How much of our behaviour is learned or innate? How much does the culture in which we are raised affect the person we become? What is the relationship between our childhood behaviours and experiences and our adult self? Developmental Psychology is the study of developmental processes across the range of human experience and abilities. This course provides a broad foundation in the discipline, with a primary focus on child and adolescent development. The course takes a topic-based approach, covering: (i) Biological and Motor Development, (ii) Perceptual Development, (iii) Cognitive Development, (iv) Play, (v) Language Development, (vi) Social Development, (vii) Emotional and Moral Development, and (viii) Developmental Disorders. A particular feature of the course is a dual emphasis on research and application. Students complete a laboratory report based on original research, and apply their theoretical and research-based knowledge to practical real life issues by writing a popular scientific article for the public and by raising their own ‘virtual child’.
This course can be taken as an HPO, please discuss with course convener.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Describe and evaluate different theoretical approaches to development.
2. Outline the course of development in several domains, including perception, cognition, language, emotion, and social and motor skill.
3. Identify factors which facilitate or impair typical development.
4. Demonstrate research skills through the writing of a lab report.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of how research in developmental psychology is relevant to understanding the behaviour of children and adolescents in daily life situations.
Indicative AssessmentTest-based Assessment:
Online quizzes 10% (LO 1-3)
End of semester exam 40% (LO 1-3)
A lab report 25% (LO 1, 4)
Two minor assignments based on laboratory work 25% (LO 1, 5)
HPO assessment: students complete a research-based HPO option in place of one of the minor laboratory assignments 10% (LO 1, 5)
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
12 X 2 hour lectures & 6 X 2 hour laboratory classes.
Requisite and Incompatibility
White, F., Hayes, B. & Livesey, D. (2016). Developmental Psychology: from infancy to adulthood (most recent edition). Pearson: Frenchs Forest, NSW
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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