Developmental Psychology

Subject PSYC20008 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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: No prerequisistes are required for this subject.
Corequisites: No corequisistes are required for this subject
Recommended Background Knowledge: Prior coursework in the two Level 1 psychology subjects, Mind Brain and Behaviour 1 and Mind Brain and Behaviour 2 is recommended.
Non Allowed Subjects: 512221 Developmental Psychology 2
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards of Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison unit Website:


Assoc Prof Mary Ainley



12th floor Redmond Barry building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: = 61 3 8344 6377



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, neuropsychological, 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 adolescence; 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, adolescence 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:

  • critically review theories of development
  • evaluate the adequacy of developmental research questions and methodologies
  • interpret development research data
  • understand basic analytic techniques pertinent to development
  • construct defensible research hypotheses about developmental issues, and
  • write laboratory reports that reflect an understanding of dvelopmental psychological issues.

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

An examination of no more than two hours (60%) to be completed at the end of semester during the specified university examination period.

Attendance of at least 80% of the laboratory classes is a hurdle requirement. In case of failure to meet the hurdle requirement, additional work will be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

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

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • critically review research literatures
  • assess research claims
  • interpret research findings
  • evaluate research methods, and
  • write research reports
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Psychology Major

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