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PSYC 100 Winter Learning Objectives

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PSYC 100

PSYC  100:  Winter  Study  Guide   Week  13:  Language   Describe  the  differences  between  language  and  communication.     Language is a form of communication, however for communication to be considered language,  it  must   obey  the  following  principles:   • Generativity:  the  ability  to  combine  words  or  symbols  of  a  language  using  rules  of   composition  and  syntax  to  communicate  an  almost  infinite  variety  of  ideas  using  a  relatively   small  vocabulary   • Displacement:  ability  to  convey  messages  that  are  not  tied  to  the  immediate  time  and/or   place   • Semanticity:  the  extent  to  which  a  language  can  use  symbols  to  transmit  meaningful   messages   Describe  the  components  of  language:  phonemes,  morphemes,  syntax,   semantics,  and  pragmatics.     Phonemes:  basic  distinctive  units  of  speech  sounds  in  a  language  that  distinguish  one  word  from   another;  minimum  units  of  sound   Morphemes:  combination  of  phonemes  that  are  the  smallest  unit  of  meaning  within  a  language   Syntax:  also  termed  syntactical  rules;  grammar  rules  of  a  particular  language  for  combining  w ords  to   form  phrases,  clauses  and  sentences   • Syntax  is  learned  implicitly  and  there  are  several  cues  that  aid  this  learning   o Word  order   o Word  class   o Function  words   o Content  words   o affixes   Semantics:  meaning  of  words  and  the  rules  that  govern  those  meanings,  cruc ial  for  comprehension   Pragmatics:  social  rules  of  language  that  allow  people  to  use  language  appropriately  for  different   purposes  and  in  different  situations;  help  you  interpret  what  others  say  to  you    Discuss  the  categorical  perception  of  phonemes.     Categorical perception: tendency of perceivers to disregard physical stimuli differences and  perceive  them   as  the  same.  Categorical  perception  allows  us  to  perceive  sounds  as  one  phoneme  or  another  when   the  sound  may  be  ambiguous.  After  a  year  of  age,  we  c an  only  distinguish  phonemes  that  are  relevant   to  our  native  language.     • Continuous  change  in  physical  attribute  is  perceived  not  as  continuous,  but  as  a  discrete   change  at  a  category  boundary   • Depends  crucially  on  whether  you  see  adjacent  items  as  the  same   thing  or  different  thing   o Harder  to  perceive  the  changes  between  two  stimuli  you  perceive  as  categorically   the  same   • Phonological  rules  govern  how  phonemes  can  be  combined   • Phonemic  discrimination  refers  to  how  perception  of  phonemes  is  affected  by  the  sounds   that  follow  them   Explain  how  speech  is  produced,  and  what  this  might  mean  for  how  speech  is   represented  in  the  brain  (i.e.  speech  sounds  are  not  sequentially  produced,  but   the  system  must  anticipate  and  accommodate  upcoming  sounds  in  motor   programming  at  the  same  time  as  current  sounds  are  being  articulated).       Articulators  (mouth  structures  that  make  speech  sounds )   create  very  rapid  movements  to  assemble  the  sequence  of   phonemes.     Co-­‐articulation:  overlap  of  phonemes  that  is  required  for  the   creation  of  speech  and  as  such  are  not  produced  in  a  discrete   sequence;  articulators  are  effectively  shaping  multiple  sounds   at  any  given  time     Identify  the  skills  required  in  learning  how  to  read.     Reading  can  be  approached  in  o ne  of  two  ways:  phonetic  reading  and  ‘reading  by  sight’ ,  or  ‘whole   word  reading’.  In  phonetic  reading,  the  word  is  ‘sounded  out’  by  breaking  it  into  phonemes,  whereas   in  reading  by  sight,  the  reader  reads  the  entire  word.  Knowledge  of  morphology  can  aid  in   comprehension  by  breaking  down  a  non -­‐sense  word  into  structural  units.  The  reader’s  vocabulary   also  aids  in  comprehension,  as  well  as  knowledge  of  the  world  for  interpreting  language  in  context,   including  information  about  purpose,  style  of  writing  and  me dia.  Learning  to  read  requires  first  that   visual  symbols  can  be  mapped  on  to  the  auditory  symbol  system.   • First,  learning  the  alphabet  and  the  sounds  each  letter  makes   • Second,  analyzing  phonemes  not  necessary  for  language  comprehension   o Saccades:  rapid  jumps  as  we  read  and  we  perceive  things  during  brief  fixations   o Semantic  priming:  we  recognize  words  more  quickly  if  they  have  a  meaning  related   to  a  previously  mentioned  word   Describe  the  sequence  of  language  development  milestones  (cooing,  babbling,   single  word  and  two  word  stage).     1. Crying:  after  birth  this  is  the  only  form  of  verbal  communication   2. Cooing:  around  8-­‐10  weeks  of  age,  long  drawn -­‐out  vowels,  made  seemingly  for  their  own   amusement   3. Babbling:  around  7  months  of  age,  mix  consonant  and  vowel  sounds.  As   infants  become  more   competent  babblers,  speech  takes  on  more  sounds,  rhythms  and  intonations  of  spoken   language.   4. Single  word  stage:  around  8-­‐16  months  of  age,  for  example:  up,  mama,  papa   5. Two-­‐word  stage:  around  24  months,  for  example:  go  potty   a. Telegraphic  speech:  convey  meaning  with  necessary  words,  without  function  words   b. Vocabulary  spurt:  time  of  great  word  learning     c. Language  becomes  more  complex  using  function  words   6. Full  grammatical  sentences  (5 -­‐6  years  old)    Interpret  what  under-­‐  and  over-­‐extension  and  overgeneralization  tell  us  about   how  children  learn  language.     Overextension:  use  of  words  in  contexts  that  are  wider  than  appropriate     i.e.  use  of  ‘dada’  to  any  man  the  child  sees   Under-­‐extension:  limit  context  for  generalized  words  to  a  certain  specific  m eaning     i.e.  use  of  ‘ball’  may  refer  only  to  their  ball,  not  any  other  spherical  toys   This  tells  us  that  children  learn  language  through  trial  and  error  of  assigning  categories   of  certain   objects,  at  first  without  success.     Overgeneralization:  the  process  of  overextending  the  application  of  a  rule  to  items  that  are   excluded  from  it  in  the  language  norm,  as  when  a  child  uses  the  regular  past  tense  verb  ending   –ed  of   forms  like  I  walked  to  produce  forms  like  I  goed  instead  of  I  went    Describe  theories  of  language  acquisition  (nativist  vs.  interactionist  theories).     Nativist  (Noam  Chomsky):  children  are  born  with  an  innate  knowledge  of  universal  grammar  and   the  basic  features  that  are  part  of  every  language  via  a  language  acquisition  de vice  (LAD)   • Based  on  the  proposition  that  the  development  of  language  encompasses  a  process  too   complex  to  be  the  product  of  environmental  learning  alone   • In  favour  of  a  system  in  the  brain  that  develops  after  first  exposure  to  language  and   therefore  no  learning  is  involved  in  early  language  acquisition   • Evidence:  critical  periods:  specific  times  when  people  must  be  exposed  to  something  for   normal  development  to  occur   o Genie  was  isolated  for  13  years,  barely  spoken  to  and  often  abused.  When  she  was   rescued,  she  had  no  knowledge  of  how  to  speak  and  could  not  learn.       Interactionist:  language  acquisition  is  the  product  of  the  infant’s  social  interactions  or  by  learning   experience  guided  by  the  infant  himself     • Recognize  biological  factors  are  involved  in  language  d evelopment  but  place  more  emphasis   on  environment  and  learning   • Language  is  the  result  of  growth  of  infant’s  capacity  for  cognition   • Grammar  is  a  property  that  emerges  from  complexity  of  vocabulary • Evidence:  we  are  prepared  to  learn  any  language Interpret  evidence  from  language  learning  in  atypical  environments   (wild/isolated  children;  creolization,  e.g.,  Nicaraguan  Sign  Language)  with   respect  to  theoretical  debates.     • Zero  exposure  to  language  in  the  first  years  of  life  (i.e.  the  critical  period  o f  language   development)  are  unable  to  produce  language  later  on  in  life   o Genie  was  locked  in  a  room  sometime  before  her  birthday  and  was  kept  there  for   11  years.  She  was  rarely  fed  or  spoken  to  and  was  regularly  physically   abused.  She   was  rescued  at  13,  but  she  was  not  toilet  trained,  had  a  shuffling  awkward  walk,  and   could  not  speak  properly.     • Younger  children  introduced  to  informal  Nicaraguan  Sign  Language  in  deaf  school  rapidly   mastered  the  older  students’  signs  and  spontaneous ly  imposed  a  structure  and  grammar   system   Interpret  outcomes  of  animal  language  learning  studies  (Washoe,  Kanzi,  Alex)   with  respect  to  animals’  capacity  to  develop  language-­‐like  system  of   communication  and  the  uniqueness  of  the  human  capacity  for  language.     • Songbirds  construct  communication  in  song  that  is  both  highly  structured  and   communicative.  They  use  their  song  to  attract  mates,  challenge  rivals  and  communicate  with   flocks  about  potential  danger.  Some  birds  have  as  many  as  1000  songs  they  will  sing.  T he   birds  have  specialized  areas  in  their  brains  for  producing  songs  and  processing  the  songs  of   others.     • Washoe  was  a  female  chimpanzee  that  lived  in  a  human  family  like  a  human  child  from  the   age  of  2  to  7.  The  family  taught  Washoe  ASL  as  vocalization  wit h  chimpanzees  in  the  past  had   been  unsuccessful.     • Kanzi  was  another  chimpanzee  that  was  trained  to  respond  to  spoken  language  rather  than   ASL  by  pressing  small  lexigrams  on  a  screen  to  produce  spoken  sounds.     • Alex  was  an  African  Grey  Parrot  that  lived  for   approximately  30  years  and  in  that  time   learned  about  150  words,  which  he  could  use  in  response  to  questions .   Week  14:  Genetics  and  Intelligence   Define  DNA,  genes,  and  chromosomes.     DNA: genetic material of all organisms that makes up chromosomes; resembles a double-helix,  with   strands  of  sugar  and  phosphates  connected  by  rungs  made  of  nucleotide  molecules  of  adenine,   guanine,  cytosine  and  thymine   Genes:  regions  of  chromosomes  that  encode  particular  proteins   Chromosomes:  threadlike  structures  in  the  nuclei  of  cells  that  contain  genes   Differentiate  genotype  and  phenotype.     The  genotype  refers  to  the  genetic  makeup  of  a  trait,  whereas  the  phenotype  refers  to  how  the  trait  is   expressed  physically.   Describe  dominant  and  recessive  traits  including  homozygous  and  heterozygous   alleles.     Because  genes  come  in  pairs,  the  gene  is  not  necessarily  at  the  same  locus  (point  on  a  chromosome   where  the  particular  gene  is  located)  on  the  other  chromatid.  If  the  gene  is  at  the  same  locus  for  the   two  chromatids,  the  gene  is  said  to  be  homozygous  at  that  locus.  If  not,  the  gene  is  said  to  be   heterozygous.  Pairs  of  gene s  at  a  given  locus  are  called  alleles .  If  the  alleles  are  different,  one  allele   will  be  dominant  over  the  other,  recessive  allele  and  will  always  be  expresse d.  Recessive  alleles  can   only  be  expressed  if  both  alleles  present  are  recessive.     Define  polygenic  inheritance.     Polygenic:  trait  that  is  influenced  by  more  than  one  pair  of  genes   • Some  behaviours  are  inherited  based  on  many  genes,  which  causes  a  continuum  of   behaviour   • Polygenic  inheritance  can  be  studied  by  using  identical  and  fraternal  twins   o Concordance:  both  express  the  same  trait  or  both  do  not  express  the  same  trait  =   high  concordance;  the  degree  to  which  phenotype  is   similar  in  individuals;  high   concordance  suggests  that  there  is  a  strong  genetic  component  to  this  trait   Explain  how  behavioural  genetics  are  studied.     Behavioural  genetics  is  the  study  of  genetic  influences  on  behavior.  This  includes  the  heritability  of   certain  traits  within  a  population,  as  well  as  epigenetic  influences  on  how  a  gene  is  expressed.     • Heritability:  estimated  variability  in  a  given  trait  in  a  population   o May  not  be  generalizable  to  other  social  groups;  an  isolated  population  will  have   higher  heritability  rates  because  there  is  less  genetic  variability   • The  more  a  trait  is  influenced  by  genetic  factors,  the  greater  its  heritability   o However,  important  to  note  that  heritability  refers  to  a  population,  not  an  individual   Discuss  whether  it  is  possible  to  separate  the  influences  of  nature  and  nurture   on  development.     The  influences  of  genetic  and  environmental  influences  on  development  can  be  studied  to  a  limited   extent  using  twin  studies.  Concordance  refers  to  the  expressi on  of  similarity  in  traits  in  twins.  High   concordance  suggests  that  the  trait  has  a  genetic  component  when  comparing  identical  twins  to   fraternal  twins.  Influences  can  also  be  measured  in  adoption  studies  where  twins  are  reared  in  varied   environmental  contexts  with  identical  genetic  influence. However, the expression of genes is influenced by the environment, thus it is hard to separate the influence into two distinct arguments. Describe  some  of  the  misconceptions  about  heritability.     Heritability  is  a  statistic  that  measures  genetic  influence  within  a  given  population.  It  describes  a   proportion  of  observed  variance  that  can  be  attributed  to  genetic  differences  among  individuals.  An   inherited  trait  can  have  high  or  low  heritability,  but  a  trait  that  has  not  inherited  has  zero  heritability.   Often  times,  people  consider  heritability  on  a n  individual  scale,  but  rather  it  a  measurement  of   variance  within  a  group  or  population.     Explain  what  intelligence  is  and  how  it  is  measured,  as  well  as  some  of  the   controversies  surrounding  intelligence  testing.     Intelligence:  ability  to  think,  understand,  reason  and  cognitively  adapt  to  and  overcome  obstacles   • In  the  past,  intelligence  tests  such  as  the  Binet -­‐Simon  IQ  test  and  other  standardized  tests   have  attempted  to  quantitatively  measure  intelligence,  although  this  is  difficult  as  it  is  hard   to  conceptualize  intelligence   • Gardner  theory  of  multiple  intelligences  postulates  that  there  are  many  forms  of  intelligence,   for  example  verbal-­‐linguistic,  mathematical-­‐logical,  etc.     • Most  intelligence  test  focus  a  great  deal  on  crystallized  intelligence,  that  is  largely  based  on   cultural  context  of  what  is  deemed  important  to  learn,  thus  some  intelligence  tests  can  have   a  cultural  bias   Define  the  concept  of  “g”.     Spearman  defined  ‘g’  as  general   intelligence;  a  common  factor  of  intelligence  that  reflects  all   positively  correlated  measures  of  intelligence.     Compare  fluid  vs.  crystallized  intelligence  and  explain  how  they  change  with   age.     Crystallized  intelligence :  involves  knowledge  that  comes  from  prior  learning  and  past  experience ;   culturally-­‐dependent   Example:  information  such  as  vocabulary  and  information  learned  in  school,  what  a  person   has  accomplished  with  fluid  intelligence   Fluid  intelligence:  the  ability  to  perceive  relationship  independent  of  previous  specific  practice  or   instruction  regarding  those  relationships   With  age,  crystallized  intelligence  increases  and  fluid  knowledge  decreases.     Define  mental  age  and  intelligence  quotient.     Mental  age:  description  of  a  child’s  score  in  comparison  to  score  of  the  average  child  at  a  particular   age   Intelligence  quotient:  initially  a  ratio  of  mental  age  to  actual  chronological  age,  revised  by  Binet-­‐ Simon  scale  to  Standford-­‐Binet  scale  as  IQ.  However,  it  was  noted  that  as  chronological  age  increases,   mental  age  most  likely  reaches  a  threshold  and  thus  over  time,  IQ  would  consistently  decrease  as  this   mental  age  threshold  was  reached.  To  solve  this  problem,  the  deviation  IQ  was  developed  as  an  IQ   score  relative  to  the  age  group,  where  100  was  the  average  expected  score  for  an  individual  of  a   certain  age  group.  For  each  standard  deviation  away  from  the  normal  score,  IQ  score  increased  or   decreased  by  15  points.   Discuss  the  heritability  of  intelligence  and  explain  why  heritability  seems  to   increase  with  age.     Heritability  refers  to  the  amount  variation  in  a  given  trait  in  a  population  can  be  attributed  to  genetic   variability.  Currently,  the  heritability  estimate  for  intelligence  is  0.5,  as  enviro nment  plays  an   important  role.  As  the  individual  grows,  their  ability  to  choose  a  specific  environment  for  their   further  development  is  largely  based  on  their  previous  experiences  of  shared  environment  and   intelligence  from  genetic  factors  such  that  this  h eritability  increases.  John  Locke  proposes  that   children  come  out  as  a  blank  slate  that  can  be  formed  with  behavioural  cues  and  feedback.   Furthermore,  he  suggests  that  the  environment  is  completely  responsible  for  intelligence.     Discuss  the  controversy  surrounding  ethnic  differences  in  IQ  scores.     Stereotype  threat:  if  people  have  made  comments  about  what  group  you  belong  to,  your  behaviour   is  likely  to  live  up  to  their  expectations,  a  bias  that  can  impact  us  all   Some  intelligence  tests  also  focus  a  great   deal  on  crystallized  intelligence,  that  is  most  often  culturally   dependent.  This  creates  a  cultural  bias  between  what  information  has  been  learned  in  culture -­‐ specific  contexts.     Week  15:  Development   Describe  the  stages  of  prenatal  development  (zygote,  embryo,  fetus).   Conception  takes  place  when  a  single  sperm  fuses  w ith  a  female  ovum  in  a  process  called   germination.  The  sperm  and  ovum  are  gametes  with  only  half  of  the  organism’s  genetic  material  that   when  fused  create  a   zygote.  The  zygote  divides  multiple  times  to  produce  multiple  copies  in  a   spherical  shape  known  as  the  morula.  The  morulla  travels  down  the  fallopian  tube  into  the  uterus   where  the  cells  begin  to  differentiate  forming  two  layers  called  the   inner  cell  mass  and  the   trophoblast.  Differentiation  signals  graduation  of  morula  to  a  blastocyte.  The  embryo  consists  of   several  hundred  cells.  In  the  embryonic  period,  the   trophoblast  develops  into  2  parts:  the   amniotic   sac  where  the  embryo  resides  and  the   placenta,  which  acts  as  a  protective  barrier  between  mother   and  child,  as  well  as  a  nutritional  filter.    The  embryo  then  separates  into  three  layers:  the   endoderm,   which  develops  into  the  digestive  system,  lungs  and  urinary  tract,  the   mesoderm,  which  will  later   form  the  muscle,  bone  and  circulatory  system,  and  the  ectoderm,  which  will  later  form  the  skin,   teeth,  hair  and  central  nervous  system.  In  the  embryonic  period,   the  embryo  will  also  grow  a  heart   and  begin  to  pump  blood,  develop  most  organs,  begin  to  grow  arms  &  legs  and  begin  to  s ense  and   respond  to  audio  stimulation.  In  the  foetal  period,  the  majority  of  organ  development  is  complete.   After  10  weeks,  the  foetus  makes  breathing -­‐like  chest  movements  that  provide  muscular  and  neural   development  for  breathing.  By  the  end  of  the  fourth  month,  sleep  and  wake  patterns  emerge  and   movements  are  detectable  by  the  mother.  The  vestibular  system  develops  in  the  fetus  by  the  5 th   month.     Describe  prenatal  brain  development  (neural  tube  differentiation,  cell   migration;  role  of  teratogens).     The  neural  tube  is  the  embryo’s  precursor  to  a  central  nervous  system.  It  forms  a  small  tube  of   ectoderm  inside  the  embryo  in  a  process  called  neuralation.  Neural  migration  is  the  process  by  which   neurons  move,  grow  and  connect  as  the  brain  develops  from  the  bas ic  neural  tube  to  a  more   structure.  Teratogens  are  external  compounds  that  can  cause  extreme  deviations  if  introduced  to  the   developing  organism.  The  susceptibility  of  a  developing  organism  depends  when  the  organism  is   exposed  and  the  degree  to  which  the  t eratogen  affects  the  organism  depends  both  on  the  mother  and   the  fetus.  The  greater  the  amount  of  teratogen  and  exposure,  the  more  drastic  the  effect  is  likely  to   have.     Describe  prenatal  perceptual/behavioral  development  (role  of  experience  in   hearing/vision  (de  Casper  &  Spence  in  auditory  perception);  rest/activity   cycles).     Shortly  after  birth,  babies  recognize  their  mothers’  voices.    DeCasper  and  Spence  had  16  pregnant   mothers  read  the  Dr.  Seuss  book  The  Cat  in  the  Hat  to  their  fetuses  twice  a  day  for  the  last  6.5  weeks   of  pregnancy.  Again  they  used  the  nonnutritive  nipple  to  measure  the  babies'  responses.  When  the   babies  were  born,  DeCasper  and  Spence  used  their  sucking  test  again.  This  time,  the  babies  could   suck  to  hear  a  tape  recording  of  their  mothers  reading  The  Cat  in  the  Hat  or  to  hear  the  mothers   reading  another  children's  book,  The  King,  the  Mice,  and  the  Cheese ,  which  is  also  a  poem  but  which   has  a  very  different  meter.  The  babies  sucked  to  hear  The  Cat  in  the  Hat.  This  provides  evidence  that   shortly  after  birth,  babies  are  able  to  recognize  the  voice  of  their  mothers.     Define  reflexes  providing  definitions  of  key  reflexes.     Reflexes  are  a  good  indication  of  neural  development  at  birth.  Infants  are  born  with  behaviour   important  to  survival,  some  last  up  to  death,  while  others  are  replaced  by  voluntary  action.     • Rooting  reflex:  infant  moves  head  and  opens  mouth  when  cheek  is  stroked  in  preparation   for  feeding   • Sucking  reflex:  if  infant’s  mouth  is  open  and  something  enter  it,  they  automatically  begin   sucking   • Babinski  reflex:  having  foot  stroked  causes  toes  to  curl  and  fan   • Tonic  neck  reflex:  extend  arm  in  direction  head  turns,  flexing  other  side’s  arm  and  knee   • Moro  reflex:  infants  throw  out  arms  and  grasp  if  feel  dropped  unexpectedly   • Grasping  reflex:  when  pressure  is  applied  to  palms,  infants  automatically  close  palm   Describe  the  development  of  reaching/grasping.     The  development  of  reaching  and  grasping  begins  with  the  grasping  reflex  as  described  above.  From   this  reflex,  pre-­‐reaching  develops:  an  uncoordinated  arm  movement  towards  interesting  visual   stimulus.  At  3  months,  the  grasping  reflex  is  replaced  by  intentional  grasping,  usi ng  visual  feedback   to  guide  movement  accordingly.  At  7  months,  the  infant  begins  to  make  smooth  reaches  towards   objects  of  interest  with  understanding  of  reaching  towards  a  goal.     Describe  motor  milestones  and  role  of  experience  in  achieving  them.     Motor  milestones  are  important  in  shaping  how  infants  view  and  interact  with  the  environment,  this   influencing  development  further.   1. 5-­‐7.5  months:  able  to  sit  up  without  support   2. 9  months:  able  pull  themselves  up  and  stand  with  support   3. 10  months:  able  to  walk  usin g  furniture  to  cruise  around   4. 11-­‐12  months:  walk  around  unsupported   5. 16  months:  pick  up  and  carry  toys  while  walking,  walk  up  stairs  with  help   6. 2  years:  walk,  run,  kick,  eat  with  utensils,  drink  from  cups   These  milestones  represent  typical  development  in   North  America.  If  used  more,  these  can  be   achieved  earlier  and  if  under -­‐utilized,  can  be  developed  later.     Describe  physical  changes  in  adolescence  (puberty,  hormones,  sexual   characteristics).     Puberty:  the  time  at  which  the  body  begins  to  enter  sexual  maturation,  marking  the  beginning  of   adolescence  characterized  by  more  pronounced  sex  differences  and  sudden  increases  in  height.   • Begins  when  hypothalamus  starts  secreting  hormones  that  stimulate  the  gonads  (ovaries  or   testes)  to  mature  further  and  sex  hormon es  (estrogen/progesterone,  testosterone)  to  be   secreted,  causing  further  rapid  maturation  of  sex  organs   • This  results  in  development  and  maturation  of  the  ova  and  production  of  sperm,  which  is   essential  in  reproductive  ability   • Secondary  sex  characteristics   also  develop  as  a  result  of  the  hormones   o In  females,  breast  growth  and  widening  of  the  pelvis   o In  males,  muscular  development,  facial  hair  and  deep  voices  emerge   Menarche:  female’s  first  menstruation,  occurring  around  12-­‐13  depending  on  diet,  body  fat,  heal th   and  stress  level   Semenarche:  male’s  first  ejaculation,  usually  around  13   Describe  CNS  development  in  childhood  and  adolescence  (pruning,  myelination   and  late  maturation  of  executive  functioning  regions;  brain  plasticity).     Myelination:  process  of  developing  myelin  sheaths  (fatty  coating  resulting  from  glial  cells  wrapping   around  the  axon)  around  neurons   • degree  of  myelination  can  be  used  to  determine  relative  maturity  of  areas  of  brain   • myelination  occurs  at  first   sight  before  birth  but  continues  up  to  ear ly  adulthood   pruning:  selective  elimination  of  neural  synapses   • through  reducing  the  overall  number  of  synapses,  order  is  imposed  on  the  brain   • synaptic  pruning  occurs  throughout  development:  in  some  underutilized  areas  of  the  brain,   humans  will  lose  ~40%  of  their  synapses   • neurons  undergo  apoptosis  triggered  by  low  neuronal  activity   synaptic  plasticity:  at  neuronal  level,  further  reduction  in   the  number  of  synapses  occurs;  neuron   can  both  grow  and  shed  connections  to  other  neurons  in  response  to  its  own  activ ity  levels   • the  connections  we  keep  and  grow  simply  reflect  the  types  of  tasks  we  use  our  brains  to   accomplish   • experienced-­‐based  plasticity:  ability  of  the  nervous  system  to  wire  and  rewire  itself  in   response  to  lasting  changes  in  experience   • experience-­‐expected  plasticity:  development  that  will  not  happen  unless  a  particular   experience  occurs  during  the  critical  period     Identify  key  cognitive  changes  in  adulthood.     Even  at  age  20,  some  areas  of  the  brain  are  still  forming,  namely  the   frontal  lobe  (prefrontal   cortex),  which  is  one  of  the  last  regions  to  finish  myelination.  The   dorsolateral  prefrontal  cortex  is   an  area  important  for  controlling  impulses,  in  planning  complex  actions,  in  foreseeing  consequences   and  for  working  memory  (all  components  of   executive  functioning:  functions  involved  in  goal-­‐ directed  behaviour,  planning  and  problem -­‐solving).  Tasks  involving  executive  functioning  are  the   last  to  develop  in  humans  and  still  remain  difficult.       The  body  continues  to  change  with  age  as  endurance  de clines,  muscle  strength  declines,   and  sensory   experience  decline  depending  on  earlier  health  and  fitness  levels.  Menopause  refers  to  the  end  in  a   woman’s  fertility,  varying  with  SES  around  early  fifties,  as  well  as  health.   In  normal  aging,  there  are   slight  decrements  in  speed  of  processing,  memory  and  other  cognitive  abilities,  however  when  these   impairments  become  severe,  the  individual  may  be  suffering  with  dementia.  Factors  that  affect  aging   include  telomere  shortening,  chronological  age,  oxidative  stres s  and  glycation.     Explain  the  functional  significance  of  the  nature  and  timing  of  developmental   changes.     Timing  is  everything  during  key  stages  of  development.  During  infancy  and  childhood,  exposure  to   specific  types  of  environmental  stimulation  is  critical  to  healthy  development.  For  example,  to   become  fluent  in  their  native  language,  infants  need  to  be  expo sed  to  speech  during  their  first  years   of  life.  A  sensitive  period  is  a  window  of  time  during  which  exposure  to  a  specific  type  of   environmental  stimulation  is  needed  for  normal  development  of  a  specific  ability.   Long-­‐term  deficits   can  emerge  if  the  needed  stimulation  is  missing  during  a  sensitive  period.     Week  16:  Major  Theories  of  Developmental  Psychology   Compare  and  contrast  the  major  theories  and  frameworks  of  human   development.     Erikson’s  framework:   Social  development  over  a  longer  span,  series  of  stages  defined  by  resolutions  to  crises  faced  by   developing  child.  Because  conflicts  with  physical  and  social  environments  last  into  adulthood,  so  too   does  development.     1. Trust  vs.  Mistrust:  infant  relies  on  others  to  meet  his  needs     a. If  needs  are  met,  trust  is  gained  and  the  child  can  move  on  to  the  next  crisis   2. Autonomy  vs.  Shame:  ability  to  interact  with  environment  drastically  increases   a. If  met  with  excessive  scrutiny,  the  child  will  adopt  self -­‐doubt   3. Initiative  vs.  Guilt:  begin  to  set  goals  for  self   a. Positive  outcomes  lead  to  confidence;   b. Negative  outcomes  lead  to  guilt  and  feelings  of  lack  of  control  over  future   4. Industry  vs.  Inferiority:  marked  by  transition  to  structure   a. Adapting  to  structure  leads  to  sense  of  a ccomplishment   b. Inability  to  adapt  leads  to  feelings  of  inferiority   5. Identity  vs.  Role  Conflict   a. Form  concrete  ideas  about  who  they  believe  themselves  to  be  to  form  a  concrete   identity   b. Remain  confused  about  role  in  life   6. Intimacy  vs.  Isolation:  people  learn  to  share  themselves  with  other   a. Success  leads  to  feelings  of  intimacy  and  people  are  able  to  maintain  relationships   b. Failure  leads  to  sense  of  isolation   7. Generativity  vs.  Stagnation :  people  develop  meaningful  relationships  and  create  valuable   worth   a. Sense  of  accomplishment     b. Isolate  themselves  leading  to  feelings  of  boredom  or  meaninglessness   8. Integrity  or  Despair   a. Positive  resolutions  to  early  stages  in  life  leads  to  sense  of  completeness   b. Those  who  have  not  resolved  earlier  stages  experience  despair  or   lack  of  meaning   Bronfenbenner’s  Ecological  System:   Developing  person  exists  within  a  number  of  overlapping  systems   • Microsystem:  you  and  your  relationships  with  immediate  surroundings  (family,  friends,   peers)   • Mesosystem:  connections  between  different  relationships   • Exosystem:  settings  you  may  not  directly  be  experiencing  but  are  influenced  by   • Macrosystem:  larger  social  constructs  that  less  directly  shape  environment   • Chronosystem:  historical  changes  that  influence  development  and  systems  that  surround  us   Piaget’s  Little  Scientist:     Humans  develop  through  a  series  of  four  stages  that  approximately  map  onto  key  ages.  This  theory   emphasizes  the  importance  of  interaction  between  environmental  and  maturational  factors.  Children   of  similar  ages  have  similar  cogn itive  abilities  and  thus  all  children  make  the  same  errors  in  problem   solving.  Progression  through  stages  of  development  is  marked  by  the  building  and  re -­‐building  of   schema  (mental  framework  or  body  of  knowledge  that  organizes  and  synthesizes  information)     • Assimilation:  the  incorporation  of  new  data  into  schema  without  the  need  to  revise  scope  of   schema   • Accommodation:  incorporates  new  data  into  schema  although  it  is  not  explainable  by  rules   of  schema,  thus  slightly  adjusting  parameters  to  see  information  as  exception   • Equilibration:  accommodate  information  to  the  point  where  original  schema  no  longer   holds  true   Vygotsky’s  Socio-­‐cultural  theory   This  theory  places  emphasis  on  environmental  factors,  including  cultural  influence  to  explain   development.   • Intersubjectivity:  understanding  between  two  individuals  of  the  topic  they  are  discussing   • Joint  attention:  ability  to  share  attention  with  another  towards  the  same  object   • Social  referencing:  tendency  of  an  individual  to  look  to  another  or  an  ambiguous   situation   to  obtain  clarifying  cues   • Zone  of  proximal  development :  difference  between  what  a  child  can  learn  on  their  own   and  what  he  or  she  can  do  with  help  from  a  more  knowledgeable  person   Vygotsky  viewed  language  as  the  driving  force  for  development,  whe reas  Piaget  saw  language  as  a   product  of  development.     Core  Knowledge   From  birth,  the  brain  has  mechanisms  that  pre -­‐dispose  humans  to  learn  specific  skills  very  quickly   or  to  understand  certain  phenomenon  in  specific  ways .  These  brain  mechanisms  allow  bab ies  to   learn  skills  very  quickly  and  understand  phenomena.  Evolution  puts  these  core  knowledge   mechanisms  in  place.     Theory  Theory   Children  hypothesize  about  how  the  world  works  and  thus  learn  and  develop  knowledge  the   same   way  that  scientists  do;  not  conc erned  with  stages,  but  rather  development  as  a  continuous  process .     Apply  learning  theory  to  developmental  psychology  (operant  conditioning,   Watson's  Little  Albert,  Bandura’s  Bobo  doll).     • Albert  Bandura’s  experiment  where  children   observed  adults  abusing  the  Bobo  doll   o Some  adults  were  punished  for  this  behaviour,  while  others  were  rewarded   o Children  who  viewed  the  violence  were  more  likely  to  replicate  it  than  those  who   saw  no  violence  towards  the  doll,  while  children  who  saw  the  violence  being   rewarded  were  the  most  likely  to  reproduce  the  violence.   • Little  Albert:  Watson  and  Rayner  exposed  an  8 -­‐month  old  baby  Albert  to  a  number  of  stimuli   to  elicit  a  fear  response  when  the  baby  reached  for  a  white  rat.  The  fear  response  was   elicited  by  a  loud  noise  that  scar ed  Albert.  The  child  then  displayed  a  fear  response  when  the   rat  appeared  without  the  loud  noise  and  similarly  when  other  rat -­‐resembling  animals   appeared   • Operant  conditioning  occurs  when  a  child  learns  the  connections  between  a  particular   behaviour  and  the  consequence  through  a  system  of  reinforcement  and  punishment   Evaluate  Piaget's  theory  of  human  development  (assimilation,  accommodation,   and  equilibration)  and  differentiate  among  Piaget's  4  stages  of  development.     1. Sensorimotor  Stage  of  Cognitive  Develo pment:    This  stage  last  from  birth  to  age  two  and  is   marked  by  orderly  progression  of  increasingly  complex  cognitive  development.  From  this,  the   child  is  able  to  build  an  understanding  about  the  environment  through  sensory  and  motor   abilities.  Reflexes  fade  as  they  are  replaced  by  voluntary  behaviour.     a. Object  permanence:  feature  of  this  stage  whereby  infants  understand  that  objects   do  not  disappear  when  out  of  sight   b. A-­‐not-­‐B  error:  when  object  is  hidden  from  the  baby  in  location  A,  then  visibly  moved   to  location  B,  the  infant  will  still  look  in  location  A   2. Pre-­‐operational  stage:  inability  to  perform  operations,  or  reversible  mental  process  at  this   time  (age  2-­‐7).  Development  in  symbolic  representation  and  beginnings  of  logical  reasoning   begins  in  this  stage.     a. Conservation:  quantity  of  something  remains   constant  when  container  changes   b. Egocentrism:    belief  that  others  see  the  world  the  same  way  as  they  do   3. Concrete  Operational  Stage :  In  this  stage,  children  aged  7  to  12  are  able  to  master   conservational  issues  with  increased  ability  to  consider  more  than  one  variable.  They  have  an   increased  ability  to  adopt  other  perspectives  and  comprehend  complex  cause  and  effect   relations.  The  use  of  logic  remains  challenging  in  transferring  ideas  from  one  context  to   another.  They  often  approach  problem  solving  in  non -­‐systemic  fashions,  ignoring  information   that  doesn’t  support  their  assumptions.     4. Formal  Operational  Stage :  This  stage  lasts  from  the  end  of  the  concrete  stage  into   adulthood.  Children  gain  the  ability  to  think  ab out  abstract  concepts,  as  well  as  formulate  or   test  hypotheses.  Reaching  this  stage  is  not  universal,  and  if  an  individual  did  reach  this  stage,   it  was  not  in  all  areas  of  expertise.     Evaluate  the  role  of  the  environment  in  the  major  theories  of  development.     Our  social  environment  is  the  basis  for  our  first  exposure  to  everything  we  encounter  in  life.  We  grow   up  speaking  the  languages  that  are  spoken  by  parents,  friends,  and  teachers  around  us.  Much  of  how   we  learn  comes  from  the  words  and  actions  of  these  people  and  our  siblings,  and  other  relatives.     Identify  the  characteristics  of  a  good  theory   A  good  theory  must  embody  the  ability  to  be  disproven  by  evidence  or  upheld  by  research.  Without   this  ability,  a  theory  is  merely  a  framework,  like  Erikson’s  Stag es  of  Life.    It  must  also  be  reliable   (over  multiple  trials  produces  the  same  conclusions/observations),  valid  (measures  what  it  sets  out   to  measure)  and  generalizable  (can  be  applied  to  different  social  and  cultural  contexts).     Week  17:  Self  and  Others   Define  empathy  and  altruism.     Altruism:  a  motive  to  increase  another’s  welfare  without  conscious  regard  for  one’s  self -­‐interests   Empathy:  the  vicarious  experience  of  another’s  feelings;  putting  oneself  in  another’s  shoes   Describe  the  development  of  pro-­‐social  behaviors.     Pro-­‐social  behaviour  is  the  positive,  constructive,  helpful  behaviour  that  is  beneficial  to  others,   usually  at  a  cost  to  oneself.  An  understanding  of  helping  a nd  the  production  of  these  types  of   behaviours  begin  to  emerge  in  the  first  two  years  of  life.  By  12  months,  the  infant  is  able  to  form   expectations  about  the  relationship  between  actions  and  friendships.  By  14  months,  some  infants  will   begin  to  provide  spontaneous  aid  to  others  themselves . Critically  evaluate  Kohlberg’s  theory  of  the  development  of  moral  reasoning.     Through  extensive  longitudinal  studies,  Kohlberg  proposed  7  stages  of  moral  reasoning  that  people   develop  as  they  mature.   1. Pre-­‐conventional  morality   a. Heteronymous  morality  (pre -­‐school  age):  avoid  punishment   b. Instrumental  morality  (7-­‐8):  fairness  of  exchange   2. Conventional  morality   a. ‘Good  child’  (11-­‐12):  begin  to  view  others’   opinions  as  important  and  want  to  be   seen  as  good   b. Law  &  Order  (late  adolescence):  concern  with  good  of  society,  laws  uphol d  and   protect  us  from  immoral  behaviour  of  others   3. Post-­‐Conventional  morality  (few  reach)   a. Social  contract:  aware  that  people  hold  various  ideals  and  recognize  obligation  to   law   b. Universal  ethical  problems:  abide  by  personally  chosen  set  of  ethical  principles  that   reflect  universal  justice   c. Cosmic  orientation:  grapple  with  importance  of  morality,  construct  natural  theology   based  on  experience  and  have  mythical  or  spiritual experiences Explain  how  parenting  affects  moral  development.     Through  parenting,  parents  pass  on  successful  moral  development  on  to  their  children.  Western   cultures  emphasize  individuality  while  other  cultures  emphasize  group  cohesion  and  respect  for   authority.  Higher  levels  of  prosocial  behaviour  are  associated  with   moral  development.       Explain  the  evolutionary  advantage  of  altruism  and  aggression.   The  earliest  humans  were  bands  of  hunters  and  gatherers.  The  early  emergence  of  infants’   understanding  and  production  of  helping  behaviour  suggests  that  altruism  was  a  very  important   survival  trait,  and  thus  were  evolutionary  advantageous  to  develop  early  in  life.  Although  altruism   may  have  reduced  survival  fitness  for  the   altruists  themselves,  it  increased  fitness  and  survival  of   their  genes  to  be  passed  on  to  future  generations.     Describe  the  cognitive,  social  and  cultural  influences  on  the  self-­‐concept.   The  self-­‐concept  refers  to  one’s  perception  of  self-­‐including  knowledge,  feelings  and  beliefs  about   oneself  that  are  used  as  a  basis  for  how  one  describes  oneself.  With  increases  to  autobiogra phical   memory,  the  self-­‐concept  grows.    Socially,  the  self-­‐concept  changes  with  social  comparisons  as  one   evaluates  one’s  abilities  and  opinions  by  comparing  oneself  to  others,  considering  how  they  differ.   The  self-­‐concept  is  also  influenced  by  whether  the  individual  resides  in  an  individualistic  culture  or  a   collectivist  culture.  In  an  individualistic  culture,  people  are  more  likely  to  think  of  themselves  in   terms  of  characteristics  that  define  their  personality,  whereas  in  collectivist  cultures,  people  ar e   more  likely  to  define  themselves  in  terms  of  how  they  are  related  to  others.   The  self-­‐concept  also   increases  with  cognitive  language  skills  around  3  or  4  when  children  are  able  to  describe  themselves   verbally  and  further  around  age  8  when  c hildren  are  able  to  use  knowledge  about  themselves  to   evaluate  and  modify  behaviour.       Define  “theory  of  mind”  and  describe  theory-­‐of-­‐mind  tests.     The  theory  of  mind  refers  to  expectation  concerning  how  experience  affects  mental  states,  especially   of  others.  It  is  a  reasoning  pattern  that  attempts  to  predict  how  others  might  think  or  behave  based   on  their  needs,  motives  and  goals.  Theory  of  mind  can  be  tested  with  false -­‐belief  tests  where,  for   example,  children  are  asked  to  guess  what  is  in  a  container  based  on  the  outsi de  and  adjust  as  they   learn  the  truth.  Without  theory  of  mind,  when  children  are  asked  what  another  person  would  think   what  was  in  the  container  after  it  being  revealed,  they  answer  what  is  actually  inside  the  container   rather  than  what  the  exterior  repres ents.  Another  test  of  theory  of  mind  is  the  displacement  test  that   explores  the  process  by  which  children  reason  through  a  change  in  location  from  two  different   perspectives.     Describe  the  precursors  to  theory  of  mind.     • Intersubjectivity:  ability  to  share  focus  of  attention  with  others   • Habituation:  learning  the  goals  of  others   • Consistent  lying:  many  children  around  the  age  of  3  will  start  to  lie,  however  will  not  be   able  to  maintain  the  lie  and  give  correct  answers  to  subsequent  questions     Describe  the  factors  that  contribute  to  the  development  of  children’s  theory  of   mind  (siblings,  executive  functioning).     • Executive  functioning:  capacity  to  control  impulses,  plan  complex  actions,  foresee   consequences  and  use  working  memory   o Preservation:  inability  to  switch  strategies  as  new  info  is  presented.  Although  initial   strategy  may  work,  when  a  change  is  called  for,  the  strategy  remains  the  same.     • Theory  of  mind  appears  to  be  facilitated  if  a  child  has  older  siblings  as  they  have  more   opportunities  to  reason  about  mental  states  more  similar  to  their  own     • ToM  also  develops  when  parents  explicitly  ask  their  children  to  think  about  the  feelings  of   the  victims  of  their  actions     Discuss  biological  underpinnings  of  theory  of  mind  using  autism.     Autism  Spectrum  Disorder  (ASD)  is  characterized  by  difficulty  understanding  social  situations,   forming  interpersonal  relationships  and  often  by  preservative  behaviours  and  high  sensitivity  to   sound  and  touch.  Some  theorize  that  theory  of  mind  develops   out  of  the  same  cluster  of  genetic  and   epigenetic  processes  as  autism  does.     Describe  fin
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