Essay on Development Of The Field Of Psychology

2048 Words Dec 13th, 2016 9 Pages
There is a popular idiom of an unknown source that states, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” When it comes to the field of psychology, acquiring knowledge of development is equal to learning how to fish. Development is the basis of every part of psychology and without an adequate understanding it would be difficult to discern what is psychologically correct and what is not.
Development can best be described as a systematic, organized, and purposeful change. This change is related to age in a lawful way, such as that certain changes should occur coinciding with a child’s increasing age. The way this change is studied has changed over the years as field of developmental psychology fluctuated with the times. The initial method to study these changes was primarily through description and framed in a narrative that emphasized normality as compared to others. Study was focused on data collection attained through observation and these methods continued up through the 1940s. Then a shift came along in which the emphasis flipped to be on explanation of these changes, abstract constructs that cared less about normality, and mechanisms of development.
A discussion of development in any capacity, especially psychological, would be remiss without mentioning Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Darwin held a nativist perspective on development, the mindset that behavior is innate rather than learned. He came…

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