The study of human development is a rich and varied subject. We all have personal experience with development, but it is sometimes difficult to understand exactly how and why people grow, learn and change. Developmental psychology is one branch of psychology that seeks to understand and explain this process through the entire lifespan. Learn more about how some of psychology's most renowned thinkers have attempted to describe and explain the story of human development.
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Do Actions Speak Louder than Words?
Psychologist Albert Bandura demonstrated the powerful effects of observation on learning and development. According to social learning theory, behaviors can be learned through observation and modeling. Bandura's initial work has been expanded on significantly over the past 30 years, including research into the effects of media violence on behavior. Explore the topic in greater depth in this article on social learning theory.
How Does Moral Reasoning Develop?
Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg modified and expanded upon Piaget's work to form a theory that explained the development of moral reasoning. Piaget described a two-stage process of moral development, while Kohlberg theory of moral development outlined six stages within three different levels. Kohlberg extended Piaget's theory, proposing that moral development is a continual process that occurs throughout the lifespan. Learn more about Kohlberg's theory of moral development.
How Do Cognitive Abilities Develop?
After receiving his doctoral degree at age 22, Jean Piaget began a career that would have a profound impact on both psychology and education. After working with Alfred Binet, Piaget developed an interest in the intellectual development of children. Based upon his observations, he concluded that children were not less intelligent than adults, they simply think differently. Albert Einstein called Piaget's discovery "so simple only a genius could have thought of it." Learn more about the various concepts and stages of Piaget's theory of cognitive development.