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BPCC-109: Developmental Psychology

BPCC-109: Developmental Psychology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BPCC-109 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Developmental Psychology, you have come to the right place. BPCC-109 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAPCH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPCC-109/ ASST /TMA / 2021-22

Course Code: BPCC-109

Assignment Name: Developmental Psychology

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

NOTE: All questions are compulsory.


Assignment One


Answer the following questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks.

Q1. Give an overview of developmental changes across lifespan stages.

Ans) Human growth occurs from conception to death. It describes change patterns over time. Other components of development include cognitive (changes in thought processes), emotional (changes in emotional understanding and experiences) and social (relationships, self-concept, and identity creation). Human development research tries to understand and explain how and why humans evolve through time. Thus, different spheres develop. Many developmental psychologists focus on qualitative changes in a behaviour, skill, or ability (Crain, 2000). According to Heinz Werner, development solely refers to modifications that improve a domain's functionality. Werner proposed two developmental processes: integration and differentiation. The former involves reorganising previously learned behaviours into new, higher-level structures. The latter is a progressive ability to distinguish between items.

In other terms, growth is described as development. It is not continuous in the sense that it increases continuously but rather in waves with complete parts of development repeated repetitively. For example, a new-born’s ability to walk fades away, only to re-emerge at eight or ten months of age. Inquiring minds often wonder if their children are developing normally. WHO is also leading an international effort to set infant and toddler development guidelines (age 0-5 years). A child's growth curve is made by the development process. To compare a child's growth pattern to the average growth age, a growth curve is created by graphing weight and height against chronological age.

Ageing does not contribute to development. It's about growth and changes resulting from experience, between ages and stages of childhood. Maturity refers to those features of development that are largely genetically determined but are modified by the environment. Growth and development go hand in hand. Growth is a quantitative process that results in structural and physiological changes. That is, the changes may be progressive or regressive. Conversely, growth is a gradual transformation brought about by maturation and education. The changes are qualitative and can occur even in the absence of growth. Crow and Crow define growth as “structural and physiological change, while development refers to growth and behavioural changes resulting from environmental stimulation.” Another key feature is that growth and progress may be tracked. Growth also reaches maturity whereas development occurs over time.

As children progress from one developmental stage to the next, they learn to make use of their body parts, as well as how to express themselves and interact with other people. It is also important for them to learn how to develop relationships with others. Over the years, researchers who have studied children have developed ideas to explain how children develop in various ways. Even though these theories acknowledge that every child is unique and develops in his or her own way, they have also recognised that there are basic patterns that children tend to follow as they grow up, and these patterns have been observed by these theorists as well. For example, Gesell felt that development is the product of a person's genetic predisposition (maturation). As a developmental psychologist, Gesell was interested in standards that are typical of child development, such as when children normally acquire a specific behaviour (such as walking), and the amount to which numerous behaviours are influenced by environmental circumstances (such as practise or training).

Q2. Explain Kohlberg’s theory on moral development.

Ans) Kohlberg used moral reasoning to build his theory of moral development. As a result of Kohlberg's thesis, the individual's social-moral worldview changes.

Level 1- Pre-Conventional Morality- At this stage, morality is imposed. Fear of punishment and reward motivate behaviour. It has two stages that determine whether or not a person's actions are motivated by fear or reward.

Stage 1- Consequences shape our behaviour. To escape punishment, kids would engage in bad habits and obey adults. This stage applies to youngsters, but it can also apply to adults. Children see rules as set and absolute, and following rules helps avoid punishment. Actions are mostly judged by the possibility of punishment, not by kindness or badness. Now is the time to submit to authority. Punishment shapes what is wrong or right. Children obey adults' commands.

Stage 2- Personality based on rewards and self-interest. Children and adults alike are motivated by rewarding outcomes. Children evaluate behaviours based on how well they meet their needs. In the classic Heinz conundrum, kids said the greatest option for Heinz was the one that met his needs. The action's instrumental pragmatic assumptions drive this stage. The moral reciprocity principle emerges. It is motivated by rewards and self-interest. Children comply when it benefits them. Right is pleasant and satisfying. It's a game of "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," not out of loyalty, thanks, or justice. What is rewarded determines what is right.

Level 2- Conventional Morality- At this level, following social rules takes primacy. Self-interest is pushed aside in favour of social interactions. Society, parents, schools, and peers define morality. People care about their peers' and other notable figures' opinions. At this level, recognising rules and traditions appears to be vital in maintaining a cohesive society. Individuals self-identify with these standards and strive to uphold them as they reflect society ideals of right and evil.

Stage 3- Interpersonal Relationships- This stage emphasises social responsibilities and expectations, as well as moral growth in the framework of “good boy” and “good girl” orientation. Conformity to expected social roles and ‘scripts' is emphasised along with consideration of how decisions affect connections with key persons in the individual's social surroundings.

Stage 4 - Maintaining Social Order- At this stage of moral development, society is vital. People make moral choices with society in mind. The emphasis is on keeping order through obeying society's rules, doing one's duty, and respecting authority.

Level 3- Post Conventional Morality- It is characterised by moral reasoning that is based on rules and norms but rejects a consistent application of those rules and norms. Morality is judged by abstract ideals and principles, not by real social regulations. These concepts of ethical fairness need moral reasoning. Rather than a pre-existing social order, all laws are judged on their validity and compatibility with basic principles of fairness. Respect for human life and welfare transcends societal and cultural standards and is kept regardless of traditional or societal obligations. Surprisingly, many people may never reach this stage.

Stage 5- Social Contract and Individual Rights- Individuals begin to reason for other people's diverse values, beliefs, and viewpoints. Rules of law are vital for a just and fair society, but they should be agreed upon by all members. The person realises that while laws are necessary, their interpretation in the context of the individual and their life may be different. Individuals tend to feel some ideals, like freedom, above the law. Rules are upheld for the greater good based on democratic consent.

Stage 6- Universal Principles- It is founded on universal ethical principles and abstract moral reasoning. Even when laws and norms disagree with internalised conceptions of fairness, people follow and express them. Moral judgements are formed based on universal human rights. When faced with a decision between law and conscience, the individual chooses conscience. Humanitarian principles, justice, equality, and the dignity of life are highly valued.

Assignment Two

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 5 marks.

Q3. Growth and Development

Ans) In certain ways, growth and development are linked. Growth is a quantitative process that involves structural and physiological changes. As a result, the changes may be progressive or regressive, and development may or may not be involved. On the other hand, development is a gradual change that occurs as a result of maturation and education. As a result, the changes are qualitative in nature and can occur even when there is no development. "Growth refers to structural and physiological change, while development refers to growth as well as those behavioural changes that come from environmental stimulation," according to Crow & Crow. Another distinguishing feature is that growth may be monitored and watched. Growth also comes to an end with maturity, whereas development occurs over the course of a person's life.

Q4. Critical evaluation of Piaget’s theory on cognitive development

Ans) Piaget was challenged for claiming universal cognitive development. It's like a stage-by-stage progression. He was oblivious to the influence of individual disparities in talents. The stage formulation also suggests rapid cognitive growth. Many psychologists disagree with this view, arguing that cognitive development is more gradual. The age at which some abilities appear in youngsters has also been disputed. Growing research reveals that youngsters develop faster and more complex than Piaget predicted.

Howard Gardner criticised Piaget's restricted definitions of thinking and knowing. To subjective and value-laden, Piaget's experimental approach of clinical interview. Many opponents challenge the reliance of immature brains on introspection. His approach has also been critiqued for disregarding the child's socio-cultural milieu. Piaget has been accused of neglecting the child's social skills and the role of others as social partners. Vygotsky's theory elaborated on this flaw.

Q5. ‘Turning Point’ in Life Course Theory

Ans) A turning point happens when a person's life course trajectory undergoes major alteration. It may have the potential to change how a person views herself/himself/themself in connection to the world around them, as well as how she/he/they respond to opportunities and risks. Turning moments usher in long-term changes that become apparent over time. The idea that human beings live their lives in ordered and systematic ways, in configurations shaped by age, historical dynamics, and social structure, is a key assumption of the life course approach to human development. Five fundamental ideas underpin the theory: (1) time and location; (2) lifespan development; (3) timing; (4) agency; and (5) connected lives.

Q6. Types of play

Ans) Mildred Parten observed 40 preschool children during their free play hour and came up with six different sorts of play that a pre-schooler might engage in. She counted the number of times each sort of play occurred, as well as how often it occurred as a function of age. She also noticed that different sorts of games had varying degrees of intricacy. Cooperative play, associative play, parallel play, observer, vacant play, and solo play were all used to categorise social engagement. She concluded that social participation is heavily influenced by a child's age. There is a smidgeon of a link between intelligence quotient and level of social participation.

Q7. Development of aggression

Ans) Some major theoretical models provide valuable insight into the genesis of violence. In their Dynamic Systems Model of Antisocial Behaviour, Granic and Patterson illustrate children's vulnerability to external influences throughout transition times. Examples of this are when children first enter school or when they reach puberty.

In contrast to developmental phases, Sampson and Laub's age-graded theory of informal social regulation highlights the significance of particular life experiences. Anderson & Bushman's General Aggression Model is another prominent model that describes both situational and individual characteristics. Theoretically, arousal, affective states, and cognitions drive aggressive conduct. Thus, these alter the individual's assessment and decision-making processes, causing hostile or violent conduct.

Q8. Ethological perspective on human development

Ans) Psychologists like John Bowlby drew on ethological ideas to build their own theories of human development. Bowlby felt that new-borns and children have various preprogramed reflexes, many of which are adaptive and useful for survival. For example, a baby's cry is a distress signal that helps to draw the caregiver's attention. The child's cry's adaptive and survival value ensures that fundamental requirements are addressed, and that the infant has enough human contacts to build emotional ties. Bowlby thought that the first three years of an infant's life are critical for good social and emotional development. Human attachment is more complex, yet ethologically rooted.



Note: You need to complete the activities according to the given instructions. Please attempt the activities in a coherent and organized manner. The word limit for each activity is around 700 words. Each activity is of 15 marks. For the activities, you need to refer to the self-learning material, and any other relevant offline or online resources. Some useful resources are also listed at the end of each unit.

1. Watch the video here:

Harlow's Studies on Dependency in Monkeys – YouTube

Answer the following after watching the video.

Q1) Summarize the major findings of the above experiment.

Ans) Harry Harlow established a primate lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the 1960s to research rhesus monkeys. He wanted to see how young monkeys developed after being taken from their moms at birth.

Love, according to popular belief at the time, was a physical desire. Many psychologists at the time believed that maternal attachment was only a sentimental gesture, not essential to a child's growth. Babies were thought to become bonded to their mothers merely because their mothers provided them with the necessities of life: food, drink, protection, and shelter. The mother's ability to provide for the child determined the youngster's feelings of love. Some psychologists even believe that too much maternal affection might hurt a kid, making them weak and clinging. Harlow, on the other hand, believed that children loved and wanted their mothers for reasons other than the nourishment they could obtain.

Despite the fact that Harlow's research focused on monkeys, his discoveries had ramifications for human development and behaviour. Harlow's monkeys were compared to children, and the results of his research aided not only primatology but also the study of attachment and loss in people.

Adoption and child raising were both affected by the Harlow study. His research influenced the management of orphanages and adoption organisations. Those who worked in such places were educated about a child's need for love and affection, not merely for safety. In reality, orphanage personnel worked hard to build bonds with the children in their care by doing things like snuggling them and holding them during feedings.

Harlow's experiments on rhesus monkeys to examine the effects of isolation and maternal deprivation would be regarded unethical today, as his investigations required the animals to be kept in complete isolation, which had detrimental long-term consequences. The investigations had an impact on the science of love, which had received little attention prior to Harlow's monkey experiment because love was thought to be too difficult to measure and quantify, and so not worthy of inquiry. The only real research on love prior to the Harlow study was primarily anecdotal.

Love and consolation are non-physical wants, according to Harlow's monkey experiment. His monkey experiment debunked the popular belief that love is dependent on physical requirements.

Q2) Are there any ethical concerns in the experiment?

Ans) Harlow proceeded to examine the effects of partial to complete social deprivation on rhesus monkeys in his trials. Harlow's tests are exceedingly unlikely to pass the stringent criteria of today's ethical committees. Separating an infant from their parent, especially with the intention of studying the effects, would be considered cruel.

Harlow's experiments are described in detail by Kobak, and it is clear that many of the animals suffered considerable mental anguish as a result of their living conditions. Harlow isolated a group of 56 monkeys from other monkeys in partial isolation tests; while they could hear and see the other monkeys, they were not allowed to interact with or touch them. These monkeys displayed hostile and profoundly disturbed behaviour, including staring into space, repetitive activities, and self-harming behaviours such as gnawing and tearing at their flesh.

Furthermore, monkeys raised in isolation did not exhibit typical mating behaviour and were unable to reproduce.

The whole social deprivation experiments were particularly heinous. They raised the monkeys alone in a box with no sensory interaction with other monkeys in these tests. No other monkeys were seen, heard, or came into contact with them. They only interacted with a human experimenter via a one-way screen and remote control; no visual input from another living species was available.

This was described by Harlow as a "pit of sorrow." Monkeys raised in this condition for two years displayed extremely abnormal behaviour and were unable to connect with other monkeys, despite attempts to undo the effects of two years in isolation.

This experiment, according to Harlow, is akin to what occurs to youngsters who are fully socially isolated for the first few years of their life.

Harlow's research had an impact on more than one generation of monkeys. In one of his experiments, a group of rhesus monkeys who were nurtured by surrogates rather than their own moms gave birth to their own offspring.

These parent-monkeys, whom Harlow dubbed "motherless monkeys," were problematic parents, according to Harlow. They were either indifferent to their children or hostile to them. They bred two generations of monkeys to see how parental deprivation affected their offspring.

Q3) Discuss the implications of the results from Harlow’s experiment.

Ans) The findings of Harlow's tests imply that the primary caregiver's job is not restricted to gratifying an infant's fundamental desires.

Primary drives, such as the desire for food or water, assure a creature's life. Another motivation, Harlow claims, is 'contact comfort,' which the fluffy surrogate satisfied.

The 'contact comfort' urge serves a greater purpose than simply satisfying a desire for affection and comfort. According to Harlow's research, these fluffy surrogates provided a secure, reassuring base from which infants felt confident enough to explore new places and things, as well as cope with frightening sounds.

Because the surrogates also gave milk — a function that only female mammals can accomplish – Harlow's findings were limited to the role of maternal surrogates. As a result, it was hypothesised that human new-borns had a strong desire to create a bond with a maternal caregiver. However, recent study has revealed that human new-borns establish attachments to a variety of things, including:

  1. a female caregiver,

  2. a caregiver that produces milk, or

  3. one caregiver.

The link between a human infant and his or her caretaker is not restricted to mothers but can also include anyone who spends time with the child. Schaffer and Emerson looked at 60 new-borns’ emotional responses to learn more about their relationships and behaviours.

They discovered that at the outset of the trial, the majority of the infants had created attachments to just one person, usually their mother (71 percent), and that just over a third of the infants had formed ties to numerous persons, sometimes as many as five.

Only 13% of the new-borns had a single attachment when they were 18 months old, while the majority of the infants had two or more attachments. Other people with whom infants developed a bond included:

  1. Fathers

  2. Grandparents

  3. Siblings and family members

  4. People who were not part of their family, including neighbours or other children

Q2. Watch the video here:

Q2.a) What is/are the differences between two younger and the slightly old child in the video.

Ans) The preoperational period is divided into two stages: The Symbolic Function Substage occurs between 2 and 4 years of age and is characterized by the child being able to mentally represent an object that is not present and a dependence on perception in problem solving. The Intuitive Thought Substage, lasting from 4 to 7 years, is marked by greater dependence on intuitive thinking rather than just perception. At this stage, children ask many questions as they attempt to understand the world around them using immature reasoning.

Piaget branched out on his own with a new set of assumptions about children’s intelligence:

Children’s intelligence differs from an adult in quality rather than in quantity. This means that children reason (think) differently from adults and see the world in different ways.

Children actively build up their knowledge about the world. They are not passive creatures waiting for someone to fill their heads with knowledge.

The best way to understand children’s reasoning was to see things from their point of view.

Q2. b) Identify the two cognitive stages which are being shown in the video.

Ans) Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development suggests that intelligence changes as children grow. A child's cognitive development is not just about acquiring knowledge, the child has to develop or construct a mental model of the world.

Cognitive development occurs through the interaction of innate capacities and environmental events, and children pass through a series of stages.

Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development suggests that children move through four different stages of intellectual development which reflect the increasing sophistication of children's thought.

Each child goes through the stages in the same order, and child development is determined by biological maturation and interaction with the environment.

At each stage of development, the child’s thinking is qualitatively different from the other stages, that is, each stage involves a different type of intelligence. The first two being as follows:

  1. Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years

  2. Preoperational stage: 2 to 7 years

The sequence of the stages is universal across cultures and follow the same invariant (unchanging) order. All children go through the same stages in the same order (but not all at the same rate).

Q2. c) Describe the skill that is shown in the video.

Ans) The conservation tasks developed by Piaget assist us understand how children understand things at various ages. The challenges also demonstrate how a child's awareness of the world around him evolves as he accumulates life experience. A well-designed conservation activity can even reveal the mental age of a toddler.

If you have two or more children, you may have witnessed them performing conservation duties without even realising it. Here's an example that every parent is familiar with: you pour two drinks for two children. Both glasses have the same quantity of liquid in them. Your children, on the other hand, swear that the taller, narrower glass holds more liquid. They complain that you aren't treating them fairly.

Children have a highly developed sense of justice and fairness. They are, however, far less sensitive to the assumption that an object's physical attributes remain constant regardless of the dimensions of the areas it occupies. That is the definition of conservation in a nutshell.

Pour the same amount of liquid into two similar cups to see if your youngster understands the concept of reversibility. Then, into a taller, narrower glass, pour the contents of one glass. The youngster has grasped the notion of reversibility if he or she can explain why the two glasses still contain the same amount of liquid.

Q2. d) Give a simple problem that helps understand the ‘theory of mind’.

Ans) The theory of mind is the idea that the mind is where people's thoughts, wants, emotions, and intentions are stored. Understanding that the mind can be deceived or that the mind is not always accurate is one aspect of this.

A two-year-old toddler has a limited understanding of how the mind works. They may learn by mimicking others, and they have a rudimentary knowledge of cause and consequence. By the age of four, a child's theory of mind has allowed them to recognise that people think differently, have various tastes, and even hide their genuine sentiments by putting on a different front than how they truly feel on the inside.


Consider presenting a three-year-old a band-aid box and asking what's inside. "Band aids," the child will almost certainly respond. Assume you open the package and pour out the crayons. If you ask the child what they imagined was in the box before they opened it, they might say "crayons." If you ask a friend what they would have assumed was in the box, they will still say "crayons."

A youngster does not comprehend that the mind can keep inaccurate beliefs until they are around four years old, therefore this three-year-old adjusts their response after shown that the box includes crayons. Egocentrism and irreversibility can also be used to explain the child's reaction. The child's response is centred on their current perspective rather than perceiving the situation through the eyes of another person (egocentrism) or considering how they got at their conclusion (irreversibility). When questioned after seeing the crayons, a youngster around the age of four would most likely respond, "band aids," because at this age, a child is beginning to grasp those thoughts and realities do not always correspond.


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