Developmental psychology relates to the scientific study of the changes that happen to people during their lifetime. This field of study initially focused on the development of infants and children. However, the scope of developmental psychology has steadily expanded to include the development of the youth, adults, and, the elderly as well as the entire lifecycle of human beings. This specialty focuses on examining changes that take place across a wide range of topics such as the psycho-physiological processes including the mental development involving moral and conceptual understanding. The focus can also be on the language acquisition on the perspectives of personal, social, emotional aspects. Identity development and the subject of formation of self-concept are also within the latitude of developmental psychology. In order to understand the benefits of developmental psychology, a closer analysis of some articles relating to the subject is important.
Bjorklund, Pellegrini, D. "Child Development and Evolutionary Psychology". Child Development 71 (6), (2000): 1687–1708. Print.
In the introductory part of the article, the author discusses the scope of evolutionary psychology by deliberating on the perspectives of other scholars on the subject. According to Bjorklund, most research that have been carried out regarding the subject has focused on the mating and related behavioral patterns as well as social functioning among adult humans. The author also observes that there has been considerable focus on development and this, the author states, is based on the fact that it is the adult members of who reproduces. The author further observes that contrary to popular belief among scholars, personal differences in development are not necessarily as consequence of individual experiences but rather that such differences can be predicted and are based on adaptive reactions to environmental pressures.
The article outlines some assumptions within the scope of evolutionary psychology which have emerged since 1980s. The author creates emphases on the relationship between the evolutionary psychology and development. According to the article, evolutionary psychology incorporates the basic views of Darwin’s theory and the contributions made to the theory over the previous years. As such, the evolutionary psychology applies the basic tenets of Darwinian Theory and subsequent contributions to the human psychological functioning. The author acknowledges that there exist healthy disagreements as to the specifics of evolutionary theory and the manner it is applied in humans.
The article also introduces concepts which are relatable to evolutionally developmental psychology. These concepts include the developmental system methodology, development of evolved psychological aspects, and the differential influence of natural selection at diverse points of development. With regard to these concepts, the author discusses each. On the evolved psychological mechanism concept presupposes that the connection between evolution and human behavior is completed through psychological mechanisms. According to the author, natural selection is manifest on the cognitive level. To the author, cognitive level entails the information processing programs involved in solving life problems. Apart from the article foregoing concepts, the article also briefly discusses the role of environment in psychological mechanisms and concludes that environment plays an important role in development. On the evolutionary effects on child bearing, the author opines that there are external factors that are capable of influencing their survival and eventually their ability to reproduce. According to the article, such factors include the quality and quantity of parenting that the child is exposed to. Further, the author also examine the perceptive areas of research in developmental psychology that have benefited specific evolutionary perspective
According to the article, psychological mechanisms are important in helping humans solve real life problems. In relation to this, the author observes that some problems may turn out to be difficult to solve and this is indication that some things are hard or impossible to learn. In conclusion, the author acknowledges that evolutionary perspectives are important in seeking a common feature for understanding every aspect of human actions whether they are social, emotional, or cognitive in nature. It is clear from the article that the study of developmental psychology provides the best opportunity of understanding human functioning in respect of human development.
Johnson-Pynn, J. Fragaszy, M. & Cummins-Sebree, S. "Common territories in comparative and developmental psychology: The quest for shared means and meaning in behavioral investigations." International Journal of Comparative Psychology 16 (2003): 1–27. Print.
This article focuses on the developmental and comparative psychology and how these fields have influenced each other for years. More specifically the author discusses the contemporary focus of comparative and developmental studies that relate to the micro-development procedures and the environmental settings as variables in human and non-human behavior. The extent of the research in the article is integrative in that it takes into consideration familial structures and concepts across various disciplines. The article therefore presents research findings relating to personalities and developmental behavior in diverse species through integrative structures methodologies.
In the introductory part of the article, the author acknowledges the historical perspectives relating to developmental and comparative psychology. Here, the author looks into the Darwinian theory of evolution which provided considerable insights regarding the continuity of both the human and nonhuman life. As such, the author recognizes the importance of studying living things and comparing their adaptive activities and development to that of human beings. The author further provides a quality background or the developmental and comparative psychological studies by various scholars.
The article further converses the manner in which both developmental and comparative psychology can break from the nature and nurture inconsistencies which have been a consistent feature in the studies concerning developmental psychology. The author further looks into the credibility of arguing that some phenotype aspects are more or less hereditary than others. The writer also discusses the importance of studying self-organization within various perspectives and the understanding of behavioral development in different species.
Accordingly, the author discusses the contributions in the means of doing research while capturing the development of behavior and its adaptive abilities. The article emphasizes the importance of studying and observing nonhumans and isolating their behavior. This aspect according to the article is informative of the behavior of persons who are unable to communicate verbally and infants whose communication capabilities are developing. The author further deliberates on the microanalysis of problem solving and acknowledges the importance of problem solving activities. The article does not discuss the ability of infants to solve problems but rather how infant solutions become apparent. Subsequently, the article provides comprehensive information concerning the emotional adjustments and human development.
The importance of integrative developmental systems approach is also discussed. This discussion takes into consideration individual characteristics and context variables as well as the subsequent behavior change across species. This has been done through considering the contributions of various researchers who have integrated biology, ecological, and developmental systems as well as radical accounts of organisms. According to the author, developmental psychological theories can help in providing explanations towards the connection between personal preferences such as perceptions and movement inclinations. Further, the article asserts that developmental psychology and related theories can help in understanding the cognitive and the socio-emotional aspects of behavior development in children. It is also possible to evaluate the effects of over-crowded residential areas on the well-being of children, the connection between the access to welfare institutions and health centers and children welfare, and the effect of parental and peer support on children educational performance.
Towards the end, the article discusses the challenges of conducting a comparative and developmental psychology research. Some of the challenges conversed include the inability to track the development of cognitive abilities in nonhumans and humans from a comparable starting point. Consequently, behavior within different species of different ages and environment require an intense level of vigilance. However, the author confesses that the use of humans and nonhumans in the research is very informative.
Grusec, Joan, “Social Learning Theory and Developmental Psychology: The Legacies of Robert Sears and Albert Bandura” Developmental Psychology, 28 (5), (1992): 776-786. Print.
This article evaluates the historical perspective of the social learning theory. Grusec recognizes that the theory emerged as a consequence of an attempt by philosophers to explain the behavior of humans by fusing the stimulus and psychoanalytic reactions. The article centers on the work of Robert Sears and Albert Bandura. As such, Grusec focuses on Bandura’s developmental psychology contributions of between 1960s and 1970s. Despite the fact that the article discusses social learning theory in the perspective of Bandura and Sears, the author acknowledges that Sears’ theory does not have much influence in the contemporary notions of development.
Grusec uses current methodologies relating to the study of social progress to evaluate the contributions of the foregoing scholars. The article begins by assessing the contribution of Sears and his colleagues and their bid to merge learning and psychoanalytic theories in a bid to behaviors and social development. The author goes ahead to discuss the features of the process. Grusec further discusses the tests undertaken by Sears and his colleagues to test the theoretical proposals with regard to their study. The article offers a commentary as well as the limitations and successes associated with the theory developed by Sears and his colleagues. While discussing the Bandura’s contribution, Grusec notes that his contribution focused more on the cognitive behaviors of adults and children during social experiences. Consequently, the author discourses the mechanisms of development and eventually acknowledges that the studies undertaken by Sears and Bandura continue to inform subsequent developmental studies.
Butterworth, Gorge. Principles of Developmental Psychology: An Introduction (Principles of Psychology), Psychology Press, 1994. Print.
The book highlights some of the important features of developmental psychology. Butterworth begins by placing the subject in a historical context where by the text covers the effects of the evolutionary theory. This is meant to afford the reader a chronologic experience of the subject in order to lay a proper understanding of issues that concern developmental psychology. Consequently, the book discusses modern research with regard to three theorists namely Bowlby, Vyogotsky, and Piaget. Butterworth further discusses the works of the three developmental philosophers laying emphasis on the social, emotional, and intellectual features of development.
Butterworth acknowledges the fact that there is no conclusive developmental theory but, points out two deceptive approaches to development. The author also recognizes the fact that developmental psychology is predominantly studied from the perspective of children and the contents of the book affirms this. The book helps the reader to understand the interdependence of genetic and psychological processes which arise during the pre-natal development with regard to dialectal acquisition, aging, gender identity, and motor development.
With reference to the foregoing, psychological development study issues such as the degree of development through steady increase of knowledge in relation to human development phases. It encompasses the mental structures at birth and continued learning through day to day learning. Most scholars are concerned with the interaction between individual physical features, their conduct, environmental aspects, and their effect on growth while other scholars take a narrow-centered approach. The field of developmental psychology influences quite a lot of everyday studies such as forensic development, child psychopathology, and educational psychology. This form of study also acts as complementally to various basic psychology study focuses including the social, ecological, cognitive, and comparative psychological studies.
Bjorklund, Pellegrini, D. "Child Development and Evolutionary Psychology". Child
Development 71 (6), (2000): 1687–1708. Print.
Butterworth, Gorge. Principles of Developmental Psychology: An Introduction (Principles of
Psychology), Psychology Press, 1994. Print.
Grusec, Joan, “Social Learning Theory and Developmental Psychology: The Legacies of Robert
Sears and Albert Bandura” Developmental Psychology, 28 (5), (1992): 776-786. Print.
Johnson-Pynn, J. Fragaszy, M. & Cummins-Sebree, S. "Common territories in comparative and
developmental psychology: The quest for shared means and meaning in behavioral investigations." International Journal of Comparative Psychology 16 (2003): 1–27. Print.