Developmental Psychology And Lev Vygotsky's Cognitive Theory Of Development

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The purpose of this paper is to briefly look at the history and research methods of developmental psychology, how it is applied today in empirical studies, and explore my current career path in this field. Developmental psychology is a sub-field of psychology that began in the late 19th century due to an increased interest in the development of children. Two relevant developmental psychology theories are Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory and Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Theory of Development. Developmental psychologists utilize various research methods such as observation and archival research to help them answer questions and gain a better understanding of how and why children and adults change over time. Two empirical studies show that …show more content…
According to the American Psychological Association “The study of developmental psychology is essential to understanding how humans learn, mature and adapt,” (“Understanding Developmental Psychology,” 2016, par. 1). Developmental psychology began in the late 19th century when there was an interest in how children developed into adulthood (Barrouillet, 2015). Early developmental psychologists focused principally on changes that occurred in people from birth to adulthood. They wanted to explain the intellectual, social and emotional development of preschool and school-aged children (Barrouillet, 2015). In 1916 American psychologist Lewis Terman, who believed intelligence was inherited, introduced of the test known today as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test which led to a number of studies about children’ s intellectual development (Barrouillet, 2015). During the 1900s there were numerous key figures that dominated the field of Developmental Psychology with their theories of human development. Some of the more prominent ones are Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Sigmund Freud. There are many theories as to how a child learns and behaves. Some researchers felt that a child’s environment played a key role in their development while others felt that a child learned from watching and being taught by …show more content…
This theory tremendously impacted and altered normal opinions of how personal thinking process improved during childhood (Barrouillet, 2015). Piaget made several detailed observational studies of cognition from children age birth and developed a series of simple tests to reveal different cognitive abilities in children (Barrouillet, 2015). Piaget theorized that children intellectually develop through a series of steps and sequence (Barrouillet, 2015). They are sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage (Barrouillet, 2015). Overall, Piaget felt that learning is an ongoing active

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