Evaluate the extent to which developmen

Topics: Psychology, Developmental psychology, Cognitive psychology Pages: 2 (593 words) Published: December 8, 2014
 Evaluate the extent to which development across the lifespan can be explained by one theoretical perspective. Developmental psychology, as a discipline, is currently undergoing a paradigmatic/world view change. Consequently, several different theoretical approaches to the study of development and the life course have been proposed and advocated. The three primary approaches currently being debated include the structural, information processing/cognitive, and life-span developmental/developmental dimensions approaches. The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences and similarities between these three broad approaches. However, this exposition would be incomplete without a discussion of the concept of world views (Kuhn, 1970; Pepper, 1942). An individual's theoretical position is affected by their world views. This world view not only affects how an individual conceptualizes a particular field of study but also influences the questions they ask within that field of study. Therefore, this paper will also include a discussion of the three major world views influencing developmental psychology: the organismic, mechanistic,, and contextual world views (Pepper, 1942). The influence of the contextual world view on the conceptualization of the individual in relation to developmental psychology can be described as follows: First, the individual is seen as constantly changing. In addition, the change that occurs is viewed as an interaction of the individual and the context within which they live. Thus, a developmental psychologist operating from this perspective would examine the interaction of biological, psychological, historical, and sociological factors on an individual's development; the gestalt including not only the individual but also the context/culture within which the individual develops. Therefore, this perspective takes a holistic/ecological view of development. Second, the individual is seen as both active and reactive. Development comes from...
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