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Health and intelligence are two closely-related aspects of human well-being. The impact of health on intelligence is one of the most important factors in understanding human group differences in IQ test scores and other measures of cognitive ability. Several factors can lead to significant cognitive impairment, particularly if they occur during pregnancy and childhood when the brain is growing and the blood-brain barrier is less effective. Such impairment may sometimes be permanent, sometimes be partially or wholly compensated for by later growth.
Developed nations have implemented several health policies regarding nutrients and toxins known to influence cognitive function. These include laws requiring fortification of certain food products and laws establishing safe levels of pollutants (e.g. lead, mercury, and organochlorides). Comprehensive policy recommendations targeting reduction of cognitive impairment in children have been proposed.
Improvements in nutrition, and in public policy in general, have been implicated in worldwide IQ increases (the Flynn effect).
The Secret Life Of The Brain 02
Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes that occur in human beings over the course of the life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire life span. This field examines change across a broad range of topics including motor skills and other psycho-physiological processes; cognitive development involving areas such as problem solving, moral understanding, and conceptual understanding; language acquisition; social, personality, and emotional development; and self-concept and identity formation.
Developmental psychology includes issues such as the extent to which development occurs through the gradual accumulation of knowledge versus stage-like development, or the extent to which children are born with innate mental structures versus learning through experience. Many researchers are interested in the interaction between personal characteristics, the individual's behavior, and environmental factors including social context, and their impact on development; others take a more narrowly focused approach.
According to Siegel-"Developmental Psychology was pre-occupied with ages and stages. Investigators sought to learn the typical age a which various stages of development that occurred".
According to La bouvie-"Developmental Psychology is not only description but also explication of age related to changes in behaviour in terms of antecedental relationship."
Developmental Psychology is that branch of psychology that studies intra-individual changes and inter-individual changes within the intra-individual changes."
Developmental psychology informs several applied fields, including: educational psychology, child psychopathology, and forensic developmental psychology. Developmental psychology complements several other basic research fields in psychology including social psychology, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and comparative psychology.
Objectives of Developmental Psychology
1. To find out common characteristics of age.
2. When these changes occurs?
3. What causes them?
4. How they influence behaviour?
5. Whether they can be predicted?
6. Whether they are individual or universal?
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The Teenage Brain
Adolescence, the transitional stage of development between childhood and adulthood, represents the period of time during which a person experiences a variety of biological changes and encounters a number of emotional issues. The ages which are considered to be part of adolescence vary by culture, and ranges from preteens to 19 years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adolescence covers the period of life between 10 and 20 years of age. Adolescence is often divided by psychologists into three distinct phases: early, mid, and late adolescence.
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The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the Ancient Greeks. There is also evidence of psychological thought in ancient Egypt. Psychology was a branch of philosophy until 1879, when psychology developed as an independent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. Psychology borders on various other fields including physiology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, sociology, anthropology, as well as philosophy and other components of the humanities.
Philosophical interest in the mind and behavior dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, China and India. These earlier forms of inquiry began adopting a more clinical and experimental approach under medieval Greek and Muslim psychologists and physicians, whose practitioners built the first psychiatric hospitals.
Psychology as a self-conscious field of experimental study began in 1879, when Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research in Leipzig. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus (a pioneer in the study of memory), William James (the American father of pragmatism), and Ivan Pavlov (who developed the procedures associated with classical conditioning).
Soon after the development of experimental psychology, various kinds of applied psychology appeared. G. Stanley Hall brought scientific pedagogy to the United States from Germany in the early 1880s. John Dewey's educational theory of the 1890s was another example. Also in the 1890s, Hugo MÃ¼nsterberg began writing about the application of psychology to industry, law, and other fields. Lightner Witmer established the first psychological clinic in the 1890s. James McKeen Cattell adapted Francis Galton's anthropometric methods to generate the first program of mental testing in the 1890s. In Vienna, meanwhile, the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud developed an independent approach to the study of the mind called psychoanalysis, which has been widely influential.
The 20th century saw a reaction to Edward Titchener's critique of Wundt's empiricism. This contributed to the formulation of behaviorism by John B. Watson, which was popularized by B. F. Skinner. Behaviorism proposed limiting psychological study to that of overt behavior, because that could be quantified and easily measured. Behaviorists considered knowledge of the "mind" too metaphysical to achieve scientifically. The final decades of the 20th century saw the decline of behaviorism and the rise of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary approach to studying the human mind. Cognitive science again considers the "mind" as a subject for investigation, using the tools of evolutionary psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, and neurobiology. This form of investigation has proposed that a wide understanding of the human mind is possible, and that such an understanding may be applied to other research domains, such as artificial intelligence.
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The Aging Brain