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  • Psychology portal

}} Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan. This field examines change across a broad range of topics including: motor skills, cognitive development, executive functions, moral understanding, language acquisition, social change, personality, emotional development, self-concept and identity formation.

Developmental psychology examines the influences of nature and nurture on the process of human development, and processes of change in context and across time. Many researchers are interested in the interaction between personal characteristics, the individual's behavior and environmental factors, including social context and the built environment. Ongoing debates include biological essentialism vs. neuroplasticity and stages of development vs. dynamic systems of development.

Developmental psychology involves a range of fields, such as, educational psychology, child psychopathology, forensic developmental psychology, child development, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and cultural psychology. Influential developmental psychologists from the 20th century include Urie Bronfenbrenner, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Barbara Rogoff, Esther Thelen, and Lev Vygotsky.


Developmental psychology sections
Intro   Historical antecedents    Theories   Nature and nurture  Mechanisms of development  Research areas  Research methods and designs  Life stages of psychological development   Parenting   See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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