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Human psychological development

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Presentation on theme: "Human psychological development"— Presentation transcript:

1 Human psychological development
Miss Domenica Caruso

2 Life span development Psychologists use the term ‘life span development’ to refer to change that begins at conception and continues through the entire life span.

3 Life span development The traditional approach to development emphasises extreme changes from birth to adolescence, little or no change in adulthood, and decline in old age. The life span approach emphasises developmental change occurs during adulthood as well as during childhood. Change must be relatively permanent to be considered developmental.

4 Areas of human development
Psychologists have identified changes in four main areas of development:. Physical Social Cognitive Emotional

5 Physical (or biological) development
Involves changes in the body and its various systems, such as development of the brain and nervous system, bones and muscles, motor skills, and hormonal changes.

6 Social development Involves changes in an individual’s relationships with other people and their skills in interacting with others, such as the ability to cooperate with others, form close relationships and function in group situations.

7 Cognitive development
Involves changes in an individual’s mental abilities, such as learning, memory, perception, thinking, language, moral reasoning, problem solving and decision making.

8 Emotional development
Involves changes relating to an individual’s experience of different feelings and the ways in which they express these feelings.

9 Areas of human development
Social, cognitive and emotional development are often referred to collectively as psychological development. These represent mental processes because they are not directly observable. Researchers make observations of behaviour believed to be associated with thoughts and feelings.

10 Areas of human development
Physical development is determined by biological factors (genetic make-up, changes in brain and nervous system, changes in hormonal system). Many changes associated with physical development can be directly observed (locomotion, height and weight, changes in physical appearance). Consequently, the two categories of development can be referred to as psychological and physical development.

11 Areas of human development
Psychological development Social Cognitive Physical development Physical (biological) Emotional

12 How development proceeds
A number of differing views about the way in which psychological and physical development proceed throughout the lifespan. A general consensus that development occurs in an orderly way and in different areas simultaneously. However, differing views still remain on whether development is continuous or discontinuous.

13 Continuous vs discontinuous development
Think about your development, do you think you gradually become the person you are? Or, did you experience sudden, distinct changes in development to emerge as the person you are?


15 Continuous development
Psychologists who support the continuous view of development suggest that development involves gradual and ongoing changes throughout the life span, with behaviour in the early stages of development providing the basis of skills and abilities required for the next stages.

16 Discontinuous development
Those who view development as a discontinuous process believe development involves distinct and separate stages with different kinds of behaviour occurring at each stage. This suggests that development of certain abilities (e.g specific emotions, ways of thinking) have a definite start and ending point. However there is no exact time at which an ability suddenly appears or disappears. Even though we may feel that a feeling or behaviour appears out of nowhere, it is more than likely been gradually developing for some time. View Figure 10.1 and Figure 10.2 page 335

17 Refer to page 334 & 335 of your textbook
View Figure 10.1 and Figure 10.2 page 335

18 Sequential nature of development
Sequences of development usually begin with simple thoughts, feelings and behaviour and progress to more complex ones. Infancy- crawling, walking, talking.

19 Quantitative and qualitative changes
Psychologists distinguish between quantitative and qualitative changes in development.

20 Quantitative changes Variations in the quantity or amount of a thought, feeling or behaviour. These changes are usually expressed as numbers. E.g increases in height and weight are considered quantitative changes and can be expressed in units of measurement, such as centimetres or grams.

21 Qualitative changes Those that vary in ‘quality’, ‘kind’ or ‘type’. Qualitative changes are more difficult to describe precisely and are not usually described as a number. E.g walking and abstract thinking.

22 Learning Activity 10.1, (q1a, q2) pg 336

23 Simultaneous changes in development
The four areas of an individual’s development (physical, cognitive, emotional and social) can take place simultaneously. Physical development Emotional development Social development Cognitive development

24 Simultaneous changes in development
From a young age, the development of the nervous system, bones and muscles influences the onset of mobility (physical development) Mobility and perception influences the development of thought (cognitive development) The way we think can influence the way we feel (emotional development) The way we feel can influence the way we interact with others (social development) What many people miss is that physical development is closely linked to other types of development as well. For example, Johnny's brain is developing, growing and changing every day. That's physical development, but it is tied to other skills that he develops, including motor skills (like how coordinated he is) and eventually reasoning and problem-solving skills.

25 Individual differences in development
While, for most people there are similarities in patterns of changes in different areas of development, no two individuals develop in exactly the same way. Not even biological twins. Some individuals develop more slowly or more quickly than others- in some, most or all areas of development.

26 Individual differences in development
There are also differences within individuals in their development. An individual may be relatively short in height during childhood then suddenly grow during adolescence to become taller than most of their peers.

27 Learning Activity 10.4, page 338 (1-3)

28 Nature vs nurture debate
Is your behaviour more influenced by genetics or environmental influences? Is your personality the result of traits you inherited or has it been shaped by your life experiences?

29 Read page 339 of textbook, Box 10.4

30 Nature vs nurture debate
An ongoing debate within the field of developmental psychology is concerned with the extent to which development is inherited (heredity) or acquired (shaped by the environment).

31 Nature vs nurture debate
Heredity (Nature) Biologically transmitted characteristics passed from parents to offspring (genetic inheritance) Those that believe in support of heredity concept believe that development is physically dependant on traits which we inherit (height, intelligence, talent)

32 Nature vs nurture debate
Environment (Nurture) Experiences, objects, events which we are exposed to over our lifetime Other psychologists believe the environment in which we are raised (including our experiences) is responsible for determining what individuals will become.

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