Developmental Psychology

Subject 512-227 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures and Laboratory/Tutorial

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of Lectures and 12 hours of Practical/Tutorial
Total Time Commitment: 36 contact hours with an estimated 120 hours time commitment
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Mary Ainley, Assoc Prof Robert Anthony Reeve
Subject Overview:

Developmental science attempts to answer questions about the ways in which: (1) nature and nurture together shape development; (2) development is continuous and/or discontinuous; (3) cognitive and sociocultural factors affect the developing person; and (4) the reasons for individual differences in psychological functioning.

This subject examines the ways in which biological, neurpsychological, cognitive, social, emotional, personality and cultural factors affect developmental functioning from conception and infancy, through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood. The focus is on the development of (1) conceptual, problem-solving, reasoning, thinking, theory-of-mind, and linguisitic competencies from infancy to adolscence; and (2) attachment relations, emotional regulation, self and identify, moral reasoning, family and peer relations across the life span. Contemporary theories of development are reviewed to determine how well they account for the nature of changes in infancy, childhood, adolscence and beyond.

A quantitative methods component will be integrated into the lecture, practical class, and assessment structure of this subject. The aim is to provide an understanding of, and practical experience with, the appropriate experimental design and statistical analysis techniques used to evaluate research in Developmental Psychology.


Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. critically review theories of development
  2. evaluate the adequacy of developmetnal research questions and methodologies
  3. interpret development research data
  4. understand basic analystic thechniques pertinent to development
  5. construct defensible research hypotheses about developmental issues, and
  6. write laboratory reports that reflect an understanding of dvelopmental psychological issues.

Laboratory report(s) of not more than 2000 words (40%) due mid semester

One end-of-semester 2 hour examination (60%)

Prescribed Texts: Siegler R., Deloache, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2006). How children develop (2nd Edition). New York: Worth Publishers.
Recommended Texts: PDFs of research articiles available via the Library's portal.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon completion of this subject students should have developed the generic skills that enable them to:

  1. critically review research literatures
  2. assess research claims
  3. interpret research findings
  4. evaluate research methods, and
  5. write research reports

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Mind, Brain & Behaviour 1 and 2 provide foundation knowledge for this second year subject.

A breadth sequence in Developmental Psychology could include: Developmental Psychology (PSYC20008), Developing Persons in Social Worlds*, Development of the Thinking Child*, Advanced Personality & Social Psychology.

Students are expected to access an Internet enabled computer on a regular basis. Students undertaking this subject will be expected to be familiar with the use of Statistical software packages such as SPSS.

* New subjects offered in 2010

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Psychology Major

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