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Chapter 1

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PSY210 - Chapter 1 - child psychology trace the growing child’s development from the stage of embryo in the mother’s womb to the stage of adolescence. WHAT IS DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY - developmental psychology - is concerned with the changes in behavior and abilities that occur as development proceeds. (branch of psychology - they examine what changes are and why they occur - 2 basic goals: description - to identify children’s behavior at each point in their development. e.g. when do babies begin to detect colors? what do 5-yr olds understand about the mind? how do adolescents usually re- solve conflicts with their peers. explanation - determining the causes and processes that produce changes in behavior from one point to the next. This involves examining the effects of factors e.g. genes, biological char- acteristics of the brain, social environment the children live in, types of expereinces they encounter. - developmental psychologists study behavior changes in all phases of the life cycle. but mainly focused on childhood period and ending in adolescence. WHY STUDY CHILDREN - Period of rapid development: researchers are interested in studying change, hence fo- cused on the period where most change occurs. more development takes place during childhood, in terms of physical growth, social interaction, acquisition of language, mem- ory abilities, etc. - Long-term influences: events and experiences of early years strongly affect an individ- ual’s later development. - Insight into complex adult processes: it is easier to study children as they are less
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