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Developmental concepts/psychology can also be referred to as human development. It is the scientific study emotional changes, systematic psychological changes and perception change that occur in the course of human development over the life span. Psychology concerned with the life from infancy and children and the field later expands and includes adolescence, adults and lastly the aging group. It specialises in the examination of change across a wide range of topics starting from psycho-physiological and other motor skill processes; cognitive development which looks at the techniques of problem solving different age groups, conceptual understanding, and moral understanding; language acquisition; personality, social and emotional development; identity and self-conceptual formation. When analysing child psychology, there are three major contexts that you should put in mind; the social contexts, socioeconomic context and cultural context (Butterworth and Harris, 1994).

The movie; On the Golden Pond touched a soul of many as it was a treasure for many reasons, it emphasised on different characters and their relationships, it also touched on the things that different age groups think about each other at different times, as well as the things they felt for each other in the course their growth and development. By watching the movie you will realise that you have watched something of value also rare as it makes the audience think of mending their relationships, get to know the reason behind their behaviour at a certain age. It stands out to be a good example in a psychology class when learning about human development (Myers, 2008).

Development psychology

Development psychology also touches on issues such as changes in the way of doing things with gradual accumulation of knowledge, also compares circumstances such as how children are born with innate mental structures with learning through experience. Many researchers in this field are interested in interaction between individual behaviour, personal characteristics and environmental factors. Environmental factors of interest include the impact on development in a social context. It is through development psychology that child psychology, education psychology and forensic psychology get information. It also complements other basic fields of research such as comparative psychology, ecological psychology, social psychology and educational psychology (Myers, 2008).

Discussion of developmental concepts; challenges and changes in relation to the major characters

Biological Development

This touches the physical development of an individual. It is to study unlike the cognitive or the emotional development as it is practically observed. Age gives a clue of the biological developmental stage. This development is what dictates the activities that one is likely to undertake. It also varies slightly because of gender; Norman and Ethel may be both aged but their interests are different. Chelsea and Bill in the other hand are busy thinking of relationships because their biology makes them do so, Chelsea has realised she is mature enough to have a man and settle down with him. Biological development is a field that is quite interesting as our activities comes automatically (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2006).

Cognitive Development

This development is concerned with the ways in which children and infants develop, acquire and use internal mental capabilities. These capabilities include; memory, problem solving and language. Cognitive development majors in the study of language development, motor skills and perpetual development. Different researchers such as Piaget (psychologist), studied the development of cognitive abilities, he summarised his study by proving that this development proceeds through all sets of human development; from infanthood to old age. Other early influential psychologist urged that development does not proceed throughout one’s life because when it is thought to do so, we will be basing it as a product but instead it should be analysed and not treated as a product to be acquired. All in all, they agreed that cognitive is evident in all stages of life just as it is evident with the characters in this play; Billy who is a young boy is concerned with his childish activities, such as what will he do because it is naturally hard for a young boy to relax with no any active activity, on the other hand Chelsea and Bill are busy making time be together because what is revolving around them is dating, marriage and relationships while the elderly couple (Ethel and Norman Thayer) wishes for a peaceful moment at the lake while fishing for their meals. This practically shows that all age groups have different developmental stages which dictate ones interest and the way of doing things (Slater and Lewis, 2006).

Social and Emotional Development

Developmental psychologists employ various methods in their aim to analyse social development in different individuals, however children and infants cannot be examined in the same way as they are in different developmental stages. Social development examines how people develop emotionally and socially competencies. A good example is that they study how children form friendship, how identity develops and how they deal and understand their emotions. To have good results in this, this study is incorporated with social behaviour and cognition development. Children form friendship only with individuals who are doing or are engaging with an activity that catches their attention. Initially, Billy feels hurt by being left with strangers but after seeing them engaging in an interesting activity, he turns to be friendly to them and enjoys the time with the aging couple. Chelsea’s emotions as well as those of Bill are somehow the same because they are age mates, the kind of activities of their liking are different from those of the aging couple as well as those of the young boy. The kind of fun they need is also different and this makes they live the boy behind for privacy purposes. The aging couple having nothing much to do just to attend to their daily duty and give the boy company, this shows behaviour of each age is different as well as the interest (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).


It is interesting to study more developmental concepts as they are enlightening besides enhancing the understanding of several matters. They also help us appreciate others because their behaviour is as result of their natural development. The characters in the movie have played an important role in proving us with practical examples to support the developmental concepts, by watching the movie you will realise that you have watched something of value and also rare as it makes the audience think of mending their relationships, get to know why they behave in a certain way at certain age. It stands out to be a good example in a psychology class when learning about human development.

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