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In just a few short years, infants go from helpless beings who cannot even hold their heads up to walking, talking, thinking people who are able to understand complex games, infer intentions in others, and even engage in reflexive thought (i.e., thinking about thinking). In this class, we will explore this transition by studying major theories of developmental psychology, examining how the mind (and correspondingly, the brain) changes from infancy through adolescence. We will focus on primary empirical sources investigating the development and integration of perceptual, cognitive, and social skills. Lecture and discussion will emphasize the complex interplay between biological, psychological, and sociocultural elements throughout the life span in domains such as language, emotions, morality, and intelligence. Students will develop and execute their own experimental research projects in small groups.
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