Handbook of Developmental Psychology

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Edited by: Jaan Valsiner & Kevin J. Connolly

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part One: Fundamental Approaches and Principles of Development

    Part Two: Prenatal and Infant Development

    Part Three: Development in Early Childhood

    Part Four: Development in Middle Childhood

    Part Five: Development in Pre-Adolescence and Adolescence

    Part Six: Development in Adulthood

    Part Seven: Methodology in the Study of Development

  • Editors

    • Jaan Valsiner
    • Department of Psychology
    • Clark University
    • Worcester, Ma. 01610-1477, USA.
    • fax: 1-508-7937210
    • Kevin 1. Connolly
    • Department of Psychology
    • University of Sheffield
    • Sheffield S10 2TP. UK
    • fax 44-114-2766515

    Editorial Advisory Board

    • Prof. Dr. Paul B. Baltes
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung Berlin
    • Professor Peter Bryant
    • Department of Experimental Psychology
    • Oxford University
    • Professor Pierre R. Dasen
    • Faculte de Psychologie et des
    • Sciences de l'Education (FPSE)
    • Universite de Genève
    • Prof. Glen E. Elder, Jr.
    • Carolina Population Center
    • University of North Carolina
    • Prof. Dr. Dietmar Görlitz
    • Technische Universität Berlin
    • Psychologie im Institut für Sozialwissenschaften am FB 07
    • Entwicklungspsychologie: Sekr HAD 40
    • Professor Robert A Hinde
    • Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour
    • Cambridge University
    • Dr Patrick Leung
    • Department of Psychology
    • Chinese University of Hong Kong
    • Prof. Maria C.D.P. de Lyra
    • Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – UFPE
    • Prof. David Magnusson
    • Department of Psychology
    • University of Stockholm
    • Prof. Herbert J. Pick
    • Institute of Child Development
    • University of Minnesota
    • Professor Clotilde Pontecorvo
    • Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’
    • Rebeca Puche Navarro
    • Centro de Investigaciones en
    • Psicologia, Cognicion y Cultura Cali
    • Prof. Lea Pulkkinen
    • Finnish Academy Professor
    • Department of Psychology
    • University of Jyväskylä
    • Professor Linda Richter
    • University of Natal (PMB)
    • Professor T. S. Saraswathi
    • Child Development Department
    • Faculty of Home Science
    • M.S. University of Baroda
    • Professor Colwyn Trevarthen
    • Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology
    • Department of Psychology
    • The University of Edinburgh

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    Introduction: The Nature of Development: The Continuing Dialogue of Processes and Outcomes

    JaanValsiner and Kevin J.Connolly

    This book is about development. But what is development? The word, which is in common everyday usage, has an extensive range of meanings. We speak of the development of a film, a fertilized egg, a new engine design, a legal system, or a social policy (Nagel, 1957). The word ‘development’ is used widely – and wildly – in our everyday talk. What does it mean – and how can it illuminate our scientific understanding of the world?

    Let us begin at the beginning – the common meanings of the term. An examination of two contemporary dictionaries produced more that a dozen meanings, including:

    • to bring into existence
    • to cause progress from simple to complex
    • to elaborate a theme
    • to unfold
    • to bring to a more advanced stage.

    Each of these definitions is about change, but not all change is development. Development is a lifelong process; it begins at conception and continues until death. It is central to our understanding of human nature. It deals with historical phenomena, that is when previous events affect the manifestation of current or future events.

    When it comes to scientific terminology, we need to provide a general elaboration of the meaning of the term. Development is identifiable only across time. It is impossible to consider a specific – infinitely small – time moment, and talk about an event taking place within that unit, in terms of development (or change). It takes the adjacency – or sequence – of two such infinitely small moments to set the stage for consideration of any change. Yet, as is clear from the common language meanings, change in itself does not equal development. Development is a process of change with direction. That direction need not be specified in concrete terms: it is sufficient to posit that such direction exists. The direction need not be a given: it does not entail progression (or regression) in relation to some ideal end state. Development can be anchored in the past (direction of change: ‘moving away’ from some known state) as well as in the projected future (‘moving towards’ some ideal or desired state).

    The developmental perspective in any science privileges a study of processes that occur in real time rather than arguments based on products (or outcomes) of such processes. Thus the metaphors of ‘unfolding’, ‘becoming more complex’ and ‘elaborating a theme’ are all familiar and widely used in developmental biology as well as in developmental psychology. In fact, the developmental approach is currently unifying or bringing about closer links between various sciences which build their knowledge on that approach. Increasingly the notion of ‘developmental science’ is in evidence (Cairns, Elder, & Costello, 1996). This focus grew out of the internal tensions in North American psychology between ideological perspectives oriented towards outcomes (needed for different administrative practices: see Danziger, 1997) and processes. In the USA, similarly to the former Soviet Union (Valsiner, 1988), the socio-political factors relevant in a given society at a given time determine the mindset of the researchers in the social sciences, and fortify it through consensus. Ideas of development have been repeatedly proposed – and then dismissed or set aside – in the history of child psychology in North America (see Cairns, 1998, for an overview). The emergence of developmental science is the most recent return to focus on developmental processes.

    General Principles

    The contributions to this book belong to developmental science. The authors were asked to write about issues of basic knowledge concerning development, as it is being created in their respective areas. A number of general principles necessary for development have been identified (Anderson, 1957; Michel & Moore, 1995). For development to occur, irreversible changes in organization are necessary; this in turn requires an open system. An open system is one having exchange relationships with its environment. The environment of the developing organism is its context. This idea of context is relative to the developing organism. It does not exist independently of that organism. Hence any investigator who studies development must necessarily take into account the context of the developing organism.

    Development is Characterized by Activity

    Organisms are not only reactive, they are active in relation to their environment. They seek input which they then transform by their behaving – by acting upon the environment. In so doing organisms move towards both internal coherence within themselves, and coherence with their environment. An organism is a heterogeneous whole. It has many levels of organization: systems range from the components of cells to the whole organism operating in its environment.

    Each system has emergent properties specific to its level of organization and some may also display properties of lower level systems. Different levels are mutually integrated (as will be seen in Gilbert Gottlieb's contribution, Chapter 1 in this volume). Developing systems grow and change in complexity. Increased complexity is brought about by the progressive reorganization of systems. This reorganization may result in a more capable, adaptive system (Anderson, 1957). At times, it is also adaptive for the system to operate at a lower level of organization reflecting an earlier state. Hence phenomena usually considered regressive can be part of the progressive development of the system. And, of course, there are the phenomena of destruction of the current system – its involution. Development entails the unity of evolution and involution.

    Developing organisms become flexible so that they may operate at whatever level is necessary to meet the environmental conditions. The relevance of the irreversibility of time becomes obvious here: a developing system that encounters environmental conditions X at a given moment needs not merely to adapt to that (already) known state of the environmental demands, but to adapt in ways that anticipate the possible changes in these demands at a subsequent moment. For that, relative autonomy of the organism from its environment is necessary. In both phylogeny and ontogeny, one can discern the making of such autonomy. The highest level – known to us so far – of such autonomy is the self-reflexive mentation of an introspective kind in Homo sapiens.

    Causality in Developing Systems

    In considering causation it is important to appreciate that there are always two or more components involved in development; they may be within a system or between a system and its context. Development and the appearance of new emergent properties cannot arise in a single component or solely in the context; two or more components are always necessary. Hence the classical notions of linear causality (e.g. cause X leads to outcome Y) are inappropriate in the case of developing systems. Instead, developmental science operates with the notion of systemic causality (Valsiner, 2000). An outcome is a result of the systemic relationship between parts of a system: system {a–R–b}, where a and b are parts and R is their relation, leads to an outcome Y. Neither part a nor part b of the system, taken alone, results in the outcome. Neither does their formal combination (mixing) produce the desired outcome. Imagine trying to mix two gases (hydrogen and oxygen) in a vessel, hoping for water to result from the mixing. It is only when the particular structural and functional relationship between the parts of the system is in place that the systemic causality can be detected. All biological systems operate on the basis of systemic causality, perhaps the best example of which is the Krebs cycle (a basic biochemical circular reaction chain that guarantees the energetic maintenance of the organism).

    Furthermore, the developing systems entail catalytic functions (Minch, 1998): different components of the system are synthesized in order to guarantee the transformation of incoming material into a new form, while reproducing the organismic systemic mechanism itself. The conceptual models of the life sciences differ from those of the physical sciences where non-organic phenomena are involved.

    Thus, for causality to be discovered in developmental science, the identity of the components involved in a changed relationship must be specified. This task goes far beyond the inferential tools currently in wide use by psychologists, such as analysis of variance and factor analysis. The mathematical sophistication of developmental science increases with the search for more adequate formal models than traditional statistical ideas afford (see Nesselroade and Molenaar, Chapter 27 and van Geert, Chapter 28 in this volume).

    Axiomatizing Development

    The study of transformation addresses issues that the study of things-as-they-are regards as superfluous, unnecessary or even error. The non-developmental perspective is based on the axiom of identity:

    On the basis of this axiom, it makes good sense to ask questions of the kind, ‘What is personality?’, ‘What is intelligence?’, ‘What is memory?’ Once the identity of our research target is clear, there is no more doubt as to its organization. The law of the excluded middle from Aristotelian logic applies: if X is X it is true that X is not anything else but X, and there is nothing else between X and non-X. Questions of development are ruled out – or at least rendered uninteresting – from that axiomatic basis. Why ask a question of how X came to be X, if we already take it for granted that X is X, and the whole functioning of X is due to its essence (‘X-ness’)? The Non-developmental thought needs the projection of an essentialistic kind into the object it covers.

    The developmental perspective requires us to rummage in the murky terrain of what precisely is in the domain of the ‘excluded middle’ – the domain of phenomena that are not yet developed, but are about to develop in the near future (Valsiner & van der Veer, 1993). Hence, the developmental perspective is based on the axiom of becoming. This axiom takes two forms:

    Becoming and remaining are processes that guarantee both relative stability and change in the case of development. With regard to maintenance, the particular system that is maintained in its general form depends upon constant innovation of the form by new parts. Organisms maintain themselves by the processes of cell production and cell death, while the form (the structure of the organism) in general remains the same.

    Developmental perspectives transcend discipline boundaries. We need to be aware of a misconception about development that is common in much of psychology. Development is not about children's (or adults') age-related changes in different kinds of measures of psychological variables. Child psychology need not be developmental psychology; nor does developmental psychology necessarily deal with children. A developmental perspective can be applied to adult development (see Lawrence and Dodds, Chapter 22 and Staudinger and Werner, Chapter 25 as well as old age (Rabbitt, Anderson, Davis, and Shilling, Chapter 24). The developmental perspective is shared across discipline boundaries, for example, with developmental biology and embryology. In the case of genetics we can also discern the juxtaposition of the developmental perspectives (focusing on issues such as cytological environments for gene expression, genetic regulation of the formation of new structures) with their non-developmental counterpart (genetic determinism of selected phenotypic features, fashionable through the fascination with the decoding of the genome: see Wahlsten, Chapter 2 and Gottlieb, Chapter 1.

    Some disciplines could benefit from developmental perspectives – even if they currently do not explicitly include them. If there were a subdiscipline of ‘developmental sociology’ it would study the emergence and development of social units – communities, towns, countries – over historical time. Likewise, ‘developmental anthropology’ would look at the emergence of humans and the cultural development of the species and its societies. Developmental economics would consider economic processes and the history of economic cycles. In short, the developmental perspective is a general framework of science that focuses on understanding the directional change of the phenomena under investigation. It is the science of becoming.

    Conceptions of Development

    In broad terms there are two kinds of general explanation of development. The first, ‘preformationism’, presumes that everything is formed at conception and that it remains only for the individual to grow; in this scheme of things children were represented in the fertilized egg as miniature adults. Strictly this idea does not deal with development because no qualitative changes take place. A different but clearly related version of preformationism which does deal with development is the notion of predeterminism. Here provision is made for qualitative changes which are permitted over the life-span. Development is presumed to proceed in an orderly and preordained progression through a series of distinct stages. The pattern and interrelationship of these stages are predetermined.

    Preformationism does not provide an explanation of development; features do not pre-exist, rather they come into existence as a consequence of developmental processes. Preformationist ideas are still evident in the widespread use of notions like ‘a gene for [function X]’, ‘genetic blueprint’, ‘genetic programme’ and ‘information specified in the genes’. All these presume to explain the origin of order and organization but they do not offer an account or description of the mechanism.

    The alternative approach to understanding development, epigenesis, presumes that the organism's features are not present at conception but come into existence by the gradual production of parts from a single undifferentiated cell. Epigenesis refers to qualitative change which is not reducible to genome or genetic programmes and is based upon interaction within and between many levels of the changing organism and its external milieu. More complex structures arise as a result of interactions between features. Development thus always entails interactions between two or more components in a system.

    Gottlieb (1997; and Chapter 1 has drawn a distinction between predetermined and probabilistic epigenesis. Predetermined epigenesis presumes that the development of behaviour in the foetus and newborn can be explained in terms of the structural maturation of the nervous system. Structure determines function: as the nervous system develops, behaviour appears as an epiphenomenon. Probabilistic epigenesis presumes that function facilitates neural maturation: structure and function have a bidirectional relationship in which each feeds into the other. The theoretical notion of probabilistic epigenesis provides developmental science with a general reference system where both structure of the organisms (at different levels) and their environments is unified with a functionalist developmental scheme.

    Evolution and Development

    The processes of psychological development that give rise to behaviour and mentality are products of evolution. These processes are also themselves subject to evolutionary pressures. If the environment changes, the outcome for individual development may produce marked effects; differential survival and advantage lead to changes in the gene pool linked to changes in behaviour. Oppenheim (1981) points out that babies and children have special faculties and patterns of behaviour which are suited to their habitat at a given period; these he calls ‘ontogenetic adaptations’. Immature animals often live in markedly different environments to those of adults of the same species.

    For example, consider a foetus, a newborn, and a preschool child. Each of these stages may have required the evolution of specific anatomical, physiological and behavioural mechanisms different from those used by an adult and which require modification before the adult stage is reached. A feature of many mammalian species and a particularly striking one in the case of our own species is the long childhood which forms a large part of our life history. This long childhood is presumably an adaptation made necessary by the complexity of the adult behaviour which an individual must acquire. Another ubiquitous and likely candidate as an ontogenetic adaptation is ‘play’ which seems to be an important antecedent of much later behaviour.

    The idea of construction through the interaction of many factors applies to evolution as well as to development. Evolutionary change is a result of interactions and outcomes that are jointly constructed by populations and environments which commonly have interwoven histories. If we think of evolution as a change in developmental systems we cannot regard organisms as simply accommodating, or not, to their environment. Organisms are active; they select their environment and they change it (Lewontin, 1978). Hence a careful consideration of the development of instrumental action (Smitsman and Bongers, Chapter 8 and Langer, Rivera, Schlesinger, and Wakeley, Chapter 7) is central for any overview of developmental science.

    Methodology

    At the core of any science is its methodology. Methodology is the process through which knowledge is created in a given discipline. It entails a cyclical relation of general meta-theoretical assumptions, immediate perception of the phenomena (both introspectively and externally, in the human case), methods, and specific theories (Branco & Valsiner, 1997; Valsiner, 2000; 2001). Scientific knowledge does not result merely from data collection or from scholastic speculation. There must be some way of coordinating the general ways of thinking (deductive propositions) with empirical evidence (inductive inference), leading to the transformation of both. The scientific enterprise itself is a developmental phenomenon par excellence.

    The specific ways of knowledge construction set a different emphasis for different parts of the methodology cycle. Particle physicists spend most of their time making sure that their experimental results are not equipment artifacts (Knorr-Cetina, 1999), whereas psychologists usually attempt to amass large quantities of consensually validated data and set their hopes on inductive generalization – for example, by way of meta-analyses – rather than dwell on the veridicality of each data point. Psychologists often see a dramatic difference between qualitative (Smith and Dunworth, Chapter 26) and quantitative perspectives (Nesselroade and Molenaar, Chapter 27). This contrast is an artifact of social divisions in psychology. Fortunately the newer formal models coming into developmental science from dynamic systems theory (Fischer, Yan, and Stewart, Chapter 21 and van Geert, Chapter 28) are rendering such opposition between the quantitative and qualitative perspectives obsolete. The basic knowing about the world is textured – or structural – and hence qualitative. Quantification is but a technical operation used for gaining new qualitative knowledge. It guarantees no objectivity: a science that practises unreflexive averaging of data is not much different from the fortune teller reading palms.

    There are differences between non-developmental and developmental methodologies. The latter lead to the use of a number of characteristics of scientific methodology.

    Structure and Fluidity within Units of Analysis

    As the notion of the irreversible transformation of structures (which is the cornerstone of developmental perspectives) is assumed, then naturally the temporal frame that permits the representation of this emergent process needs to be present in the empirical data. This may entail the use of mutually overlapping temporal units for the detection of emergent processes. Consider a sequence entailing A–B–C. In order to create a developmental unit of analysis, at least two of these symbols (A–B or B–C) need to be considered.

    Each of the parts of these units (A or B in A–B; or B or C in B–C) may be either clearly structured or ‘fuzzy’ (semi-formed). Development entails parts of semi-formed – and therefore difficult to classify – phenomena that may be natural parts of the units of analysis. This was clearly understood by the originators of the microgenetic methodology in the study of development (Sander, 1930). Development takes place through the integration and differentiation of quasi-formed parts of the organism. The units of analysis used in empirical work need to preserve that quality.

    Developmental Science Studies Dynamically Transforming Structures, Not ‘Variables’

    The talk about ‘variables’ is a relatively recent invention in psychology, as Kurt Danziger (1990; 1997) has demonstrated. In the case of a developmental focus on transformation of structures, psychological experiments cannot be seen as entailing the simple changing, by an experimenter, of ‘independent’ variables to check their effect upon the ‘dependent’ variables. In line with the strict developmental stance, the distinction between independent and dependent variables becomes impossible, as the relations between the experimental setting and the research participant entail dynamic feedback loops. An intervention (by the researcher, or by a change in the natural environment) into the development of the organism – the equivalent of an independent variable – is not simply responded to, it is reconstructed. This result (the equivalent of a dependent variable) becomes new input material (a new independent variable) for the organism on the next occasion, and so on. The ontological distinction of the independent and dependent variables becomes impossible in the case of the development of dynamic systems (see Fischer, Yan, and Stewart, Chapter 21 in this volume).

    The Single Case: Definitive Source of Data

    A particular person is studied in his or her negotiation process with the particular here-and-now setting. Generalizations in this perspective are made from single cases to the generic functioning of the personality system. This is in line with Gordon Allport's ‘morphogenic analysis’, which has been misconstrued in the disputes about idiographic versus nomothetic perspectives (Allport, 1962; 1966). The empirical task of the researcher is first to analyse the systemic functioning of a single case and, once the single case is explained, to aggregate knowledge of the ways in which the system works across persons into a generic model. The way to general knowledge proceeds from a single empirical case to a general model of the system, which is then further tested on another single case; necessary corrections are made to the model, which is tested again on data from an individual system; and so on.

    If the hypothesized generic model of the single case (and based on one single case, say from the middle range of the sample distribution) is demonstrated to function in cases which are outliers in the distribution, the researcher is on her (or his) way towards basic knowledge. This strategy is well known in linguistics, where the adequacy of a theoretical proposition is tested on singular examples from language, looking for extreme cases that may refute the proposition. The finding of such contrary cases forces the reconstruction of the theoretical system, or at times it may lead to the abandonment of the system. There is a definite crucial role for empirical evidence in theoretical reconstruction – yet only in key moments in knowledge construction.

    Envoi

    The developmental approach is currently serving to unify the framework in which many branches of the life sciences are progressing. The 28 chapters of this book written by 49 individuals outline the way in which new questions and new theories are changing the landscape of developmental psychology. Our starting point was put well by an English mathematician, Alan Turing, half a century ago:

    Most of an organism, most of the time, is developing from one pattern to another, not from homogeneity into a pattern.

    References
    Allport, G.W. (1962). The general and the unique in psychological science. Journal of Personality, 30, 405–422.
    Allport, G.W. (1966). Traits revisited. American Psychologist, 21, 1–10.
    Anderson, J.E. (1957). Dynamics of development: systems in process. In D.B.Harris (ed.), The concept of development. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Branco, A.U., & Valsiner, J. (1997). Changing methodologies: A co-constructivist study of goal orientations in social interactions. Psychology and Developing Societies, 9 (1), 35–64.
    Cairns, R.B. (1998). The making of developmental psychology. In W.Damon (series ed.) & R.Lerner (ed.), Handbook of child psychology, 5th edn: Vol 1. Theoretical models of human development (pp. 25–105). New York: Wiley.
    Cairns, R.B., Elder, G.E., & Costello, E.J. (eds) (1996). Developmental science. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Danziger, K. (1990). Reconstructing the subject. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Danziger, K. (1997). Naming the mind. London: Sage.
    Gottlieb, G. (1997). Synthesizing nature/nurture. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    Knorr-Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures: How the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    Lewontin, R. (1978). Adaptation. Scientific American, 239 (9), 156–169.
    Michel, G.F., Moore, C.L. (1995). Developmental psychobiology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    Minch, E. (1998). The beginning of the end: On the origin of the final cause. In G.van de Vijver, S.N.Salthe, & M.Deplos (eds), Evolutionary synthesis (pp. 45–58). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
    Nagel, E. (1957). Determinism and development. In D.B.Harris (ed.), The concept of development. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Oppenheim, R.W. (1981). Ontogenetic adaptations and retrogressive processes in the development of the nervous system and behaviour: A neuroembryological perspective. In K.J.Connolly & H.F.R.Prechtl (eds), Maturation and development. London: Heinemann.
    Sander, F. (1930). Structure, totality of experience, and Gestalt. In C.Murchison (ed.), Psychologies of 1930 (pp. 188–204). Worcester, MA: Clark University Press.
    Turing, A.M. (1952). The chemical basis of morphogenesis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 237, 37–72.
    Valsiner, J. (1988). Developmental psychology in the Soviet Union. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester.
    Valsiner, J. (2000). Culture and human development. London: Sage.
    Valsiner, J. (2001). Comparative study of human cultural development. Madrid: Fundación Infancia y Aprendizaje.
    Valsiner, J., & van der Veer, R. (1993). The encoding of distance: The concept of the zone of proximal development and its interpretations. In R.R.Cocking & K.A.Renninger (eds), The development and meaning of psychological distance (pp. 35–62). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Contributors

    • Mike Anderson is associate professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia. Educated at Edinburgh and Oxford he works on the nature of intelligence and cognitive development. He has done work in developmental psychology, information processing and intelligence, and developmental psychopathologies. He was a senior scientist at the UK Medical Research Council's Cognitive Development Unit between 1983 and 1989. His publications include Intelligence and development: A cognitive theory, Blackwell, 1992; and The development of intelligence; Psychology Press, 1999.
    • David F. Bjorklund is professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University, USA. He was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from where he received his Ph.D. He has done work in different areas of cognitive development such as memory development, including eyewitness memory, and inhibitory functions. His most recent work addresses issues of developmental evolutionary psychology. Bjorklund's main publications include Children's Thinking: Developmental Functions and Individual Differences, Wadsworth, 2000; and Developmental Evolutionary Psychology, with Toni Pellegrini, 2002.
    • Raoul Bongers is currently a post-doc. at the Department of Movement and Perception in the Faculty of Sport Sciences at the University of Aix-Marseille, France. In 2001 he graduated in the Social Sciences at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His research concentrates on the control and coordination of perception and action and entails both psychological experiments and the modelling of behaviour. He works on tool use, pointing movements, interceptive actions, perceptual systems, and neural networks.
    • Harke A. Bosma is associate professor of developmental psychology at the University of Groningen. He received his Ph.D, from Groningen, for a study of identity development in adolescence. He has also done work in the area of parent-adolescent relationships. His main publications include Identity and Development. An interdisciplinary Approach, Sage, 1994; co-edited with TLG Graafsma, HD Grotevant, & DJ de Levita, and Identity and Emotion. Development through Self-Organization; Cambridge University Press, 2001; co-edited with ES Kunnen.
    • Angela U. Branco is professor of psychology at Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil, where she directs the Laboratory of Metacommunication and Social Interaction (LABMIS). Her main interests are in the ontogeny of cooperation in childhood, and the ways in which communcation and metacommunication are co-constructing human development. She is the editor of Communication and metacommunication, Greenwood, 2000.
    • Nancy Budwig is the Vice Provost and Dean of Research at Clark University. Her research on language development is based in a functionalist perspective, highlighting the ways in which language forms are acquired in tandem with learning to communicate. This work has aims to better understand the protracted nature of children's organization of linguistic forms and the functions they serve. In a further set of studies, she has focused on the role of language in socialization. Here emphasis shifts from language as the domain of study, to viewing language as a system through which the child comes to co-construct meaning. This research examines ways children's participation in language practice contributes to the construction of culturally relevant senses of personhood. Current research on language development and language socialization has drawn upon cultural comparisons of American, German and Hindi-speaking children interacting with their caregivers and peers.
    • Kevin J. Connolly is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Sheffield. His principal research interests are in the genetics and evolution of behaviour, and in development; specifically in the development of skilled action, the acquisition of tool using skills and manual dexterity. He has also worked on maternal iodine deficiency during pregnancy and its consequences on the infant and the child, work undertaken in Papua New Guinea. He has held visiting academic appointments at Padua, Amsterdam, California, Hong Kong, Santiago and São Paulo. He has served as president of the British Psychological Society and as chairman of The Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry. His recent books include; The Psychobiology of the hand, MacKeith/Cambridge University Press, 1998, and, with Margaret Martlew, Psychologically speaking: A book of quotations, British Psychological Society/Blackwell, 1999.
    • Helen Davis is lecturer in psychology at Murdoch University, Western Australia. Educated at the University of Western Australia, she works on cognitive development and individual differences. Her main work has been in investigating the roles of speed, working memory capacity and inhibitory ability on cognitive task performance in children. She has also researched the nature of cognitive deficits associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. Her publications include ‘Developmental and individual differences in fluid intelligence: Evidence against the unidimensional hypothesis.’ British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 2001.
    • Agnes E. Dodds is a senior lecturer in the Faculty Education Unit of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her background is in educational psychology, multi-media education and staff development, distance education and music. She is responsible for the assessment and evaluation of the medical curriculum and she teaches in the schools of medicine and psychology. She gained her Master's degree from the University of Melbourne. Her current research interests include the development of the self in relation to the social world, the processes of obtaining and using medical knowledge and skill, and the relation of tertiary teaching to student learning.
    • Fraser Dunworth graduated in English at the University of London and then took an MA in English renaissance drama at York University. For some time he worked as an actor and as director of a theatre company. He then read psychology at Guildhall University in London after which he undertook training in clinical psychology at Sheffield University. His current research interests are in the use of qualitative methods to explore families' experience of mental health issues. At present Dr Dunworth practises as a clinical psychologist in the Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy Service at Chesterfield in North Derbyshire.
    • Kurt Fischer is Charles Bigelow Professor of Education and Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education Concentration at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Educated at Harvard he works on the organization of behavior and the ways it changes, especially cognitive development, social behavior, emotions, and brain bases. In his approach, called dynamic skill theory, he aims for a coherent framework to combine the many organismic and environmental factors that contribute to the rich variety of developmental change and learning across and within people. He has been visiting professor or scholar at the University of Geneva, University of Pennsylvania, University of Groningen, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford. Fischer is the author of nine books and monographs.
    • Paul van Geert belongs to the neo-realist school of Flemish portrait painting – the skills of which he transfers successfully to building dynamic systems models of human development. In his professional affiliation he is professor of developmental psychology at the University of Groningen, He is particularly interested in theoretical problems of development, and has developed the sub-area of experimental theoretical developmental psychology that specializes in formal models-based reconstruction of basic processes of development. His books include Dynamic systems of development, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994.
    • Coby Gerlsma is senior lecturer at the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Groningen. She has done work on parental rearing styles, expressed emotion, marital functioning, adult attachment and psychopathology Her publications include, Attachment style in the context of clinical and health psychology, British Journal of Medical Psychology, 2000 and, Recollections of parental care and quality of intimate relationships: The role of re-evaluating past experiences, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2000.
    • Gilbert Gottlieb is research professor at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently exploring genetic correlations in longitudinal studies of human development, one study beginning in infancy and two others in adolescence. He is particularly interested in furthering the synthesis of developmental biological and developmental psychological thinking (developmental-psychobiological systems theory). This involves the concept of equifinality (the existence of different developmental pathways to the same endpoint), an understanding of structure-function bidirectionality, and delineating the various ways that experience or function operates at the genetic, neural, and behavioral levels of analysis. Among his recent books is Individual development and evolution: The genesis of novel behavior. Erlbaum. (Reprint of 1992 book.)
    • Peter Hepper is professor of psychology & director of the Fetal Behaviour Research Centre at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Educated at the Universities of Exeter and Durham he works on fetal behaviour and diagnosis, and kin recognition.
    • Hubert Hermans is professor of personality psychology at the Katholijke Universiteit, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His early work was on achievement motivation and fear of failure. Later he developed a valuation theory and a self-assessment procedure—the ‘Self Confrontation Method’. He is the founder of Society for Dialogical Science. His books include The dialogical self, 1993, with Harry Kempen.
    • Els Hermans-Janssen is an active psychotherapist and co-founder, with Hubert Hermans, of the ‘Valuation and Self-Confrontation Method Foundation’. Her work is presented in the book, with Hubert Hermans, Self narratives: the construction of meaning in psychotherapy, Guilford Press, 1995,
    • Claes von Hofsten is professor of psychology at Uppsala University, Sweden. He was educated at Uppsala and served as professor psychology at Umeå University before returning to Uppsala. He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and at the Center for Cognitive Science at MIT. His research interests are mainly in the early development of action, perception, and cognition, on which he has published extensively. He has contributed to a large number of books on developmental psychology. He is Honoris Causa at Universite de Caen.
    • Brian Hopkins is professor of psychology at Lancaster University. Previously he has been professor in the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Educated at University of Leeds, his research interests are in pre- and postnatal development of movement and posture, the development of laterality, crying and preterm infants. Among his recent publications is his chapter Understanding motor development: Insights from dynamical systems perspectives in A. Kalverboer and A. Gramsbergen (Eds.), Handbook on Brain and Behavior in Human Development. Kluwer, 2001, and Crying as a sign, a symptom, and a signal. With R.G. Barr and J Green (eds) MacKeith/Cambridge, 2000.
    • Thomas A. Kindermann is an associate professor of psychology at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA. Educated at the University of Trier and the Free University Berlin, his research focuses on the developmental influences of social interactions across the life-span and on children's peer relationships. His publications include, Development of Person-Context Relations, with Jaan Valsiner, Erlbaum, 1995, and ‘Strategies for the study of individual development within naturally existing peer groups’, Social Development, 1996.
    • Hideo Kojima is emeritus professor at Nagoya University, Japan. Currently he is professor of psychology at Kyoto Gakuen University in Japan. His main work has concentrated on the history of cultural models of child-rearing. He is the originator of the notion of the ‘Ethnological Pool of Ideas'. His books include Family and education, Tokyo: Daiichi Hoki, 1982, Quests for tradition in childrearing in Japan, Tokyo: Shin’ yo-sha, 1989) and Development of school-aged children, Tokyo, 1991.
    • Kurt Kreppner is senior research scientist at the Max Planck Institut für Bildungsforschung in Berlin, Germany. He is interested in the crisis of contemporary psychology, which moves in the direction of proliferation of empirically active but theoretically futile research traditions. He takes a family-systems view on human ontogeny, and has conducted a longitudinal study of family structures developing through childhood.
    • Jonas Langer is professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. He works on cognitive development and how it evolved in primates. He has done work on the development and evolution of logical, arithmetic and physical concepts in monkeys, chimpanzees and humans. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Geneva, Rockefeller University, and the Comparative Psychology Department of the National Research Council, Rome. His publications include; Theories of Development, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969, The Origins of Logic: Six To Twelve Months, Academic Press, 1980, and The Origins of Logic: One To Two Years, Academic Press, 1986.
    • Jeanette Lawrence is associate professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She gained her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She teaches developmental psychology and the ethics of psychology. Her current research interests focus on the processes involved in the decisions and judgments made by adults and adolescents in their interactions with the social world. She has studied the sentencing behaviours of magistrates, the contributions of adults to each other across generations in families, and internalizing and externalizing processes. She is a past president of the Australasian Human Development Association.
    • Eduard Martí is professor of psychology at the Universitat de Barcelona,. Educated at the Université de Genève he works on cognitive development. He has done work in developmental and educational psychology and held visiting appointments at the Université de Fribourg and the Université Paris IX. Martí's main publications include Construir una mente, Barcelona, Paidós, 1997 and, Mechanisms of internalisation and externalisation of knowledge in Piaget and Vygotsky's theories. In A. Tryphon & J. Vonèche (eds), Piaget-Vygotsky. The social genesis of thought, London, Psychology Press, 1996.
    • Usha Menon is assistant professor of anthropology in the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1995. She has written on different aspects of Hindu society and civilization based on extensive fieldwork experience in the temple town of Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. One of her essays, ‘Does feminism have universal relevance? The Challenges posed by Oriya Hindu family practice’ appeared in the October 2000 issue of Daedalus. At present, she is working on Hindu-Muslim relations, doing research on the ways in which Indian muslims constitute and experience themselves.
    • Peter C.M. Molenaar is professor and head of the Department of Psychological Methodology and head of the Cognitive Developmental Psychology Group at the University of Amsterdam. His statistical interests include dynamic factor analysis, applied nonlinear dynamics, adaptive filtering techniques, spectrum analysis, psychophysiological signal analysis, artificial neural network modeling, covariance structure modeling and behavior genetical modeling. He has published widely in these areas, emphasizing applications to cognitive development (stochastic catastrophe analysis of stage transitions), brain-behavior relationships (real-time artificial neural network simulation of cognitive information processing), brain-maturation and cognition (equivalent dipole modeling of longitudinal registrations of electrocortical fields), genetical influences on EEG during the life span, and optimal control of psychotherapeutic processes. He has been and is the Principal Investigator of 30 grants focusing on methodological issues.
    • John Nesselroade is professor of psychology at University of Virgina, USA. He is a renowned expert in the area of developmental statistical methodology, with a particular interest in intra-individual variability.
    • David Olson is university professor at Toronto University, Canada. He is one of the world's leading authorities on the connection between literacy and human cognitive development. He has been professor of human development and applied psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education for three decades. Professor Olson has been awarded honorary degrees by University of Göteborg in Sweden and by the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He has been a Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, the German equivalent for Center of Advanced Studies, in the social sciences.
    • Anthony D. Pellegrini is professor of educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. Educated at Ohio State University, he works on play, dominance and bullying, early literacy and observational methods. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield, and Cardiff University. His publications include Observing children in their natural worlds, Erlbaum, 1996; Applied child study:a developmental approach, Erlbaum, 1998, The child at school: interacting with peers and teachers, Arnold, 2000.
    • Janette Pelletier is assistant professor at the Institute of Child Study, in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Educated at the University of Toronto she works on issues related to early child development and education, including literacy development, school readiness and family involvement in early education. She has done work in the area of early writing among first and second language learners and school readiness intervention for diverse families. Her publications include Children's clever misconceptions about print, in J. Brockmeier, M. Wang & D. Olson (eds), Literacy, narrative and culture. Surrey, Curzon, 2002.
    • Patrick Rabbitt is research professor in gerontology and cognitive psychology, and director of The Age and Cognitive Performance Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK, and Adjunct Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. He has published extensively on cognitive performance and ageing and is a leading authority on reaction times.
    • Susan M. Rivera is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research is on the origins and development of symbolic representation in infants and children, using both classic behavioural and neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques. She also contrasts typical development with that of children with neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism and fragile X Syndrome. Some of Dr Rivera's recent publications include: The drawbridge phenomenon: representational reasoning or perceptual preference? Developmental Psychology, v35(2), 427–435 (Rivera, Wakeley, & Langer, 1999); and Functional brain activation during arithmetic processing in females with fragile X Syndrome is related to FMR-1 protein expression. Human Brain Mapping. 16(4), 206–218 (Rivera, Menon, White, Glaser, Glover, and Reiss, 2002.)
    • Matthew Schlesinger is an assistant professor of psychology in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Program at Southern Illinois University. He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. His current research focuses on cognitive development in infants and young children, and neural network models of learning and development. Recent publications include ‘The agent-based approach: A new direction for computational models of development’, with Parisi, Developmental Review, 2001.
    • Louis A. Schmidt is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at McMaster University, Canada. His research interests include the neural basis of emotion regulatory processes in infants and children and individual differences in affective style, particularly childhood shyness and aggression. He recently co-edited Extreme fear, shyness, and social phobia: Origins, biological mechanisms, and clinical outcomes, Oxford University Press.
    • Wolfgang Schneider is professor of psychology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. He was educated at the University of Heidelberg, where he also received his Ph.D. He has done work in several areas of cognitive development; memory development, the development of metacognition, and personality development. His work in educational psychology focuses on reading and writing and the prevention of disorders in these areas. His publications include Memory development between 2 and 20, with Michael Pressley; Erlbaum 1997, and, with David F. Bjorklund, a chapter on memory development in the most recent edition of the Handbook of Cognitive Development, 1998.
    • Sidney Segalowitz is professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brock University, Canada. He received his undergraduate degree at McGill University and Ph.D. at Cornell. His research interests focus on cognitive electrophysiological studies of attentional control and information processing in a lifespan context. His most recent books are two volumes, co-edited with Isabelle Rapin in Child Neuropsychology, in the Handbook of Neuropsychology series from Elsevier, Amsterdam 2003.
    • Val Shilling is a research fellow at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex. Educated at Manchester University her doctoral work investigated age-related changes in inhibitory efficiency. Since leaving Manchester in 2000 she has researched the effects of cancer treatments on cognition.
    • Jonathan Smith is senior lecturer in the School of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London. Prior to this he taught at Keele and Sheffield Universities. He has developed a particular qualitative approach ‘interpretative phenomenological analysis’ (IPA) and its application to a range of areas in health and social psychology. IPA usually involves the systematic qualitative analysis of transcripts of semi-structured interviews conducted with participants. He has conducted an idiographic longitudinal study of identity change in the transition to motherhood, collecting a great deal of data from a small number of women during their pregnancy and immediately after the birth of their first child. His recent books include, Rethinking methods in psychology, with R. Harre and L.v. Langenhave, Sage, 1995.
    • Peter K. Smith is professor of Psychology and head of the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He received his B.Sc. at the University of Oxford and his Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield. His research interests are in social development, play, school bullying, grandparenting, and evolutionary theory. He is co-author of Understanding Children's Development, Oxford: Blackwell, 2002, and co-editor of The Nature of School Bullying Routledge, 1999, The Family System Test, Brunner-Routledge, 2001, and the Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development Blackwell, 2002, and editor of Violence in Schools: The Perspective from Europe, Routledge, 2002. He has written widely on children's play, especially pretend play training, and rough-and-tumble play.
    • Ad W. Smitsman is associate professor of psychology at The University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He received his Ph.D. from Nijmegen in 1980. He has published on; number and object perception in infants and older children, categorization, tool use, touch in visually handicapped and non-handicapped children and adults. His current work is on tool use, touch, and action.
    • Peter Stratton is a developmental psychologist and family therapist. He is senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds University, and director of the Leeds Family Therapy and Research Centre, a training and research clinic housed within the university psychology department. The clinic has an international reputation for its development of systemic approaches to family treatment, founded in psychological theory. This clinical work provides a background, and generates data for research into distressed human systems and for techniques of consultation to such systems. He led the team that developed the Leeds ‘Attributional Coding System’ which has been applied to a wide variety of research issues. He is the Editor of Human Systems: The Journal of Systemic Consultation and Management.
    • Ursula M. Staudinger is professor of psychology at the Dresden University. Prior to this she was senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. She received her Ph.D. in 1988 from the Free University of Berlin. She has co-edited several books, including Interactive Minds: life span perspectives on on social cognition, Cambridge University Press, 1996. She is a Fellow of the APA. Among her research interests are the study of plasticity and reserves in lifespan development, the social-interactive nature of human functioning, and the accumulation of self knowledge, life experience, life insight, and wisdom across the life span.
    • Jeffrey Stewart is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He has done work on emotion, phenomenal experience, consciousness, and the self. Stewart's publications include: Fischer, K. W., & Stewart, J. Into the middle of things: From dichotomies to grounded dynamic analysis of development: Commentary on Baillargeon & Smith. Developmental Science, 1999 and Fischer, K. W., & Stewart, J. (1999). Duncker's analysis of problem solving as microdevelopment. From Past to Future, 1999.
    • Jaan Valsiner is the founding editor of the Sage journal, Culture & Psychology, 1995. He is currently professor and chair of Department of Psychology, Clark University, USA, where he also edits a journal in the history of psychology – From Past to Future: Clark Papers in the History of Psychology. Among his recent books are, Culture and human development, Sage, 2000 and Comparative study of human cultural development, Madrid: Fundacion Infancia y Aprendizaje, 2001.
    • Douglas Wahlsten is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Alberta. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine. He has done research at the University of Waterloo and at the University of Alberta on neural and behavioral genetics in relation to theories of individual differences and development. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters in volumes ranging from Methods in Genomic Neuroscience to The General Factor of Intelligence, R. Sternberg, E. Grigorenko (eds), Erlbaum, 2002.
    • Ann Wakeley is a doctoral candidate in Special Education at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University. She works on early mathematical development, cognitive and school related outcomes of premature birth, and cognitive development in infancy. Her publications include Wakeley, A., Rivera, S., & Langer, J. Can young infants add and subtract? Child Development, 2000.
    • Ines Werner is a doctoral fellow in lifespan development at Dresden University. She studied psychology at Dresden where she received her Diploma in Psychology in 1997. Her major interests are in the development of language and of wisdom.
    • Zheng Yan is assistant professor of educational psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. Educated at Harvard University he works on cognitive development and longitudinal methodology, particularly on the psychology of the Internet and dynamic growth modeling. He taught dynamic modeling methodology at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His publications include Yan, Z. & Fischer, K. Always under construction: Dynamic variations in adult cognitive development. Human Development, 2002. Fischer, K. & Yan, Z. (2002). Development of dynamic skill theory. In R. Lickliter & D. Lewkowicz (eds), Conceptions of development: Lessons from the laboratory. Psychology Press. 2002.

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