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PSY 302
Alba A.

Child Development PSY 302 – Lecture 1 – Class Notes Chapter 1 - An Introduction to Child Development Chapter 1 The Course… Syllabus Textbook Course requirements Term tests Written Assignment In Class Assignments The Course… Blackboard Class notes News Paper Library Articles Class room culture Lectures Email Overview I. Why Study Child Development? II. Historical Foundations of the study of Child Development III. Enduring Themes in Child Development important IV. Methods for Studying Child Development 1 Development Psychology Concerned with changes in human abilities and behaviour across life span  Child development Changes in child’s cognitive, social, and other capacities Describes changes Uncovers processes and strategies that underlie these changes Question I. Why Study Child Development? A. Raising Children Knowledge of child development can help parents and teachers meet the challenges of rearing and educating children. Researchers have identified effective approaches that parents and other caregivers can successfully use in helping children manage anger and other negative emotions. Be turtle B. Choosing Social Policies Knowledge of child development permits informed decisions about social-policy questions that affect children. Psychological research on children’s responses to leading interview questions can help courts obtain more accurate testimonies from preschool children. Research telling about the “simone says”  children will be lead to believe in false information To obtain accurate testimony, questions should be stated in a neutral fashion that does not presuppose the answer, questions that the children has already answered should not be repeated, and props associated with fantasy play should not be used C. Understanding Human Nature  Child-development research provides important insights into some of the most intriguing questions regarding human nature.  Recent investigations of development among children adopted from inadequate orphanages in Romania supports the principle that the timing of experiences often influences their effects.  the longer that the children stayed in the orphanage (more than 6 months), the more the effect on their intellectual and social development Understanding Human Nature con’t O’Connor et al. (2000) Investigated intellectual performance of Romanian children adopted to English homes Group 1: Children from UK who were adopted at 0 – 6 months Group 2: Children from Romania adopted to English homes at 0 – 6 months 2 Group 3: Children from Romania adopted to English homes at 7 – 24 months Group 4: Children from Romania adopted to English homes at 25 – 42 months Conditions in orphanages extremely poor Results: timing of experiences influences their effects IQ at age 6 IQ decreases as time spent in orphanage increases Still have considerable catch up from entry to UK Individual variation More social problems more antisocial problems II. Historical Foundations of the Study of Child Development - Early Philosophers’ Views of Children’s Development - Social Reform Movements - The Emergence of Child Development as a Discipline A. Early Philosophers’ Views of Children’s Development Provided enduring insights about critical issues in childrearing, even though their methods were unscientific Both Plato and Aristotle believed that the long-term welfare of society depended on children being raised properly, but they differed in their approaches. Plato: - Emphasized self-control and discipline - Believed that children are born with innate knowledge Versus Aristotle: - was concerned with fitting child rearing to the needs of the individual child - Believed that knowledge comes from experience Later Philosophers John Locke, like Aristotle, saw the child as a tabula rasa and advocated first instilling discipline, then gradually increasing the child’s freedom. Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that parents and society should give the child maximum freedom from the beginning. Social Reform Movements In the nineteenth century, research was conducted for the benefit of children and provided some of the earliest descriptions of the adverse effects that harsh environments can have on child development 3 The Emergence of Child Development as a Discipline  Child development emerged as a formal field of inquiry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Sigmund Freud and John Watson formulated influential theories of development during this period. Freud and Watson Freud concluded that biological drives exerted a crucial influence on development. Watson argued that children’s behavior arises largely from the rewards and punishments that follow particular behaviors.  Children are product of the consequences of environment “little Albert” afraid of the white and furry objects after the classical conditioning Although the research methods on which these theories were based were limited, the theories were better grounded in research and inspired more sophisticated thinking than their predecessors. III. Enduring Themes in Child Development 1. Nature and Nurture 2. The Active Child 3. Continuity/Discontinuity 4. Mechanisms of Developmental Change 5. The Sociocultural Context 6. Individual Differences 7. Research and Children’s Welfare Basic Questions About Child Development - How do nature and nurture together shape movement? nature and nurture - How do children shape their own development?  the active child -
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