Developmental psychology is the scientific study of systematic psychological, emotional, cognitive and perceptional changes that occur in human beings over the course oftheir life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire life span.
This field examines change acrossa broad range of topics including motor skills and other psycho-physiological processes; cognitive development involving areas such as problem solving, moral understanding, and conceptualunderstanding; language acquisition; social, personality, and emotional development; and self-concept and identity formation. The major contexts to consider when analyzing child psychology are: social context,cultural context, and socioeconomic context.
Developmental psychology includes issues such as the extent to which development occurs through the gradual accumulation of knowledge versus stage-likedevelopment, or the extent to which children are born with innate mental structures versus learning through experience. Many researchers are interested in the interaction between personalcharacteristics, the individual's behavior, and environmental factors including social context, and their impact on development; others take a more narrowly-focused approach.
Developmental psychology informsseveral applied fields, including: educational psychology, child psychopathology, and forensic developmental psychology. Developmental psychology complements several other basic research fields inpsychology including social psychology, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and comparative psychology.
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of the age-related changes that occurover the course of the human lifespan. Although early developmental theorists were mainly concerned with children, the focus of this field has now expanded to include changes over the entire human...