Find Your Degree
onlinepsychologydegree.info is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

5 Characteristics of a Developmental Psychologist

Today’s Successful Developmental Psychologist: 5 Key Traits in Practice

  • Compassion
  • Communicator
  • Open-Minded
  • Optimism
  • Follow-Through

Developmental psychology is important work that affects young lives well into their futures, and the experts who perform this kind of work must rely on some key traits if they are to be successful in the long term. What are some of the most important characteristics a developmental psychologist can possess? Here are five top traits for those in this practice today.

1. Compassion

Compassion is arguably as important as any other trait a developmental psychologist may possess. Without compassion, one’s drive to help their clients ultimately succeed is likely to lack, and sub-par service is sure to ensue. Clients themselves can also typically sense compassion or a lack thereof, and their engagement will come in mirrored proportion accordingly.

2. Communicator

A strong knack for communication is also very important in developmental psychology work. This applies to both listening and concisely broadcasting key information and emotions. With great communication then typically comes trust, teamwork, efficiency in task-completion, and more. This all, of course, is highly beneficial to the treatment process in developmental psychology.

3. Open-Minded

Without the benefit of an open-mind at hand, professionally and compassionately identifying and solving client problems can be an overly tough task. An open mind is a valuable tool in developmental psychology as it allows the psychologist to help clients work toward improvements without the haze of judgment being in the way. This trait goes hand-in-hand with that of compassion and when effectively combined, paves the way for excellent results.

4. Optimism

Optimism, in and of itself, is something of a compass in many life situations, and in the world of developmental psychology work, this is as true as it is anywhere else. Optimism gives way to more optimism and can be a key ingredient in many clients overcoming their current hurdles. Even when optimism is hard to find in certain counseling situations, an attitude of “what do you have to lose?” can be just enough to push things forward in a continued, positive direction.

5. Follow-Through

Finally, a great desire and knack for providing follow-through is yet one more, a critical characteristic the effective developmental psychologist should possess. After all, one can provide kindness, professionalism, an open mind, and more, but without the direction provided in seeking follow-through in counseling goals, it can all be just a matter of spinning wheels and not going anywhere positive. The skill of pursuing projects and goals to their end is infinitely important in getting clients to their ultimate end goals.

Related Resource: Top 50 Online Psychology Master’s Degree Programs

Developmental psychology work is very important to the lives it touches, but it can also be challenging at times to practice efficiently. Those in possession of the five, above-mentioned traits will find themselves one, giant step ahead in that very effort to provide the best service to the client. In closure, for anyone seeking further information on the work of today’s developmental psychologist or attributes best suited to this particular job, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychological Association represent two, leading organizations for this industry with which further inquiry is highly recommended.