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AS and A Level: Developmental Psychology
1,412 AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays
- Marked by Teachers essays 33
- Peer Reviewed essays 18
A thoughtful attempt at outlining and evaluating types of attachment with awareness of some of the limitations and benefits.…
- Essay length: 821 words
- Submitted: 30/10/2012
- Marked by teacher: Stephanie Porras 08/12/1999
This essay is well structured. Some valid points are made - some need developing or explaining further. Think synoptically for deeper thinking.…
- Essay length: 703 words
- Submitted: 11/02/2011
- Marked by teacher: Stephanie Porras 30/12/1999
An expressive essay exploring the theme of play therapy and the well-known case study o f Dibs with fluency of psychological terms and evidence of careful thought. …
- Essay length: 1792 words
- Submitted: 10/04/2009
- Marked by teacher: Stephanie Porras 20/12/1999
The Theme of Ethics in Psychological Research making reference to Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology research4 star(s)
This is a good essay with plenty of details about the ethics of research in social psychology. The writer has obviously studied the subject and has included…
- Essay length: 1642 words
- Submitted: 28/01/2009
- Marked by teacher: Linda Penn 01/05/2013
The writer has clearly carried out quite a lot of research into childhood studies. The introduction is really good because it sets out what the writer is going to cover…
- Essay length: 3411 words
- Submitted: 16/10/2007
- Marked by teacher: Linda Penn 01/12/1999
How current provision and practice is influenced by the work of the early years educators and approaches to practice.4 star(s)
This is an interesting essay that presents quite a range of summaries of different educators and their approach to early years. Probably the most needed now is for some evaluation…
- Essay length: 1225 words
- Submitted: 17/08/2006
- Marked by teacher: Stephanie Porras 26/12/1999
This is a well balanced thoughtful essay. Remember to proofread at the end…
- Essay length: 1350 words
- Submitted: 13/01/2005
- Marked by teacher: Stephanie Porras 21/12/1999
What have been the major challenges to Piaget's theory of cognitive development? What aspects of the theory still have value?4 star(s)
This writer has clearly answered the task title and gives a real understanding of the challenges to Piaget's work and what aspects are still relevant. I think the work would…
- Essay length: 2606 words
- Submitted: 30/08/2003
- Marked by teacher: Linda Penn 26/12/1999
The writer has outlined and evaluated Bowlby's Theory of Attachment and has included many of the key points. However, the writer now needs to clarify and explain in more…
- Essay length: 786 words
- Submitted: 07/11/2012
- Marked by teacher: Linda Penn 26/12/1999
The writer needs to start the essay by explaining why the experiment took place, when and for what purpose. Then the writer can go into the detail of the actual…
- Essay length: 583 words
- Submitted: 05/06/2011
- Marked by teacher: Linda Penn 01/05/2013
Five key cognitive development theorists
- 1 Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who developed a maturational four stage theory of cognitive development: he said that all children go through the same sequence of sensori-motor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational thought. Learning occurs through assimilation of ideas and accommodation of schemas. His ideas have been hugely influential in education, particularly mathematics.
- 2 Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist. He proposed the influential zone of proximal development (ZPD) concept in learning and stressed the importance of cultural mediation – the internalisation of knowledge through the social interaction between adult and child. Unlike Piaget, he argued that language was crucial for cognitive development.
- 3 Jerome Bruner is an American psychologist proposed three ‘modes’ of learning as opposed to a strict sequence of stages: enactive, iconic and symbolic. He proposed the ‘spiral curriculum’ and coined the term ‘scaffolding’ -two very influential ideas in education.
- 4 Robbie Case is one of a group of neo-Piagetian theorists who have developed Piaget's theory by incorporating ideas and methods from Vygotsky's social-constructivist theory, information-processing, linguistics and developmental neuroscience.
- 5 Simon Baron Cohen is a prominent autism researcher. He has contributed much to our understanding of the development of Theory of Mind. This concept is crucial to the development of social cognition and empathy through the ability to take another person’s perspective.
Key attachment theorists
- 1 Melanie Klein’s Id-based object relations theory was a key influence on John Bowlby. Psychoanalytic ideas by Klein, Donald Winnicott and other British psychoanalysts were significant in the later development of attachment theory.
- 2 John Bowlby was an important attachment theorist. He was director of the psychoanalytic Tavistock Institute in London, where he ran a child guidance clinic. His Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis, proposing the link between attachment and mental health was published in an influential report for the World Health Organisation in 1951. He developed his attachment theory over decades, publishing a three volume series ‘Attachment and Loss’ between 1969 and 1980. His ideas stimulated a significant body of research into attachment and his work paved the way for a revolution in childcare in the 20th century.
- 3 James and Joyce Robertson worked with Bowlby and were also very influential. James Robertson developed the Protest- Despair–Detachment model of bond disruption (1953a). The Robertsons also concluded that consistent substitute ‘mothering’ was vital for the maintenance of attachment bonds and the emotional wellbeing of the child.
- 4 Mary Ainsworth – was a Canadian researcher who worked with John Bowlby at the Tavistock in the 1950s, and later carried out important research in Africa and the US. She is best known for identifying attachment types and her Caregiver Sensitivity Hypothesis, which has been disputed by Jerome Kagan – who proposed the temperament hypothesis in direct contradiction.
- 5 Michael Rutter is Bowlby’s main critic. His book ‘Maternal Deprivation Reassessed’ (1972) was an influential critique of Bowlby’s research. Rutter made the distinction between deprivation and privation and argued that privation, poor parenting and family conflict were more significant in attachment disorders than deprivation.
Five classic studies of attachment
- 1 Bowlby’s ‘44 Juvenile Thieves’ (1944) were the inspiration for his Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis. They were children who he saw in his child guidance clinic and examined for signs of ‘affectionless psychopathy’ – a condition that he argued would result from separation during the critical period for attachment.
- 2 Harlow’s monkeys (1959): Harlow’s experiments on rhesus monkeys provided an unintentional insight into the importance of responsive care in infancy for good emotional development and subsequent parenting skills in adulthood.. His work had a huge influence on John Bowlby.
- 3 Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’ (1970): Ainsworth found ways to test Bowlby’s ideas in controlled procedures. She designed the 'strange situation', a tool which has been used across the world to study the attachment types that underlie parent and child interactions.
- 4 Robertson & Robertson’s ‘Young Children in Early Separations’ (1971): A series of highly influential films following on from Robertson and Bowlby’s seminal ‘A Two Year Old Goes to Hospital’; these case studies revolutionised the care of children in hospital and fostering.
- 5 Hodges & Tizard’s 'Social and family relationships of ex-institutional adolescents' (1989): An influential longitudinal study of children who had experienced early privation resulting from institutional care. The study showed that children could form good bonds with adoptive or biological parents beyond the so called ‘critical period’. They were likely to have difficult or disinhibited peer relationships, but not the affectionless psychopathy predicted by Bowlby.
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