although physical growth is a highly regular process, all children differ tremendously in the timing of their growth spurts.Studies are being done to analyze how the differences in these timings affect and are related to other variables of developmental psychology such as information processing speed. Traditional measures of physical maturity using x-rays are less in practice nowadays, compared to simple measurements of body parts such as height, weight, head circumference, and arm span.

Researchers interested in memory development look at the way our memory develops from childhood and onward. According to Fuzzy-trace theory, we have two separate memory processes: verbatim and gist. These two traces begin to develop at different times as well as at a different pace. Children as young as 4 years-old have verbatim memory, memory for surface information, which increases up to early adulthood, at which point it begins to decline. On the other hand, our capacity for gist memory, memory for semantic information, increases up to early adulthood, at which point it consistent through old age. Furthermore, our reliance on gist memory traces in reasoning increases as we age.

5.Principles of Development
First of the principles which Baltes (1987) discussed is the belief that development is lifelong. This belief...
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