Class 1 Sept 6 Developmental
• Historical Overview
1. Plato& Aristotle: Pondered how knowledge was gained during childhood. Plato
argued that we are born with pre-existing knowledge of the world. Aristotle argued
that we learn all knowledge through experience.
2. Locke& Rousseau: Locke said that all is learned, much like Aristotle. Rousseau
argued the child is born as a moral being; they have a natural good nature, much
more like Plato. Stemming from Rousseau theory is the idea that if the child turns out
bad, society and how they were brought up is to blame.
3. For 2000 years we’ve been debating the issue, and we continue to debate it today.
4. Industrial Revolution& Reformers: Machines began to replace human work in the
industrial revolution. The reformers pushed to change the law to say kids could not
work and had to go to school, in response to the industrial revolution. The reformers
needed evidence to prove this was a good idea; thus we moved from philosophers
guessing about development to scientists trying to study development.
5. Darwin Began writing baby diaries. He recorded all that the children did, and why
they did it.
6. Healthy development was promoted more and more, which created a demand for
studying children. Studying how to teach them best, how to help them develop
1. Theory: organized set of ideas designed to explain and make predictions.
2. Biological Forces Perspective: Plato’s perspective. We are born with a system and
experience is only necessary to activate this system. We have a biological system
that just needs to mature.
I. Ethological theory: Interested in biological forces. This theory says we can
compare other species to ourselves. We can, for example, observe behaviors
in other species and apply them to ourselves.
II. A major force in this field is KONRAD LORENZE. He was an Austrian man
who loved animals. He did observations of birds and how important it was for
animals to recognize other members of the species. He found that chicks
could recognize their mother within hours of hatching. He was curious if there was a pre-existing structure in the brain that caused this. He developed the
a) Imprinting: Idea that babies with form a strong bond the first thing
seen in the first few hours.
b) Critical period: The bonding can only occur within a certain period (a
few hours after birth).
3. Psychodynamic Perspective: FREUD argues that there are stages, and at each
stage we experience conflicts we must resolve to move to the next level.
I. Freud’s Psychosexual theory: There are 3 components of personality: id,
ego, and superego.
a) Id: our subconscious desires
b) Ego: conscious interactions with the world; controls the impulses Id
c) Superego: moral self; our conscious.
He also had 5 stages of childhood which had to be conquered in order to
II. Erikson’s Psychosocial theory: Sexuality is not a driving force. We have
basic instincts as well as social influences. Argued that stages went on
throughout the life. He has 8 stages in his theory.
4. The Learning Perspective: there are two types of learning.
I. Classical conditioning: Pavlov’s dog salivation study.
II. Operant Conditioning: Skinner; reward/ punishment system. Reinforcing
behavior increases the likelihood it will occur again, and punishing behavior
will decrease the likelihood it will occur again.
III. Observational Learning: Albert Bandura argued that the behavior does not