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Lecture 1

PSYC20008 Lecture Notes - Fall 2017 Lecture 1 - Lev Vygotsky, Information processing, Little Albert experiment

3 pages75 viewsFall 2017

Course Code
Katherine Johnson

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Historical accounts of development
o Plato
Emphasis on self-control and discipline as the most important elements of education
Children are born with innate knowledge
o Aristotle
Education should meet the needs of the child
Knowledge comes from experience
The infant mind is like a blank slate
o Middle Ages
Children as fully formed, miniature adults
Children were treated like adults socially (working & mingling with adults by age 6 or 7)
Children entered the world with purity & innocence that is later corrupted VS. children are
ignorant creatures with a lack of morals
o Preformationist
Tiny, fully formed human (or homunculus) was present in either the sperm or the egg
Such thinking dates back to at least 5th century BC to the 18th century
Invention of the microscope debunked this belief
o John Locke
Based on Aristotle’s theory
Children are neither innately good nor bad (tabula rasa)
Equality for all; focus on growth of character of the child (self-control, rewards & punishment)
Inspired Pavlov & Skinner to develop their own behavioural theories
o Jean Jacques Rousseau
Children have their own modes of feeling and thinking
Children grow according to nature’s plan (develop at different capacities at different stages)
People are inherently good and could live happily according to their spontanueous passions
but are enslaved by social forces
Urged parents to give children maximum freedom so they can learn spontaneously (eg.
Montessori schools)
One of the writers who inspired the French revolution
o Charles Darwin
Theory of revolution inspired research on nature of child development
Theory of revolution might help develop insights into the nature of humans
Conducted careful observations of his son, noting motor, sensory and emotional growth
Represented on of the first methods of studying children
o Alfred Binet
Pioneered the systematic testing of children’s intelligence
Investigated differences among children of the same age
o Stanley Hall & Arnold Gesell
Presented questionnaires to hundreds of parents, children and teachers to detail numerous
aspects of development
Feeding schedules, toilet training techniques, activities of pre-schoolers, social relationships
of children & adolescent changes
o Sigmund Freud
Psychodynamic theories of development
Based his theories on the analysis of recollections of his patient’s dreams and childhood
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