Chapter 5: Developing Through the Life SpanModule 1: Development Issues, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn -Developmental psychology examines our physical, cognitive, and social development across the life span, with a focus on three major issues•Nature and Nurture: how does our genetic inheritance (our nature) interact with our experiences (our nurture) to influence our development? •Continuity and Stages: What parts of development are gradual and continuous, like riding an escalator? What parts change abruptly in separate stages, like climbing rungs on a ladder? •Stability and Change: Which of our traits persist through life? How do we change as we age? Developmental Psychology- a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span. Three main issues in developmental psychology: •Nature vs Nurture: How does our genetic inheritance (our nature) interact with our experiences (our nurture) to influence our development? •Continuity and Stages: Which parts of development are gradual and which parts are continuous? Which parts change abruptly? •Stability and Change: Which of our traits persist through life? How do we age? Continuity and Stages-Researchers who emphasize experience and learning typically see development as a slow, continuous shaping process. -Researchers who emphasize biological maturation tend to see development as a sequence of genetically predisposed stages or steps; Although progress though the various stages may be quick or slow, everyone passes through the stages in the same order. -Stage theories (Piaget, Kohlberg, Erikson) propose developmental stages -These are just theories; some research casts doubt on the idea that life proceeds through neatly defined age-linked stages
-Stage theories contribute a developmental perspective on the whole life span, by suggesting how people of one age think and act differently when they arrive at a later age Stability and Change-We experience both stability and change in our lives. Some of our characteristics, such as temperament, are very stable-Studies show that out of control 3-year olds were more likely to become teen smokers, adult criminals, or out-of-control gamblers. -In another study, 6-year old Canadian boys with conduct problems were four times more likely than other boys to be convicted with a violent crime by the age of 24 -As people grow older, personality begins to stabilize-We cannot, however, predict all aspects of our future selves base on our early life. Our social attitudes, for example, are much less stable than our temperament, especially during the impressionable late adolescent years-In some ways, we all change with age -Life requires both stability and change. Stability provides our identity, enabling us to depend on others and on ourselves. Our potential for change gives us our hope for a brighter future, allowing us to adapt and grow with experience Prenatal Development and the Newborn-How many fertilized eggs (zygotes) survive beyond the first two weeks? Fewer than half.