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Developmental psychology

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TMA 04 - Qualitative Project Abstract Developmental psychology is concerned with how we develop, interact, how our cognitive ability changes and how our biological make up changes occurs during our lifetime. The following project is a qualitative analysis of three semi-structured interviews by three different interviewers of a middle aged couple, which aims to study how their life experiences and how their environment have contributed to their own development. The research has shown that influences can limit and enable development, and a persons own life experience will also affect the influence that they have on future generations. Introduction Through this project I will investigate the topic of lifespan development, examining how we change over a life time and particularly how our personality develops, our social interactions, cognitive changes as we mature and how biological changes affect us. Lifespan psychologists consider human development as a transaction between the individual and their environment. This is the main idea behind developmental contextualism which suggests that development is affected by the whole of a person's life. There has been previous research conducted surrounding lifespan development, one researcher Bronfenbrenner (1993) suggested that development results from a person interacting with his/her environment, he uses an 'ecological theory of development' where a 'macrosystem' (containing several subsystems - 'microsystem', 'mesosystem' and 'exosystem') ...read more.


parenting, for them this had been through their parent's work and religious beliefs: Tony: Victorian Work Ethic in Line 54 Tony and Jo agree that religion was a very big influence from their parents Tony Lines 63 - 67: Jo's mother was brought up as a Methodist and my father was as well. And I think Methodist principles were fairly firmly entrenched. And Yes I think that has, that makes us to a certain extent the sort of people we are. In lines 81 - 82 Tony talks about which career paths were available to them and one's parent's experiences and aspirations certainly entered into it as well In the second interview both Tony and Jo make reference to separation from their fathers because of the war, this appears to be a shared experience for both of them. Tony: our fathers were taken away from us because of the war Lines 90-91 and the uncertainty that surrounded this Jo: And it was a period of whether he would get home. And I remember that distinctly. Jo then compares this with their own children's experience of separation, their children feared that Tony and Jo would separate like another family that they knew. Jo says that when the children are young it is important to make sacrifices or you adapt Line 122 Interests could be pursued later. ...read more.


In interview three Tony states 'I suppose you're trying to keep off subjects that you don't really want to discuss (lines 168 - 169) for example. It would be interesting to research their relationship further. Reflexive Analysis The experience of doing qualitative research is a new process for me. I enjoyed the process as I always find listening to other people's life stories interesting, as I agree with development psychologist's research people are influenced by their life experiences. The fact that I agree with previous research in this area has made it easier for me to draw on evidence from the material. In my research above I concentrated mainly on verbal interaction however it would also be appropriate to look at non-verbal interaction, for example Jo expresses surprise when Tony says that he is easygoing suggesting that she would maybe consider him to be otherwise. Through studying these non-verbal interactions further, information could be drawn from the material provided, which could sometimes contradict what is being said as body language can often say more than words. This is one area that I would concentrate on in future. The fact that the material was pre-recorded made it difficult to decide on a research question and in a sense felt as though I was working out of a logical order. I understand why the work was presented in this way but would have preferred to conduct the research from beginning to end myself. ...read more.

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