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Developmental Psychology Lecture and textbook notes covering all of developmental psychology from prenatal to adulthood; includes cognitive and social development in the stages, the detailed theories of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg, as

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University of Waterloo
Colin Mac Leod

Developmental Psychology October1910 937 AMDevelopmental Psychology The branch of psychology that studies physical cognitive and social change throughout the lifespan o How a child learns to walk how a teenager learns morality how one learns to interact with othersA way of studying psychology through developmentMuch of the research centers on three issueso Naturenurture how do genetic inheritance nature and experiences nurture influence development o Continuitystages is development a gradual continuous process or does it precede through a sequence ofstages o Stabilitychange do early personality traits persist through life or do we become different persons as we age Prenatal Development October1910 943 AM ConceptionStarts when a womans ovary releases a mature egg Women are born with all the immature eggs they will ever have while men start producing sperm at puberty 200 million plus sperm race toward the egg the few that make it release digestive enzymes that eat away at the eggs protective coating Once one sperm begins to penetrate the eggs surface block out all others Within half a day the egg nucleus and sperm nucleus fuse Prenatal DevelopmentDuring the first week cells begin to specialize in structure and function they begin to differentiateFewer than half all fertilized eggs zygotes survive beyond first two weeks Ten days after inception zygote attaches to mothers uterine wall Zygotes inner cells become the embryo Over next 6 weeks organs begin to form and function heart begins to beat9 weeks after conception it is now a fetus Responsive to sound by 6th monthPlacenta transfers nutrients and oxygen from mother to fetus Tries to screen out potentially harmful substances o Teratogens drugs and viruses can get by o Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS caused when mother drinks heavily while pregnant Symptoms include small disproportioned head and lifelong brain abnormalitiesZygote conception to 2 weeks Embryo 2 weeks to 8 weeks Fetus 9 weeks to birth Newborns October1910 947 AM Newborn AbilitiesLots of reflexes o Rooting tendency when touched on the cheek to open mouth and search for nipple then engage in complex sucking o Morrow tendency when startles to reach hands up and grip o Sucking tonguing swallowing breathingSocial preferences look to voices and prefer face like displays prefer displays at 812 inchesAble to recognize mothers smell at 7 days voice and face at 21 daysHabitual Illustrationo Habituation decrease in responding with repeated stimulation developmental measure used to determine what an organism that cannot speak senses or thinks by measuring decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation Renew attention to slightly different stimuluso Look at simple stimuli for longer on the first display but shorter on the 8th display Test with exactly the same stimulus Rotate the stimulus child with look 3X longer that the original shows they must be remembering and recognizing that theyve seen one beforeo Used novelty preference procedure to ask babies how they recognize cats and dogs Showed infants series of images of cats or dogs then a hybrid image Babies spent most time looking at the hybrid animal with opposite face to what they were shown Shows that we focus first on the face not the bodyPrefer sights that facilitate social responsesPreferential Looking developmental measure to determine what an organism that cannot speak senses or thinks by measuring where they look Ability to discriminateInnate what is innate in a child o Basic safety concerns o Gibson and Walk created the visual cliff Conclusion fear of falling is not innate When they cannot crawl they dont have a fear of falling When they start crawling walking they develop their sense of fear of falling Infancy and Childhood October2010 221 PM Physical DevelopmentBrain developmento Billions of nerve cells formed while in the womb but not neural connections o Ages 36 rapid growth spurt in frontal lobe enables rational planning Helps explain why preschoolers display a rapidly developing ability to control attention and behaviour o Association areas linked with thinking memory and language are the last cortical areas to develop Fiber pathways supporting language and agility proliferate and during puberty the pruning process shuts down excess neural connections and strengthens others
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