NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Psychology
64
Chapter
4
• describe the meaning and process of development,
• explain the influence of heredity, environment and context on human
development,
• identify the stages of development and describe the major characteristics
of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, and
• reflect on your own course of development and related experiences.
After reading this chapter, you would be able to
Human Development Human Development
Introduction
Meaning of Development
Life-Span Perspective on Development
Growth, Development, Maturation, and
Evolution (Box 4.1)
Factors Influencing Development
Context of Development
Overview of Developmental Stages
Prenatal Stage
Infancy
Childhood
Gender and Sex Roles (Box 4.2)
Challenges of Adolescence
Adulthood and Old Age
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Contents
I wish I could travel by the road that
crosses the baby’s mind, and out
beyond all bounds; where messengers
run errands for no cause between the
kingdoms of kings of no history; where
Reason makes kites of her laws and
flies them, and Truth sets Fact free
from its fetters.
– Rabindranath Tagore
2019-20
Page 2


Psychology
64
Chapter
4
• describe the meaning and process of development,
• explain the influence of heredity, environment and context on human
development,
• identify the stages of development and describe the major characteristics
of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, and
• reflect on your own course of development and related experiences.
After reading this chapter, you would be able to
Human Development Human Development
Introduction
Meaning of Development
Life-Span Perspective on Development
Growth, Development, Maturation, and
Evolution (Box 4.1)
Factors Influencing Development
Context of Development
Overview of Developmental Stages
Prenatal Stage
Infancy
Childhood
Gender and Sex Roles (Box 4.2)
Challenges of Adolescence
Adulthood and Old Age
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Contents
I wish I could travel by the road that
crosses the baby’s mind, and out
beyond all bounds; where messengers
run errands for no cause between the
kingdoms of kings of no history; where
Reason makes kites of her laws and
flies them, and Truth sets Fact free
from its fetters.
– Rabindranath Tagore
2019-20
Chapter 4 • Human Development
65
associated with the processes of knowing,
and experiencing, such as thought,
perception, attention, problem solving, etc.
Socio-emotional processes that influence
development refer to changes in an
individual’s interactions with other people,
changes in emotions, and in personality. A
child’s hug to her/his mother, a young girl’s
affectionate gesture to her/his sibling, or an
adolescent’s sorrow at losing a match are all
reflections of socio-emotional processes deeply
involved in human development.
Although you would be reading about the
different processes in different chapters of this
textbook, it is important to remember that the
biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes are interwoven. These processes
influence changes in the development of the
individual as a whole throughout the human
life-span.
Life-Span Perspective on Development
The study of development according to the
Life-Span Perspective (LSP) includes the
following assumptions :
1. Development is lifelong, i.e. it takes place
across all age groups starting from
MEANING OF DEVELOPMENT
When we think of development, invariably we
think of physical changes, as these are
commonly observed at home with younger
siblings, with parents and grandparents, in
school with peers or others around us. From
conception until the moment of death, we not
only change physically, but we also change in
the way we think, use language, and develop
social relationships. Remember that, changes
are not confined to any one area of a person’s
life; they occur in the person in an integrated
manner. Development is the pattern of
progressive, orderly, and predictable changes
that begin at conception and continue
throughout life. Development mostly involves
changes — both growth and decline, as
observed during old age.
Development is influenced by an interplay
of biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes. Development due to genes
inherited from parents, such as in height and
weight, brain, heart, and lungs development,
etc. all point towards the role of biological
processes. The role of cognitive processes
in development relate to mental activities
If you look around, you will notice that from birth onwards changes of various
kinds are taking place in an individual’s life, which continue even during old age.
Over a span of time, a human grows and develops, learns to communicate, walk,
count, and read and write. S/he also learns to distinguish between right and wrong.
S/he makes friends, goes through puberty, gets married, rears children, and grows
old. Even though we differ from each other , we share many commonalities. Most of
us learn to walk by the first year and talk by the second year. This chapter will
familiarise you with the changes observed in people during the course of their life-
span in different domains. You will learn about key developmental processes and
changes taking place in major periods during the life-span: prenatal, infancy,
childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. This would be a journey of personal
understanding and self-discovery which should help in your future development.
The study of human development would also help you to deal with others better.
Introduction
2019-20
Page 3


Psychology
64
Chapter
4
• describe the meaning and process of development,
• explain the influence of heredity, environment and context on human
development,
• identify the stages of development and describe the major characteristics
of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, and
• reflect on your own course of development and related experiences.
After reading this chapter, you would be able to
Human Development Human Development
Introduction
Meaning of Development
Life-Span Perspective on Development
Growth, Development, Maturation, and
Evolution (Box 4.1)
Factors Influencing Development
Context of Development
Overview of Developmental Stages
Prenatal Stage
Infancy
Childhood
Gender and Sex Roles (Box 4.2)
Challenges of Adolescence
Adulthood and Old Age
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Contents
I wish I could travel by the road that
crosses the baby’s mind, and out
beyond all bounds; where messengers
run errands for no cause between the
kingdoms of kings of no history; where
Reason makes kites of her laws and
flies them, and Truth sets Fact free
from its fetters.
– Rabindranath Tagore
2019-20
Chapter 4 • Human Development
65
associated with the processes of knowing,
and experiencing, such as thought,
perception, attention, problem solving, etc.
Socio-emotional processes that influence
development refer to changes in an
individual’s interactions with other people,
changes in emotions, and in personality. A
child’s hug to her/his mother, a young girl’s
affectionate gesture to her/his sibling, or an
adolescent’s sorrow at losing a match are all
reflections of socio-emotional processes deeply
involved in human development.
Although you would be reading about the
different processes in different chapters of this
textbook, it is important to remember that the
biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes are interwoven. These processes
influence changes in the development of the
individual as a whole throughout the human
life-span.
Life-Span Perspective on Development
The study of development according to the
Life-Span Perspective (LSP) includes the
following assumptions :
1. Development is lifelong, i.e. it takes place
across all age groups starting from
MEANING OF DEVELOPMENT
When we think of development, invariably we
think of physical changes, as these are
commonly observed at home with younger
siblings, with parents and grandparents, in
school with peers or others around us. From
conception until the moment of death, we not
only change physically, but we also change in
the way we think, use language, and develop
social relationships. Remember that, changes
are not confined to any one area of a person’s
life; they occur in the person in an integrated
manner. Development is the pattern of
progressive, orderly, and predictable changes
that begin at conception and continue
throughout life. Development mostly involves
changes — both growth and decline, as
observed during old age.
Development is influenced by an interplay
of biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes. Development due to genes
inherited from parents, such as in height and
weight, brain, heart, and lungs development,
etc. all point towards the role of biological
processes. The role of cognitive processes
in development relate to mental activities
If you look around, you will notice that from birth onwards changes of various
kinds are taking place in an individual’s life, which continue even during old age.
Over a span of time, a human grows and develops, learns to communicate, walk,
count, and read and write. S/he also learns to distinguish between right and wrong.
S/he makes friends, goes through puberty, gets married, rears children, and grows
old. Even though we differ from each other , we share many commonalities. Most of
us learn to walk by the first year and talk by the second year. This chapter will
familiarise you with the changes observed in people during the course of their life-
span in different domains. You will learn about key developmental processes and
changes taking place in major periods during the life-span: prenatal, infancy,
childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. This would be a journey of personal
understanding and self-discovery which should help in your future development.
The study of human development would also help you to deal with others better.
Introduction
2019-20
Psychology
66
conception to old age. It includes both gains
and losses, which interact in dynamic
(change in one aspect goes with changes in
others) ways throughout the life-span.
2. The various processes of human
development, i.e. biological, cognitive, and
socio-emotional are interwoven in the
development of a person throughout the
life-span.
3. Development is multi-directional. Some
dimensions or components of a given
dimension of development may increase,
while others show decrement. For example,
the experiences of adults may make them
wiser and guide their decisions. However,
with an increase in age, one’s performance
is likely to decrease on tasks requiring
speed, such as running.
4. Development is highly plastic, i.e. within
person, modifiability is found in
psychological development, though
plasticity varies among individuals. This
means skills and abilities can be improved
or developed throughout the life-span.
5. Development is influenced by historical
conditions. For example, the experiences
of 20-year olds who lived through the
freedom struggle in India would be very
different from the experiences of 20 year
olds of today. The career orientation of
school students today is very different from
those students who were in schools 50
years ago.
6. Development is the concern of a
number of disciplines. Different
disciplines like psychology, anthropology,
sociology, and neuro-sciences study
human development, each trying to
provide answers to development
throughout the life-span.
7. An individual responds and acts on
contexts, which include what was
inherited, the physical environment, social,
historical, and cultural contexts. For
example, the life events in everyone’s life
are not the same, such as, death of a
parent, accident, earthquake, etc., affect
the course of one’s life as also the positive
Gr Gr Gr Gr Growth owth owth owth owth refers to an increase in the size of body
parts or of the organism as a whole. It can be
measured or quantified, for example, growth in
height, weight, etc. Development Development Development Development Development is a process
by which an individual grows and changes
throughout the life cycle. The term development
applies to the changes that have a direction and
hold definite relationship with what precedes it,
and in turn, will determine what will come after.
A temporary change caused by a brief illness,
for example, is not considered a part of
development. All changes which occur as a result
of development are not of the same kind. Thus,
changes in size (physical growth), changes in
proportion (child to adult), changes in features
(disappearance of baby teeth), and acquiring new
features are varied in their pace and scope level.
Development includes growth as one of its
aspects. Maturation Maturation Maturation Maturation Maturation refers to the changes that
follow an orderly sequence and are largely
dictated by the genetic blueprint which produces
Box Box Box Box Box 4.1 Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and Evolution volution volution volution volution
commonalities in our growth and development.
For example, most children can sit without support
by 7 months of age, stand with support by 8 months
and walk by one year. Once the underlying physical
structure is sufficiently developed, proficiency in these
behaviours requires adequate environment and little
practice. However, special efforts to accelerate these
behaviours do not help if the infant is maturationally
not ready. These processes seem to “unfold from
within”: following an inner, genetically determined
timetable that is characteristic of the species.
Evolution Evolution Evolution Evolution Evolution refers to species-specific changes. Natural
selection is an evolutionary process that favours
individuals or a species that are best adapted to
survive and reproduce. The evolutionary changes are
passed from one generation to the next within a
species. Evolution proceeds at a very slow pace.
Emergence of human beings from great apes took
about 14 million years. It has been estimated that
the ‘Homo sapiens’ came into existence only about
50,000 years ago.
2019-20
Page 4


Psychology
64
Chapter
4
• describe the meaning and process of development,
• explain the influence of heredity, environment and context on human
development,
• identify the stages of development and describe the major characteristics
of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, and
• reflect on your own course of development and related experiences.
After reading this chapter, you would be able to
Human Development Human Development
Introduction
Meaning of Development
Life-Span Perspective on Development
Growth, Development, Maturation, and
Evolution (Box 4.1)
Factors Influencing Development
Context of Development
Overview of Developmental Stages
Prenatal Stage
Infancy
Childhood
Gender and Sex Roles (Box 4.2)
Challenges of Adolescence
Adulthood and Old Age
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Contents
I wish I could travel by the road that
crosses the baby’s mind, and out
beyond all bounds; where messengers
run errands for no cause between the
kingdoms of kings of no history; where
Reason makes kites of her laws and
flies them, and Truth sets Fact free
from its fetters.
– Rabindranath Tagore
2019-20
Chapter 4 • Human Development
65
associated with the processes of knowing,
and experiencing, such as thought,
perception, attention, problem solving, etc.
Socio-emotional processes that influence
development refer to changes in an
individual’s interactions with other people,
changes in emotions, and in personality. A
child’s hug to her/his mother, a young girl’s
affectionate gesture to her/his sibling, or an
adolescent’s sorrow at losing a match are all
reflections of socio-emotional processes deeply
involved in human development.
Although you would be reading about the
different processes in different chapters of this
textbook, it is important to remember that the
biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes are interwoven. These processes
influence changes in the development of the
individual as a whole throughout the human
life-span.
Life-Span Perspective on Development
The study of development according to the
Life-Span Perspective (LSP) includes the
following assumptions :
1. Development is lifelong, i.e. it takes place
across all age groups starting from
MEANING OF DEVELOPMENT
When we think of development, invariably we
think of physical changes, as these are
commonly observed at home with younger
siblings, with parents and grandparents, in
school with peers or others around us. From
conception until the moment of death, we not
only change physically, but we also change in
the way we think, use language, and develop
social relationships. Remember that, changes
are not confined to any one area of a person’s
life; they occur in the person in an integrated
manner. Development is the pattern of
progressive, orderly, and predictable changes
that begin at conception and continue
throughout life. Development mostly involves
changes — both growth and decline, as
observed during old age.
Development is influenced by an interplay
of biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes. Development due to genes
inherited from parents, such as in height and
weight, brain, heart, and lungs development,
etc. all point towards the role of biological
processes. The role of cognitive processes
in development relate to mental activities
If you look around, you will notice that from birth onwards changes of various
kinds are taking place in an individual’s life, which continue even during old age.
Over a span of time, a human grows and develops, learns to communicate, walk,
count, and read and write. S/he also learns to distinguish between right and wrong.
S/he makes friends, goes through puberty, gets married, rears children, and grows
old. Even though we differ from each other , we share many commonalities. Most of
us learn to walk by the first year and talk by the second year. This chapter will
familiarise you with the changes observed in people during the course of their life-
span in different domains. You will learn about key developmental processes and
changes taking place in major periods during the life-span: prenatal, infancy,
childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. This would be a journey of personal
understanding and self-discovery which should help in your future development.
The study of human development would also help you to deal with others better.
Introduction
2019-20
Psychology
66
conception to old age. It includes both gains
and losses, which interact in dynamic
(change in one aspect goes with changes in
others) ways throughout the life-span.
2. The various processes of human
development, i.e. biological, cognitive, and
socio-emotional are interwoven in the
development of a person throughout the
life-span.
3. Development is multi-directional. Some
dimensions or components of a given
dimension of development may increase,
while others show decrement. For example,
the experiences of adults may make them
wiser and guide their decisions. However,
with an increase in age, one’s performance
is likely to decrease on tasks requiring
speed, such as running.
4. Development is highly plastic, i.e. within
person, modifiability is found in
psychological development, though
plasticity varies among individuals. This
means skills and abilities can be improved
or developed throughout the life-span.
5. Development is influenced by historical
conditions. For example, the experiences
of 20-year olds who lived through the
freedom struggle in India would be very
different from the experiences of 20 year
olds of today. The career orientation of
school students today is very different from
those students who were in schools 50
years ago.
6. Development is the concern of a
number of disciplines. Different
disciplines like psychology, anthropology,
sociology, and neuro-sciences study
human development, each trying to
provide answers to development
throughout the life-span.
7. An individual responds and acts on
contexts, which include what was
inherited, the physical environment, social,
historical, and cultural contexts. For
example, the life events in everyone’s life
are not the same, such as, death of a
parent, accident, earthquake, etc., affect
the course of one’s life as also the positive
Gr Gr Gr Gr Growth owth owth owth owth refers to an increase in the size of body
parts or of the organism as a whole. It can be
measured or quantified, for example, growth in
height, weight, etc. Development Development Development Development Development is a process
by which an individual grows and changes
throughout the life cycle. The term development
applies to the changes that have a direction and
hold definite relationship with what precedes it,
and in turn, will determine what will come after.
A temporary change caused by a brief illness,
for example, is not considered a part of
development. All changes which occur as a result
of development are not of the same kind. Thus,
changes in size (physical growth), changes in
proportion (child to adult), changes in features
(disappearance of baby teeth), and acquiring new
features are varied in their pace and scope level.
Development includes growth as one of its
aspects. Maturation Maturation Maturation Maturation Maturation refers to the changes that
follow an orderly sequence and are largely
dictated by the genetic blueprint which produces
Box Box Box Box Box 4.1 Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and Evolution volution volution volution volution
commonalities in our growth and development.
For example, most children can sit without support
by 7 months of age, stand with support by 8 months
and walk by one year. Once the underlying physical
structure is sufficiently developed, proficiency in these
behaviours requires adequate environment and little
practice. However, special efforts to accelerate these
behaviours do not help if the infant is maturationally
not ready. These processes seem to “unfold from
within”: following an inner, genetically determined
timetable that is characteristic of the species.
Evolution Evolution Evolution Evolution Evolution refers to species-specific changes. Natural
selection is an evolutionary process that favours
individuals or a species that are best adapted to
survive and reproduce. The evolutionary changes are
passed from one generation to the next within a
species. Evolution proceeds at a very slow pace.
Emergence of human beings from great apes took
about 14 million years. It has been estimated that
the ‘Homo sapiens’ came into existence only about
50,000 years ago.
2019-20
Chapter 4 • Human Development
67
influences such as winning an award or
getting a good job. People keep on changing
with changing contexts.
FACTORS INFLUENCING DEVELOPMENT
Have you observed in your class that some of
you have dark skin, others have light coloured
skins, colour of your hair and eyes are
different, some of you are tall, others short,
some are quiet or sad while others are talkative
or cheerful. People also differ with respect to
intelligence, learning abilities, memory, and
other psychological characteristics besides
physical characteristics. Despite these
variations, no one can be mistaken for any
other species: we all are homo sapiens. What
causes us to be different from each other but
at the same time more like each other? The
answer lies in the interaction of heredity and
environment.
You have already learned in Chapter 3 that
the principles of heredity explain the
mechanism for transmission of characteristics
by every species from one generation to the
next. We inherit genetic codes from our
parents, which are in every cell of our body.
Our genetic codes are alike in one important
way; they contain the human genetic code. It
is because of the human genetic code that a
fertilised human egg grows into a human baby
and cannot grow into an elephant, a bird or a
mouse.
Genetic transmission is very complex.
Most characteristics that we observe in
humans are combinations of larger number
of genes. You can imagine the combinations
produced by 80,000 or more genes –
accounting for a variety of characteristics and
behaviours. It is also not possible to possess
all the characteristics made available to us by
our genetic structure. The actual genetic
material or a person’s genetic heritage is
known as genotype. However, not all of this
genetic material is apparent or distinctly
identifiable in our observable characteristics.
Phenotype is the way an individual’s genotype
is expressed in observable and measurable
characteristics. Phenotypes include physical
traits, such as height, weight, eye and skin
colour, and many of the psychological
characteristics such as intelligence, creativity,
and personality. These observable
characteristics of an individual are the result
of the interaction between the person’s
inherited traits and the environment. You
know it is the genetic code which predisposes
a child to develop in a particular way. Genes
provide a distinct blueprint and timetable for
the development of an individual. But genes
do not exist in isolation and development
occurs within the context of an individual’s
environment. This is what makes each one of
us a unique person.
What are the environmental influences?
How does the environment affect
development? Imagine a child, with genotype
that predisposes her/him to be introverted,
in an environment that promotes social
interaction and extroversion. The influence of
such an environment may make the child a
little extroverted. Let us take another example.
An individual with “short” height genes, even
if s/he is in a very good nutritional
environment, will never be able to be taller
than average. This shows that genes set the
limit and within that limit the environment
influences development.
You know by now that parents provide the
genes for the child’s development. Do you
know that they also play an important role in
determining the type of environment their
children will encounter? Sandra Scarr (1992)
believes that the environment parents provide
for their children depends to some extent on
their own genetic predisposition. For example,
if parents are intelligent and are good readers
they would provide their children with books
to read, with the likely outcome that their
children would become good readers who
enjoy reading. A child’s own genotype (what
s/he has inherited) such as being cooperative,
and attentive is likely to result in teachers and
parents giving more pleasant response as
compared to children who are not cooperative
or not attentive. Besides these, children
themselves choose certain environments
2019-20
Page 5


Psychology
64
Chapter
4
• describe the meaning and process of development,
• explain the influence of heredity, environment and context on human
development,
• identify the stages of development and describe the major characteristics
of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, and
• reflect on your own course of development and related experiences.
After reading this chapter, you would be able to
Human Development Human Development
Introduction
Meaning of Development
Life-Span Perspective on Development
Growth, Development, Maturation, and
Evolution (Box 4.1)
Factors Influencing Development
Context of Development
Overview of Developmental Stages
Prenatal Stage
Infancy
Childhood
Gender and Sex Roles (Box 4.2)
Challenges of Adolescence
Adulthood and Old Age
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Contents
I wish I could travel by the road that
crosses the baby’s mind, and out
beyond all bounds; where messengers
run errands for no cause between the
kingdoms of kings of no history; where
Reason makes kites of her laws and
flies them, and Truth sets Fact free
from its fetters.
– Rabindranath Tagore
2019-20
Chapter 4 • Human Development
65
associated with the processes of knowing,
and experiencing, such as thought,
perception, attention, problem solving, etc.
Socio-emotional processes that influence
development refer to changes in an
individual’s interactions with other people,
changes in emotions, and in personality. A
child’s hug to her/his mother, a young girl’s
affectionate gesture to her/his sibling, or an
adolescent’s sorrow at losing a match are all
reflections of socio-emotional processes deeply
involved in human development.
Although you would be reading about the
different processes in different chapters of this
textbook, it is important to remember that the
biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes are interwoven. These processes
influence changes in the development of the
individual as a whole throughout the human
life-span.
Life-Span Perspective on Development
The study of development according to the
Life-Span Perspective (LSP) includes the
following assumptions :
1. Development is lifelong, i.e. it takes place
across all age groups starting from
MEANING OF DEVELOPMENT
When we think of development, invariably we
think of physical changes, as these are
commonly observed at home with younger
siblings, with parents and grandparents, in
school with peers or others around us. From
conception until the moment of death, we not
only change physically, but we also change in
the way we think, use language, and develop
social relationships. Remember that, changes
are not confined to any one area of a person’s
life; they occur in the person in an integrated
manner. Development is the pattern of
progressive, orderly, and predictable changes
that begin at conception and continue
throughout life. Development mostly involves
changes — both growth and decline, as
observed during old age.
Development is influenced by an interplay
of biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional
processes. Development due to genes
inherited from parents, such as in height and
weight, brain, heart, and lungs development,
etc. all point towards the role of biological
processes. The role of cognitive processes
in development relate to mental activities
If you look around, you will notice that from birth onwards changes of various
kinds are taking place in an individual’s life, which continue even during old age.
Over a span of time, a human grows and develops, learns to communicate, walk,
count, and read and write. S/he also learns to distinguish between right and wrong.
S/he makes friends, goes through puberty, gets married, rears children, and grows
old. Even though we differ from each other , we share many commonalities. Most of
us learn to walk by the first year and talk by the second year. This chapter will
familiarise you with the changes observed in people during the course of their life-
span in different domains. You will learn about key developmental processes and
changes taking place in major periods during the life-span: prenatal, infancy,
childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. This would be a journey of personal
understanding and self-discovery which should help in your future development.
The study of human development would also help you to deal with others better.
Introduction
2019-20
Psychology
66
conception to old age. It includes both gains
and losses, which interact in dynamic
(change in one aspect goes with changes in
others) ways throughout the life-span.
2. The various processes of human
development, i.e. biological, cognitive, and
socio-emotional are interwoven in the
development of a person throughout the
life-span.
3. Development is multi-directional. Some
dimensions or components of a given
dimension of development may increase,
while others show decrement. For example,
the experiences of adults may make them
wiser and guide their decisions. However,
with an increase in age, one’s performance
is likely to decrease on tasks requiring
speed, such as running.
4. Development is highly plastic, i.e. within
person, modifiability is found in
psychological development, though
plasticity varies among individuals. This
means skills and abilities can be improved
or developed throughout the life-span.
5. Development is influenced by historical
conditions. For example, the experiences
of 20-year olds who lived through the
freedom struggle in India would be very
different from the experiences of 20 year
olds of today. The career orientation of
school students today is very different from
those students who were in schools 50
years ago.
6. Development is the concern of a
number of disciplines. Different
disciplines like psychology, anthropology,
sociology, and neuro-sciences study
human development, each trying to
provide answers to development
throughout the life-span.
7. An individual responds and acts on
contexts, which include what was
inherited, the physical environment, social,
historical, and cultural contexts. For
example, the life events in everyone’s life
are not the same, such as, death of a
parent, accident, earthquake, etc., affect
the course of one’s life as also the positive
Gr Gr Gr Gr Growth owth owth owth owth refers to an increase in the size of body
parts or of the organism as a whole. It can be
measured or quantified, for example, growth in
height, weight, etc. Development Development Development Development Development is a process
by which an individual grows and changes
throughout the life cycle. The term development
applies to the changes that have a direction and
hold definite relationship with what precedes it,
and in turn, will determine what will come after.
A temporary change caused by a brief illness,
for example, is not considered a part of
development. All changes which occur as a result
of development are not of the same kind. Thus,
changes in size (physical growth), changes in
proportion (child to adult), changes in features
(disappearance of baby teeth), and acquiring new
features are varied in their pace and scope level.
Development includes growth as one of its
aspects. Maturation Maturation Maturation Maturation Maturation refers to the changes that
follow an orderly sequence and are largely
dictated by the genetic blueprint which produces
Box Box Box Box Box 4.1 Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and E Growth, Development, Maturation, and Evolution volution volution volution volution
commonalities in our growth and development.
For example, most children can sit without support
by 7 months of age, stand with support by 8 months
and walk by one year. Once the underlying physical
structure is sufficiently developed, proficiency in these
behaviours requires adequate environment and little
practice. However, special efforts to accelerate these
behaviours do not help if the infant is maturationally
not ready. These processes seem to “unfold from
within”: following an inner, genetically determined
timetable that is characteristic of the species.
Evolution Evolution Evolution Evolution Evolution refers to species-specific changes. Natural
selection is an evolutionary process that favours
individuals or a species that are best adapted to
survive and reproduce. The evolutionary changes are
passed from one generation to the next within a
species. Evolution proceeds at a very slow pace.
Emergence of human beings from great apes took
about 14 million years. It has been estimated that
the ‘Homo sapiens’ came into existence only about
50,000 years ago.
2019-20
Chapter 4 • Human Development
67
influences such as winning an award or
getting a good job. People keep on changing
with changing contexts.
FACTORS INFLUENCING DEVELOPMENT
Have you observed in your class that some of
you have dark skin, others have light coloured
skins, colour of your hair and eyes are
different, some of you are tall, others short,
some are quiet or sad while others are talkative
or cheerful. People also differ with respect to
intelligence, learning abilities, memory, and
other psychological characteristics besides
physical characteristics. Despite these
variations, no one can be mistaken for any
other species: we all are homo sapiens. What
causes us to be different from each other but
at the same time more like each other? The
answer lies in the interaction of heredity and
environment.
You have already learned in Chapter 3 that
the principles of heredity explain the
mechanism for transmission of characteristics
by every species from one generation to the
next. We inherit genetic codes from our
parents, which are in every cell of our body.
Our genetic codes are alike in one important
way; they contain the human genetic code. It
is because of the human genetic code that a
fertilised human egg grows into a human baby
and cannot grow into an elephant, a bird or a
mouse.
Genetic transmission is very complex.
Most characteristics that we observe in
humans are combinations of larger number
of genes. You can imagine the combinations
produced by 80,000 or more genes –
accounting for a variety of characteristics and
behaviours. It is also not possible to possess
all the characteristics made available to us by
our genetic structure. The actual genetic
material or a person’s genetic heritage is
known as genotype. However, not all of this
genetic material is apparent or distinctly
identifiable in our observable characteristics.
Phenotype is the way an individual’s genotype
is expressed in observable and measurable
characteristics. Phenotypes include physical
traits, such as height, weight, eye and skin
colour, and many of the psychological
characteristics such as intelligence, creativity,
and personality. These observable
characteristics of an individual are the result
of the interaction between the person’s
inherited traits and the environment. You
know it is the genetic code which predisposes
a child to develop in a particular way. Genes
provide a distinct blueprint and timetable for
the development of an individual. But genes
do not exist in isolation and development
occurs within the context of an individual’s
environment. This is what makes each one of
us a unique person.
What are the environmental influences?
How does the environment affect
development? Imagine a child, with genotype
that predisposes her/him to be introverted,
in an environment that promotes social
interaction and extroversion. The influence of
such an environment may make the child a
little extroverted. Let us take another example.
An individual with “short” height genes, even
if s/he is in a very good nutritional
environment, will never be able to be taller
than average. This shows that genes set the
limit and within that limit the environment
influences development.
You know by now that parents provide the
genes for the child’s development. Do you
know that they also play an important role in
determining the type of environment their
children will encounter? Sandra Scarr (1992)
believes that the environment parents provide
for their children depends to some extent on
their own genetic predisposition. For example,
if parents are intelligent and are good readers
they would provide their children with books
to read, with the likely outcome that their
children would become good readers who
enjoy reading. A child’s own genotype (what
s/he has inherited) such as being cooperative,
and attentive is likely to result in teachers and
parents giving more pleasant response as
compared to children who are not cooperative
or not attentive. Besides these, children
themselves choose certain environments
2019-20
Psychology
68
based on their genotype. For example, because
of their genotype, children may perform well
in music or sports and they will seek and
spend more time in environments, which will
enable them to perform their musical skills;
similarly an athlete would seek sports-related
environment. These interactions with
environment keep changing from infancy
through adolescence. Environmental
influences are as complex as the genes we
inherit.
If your class monitor is selected on the
basis of being academically bright and a
popular student, do you think it is because of
her/his genes or the influence of the
environment? If a child from a rural area who
is very intelligent, is not able to get a job
because of her/his inability to express herself/
himself fluently or handle computers, do
you think - it is because of genes or
environment?
CONTEXT OF DEVELOPMENT
Development does not take place in a vacuum.
It is always embedded in a particular socio-
cultural context. As you shall read in this
chapter, transition during one’s lifetime such
as entering school, becoming an adolescent,
finding jobs, marrying, having children,
retirement, etc. all are joint functions of the
biological changes and changes in one’s
environment. The environment can change or
alter during any time of the individual’s life-
span.
Urie Bronfenbrenner’s contextual view of
development emphasises the role of
environmental factors in the development of
an individual. This has been depicted in
Figure 4.1.
The microsystem is the immediate
environment/setting in which the individual
lives. It is in these settings where the child
directly interacts with social agents – the
family, peers, teachers, and neighbourhood.
The mesosystem consists of relations between
these contexts. For instance, how a child’s
parents relate to the teachers, or how the
parents view the adolescent’s friends, are
Fig.4.1 : Bronfenbrenner’s Contextual View of
Development
Exosystem
Mesosystem
Microsystem
The
Individual
Chronosystem
Family School
Peers
Work
Place
Mass
Media
Neighbour
Friends
Neighbourhood
Religious
settings
Time
Macrosystem
Attitudes
deologies
Beliefs
raditions
I
T
experiences likely to influence an individual’s
relationships with others. The exosystem
includes events in social settings where the
child does not participate directly, but they
influence the childs’ experiences in the
immediate context. For example, the transfer
of father or mother may cause tension among
the parents which might affect their
interactions with the child or the general
amenities available to the child like quality of
schooling, libraries, medical care, means of
entertainment, etc. Macrosystem includes the
culture in which the individual lives. You have
read in Chapter 3 about the importance of
culture in the development of an individual.
Chronosystem involves events in the
individual’s life course, and socio-historical
circumstances of the time such as, divorce of
parents or parents’ economic setback, and
their effect on the child.
In a nutshell, Bronfenbrenner’s view is that
a child’s development is significantly affected
by the complex world that envelops her/him
– whether it be the minutiae of the
conversations s/he has with her/his
2019-20
Read More
Offer running on EduRev: Apply code STAYHOME200 to get INR 200 off on our premium plan EduRev Infinity!

Related Searches

NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

,

Summary

,

Objective type Questions

,

NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

,

practice quizzes

,

past year papers

,

mock tests for examination

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

Semester Notes

,

Extra Questions

,

Sample Paper

,

Viva Questions

,

pdf

,

MCQs

,

NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

,

ppt

,

study material

,

video lectures

,

Free

,

Exam

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

Important questions

;