Developmental Psychology

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Developmental Psychology

This section of the course will build on the material covered in the Developmental section of Psychology 1. In particular, we will explore in more depth the age-related changes throughout human childhood and adolescence, and how these changes are related to atypical development and psychopathology. Key issues to be addressed include:

  • How do children develop the social and cognitive abilities that are relevant to their understanding of the world around them? For example, how do their mental representations of beliefs, desires and emotions change with age?
  • How are children’s brain and behavioural development influenced by their interactions with their environment?

The lectures are accompanied by a 2-hour lab and a 1-hour tutorial.

Lecture 19:
Child and adolescent development: theoretical, biological and methodological considerations
Why should we study child and adolescent development? This lecture will provide an overview of the theoretical, biological and methodological issues that should be taken into account when studying growth and development in children. There are many ways to study child development and specific methodologies will be explored.
50 George Square, Lecture Theatre G.03.
Monday, 4 November, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 20:
Perceptual and Motor Development
A newborn baby is equipped with incredible abilities to learn and grow. This lecture will provide an overview of the development of infant perception with a particular focus on methods and important studies that have been conducted to examine these changes.
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre C.
Tuesday, 5 November, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 21:
Language, cognitive and intellectual development
All children proceed from showing no language use in the first year of life to producing and comprehending complex constructions by the time they are toddlers. The process of gaining language, cognitive growth and intellectual development will be investigated.
Appleton Tower, Lecture Theatre 5.
Thursday, 7 November, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 22:
Social development
Healthy social and emotional development helps a child become an adult who communicates well with others, listens to different points of view before acting, and shows tolerance for other people. These different aspects of social and emotional development, and the importance of information conveyed through the eyes, joint attention, pointing, gaze following, social referencing, recognition of the self, and the development of a Theory of Mind will be discussed.
50 George Square, Lecture Theatre G.03.
Monday, 11 November, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 23:
Adolescent development
Adolescence is a time of incredible physical and social change. This is the period of transition between childhood and life as an adult. The role of puberty, cognitive changes, gender identity, familial relationships, cultural influences and mental health will be examined.
David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre C.
Tuesday, 12 November, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 24:
Developmental psychopathology
Developmental psychopathology is an approach to understanding the developmental processes that contribute to, or protect against, psychopathology. This lecture will provide an overview of the conceptualisation of development and psychopathology, with a particular focus on early neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Appleton Tower, Lecture Theatre 5.
Thursday, 14 November, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Learning Outcomes: 

After engaging with the lectures and reading materials, students should be able to:

  • Understand the main stages of child and adolescent development and how this may affect the assessment of atypical development and psychopathology.
  • Understand the complexity and diversity of the interplay between cognitive, social and biological factors in children’s development.
  • Assess the extent to which different theoretical perspectives on development are supported by relevant research evidence and are potentially compatible with each other.
  • Give examples of practical implications derived from theoretical perspectives and the research findings that support them.

The primary recommended text is:
Keil, F. (2014). Developmental Psychology: The Growth of Mind and Behavior. W. W. Norton & Company; International student edition.

Further reading on several of the lecture topics can be found in:
Smith, P.K., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (2011). Understanding children's development. (5th Edition). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Other specific references will also be given during the lecture block.