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LEC 9-Developmental Psychology

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Michael Inzlicht

Developmental Psychology z The focus of developmental psychology is on how humans develop and change overtime Change can occur across in life span of the PERSONAL Cradle to grave developmental psychology Assumes that change is inevitable Change can be continuous or discontinuous Core Developmental Issues z Delineate the interacting forces of nature and nurture Maturation: refers to biologically determined changes that follow an orderly sequence z Determine the importance of early experiences The notion of critical periods z Assess whether change is continuous or in qualitative stages Critical Periods z Critical period concept suggests that the brain is set to acquire a function during a limited period of time z If key experiences do not occur during a critical time period, the function may not develop or may not be fully developed The case of Genie, a girl who was isolated until 13 years of age. Although Genie made some gains in language, her syntax never approached normal levels. The case of Genie supports a critical period for language acquisition Measles can cause mental retardation if contracted during certain fetal periods Developmental Methodology z Cross-sectional method compares groups of different ages at the same time Useful for assessing age differences Not useful for examining age changes The problem is not each age group has different life experiences z Longitudinal method compares same group at multiple time points z Sequential studies examine different age groups at multiple time points (reduce cohort effects) Physical Development
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