Introduction to Lifespan Development Carolyn R. Fallahi, Ph. D.
Human Development • Definition: The scientific study of how people change and stay the same over time. • Two types of changes: • Quantitative – weight & height, # words spoken. • Qualitative – moving from a beginning reader to an emergent reader to a full reader.
Human Development • Some things are consistent; some things are not. • Some aspects of human development are more predictive than others.
Human Development • Goal: • To describe human development • To explain • To predict • To possibly modify
Human Development • Five aspects of development • Physical Development • Intellectual or Cognitive Development • Personality Development • Social Development • Moral Development
Human Development • Major Development in Eight Periods of the Lifespan • Prenatal • Infancy and Toddlerhood (B-3) • Early Childhood (3-6) • Middle childhood (6-12) • Adolescence (12-20) • Young Adulthood (20-40) • Middle Age (40-65) • Late Adulthood (65 and up)
Human Development • Issue of average • Issue of individual differences • Things that can influence development • Heredity • environment
Human Development • Normative age-graded influences • Normative history-graded influences • Normative history-graded influences • Nonnormative life events
Ecological Theory • Urie Bronfenbrenner (1979) • One of the founders of “Head Start” • Microsystem • Mesosystem • Exosystem • Macrosystem
Ethological theory • Behavior is strongly influenced by biology. • Behavior is tied to evolution. • Behavior is characterized by critical or sensitive periods.
Ethological theory • Karl Lorenz (1903-1989)
Lorenz & ethological theory • Imprinting: rapid, innate learning within a critical period of time that involves attachment to the first moving object seen (Lorenz’s geese became attached to him).
Lorenz & ethological theory • Critical period: a fixed time period early in development during which certain behaviors optimally emerge.