Introducing Psychology through Research

By Amanda Albon | Go to book overview

6 Developmental psychology
In this chapter, we examine the area of developmental psychology and one developmental research paper in detail.
The area: developmental psychology studies our behaviour at different ages and how our behaviour changes over time.
The research: what determines the type of bond a child has with its mother – the child's environment or their genes?

What is developmental psychology?

Developmental psychology considers how we develop over our lifespan, from conception to old age. It is concerned with how behaviours change, or stay constant, as we get older. These behaviours include, for example, our cognitive, moral, motor, social, and personality development. Developmental psychology is also interested in the stages in our lifetime, such as infancy, adolescence and middle adulthood.

Historically, interest in development focused on whether we are born with a clean slate, on which experience works to make us what we are as adults, or whether our adult abilities and personality are predetermined at birth. For example, John Locke (1634–1704) saw the human mind as a tabula rasa (blank slate) which was influenced by experience during development. Many intellectuals have observed and noted how children develop, such as Charles Darwin (1877), who recorded his own son's development of fear, affection and so on. Milicent Shinn recorded the first complete observation of a child's development. She kept daily notes from observing her niece and published these in The Biography of a Baby in 1900. Regarding intellectual development, two leading developmentalists, Piaget (1896–1980) and Vygotsky (1896–1934), respectively suggested that children go through a set of predetermined stages of intellectual development, or that the human environment shapes intellectual

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Introducing Psychology through Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Boxes and Tables ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - Introducing Psychology 3
  • 1: Introducing Psychology 5
  • 2: The Method behind the Psychology 16
  • 3: How Psychological Research Is Reported 29
  • Part 2 - The Core Areas and Research Papers 43
  • 4: Cognitive Psychology 45
  • 5: Social Psychology 56
  • 6: Developmental Psychology 70
  • 7: Biological Psychology 88
  • 8: Individual Differences 100
  • 9: Clinical Psychology 117
  • Part 3 - Reviewing Psychology 135
  • 10: The Ethics of Psychology Research 137
  • 11: Conclusion 150
  • Glossary 161
  • References 169
  • Index 179
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