McMaster University




Developmental psychology is concerned with the factors that affect physical, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social development across the lifespan. The debate between the relative contributions of innate and experiential factors in development is studied from infancy through aging in the context of experiments examining behaviour and/or physiological indices.

For Undergraduate Students

Students enrolled in the developmental research area will take a course in general development (3GG3) in addition to specialized courses in areas such as infancy (3HH3), cognitive development (3II3), reading and language development (3U03, 3UU3), social-emotional development (3JJ3), child language acquisition (3C03), psychopathologies of childhood (3B03), and language disorders in childhood (4C03). Throughout these courses, library research, experimental methodology, laboratory research, communication, and critical thinking skills will be emphasized (3EE3, 3LL3, 3V03). Students who wish to pursue post-graduate studies should consider completing a course with a strong research component (4QQ3, 4D06, 4DD6, 4D09). This research area provides excellent training for graduate school, research positions, and professional disciplines such as medicine, nursing, teaching, and speech pathology

For Graduate Students

We offer state-of-the-art facilities in laboratories studying Development from several different perspectives. Research spans areas such as development of auditory perception and the acquisition of music and language, perceptual abilities of normal infants and the consequences of deprivation, development of reading fluency in childhood, origins and developmental course of extreme childhood shyness and social withdrawal, development of attention and study of autism, effects of aging on vision and attention, as well as studies of the development of aggression and bullying.


Developmental Psychology Faculty
Mertice Clark - Behavioural endocrinology. (Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology)
Betty Ann Levy - Exploration of rapid reading with comprehension, development of skills involved in reading acquisition. (Professor, Department of Psychology)
Terri L. Lewis - Development of vision in human infants, normal development, development of vision in children treated for cataracts. (Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology)
Daphne M. Maurer - Development of vision in human infants, normal development, development of vision in children treated for cataracts. (Professor, Department of Psychology)
Mel Rutherford - Evolutionary psychological perspectives on social perceptual development, social cognitive development, theory of mind and autism. (Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology)
Louis Schmidt - Developmental psychophysiology, social emotional development in children, neural basis of human emotion. (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology)
Allison Sekuler - Cognition neuroscience, visual perception, perceptual organization, face and object recognition, motion perception, aging and vision, neuroimaging. (Canada Research Chair Professor, Department of Psychology)
David Shore - Crossmodal temporal processing, memory and visual search, varieties and effects of attention. (Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology)
Laurel J. Trainor - Development of auditory perception. (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology)
Tracy Vaillancourt - Peer bullying/victimization; social status; psychopathology; the development of aggression (physical & indirect); National Longitudinal Study for Children and Youth (NLSCY). (Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology)
Contact McMaster | Legal & Privacy Policy