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Lecture 8

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Child and Youth Studies
Anthony Volk

CHYS 2P10 Lecture 8. Social Development Dr. Tony Volk [email protected] Theories of Social Cognitive Development • Cognitive-Developmental – Parallels cognition in Piaget’s stages • Selman’s Role-Taking Theory – Ability to understand other person’s perspective develops – Presented interpersonal dilemmas with multiple characters to children Selman’s Stages • Egocentric or undifferentiated • Social-informational role taking • Self-reflective role taking • Mutual role taking • Societal role taking Social Cognition • Role-taking skills improve as social cognition develops – changes relationships • Role-taking skills are related to IQ • Role-taking skills are related to social experience Theory of mind • Understanding that human action is motivated by underlying mental states – Intentions, beliefs, emotions, desires • Social development – Moral judgments, empathy, conduct disorder • Cognitive development – Reasoning about representations False Beliefs Dissociation in Development • Understanding of beliefs and photographs both develop between 3- and 4-years, but... • Performance is not typically correlated (e.g., Zaitchik, 1991) • Training on one does not affect performance on the other (Slaughter, 1998) Dissociation in Autism Strong hypothesis from autism • Based on an evolutionary perspective • Theory-of-mind reasoning is “domain-specific” • Relies on special neuro-cognitive computations • Can be impaired by injury or abnormal development. Bear/Dragon Test Methods • Participants – 95 Children (ages 3;2 to 4;11, M = 4;0) • Representation Tasks: – 2 False belief tasks – 2 False photo tasks • Executive function (inhibitory control): – whisper, gift delay, bear-dragon Correlations Chinese preschoolers • Possible advanced emergence of frontal function • Ethnographic data – Parenting and discipline – Observations of schools • Clinical and population genetics – AD/HD, Frontal Functioning, & DRD4 7-repeat allele – DRD4 7-repeat very rare in Asian populations (never been seen in Han Chinese). Research Questions • Do Chinese outperform U.S. preschoolers on executive functioning? • Does advanced EF lead to earlier expression of theory of mind? – If yes, evidence for Expression account • Are executive functioning and theory of mind related despite differences in EF development? Participants • Chinese – 109 Children (ages 3;2 to 4;11 -- M = 4;0) – Mandarin-speaking, tested in Beijing, China • North American – 107 Children (Ages 3;2 to 4;11 -- M = 4;0) – Archival sample from Carlson & Moses (2001) Summary • Chinese outperform U.S. preschoolers on Executive functioning • No cross-cultural differences in theory-of-mind • Executive functioning and theory-of-mind relation is robust across cultures Role of Experience • Siblings – Number of older siblings predicts emergence of theory-of-mind reasoning (Perner et al., 1996) – Clear differences with Chinese • Parent-child Conversations – Talk about mental states promotes theory-of-mind development (Ruffman, Slade & Crowe, 2002). – Possible differences with Chinese General Summary • Reasoning about beliefs is associated with “special” neuro-cognitive requirements • Performance on marker tasks of frontal lobe functioning correlate with theory-of- mind development • Seems likely that maturation and experience each play a crucial role in theory-of- mind development Six Basic Emotions in Infancy • They are all rooted in our evolutionary heritage, make their appearance early in infancy, and have a rapid, automatic onset • They have distinct, universally-recognized facial patterns • They are believed to be innate and hardwired into the subcortical motor areas of the brain Joy (Happiness) • Joy is perhaps best illustrated by the smile • Endogenous smiles appear in newborns • Typically during sleep, associated with low levels of brain activity (asocial) • Duchenne smiles are the first genuine social smiles, occur at 1 month Joy • Social smiling appears to be influenced by cognitive development • Likely related to the cognitive processes that associated an object in the environment with a positive (or sometimes novel) internal representation • Smiles become increasingly selective (informed) with age • Smiling is a very powerful emotional signal that may serve to initiate and maintain social interactions with adults • Laughter plays a similar role, and also becomes increasingly social & selective with age (at around 8 months) Surprise (Interest) • Surprise and interest represent two different emotions- I don’t know why your book puts them together • Surprise is dependent on, and helps further develop, cognitive development • Not observable until infants begin to form cognitive expectations (book says 5-7, I say 3 or fewer months) Surprise • Surprise is accompanied by regular physiological responses such as: – Heightened sensory sensitivity – Orienting towards stimulus – Rapid inhibition of unrelated behaviors – General fight or flight response • Prototype is the startle reflex- a rapid, defensive contraction/tensing of body Anger • Initial emotion is distress/upset • During early months, anger is secondary to pain/distress signals • This changes with age, with anger becoming the dominant signal • Appears to be due to a shift in self-reliance • Anger appears to
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