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Lecture 1

PSYC 251 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Limbic System, Little Albert Experiment, Sandra Scarr


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 251
Professor
Online
Lecture
1

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Reasons to Study Development:
1. Informs child-rearing practices
Maybe the most important point
Children have no manual but there are many books written on parenting.
They are not usually based on scientific findings problem.
Informed parenting techniques.
Domains of parenting with good understanding
Good Discipline style: How to do it properly
- Some believe disciplining right away after the wrong act is important for understanding
- Spanking
- 50 60% spank children
- Some do not believe body punishment is good -> some research back this
up
- Result: children who are spanked show more problematic behavior that
parents were trying to prevent
- Fighting, arguing, acting out inappropriate -> high numbers for
those who are spanking more
- Also, affects them long lasting.
- Children who are spanked as kindergarteners were more likely to
act out more years later
- Research summary: spanking not good.
- No feedback is given so there is no rehabilitation focus
- Best type: Inductive parenting
- Explaining what they were doing was wrong and why
- Focusing on how to do better
Turtle technique is used for children who have trouble regulating their emotion
- Child experiencing a lot of anger and frustration may not know how to handle it.
- Therefore, they act out inappropriate.
- Preschool children could be taught this to manage their emotions
- When overwhelmed, they are taught to move away from other children to get
into this position. After, they have time to calm down and reflect their emotions
- Curriculums that encourage this way of identifying and managing emotions are
effective in helping children self-regulate and work more constructively in class.
- Sum: Research in developmental psychology gives us info for parenting and teaching,
allowing us to find the most desirable and undesirable (negative) methods that
positively and negatively affects the child.
2. Informing Social Policies
Researchers are pushed to think about and test things that inform government
standards, law, education policies and practices and standards of practice in really other
situations that involve children
i.e. health education and how children learn about health information
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So, do they understand that drinking is a dangerous thing?
Do they understand smoking is dangerous and can cause cancer?
These are bad for us and developmental research is helpful in informing what
the best and most effective ways to pass these messages to children.
Another question concerns role of children in court.
Should they be allowed to testify in court?
Do they understand truth from lies?
Do they understand difference between imagination and reality?
Could we help to improve their accuracy when serving as witnesses?
A lot of research is done in this field.
Young children are prone to answer with inaccurate information with
leading questions
Quite accurate when avoid leading question in process.
Legal individuals must know the importance of how they're asking
question may affect the accuracy and quality.
Children can distinguish between imagination and reality
Can give valid testimony if questioned in appropriate matters
There have been protocols to have people working with children in the
legal system to help professionals approach situations involving child
witnesses
3. Providing Insight into Human Nature
Developmental psychology can provide wonderful insights in to human nature
- Help to uderstad ho our eperiee shapes us ad hat’s iportat i ters of
nature and nurture
- Questions like are we good or bad fundamentally?
Romanian Orphanage Study
There were huge number of children i Roaia orphaages i ’s ad s
The individuals working in here were instructed to interact with the children in their care as
little as possible.
i.e. give bottles to infants and leave without any interaction physically or verbally.
Some infants developed flat spots in the back of their heads
The conditions were very bad for these children.
When the country opened, people began adopting these children and question was asked:
What effect did this have on these children? Would length of time spent in here make a
difference in their learning and development?
The graph shows IQ test scores of children adopted in Britain.
IQ at 6 yrs. of age (several years after the adoption)
Orange bar = IQ of British born Children adopted to British families. (control)
IT shows higher IQ than the average of general population because adoptive families are
generally upper middle class families who are well prepared for the children. Therefore, there
have good resources with enriching educational experiences compared to public.
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Good example of how experience could impact intelligence)
Turquois bar represents IQ from children of Romania orphanages.
1st of 3 shows the average IQ of children adopted within six months of being born.
They are not much different from the control group.
Second bar -> IQs of children adopted between 7 months and 24 months
Last bar 25 42 months of age (After 2)
WE could see here that average IQs dropped significantly, the longer they were in the
orphanages before being adopted.
Why?? Brain can only make up for so much early maltreatment. Therefore, our early
experiences are important and can have a lasting impact on our lives going forward.
Unfortunately, those who were adopted later in life were unable to benefit from the same
degree of good opportunity.
This shows insight to how important experiences are, especially in early life.
Longer the maltreatment at earlier age, the more damage it has on the abilities and
development later.
Historical Influences
When and why did we start learning about child development?
Thinking of child development began in Ancient Greece and early philosophers Plato and
Aristotle.
- Both Plato and Aristotle thought that it was very important to think about how to raise
children, as they are the future societies.
- They thought differently about what children came to the world with (Extreme views)
- Plato: Knowledge is innate (Nature)
- All children were born with all the conceptual knowledge that they ever
know
- From birth, it just needs to be explored and uncovered
- Aristotle: Experience (learning/nurture)
- All comes from it
- Both nature and nurture are important.
- Locke and Jean Jaques Rousseau, philosophers talked about development.
- John Locke -> ith Aristotle’s ie of deelopet
- Children are born with taula rasa lak slate
- We should be careful with our children, setting good examples.
- Rousseau -> children learned in interaction with the world (like Piaget)
- Children needed to explore the world on their own
- They would not benefit from formal education before 12
- this would turn them off of learning about the world, ad that they
should be free to follow their own pursuits before this age
- Children were not seen as different from adults
- Miniature of adults
Middle Ages children are dress similarly to adults.
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