DSST Lifespan Developmental Psychology Study Guide

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DSST Lifespan Developmental Psychology Study Guide

This study guide for DSST Lifespan Developmental Psychology is designed to inform about the exam that can potentially be used to earn college credit for pre-existing knowledge. This DSST test contains 100 multiple-choice questions designed to take 2 hours to answer and suggested to be equivalent to 3 semester hours of social science study, though this can vary depending upon the school.

The DSST Lifespan Development Psychology Study Guide covers topics related to biological changes, as well as social and emotional changes. There will be questions about learning, thinking, memory, and language in particular. The exam also includes questions related to the general study of development.

Content Areas % of Questions
The Study of Lifespan Development 12% (≈ 12 questions)
Biological Development 22% (≈ 22 questions)
Perception, Learning, and Memory 15% (≈ 15 questions)
Cognition and Language 20% (≈ 20 questions)
Social, Emotional, and Personality Development 31% (≈ 31 questions)
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The Study of Lifespan Development

The first content area deals with how the investigation of development is carried out. This includes current thoughts on the area of study as well as possible concerns.

An examinee must show an understanding of the ways development is studied including proven techniques of study. This includes accepted ideas about development that have been created over time. A test-taker must be aware of any concerns about the morality of a study that might arise and understand how investigation of development can be kept moral.

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Biological Development

This content area requires an understanding of various aspects of human growth over a lifetime. The timeline covers development from before birth all the way through to death.

An examinee must know how fetal development occurs in the womb and how development continues in babies once they are born. This includes an understanding of how certain developmental aspects are hereditary. Understanding of how children develop and learn to use their senses is necessary. Knowledge of the physical growth of children including bones, muscles, and how to use their body will be assessed under this content area.

A test-taker must know how humans develop into adolescence including things such as increased abilities and changes through puberty. Understanding of how the human brain develops over childhood and adolescents will be assessed.

Finally, this content area requires knowledge of what happens to humans over time as they grow older. An examinee must understand how grief effects humans and what the end of life looks like in humans.

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Perception, Learning, and Memory

An examinee should understand various functions of the human brain for this content area. This requires an understanding of how the brain handles a variety of tasks.

A test-taker must know basic functions such as how humans learn, how they remember things, and how the ability to interpret senses grows. Knowledge of how humans pick up and retain information will be tested. The ability to understand how the brain recalls information, as well as how it changes over time, will be analyzed under this content area. A test-taker needs to know how sense interpretation develops in children and how the brain physically achieves this.

The understanding of how the brain executes tasks and the ways the brain handles input will be assessed. An examinee must exhibit knowledge of how the brain is capable of doing various tasks at the same time and how the brain performs the work of directing the body.

Cognition and Language

A test-taker must understand how humans acquire knowledge including through observation and perception. Specifically, this content area deals with how people learn social skills, language, and how to measure someone's capacity to learn.

Understanding of various methods of acquiring knowledge will be assessed. This includes how knowledge acquisition changes at all stages of life. It is important to know how humans learn information through observing and active participation.

Some specific areas of concentration include how social skills are learned and developed throughout life. An examinee must also understand the process of how language is acquired and generally accepted thoughts on the process. It is also important to know methods to test and measure how capable an individual is to learn.

Social, Emotional, and Personality Development

An examinee must demonstrate knowledge of how a person establishes their traits and how they deal with feelings. This content area will also test understanding of how humans develop relationships with others.

A test-taker should be aware of how people develop traits and how these can affect various stages of their lives. This includes the ways people deal with feelings throughout the life cycle and how people learn various methods to deal with feelings as they age. A specific concentration is how people deal with working and then being done with their work life as well as other major life transforming events.

An examinee must show understanding about the development of relationships among people. This includes knowing how people learn how to relate to others throughout their life. Knowledge about how familial relationships develop as well as non-familial relationships will be assessed. These relationship aspects include romantic relationships, friendships, working relationships, and other forms of relationships.

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