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Biological Roots of Developmental Psychology.docx

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David Haley

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Biological Roots of Developmental Psychology Baldwin o contributed to both developmental psychology and evolutionary theory o views of cognitive development and social learning from Piaget o major contribution to evolutionary theory link habit formation with natural selectionsolving environmental problems by trial and errorif solution is of major importance for survival then natural selection will favour animals that solve the problems more quicklyBaldwin Effectprecursor to Waddingtons 1956 theory of genetic assimilationgenes eventually underlie the adjustments that individuals make to those environmental conditionsmetabolic adjustments increase in ambient temperature o was the first psychologistBiology and Psychology o not east to specify exactly how its disciplines should contribute to developmental psychologytwo reasonsbiology is broad and diverse biochemistry of cell activity and processes that integrate species in ecosystems held together loosely by complex and multilevel frameworkdevelopmental psychology borrowed from different parts of biology at different times in history to meet a variety of unrelated needs o biology is a heterogeneous scientific discipline o behaviour is a function of whole living organisms o developmental and comparative psychologycommon origin with Darwins theory of evolution o two difficultiesdistortion of meaning confusion of description with explanationThe Darwinian Legacy o Darwins theory on the origin of species influenced by Haeckels notion that individual ontogeny reduplicates species phylogeny o sister disciplinecomparative psychology o deliberately required comparison of the behaviour of animals with that of humans for the explicit purpose of identifying the evolution of human psychological characteristics o the most important loan was the recognition of the continuity consistent existence and stability between human beings and other animalso if the human being is an animal that has undergone evolutionthe evolution processes that shapes the characteristics of all species must be the same that shaped human characteristics Humans must be subject to natural selection and must have evolved thru a system of adaptation to their environmentfact of evolution implies that humans have a phylogenetic past can establish evolutionary relationships of human beings to other living species by tracing lines back to common ancestors o many first rejected Darwins idea that a human being can be divided into a psychological mind or soul and a biological body o human psychological capacities must have specific functions
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