Developmental Approach

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  • Created by: Kerrie27
  • Created on: 13-04-15 16:19

Developmental Approach

Developmental psychology is interested in discovering the psychological processes of development. 

This approach assumes that cognitive, emotional and behavioural development is an ongoing process and that such changes result from an interaction of nature and nurture.

Developmental psychologists assume that mental concepts change in important ways over time particularly in childhood, and these changes have a major influence on people's behaviours, judgements and attitudes at different ages. 

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Developmental Approach Strengths

A strength of this approach is that many studies in this area are longitudinal which means that they do get to investigate changes and how these changes are influenced. 

e.g Freud

e.g Farrington looks at social change over time. Comments on the process from delinquency to chronic offedning and then back to leading a successful life. 

Another strength of the developmental approach is that it can provide useful information about how we can better understand how children learn and deal with emotional difficulties and therefore improve the lives of children. It allows us to understand the effects of childhood. - practical applications, how adults should act around children. 

e.g Bandura

e.g Farrington focuses on the effects of childhood on criminal behaviour, poor upbringing (role models)

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Developmental Approach Strengths

A strength of this approach is that many studies in this area are longitudinal which means that they do get to investigate changes and how these changes are influenced. Allows us to see the effects of maturation on behaviour.

e.g Freud

e.g Kohlberg, moral development, followed up some participants after 3 year intervals.

Another strength of the developmental approach is that it can provide useful information about how we can better understand how children learn and deal with emotional difficulties and therefore improve the lives of children. It allows us to understand the effects of childhood. - practical applications, how adults should act around children. 

e.g Bandura

e.g Farrington, looks at how upbringing as a child affects the eventual criminality of a child. A disrupted family is identified as being a cause for persistent chronic offending. 

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Developmental Approach Weaknesses

A weakness of the developmental approach is a tendency to generalise findings from often very limited samples. The developmental approach often looks for general patterns of development based on non-representative samples. Lacking in generalisability and may ignore historical and cultural influences.

e.g Freud argued that all children experience psychosexual stages based on case studies of Little Hans. Samuel and Bryant generalised their findings about cognitive development from children in one town in the UK.

Another potential weakness wiht the developmental approach is that some research carried out has ethical issues because of the use of children. Children under the age of 16 require parental conest to participant, children cannot give informed consent - may not with to participate. Young children are very unlikelly to understand that they have the right to withdraw.

e.g Bandura, protection from harm frightening children. 

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