Major Developmental Issues
1. The First Year of Life
Infant reflexes; Social development during the first year of life including the social smile and onset of fear of strangers.
2. The Formation of Attachments
Imprinting; Attachment (Bowlby) including cross-cultural studies; Harlow and surrogate mothers; Relevance of animal studies in child development.
3.Consequences of Breakdowns in Attachments
Maternal deprivation; Implications of theories of attachment and maternal deprivation when placing children with surrogates.
4. The Home, Family and School
Group vs family care and studies of effects of maternal employment and father absent families; Importance of peers and siblings.
5. Basic Principles of Research Methods
Nature and purpose of research, what is an experiment, supporting and refuting hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, control of variables, standardised instructions and procedures, methods of sampling, design of investigations.
6.The Development of Visual Perception
Introduction to the nature/nurture debate on visual perception; Fantz – form perception; Gibson and Walk – depth perception; how the physiology of the human visual system helps us judge depth and distance; Bower – size constancy; animal experiments on early sensory deprivation.
7.The Development of Language and Communication
Development of non-verbal communication in humans, gestures etc; comparisons with non-human primates; outline of language development in humans; including naturalistic observational in humans; including naturalistic observational studies and criticisms of these; Innate and reinforcement theories.
8.Intelligence and Intelligence Testing
Definitions of intelligence; mental age and IQ; Tests of intelligence; Advantages and disadvantages of IQ testing.
9.The Nature/Nurture Debate in the Study of Intelligence
Twins studies; stability of IQ; Are early experiences decisive for later development?
10.Data Collection and Interpretation
Tables and histograms, correlation and scattergrams; Mean; Range; Drawing conclusions from data.