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Is Development Continuous or Discontinuous?

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Search for over , subject notes and past assignments! You can download study resources by swapping your own or purchasing Exchange Credits. See More. Vocabulary and dementia in six novelists. A sociolinguistic perspective on vocabulary richness in a seven-year comparison of older adults. Age-related variation and language change in Early Modern English. Lifespan and linguistic awareness: The case of 18th-century Italian autobiographers.

Tired mind or tired hand? Kriegsausbruch, Kriegs Ausbruch, KriegsAusbruch: On the possible connection between linguistic variation and age, based on personal journals from to No author info given Publications Received.


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Old-age language variation and change: Confronting variationist ageism. Siebers, Lucia Linguistics Theoretical linguistics. The survey method asks individuals to self-report important information about their thoughts, experiences, and beliefs. This particular method can provide large amounts of information in relatively short amounts of time; however, validity of data collected in this way relies on honest self-reporting, and the data is relatively shallow when compared to the depth of information collected in a case study.

Experiments involve significant control over extraneous variables and manipulation of the independent variable. As such, experimental research allows developmental psychologists to make causal statements about certain variables that are important for the developmental process.

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Later in this chapter, you will learn about several experiments in which toddlers and young children observe scenes or actions so that researchers can determine at what age specific cognitive abilities develop. For example, children may observe a quantity of liquid poured from a short, fat glass into a tall, skinny glass. Across these three domains—physical, cognitive, and psychosocial—the normative approach to development is also discussed.

Although children develop at slightly different rates, we can use these age-related averages as general guidelines to compare children with same-age peers to determine the approximate ages they should reach specific normative events called developmental milestones e. Not all normative events are universal, meaning they are not experienced by all individuals across all cultures.

For example, in developed countries children begin school around 5 or 6 years old, but in developing countries, like Nigeria, children often enter school at an advanced age, if at all Huebler, ; United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], To better understand the normative approach, imagine two new mothers, Louisa and Kimberly, who are close friends and have children around the same age.

Language Development

According to the normative approach, the average age a child starts to walk is 12 months. She tells Kimberly she is worried that something might be wrong with her baby. Kimberly is surprised because her son started walking when he was only 10 months old. Should Louisa be worried? Should she be concerned if her daughter is not walking by 15 months or 18 months?

Language development over the lifespan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC describes the developmental milestones for children from 2 months through 5 years old. There are many different theoretical approaches regarding human development.


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As we evaluate them in this chapter, recall that developmental psychology focuses on how people change, and keep in mind that all the approaches that we present in this chapter address questions of change: Is the change smooth or uneven continuous versus discontinuous? Is this pattern of change the same for everyone, or are there many different patterns of change one course of development versus many courses?

How do genetics and environment interact to influence development nature versus nurture? Continuous development views development as a cumulative process, gradually improving on existing skills. With this type of development, there is gradual change. In contrast, theorists who view development as discontinuous believe that development takes place in unique stages: It occurs at specific times or ages.

Is development essentially the same, or universal, for all children i. Do people across the world share more similarities or more differences in their development? Stage theories hold that the sequence of development is universal.

Milestones: Normal Speech and Language Development Across the Lifespan Student Version DVD-ROM

Infants in all cultures coo before they babble. They begin babbling at about the same age and utter their first word around 12 months old. Yet we live in diverse contexts that have a unique effect on each of us.


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For example, researchers once believed that motor development follows one course for all children regardless of culture. They spend a significant amount of time foraging in forests. Consequently, their children walk much later: They walk around 23—25 months old, in comparison to infants in Western cultures who begin to walk around 12 months old. As you can see, our development is influenced by multiple contexts, so the timing of basic motor functions may vary across cultures.

However, the functions themselves are present in all societies. Are we who we are because of nature biology and genetics , or are we who we are because of nurture our environment and culture? This longstanding question is known in psychology as the nature versus nurture debate. It seeks to understand how our personalities and traits are the product of our genetic makeup and biological factors, and how they are shaped by our environment, including our parents, peers, and culture.