What is OpenPSYC?

OpenPSYC is a free online resource for students in Introduction to Psychology courses. Use the links on the right to learn more about the site, visit a course module or search by keyword.

Comparative Developmental Psychology

Comparative Psychology

You may remember that comparative psychology is comparing human psychology to the psychology of other species. We can gain understanding of how humans develop by comparing humans to other species and how they develop.


Imprinting is the idea that there are certain phases in life in which there is very rapid learning.  These phases are very important in establishing behaviors of a specific species.  Konrad Lorenz was probably the most famous researcher to demonstrate imprinting.  The following is a video of him with his geese.

Read: Click on the link to read about his theory and how it came about Lorenz and Imprinting

If you want to see some video, here is a short clip (no audio):


 Harlow's Monkey Studies

Henry Harlow is another famous researcher whose studies of animals influenced human psychology.  Both Harlow and Lorenz were doing their work at a time when behaviorism was a dominant theory in psychology.  Their studies helped show that behaviorism did not fully explain why we develop the way we do. Watch the following video and think about how it could be applied to humans.