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A theory offers two contributions: 1) it organizes and gives meaning to facts; 2) it guides further research. Facts are typically defined as statements that are based on observations and generally agreed upon by several people. What is critical about a developmental theory is that is focuses on changer over time. Although developmental theories have nondevelopmental theoretical concepts such as id, mental representation, attention, and drive, they diverge from nondevelopmental theories by emphasizing changes over time in these concepts. This concern presents developmental theories with three tasks:
To describe changes within one or several areas of behavior.
To describe changes in the relationships among several areas of behavior.
To explain the course of development that has been described.
It could be understood that developmental theories, which differ in their content, methods of investigation, and formal nature, are similar in that they are forced to take a position on certain core issues of development. Developmental change, by its very nature, leads to at least four critical issues:
What is the basic nature of the human?
Is development qualitative or quantitative?
How do nature and nurture contribute to development?
What is it that develops?
These issues can serve as a framework or a way of summarizing and contrasting theories addressed in the course.
Culture can be expressed as the concepts, habits, skills, art, institutions, etc. of a given people in a given period. A culture is therefore a group of persons who share particular interpretations of the world because of reasons of geography, gender, religion, and other contingencies that play a role in lending a degree of homogeneity to their perspectives. Thus, there is culture of women, Sufi culture, gay culture, corporate culture, youth culture, etc.
Reading: Review the various sections on Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Approach in Lives Across Cultures.
Assignment: Given the perspective discussed above, and your familiarity with the reading, discuss your thoughts about the influence and role of Multicultural Psychology in the field of Developmental Psychology.

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