Full course description
Development can be regarded as the changes in brain and behaviour that entail an adjustment by a child to his/her physical and social environment. The central theme is how and why a certain psychological process develops. Is it the result of the maturing of the brain (nature) or environmental factors (nurture), or both? During the course, we will look at the processes that play a role in the psychological change from conception to young adulthood. Maturation and development of the central nervous system is one of the subjects that will be studied (biological development). Students will also look at the way in which children learn to observe and think (perceptual and cognitive development), which will include the discussion of a number of theories, including the Piagetian and information-processing developmental theories. The social, emotional and moral development of the child will be discussed too, such as attachment to parents/caretakers. The effect of group processes will primarily be discussed in relation to adolescent development. Other important subjects are language acquisition, information processing and the development of social cognition.
- can name and explain classical topics in developmental psychology, such as temperament, information processing, learning theories, and social cognition;
- can summarize the processes and (age-related) changes relevant in developmental psychology and can explain relevant developmental theories;
- can explain cognitive development, perceptual development, language acquisition, moral development, and emotional and social development;
- can reproduce the stages of pre- and postnatal brain development, and understand concepts relevant in the context of growing and the development of the central nervous system;
- can understand, analyse, and evaluate research and research methods published in the field of developmental psychology.