31 Mar 2010

Developmental psychology

Developmental psychology is a subfield within psychology which focuses on the study of age-based behavioral changes. Historically, the term has been used specifically to refer to the behavioral development of children, but developmental psychologists actually study people of all ages, looking at behavior from the womb until death. Researchers in this field can apply their skills to the treatment of children with psychological disorders, the analysis of psychological issues which pertain to criminal cases, education, elder care, and a number of other situations.

Researchers in this field primarily gather evidence through observation, with each study adding to the overall body of material in developmental psychology. Experimentation under controlled circumstances may be used by some researchers, but most focus on watching humans in natural environments and learning about the ways in which development can be influenced or altered. Since many experiments involving the manipulation of environment could involve unethical methods such as subjecting children to sensory deprivation or malnourishing infants to determine the role of diet in infant development, observation is often the only way to gather data.

Developmental psychologists are interested in the emotional, intellectual, and moral development of people throughout their lifespan, looking at everything from the age infants first respond to specific stimuli to the behavioral changes which occur in the elderly. Developmental psychology is also concerned with physical and social development, such as the age at which boys and girls start differentiating between each other, or the dynamics of middle aged adults. They also study humans in the womb, especially in the later phases of pregnancy when the fetus appears to be engaging in conscious actions.

The study of developmental psychology is critical to understanding how humans mature, and to identifying issues with human maturation. Developmental psychologists, for example, can set basic milestones which can be used to determine whether or not a child is developing normally. Lagging behind normal development or failing to meet development targets by a specific age can be an early sign that a child is experiencing problems which need to be addressed.

Research in developmental psychology can also be used to explore the developmental differences between different populations, and the reasons why some groups seem to develop more quickly than others. This research can be valuable when people are deciding how to allocate funding and which social and educational issues need the most attention, as developmental psychology has illustrated that people need sound developmental building blocks to grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults.

30 Mar 2010


A frien of mine sent me these two pictures of bunkers in Normandy. The previous ones I posted were not grafittized like these are. The shame remains the same - with decoration or not. Hitler had the bunkers built 70 years ago to prevent the landing by the Allies. He didn't succeed but millions died here and in many other places across the planet.
What we call Europe, EU, etc,  is such a fragile construction. We have to be careful not to let it fall down. Think of that.

22 Mar 2010

Too many people, too many space

We call agoraphobia that almost indescribable sensation of fear in an open space or crowded environment. It’s a really curious – and haunting – sensation that comes almost as a fear for future situations: we don’t need at that moment to leave that place or to be rescued, but the thought of that need, and the idea that it could be difficult to be reached in that crowded place, makes one so anxious that can lead to a panic attack. And then… as it turns out difficult to abandon some of those irrational thoughts, one starts to avoid some places, avoid some places that were usually pleasant because of that fear. So it turns out to be scarier avoiding the fearful situation, missing so much of our life, then to deal with it – or at least we hope so...

21 Mar 2010

Children Emotional Problems

Like adults children have many different ways to react to their emotional problems. Nevertheless, unlike adults they are unable to tell us they have an emotional problem and need help.

It is our work as responsible and loving adults to be alert to their signals and help them understand their needs providing, if necessary, the specialized and technical help available in the society.

Many times we tend to rapidly criticize and think that this or that child has no manners, knows no rules and respects no one when so many times those are the only ways that small person has learned to express her or his difficulties and or emotional problems.

20 Mar 2010



(excerpt from the poem by Oscar Wilde)

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,

Some do it with a bitter look,

Some with a flattering word,

The coward does it with a kiss,

The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,

And some when they are old;

Some strangle with the hands of Lust,

Some with the hands of Gold:

The kindest use a knife, because

The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,

Some sell, and others buy;

Some do the deed with many tears,

And some without a sigh:

For each man kills the thing he loves.

19 Mar 2010

Simple words

"(...) So the words you could not say

I'll sing them for you

And the love we would have made

I'll make it for two

For every single memory

Has become a part of me (...)"

(Part of the song "Jesus to a Child" by George Michael)

15 Mar 2010


To jump from a situation to another, to escape, is to act instead of feeling and thinking.

(Old professor, in old times)

14 Mar 2010


Depression is about loss. Loss of someone or something, or the love of it, that makes you fear for another loss... and another...and another... for all your life.
It's as if you are encapsulated in time: better said, in the past. The present is unbearable, there's no future. This may be more than depression, it can be melancholia, a Greek word meaning black bile. The Greeks knew it had to do with humour and Aristotle thought it could help creativity. Great thinkers, poets and artists, he used to say, are usually prone to melancholia bouts.
Some say that melancholic people have an ideal within themselves so strong that their ego cannot ever reach that perfect model and keeps punishing itself.
The thing is: how can there be such a strong omnipotent and tyrannical ideal that makes you crawl whenever you feel you are not corresponding to its demands? Think about it and the extraordinary power you might have given to someone or something.

The photo is quite a depressing one. It's a bunker from WWII part of the so-called Atlantic Wall that the nazis built on the Atlantic shore. Many of these huge and ugly constructions can  still be seen there. Paul Virilio published a book on them (http://www.infoamerica.org/teoria/virilio1.htm).

13 Mar 2010

Carnival - a "population" of emotions

I know Carnival was a few days ago, but in this sunny day I came across this fotos and couldn't help to stop for a minute and appreciate. Those are from the famous Brasilian Carnival, and I select those particular photos because I found them reveiling of a great emotion. Isn't it amazing how in a cultural event like this, tradition can bring such sense of belonging, such respect for representing a particular school, or a town...? Have you noticed the photo where one of the actrices is praying before entering the avenue...?

10 Mar 2010

9 Mar 2010

3 Mar 2010

Hallelujha to help Haiti

Clara's previous post remembered me that an old song from Leonard Cohen "Hallelujha", that have already many versions, from Jon Bon jovi to Jeff Buckley (my favorite), has been interpreted by Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris, in a more "peaceful" version...


Interviewer: In other song you also say"There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in". It is not a very happy thought to believe that something will always have to break, to open a crack, in order to the light gets in...
Leonard Cohen: It is a happy thought if we enjoy the truth. There is always something that will have to break. Usually it is our personal proud.
A Buddhist thinker said that disappointment is a great way to illumination. Other masters said: "from the broken débris of my heart I will erect an altar to the Lord".
The idea that there is a staircase of gold and marble, which leads to knowledge is seductive, but seems to me that the idea of something needing to get broken before we can learn anything is a more true idea. It is my experience, maybe you can escape it, but I doubt it. Unless the heart breaks, we will never know anything about love. As long as our objective universe don't collapse, we'll never know anything about the world.
We think that we know the mechanism, but only when it falls we understand how intricate and mysterious is the operation. So, it is true, "there's a crack in everything", all human activity is imperfect and unfinished. Only that way we can have the notion that there's something inside us that can only be located through disillusion, bad luck and defeat. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case.
(excerpt of an interview with Leonard Cohen conducted by João Lisboa for Expresso 1994)

A crack

"There is a crack in everything - that's how the light goes in"

(Alex Rider)

What does this quote sugest to you...?


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