Developmental Psychology

PSYCH 4684 001

Spring 2004
MWF 1:00-1:50PM -- MCDB, Rm. A2B70

Group Email addresses
Course Goals Grading
Other Information Schedule
this week

April 29:A primer on modeling & neural networks

April 23:Final Study Guide

Feb 25:A-not-B notes

Feb 16:Midterm Study Guide

Instructor: Eliana Colunga
Office: Muenzinger Room D447-B
Office Phone: 303-492-4282
Office Hours: F 10-11 and by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Jeannine Moineau
Office:Muenzinger Room D261-E
Office Phone: 303-492-3018
Email: Jeannine.Moineau@Colorado.EDU
Office Hours: M 3-4


Siegler, R., Delaoche, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2003). How Children Develop (1st Ed). New York, NY:Worth Publishers

Course Goals


Your learning in this class will be assesed by homework assignments, short in-class assignments which may or may not involve homework, a final project, a midterm and a final exam.

Final Course Grades

The total possible number of points you can earn is:
Assignments 220 (22 highest score assignments @ 10 points each)*
Final Project 50
Midterm 100
Final Exam 100
*Note that the actual number of assignments may be a few more or less depending on the pace of this particular group of students.

Letter grades will be assigned as follows, based on the highest grade in the class.

A+ = 98-100% of highest grade B+ = 88-89% C+ = 78-79% D+ = 68-69%
A = 92-97% B = 82-87% C = 72-77% D = 62-67%
A- = 90-91% B- = 80-81% C- = 70-71% D- = 60-61%
F < 60%

Other information


A grade of incomplete will be given only if (1) all completed work is satisfactory (i.e., C- or better) and (2) there is a valid reason that you cannot complete the course. If you would like to be considered for an incomplete, contact me as soon as you know.

Statement about disabilities

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services (DS) early in the semester so that your needs may be addressed. DS determines accommodations based on documented disabilities (303-492-8671, Willard 322,

Academic dishonesty

Students are expected to adhere to the University of Colorado Student Honor Code for every assignment and exam in this class. Honor code information is at

Classroom behavior policy

The information on classroom behavior policy can be found at However, in addition to not being incredibly disruptive and obnoxious in class, I expect you to be on time for class meetings, not read newspapers or magazines in the classroom, not disrupt the class with conversation, interact with fellow students in a respectful manner during class discussions, ask questions when you don't understand the material, and communicate complaints, criticisms and suggestions either personally or annonymously to the instructor and/or teaching assistant.


Week 1 Jan 12-16 Issues and Theories of Development Ch. 1, pp 2-24
M Syllabus, Issues in Developmental Psychology
W Theories of Development hw1:Theorist's Views
F cw1: Analyzing situations from different theorists' perspectives
Week 2 Jan 19-23 Methods for Studying Development Ch. 1, pp 24-37
Jan 19, No class
M No class
W Methods for Studying Development
F From research question to results - an example hw2: Drawing conclusions
Week 3 Jan 26-30 Prenatal Development & the Newborn Ch. 2
M Prenatal Development hw3: Teratogens
W Prenatal Hazards (4xpage)
F The Newborn (4xpage), cw2: Crying and Smiling
Week 4 Feb 2-6 Brain and Motor Development Ch. 3, 5
M Brain Development, (4xpage)
W Motor Development, (4xpage)
F cw3: Milestones and the new environments they bring hw4:Different cultural practices and motor development
Week 5 Feb 9-13 Perceptual Development Ch. 5
M Perceptual Development, (4xpage) pre-cw4: compile milestone charts for Baby observation
W Learning, (4xpage)
F cw4: Baby observation hw5:Good toys, Bad toys
Week 6 Feb 16-20 Cognitive Development Ch. 4, 5
M Intro, Piaget (4xpage) hw6: Literature Search: A-not-B
W Information Processing, (4xpage)
F cw5: A Unified explanation for A-not-B error, A-not-B notes
Week 7 Feb 23-27 Cognitive Development Ch. 5
M cw6: Another puzzle: Conservation
W Overview
F Midterm Exam (Study Guide)
Week 8 Mar 1-5 Language Development Ch. 6 pp. 210-219
M Intro, Theories(4xpage)
W Word learning biases, (4xpage) hw7: Specific Language Impairment: an intervention?
F Learning different languages, intro to transcripts pre-cw7: Transcripts:Research question
Week 9 Mar 8-12 Language development Ch. 5 pp. 219-247
M cw7: Transcripts: Agreeing on a Method hw8: Transcripts: Write up results
W Feedback, Learning any language - other symbol systems, (4xpage)
F Scale Model Task notes, (4xpage) ; cw8: Scale Model Task hw9: Toys that help language development
Week 10 Mar 15-19 Conceptual Development Ch. 7 pp. 258-265
M Final Project
W Understanding Others, (4xpage) hw10: Autism and Theory of Mind
F cw9: Theory of Mind
Week 11 Mar 22-26 Spring Break - No Classes
Week 12 Mar 29 - Apr 2 Social Development Ch. 9
M Gender & Theories, (4xpage) hw11: Observation: Time spent with same-sex peers
W Theories continued, (4xpage)
F cw10: Time-sampling analysis of time spent with same-sex peers
Week 13 Apr 5-9 Emotional Development and Attachment Ch. 10 pp. 387-394; Ch. 11 pp. 412-423
M Temperament & Personality, (4xpage)
W Attachment, (4xpage) ; cw11:Attachment & Temperament
F cw12: Attachment & Culture hw12:Observation -- parent-child interaction
Week 14 Apr 12-16 Family & Peer Relations Ch. 12 pp. 454-468; Ch. 13 pp. 495-501, 508-527
M Family as a system, (4xpage)
W Contribution of Peers, (4xpage)
F cw13: Dual career families
Week 15 Apr 19-23 Final Project Presentations
M Moral/Social Development Group 19 - propriety in social interactions in pre-school years
Group 17 - knowing right vs. wrong in early childhood
Group 12 - decision making in social relationships in the early teens
Group 1 - moral & emotional development in adolescence, gender differences
Group 22 - moral decision making in relationships in adolescence
W Social & Language Development Group 9 - perspective taking in pre-school years
Group 11 - sharing, turn-taking & manners in pre-school years
Group 21 - cooperative games in early and middle childhood
Group 16 - baby signs & language development in infancy
Group 8 - language development in infancy
Group 15 - learning new nouns, 1-3 years
F Cognitive Development Group 14 - understanding cause and effect in preschool years
Group 10 - shape categorization and naming in preschool years
Group 18 - cognitive development in early childhood
Group 5 - understanding conservation in early & middle childhood
Group 6 - memory in middle childhood
Week 16 Apr 26-30 Wrap-up - Putting it all Together (Ch. 15)
M Sensory/Motor Development Group 7 - motor & visual development in exploratory behavior in infancy
Group 13 - tactile stimulation and sensory development in infany
Group 2 - balance, core muscle strength, coordination and walking, 12-30 months
Group 20 - balance, posture and learning to walk, 10-16 months
Group 3 - counting in early childhood
W System within a system - an overview
F Final thoughts. Common misconceptions about development. FCQs.
Final Exam, Wed. May 5, 1:30-4:00PM