About Developmental Psychology

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On March 25, 2017, I went to Griffiths Park in search of a child to observe. I had all of the appropriate documents with me to verify that I was a student if the parents of the child I chose got suspicious of my conduct. I recognized John, whom I had been watching for the first hour without incident. After a while, though, John's parents approached me to inquire about my behavior because they had seen that I had been following their child for some time. I promptly apologized and handed them my student ID card, passport, textbook, and essay prompt to verify that I was a student. John's father apologized for being suspicious and treating me like a criminal. Both parents allowed me to continue my observation and requested that I should seek the consent of guardians in future cases like this. I observed John for the rest of the afternoon, which was about four hours. John was about seven years old.

During the first hour, John's parents were walking through the park explaining to him some of the most relevant histories about it. They told him about the fires that forced the evacuation of hundreds of people in 2007, destroyed the bird sanctuary and Dante's view. They also explained to him how the bombing of Pearl Harbor during the Second World War affected the civilian conservation corps. They told him that the Park was used as a detention camp for Japanese immigrants after the bombing. John appeared to be a bright kid because he constantly asked relevant questions as the parents were explaining all these issues to him. In fact, he seemed to enjoy the conversation about the history of the park.

The first stop for the kid and his parents were the ostrich farm. At the farm, a guard was keen to explain to them the importance of ostriches. The guard also explained the history of the farm and then allowed them to walk around the fence for some minutes to watch as the birds were being fed. These huge birds intrigued John, and he kept asking if they could carry one home. He also kept throwing some foodstuff that had been provided by the guard to the birds to watch their feeding behavior. He also asked if there was a chance that the birds would carry him for a while. However, when the parents explained that they were dangerous wild birds, John understood and seized asking the questions.

The next stop was the merry go round. John was enthusiastic about it, and he looked eager as he waited for his turn. The merry go round was only meant for children, and as such, John's parents could not go with him. They tucked him in his seat and explained to him the importance of being safe as long as the merry go round was in motion. They asked him to maintain focus to avoid sliding off his seat. John listened carefully and promised his parents that he was going to be an obedient little person. When the merry go round was in motion, he kept waving at his parents every time they passed them. He was very smiley and looked excited about the merry go round. When he came off, he ran towards his parents and thanked them for the opportunity. He also asked for a second round, which his parents willingly granted him.

The last stop was at the picnic ground. The parents prepared some snacks for them to enjoy with John. The kid had a good appetite, and he ate all the snacks that had been served for him. After that, he took his father's camera and began taking photos of the family. Most of them were selfies, and he kept asking the parents to put on smiles. The parents then informed him that it was time to go home. He asked them to promise him another tour to the park during the holiday. They said that if he would perform well in his exams, then they would bring him back. John was jubilant, and I thanked the parents for giving me an opportunity to observe their kid.



Developmental psychology suggests that information processing model changes by age as children grow up. As I watched John during the tour, I noticed that he was able to ask relevant questions depending on the subject of discussion. For instance, as the parents were explaining the history of the park, John asked questions such as the when the World War 2 ended and which countries were fighting with each other. Therefore, just as discussed in class, the ability of John to process information was very developed. He could grasp the details very fast and comprehend them to ask relevant questions.

We learned in class that children always want to please their authorities including parents. As I was observing John, I noticed that he was very obedient to the instructions he was given by his parents. For instance, during the merry go round session, he observed all the directions that his parents gave him. At the end of the tour, he promised his parents that he would work hard to get another visit to this park. Therefore, it is clear that children often seek to please authorities in their lives just like John.

Intelligence and Creativity

Wechsler scale for measuring intelligence focuses on the use of verbal tools for measurement. John was seven years, and he spoke very openly. His command of the English language was exemplary, and he used the right words to refer to things. Moreover, John was very polite, and he talked to his parents and the guards with a lot of respect. Looking at his verbal skills, John appeared to be an intelligent kid. I confirmed this when he asked questions about the ostriches in the farm and the history of the park. Therefore, intelligence can be determined by the verbal skills demonstrated by individuals.

In class, we learned about the theory suggested by Sternberg that creativity comes from the ability of people to be playful with ideas and open to risk. John was playful throughout the park. He was excited about the merry go round. Although he knew that he could fall off, he was open to the risk. He even ended up going two rounds on the merry go round. The environment approved of his creativity just like the theory by Sternberg suggests. The guards were fascinated by his questions, and so were his parents. They kept smiling when he asked questions because they felt that he was creative.

Sensation and Perception

In class, we learned that attention in childhood becomes better with age. As children become older, they begin to concentrate for longer periods. They also become more selective and strategic in using senses for goals. I was able to observe that John was able to concentrate for long periods, especially in the ostrich farm. He spent more than thirty minutes asking questions about the birds and watching them as they fed. When the parents were explaining the history of the park, he also kept his attention and asked all the right questions. As such, I was able to understand that his concentration was well developed and that it would continue getting better with age.

Development psychology taught me that children develop their motor skills with age and they grow to become better with time. John had excellent motor skills as is expected for his age. However, he still needed some help with activities like climbing the merry go round. His father placed him on the seat and carefully tucked him. After it had come to a halt, he removed him from the seat and began to ask him about the experience. Therefore, although his skills were well developed, I learned that with age they became better until he can do all things by himself.


The day I spent with John and his parents was a treasure to me, it helped me understand that the concepts I learned in the developmental psychology class are not mere theory. The concepts are practical skills, which should be utilized by parents when bringing up their children. I understood the behavior demonstrated by John in the park because I knew that he was developing. The concepts that I had learned in the class were also important because I learned that they would help me anticipate the future behavior of children. Therefore, it is easy to control and understand children when one has the basics taught in the development psychology class. I believe that the concepts are relevant in parenting.

April 19, 2023

Education Life


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