Chapter 1 - Chapter 1: History, Theory, and Research...

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Chapter 1: History, Theory, and Research Strategies Human Development : A field of study devoted to understanding constancy and change throughout the lifespan Goal – identify those factors that influence consistencies and transformers in people from conception to death Theory : an orderly, integrated set of statements that describes, explains, and predicts behavior Importance: o Provide organizing framework for our observations of people o Verified by research provide a sound basis for practical action Continuous or Discontinuous Development Continuous : a process of gradually augmenting the same types of skills that were there to begin with Discontinuous : a process in which new and different ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times o Staircase idea o Stages : qualitative changes in thinking, feeling, and behaving that characterize specific periods of development One Course of Development of Many Contexts : unique combination of personal and environmental circumstances that can result in different paths of change o Believed to be many layered and complex Personal side – heredity and biological makeup Environmental side – immediate settings and everyday lives Cultural diversity in development Relative Influence of Nature and Nurture Nature – Nurture Controversy : nature, biological givens and the information we receive from our parents at conception, nurture, complex forces both physical and social that influence our biological makeup and psychological experiences o Stability – stress the importance of heredity o Plasticity – change is possible and even likely if new experiences support it Lifespan Perspective : leading dynamic systems approach – ongoing process from conception to death Assumptions that development is o Lifelong No age period is considered supreme Within each age period change occurs in: physical, cognitive and emotional/social o Multidimensional and multidirectional
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Multidimensional – affected by a blend of biological, psychological and social forces Multidirectional – not limited to improved performance, also in each domain o Highly plastic Plasticity varies across individuals o Affected by multiple interacting forces Age-graded influences – events that are strongly related to age and
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Chapter 1 - Chapter 1: History, Theory, and Research...

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