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1: Introduction to Lifespan Development

  • Page ID
    184002
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    Developmental Psychology, also known as Human Development or Lifespan Development, is the scientific study of ways in which people change, as well as stay the same, from conception to death. You will no doubt discover in the course of studying that the field examines change across a broad range of topics. These include physical and other psychophysiological processes, cognition, language, and psychosocial development, including the impact of family and peers.

    • 1.1: Prelude to Lifespan Development
      Developmental Psychology, also known as Human Development or Lifespan Development, is the scientific study of ways in which people change, as well as stay the same, from conception to death. You will discover in the course of studying that the field examines change across a broad range of topics, including physical and other psychophysiological processes, cognition, language, and psychosocial development.
    • 1.2: Lifespan Perspective
      Several underlying principles of the lifespan perspective, including plasticity, multicontextuality, socioeconomic status, and culture, as identified by Paul Baltes.
    • 1.3: Conceptions of Age
      Some of the ways in which developmental researchers conceptualize age, including chronological, biological, psychological, and social age.
    • 1.4: Periods of Development
      The periods of development as characterized by chronological age and the typical major concerns of each period.
    • 1.5: Issues in Lifespan Development
      Overview of some differing models for lifespan development, including nature vs. nurture, continuity vs. discontinuity, active vs. passive development, and stability vs. change.
    • 1.6: Historical Theories on Development
      Overview of some historical (pre-20th century) theories on development.
    • 1.7: Contemporary Theories on Development
      Overview of several contemporary theories on development, including Erikson's psychosocial stages, learning theory, social behavior theory, and cognitive theory.
    • 1.8: Research Methods
      A research design is the specific method a researcher uses to collect, analyze, and interpret data. Psychologists use three major types of research designs in their research: descriptive research describes what is occurring at a particular point in time, correlational research is designed to discover relationships among variables and to allow the prediction of future events from present knowledge, and experimental research allows a researcher manipulates one or more variables to see their effect
    • 1.9: Research Involving Time-Spans
      Research designs that measure data across timespans: cross-sectional, longitudinal, and sequential research. Advantages and disadvantages of each design.
    • 1.10: Conducting Ethical Research
      Discussion of the standards of ethics set by the American Psychological Association for conducting research using humans.
    • 1.C: COVID-19 Impact on Lifespan Development
      Overview of the impact of COVID-19 on lifespan development. This topic will be explored in more detail for each age group as covered in the subsequent chapters.
    • 1.R: Introduction to Lifespan Development (References)


    This page titled 1: Introduction to Lifespan Development is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Martha Lally and Suzanne Valentine-French via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.