PSY 231-232 Syllabus


Division:††††††† Arts and Sciences†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Date:February 2014


Curricula in Which Course is Taught:Liberal Arts


Course Number and Title:†††††††††† PSY 231-232, Life Span Human Development I - II


Credit Hours:†† 3 †††† Hours/Wk Lecture: 3††† †††† Hours/Wk Lab:†† 0 ††Lec/Lab Comb:††† 0



I.              Catalog Description: ††††††† Investigates human behavior through the life cycle. Describes physical, cognitive, and psycho-social aspects of human development from conception to death. Lecture 3 hours per week.


II.            Relationship of the course to curricula objectives in which it is taught:


This two-course sequence covers issues related to developmental psychology that are part of the fundamental knowledge base needed by students who plan to pursue a four-year degree with a major or minor in psychology. The psychological theories, research, and practical applications covered in these two courses provide students with a knowledge and understanding of human development that will be helpful to those who pursue baccalaureate degrees in fields other than psychology, such as education, health sciences, humanities, or social science specialties.


III.           Required background:


Satisfactory scores on college entrance assessment or permission of the instructor is required to enroll in PSY 231. Successful completion of PSY 231, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor is required to enroll in Psychology 232.

IV.          Course Content:


A.   History and scope of field of human development

B.   Principal theories of development

C.   Genetics, heredity, and environment

D.   Prenatal development

E.   Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development in: infants and toddlers, preschoolers, middle childhood, early adolescence, middle and late adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, late adulthood; and death and dying.

(Note: while the two-course sequence of PSY 231-232 and the single semester course PSY 230 address the same breadth of material, PSY 231-232 provides a greater in-depth exploration of these topics than is available in PSY 230.)


V.Learner Outcomes


The student will:



A.   Understand developmental psychology as an examination of the ways in which people change (or do not change) over time, and a study of the causes for those changes.

B.   Be familiar with the principal theories related to human development.

C.   Understand the basic principles of genetics, and how researchers study the impact of genetically inherited traits and predispositions.

D.   Grasp the significance of the nature vs. nurture debate, and understand how both factors appear to influence change and growth, beginning at conception and continuing throughout a personís life.

E.   Know the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial developmental tasks that children and adults are expected to undertake at different times throughout their lives.

F.    Know the factors that positively and negatively influence an individualís development, and understand how those factors that can be controlled should be controlled.

G.   Understand the impact that an individualís cultural context has upon his or her development, and acquire an appreciation for different cultures.

H.   Be able to critically evaluate theories, research, and assertions about human development.

Student performance will be evaluated by a combination of tests, quizzes, exams, papers, and other special projects or assignments as defined by the individual faculty member. This course includes a mandatory writing assignment or presentation assignment defined by the instructor.


All written assignments will be assessed for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and consistency according to the conventions of standard English.


VII.         This course supports the following objectives:


††††††††††† DCC Educational Objectives:


††††††††††† Critical Thinking

††††††††††† Cultural and Social Understanding

††††††††††† Personal Development