Development can be regarded as the changes in behaviour that entail an adjustment by a child to his/her physical and social environment. The central theme is what causes the development of a certain psychological process. Is it the result of the maturing of the brain (nature) or environmental factors (nurture), or both? Do cultural differences play a role here? During the course, we will look at the processes and changes that play a role in the psychological change from conception to adolescence. 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 development theories. The social, emotional and moral development of the child will be discussed too, such as attachment to parents/caretakers and the development of shame and aggression. 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.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
Knowledge about: Development theories, methods of research, cognitive development, pre- and postnatal brain development, perceptual development, attachment, temperament, emotional and social development, language acquisition, information processing, moral development, learning theories and social cognition.
Leman, R.D & Bremner, A. (2012). Developmental psychology. London, McGraw-Hill; Siegler, R.S., Deloache, J.S., & Eisenberg, N., Saffran (2014). How children develop (4th ed.). New York: Worth; Smith, P.K., Cowie, H. & Blades, M. (2015). Understanding children’s development (6th ed). Chichester, Wiley; E-reader.