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Lifespan Development

Lifespan Development

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Lifespan Development

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  1. Lifespan Development Chapter 4

  2. Areas of lifespan Development • Physical development: changes in the body and its various systems. • Social Development: involves changes in an individual’s relationships with other people and their skills in interacting with others • Cognitive development: involves changes in an individual’s mental ability • Emotional development: involves changes in how an individual experiences different feelings and how these feelings are expressed.

  3. Lifespan • Infancy • Childhood • Adolescence • Early adulthood • Middle Adulthood • Old Age

  4. Human development is influenced by simultaneously occurring changes in each area Social Development Cognitive Development Emotional Development Physical Development

  5. Cognitive – eg: Language

  6. Social & Emotional

  7. Movement & coordination Example:


  9. How development proceeds: 1.Continuous V Discontinuous Adulthood • Continuous Development: gradual and ongoing changes throughout the lifespan without sudden shifts, with abilities in the earlier stages of development providing the basis of skills and abilities required for the next stages. • Discontinuous: involves distinct and separate stages, with different kinds of abilities occurring in each stage. Specific ways of thinking, feeling or socially interacting have identifiable start and end points. Infancy Adulthood Infancy

  10. 2. Sequential nature of Development • The development of many thoughts, feelings and behaviours occur in an orderly sequence. Sequences of development usually begin with simple thoughts, feeling and behaviours and progress to more complex ones. For example: -A baby moves from squealing and gurgling through to uttering individual words and then onto using sentences - A child learning to count and then progressing to adding numbers together

  11. Quantitative and qualitative changes • Quantitative changes: changes which are variations in the quantity (or amount) of a thought, feeling or behaviour. These are usually described in numbers. -For example the number of words spoken in relation to age. As one grows older, their vocabulary grows. Qualitative changes: Changes which vary in ‘quality’, ‘kind’ or ‘type’. These are usually described in words. -For example, as a child you don’t understand the concept of honesty, but now as adolescence you do.

  12. 3. Individual Differences in Development • No two individuals develop at exactly the same rate or in exactly the same way, even if they are identical twins What does that tell us about ‘Nature vs Nurture’? Discuss activity 4.5

  13. Hereditary & Environment • Hereditary- characteristics are passed on from parents to off-spring via genes. • Environment – all the experiences, objects & events to which we are exposed in our life times • Heredity? Environment? Mixture of both? Create a table with two columns ‘environment’ and ‘hereditary’. While watching the clip on the ‘wild child’ list all the characteristics that are influenced by either heredity or environment.

  14. Maturation • Sequential changes in the nervous system & other bodily structures • Automatic, internal • Controlled by our genes • ‘Principle of readiness’ • Nerves, bones, muscles need to be developed enough for the behaviour to occur

  15. Examples of maturation of nerves & bones

  16. Examples of Maturational developments • Sit before stand • Sounds before words • Adding numbers before starting algebra • When should a child start school?

  17. Sensitive Periods • Periods of rapid change when individual is more vulnerable to the environment • Eg: second 6 months of life sensitive to attachment • Eg: 1.5-3 years sensitive to language acquisition

  18. Cognitive Biological Different Perspectives on Development Behavioural Socio-cultural

  19. Research methods in development Longitudinal studyrepeated observations of the same variables over long periods of timeto study developmental trends across the life span Advantages • Permanence in development over time Disadvantages • Expensive • Takes time with participants (and researchers) not being available

  20. Research methods in development • Cross-sectional study • designed to look at a variable at a particular point in time. • To study developmental differences/similarities between groups eg: memory at different ages Advantages: • relatively inexpensive • easy to undertake • not too time-consuming. Disadvantages: • Differences maybe due to other variables • Eg: generational influences

  21. Research Methods Twin Studies • using identical (mono-zygotic) and non-identical (fraternal/di-zygotic) twins as participants. • Identical especially for nature vs nurture BUT danger (eg more likely to be treated the same by parents) • Personality and intelligence investigations Discuss 4.17 ranking

  22. Research Methods Adoption Studies • Children raised by different parents – nature vs nurture • IQ score studies indicate heredity plays a large role Selective Breeding • Using animals with short gestations to study traits longitudinally, with control of genes • Unethical in humans but can use

  23. Ethics in developmental research Remember: • Fully informed • Consent – how with a child? How with a dementia patient? • Confidentiality • Safety • Debrief

  24. Resources •