Developmental Psychology

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Career Review Paper on Developmental Psychology Developmental psychology is a scientific approach that aims to explain how children and adults change over time. A substantial amount of theories within this discipline focuses on childhood development because this is the period in an individual's lifespan where the most change occurs. Developmental psychologists analyze a wide range of theoretical areas. These areas range from biological, social, emotional and cognitive perspectives. Psychologists from Western cultures have led empirical research in developmental psychology and have set three goals. These are to describe, explain and to augment development (Baltes, Reese, & Lipsitt, 1980). History of Developmental Psychology Developmental…show more content…
However, the beginning of developmental psychology as a specific discipline can be traced back to 1882 when a German psychologist, Wilhelm Preyer published a booked called “The Mind of the Child”. In his book, Preyer describes the development of his daughter from birth to the age of two and a half years. Preyer thoroughly used scientific procedure when studying the many abilities his daughter developed. In 1888, Preyer’s publication was translated to English. By this time, theories in developmental psychology had already established 47 empirical studies from Europe, North America and…show more content…
Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development explains how a child constructs a mental model of the world. Piaget’s work was described as genetic epistemology. Piaget proposed 4 stages of development. These are the sensorimotor stage (birth to age two), pre-operational stage (age 2 to age 7), concrete operational stage (age 7 to age 11), and the formal operational stage (age 11 to adolescence and adulthood). Piaget proposed that each child goes through the same stages in the same order and that child development is determined by biological maturation and interaction with the environment. Each child has individual differences in the rate at which they progress through each stage and some individuals may never reach the later stages. In the sensorimotor stage, the main achievement is object permanence. This is having the ability to know if an object still exists even if it is hidden. It requires a mental schema of the object to be formed. The preoperational stage is attaining the ability to think about objects symbolically. Piaget considered the concrete operational stage to be a major turning point in a child’s cognitive development because it marks the beginning of logical thinking. In the last stage, the formal operational stage, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts and logically test

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