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PSYC 250
Tanya Broesch

Chapter 2: Theories and Methods in Developmental Psyc January-13-13 4:26 PM Jean Piaget • Stage development: qualitative changes that happen o For e.g. learning how to add as opposed to learning to multiply and divide • Stages of development • Sensorimotor: variety of reflexes such as bubinsky reflex(infant curling toes when sole of foot is touched) o 6 sub stages of sensorimotor: o Exercising reflexes ( birth to 1month) • Preoperational: symbolic development. Arbitrary sounds that represents something else o Imaginal play: using blocks to actually represent something else o Egocentrism: only think of world through their perspective (child covers eyes thinking the seeker cant see them b/c they can't see the seeker) • Concrete operational o Deductive reasoning • Formal operational o Where a person reasons hypothetically Sources of developmental change • For e.g, a child has a concept of a cat, four leg, fur, eats, meows. Come across a dog and calls it a cat. --> Assimilation. Giving the child feedback saying no that’s not a cat, then they begin to form another category, one for dogs --> Accommodation • Assimilation • Accommodation • Equilibration Object Permanence • Having an understanding that objects are permanent • Piaget and Baillergeon o Piaget tested children by making them search for the objects • A not B error( hid object under A but then we switch it and hide it under B but the child continues to look under A) • Concluded that children would not pass his test until 8 months of age o Baillergeon used looking time • Range from methodilogical to interpretation of the task( processing knowledge), • rich interpretation • lead interpretation Learning Theories 1. General learning mechanisms Associationist perspective • Behaviourism (one associationist perspectives)/ Watson Classical conditioning • Neutral stimulus (such as bell) • Conditioned stimulus ( t Operant Conditioning • Punisher -e.g. time out because it creates a consequence that causes the behaviour to be less likely Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura) • Emphasizes observation and imitation rather than reinforcement, as the primary mechanisms of development • Watching someone else get a time out rather than actually receiving that punishment • Imitation and observation • Novice watches model perform the behaviour and also performs that same behaviour o Responsibility relies on the novice • Bandura- preschool children can acquire new behaviours by watching o e.g. BoBo doll example, watching people beat up the BoBo doll and they also aggressively acted towards the BoBo doll • Group activity- outline key elements of theories 3rd theoretical perspective- Developmental/ Dynamic System Theory • Emphasis is on social learning Evolutionary psychology • Study the processes and not just the behaviour themselves. Shaped by ideas of the evolutionary history • Ethology - study of fitness enhancing behaviour o Lorenz and imprinting o Critical period- if development of certain things don’t happen within that period, then it does not develop at all ed o John Bowlby- theory of attachment; saying that animals form attachment at one period in their life • Sociobiology o Biological basis of social behaviour Cross Section Design • Studying kids at different ages • Criticisms: you are not studying specific individuals Longitudinal Design • Studying the same participant over time • Criticism: very time consuming Correlational Design • Direction indicated by negative and or positive • Strenth is indivated bythe number • You can determine relation but cannot determine causation Experimental Designs • Dependant variable: the thing that you are measuring ( for e.g.if you are studying object permanence, looking time is dependant variable) • Criticism: • Within subject: one individual • Between: comparing between two different groups and participants would participate in both groups Reliability • Degree to which independent measurements of a given behaviour are consistent Validity • Internal validity: • External validity: • Study should be high in both internal and external validity What are some pros and con of experimental and correlational design 1. Preferential looking • Duration of gazes toward one or the other of the displays • Tells you about the preferences and tells you what infants can discriminate • Head turning --> e,g. kids turning heads to novel sounds 2. Habituation • Repeated stimulus over time --> observation of infants getting bored: infant looking away, speed of heart rate slows down • Violation of expectation • We are able to know what the infant's beliefs or expectations are • The infant will look longer at an impossible event (e.g. looking at a magic show) • When expectations are violated, the infants will look longer --> fact that the infant looked longer indentifies that the infant knows the properties of the objects that are shown Techniques for Developmental Research (cont’d) • Reliability and Validity – Reliability is the consistency in repeated measures of the same variable using the same measurement method. – Validity is the extent to which a measuring technique measures the attribute that it is designed to measure. Textbook Notes Piaget's 4 Stages of Development (pg. 31) • Piaget saw development as discontinuous such as radical qualitative changes between a caterpillar and a butterfly • Sensorimotor : birth to 2 yrs (this stage divided into 6 sub-stages) - involves object permanence: when a child understands that an object still exists even when it can no longer be observed directly. This develops at around age of 8 months • Preoperational stage: Age 2-7 o Understand past and future but knowledge is very egocentric and very concrete • Concrete operational stage: Age 7-11 o When children begin to understand & use symbols o Children think less egocentric and understand concrete operations such as conservation of number, mass, liquids • Formal Operational stage: Age 12 to adulthood o Able to use symbols and relate them to abstract concepts SOURCES OF DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGE • 3 sources of developmental change: assimilation, accommodation, equilibration o Assimilation: interpreting new info in terms of previously understood theories and knowledge . For e.g. child knows about cows, sees a gazelle for first time and views it as a cow o Accommodation: process of changing ones theories , understanding or knowledge to cope with new info o Equilibration: process of balancing assimilation and accommodation to maintain a stable understanding of the world while still allowing for development SHORTING COMINGS OF PIAGET'S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT THEORY 1. Piaget greatly underestimated cognitive competence of infants and children • One could be sure that a child that passed a difficult task had the cognitive ability in question but one could not be sure that children who failed the task lacked the ability 2. Stage model is overstated • Piaget thought a child's stage determined modes of thinking in a wide # of domains and that thinking was consistent until the child moved into a new stage
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