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Chapter 1

Chapter 1Introduction to Developmental Psychology

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Psychology 2040A/B

Chapter 1Introduction to Developmental Psychology and Its Research Strategies What is development Developmentrefers to a systematic continuities and changes in the individual that occur between conception and death Changes that are systematic are orderly patterned and relatively enduring Continuities in development or ways we remain the same or continue to reflect our past Developmentalistany scholar who seeks to understand the developmental processWhat causes us to developThe important processes that underlie developmental change are maturationlearning o Maturation developmental changes in the body or behaviour that result from the aging process rather than from learning injury illness or some other life experience o Learning Relatively permanent change in behaviour that results from ones experiences or practiceWhat goals to developmentalists Pursue The 3 major goals of the developmental sciences are to 1 Describe 2 Explain3 OptimizeTo adequately describe development it is necessary to focus BOTH on typical patterns of change normative development and on individual variations in patterns of change ideographic development Normative developmentdevelopmental changes that characterize most or all members of a species typical patterns of developmentIdeographic developmentindividual variations in the rate extent or direction of development Developmentalists also want to explain the changes they have observed By explaining they hope to determine WHY people develop as they typically do and WHY some people develop differently than others Explanation centres both on normative within individuals and variation in development between individualsIt is easier to describe development than to explain it Developmentalist also hope to optimize development by applying what they have learned in attempts to help people develop in positive directionsHolistic Perspective unified view of the developmental process that emphasizes the important interrelationships among the physical mental social and emotional aspects of human developmentPlasticity capacity for change in response to positive or negative life experiencesa developmental state that has the potential to be shaped by experiences Human Development in Historical Perspective Basically children were treated far different in previous eras then they are now
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