Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Diehl, M., Chui, H., Youngblade, L. M. and Qualls, S. H. 2010. Human Development. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Theory and research in lifespan psychology rest on the key assumption that human development occurs from conception to death and involves lifelong adaptive processes (Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 2006). Thus, human development is the result of biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences that mutually affect each other and shape how individuals develop over the lifespan (Baltes et al., 2006; Li, 2003). With regard to individual development (ontogenesis), lifespan psychologists focus on (1) how single individuals change over time (intraindividual change); (2) differences between individuals during different developmental periods (interindividual differences); (3) differences in individuals' patterns of change over time (interindividual differences in intraindividual change); and (4) how between-person variability in within-person change is brought about as a consequence of biocultural coconstruction (Li, 2003). Moreover, lifespan psychologists agree on a set of core assumptions from which they study human development. These assumptions state that human development is a process that involves continuity and discontinuity, multidirectionality, gains and losses, plasticity, and contextual embeddedness (Baltes et al., 2006).
- developmental psychology;
- human development;
- life cycle;
- lifespan development;
- longitudinal research