Unit 9: Developmental Psychology

Major Theories/Concepts

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Developments

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

Three Major Issues of Developmental Psychology

  • Nature vs. Nurture - This issue revolves around the relative contributions of both genetic inheritance (nature) and experience (nurture) on our development.
  • Continuity vs. Stages - There are different, opposing theories on whether or not our development is a gradual, continuous process, or a sequence of separate stages.
  • Stability vs. Change - This dilemma regards the persistence or evolution of our personality traits - do they persist or do they change?

Key Words

Here is a link to the quizlet account that contains flashcards for all of the vocabulary from the chapter:


Key People/Researchers

Jean Piaget - a developmental psychologist who created one of the leading theories of cognitive development

Lev Vygotsky - a Russian psychologist who emphasized that a child's mind grows through interactions with the social environment

Lawrence Kohlberg - a man who posed various moral dilemmas to people of varied ages and concluded that moral reasoning develops throughout 3 stages - preconventional, conventional, and postconventional morality

Erik Erikson - a man who established the stages of psychosocial development

Harry Harlow - a man who conducted an experiment with infant monkeys and determined that the monkeys preferred a comfortable, yet non-providing cheese cloth mother over a bare wire cylinder mother who provided nourishment

Konrad Lorenz - conducted research involving the process of imprinting and what objects other animals, like baby birds, will imprint

Mark Rosenzweig and David Krech -

Mary Ainsworth - a woman who designed strange situation experiments with monkeys in which the results demonstrated two different types of attachment - secure and insecure

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