What are the advantages to organizing and building knowledge about behavior around the concept of developmental psychology? The case for a developmental approach to the study of behavior is similar to the arguments developed in other sciences for using:
The developmental psychologist, in a parallel fashion, is interested in questions centering around the description, explanation, and modification of processes that lead to a given outcome or sequence of outcomes. Examples of questions about the description, explanation, and modification of processes and outcomes are:
In all of these examples, both from other developmental sciences and from developmental psychology, there are two primary characteristics: a focus on change and the study of processes leading to a specific outcome. Specifically, the sample questions presented suggest:
Phenomena, then, are not fixed; they are changing. Furthermore, both the past and the present are a prologue to the future. Most scientists have acknowledged the usefulness of such a "historical," process-oriented developmental approach to the study of their subject matter. It is worthwhile to think a bit about other sciences that focus on change and time-related phenomena (history, archaeology, astronomy, and others).