Chapter 1: Independent Questions
I. The Scientific Study of Human Development
1. Define developmental psychology – the scientific study of age-related changes in our
bodies, behavior, thinking, emotions, social relationships, and personalities.
A. Philosophical Roots
2. Identify the key ideas and the implied parental responsibilities of:
(a) The doctrine of original sin – all humans are born with selfish and stubborn nature;
humans must seek redemption by leading a disciplined life. Child = sinful; parents =
intervene to correct child’s immoral tendencies.
(b) Rousseau – Innate Goodness. All human beings naturally good and seek out
experiences to help them grow. Children only need nurturing and protection to reach full
potential. Good development when no environmental interference; poor outcome when
encounter frustration. Child = good; parent = nurture and protect.
(c) Locke – Blank Slate. Empiricism: humans possess no innate tendencies and all
differences among humans due to experience. Children have blank slate molded by adults
and childhood environment. Child = neutral; parents = shape behavours.
(d) If you attended an elementary school that endorsed a policy to reduce teacher control
because students are viewed as naturally possessing the desire or internal motivation to
work hard, this policy would best reflect the ideas of b. (Choose between 2 a, b, or c)
B. The Study of Human Development Becomes a Science
Since the 1930s philosophical ideas have been translated into scientific theories. In turn,
scientific theories are tested/evaluated using scientific research methods. This section reviews
some of the early scientific theories that have paved the way for the more contemporary
scientific theories, which are covered in chapter two.
3. (a) What concept did Darwin’s theory of evolution contribute to developmental
The concept of developmental stages.
(b) What concept did Hall contribute to developmental psychology? Define this concept.
-milestones of childhood similar to those in development of human species
-should identify ‘norms’ or avg ages at which developmental milestones are reached, to
track development of individual children
(c) What concept did Gesell contribute to developmental psychology? Define this
-‘maturation’ – genetically programmed sequential pattern of change
-maturationally determined development occurs regardless of practice/training (ex.
C. A Brief History of the Roots of Psychology in Canada – (optional reading – not on exams) II. Contemporary Developmental Psychology
4. Identify the THREE ways that contemporary developmental psychology has changed
since the early days (see introductory paragraph only).
-term ‘development’ now encompasses entire human lifespan rather than just childhood
-developmentalists have come to understand that inborn characteristics interact with
environmental factors in complex ways
-norms doesn’t equal change; norms only one way of measuring change
A. The Lifespan Perspective
5. (a) Your textbook states that the lifespan perspective invites interdisciplinary
investigations. What unique contributes do psychology, anthropology, and sociology
typically make to the study of human development.
-psychology: lifespan perspective
-anthropology: info about culture
-sociology: influence of race, socioeconomic status, other social factors on individual
(b) Define the lifespan perspective - changes happen throughout the entire human
lifespan and that changes must be interpreted in light of the culture and context in which
they occur; thus, interdisciplinary study crucial to understanding human development
(c) What did one of the early leaders in the lifespan perspective (Paul Baltes) propose
-capacity for positive change (plasticity) in response to environmental demands is
possible throughout the entire lifespan
-positive aspects of advanced age; as humans age, they adopt strategies that help
maximize gains and compensate for losses
-ex. Older adults pursue goals more intensely than younger adults
B. The Domains of Development
6. Although there are multiple factors that influence human development, no single theory
has been able to comprehensively incorporate these multiple factors. As a result, it is
typically appropriate to think of each theory as limited or narrowly focused on one of the
domains of development.
(a) Identify THREE domains of human development – physical, cognitive, social
(b) Identify what each of the three domains address or include.
-physical domain: changes in size, shape, characteristics of body (puberty). How
individuals sense and perceive physical world (ex. Gradual development of depth
perception at age 1)
-cognitive domain: changes in thinking, memory, problem-solving, other intellectual
-social domain: changes in variables associated with relationship of individual with
others, individual differences in personali