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					Developmental Psychology



             2110 3.0 H (Fall Term)
Introduction




               Developmental
               Quiz
Definition of Development

 The pattern of movement or change that begins at
conception and continues through the human life span
Why Study Life-Span Development?

     You can gain insight to your own life as a child,
      adolescent, and young adult.
     You will learn about life through the adult years—
      middle age, and old age.
     You may be a parent or a teacher some day.
     Life-span development is linked with many different
      areas of psychology.
Assumptions influence practices

     Original Sin - children were perceived as being
      basically bad, born into the world as evil beings.
     Tabula Rasa - children are like a “blank tablet,” and
      acquire their characteristics through experience.
     Innate Goodness - children are inherently good.
Where do our assumptions come from?

     Tradition

     Personal experience

     Experts

     Research
History:
Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

     Young Men: “Young men have strong passions, and
      tend to gratify them indiscriminately”
     Elderly Men: “They are cynical … small-minded,
      cowardly, and are always anticipating danger …they
      love life; and all the more when their last day has come
      …”
     Men in their prime: “all the valuable qualities that
      youth and age divide between them are united in the
      prime of life .. the body is in its prime from thirty to
      five-and-thirty; the mind about forty-nine”
History:
English-speaking pioneers

     Charles Darwin (1809-1882): “A Biographical Sketch
      of an Infant” (1877)

     G.S. Hall (1844-1924): “Adolescence” (1907):”Most
      savages in most respects are children, or, because of
      sexual maturity, more properly, adolescents of adult
      size”
Traditional Approach vs. Life-Span Approach

   The traditional approach emphasizes extensive change
    from birth to adolescence, little or no change in
    adulthood, and decline in late old age.
   The life-span approach emphasizes developmental
    change during adulthood as well as childhood.
Characteristics of the Life-Span Perspective
   Development is lifelong
   Development is multidimensional
   Development is multidirectional
   Development is plastic
   Development is contextual
   Development is studied by a number of disciplines
   Development involves growth, maintenance, and
    regulation
Development is Lifelong



   No age period dominates development.
   Researchers increasingly study the experiences
    and psychological orientations of adults at
    different points in their development.
    Development is Multidimensional

   There are biological dimensions.
   There are cognitive dimensions.
   There are socioemotional dimensions.
Development is Multidirectional

      Some dimensions or components of a dimension
       increase in growth.
      Some dimensions or components of a dimension
       decrease in growth.
       Development is Plastic


   Plasticity involves the degree to which characteristics
    change or remain stable.
        Development is Contextual


   Normative age-graded influences
   Normative history-graded influences
   Nonnormative life events
Development is Studied by a Number of Disciplines


      Psychologists
      Sociologists
      Anthropologists
      Neuroscientists
      Medical Researchers
    The Three Goals of Human Development

   Maintenance
   Growth
   Regulation
Biological Processes

      Involve changes in the individual’s physical nature
       such as:
         Height and weight gains

         The development of the brain

         Changes in motor skills

         Cardiovascular decline
    Cognitive Processes

   Involve changes in the individual’s thought,
    intelligence, and language such as:
      Watching a mobile swing above a crib

      Creating a two-word sentence

      Memorizing a poem

      Imagining being a movie star
Socioemotional Processes



         Involve changes in the individual’s relationships
          with other people, changes in emotions, and
          changes in personality such as:
            An infant smiling from her mother’s touch

            A young boy hitting a playmate

            A girl’s joy at her senior prom

            The affection of an elderly couple
Periods of Development


   The prenatal period
   Infancy
   Early childhood
   Middle and late childhood
   Adolescence
   Early adulthood
   Middle adulthood
   Late adulthood
The Prenatal Period



   The time from conception to birth
   From a single cell to an organism complete with
    a brain and behavioral capabilities
   Approximately a 9-month
    period
Infancy



   The developmental period from birth to 18 or 24
    months
   A time of extreme dependency on adults
   Many psychological activities are just beginning
Early Childhood



   The developmental period extending from the end
    of infancy to about 5 or 6 years
   Often called the “preschool years”
   Children learn to become more self-sufficient
   Children now develop school readiness skills
   Children spend many hours playing with peers
    Middle and Late Childhood


   The developmental period extending from about 6 to 11
    years of age
   Approximately corresponds to the elementary school
    years
   Fundamental skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic
    are mastered
   Child is formally exposed to larger world and its
    culture
        Adolescence


   The developmental period of transition from childhood
    to early adulthood—entered at 10-12 years, ending at
    18-22 years
   Begins with rapid physical changes.
   Pursuit of independence and identity are prominent
   Thought is now more logical, abstract, and idealistic
        Early Adulthood


   The developmental period beginning in the late teens or
    early twenties and lasting through the thirties
   A time of establishing personal and economic
    independence
   Also a time of career development
   Early adults select a mate, start a family, and rear
    children
        Middle Adulthood


   The developmental period beginning around 40 years of
    age and extending to about 60
   A time of expanding personal and social involvement and
    responsibility
   Also a time of assisting the next generation in becoming
    competent
   Middle adults reach and maintain satisfaction in a career
Late Adulthood



   The developmental period beginning in the
    sixties or seventies and lasting until death
   A time of adjustment to decreasing strength and
    health
   Also a time of life review, retirement, and new
    social roles
Age Groups in Late Adulthood



   The Young Old, or Old Age (65-74 years of age)
   The Old Old, or Late Old Age (75 years and older)
   The Oldest Old (85 years and older)
        Age and Happiness

   No particular age group says they are happier or more
    satisfied than any        other age group.
Conceptions of Age


   Chronological Age
   Biological Age
   Psychological Age
   Social Age
    Chronological Age


   The number of years that have elapsed since a person’s
    birth
    Biological Age


   A person’s age in terms of biological health
    Psychological Age


   An individual’s adaptive capacities compared to those
    of other individuals of the same chronological
    age
     Social Age

   Refers to social roles and expectations related to a
    person’s age
Developmental Issues


   Nature vs. Nurture
   Continuity vs. Discontinuity
   Stability vs. Change
   Activity vs. passivity
   Universal vs. particular
        The Nature-Nurture Issue


   Involves the debate about whether development is
    primarily influenced by nature or nurture
Nature



   An organism’s biological inheritance
Nurture



   An organism’s environmental experiences
    The Continuity-Discontinuity Issue

   This issue focuses on the extent to which development
    involves gradual, cumulative change or distinct stages.
        Continuity


   Development results from a gradual process occurring
    over several weeks, months, and possibly years.
        Discontinuity


   Development occurs through a sequence of stages in
    which change is qualitatively rather than quantitatively
    different.
The Stability-Change Issue


   This issue involves the degree to which we
    become older renditions of our early experience
    or whether we develop into someone different
    from who we were at an earlier point in
    development.
   It considers the extent to which early
    experiences (especially in infancy) or later
    experiences are the key determinants of a
    person’s development.
    Evaluating the Developmental Issues

   Most life-span developmentalists recognize that
    extreme positions are unwise.
   The key to development is the interaction of nature and
    nurture rather than either factor alone.
   There still exists strong debate regarding how strongly
    development is influenced by each of the factors.

				
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