PSYC 1200 Lecture 7a
Chapter 11: Psychological Development
Maturation The innate aspect of development in which human thought and behaviour is heavily influenced by genetically-controlled processes.
Environmental factors can help or harm this process.
Socialization The learned aspect of development in which socio-cultural environment teaches children the rules they need to follow and
behaviours that are appropriate in different situations.
An individual’s genes may support or interfere with this process.
The Germinal Phase Sperm in pursuit of an ovum → A fertilized ovum → Zygote divides and forms a grouping of cells (or blastocyst)
(0-2 weeks) Outer part of the blastocyst forms the placenta & umbilical cord, which allows the mother to provide nutrients and remove wastes.
Inner part becomes the embryo.
Embryonic Stage Begins with implantation into the wall of the uterus 2-8 weeks after conception.
Secretion of testosterone between weeks 4-8 causes development into a male, otherwise a female result.
Fetal Stage (8-38 Development initiated in the embryonic stage that continues until birth.
weeks) Most brain development occurs during last 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The effect of nurture on nature: mother’s placental barrier functions to block many threats to embryonic development, but not all.
(e.g. German measles (or rubella), exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals, sexually transmitted diseases, cigarette smoking,
heavy alcohol use, other drugs (e.g. heroin, cocaine)).
The Newborn An effect of nature on nurture; learning about the environment is aided in infants by:
Innate motor reflexes, including grasping objects placed in their hands, turning in response to a touch on the cheek or
mouth in an effort to search for their food source.
Innate sensory abilities: First, infants become experts at knowing what sensory information means (e.g. parents vs.
everyone else) and then they can learn by witnessing events and witnessing the consequences of their own behaviour.
Newborns are pre-set to be socially interactive: they prefer faces to other sensory information; they smile for no reason and
produce nonsensical sounds that care givers love and will respond to caregivers’ speech.
Attachment Provides infant a source of biological need for nourishment & protection as well as a safe base to explore and learn about the world.
Innate need for attachment in infants is to achieve contact comfort ; there are emotional consequences of not receiving it.
Harlow & Harlow It was initially assumed that the reason babies and mothers form attachment is that the mother provides food to the baby.
(1966) Raised infant rhesus monkeys with one of two artificial mothers:
Wire Mother: not very nice to touch; monkey babies took the food but didn’t seek contact comfort when afraid.
Cloth Mother: soft to touch; monkey babies both took the food and ran to it for comfort when afraid.
Stranger & Separation Attachment to caregiver is reflected in a child’s distress about the presence of a stranger (between 6-8 months) and caregiver’s
Anxiety absence (until 2.5-3 years of age).
Mary Ainsworth (1973) Measured attachment by conducting the following situation:
Caregiver enters an unfamiliar room with a child and leaves the child alone with the stranger
Caregiver returns and plays with the child and stranger leaves.
Caregiver then leaves the child alone and returns after 3 minutes.
The child’s behaviour in this situation is believed to reflect the nature of their attachment to the caregiver.
Attachment types based on the strange situation:
Secure Attachment: briefly upset that caregiver leaves, but happy and playful when caregiver returns.
Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment: protests aggressively as caregiver leaves and rejects contact at caregiver’s return.