PSY 201 Discussion Theories of Human Development

March 8, 2022
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PSY 201 Discussion Theories of Human Development

PSY 201 Discussion Theories of Human Development

Consider the following scenario: You are designing a research study to determine the effects of a new medication to treat bipolar disorder in children. Would you choose to conduct a correlational study or an experimental study? In addition, would you choose a cross-sectional or a longitudinal design? In explaining your choices, be sure to discuss (a) the pros and cons of the research designs you selected and (b) how they would affect the conclusions you are able to draw from your specific study. Finally, discuss what steps you would take to ensure compliance with APA ethical standards for conducting research with children.

DQ2 Nature-Nurture Debate

The nature-nurture debate is a long standing issue in Developmental psychology.

Explain what is meant by the “nature-nurture” debate.

Choose one aspect of your own development (physical, social, cognitive, personality) and explain how it was influenced by nature, nurture, or both.

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PSY 201 Discussion Theories of Human Development

PSY 201 Discussion Theories of Human Development

Locate and read a scholarly research study article that examines how nature, nurture, or both contribute to some aspect of child development. Summarize the research findings and discuss what you found most interesting about the results. Include the APA article reference.

The Swiss cognitive theorist Jean Piaget is one of the most influential figures in the study of child development. He developed his cognitive-developmental theory based on the idea that children actively construct knowledge as they explore and manipulate the world around them. Piaget was interested in the development of “thinking” and how it relates to development throughout childhood. His theory of four stages of cognitive development, first presented in the mid-20th century, is one of the most famous and widely-accepted theories in child cognitive development to this day.

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Jean Piaget: Piaget’s theory of child development is still one of the most widely accepted in modern psychology.

Stages of Cognitive Development
Piaget believed that as children grow and their brains develop, they move through four distinct stages that are characterized by differences in thought processing. In his research, he carefully observed children and presented them with problems to solve that were related to object permanence, reversibility, deductive reasoning, transitivity, and assimilation (described below). Each stage builds upon knowledge learned in the previous stage. Piaget’s four stages correspond with the age of the children and are the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages.

Sensorimotor Stage
The sensorimotor stage occurs from birth to age 2. It is characterized by the idea that infants “think” by manipulating the world around them. This is done by using all five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Children figure out ways to elicit responses by “doing”, such as pulling a lever on a music box to hear a sound, placing a block in a bucket and pulling it back out, or throwing an object to see what happens. Between 5 and 8 months old, the child develops object permanence, which is the understanding that even if something is out of sight, it still exists (Bogartz, Shinskey, & Schilling, 2000). For example, a child learns that even though his mother leaves the room, she has not ceased to exist; similarly, a ball does not disappear because a bucket is placed over it.

By the end of this stage, children are able to engage in what Piaget termed deferred imitation. This involves the ability to reproduce or repeat a previously-witnessed action later on; rather than copying it right away, the child is able to produce a mental representation of it and repeat the behavior later on. By 24 months, infants are able to imitate behaviors after a delay of up to three months.

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