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Lecture 7

PSYC 251 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Operant Conditioning, Protective Factor, Tantrum

Course Code
PSYC 251
Stanka A Fitneva

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PSYC 251 February 27, 2018
Module 7
Theories of Social Development
- No human infant can survive without intensive, long-term care by other people
- Learn how to behave based on how others respond to our behaviour
- We learn how to interpret ourselves according to how others treat us
- We interpret other people by analogy to ourselves
- All contextualized by social interaction and human society
Foundational Theorists
Psychoanalytical Theory Commonalities
- Freud’s and Erikson’s theories are driven by biological maturation
- Stress continuity of individual differences, emphasizing that children’s early experiences
have major impact on subsequent development
- Interaction of nature and nurture arises in the biological underpinnings of developmental
stages and how they interact with child’s experiences
- Freud’s theories now form the basis for research in modern attachment theory and his
thoughts on our mental life are fundamental to modern cognitive psychology and brain
- Note. It has been found that children as young as 3 have implicit racial biases, even
though they might not know it shows that non-racist people can unconsciously exhibit
racial biases
Freud’s Psychosexual Theory
- Even infants have sexual nature and that nature motivates behaviour and influences
interpersonal relationships
- Freud was a stage theorist like Piaget at each stage, children face conflicts that relate
to a particular erogenous zone on their body
o Children focus psychic energy on different erogenous zones and must solve
conflict in these zones in order to progress to next stage
o Failure to progress means a child becomes fixated and continually attempt to
satisfy their needs in indirect/symbolic ways
- No longer used in psychology but still influential
o Specific details regarded as highly questionable
- First to talk about importance of childhood and parenting in the developmental process
- Emphasized importance of emotional relationships
- Highlighted role of unconscious and notion that mental happenings outside conscious
realm can influence behaviour
- Infant is born and is ruled by the id: unconscious drive ruled by the pleasure principle
- Five Stages
o Oral
Mother becomes the first and unparalleled love of the infant
Develop a severe fear of loss of the mother’s love
Ego develops: resolves conflict between the id and the world
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PSYC 251 February 27, 2018
Module 7
Ego is never fully in control
o Anal
From ages 2-3
Control over bodily processes like peeing and pooping
Focus on relief of tension via defecation
Conflict ensues when parent begins to make demands on the infant re.
toilet training
o Phallic
Ages 3-6
Child is interested in own genitalia and curious about those of people
around them
Identify with same-sex parents, giving rise to gender differences in
attitudes and behaviour
Intense sexual desires that they try to cope with results in superego: the
Based on child’s internalization of parent’s standards for
acceptable behaviour
Guides the child to avoid actions that cause guilt, which child feels
when violating internalized standards
Path to superego development is through resolution of Oedipus or Electra
o Latency
From 6-12
Relatively calm phase
Sexual desires hidden in unconscious
Psychic energy channelled into socially acceptable activities
o Genital
Begins at start of puberty
Sexual energy that was in check reasserts itself and is directed toward
Ideally, individual has strong ego that facilitates coping with reality and a
superego that is neither too weak or too strong
Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
- Seldom used in modern psychology
- Popular in field of education
- Successor to Freud but, unlike Freud, didn’t emphasize sexual nature but rather focused
on social factors
- Proposed stages that involved resolving specific conflicts (just like Freud)
- Stage conflicts center on becoming independent, developing sense of self-competence,
and developing own identities
- First 5 Stages
o Basic Trust vs. Mistrust
The 1st year
Crucial issue is developing a sense of trust
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PSYC 251 February 27, 2018
Module 7
Warm mother who is reliable leads to a trusting infant
If person doesn’t develop ability to trust, they will have difficulty forming
intimate relationships later
o Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
Ages 1-3.5
Challenge for child to achieve strong sense of autonomy while adjusting to
increasing social demands
Goes beyond Freud’s focus on toilet training to point out that there is
dramatic increase in every realm of child’s real-world competence and this
can foster child’s desires to make their own choices
Desire to explore can cause battle of the wills among family members
If parents provide supportive atmosphere that allows for gain of self-
control without loss of self-esteem, children gain autonomy
If subjects to severe punishment or ridicule, child may doubt abilities
o Initiative vs. guilt
Ages 4-6
Child identifies with and learns from parents
Constantly setting goals and working to achieve them
Crucial attainment is development of conscience (like Freud)
Challenge for child to achieve balance between initiative and guilt
o Industry vs. Inferiority
Ages 6-puberty
Crucial for ego development
Child masters cognitive and social skills important to culture
Learn to work hard and cooperate with others
Successful experiences give child sense of competence but failure can lead
to feelings of inadequacy
o Identity vs. Role Confusion
Adolescence to early adulthood
Erikson believed that adolescence was crucial for achievement of core
sense of identity
Dramatic physical changes and emergence of sexual urges are
accompanied by new social pressures
Caught between past identity as child and many options about future,
adolescents must resolve questions of who they are or live in confusion
about their role as an adult
Learning Theories
- Emphasize role of external factors in shaping social behaviour
- They all emphasize continuity, unlike Freud and Erkison
- Focus on role of specific mechanisms of change which involve learning principles like
reinforcement and observational learning
- Believe that children become different from each other because they have different
histories of reinforcement and learning opportunities
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