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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Development 1 & 2

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Christopher Teeter

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LECTURE 1: DEVELOPMENT I AND II Nature vs. Nurture: - Developmental psychologists examine the link between genetics and the environment in human development - A developmental psychologist may look at the Four Loko Effect by looking at whether there is a predisposition to drinking alcohol - Alcoholism runs through families so some people may have an increased chance of becoming an alcoholic - In University of California, a longitudinal study is occurring in which they are tracking alcoholism across families – so yes, there is a genetic component…but what about the environmental component? - These researchers at UC want to answer this question, so they bring people into the lab and get them drunk - Test the drunk participants on a series of motor coordination tasks before and after drinking alcohol  One group of people will have a very high response to alcohol– less likely to become an alcoholic.  Other group will have low response to alcohol – can naturally tolerate it and is more likely to become an alcoholic - So… maybe all the individuals who suffered from the Four Loko overdose were these alcohol lightweights - Most research in developmental psychology occurs in the first three years of life because lots of growth & change occur during this time period - This can pose a complication to research because most infants are preverbal - So… Psychologists need to use unique methods to study infant development - The Preference Method: One side of the card is a stimulus, other side of the card is nothing – you observe to see what the baby prefers - Not necessarily the best method… because the researcher’s face is visible to the baby so he or she may just enjoy staring at the researcher’s face – you have to hide it! - What do babies know about faces? Is facial expression something that is learned or is it hard-wired into our brains? - Babies as young as 3 months old show a preference for looking at human faces more than other stimuli (the face is a complex stimulus) - Researchers at McMaster wanted to show whether or not infants show a preference for faces within minutes of them being born  Expectant mothers called researchers when ready to give birth, researchers tested babies within minutes of birth – presented face- like stimulus to newborns & then flipped the image upside down so it no longer looked like a face… Results: The babies spent more time looking at the face-like stimulus! - Therefore, face recognition is NOT a learned process. It is innate – the newborns did not have time to learn the importance of faces. Sex & Gender: - How should we respond to a child based on its gender? Study from 1970s:  When a baby is in pink, adults are much more gentle - they sing to the baby, they tell the baby they’re pretty (even if the baby in pink is actually a boy)  When a baby is in blue, there are more rough interactions, wrestling, telling the boy how big he is (even if the baby in blue is actually a girl)  Depending on your gender, you have a certain social role - Some people choose not to have th
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