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PSYC 150 Psychology

Human Development- Lesson Overview
Imagine a brand-new baby and think about what that baby can and cannot do. What abilities will the baby definitely develop, without any help or teaching? Which skills might require a parent’s teaching or assistance? Consider the example of tears: when babies are born, they do not produce tears when they cry. Tears are not produced by the eyes until later in infancy. This is something that will occur naturally, without any particular experiences or learning required. What other changes will occur in this way, without human intervention? What changes definitely require the help and support of caregivers?

Developmental psychology examines changes throughout the lifespan, but you will notice that the early years of life—infancy and childhood—receive much of the attention. This is partly because the changes during this period are so dramatic, but also because some types of development (the acquisition of language, for example) can only occur during this period. Although we will discuss development through the
entire human lifespan, this module will focus on the first few years of life when the right combination of biological influences and environmental opportunities is so crucial.
Learning Outcomes
The learning outcomes for this module are:

1. Compare and contrast the stages and associated behaviours proposed by major theories of human development.

2. Critique major theories of human development.
Main Topics
  • The study of development
  • The foundations of development: genetics and prenatal influences
  • Physical development
  • Cognitive development
  • Social development
  • Development in older adults

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