Developmental psychology

Developmental Psychology is the scientific study of change across the life span. This field examines change in a broad range of topics including: motor skills, problem solving abilities, conceptual understanding, acquisition of language, moral understanding, and identity formation.

Questions addressed by developmental psychologists include the following.  Are children qualitatively different from adults or do they simply lack the experience that adults drawn upon?  Does development occur through the gradually accumulation of knowledge or through shifts from one stage of thinking to another?  Are children born with innate knowledge or do they figure things out through experience?  Is development driven by the social context or by something inside each child?

Many theoretical perspectives attempt to explain development, among the more common are: Jean Piagets Stage Theory, Lev Vygotskys Social Contextualism, and the Information Processing framework.

Developmental Psychology informs several applied fields, including: Education, School Psychology, Child Psychopathology, and Developmental Forensics. Developmental Psychology complements several other basic research fields in Psychology including: Social, Cognitive, & Comparative.

Developmental psychologists have designed many web sites about their field. DevPsy.org provides lessons for teaching and learning Developmental Psychology. GMUs On-Line Resources provides an extensive web directory of Developmental Psychology organizations.




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