Developmental psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with scientifically studying how and why human beings change over the course of their lives. Though it was initially just concerned with infants and children, it is a field that today accommodates adolescence, adult development, and aging.
A developmental psychologist is concerned with understanding and explaining how our feelings, thought, and behaviors change as we live our lives. In other words, this field of scientific study focuses on a human being’s physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development.
There are many facets involved in the three dimensions mentioned above, from moral understanding and the acquisition of language to our self-concept and identity formation. As the field expanded, developmental psychologists incorporated different processes and nuances of cultures all over the world: how nature and nurture make us who we are based on our contexts and milieus.
It is not a field that exists in a vacuum; developmental psychology complements and involves a wide array of related fields, from child development and cultural psychology to forensic and cognitive psychology. Some of the most renowned names in the history of psychology are developmental psychologists. These include Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, and Sigmund Freud.
Retired professor Dr. Wayne Imber taught psychology in many schools in Arizona, Chicago, and Massachusetts for over 30years. His emphasis was social psychology and developmental psychology. For related reads, visit this blog.