Development is not a process with a clear end according to the life-span approach to developmental psychology.
Development was thought to end with adolescence.
It is now viewed as a process that continues from birth to death.
The study of the changes that occur in people's abilities and behaviors as they age is called developmental psychology.
It's important to distinguish between life-span psychologists and child psychologists.
The child psychologist decided to focus on an earlier part of the life span.
The view that development occurs across an entire lifetime was championed by the first person to successfully champion it.
Different research methods are used according to the questions being asked.
The typical sequence of developmental changes for a group of people is called the normative development.
Some psychologists talk about development occurring in a series of stages, universal to human development.
Other psychologists are more interested in individual development, or the individual pattern of development.
Techniques and research methods that are useful for one type of development are not useful for other types of development.
The cross-sectional method is used to study normative development.
The cross-sectional method compares people of different ages on the same tasks.
A study might involve administering cognitive tests to a group of two-year-olds, a group of four-year-olds, and a group of six-year-olds.
The average age at which certain skills appear can be revealed by this approach.
The data collected in cross-sectional studies tells us little about the actual development of any individual.
The longitudinal method is used by many developmental psychologists.
The longitudinal method involves following a small group of people over a long period of time.
Cross-sectional research is conducted less frequently than longitudinal research because it is more difficult and expensive to conduct.
The longitudinal method has some benefits because it excludes the differences between subjects that other studies include.
The temporal order of events can be studied.
The nature-nurture debate is one of the aspects of psychology that must be dealt with.
Maturationists emphasize the role of growth and development on the body.
Maturation is defined as biological readiness.
The development of the brain allows for more complex conceptualization and reasoning.
Adherents to the learning perspective are sometimes referred to as environmentalists.
Locke's idea states that almost all development is the result of learning and that infants are born like a blank slate.
The organisms acquire more associations through learning.
When studying development, there are other issues to consider.
There is a question of whether development is continuous or gradual.
Growth spurts and leaps of cognitive function support the discontinuous approach, but other studies show gradual development.
If the ability doesn't develop during a critical period, it probably won't develop as well.
Language is an example of a critical period skill.
If a person is not exposed to language until they are 12 years old, the ability to learn language will diminish.
The "feral child" who was isolated from other humans from infancy until age 13 prevented her from learning spoken language is a famous example in favor of the critical period.
Development is impacted by culture in important ways.
The needs of society are placed before the needs of the individual in a collectivist culture.
Individualist cultures promote personal needs over the needs of society.
It is important to realize that a child's relationship with her environment and culture is not always the same as her relationship with the society in which she is born.
There are two broad classes of theories, those that think of development as a single, continuous, unitary process and those that think of it in stages.
There are stages that occur in a fixed sequence.
Each stage has its own set of cognitive structures that build on the previous stage's cognitive structures.
Some aspects of development may occur at the same time as others.
According to psychologists, the edges of stages are blurred and may overlap.
There are three realms of development: physical, cognitive, and social.
At conception, physical development begins.
The fertilized egg goes through three different phases before birth.
In the germinal stage, the zygote undergoes cell division, expanding to 64 cells and implanting itself in the uterus.
The stage lasts about two weeks.
Organ formation lasts until the beginning of the third month in the embryonic stage.
Sexual differentiation occurs in the fetal stage.
This stage has rapid growth.
Fetal development may be affected by harmful environmental agents.
Alcohol is one such agent.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by fetal exposure to alcohol.
A newborn baby is almost helpless but has a few reflexes.
Placing something in the baby's mouth can cause the sucking reflex.
The palmar reflexes are triggered when something is placed in one of the neonate's hands.
The toes play out when the bottom of the foot is rolled.
The Babinski reflex is when a baby's cheek is touched, and the Moro reflex is when a baby's limbs are splaying.
Neonates have an orienting reflex, which is activated when they orient themselves to sudden changes in their surroundings.
If there is a loud crash, infants will look for the origin of the noise to orient themselves.
This reflex lasts into adulthood.
As the child matures and develops, most of the reflexes disappear.
Babies seem to have likes and dislikes.
Babies prefer face-like patterns over more complex patterns.
Babies have a sense of taste.
If someone places a drop of sugar water in their mouth, neonates will make stereotypical ingestive responses, sucking and smacking their lips.
The neonate will stick out the tongue and cry if one uses lemon juice.
It makes sense that this behavior is related to sour and bitter flavors being associated with harmfulbacteria that can make the baby ill.
Humans begin their motor development with rudimentary reflexes and progress through the learning of specialized movements to assist with daily living and recreational activities.
The basis for the more sophisticated movements to come are the primitive, involuntary movements that serve to "prime" the neuromuscular system.
The palmar grasp reflexprimes the nervous system for the more controlled grasping learned at later stages.
The first year of a child's life overlaps with the stage in which rudimentary movements are learned.
The first voluntary movement performed by a child is the outlying movement.
Rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, and walking are some of the things that occur from birth to age 2.
These are the foundations on which the fundamental movements are built and are dictated by genetics.
The fundamental movement stage begins at 2 years old and lasts until 7 years old, when the child learns to manipulate his or her body through actions such as running, jumping, throwing, and catching.
The environment is more important than the movement stage that precedes it.
Physical activity and games are needed for proper motor development in children when they are in school.
As the child gets older, movements become more coordinated, coordinated, and efficient.
Children learn to combine the fundamental movements and apply them to specific tasks during the stage of specialized movement.
There are two shorter stages in this stage, a transitional substage and an application substage.
During the transitional substage, grasping, jumping, and throwing are combined to take a shot in basketball.
The application substage is defined by conscious decisions to apply these skills to specific types of activity, for example, one child might choose to play basketball, whereas another might use the same set of skills and abilities to play baseball.
It is now possible for a child to delay shooting the basketball until she has a clear shot at the basket.
Children progress to a lifelong application stage in adolescence and through adulthood.
During this time, movements are continually refined and applied to normal daily activities as well as recreational and competitive activities.
Neural development is dependent on these processes.
In the months after birth, the brain is still organizing itself.
The development of the nervous system continues into adulthood.
Although perceptual and motor development depend on the development of the nervous system, the development of the nervous system depends on environmental interaction on the part of the child.
Children raised in situations in which their ability to crawl or walk is restricted have impaired motor skills.
This can happen in institutions in countries without regulation.
Without stimulation, perceptual development can be delayed.
The phrase "use it or lose it" holds true for some parts of the brain in developmental psychology.
Experiments with animals show that exposing an eye to stimuli at the beginning of life will lead to under development of the occipital cortex, which is responsible for vision in that eye.
The section of the brain that is allocated will be used for another function.
An experiment in which a third eye was added to a frog shows how the brain can be changed.
The processing power of the occipital lobe was divided into three eyes.
This experiment only worked if the eye was introduced very close to birth, demonstrating the limited critical period during which some experience must occur for the brain to develop in a particular way.
The nature-nurture issue is explained by this phenomenon.
The child has some innate reflexes and is not born blank slate.
The child's development depends on its interactions with the environment.
Nature and nurture are involved in development.
Another landmark of physical development is puberty.
Social and cognitive changes are discussed later in this section.
In early adulthood, most people peak physically.
To recognize this fact, one needs to look at professional athletes.
A healthy lifestyle will slow the decline of physical abilities in adulthood.
At 50 years old, women experience a change in estrogen production that causes menstruation to stop.
The senses don't work as well as they used to.
Half of people over the age of 80 have lost their sense of smell.
Alzheimer's can affect memory, cognitive and personality.
Learning, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and related skills are referred to as cognitive development.
The cognitive development of children was proposed by Jean Piaget.
The concept of equilibration is the basis of Piaget's theory.
Equilibration is a child's attempt to balance what they see in the environment with what they bring to the situation.
Children try to reach equilibration through assimilation.
A child may develop a mental representational model for animals after seeing dogs and cats.
When he sees elephants or giraffes at the zoo, he needs to integrate this new information into his existing category of animals.
When facing information that is not easy to fit into an existing database, the child must modify the database to include the new information.
The process is called accommodation.
If this child encountered a kangaroo that hopped on two legs, he might go through a process of adjustment.
Children go through a series of stages.
A child can only be in one stage at a time, according to Piaget.
The four stages were first presented as a chart and then in more detail.
The presence or absence of theoretical thought, the types of mental operations the child can perform, and the presence orabsence of schemas are some of the things that can be categorized by each stage.
During the first two years of life, this stage is typified by reflexive reactions and then circular reactions, which are repeated behaviors by which the infant manipulates the environment.
If an infant kicks its legs and hits a mobile on its crib with its foot, it will likely repeat the action in the future.
When objects are outside of the field of view, object permanence develops.
The child will look for the ball if it rolls under the chair.
The ability to represent and manipulate information in a person's mind is what the child lacks at this age.
Mental operations can be accessed during the concrete operational stage.
Goal oriented behavior is a hallmark of the sensorimotor stage.
A very young child who is able to roll over at will, but not yet able to crawl, may consciously roll over multiple times to reach a favorite toy.
The preoperational stage can occur from two to seven years old.
Children begin this stage with the development of language.
The ability to use words to substitute for objects is called language.
egocentrism, artificialism, and animism are some of the characteristics of the stage.
The stage when children develop the ability to perform a mental operation and then reverse their thinking back to a starting point is called reversibility.
The idea that the amount of a substance doesn't change just because it is arranged differently is an important concept.
If you take a large ball of clay and use it to make several smaller balls of clay, you can demonstrate the importance of mass.
A child in the operational stage will know that the total amount of clay has not changed, while a child in the preoperational stage will think that there is more clay because there are more balls.
The theory is not universally accepted.
His research methods and underestimation of children's abilities were found to be flaws by other researchers.
Some children can take another's perspective and are not egocentric.
The failure of Piaget to recognize the environmental factors pushing child development is one of the criticisms.
The stage begins at age 12.
Children are capable of understanding symbolic relationships at this level.
They have the ability to adapt cognitive processes if they aren't successful.
The ability to figure out answers to problems with which a person does not have direct experience is at the formal operational stage.
A child in the operational stage would have a hard time imagining how the world might change as a result of an alien invasion, while a 12-year-old would have a lot of theories on the issue.