Development changes in direction (dynamic). It is not static/fixed, or always liner (straight line).
Humans develop in many different contexts that profoundly affect their development. These include: physical surroundings, family patterns, historical context, and socioeconomic context.
Historical context (Corhort)
People that are born within a few years of one another are more likely to be affected by the same values, events (9/11), technologies, and culture.
The belief that developmentalists need to examine all systems surrounding the development of each person. Includes microsystems, exosystems, and macrosystems. Less important systems include the chronosystem and mesosystem.
A person's immediate surroundings. Includes family, classroom setting, religious group, and peer group.
Local institutions such as schools and churches.
Larger social institutions including cultural values, economic policies, and political processes.
The patterns of behavior that are passed from one generation to the next. This includes values, customs, clothes, dwellings, cuisine, and assumptions.
Many academic fields contribute data and insight to the science of development.
When there is a problem with development, professionals can help improve the lives of the individuals. Provides hope (change is possible) and realism (each developing person must build on what has come before, so one must be realistic regarding how much change is possible).
What makes developmental science challenging?
It is based on objective evidence, but laden with subjective values and perceptions.
Steps of scientific method
Ask a question, develop a testable hypothesis, test the hypothesis/make observations, interpret results/draw conclusions, and report the findings.
Importance of repeatability of findings. Ideally, before report/publish results, but often do not attempt to replicate findings before publishing.