Developmental Psychology: An Evolutionary Perspective
Developmental Psychology: An Evolutionary Perspective

Developmental Psychology: An Evolutionary Perspective

Lead Author(s): M.D. Rutherford

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Developmental Psychology: An Evolutionary Perspective introduces the field of developmental psychology from an evolutionary and adaptationist perspective.

Table of Contents

1.         What is developmental psychology?

  • What is developmental psychology?
  • What is Development?
  • Why Study the Developmental Psychology of children?
  • The Early History of Developmental Psychology
  • Recent Modern Developmental Psychology
  • An Evolutionary Perspective on Development
  • Current Issues in Developmental Psychology
  • Organizing Themes

2.         Theories and Methods in Developmental Psychology

  • Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development
  • Associationism and Social Learning Theory
  • Systems Theories
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Methods of Developmental Psychology
  • Within and Between Subjects design
  • Techniques for Developmental research

3.         Foundations of Development

  • A Modern Understanding of Evolution
  • Darwin’s Problem: Blending Inheritance
  • Mendelian Inheritance
  • Chromosomes, Genes, and Alleles
  • Evolutionary Processes
  • What does DNA do, anyway?
  • Interactionism: The Bidirectional Influences of Developmental Resources
  • Genetic effects are not just one-to-one
  • Meiosis, Conception, and Pregnancy
  • Birth
  • Brain Development
  • Early Motor Development

4.         Heritability and IQ

  • Understanding nature and nurture; understanding causality
  • Heritability
  • The heritability statistic
  • Intelligence
  • IQ as a case study of heritability
  • What Heritability Is Not
  • Norms of reaction

5.         Perceptual Development

  • The function of perception: Adaptive Behaviour
  • Early competencies and interests
  • Prenatal Perceptual development
  • Postnatal perceptual development
  • Contancies
  • The Nobel Prize-Winning Work of Hubel and Wiesel: Experience-Expectant Development
  • Visual Deprivation and Development in Humans
  • Associationist Accounts of Visual Development
  • What would developmental systems theorists say?
  • Face perception
  • Sleeper effects

6.         Concepts, Categories and Essences

  • What Are Categories and Concepts?
  • Instinct Blind to Concepts
  • Universality of Children’s Concepts
  • The Function of Categories and Concepts
  • Function matters in early concept formation
  • The Classic View of Categories
  • A Prototype and Family Resemblance View
  • What Would Piaget Say about Children’s Categorization?
  • Concept Development
  • Essences and Essentialism
  • Basic Levels and Hierarchical Categorization
  • Neuropsychological perspective on concepts
  • What Would Evolutionary Psychologists Say about Children’s Categorization
  • What Would Associationists Say about Children’s Categorization?

7.         Language Development

  • Language is a part of our psychology
  • What Would Systems Theorists Say about Language Acquisition?
  • Language as a Case Study in Evolutionary Psychology
  • Noam Chomsky and the Language Acquisition Device
  • What would Piaget say about Language Acquisition?
  • Infant Speech Perception
  • Proto-Babbling and Babbling
  • Word learning
  • Social influences on Children’s Language Acquisition
  • Learning Grammar
  • What would associationists say about language acquisition?
  • Critical Periods for Language Learning
  • Children generate language
  • Language is species-specific
  • Can a Gene Cause the Development of Grammar?

8.         Knowledge Acquisition

  • The acquisition of knowledge
  • Prepared learning
  • Core knowledge
  • Areas of Core Knowledge
  • A cross-species comparison

9.         Social Development

  • Social contact as a need
  • The Social Brain Hypothesis
  • Big brain and Long Childhood
  • What would Piaget say about Social Cognitive Development?
  • What would Associationists Say?
  • Human-Specific Social Cognition
  • Early Social Cognitive Development
  • Play
  • Animacy and intentionality perception
  • Early Perception of Social Categories
  • Theory of mind
  • Autism: what if there were no theory of mind?

10.       Emotional Development

  • Defining Emotion
  • Emotional Development
  • Temperament
  • Personality
  • Attachment
  • Deprivation
  • Self Concept and Self Esteem
  • Psychological Adaptations for Culture

11.       Family and other relationships

  • Protracted Social Development
  • Humans as Cooperative Breeders
  • Parenting Styles
  • Ecologically Dependant Parenting Strategies
  • Families as Systems
  • Siblings
  • Birth Order
  • Parental investment theory
  • Peers as the Agents of Socialization

12.       Sex and Gender

  • Why look at gender?
  • Gender Roles in the EEA
  • Adaptive Sex Differences
  • The Development of sex and gender
  • Understanding Gender
  • Puberty
  • Views of Gender development
  • The Reimer Twins: a natural test of the socialization theory of gender
  • Intersex
  • The transgender experience
  • Relative life expectancy
  • Cultural differences in mating and parenting

13.       Altruism, Cooperation, and Moral Development

  • Morality and Prosocial Behaviour
  • Classic Views of Moral Development
  • Twentieth Century Views on Moral Development
  • Turiel’s Social Domain Theory
  • The Function of Morality
  • What Would Evolutionary Psychologists say?
  • Getting Altruism off the Ground
  • Early Moral Development
  • The Development of Social Exchange Reasoning
  • The Development of Sexual Morals
  • Teaching Morals
  • Moral Intuition or Rational Moral Decision-Making?
  • Do other species have a moral psychology?