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chapter 1 - PSY 231 Developmental Psychology Chapter 1...

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PSY 231 Developmental Psychology: Chapter 1 History, Theory, and Research Strategies Human Development –a field of study devoted to understanding constancy and change throughout the lifespan 1. Goal: to identify those factors that influence consistencies and transformations in people from conception to death 2. It is interdisciplinary –grew through the combined efforts of people from many fields of study A. Examples of fields: psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, neuroscience, family studies, medicine, public health, and social service Theory –an orderly, integrated set of statements that describes, explains, and predicts behavior A. Provide organizing framework for out observations of people; guide and give meaning to what we see B. Those verified by research provide a sound basis for practical action (all theories existence depends on scientific verification) C. Influenced by the cultural values and belief systems of their times 1. Continuous or Discontinuous Development A. Continuous –a process of gradually augmenting the same types of skills that were there to being with a. The difference between the immature and mature being is simply one of the amount or complexity b. Development takes place in a gradual incline B. Discontinuous –a process in which new and different ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times a. Immature have unique ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving quite different from mature beings b. Development takes place in stages - Stages: qualitative changes in thinking, feeling, and behaving that characterize specific periods of development - Development staircase - Assumes that people undergo periods of rapid transformation as they step up from one stage to the next and people everywhere follow the same sequence of development 2. One Course of Development or Many A. Context –unique combinations of personal and environmental circumstances that can result in different paths of change a. Heredity, biological makeup, immediate settings, circumstances more remote from people’s everyday lives influence development B. People develop by multiple courses or everyone develops by the exact same one uninfluenced by any sort of environmental or personal factors 3. Relative Influence of Nature and Nurture A. Are genetic or environmental factors more important in the influence of development? 1
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PSY 231 a. Nature: biological givens or the heredity information we receive from our parents at the moment of conception b. Nurture: complex forces of the physical and social world that influence our biological makeup and psychological experiences before and after birth B. All theories grant at least some role to both nature and nurture but put different emphasis on each a. Stability –theorist that favor this think that individuals who are high or low in a characteristic (verbal ability, anxiety, or sociability) will remain so later ages –typically stress the importance of heredity –if they do regard
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