The following is Part 1 of a 2 part series on development. Part 1 focuses on physical and cognitive development in humans; we will begin by exploring three basic issues. Firstly, we will discover the extent that the development process is the product of either nature or nature. Secondly we will discuss evidence for critical periods in psychological development. And finally, we will consider whether development occurs in stages or in a continuous, gradual change. After all of this, I will outline the most important psychological model of development that we have in cognitive psychology – Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.
By the end of this chapter of Psychology 101, you should be able to:
- Describe some of the basic issues in developmental psychology
- Distinguish between the three main types of research design used by developmental psychologists
- Describe how physical development occurs across the life span and discuss its impact on psychological functioning
- Describe how perceptual and cognitive development occurs in infancy, childhood and adolescence