|•||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?|
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