The Study Of Development Essay

511 words - 3 pages

The Study of DevelopmentDevelopmental psychology is the branch of psychology that describes, explains, predicts, and sometimes aims to modify age-related behaviors from conception to death; this field emphasizes maturation, early experiences, and various stages in development. All fields of psychology are faced with theoretical issues. There are three theoretical issues in human development; nature versus nurture, continuity versus stages and stability versus change.The first issue is nature versus nurture. This controversy goes back to the ancient Greeks. Early philosophers believed that at birth our minds are a 'blank state' and that one's environment determines the messages that will be written on the slate. Naturists ...view middle of the document...

The second issue is continuity versus stages. Continuity proposes that development is continuous, with new abilities, skills and knowledge gradually added at a relatively uniform rate. It also suggests that adult thinking and intelligence differ from a child's. For example, adults have more verbal skills than children. Stage theorists suggest that development occurs at different rates that vary from little change to rapid, abrupt change. Stage theories include: Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Erikson's psychosocial theory of development, and Kohlberg's theory of moral development.The third and final issue is stability versus change. Stability proposes that individuals maintain their personal characteristics from childhood to adulthood. They emphasize that one can tell what kind of character an individual will have by the characteristics they display during childhood. Psychologists who emphasize change disagree entirely. They believe that a child's personality and characteristics bear little resemblance to the characteristics present in adulthood.Psychologists generally believe that development emerges from each individual's unique genetic predisposition and from individual experiences in the environment. Physical changes and skills, such as motor skills, are believed to be primarily continuous in nature, while cognitive skills usually develop in discrete stages. Some traits are stable and some vary across the individual's lifetime. All three issues have good arguments on both sides. The answers to these debates lie somewhere in the middle. Each one is a combination of both sides of the argument.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------source:psychology in action-6th edition

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