Developmental psychologists can study the lifespan based on age normative characteristics or by examining the life course of an individual.
If we were to study college entrance exams using this method, we would evaluate the applicant based on whether he/she meets the age normative criteria such as transitioning from dependence to self-reliance or redefining relationships and discovering one’s place in society.
If we were to use the life course perspective, we would examine college entrance exams not by socially defined age normative categories but, rather, by evidence of progression when looking at an individual’s life.
What conclusions can one gather from listed references?
The lifespan method may take a more standardized approach that would compare applicants based on a specific set of criteria that would be easier to scale.
However, the life course cycle would provide a better perspective on an applicant’s journey and how this experience would shape their perception of the college life and how they may contribute to the functioning of the institution.
In addition, the life course approach may account for the ways in which cultural considerations and external events shapes a potential student’s life journey.