Perspectives on Human Development

Faculteit University College Groningen
Jaar 2020/21
Vakcode UCGSS304
Vaknaam Perspectives on Human Development
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II a

Uitgebreide vaknaam Perspectives on Human Development
Leerdoelen By the end of the course, students are able to:
- Describe the different theories, concepts, and models of development from a classic Developmental Psychology perspective.
- Describe features of a process approach to causality and development.
- Critically engage with different meta-theoretical perspectives of the nature-nurture debate with regard to development.
- Critique and evaluate underlying essentialist perspectives of human behavior or characteristics illustrated in popular knowledge.
- Reflect on own perspectives of development and ontology.
- Critically engage with theories of methodology and reflect on research methods used in previous psychology courses and their (in) appropriateness for studying development.
- Apply meta-theoretical knowledge regarding perspectives of human development to a specific developmental phenomena (biological, cognitive, or psychosocial) or to the field of developmental psychology.
Omschrijving How and why do psychological constructs - such as emotions, cognitive skills, morality, personality, disorders, or relationships - actually change and develop across the lifespan? This course builds upon the knowledge gained in courses from the Major specialization Mind & Behavior by applying a developmental perspective.

In this course, you will learn about different perspectives of what ‘development’ actually entails based on pioneering developmental theorists and perspectives, and you will learn about the different mechanisms of development. Throughout the course, students will think critically about (misconceptions) regarding development versus stability in human minds, behavior, and culture and they will learn about what it means to ‘embrace complexity’ of human development .

Questions that we will tackle include: How can we conceptualize the interaction between nature and nurture in determining who we are and what we can(not) do? How can we understand the balance between stability and change when thinking about development? To what extent are we agents of our own development? What does it mean to adopt a ‘process approach’ to human development and how can we do this? Which methodologies are suitable versus unsuitable for studying how individual development takes place?

In this course, an emphasis is placed on understanding meta-theoretical knowledge about development (i.e., concepts and theories of development in general) and applying this knowledge to specific psychological phenomena. In the course, we will also critically reflect on assumptions about “ontology” and “generalizability” that we, as individuals, hold and that are adopted in psychological education and research.
Uren per week 4
Onderwijsvorm Seminar
(Seminars, Lectures)
Toetsvorm Essay
(Essays, Presentations, Participation)
Vaksoort bachelor
Coördinator dr. N.M.P. de Ruiter
Docent(en) dr. N.M.P. de Ruiter
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
A collection of scientific articles and book chapters selected by the lecturer
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Liberal Arts and Sciences  (Year 3) - semester II a keuze