PSYCH Lecture Week 16
Major Theories of Developmental Psychology
Piles of Theories
Help us organize, predict, make sense of the world.
Frame how people look at the world, interpret situations, and makes decisions
Richard Fineman talks about the role of vague theories – things need to be
falsifiable. If they can’t be proven they don’t have a place in scientific inquiry.
Loose theories are not really theories because they cannot be falsifiable.
Hypotheses can’t be proven right, but they can be proven wrong. Particular study has
proven; there is no such thing as ‘we have proven’. It doesn’t mean anything – theories
are never definite. Recognize in the field of psychology that all one needs to do is support
a hypothesis, not really to prove it. Proving a hypothesis is impossible.
We need hypotheses to be tested.
Why have all kinds of theories/frameworks?
Human development is complex, varied, fascinating, exiting and wonderful
What is normal?
When to intervene? At what point do we need to intervene and help a child?
Piaget’s Legacy While Piaget was wrong about many things, he was right about others. Had a
huge impact on the field.
He was interested in the mistakes children make. His experiments are still used
today. His theories are still tested today. EX: conservation of mass, with the two
differently sized glasses.
“Little Scientists” (children)
“Little Scientists” Discovering