The Developing Person Through the Life Span 8eby Kathleen Stassen Berger Chapter 1– Introduction PowerPoint Slidesdeveloped by Martin Wolfger and Michael James Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington Reviewed by Raquel Henry Lone Star College, Kingwood
Defining Development The scienceof human development… seeks to understand how and why people—all kinds of people, everywhere, of every age—change over time.
Understanding How and Why • Something that is empirical is based on observations, repeated experiences, verifiable experiments. It is not theoretical. • The scientific method is a way to answer questions using empirical research and data-based conclusions.
Understanding How and Why • Five Basic Steps of the Scientific Method • Begin with curiosity. • Develop a hypothesis. • Test the hypothesis. • Draw conclusions. • Report the results.
The Scientific Method Often, a sixth step is needed before the scientific community accepts conclusions. • Replication: The repetition of a study, using different participants.
The Nature-Nurture Debate • Nature refers to the influence of genes which we inherit. • Nurture refers to environmental influences, such as: • health and diet of the embryo’s mother • family • school • community • society
Critical and Sensitive Periods • A critical period is a time when certain things must occurfor normal development. • A sensitive period is when a particular development occurs most easily.
Observing Changes Over Time • Dynamic-Systems Theory A view of human development as an ongoing, ever-changing interaction between the physical and emotional being and between the person and every aspect of his or her environment, including the family and society.
The Life-Span Perspective An approach to the study of human development that takes into account all phases of life, not just childhood or adulthood. Development is Multidirectional • Over time, human characteristics change in every direction. • Several major theorists describe stages of development: Freud, Erickson, Piaget. • Others view development as a continuous process.
The Life-Span Perspective • Ecological-Systems Approach The view that in the study of human development, the person should be considered in all the contexts and interactions that constitute a life. (Later renamed bioecological theory.)
The Life-Span Perspective Development Is Multicontextual • Historical Context- All persons born within a few years of one another are said to be a cohort, a group defined by the shared age of its members.
The Life-Span Perspective Socioeconomic Context • socioeconomic status (SES) A person’s position in society as determined by income, wealth, occupation, education, and place of residence.
The Life-Span Perspective Development Is Multicultural • Culture - patterns of behavior passed from one generation to the next. • Vygotsky described the interaction between culture and education.
The Life-Span Perspective Development Is Multicultural • Ethnic group - People whose ancestors were born in the same region and who often share a language, culture, and religion • Race – A group of people who are regarded by themselves or by others as distinct from other groups on the basis of physical appearance.
The Life-Span Perspective Development Is Multidisciplinary • Genetics and neuroscience are two of the newer disciplines in lifespan research. • Every trait—psychological as well as physical—is influenced by genes.
The Life-Span Perspective Development Is Plastic • Human traits can be molded, yet people maintain a certain durability of identity (as plastic can). • Mirror neurons- Cells in an observer’s brain that respond to an action performed by someone else in the same way they would if the observer had actually performed it.
Using the Scientific Method Scientific Observation • Requires the researcher to record behavior systematically and objectively. • May be done in a naturalistic setting such as a home, school, or other public place. • May be done in a laboratory.
Using the Scientific Method • The Experiment establishes causal relationships among variables. • independent variable-variable that is introduced to see what effect it has on the dependent variable. • dependent variable- variable that may change as a result of whatever new condition or situation the experimenter adds.
Using the Scientific Method • experimental group- gets a particular treatment (the independent variable). • comparison group (also called a control group), which does not get the experimental group treatment.
Using the Scientific Method The Survey • Information is collected from a large number of people. • Acquiring valid survey data is not easy. • Some people lie, some change their minds. • Survey answers are influenced by the wording and the sequence of the questions.
Studying Development over the Life Span Cross-sectional Research • Groups of people of one age are compared with people of another age. Longitudinal Research • Collecting data repeatedly on the same individuals as they age. Cross-sequential Research • Study several groups of people of different ages (a cross-sectional approach) and follow them over the years (a longitudinal approach).
Cautions from Science Correlation and Causation • A correlation exists between two variables if one variable is more (or less) likely to occur when the other does. • Positive correlation - both variables tend to increase or decrease together. • Negative correlation -one variable tends to increase while the other decreases. • Zero correlation -no connection is evident. • Correlation is not causation
Cautions from Science Quantity and Quality • Quantitative research Provides data that can be expressed with numbers, such as ranks or scales. • Qualitative research Considers qualities instead of quantities. -Descriptions of particular conditions and participants’ expressed ideas are often part of qualitative studies.
Ethics • Each academic discipline and professional society involved in the study of human development has a code of ethics. • An Institutional Review Board (IRB) ensures that research follows established guidelines and remains ethical. • Participation is voluntary, confidential, and harmless. • Research subjects must give informed consent- understand the research procedures and any risks involved.