James Wages, Ph.D.


Social Psychologist

Developmental Psychology


University of Central Arkansas


The focus of this course is human development from infancy through adolescence. Students will learn about physical, cognitive, emotional, and social milestones and trajectories and the role of culture and context in developmental processes and outcomes. The course considers perspectives and methods used in developmental research. As each new topic is introduced, students are encouraged to think critically about the assumptions and methods that underlie research on particular issues. Students will be asked to think critically about culture and context as integral to developmental processes and to apply theory to interpret human behavior and to address real-world issues. 

 The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with the fundamental topics, prevailing themes, and canonical and contemporary empirical research concerning the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children from infancy to adolescence. A secondary goal of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to apply the learned content meaningfully. 

Students in this course will learn: 
  • the primary theories and research methods that govern the field of developmental psychology and the study of human development; 
  • the basic stages of human development and key milestones in physical, cognitive, and social/emotional growth from conception through adolescence; 
  • how to identify and discuss the ways in which social inequality and social issues, such as poverty, racism, sexism, and politics, impact human development processes and outcomes; 
  • how to apply the tools of developmental science to identify, understand, and address relevant social issues.