Child Development Essay

2345 WordsMar 2, 201510 Pages
INTRODUCTION Developmental psychology, devoted to understanding how children’s minds and behaviour change over the lifespan, has produced theories of child development that have been empirically tested and that can be applied to real concerns and issues. Such theories ‘formalize’ lay beliefs to some extent, but also in some cases challenge our everyday assumptions. About children and their development have varied across different periods of history and cultural contexts. Children as active participants in their own development, but in addition stresses the roles that other people and the culture the child grows up in play in fostering development. Social constructivism also contrasts with social learning theory, learning and development lies in social interaction, rather than in mere social observation. Behaviourism: Behaviourism was an approach driven by an attempt to treat psychology as an objective science. To do this, behaviourists focused only on directly observable, measurable events and behaviours. Consequently, they rejected theorizing about ‘mental events’ to explain why we do the things we do. The behaviourist approach considered how the environments that people live in influence their behaviour. Learning was defined as any relatively permanent change in behaviour produced by environmental events. The process of learning was referred to as ‘conditioning’ and two forms of conditioning were identified: classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning: Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) was a Russian neurophysiologist who studied the physiology of digestion. During this research he noticed that hungry dogs would salivate at the mere sight of the attendant who brought the food. He used this seemingly minor observation to develop his theory of classical conditioning,to begin with, food (the unconditioned stimulus) elicits salivation (the

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