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Psychology - Chapters 10 & 11 notes.docx

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Carleton University
PSYC 1002
Kim O' Neil

Chapter 10: First, research on happiness shows that the determinants of subjective well-being are precisely that: subjective. Objective realities are not as important as subjective feelings. (your health, wealth, and job are not as influential as how you feel about your health, wealth and job. These feelings are likely to be influenced by what your expectations were.) Second, when it comes to happiness everything is relative. (you evaluate what you have relative to what the people around you have. We compare ourselves to others who are similar to us.) Third, research on subjective well-being indicates that people often adapt to their circumstances. (this is one reason why increases in income dont necessarily bring increases in happiness) Hedonic adaptation occurs when the mental scale that people use to judge the pleasantness/unpleasantness of their experiences shifts so that their neutral point (or baseline for comparison) changes. Chapter 11: The 2 themes that permeate human development transition and continuity. Development is the sequence of age related changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to death. The life span into 4 broad periods: 1. Prenatal period (between conception and birth) 2. Childhood 3. Adolescence 4. Adulthood Prenatal period occurs when fertilization creates a zygote, a one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and an egg. The prenatal period extends from conception to birth, usually encompassing nine months of pregnancy. Development during this period is remarkably rapid. In the final weeks before birth the frenzied pace of prenatal development tapers off dramatically. The course of prenatal development is divided into 3 phases: 1. The germinal stage (first 2 weeks) during this stage within 36 hours, rapid cell division begins, the zygote becomes a microscopic mass of multiplying cells. This mass of cells slowly migrates along the mothers fallopian tube to the uterine cavity. On about the 7 day the cell mass begins to implant itself in the uterine wall. This process takes about a week. At this point many zygotes are rejected. During the implantation the placenta begins to form. The placenta is a structure that allows oxygen and nutrients to pass into the fetus from the mothers bloodstream, and bodily waste to pass out of the mother. This critical exchange takes place across thin membranes that block the passage of blood cells, keeping the fetal and maternal bloodstreams separate. 2. The embryonic stage (2 weeks to 2 months) during this stage, most of the vital organs and bodily systems begin to form in the developing organism, which is now called an embryo. Structure such as the heart, spine and brain emerge gradually as cell division becomes more specialized. The embryo is typically only about 2.5cm long at the end of this stage, its already beginning to look human. Arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, eyes, and ears are already distinguishable. This stage is a period of great vulnerability because virtually all of the basic physiological structures are being formed. Any interference with development during this stage can be devastating. Most miscarriages occur during this period as well as most major structural birth defects due to problems that occur during this stage. 3. The fetal stage (2 months to birth)during this stage the developing organism, now called a fetus, becomes capable of physical movements as skeletal structures harden. Organs formed in the embryonic stage continue to form and gradually begin to function. Sex organs begin to develop during the 3 month. During the final 3 months of the prenatal period, brain cells multiply at a brisk pace. A layer of fat is deposited under the skin to provide insulation, and the respiratory and digestive systems mature. These changes prepare the fetus for life outside of the mothers womb. Between 22 weeks and 26 weeks the fetus reaches the age of viability the age at which a baby can survive in the event of a premature birth. At 23 weeks the probability of survival is still slim.(10- 20%) Over the next month it climbs rapidly to around 75% survival rate at 26 weeks. Unfortunately, a great number of premature infants born near the threshold of viability go on to experience a wide range of developmental problems. Environmental factors and prenatal development: Teratogens are any external agents, such as drugs or viruses that can harm an embryo or fetus. FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a collection of congenital (inborn) problems associated with excessive alcohol use during pregnancy. Typical problems include: microcephaly (a small head), heart defects, irritability, hyperactivity, and delayed mental and motor development. Intellectual disability is the most common known effect of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and is related to an increased incidence of difficulties in school, depression, suicide, drug problems, and criminal behaviour in adolescence and adulthood. Prenatal malnutrition has been linked to vulnerability to schizophrenia, which usually emerges in late adolescents or early adulthood. Low birth weight, which is a marker for a variety of prenatal disruptions, has been found to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease later in adulthood. Studies have also linked aspects of prenatal development to adults risk for depression and other mood disorders, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Motor Development: refers to the progression of muscular coordination required for physical activities. Basic motor skills include grasping and reaching for objects, sitting up, crawling, walking and running. A number of principles are apparent in motor development 1. the cephalocaudal trend the head-to-foot direction of motor development. (When children gain control over the upper parts of their bodies before the lower part.) 2. the proximodistal trend is the centre-outward direction of motor development. (When children gain control over their torso before their extremities.) Maturation is the development that reflects the gradual unfolding of ones genetic blueprint. Developmental norms indicate the median age at which individuals display various behaviours and abilities. Differences in Temperament: Easy and Difficult Babies Temperament refers to characteristic mood, activity level, and emotional reactivity. Longitudinal design, investigators observe one group of people repeatedly over a period of time. (Example: an investigator would study 50
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