The psychological development of an individual involves complex interactions between biological, psychological and social factors. In this area of study students explore how these factors influence different aspects of a person’s psychological development. They consider the interactive nature of hereditary and environmental factors and investigate specific factors that may lead to development of typical or atypical psychological development in individuals, including a person’s emotional, cognitive and social development and the development of psychological disorders.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify the varying influences of nature and nurture on a person’s psychological development, and explain different factors that may lead to typical or atypical psychological development.
The complexity of psychological development:
Atypical psychological development:
What are developmental milestones?
Much like physical development, psychological development occurs in an orderly fashion. There are stages of development where the brain is more pliable and ‘ready’ to advance thought processes or learn.
Our psychological development depends on having particular experiences at these crucial times.
Psychological development occurs in either a sensitive period or a critical period. Most sensitive and critical periods appear in the early years of life.
Video: Behavioural genetics
Behavioural geneticist Robert Plomin on twin studies, genetic influence of parents on their children, and 1% of DNA that makes people different.
Video: Monkeys and Morality: Crash Course Psychology #19
In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank takes a look at a few experiments that helped us understand how we develop as human beings.
Video: Harlow's Studies on Dependency in Monkeys
Harry Harlow shows that infant rhesus monkeys appear to form an affectional bond with soft, cloth surrogate mothers that offered no food but not with wire surrogate mothers that provided a food source but are less pleasant to touch.
Video: John Bowlby's 44 Juvenile Thieves: Methodology and the Attachment Theory
John Bowlby's theory of 'Maternal Deprivation' can be traced back to his research known as '44 Juvenile Thieves'. However the methodology of the time had severe limitations which caused Bowlby to draw causations based on correlations which were unfounded.
Go to Simply Psychology's article, Bowlby's Attachment Theory, for more information.
Video: The Strange Situation Experiment
Original video with a great explanation to Mary Ainsworth's famous attachment experiment.