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Psychology Spotlight10

The Stages of Child Development

Thursday November 8, 2012
development stages

The study of child development is one of the largest and most popular sub-fields within psychology. There are many different ways to think about the development of children, and numerous theories have emerged to explain different aspects of how personality, language, social behavior, and cognitive skills emerge and change throughout a child's early years.

These changes are often broken down into a series of developmental stages, such as Piaget's cognitive stages and Erikson's psychosocial stages. This handy summary chart of the developmental stages offers a quick overview of some of the best-known stages approaches to development.

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Explore Psychology History in these Psychologist Biographies

Wednesday November 7, 2012
psychology biographies

I recently had a student ask me why it was necessary to study the history of psychology. She is currently taking a psych history class that focuses largely on exploring the lives of some of the most eminent thinkers within psychology. For some people, including this particular student, the subject can be dry, boring, and difficult. Obviously, there are plenty of great reasons to study psychology history. In order to understand psychology today, it is important to have a solid grasp on the major events that have shaped the field.

As you might imagine, the unique experiences and personal histories psychology's greatest thinkers contributed to their views of thought and behavior. These individual perspectives greatly influenced the theories proposed by some of psychologies best-known figures. For example, Erik Erikson developed a lifelong interest in identity after struggling with his own sense of self. His experiences played a major role in the formation of his psychosocial theory of development and also led him to coin the term "identity crisis."

Even if you do not have a particularly strong interest in history, the subject doesn't have to be boring. Looking at the lives and personalities of the thinkers who contributed to psychology's history is a great way of adding interest and depth to your studies.

If you want to learn more about psychology history, then check out our always-growing collection of psychology biographies, featuring profiles of major thinkers ranging from Anna Freud to Kurt Lewin.

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Psychology Careers That Involve Working With Kids

Tuesday November 6, 2012
child psychology careers

Do you love psychology and enjoy working with children? Then consider combining the two by selecting a career that involves working with kids. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of career paths within psychology that offer opportunities to work with children. Child psychology and school psychology are obvious options, but others choices include areas such as social work, art therapy and counseling. Learn more about some child-related careers including educational requirements and salary ranges in this article on ten different psychology careers that involve working with children.

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Where to Look for Sources for Your Psychology Papers

Monday November 5, 2012
finding sources

I often receive questions from students who need help finding sources for their psychology papers. In many cases, their instructor requires them to use a specific number of a certain source. For example, the instructor might require students to use a total of ten sources, with at least five of those being journal articles.

However, students often have a tough time figuring out where to begin their research. When you are searching for information on a specific topic, a great way to find relevant research is to locate a book on the subject and then flip back to the reference section. Usually, you'll find a number of different journal articles that might be related to your topic.

Visiting your school or local library is also a must. Most libraries have subscriptions to journal databases such as PsycNET (http://psycnet.apa.org/) and EBSCOhost (http://search.ebscohost.com/). One of the best ways to find information quickly is to ask a librarian. They know all kinds of handy search techniques and strategies to find what you're looking for.

Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) can also be a great research tool. In some cases, you can find full-text books and journal articles online, but in other instances you will need to write down the reference information and take it into a library to find a hard copy.

Explore more tips in this article on how to find sources for your psychology papers.

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