Developmental psych

The options are a chance for the students to apply their understanding of concepts from the core of the course.  SL candidates must study one option; HL candidates must study two. 

Each option has three "topics."  The exam will give them three questions to choose from - they will choose one to write a well-developed essay in one hour.  Each question comes from one of the three topics.  There may not be two questions from the same topic.

This section contains activities and curriculum tips, teaching ideas, revision strategies, key studies and writing samples for different ERQs.

Learning objectives

The curriculum does not have clearly defined learning objectives, but the questions are set by using the first two columns of the grid in the curriculum guide.  Remember that the general questions can be combined with the questions below.  For example, Discuss approaches to research in determining the effect of childhood trauma on later development.


  • Biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors in human development.
  • Approaches to research in developmental psychology
  • Ethical considerations in developmental psychology

Developing as a learner

  • Theories of cognitive development (two)
  • Brain development

Influences on cognitive and social development

  • Role of peers in cognitive and social development
  • Role of play in cognitive and social development
  • Role of childhood trauma in cognitive and social development
  • Resilience (biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors)
  • Effects of poverty/socioeconomic factors on cognitive and social development

Developing an identity

  • Attachment
  • Gender identity (biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors)
  • Social roles (gender roles) (biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors)
  • Development of empathy and theory of mind
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