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How does a fertilized egg become a person? How do the processes which shape the common features of human development also produce the rich variety of individual diversity? Understanding Human Development explores these questions in a lively and wide-ranging survey of the subject, offering both a topical and a chronological view of development. The author critically reviews research on human development from the earliest studies to the theories and issues of the 21st century, including recent breakthroughs in neuropsychology, cross-cultural psychology and in the application of dynamic systems theory. Coverage of methodology and ethics combined with thorough revision summaries in each chapter make this an invaluable introduction for students of developmental psychology.