Are you interested and intrigued by the world of psychology? Do you know for sure that you want a career in this industry, but there are so many branches that you don’t know exactly which one best suits you? If this is where you stand educationally, then you should continue reading so that you can learn all you need to know about developmental psychology. Maybe this will be the branch of psychology that fits you just perfectly.
Let’s start from the beginning; developmental psychology will allow you to study the psychological changes that we, as humans, go through as we lead our lives. In this branch of psychology you will be studying how the mental capacities of individuals progress as we age. This refers to problem solving, logic, and language. In addition, you will also find that this branch of psychology pays particular attention to identity, emotions, morals, and culture. In your capacity as a developmental psychologist you will be conducting research as well as participating in the clinical aspects of this branch of psychology. As you study individuals from infancy through to adulthood you will focus on issues such as language acquisition, cognitive development, and nature versus nurture. In your capacity as a developmental psychologist, you will probably be very interested in the debate of nature versus nurture.
This long-running debate involves whether internal factors (such as our personality) have a greater impact on our development than external factors (like how we are raised by our parents). Similarly, some developmental psychologists believe that individuals are born having a grasp of their home language, while others believe that language is learned by hearing others use it. No matter which side of these common debates you are on, you will likely use your psychology background and knowledge to perform research and make observations to support your theory of choice. Cognitive development will be an area of this branch of psychology that you will devote much of your work time to. In this aspect of developmental psychology you will focus on the different stages of cognitive development and how they are demonstrated or exhibited at different age levels.
It is important to understand that the branch of developmental psychology was originally created to only study children. However, in recent years this branch has grown to include all age ranges and all psychological aspects related to these age groups. While all developmental psychologists are concerned with the aspects of how the mind develops, many psychologists who work within this branch choose to focus their attention on one particular age group or one particular area of development. While some branches of psychology focus on different aspects of this field, a developmental psychologist are focused on a research based, theoretical pursuit of knowledge.
As a developmental psychologist you can also choose to focus your work on identifying solutions that would be appropriate for many different developmental disorders. Should you decide to focus your daily work on developmental disorders you will be working with social issues, physical issues, and psychological issues. It would also be possible for you to help individuals who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, Rett syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome, or childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD). You will be responsible for helping these patients to acclimate in all areas, such as their abilities and their exhibited behaviors. If you work with individuals who have developmental disorders you will likely be required to use genetic testing, examinations concerning family history, and physical examinations on a regular basis to help treat your patients.