– Nature vs nurture ( looking at the relationship between environment and genetics throughout
– Most of the studies are done during infancy
– what evokes continuity and change
– they may look at the genetic predisposition for a certain characteristic (ex.Alcoholism)
– they have people come into their lab and drink alcohol to the point of intoxication, and then
they have to do various motor tasks and look at the effect of alcohol on these tasks.
– There are two groups ; one seems to have a high response to alcohol (lightweights) and see a
decline in motor tasks. The other group doesn't show a decline even with larger doses of alcohol
– This seems to be a heritable trait, and you can get the lightweight or heavyweight from your
parents.And if you're a heavyweight then you are more likely to be an alcoholic
– Trying to find out which environments may lead this to manifest itself
Special Methods to Studying Infants
– Preference Method
- where is the baby looking? What do they prefer to look at ? Many of the babies are just
interested in the researcher
What do babies know about faces?
– Infants as young as 3 months old prefer to look at faces over other stimuli
– they like looking at attractive faces
– Is this learned or is it innate? Not the best way to look at this or answer it
– a group of expecting mothers were a part of a study and a researcher would hold up the cards
and test the preference of babies who were only a few minutes old ( so that the babies had not
had a lot of exposure to faces)
– They developed face-like stimuli which is a rounded area that looks like a face ( looks like an
alien sort of ) and would present a distractor card thats inverted and upside down and the baby
prefers to look at the face-like stimuli. The conclusion is that we seek things out that look like
faces, we are born with this.
Sex and Gender
– What is the effect of dressing babies in blue and pink.
– In a study, they dressed half girls in pink and half in blue, and did the same with the boys. The
experiment was the response of adults
– They found that babies in pink, they would be gentle with them, a lot of gentle and sweet
vocabulary. Very sweet and cute. For babies dressed in blue, they would be bounced vigorously,
and language was tough. Done in the 1970's.
– Sex and gender are separable. You are biologically one thing.And then you have a social role
that relates to your gender. You can be female and masculine. It's the interactions of the sexes.
– Acase study in 1960's – twin boys had disfigurement with their penis, and for one child, things went fine for the first child. For the other child, it didn't go so well a