Last week in class we were divided into groups and we had to reminisce what we have been doing since the course started. The members of my group are: KC Hambleton, Ana González, Ramiro Pérez, Sara Sánchez and myself, Ana Escribano.
This subject is called "Developmental Psychology" so the first classes dealt with our idea od "development". We had to draw what we considered development to be. Then, the next day, we formed groups and classified the drawings of our classmates following the criteria we decided. It could be attending to the content, to the structure, etc.
For most people the concept of development comprised the time from being born to reaching maturity, few people included death as a stage. Also, virtually all the drawings portrayed development as a linear process and the surroundings of the individual were only present in a minority of the cases. his wy of thinking is typically Western. Eastern culture tends to understand development in a contextual way and death is usually integrated in the cycle of life.
Another task we had to do to expand in this topic was to read a research paper by Yoko Yamada from Kyoto University about different models of life development.
In the subsequent classes we had to draw a timeline about our life. In the timeline we had to point out the events that marked our life, or at least those with which we were comfortable revealing. It was supposed to be objective and represent accurately when those events occurred. The second part of the exercise had to be done in pairs. One person had to walk in a line that represented their lifetime with their eyes closed and had to stop to tell their partner what had happened at a certain moment. Then, the person had to walk the line again but this time in silence, reminiscing those occurrences in their mind. Later the partner had to do the same. This activity was subjective, since the person determined how much time they spent in the same point. The goal of this exercise was to exemplify the difference between objective and subjective, even though time always keeps the same pace, some moments are represented much more extensively in our memory.
In the following classes we talked about the multiple dimensions of age: biological, functional, subjective and social. Some of us perceives each of those dimensions to be different, which could mean that we are at different stages of development in each of those areas. Therefore, development is also multidimensional: physical, emotional, cognitive, social, moral and spiritual.
To give a definition of development we could state that it is a process that goes from a simple form to other more complex, it is self-organised, it needs a novelty to take place and each step is conditioned by the previous one.
The orthogenetic principle says that development goes from a state of relative globality to a state of increasing differentiation and hierarchical integration (Werner, 1957).
The life course theory of development follows a life-span trajectory, the arrival at the current state takes place through different paths. There are influences such as life events (normative or non-normative), historical events which identify a generation, and turning points, special events that change the trajectory but are unknown while they are happening.
Up to this point we have discussed the concept of development and some aspects of it, from now on we will delve into specific case studies and apply our knowledge.