Psychology 350

Developmental Psychology

Fall 2000

Grades & Exams





Section info


Lectures: Monday & Wednesday 10-11:30 - 1324 East Hall

Textbook: Berger, K.S. (2001). The developing person through the lifespan. New York: Worth.
The accompanying Study Guide is recommended but not required.

Professor: Dr. Scott Paris
Office: 2008 East Hall
Phone: 764-7472
Office Hours: Tues: 12-3PM and by appointment
Mailbox on second floor of East Hall in Developmental Psychology office

Psych 350 homepage url:

Graduate Student Instructors: click on their names to link to their sections

Jenny Jaeckel, Janna Kim, Roxana Marachi, Melanie Overby, Bridget Weller

Discussion Sections: The purpose of sections is to provide opportunities for students to discuss, research, question, and present issues about human development. Each section is designed by the GSI so follow your section syllabus, participate actively in sections, and get to know your GSI. Half of your grade will be determined by GSIs on the bases of assignments and participation in sections. Each section syllabus will describe the requirements for earning these points. Sections meet Wed, Thurs, or Fridays and ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED at every section. Every unexcused absence from discussion sections will result in a 5 point deduction from your total score.

Practica/Mentoring: Opportunities for working in the community will be explained.

Objectives: This course provides an introduction to the milestones of human development from conception to death. We describe physical, cognitive, and social growth of people with special attention to various cultural contexts of development and the rich diversity of individuals. The content is drawn from research and theories in developmental psychology. We expect students to integrate their personal experiences, knowledge of psychology, and their observations of human development with the content of this course. In addition, we will discuss implications for parenting, education, and social policy-making so that you can apply course information to meaningful problems.

Philosophy: We try to make information about developmental psychology meaningful and relevant so that you will be motivated to learn the material by interest and curiosity. We try to provide multiple opportunities and means for you to demonstrate your understanding so that no single assessment ruins your chance of getting a good grade in the course. We provide multiple test opportunities and non-competitive grading on a straight scale to encourage effort and collaborative learning. We provide a variety of teaching strategies including videos, lectures with multimedia, and guest speakers so that you will be motivated to attend lectures. We will use the internet resources to provide webpages for course material, additional links, timetables of assignments, reviews for exams, and lecture notes. There will also be a variety of opportunities in sections for you to become actively involved discussing developmental concepts. Finally, we will make practicum opportunities available so that students can elect to work in communittings with people across the lifespan. Students who take responsibility for demonstrating their knowledge, who try to master the material, who plan their individual projects well, and who display high effort throughout the course will be most satisfied with their knowledge and grades.


Grades: The course will NOT be graded on a curve so your grade is not based on competition with other students in class. Collaboration for learning is encouraged so share your ideas, notes, and knowledge. Grades will be assigned according to the percentage of points earned on the assignments: 98-100% = A+; 92-97% = A; 90-91% = A-; 88-89% = B+; 82-87% = B; 80-81% = B-; 78-79% =C+; 72-77% = C; 70-71% = C-; 68-69% = D+; 62-68% = D; 60-61% = D; and below 59% = F. Percentages are NOT rounded up.

Examinations. There will be three objective examinations given in class that cover chapters in the textbook and lectures. Each exam is worth 80 points. There will be an optional "retake test" for the first two exams. Correct answers will be displayed in the exam room at the end of the Monday exams so students can compute their scores and determine if they want to take the Friday retake exam. Students are REQUIRED to take the first examination but are not required to take the retake exam; only the higher score obtained will count toward the final grade. There will be no retake for the FINAL EXAM.





  1. C
  2. A
  3. C
  4. A
  5. A, B,C,D
  6. A
  7. C
  8. C
  9. C
  10. C
  11. C
  12. A,B
  13. B
  14. A
  15. B
  16. D
  17. C
  18. C
  19. D
  20. A
  21. C
  22. C
  23. A,B
  24. C
  25. A
  26. C
  27. A,B,C,D
  28. B
  29. C
  30. A
  31. A,D
  32. C
  33. C
  34. B
  35. B
  36. B
  37. A
  38. B
  39. B
  40. B
  41. C
  42. C
  43. D
  44. D
  45. C
  46. C
  47. C
  48. C
  49. C
  50. A
  51. C
  52. A
  53. A
  54. B
  55. A,B
  56. D
  57. A
  58. A
  59. D
  60. B
  61. D
  62. D
  63. D
  64. A
  65. B
  66. C
  67. B,C
  68. B
  69. C
  70. C
  71. D
  72. A
  73. A
  74. D
  75. C
  76. A
  77. A
  78. B
  79. A
  80. B





Psychology 350 - Syllabus








Disc #1

Organization & Research Methods



Theories & methods of developmental psychology



Prenatal development

3, 4


Prenatal Influences and Teratogens






Infant growth


Disc. #3

Birth & Infancy



Perceptual development



Cognitive development in infancy


Disc. #4

Infant Development: Project ideas due



Language development



Movie on language


Disc. #5

Language Development



Social-emotional development





Disc. #6

Social-Emotional Development - Project outlines due



8PM: EXAMINATION #1 (80 points) Chapters 1-7 & lectures



Physical and cognitive development: Early childhood

8, 9


Optional Retake Exam #1; 3-5PM


Disc. #7

Early childhood



Prosocial & antisocial behavior: Movie "Among Equals"



Biosocial development


Disc. #8

Media, Families, & Gender



Academic learning and motivation



Self, Identity & Families


Disc. # 9

Education & Development



Adolescent physical & cognitive development



Adolescent emotional & social development


Disc. #10




8PM: EXAMINATION #2 (80 points) Chapters 8-16 & lectures



Review & Movie "House of Tomorrow



Optional Retake exam #2; 3-5PM


Disc. #11

Tasks of young adulthood



Physical & intellectual changes during adulthood



Love, marriage, and families PROJECT PAPERS DUE



NO SECTIONS: Thanksgiving



Middle age

20, 21


Movie on middle age


Disc. #12

Middle adulthood



Late adulthood

23, 24


Late adulthood


Disc. #13

Late adulthood & the end of life



Death and dying: Cross-cultural perspectives



EXAMINATION #3 (80 POINTS) on all material since Exam #2


Hints and Advice for this Course


1. This syllabus provides information about the structure, content, organization, and requirements of the course but may change slightly to accommodate unforeseen events. Read it carefully and ask us questions if you are confused by any part of it. Please review the course requirements carefully. Mark important dates and assignments in your calendars. Late assignments and make-up tests will only be allowed under extraordinary circumstances. It is your responsibility to plan ahead and to contact us if there are problems. Check the course websites for updated information, exam reviews, section assignments, and other course information.

2. You can keep track of your points, percentile, and grade in this course easily. If you have questions about your grades, see your GSI first and then ask Dr. Paris if you are still concerned. Please do not argue about every little picky point in the course. We will try to be fair in all cases but we cannot succumb to persistent arguments just to appease you. Keep copies of all your papers and assignments. The course is designed to help you keep up with assignments, to work collaboratively, to avoid anxiety about tests, and to help you integrate and apply developmental concepts to problems of your own selection. Jump in and enjoy!

3. For each of the three exams, we will provide special testing rooms for students who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or special needs for smaller rooms and extended time to take the exams. Please notify your GSI if you want to take the exams in a special room. If you have other difficulties with the course (for example, reading the textbook or climbing stairs in the lecture room) due to a disability, unfamiliarity with English, or other special circumstances, please see Dr. Paris as soon as possible so we can find a solution.

4. Choose your project topic carefully so it is personally meaningful. Use this opportunity to explore an issue in human development that is interesting to you and has substantial research so that you can locate sufficient references. Some students choose poor topics that may have little developmental research, may be too broad, or may be too emotionally draining so think about many topics before selecting one. Do not choose a topic that you have researched in a previous course; use this opportunity to extend your understanding of an issue in your own life. The project is NOT a library research paper and is NOT a personal journal. It is a unique combination of academic analyses of developmental issues that are relevant to your personal life and experiences.

5. We recommend that you find a partner or group with whom you can study the material in this course. Talk about the information, read each other's work, study together, share notes, etc. on a regular basis so that you can keep up with the syllabus and assignments. Because there is only one book, we expect you to know all the information in the textbook and lectures thoroughly. The exams assess both conceptual knowledge and factual information so prepare to answer both kinds of questions.

6. We expect all students to abide by the honor code. Plagiarism and cheating will not be accepted and all suspected cases will be taken to the Dean's office. If confirmed, you will receive an F for this course and a letter added to your academic records indicating the reason. Please do your own original work for this course.

7. Because Incompletes interfere with your work and ours in the following semester, we will not give Incomplete grades except under extraordinary situations. Please plan ahead.

9. There will be no extra credit assignments during the semester or after the final exam. If you miss a higher grade by a few points, we cannot give individual students extra assignments to boost their grades, so please do not ask for extra credit assignments.


Guidelines for Developmental Projects

The course is designed so that students can choose their own lifespan topics to investigate in depth and it is the major assignment of the course. There is no coursepack of readings because we want you to spend time researching and reading source material relevant to your own specific interests. This project will involve 4 distinct steps that are worth 140 points.

Step 1 is the identification of your topic including; the developmental issues at stake, the multiple perspectives on the issue, your personal experience relevant to the topic, and at least 3 key references. It is worth 10 points. It is due in discussion section by 9/29.

Step 2 is the preparation of a detailed outline, at least 2 pages long, with at least 5 key references listed on a separate References page according to APA style. You must identify where each reference will be used in the proposed outline. Attached to the outline will be (1) a photocopied title page and Abstract of ONE key reference that you intend to use in your paper and (2) a 2-3 page, double-spaced summary and critique of the article. The assignment is worth 20 points and due in section by 10/13.

The purpose of this step is to help you use psychological databases to search for topics and to choose appropriate sources from mainstream developmental journals. Use psychological journals such as those listed on the course homepage as a starting point and seek others that may be appropriate for your topic. Avoid popular media and esoteric sources as references. Your outline and paper will have points deducted for poor references. Browse through the journals to find interesting articles that are comprehensible to you. Don't worry if you cannot understand the details of the statistical part of the article. Review the article carefully and organize your ideas before you start writing. GSIs will explain the requirements and procedures but we expect detailed outlines and your original critiques of a key article. It is important to show the structure and organization of your paper, how the references will be used to support your arguments, how you will examine developmental issues, and how you will incorporate multiple perspectives on your topic that vary by age, gender, culture, or history.

Step 3 is to obtain peer feedback on a draft of your paper. The purpose of this assignment is to share your ideas with a classmate so each student learns about another's project and to receive feedback to improve the final draft. It is worth 10 points. Attach the peer editing comments that you received (and the name of the person who reviewed it) to your final draft when it is submitted. Each peer review must be done by a student in this class so attach the name and section of the student writing the review. Each peer commentary must include a minimum of 3 constructive suggestions. I'm looking for a page or two of comments or a marked up draft as evidence that a peer read your paper and gave you useful advice.

Step 4 is the final developmental project report and is worth 100 points. See the attached description and grading rubric for more information. All Project Papers will be original and written individually and violations of the Honor Code will result in an F for the course. Papers are due by class Wednesday, November 22nd. That means before class; do not come at 11:30 to drop off your paper. Late papers will be penalized with a deduction of 4 points for every day past the due date. No electronically submitted or faxed papers will be accepted.


The Developmental Project is an opportunity for students to select and research a topic of personal interest and to conduct their own developmental analyses. We want you to examine a topic from multiple perspectives, such as cultural, historical, longitudinal, racial, and gender perspectives. The Project should be based on both library research on a topic and sources approved by GSIs and your own life experiences. If you are involved in research or practica with developmental psychological perspectives, you might be able to use those experiences as the basis for your project but check with the GSI about how to do so. This option will work for students who are enrolled in Outreach sections or practica that are compatible with this course. If you choose the research/practica option as the basis for your project, we expect you to base your reactions on notes that you have kept during the semester, salient experiences, data, or observations of children, adolescents, or adults, and information learned during this e. However, it is important to note that your project must have scholarly bibliographic references whether it is based on your practica, research, or life experiences.

The purpose of this assignment is to display your critical thinking about an issue in developmental psychology. The topic that you select should allow you to integrate your own experiences into the analysis of the literature and to demonstrate analyses from multiple perspectives. What multiple perspectives do we mean? The clearest example is to discuss a topic from the points of view of people of different ages but you also might compare/contrast analyses of the issues by gender, race, culture, or history. For example, if you choose to study divorce or siblings or mate selection, be sure to analyze the issue from several different perspectives.

Regardless of the issue you choose, we expect you to work on the topic during the entire semester and to synthesize your own research and inquiry with the information provided in this class. This assignment is worth 140 points so we expect you to invest at least 60 hours in it. You should plan on reading MANY papers, books, and articles for your project and include at least 12 references. Discuss your plan with your GSI before writing the paper. The paper must be at least 10 typed pages, double-spaced and should include:

• a clear statement about the developmental issues addressed in your paper, the focus of your observations, research, or experiences, and the evidence on which your views are based;

• your personal reactions, evaluations, and critical analyses from different perspectives;

• references to ideas expressed in lectures, discussions, or readings; and

• your synthesis, point of view, or conclusion to your argument.

We EXPECT you to revise, edit, and proofread the paper thoroughly before handing it in. Disorganized writing and thinking will lower the grade given to your paper. Use APA style (which is found in most psychology journals). All project papers will be graded on the same criteria. They are included here so that you can use them to guide your writing.





Developmental issues and questions

Clearly identified
Connected to course topics and discussions
Includes multiple perspectives


Evidence & support

At least 12 references; many empirical
Connected to textbook, lectures, discussions
Analyzes sources and integrates key ideas


Personal reactions and interpretation

Integrates personal experiences and views
Evaluates evidence and ideas


Synthesis and Conclusion

Combines and reconciles evidence
Makes a logical conclusion



Follows APA style/ correct grammar and spelling
Coherent organization/ personal voice

Possible Projects

The following list of possible projects will give you some ideas about topics but you are not limited to these options. Skim the entire textbook for ideas. Talk with other students and your GSI to create your own personal project. These should provide springboards for your own ideas.

1. How does the birth of a child affect family members? Consider how the arrival of a new child affects the parents, siblings, and grandparents in a family. You might contrast these consequences for two families who differ in some significant way, perhaps one set of parents is in their 20's and the other is in their 40's or one family is having their first child and another is having their seventh or one family wanted the child and one did not.

2. How does long-lasting parental conflict affect a family? Discuss how bad marriages can influence children and other relatives over time. Is it useful for parents to stay married "for the children's sake"? How will parental conflicts affect the way their children act as parents later?

3. If you have brothers or sisters, you may want to examine sibling rivalry and how it changes across the life span. How do differences in gender, age, and abilities affect sibling relationships?

4. Explore the pros and cons of growing up as the only child in a household. Do parents and grandparents treat only children different from multiple offspring? Consider the case of China's national policy that limits families to one child. What are the benefits and liabilities of this policy for China and how would the policy work in the USA?

5. Many children today grow up in single parent homes. What are the positive and negative features of single parent homes? Does it matter if it is a female or male-headed household? Why? How do finances, race, age, geography, and extended family support influence the success of single-family homes?

6. Consider the impact of a disabled person in a household. You might contrast the consequences of different disabilities or illnesses on a family. For example, what is the impact on a family of disabled children, adolescents, or adults who may suffer from mental retardation, cancer, muscular dystrophy, or diabetes? Discuss the family as a system with mutual and interactive consequences for each other in their blame, comfort, support, etc. in the care of the disabled individual. What factors promote the positive adjustment of all family members?

7. Death is an issue for people of all ages, not just the elderly. Consider the impact of the death of a family member on other relatives, perhaps a stillborn infant, a child who dies in an accident, or a parent who succumbs to a sudden illness. How does such an event change the lives of family members both in the short and long term?

8. About half of all children who grow up in the 80’s and 90's live in homes affected by divorce. Consider the multiple consequences of divorce on various relatives. What are the reactions of children to divorce and how do those reactions change as a function of age, socioeconomic status, and gender? What are the consequences for the child's later adult relationships and marriage?

9. What are possible reasons for teenage pregnancy? Consider why teenagers choose to have babies or, alternatively, choose not to avoid becoming pregnant? What makes having a baby desirable and for whom? Discuss the differences in teenage pregnancy rates as a function of race, socioeconomic status, geography, history, or nationality.

10. What makes some children resilient in disadvantaged environments? Why can some children overcome the disadvantages of poverty, prejudice, immigration, foreign languages, and hardships at home to succeed against the odds? How can developmental psychology contribute to public policies to help disadvantaged children?

11. Is America moving to a "warehouse" approach for an aging population whereby elderly move from their own homes to retirement communities to nursing homes to hospitals to death? What is the responsibility of the family for the care of the elderly? How can community agencies support families and the way they care for their aging relatives?

12. Is America moving toward more or less gender equity? Take a life span perspective as you consider how boys and girls are treated as infants and children and later how men and women are treated differently as adults. How does history, economics, and race influence the degree of gender differences in a family? Discuss socialization processes across the life span to support your arguments.

13. By the year 2000, non-native speakers of English will comprise the majority of many school populations. Discuss how bilingual education can foster or hinder academic success. Which is a better way to teach children a new language, through language immersion or teaching the dominant language as a second language? What are the long-lasting consequences of multilingual education?

14. Friends are important at all ages but maybe for different reasons. Discuss the bases of friendship by considering the lives of your various family members, especially across generations. What functions does friendship serve them and what are the consequences of having few friends for people at different ages?

15. Select a non-traditional family unit and examine their family dynamics. This might be a single female who conceives a child through medical assistance; it might be a single parent who adopts a child; it might be grandparents raising their children's children; it might be a same-gender couple raising children; or it might be a family who adopts foster children or disabled children. Consider their motives for remaining an intact family unit and how each family member contributes to the well-being of the group.

16. What factors lead adults to abuse their children or their elderly parents? How are these cases alike and how are they different? What can psychologists offer to policy makers, police, social workers, physicians, and lawyers to help reduce the incidence of family violence and abuse?

17. What are the rights of children? Consider the cases of Jessica DeBoer or Kimberly Mays, or other examples of children and parents litigating their relationships, as examples of children's rights. Do biological ties overshadow other considerations? How old should children be before they can choose their families? At what age do parental and child rights change? You may choose to explore the legal, moral, or psychological issues faced by these families.

18. Throughout the world, children endure war, famine, and violence on a daily basis. Take an example from Kosovo, Rwanda, Hiroshima, Auschwitz, or another place to focus on the impact of war and destruction on children. Consider how the age, health, and family status of children affect their resiliency to these conditions.

19. Violence committed by children is on the rise in America. Why? Consider why children commit violent acts and what influences them, such as TV, imitation of others, drugs, anger, helplessness, etc. Discuss the role of gangs in today's youth culture and consider what kinds of interventions may reduce violent crimes committed by young people.

20. Education is the main occupation of most children. Consider how schooling varies in different countries or how educational values and opportunities vary in America. Contrast your own experiences with several other people who had different educational experiences. Consider the impact of schooling on your own development.

21. Most people will spend 50 years of their lives working at careers or jobs. Discuss how work opportunities and experiences vary by age, race, and gender. Consider the impact of job entry, job loss, and retirement on adults who are at different ages.

22. The preoccupation of young adulthood is to find a mate and develop intimate relationships. Consider what factors will influence who you date, marry, or settle in with in the next ten years. How will your relationship with this person be different when you are 40 and 70 years old? How will that person affect your relationship with your other family members? How will that person affect your future offspring and your own family?

23. Many children display exceptional talent at an early age in athletics, music, art, and so forth. Consider child prodigies and how giftedness affects their own development and the lives of other people in their families.

24. What role does religion play in the development of people's morality and behavior? How does religion increase or decrease family cohesion? How does religion serve different functions for people of different ages?

25. Identify critical turning points in your own life, some that you have experienced already and some that you anticipate. Relate these points to theories about social and cognitive development to explain the impact of each event. How do these events transform you or others into "different" people? You may interview other people to identify their developmental "stages", "crises", and turning points.



Section Times, Locations, and GSIs


Section #








B247 EH

Bridget Weller




271 DENN

Jenny Jaeckel




B247 EH

Melanie Overby




213 DENN

Jenny Jaeckel




205 DENN

Melanie Overby




432 WH

Roxana Marachi




B247 EH

Janna Kim




B239 EH

Roxana Marachi




1096 EH

Janna Kim




B261 EH

Melanie Overby




271 DENN

Janna Kim




432 WH

Jenny Jaeckel




1096 EH

Roxana Marachi




1096 EH

Bridget Weller


Lecture1 - 9/6/00

Lecture2 - 9/11/00

Lecture3 -9/13/00

Lecture4 - 9/18/00

Lecture5 - 9/20/00

Lecture6 - 9/25/00

Lecture7 - 9/27/00

10/2/00 videos, no lecture

Lecture8 - 10/4/00

10/9/00 video, no lecture because of religious holiday

Lecture9 - 10/11/00

Lecture10 - 10/18/00

10/23/00 - Finish lecture 10 on moral development; review exam if available; video "Among Equals"

Lecture11 -10/25/00

Lecture12 - 10/30/00 - guest lecture by Dr. Stephanie Rowley on "Social Development and Ethnic Identification"

Lecture13 - 11/1/00

Lecture14 - 11/06/00

Lecture15 - 11/08/00 - guest lectures by Dr. John Schulenberg and Dr. Tabbye Chavous

Lecture 16 - 11/13/00

11/15/00 - we will go over Exam 2A and watch a video on adolescence

Lecture 17 - 11/20/00

Lecture 18 - 11/27/00

Lecture 19 - 12/04/00 

Lecture 20 - 12/06/00

Lecture21 - 12/11/00