CH 1 Concepts Lifespan Developmental Psychology

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CH 1 Concepts Lifespan Developmental Psychology
2013-05-17 18:15:54

The Life Span Human Development for Helping Professionals
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  1. There are many models or theories of development. There are three classes of models.  What are they? Give examples and explanations.
    • 1. Stage
    • 2. Incremental
    • 3. Multidimensional (systems) models

    Stages are periods of time during which a person’s activities have certain characteristics in common. A person’s ability in one stage, let’s say on cognitive reasoning, is very different than a person at another stage. Often there is rapid change between two stages. The metaphor of a staircase is helpful to consider. Freud’s theory of personality development, Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, and Piaget’s cognitive development theory are examples.

    Incremental models are best conceptualized as a “rising mountainside.” The big difference between these models and stages models is that change is steady and specific to behaviors or mental activities. Learning theories (classical and operant conditioning, modeling) and information processing theories are examples.

    Multidimensional (or systems) models suggest there are layers (or levels) of interacting causes for behavioral change. The example used in the book is helpful. The boy had biological change (increased levels of testosterone at puberty) which led to him seeking an aggressive sport. If he then becomes successful at wrestling, he may have more status (social change). This then may lead to additional increases in his testosterone levels. What happens in one level will always impact another level. Specific names for these models include the transactional model, relational model, or epigenetic model. To use another metaphor, think of a vine growing through a forest when considering a systems model to development. The vine and forest will both impact each other.
  2. Nature & Nurture basic concept
    Development is always an outcome of the interaction between genes and environment.
  3. Critical Periods vs. Plasticity
    Can a person learn a new skill at any point (plasticity) or do they need to learn this at a certain time (critical period)?
  4. Qualitative and quantitative change
    Some theories of development emphasize qualitative change (what changes) and others emphasize how much has changed. Regardless, development is seen as advancement.