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PSYCH 1NN3 (38)
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Development .docx

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Development I Introduction to Psychology 1XX3 Introduction  Theme of intro psych is the important role of scientific methods to understand range of problems in the study of human thought and behavior  Modern approach to understanding problems uses multiple levels of analysis Multiple Levels of Analysis  Psych 1XX3 involves considering biological basis of thought and behavior as you explore themes of development, neuroscience and evolution  Themes provide framework w/ hypothesis & tools to make sense of psych Overview of Psychology 1XX3  Developmental-> gene-environment interactions over life span  Evolution -> gene-environment interactions over gene evolutionary history of species  Neuroscience-> study of nervous system Introduction to Development Development  Refers to changes & continuities in individual from birth to death  Development psychologists interested in o How you change over time o How you stay the same over time  2 process that lead to development -> maturation and learning Maturation  Biologically-timed unfolding of changes in individual  Influenced by specific environmental conditions that shape the genetically- determined process  Ex. In right environment, certain genetic plan may lead baby to defined maturation timeline (when he’ll get first tooth, start walking, die, etc.) Learning  Acquisition of neuronal representations of new info (how to respond to environmental stimuli and events)  Experiences result in permanent change in thoughts, feelings and behavior  Learned processes can be controlled (piano lesson) as well as practiced to become automatic (ex. Looking both ways before crossing) o Automatic behaviors aren’t always optimal & can be altered Interactionist Perspective  Believes maturation and learning interact during development to cause most of developmental changes  Important role in understanding inherited traits, prenatal development and development of nervous system over lifespan Maturation and Learning  Maturation affects learning b/c some systems must be present for learning to occur (ex. can’t walk until leg muscles developed)  Learning can also affect maturation -> w/o minimal lvl of input from outside world, maturation will be absent or delayed Introduction to Studying Development Dramatic Changes Early in Life  Many researchers studying human development focus on changes in infancy and childhood more than adulthood (not as dramatic)  Researches believe developmental changes in early years are crucial in shaping who you become Four Ways to Measure Abilities in Infants  Habituation Procedure o Used to determine if infant can differentiate two stimuli o Process involves repeatedly presenting stimulus while measuring physiological responses (heart rate, breathing) or behavioral orienting responses (head or eye movement) o Habituation -> decrease in responsiveness to stimuli after repetitive presentation o Dis-habituation-> increase in responsiveness to stimuli slightly different from habituated stimulus  Event-related Potentials o Measure of brain electrical activity evoked by presentation of stimuli o Measured using cap w/ electrodes placed on scalp, which detect changes in electrical activity across neuron population in brain o Behavior being measured will evoke changes in brain regions of interest o Habituation and ERP give complementary behavioral and neural measures to understand infant’s sensory interactions w/ environment  High-amplitude Sucking Method o Used to tell what infant likes/dislikes o Infants can control sucking behavior to some extent, which is measured by specific pacifier o First measure baseline sucking rate in absence of active stimuli o Infant controls presence of stimuli-> if sucking rate increased, stimuli presented and if it continues infant likes stimuli and vice-versa  Preference Method o Also used to tell what infant likes/dislikes o Infant placed in looking chamber to simultaneously look at 2 different stimuli o Researcher measures preference based on if infant directs more attention to one stimuli over the other Inferences and Assumptions  Researchers are making inferences about complex cognitive processes from observed behaviors, thus limitations exist  Ex. individual going through haunted house to measure fear, has broken leg and is unable to run; viewed as being not scared Competence-Performance Distribution  Individual may fail task NOT b/c they lack cognitive abilities, but because they can’t demonstrate those abilities  Ex. given a child who is preverbal you may wrongly assume that she cannot discriminate between 2 toys Introduction to Developmental Research Methods Looking at How Abilities Change Over Time  Developmental studies concerned w/ repeated measures over time, unlike many psych experiments which involve single time points  Ex. study on memory would look at performance of students at single test point, whereas developmental study would observe how performance changes over time The Longitudinal Design  Developmental research design in which same individuals are studied repeatedly over some subset of their life  Advantages o If interested in how memory performance changes over time, might use same group of people o Allows researchers to assess developmental changes that may be common to all people  Disadvantages o Expensive and time-consuming o Selective Attrition: loss of participants in a study such that sample ends up being non-responsive of population as a whole  Results in different sample at different time points  Ex. at end of long study remaining participants may only reflect skills of subset of enthusiastic subjects o Practice Effect: changes in participants response due to repeated testing, performance may increase b/c of prior exposure not develop The Cross-Sectional Design  Developmental research design where individuals from different age groups studied at same point in time  Advantages o Can still uncover results like age differences in memory by comparing performance among different ages groups o May allow researcher to make some developmental trends o Less time-consuming and expensive; can uncover differences  Disadvantages o Cannot distinguish age effects from generational effects o Cannot directly assess individual developmental change o Not directly tracking changes w/ age but rather making inferences based on trends in group data Development II Introduction to Hereditary Transmission Chromosomes and Genes  Zygote: new cell formed when sperm penetrates ovum o Has 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent  Chromosome: threadlike structure made from DNA  Genes are made of parts of DNA and have chemical code for development  Human Genome Project: estimated that chromosomes have 30,000-40,000 genes  Zygote doesn’t remain single cell- divides to form billions of cells w/ 46 chromosomes Cell Division  Each parent can produce > 8 million different genetic combinations from sperm or ova. Theoretically, couple could make 64 trillion genetically diff kids  Monozygotic twins-genetically identical b/c come from same sperm and ovum, forming one zygote which split into two  Dizygotic twins- no more genetically similar than normal siblings, b/c come from 2 different sperm and ova & start off as different zygotes Sex Chromosomes  Have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including 22 autosomes  23 pair or chromosomes determines gender o Female have 2 X o Male have 1 X, 1 Y From Genotype to Phenotype  Genotype-individual’s inherited genes  Phenotype- expression of an individual’s genotype in terms of observable characters  46 identical chromosomes generate approx. 30,000-40,000 genes  Four main patterns of genetic expression o Simple dominant-recessive inheritance  Pattern of inheritance in which expression of traits determined by single pair of alleles  Homozygous- when two alleles have same affect on phenotype  Heterozygous- when two alleles have different affect on phenotype  Dominant allele expressed in phenotype  Recessive allele not expressed, but still in genotype and can be passed on to children  Phenotypic expression is outcome of many genetic factors more complex than single pair of genes, most expressed by many pairs of genes such as eye color o Polygenetic inheritance  When multiple genes involved in trait expression  Ex. height, we
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