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Nature and Nurture.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 302
Professor
Weikum
Semester
Summer

Description
Nature and Nurture:All Interactions,All the Time A. Nature and Nurture Begin Interacting Before Birth • Ahost of environmental factors, including teratogens, influence prenatal development. o Their effects depend in part on maternal and fetal genetic characteristics o Even qualities that are present at birth, such as taste preferences and maternal voice recognition, may be affected B. Infants’Nature Elicits Nurture • Nature equips babies with a host of qualities that elicit appropriate nurture C. Timing Matters • The effects of a given kind of nurture depend on the nature of the organism at the time of the experience • For example, infants born with strabismus (i.e., cross-eyed) • Such sensitive periods influence perception, language, intelligence, emotions, and social behavior. D. Nature Does Not Reveal Itself All at Once • Many genetically influenced properties do not become evident until middle childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. • For example, schizophrenia is highly influenced by genes inherited at conception, • As with other aspects of development, the emergence of schizophrenia reflects a complex interplay between E. Everything Influences Everything • Children’s nature – their genes, personal characteristics, and behavioral tendencies – interact with the nurture they receive from parents, teachers, peers, and broader society Children PlayActive Roles in Their Own Development Core Concept: • Physically interacting with • Interpreting their • Regulating their • Eliciting reactions A. Self-Initiated Activity • From before birth through adolescence, children’s self initiated activities • Movement affects • Looking preferences guide • Self-locomotion expands the child’s • Language affects • Peer relationships influence B. Active Interpretation of Experience • Children also contribute to their development by trying to understand • Infants develop a sense of • Toddlers ask • Young children construct informal theories about inanimate objects, living things, and people. C. Self-Regulation • At all ages, children who successfully regulate their emotions tend to be more socially competent than those who are less skilled at emotional regulation. • Over the course of development, there is also a considerable increase in the range of areas in which children regulate their own activities, rather than having others regulate them. D. Eliciting Reactions from Other People • From the first days of life, children act differently from one another and evoke different reactions from other people on the basis of their • The effects that children’s initial inclinations have on others’behavior toward them Mechanisms of Developmental Change A. Biological Change Mechanisms • Underlie both very specific changes (such as the development of specialized areas of the brain) and very general changes (including the processes through which neurons are produced, reach their destination, become differentiated, and form synapses) B. Behavioral Change Mechanisms • Describe responses to environmental contingencies • Basic behavioral learning mechanisms – habituation, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, and statistical learning – Social Learning Children (as well as adults) also learn a great deal from observing and interacting with other people. Among the crucial contributors to social learning are imitation, social referencing, language, and guided participation. Social learning influences socio-emotional development as well as the acquisition of knowledge. The likelihood of imitating other people is affected C. Cognitive Change Mechanisms Many of the most compelling analyses of developmental change are at the cognitive level, Information-Processing General Information-Processing Mechanisms Domain-specific learning mechanisms Assumptions about the physical world Assumptions about word learning Informal theories about the main types of entities in the world – inanimate objects, people, and other living things D. Change Mechanisms Work Together It is crucial to remember that biological, cognitive and behavioral mechanisms reflect interactions The Sociocultural Context Shapes Development Growing Up in Societies with Different Values Sociocultural differences exert an influence on cognitive development. They help determine which skills and knowledge children acquire and Cultural values also influence the educational system, Growing Up in Different Circumstances Within a Society • Even among children growing up at the same time in the same society, differences in economic circumstances, family relationships, and peer groups lead to large differences in children’s lives. • All aspects of development are influenced by economic circumstances. • Poor children experience difficulty in establishing secure attachments, developing good peer relationships, avoiding antisocial behavior, and achieving academically. • The cumulative effect of the disadvantages associated with poverty, rather than any one of them, poses the greatest obstacle to successful development. How Do Children Become So Different from OneAnother? Dimension Importance • Three properties determine the importance of a dimension of individual differences: • Children’s status on the most important dimensions is related to their status at that time on other important dimensions. • Adimension of individual differences is of greater interest if its measurement is stable over time. • Achild’s status on a dimension predicts outcomes on other important dimensions in the future. A. Breadth of Individual Differences at a Given Time • Individual differences on different dimensions • Children who are high on one dimension also tend to be high • Certain dimensions of psychological functioning, including intelligence,
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