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Human Development Chapter Notes | Psychology Class 11 - Humanities/Arts PDF Download

Meaning of Development

  1. Physical Changes and Multidimensional Nature of Development

    • Physical changes encompass growth, motor skill development, and changes in the body's structure and function.
    • The multidimensional nature emphasizes that development occurs across various domains, including physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional aspects. For example, a child's physical growth may be accompanied by cognitive development, such as language acquisition.
  2. Pattern of Progressive, Orderly, and Predictable Changes

    • Progressive changes build on existing capacities. For instance, a child learns to crawl before walking, showing a progressive sequence in motor development.
    • Orderly changes follow a general sequence, such as the typical progression from infancy to childhood to adolescence.
    • Predictable changes refer to the likelihood of certain milestones being reached within certain age ranges, like language development stages.


  3. Influence of Biological, Cognitive, and Socio-emotional Processes

    • Biological processes include genetic factors, hormonal changes, and physical maturation.
    • Cognitive processes involve thinking, problem-solving, memory, and learning.
    • Socio-emotional processes encompass the development of relationships, emotions, and personality traits.
  4. Role of Cognitive Processes in Development

    • Cognitive processes include perception, attention, memory, language acquisition, and problem-solving.
    • For example, a child's ability to understand abstract concepts evolves as they grow, influencing how they navigate the world around them.
  5. Socio-emotional Processes in Development

    • Socio-emotional processes involve changes in social interactions, emotional experiences, and the development of personality.
    • Social relationships, such as family and peer interactions, significantly impact an individual's socio-emotional development.
  6. Life-Span Perspective on Development

    • Development occurs throughout the entire life-span, starting from conception to old age.
    • Different stages of life present unique challenges and opportunities for development, and individuals continue to adapt and grow in response to changing circumstances.
  7. Multi-directional Nature of Development

    • Development involves both gains and losses. For example, while aging may lead to physical decline, it may also bring wisdom and increased knowledge through life experiences.
    • Changes in one aspect, such as increased wisdom, may compensate for declines in another, like physical speed.
  8. Highly Plastic Nature of Development

    • Plasticity refers to the capacity for change. Psychologically, individuals can adapt and learn at various stages of life.
    • Some skills and abilities can be improved or developed through experiences and interventions, emphasizing the potential for lifelong learning.
  9. Influence of Historical Conditions on Development

    • Historical conditions, such as cultural shifts or significant events, shape individuals' experiences.
    • For instance, individuals who grew up during times of societal upheaval may have different perspectives and coping mechanisms compared to those who did not experience such conditions.
  10. Interdisciplinary Nature of Development

    • Development is studied and understood through the lenses of various disciplines.
    • Psychology explores mental processes, sociology examines societal influences, biology studies physical maturation, and anthropology considers cultural contexts, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of human development.
  11. Individual's Response to Contexts

    • An individual's development is influenced by multiple contexts.
    • Genetic inheritance sets a biological foundation, the physical environment provides stimuli for sensory and motor development, social interactions contribute to socio-emotional growth, and historical and cultural factors shape overall experiences.

Question for Chapter Notes: Human Development
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What does the term "development" encompass?
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Factors Influencing Development

  1. Genetic Inheritance

    • Genetic codes inherited from parents are present in every cell of the body, providing a blueprint for development.
    • The complexity of genetic transmission determines the traits and characteristics individuals inherit.
  2. Genotype and Phenotype

    • Genotype represents the actual genetic material inherited from parents.
    • Phenotype is the observable and measurable expression of an individual's genotype.
    • The interaction between inherited traits and the environment shapes observable characteristics.
  3. Role of Genes in Development

    • Genes provide a distinct blueprint and timetable for an individual's development.
    • Development is not solely determined by genes; it occurs within the context of the environment.
      Genetic Inheritance
      Genetic Inheritance

  4. Environmental Influence

    • Development is influenced by the interaction between genetic factors and the environment.
    • Sandra Scarr's perspective highlights that parents' environmental contributions may be influenced by their own genetic predispositions.
  5. Dynamic Interactions with Environment

    • Interactions with the environment change throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
    • Environmental influences are as complex as genetic factors, contributing to the multifaceted nature of development.

Context of Development

  1. Sociocultural Context

    • Development occurs within a sociocultural context, and the environment can change at any point in an individual's lifespan.
    • Urie Bronfenbrenner's contextual view emphasizes the dynamic role of environmental factors.
  2. Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory

    • Microsystem: The immediate environment where the individual interacts with family, peers, teachers, and neighborhood.
    • Mesosystem: Relations between microsystem contexts, such as how parents relate to teachers.
    • Exosystem: Events in social settings not directly participated in by the child but influencing their immediate context.
    • Macrosystem: The broader cultural context in which the individual lives.
    • Chronosystem: Events in an individual's life course and socio-historical circumstances influencing development.

               Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

               Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

  3. Complex Interactions in Ecology

    • Durganand Sinha's ecological model for understanding child development in the Indian context highlights two concentric layers.
    • The upper and visible layers consist of factors like home, school, and peer groups, which interact with each other.
    • The surrounding layers, though not always visible, constantly influence the upper layer factors, and their impacts vary across individuals.
  4. Dynamic Nature of Ecological Environment

    • The ecological environment is subject to change or alteration at any point in an individual's life-span.
    • Visible and surrounding layer factors interact, producing diverse consequences for development in different people.

Question for Chapter Notes: Human Development
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What is the role of genetic inheritance in development?
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Overview of Developmental Stages

1. Prenatal Stage

  • Definition: The prenatal stage spans from conception to birth, approximately 40 weeks.
  • Factors Influencing Development:
    • Genetic and Environmental Factors: The interplay between genetic factors inherited from parents and environmental conditions influences the course of prenatal development.
    • Maternal Characteristics: The mother's age, nutritional status, and emotional well-being contribute to the overall health of the developing fetus.
    • Disease and Infections: Illnesses carried by the mother can affect prenatal development, emphasizing the importance of maternal health.
    • Teratogens: Environmental agents like drugs, radiation, and certain chemicals can cause deviations in normal development, leading to serious abnormalities or death.

2. Infancy

  • Brain Development:
    • The brain undergoes rapid development before and after birth.
    • Neural connections form at a remarkable rate, setting the foundation for cognitive and motor skills.
  • Newborn Abilities:
    • Sensory Capabilities: Newborns exhibit sensory capabilities, recognizing their mother's voice shortly after birth and responding to touch, smell, and taste.
    • Motor Development: Newborn movements are governed by reflexes, automatic responses to stimuli that serve as the building blocks for subsequent motor development.
    • Visual and Auditory Capabilities: Vision and hearing capabilities improve over the first year, with infants displaying preferences for certain stimuli.
  • Cognitive Development:
    • Piaget's Stages: Jean Piaget's theory suggests that infants experience the world through senses and interactions with objects during the first two years.
    • Object Permanence: Infants lack object permanence, the awareness that objects continue to exist when not perceived.
    • Verbal Communication: The basis of verbal communication is present in infants, with vocalization and babbling starting around 3 to 6 months.
      Jean Piaget
      Jean Piaget

3. Socio-emotional Development

  • Social Nature of Infants:
    • Babies are inherently social, displaying preferences for familiar faces and responding to the presence of their parents through cooing and gurgling.
  • Attachment Theory (Erik Erikson):
    • Key Time for Attachment: According to Erik Erikson, the first year is crucial for developing trust or mistrust.
    • Importance of Attachment: Attachment is formed through responsive and sensitive parenting, providing a sense of security.
    • Secure and Insecure Attachment: Securely attached infants respond positively, while insecurely attached infants may experience anxiety when separated.

4. Childhood

  • Definition: Childhood follows infancy and involves continued physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development.
  • Key Aspects:
    • Cognitive Development: Children actively construct their understanding of the world, adapting their thinking as they acquire new information.
    • Socio-emotional Growth: Development of social and emotional skills continues, building on the foundation laid during infancy.
    • Erikson's Stages: Erik Erikson's theory includes stages of psychosocial development, emphasizing the importance of resolving key conflicts at each stage.

Question for Chapter Notes: Human Development
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Which of the following factors can affect prenatal development?
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1. Physical Development

  • Proximodistal Trend: Children gain control over the upper part of the body before the lower part. This means that their motor control and coordination develop from the center of the body outward.
  • Torso Control: Children gain control over their torso before their extremities. Initially, infants turn their entire body to reach for objects, gradually extending their arms as they develop.
  • Visual Impairment: The sequence of development is attributed to the maturing nervous system rather than external factors, as visually impaired children exhibit the same sequence.

2. Motor Development

  • Gross Motor Skills: In early childhood, gross motor skills involve confident and purposeful use of arms and legs, as well as moving around in the environment.
  • Hand Preference: During these years, a child's preference for using the left or right hand begins to develop.

3. Cognitive Development

  • Object Permanence: The acquisition of object permanence allows children to use mental symbols to represent objects, marking a crucial cognitive milestone.
  • Preoperational Thought: This stage, according to Piaget, involves the ability to mentally represent objects that are not physically present. However, children at this stage may lack the ability to perform mentally what was done physically.
  • Egocentrism and Animism: Children, due to egocentrism, see the world only in terms of themselves. They may engage in animism, thinking that all things are living, like themselves.
  • Intuitive Thought: Piaget labels this stage where children engage in intuitive thought and tend to focus on a single characteristic for understanding an event.
  • Concrete Operational Thought: This stage involves operations—mental actions allowing a child to do mentally what was done physically before. It also introduces reversible mental actions and a decline in egocentrism.
  • Flexibility in Thinking: Thinking becomes more flexible, allowing children to consider alternatives when problem-solving and mentally retrace their steps if required.

4. Socio-emotional Development

  • Self-Identity: Socialization contributes to the development of a sense of self and identification with specific individuals or groups.
  • Sense of Initiative or Guilt: According to Erikson, the way parents respond to a child's self-initiated activities influences the development of a sense of initiative or guilt.
  • Self-Understanding: Initially limited to physical characteristics, self-understanding expands to include psychological and social aspects, along with social comparison.
  • Peer Influence: As children enter school, they spend more time with peers, shaping their development and expanding their social world.

5. Moral Development

  • Differentiating Right from Wrong: Children learn to distinguish between the rightness and wrongness of human acts.
  • Kohlberg's Stages: Lawrence Kohlberg proposed stages of moral development, where children progress through age-related moral thinking.
  • Internalization of Rules: Children internalize rules to be virtuous and seek approval from others. At earlier stages, they view rules as absolute guidelines that should be followed.
  • Flexibility in Moral Thinking: As children progress, moral thinking becomes more flexible, and they consider the nuances of moral dilemmas.
    Kohlberg`s Theory
    Kohlberg's Theory

6. Later Childhood

  • Gradual Growth Rate: Towards the end of childhood, a more gradual growth rate enables the development of skills such as coordination and balance.
  • Logical Reasoning: Language development and logical reasoning progress during later childhood.
  • Social Involvement: Children become more involved in social systems, such as family and peer groups, contributing to their overall social development.

[Question: 978255]

Challenges of Adolescence

1. Definition and Transition

  • Definition: Adolescence is a complex transitional period characterized by physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional changes. The Latin root, "adolsense," meaning "to grow into maturity," underscores the essence of this phase.
  • Cultural Context: The experience of adolescence is not uniform across cultures. While the physical changes during this stage are universal, the social and psychological dimensions are heavily influenced by cultural perspectives. For instance, in cultures where adolescence is seen as the beginning of adult behavior, the challenges and experiences differ from cultures where adolescence is viewed as a problematic or confusing period.

2. Physical Development

  • Onset of Adolescence: Puberty, heralding the end of childhood and the onset of adolescence, involves dramatic physical changes such as growth spurts and the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics.
  • Hormonal Impact: Hormones released during puberty contribute to changes such as accelerated growth, the appearance of facial hair, and changes in voice for boys.
  • Psychological Changes: The onset of puberty triggers an increased interest in members of the opposite sex and heightened awareness of sexual feelings. Factors like societal emphasis on sexuality and peer influence contribute to this heightened attention.
  • Sexual Identity: Adolescents go through the crucial developmental task of forming a sexual identity, influencing sexual orientation and guiding future sexual behaviors. Concerns about sexual health, especially in the context of diseases like AIDS, add complexity to this aspect of development.

3. Cognitive Developmental Changes

  • Piaget's Formal Operational Thought: According to Piaget, formal operational thought emerges between ages 11 and 15, marking a shift from concrete experiences to abstract thinking.
  • Hypothetical Deductive Reasoning: Adolescents start thinking more systematically, considering possible courses of action and systematically seeking solutions, known as hypothetical deductive reasoning.
  • Moral Reasoning: Moral thinking becomes more flexible, and adolescents recognize alternative moral courses. They explore options before developing a personal moral code, showing an evolving moral reasoning.

4. Forming an Identity

  • Detachment Process: Adolescents strive to establish a unique identity separate from their parents. This detachment process involves developing a set of beliefs, values, and commitments that are uniquely their own.
  • Conflict and Coping: Identity formation can lead to conflicts with parents and within themselves. Those who cope well with these conflicts develop a stronger sense of self, while others may experience confusion.
  • Identity Confusion: Erikson's concept of "identity confusion" highlights the potential negative outcomes for those who struggle with conflicting identities. It can lead to isolation or losing oneself in the crowd.
  • Independence and Dependence: Adolescents often desire independence but may simultaneously feel afraid of it. This ambivalence results in a delicate balance between seeking autonomy and maintaining dependence on parents.

5. Influencing Factors on Identity Formation

  • Family Relationships: As adolescents spend more time outside the home, peer relationships become increasingly influential. Family ties, while still important, may take a backseat during this period.
  • Peer Influence: Interactions with peers become essential for refining social skills and experimenting with various social behaviors. Peer influence can be a significant force shaping identity.
  • Dual Influences: Both peers and parents play critical roles in influencing adolescents. While peers provide immediate social context, parents contribute to long-term identity development.
  • Vocational Commitment: Career choices play a pivotal role in shaping identity during adolescence. Career counseling in schools becomes instrumental in providing information, guidance, and support for making informed decisions about future paths.

6. Education and Guidance

  • Career Counseling: Educational institutions play a vital role in shaping adolescents' futures. Career counseling offers students information about various courses and jobs, assisting in making decisions about vocational commitments. This guidance is essential for a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood.

[Question: 978254]

Some Major Concerns

1. Delinquency

  • Definition and Range of Behaviors: Delinquency encompasses a spectrum of behaviors, from minor socially unacceptable actions to serious criminal offenses among adolescents.
  • Psychological Impact: Adolescents engaged in delinquent behavior often experience a negative self-identity, reduced trust in themselves, and lower levels of academic and personal achievement.
  • Family Dynamics: Delinquency is frequently associated with low parental support, inappropriate discipline, and family discord. The family environment can significantly contribute to or mitigate delinquent behaviors.
  • Temporal Aspect: It's crucial to recognize that delinquent behaviors in childhood don't necessarily persist into adulthood. Early intervention and positive influences can contribute to behavioral change.

2. Substance Abuse

  • Vulnerability during Adolescence: Adolescents are particularly susceptible to smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse due to the ongoing development of coping skills and decision-making capabilities.
  • Motivations for Substance Abuse: Reasons for substance abuse often include peer pressure, the desire for acceptance within a group, a wish to emulate adult behavior, or an attempt to cope with academic or social pressures.
  • Addiction Challenges: The addictive nature of substances, such as nicotine, can make it challenging for adolescents to quit, reinforcing the importance of preventive measures.
  • Psychological Factors: Adolescents with low self-esteem and limited expectations for achievement are more prone to succumb to the pressures of substance abuse.

3. Eating Disorders

  • Psychosocial Factors: Adolescents' preoccupation with self, immersion in a fantasy world, and constant peer comparisons can lead to the development of eating disorders.
  • Anorexia Nervosa: Anorexia nervosa involves a relentless pursuit of thinness through starvation. This may manifest as restricting certain foods or consuming only slimming foods.
  • Bulimia: Bulimia is characterized by a binge-and-purge eating pattern, where individuals may alternate between excessive eating and purging through self-induced vomiting, laxative use, or fasting.
  • Media Influence: The media's portrayal of thinness as the epitome of beauty can contribute significantly to the development of anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

4. Adulthood

  • Defining Characteristics: Adulthood is characterized by responsibility, maturity, self-support, and integration into society. The specific attributes that define an adult can vary, indicating that the timing and manifestation of these characteristics differ among individuals.

5. Career and Work

  • Challenges of Entering Work Life: Transitioning into work life in one's twenties and thirties involves various challenges, such as adjusting to new roles, proving competence, dealing with competition, and managing expectations from employers and oneself.
  • Career Development: The process of choosing an occupation, developing a career, and earning a living is a significant theme during adulthood. It involves making adjustments, navigating workplace dynamics, and evaluating one's career path.

6. Marriage, Parenthood, and Family

  • Marriage Adjustments: Young adults entering marriage must adapt to each other's preferences, likes, dislikes, and choices. Navigating these adjustments contributes to the success and stability of the marriage.
  • Parenthood Challenges: Becoming a parent is a transformative but challenging transition for young adults. The experience of parenting is influenced by factors such as the number of children, availability of social support, and the overall happiness of the couple.
  • Changing Family Structures: Death or divorce can reshape family structures, leading to single-parent families or situations where both parents work. Balancing work and family responsibilities becomes crucial in these scenarios.

7. Changes in the Body

  • Physical Changes in Middle Age: Middle age is marked by maturational changes in the body, leading to declines in vision, sensitivity to glare, hearing loss, and changes in physical appearance. These changes, while a natural part of aging, can impact individuals differently.
  • Cognitive Abilities: Some cognitive abilities may decline with age, particularly in tasks involving long-term memory. However, wisdom may improve, and individual differences exist in intelligence at every age.

8. Old Age

  • Determinants of Old Age: The experience of old age is influenced by socioeconomic conditions, healthcare availability, societal attitudes, and the support system available to older adults.
  • Retirement Significance: Retirement from active vocational life is a significant life event, requiring adjustment to a new routine and lifestyle.
  • Family Structure Changes: Older adults may need to adapt to changes in family structures, such as children setting up independent homes or depending on their children for financial and emotional support.
  • Impact of Spouse's Death: The death of a spouse is a profound loss that can lead to grief, loneliness, depression, financial challenges, and potential health-related problems. Support and care become crucial for the well-being of the elderly.
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FAQs on Human Development Chapter Notes - Psychology Class 11 - Humanities/Arts

1. How does studying humanities and arts contribute to human development?
Ans. Studying humanities and arts plays a significant role in human development by fostering critical thinking, creativity, and empathy. It helps individuals understand different cultures, perspectives, and historical contexts, promoting a broader worldview. Additionally, the study of humanities and arts enhances communication and analytical skills, which are essential for personal and professional growth.
2. What are some examples of disciplines within humanities and arts that contribute to human development?
Ans. There are various disciplines within humanities and arts that contribute to human development. Examples include literature, philosophy, history, visual arts, music, theater, and dance. Each discipline offers unique opportunities for personal reflection, self-expression, and cultural understanding, ultimately enriching individuals' lives and contributing to their overall development.
3. How can studying humanities and arts benefit individuals in their careers?
Ans. Studying humanities and arts can benefit individuals in their careers by developing transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. These skills are highly valued in many professional fields, including business, law, education, and healthcare. Moreover, the study of humanities and arts nurtures creativity and innovation, which are increasingly sought after in today's rapidly changing job market.
4. Are there any specific ways in which studying humanities and arts can enhance emotional intelligence?
Ans. Yes, studying humanities and arts can enhance emotional intelligence by promoting empathy, self-awareness, and understanding of human experiences. Through literature, theater, and visual arts, individuals can explore different emotions, perspectives, and societal issues, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others. This emotional intelligence can positively impact personal relationships, leadership skills, and overall emotional well-being.
5. Can studying humanities and arts contribute to a sense of cultural identity and social cohesion?
Ans. Yes, studying humanities and arts can contribute to a sense of cultural identity and social cohesion. By engaging with literature, history, and other artistic expressions, individuals can develop a greater appreciation and understanding of their own cultural heritage. This understanding fosters a sense of belonging and pride, promoting social cohesion within communities. Additionally, studying humanities and arts encourages dialogue and cross-cultural exchange, further strengthening social bonds and promoting intercultural understanding.
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