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Lecture 1

PSY311H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Ethology, Repeated Measures Design, Social Change


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY311H5
Professor
Stuart Kamenetsky
Lecture
1

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PSY311 Lecture 1:
January 5, 2015
We are not going to talk much about adolescence, but we are going to focus on childhood (birth to 12
years). We are also not going to be focusing on child psychopathology but normative development.
Social Development: can mean many different things. But we are talking about a specific branch of
development psychology.
Subfield that studies
o “Changes overtime in the child’s understanding of, attitudes toward, and actions with
others” – Hartup, 1991
age is an interesting and key variable we cannot manipulate time
We cannot study age experimentally but rather correlation ally.
o “the small child’s activities and feelings, control of emotions and will” – Stanley Hall
Emotional development
How do we control emotion what are the factors that gradually allow a child
to control his or her emotions
Include affective, cognitive, and social aspects of development.
o i.e. we need attachments
o we cannot completely separate these aspects from social development
Social Psychology: focuses on how we relate to others and how others influence our behaviour, feelings,
and thoughts
Social development is not a branch of social psychology but is a branch of development
psychology
Social psychology is different stream all together
Why are children studied?
Because of an interest in children (questions such as what is my child supposed to do at age X?)
o Practical implications
o Theoretical implications
Because of an interest in adults (questions about the nature and product of development in
order to understand why adults behave the way they do)

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Historical Perspective (Collins, 2002)
Evolutionary development of the field
o Historically all fields including psychology and social development - started from
broad field of philosophy
o There was some interest in child development child education, provisions for
children and provisions for widows but the study of children beyond the classical
understanding and humanities and the study of children as independent entities
(separate from adults) began later
Charles Darwin
Stanley Hall
Frank
Three periods of social development research
o Emergence (1870s 1900s): baby biographies (Darwin, Hall) same questions as
today but different methods
Bc techniques they used were baby biographies recorded observations of
own children
Main achievement: bringing children into the scientific endeavor
o Middle Periods (1900s 1960s): competition of many important approaches
Maturationalist approach: Chart and describe the unfolding of endowed
characteristics
Study large group of children to collect data and unfold sequence
and time of biologically determined characteristics
We see genetics play a real role
Have environment component but believe that theories like
operational conditioning were way too simple
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Environmentalist approach: Watson (Behaviourism) experimentally and
objectively determine how the child learns
Reinforcement and punishment
We now know that this method was not ideal because we cannot
study age experimentally
Socialization : psychoanalytic and sociological theory how do adults
contribute to child growth and development
Top bottom approach older generations to younger generations
It is possible that in the past, this was how kids were brought up.
However, we now know that we have many different sources of
socialization we can learn socialization via peer, pop culture, etc.
o Modern Era (1960s today)
Structuralist approach: Piaget, Kohlberg social processes are important
and child is an active agent
There are many major influences but at the same time, the child is
an active agent as well
Normative descriptive focus resulting in Stage theories
Transformations in Social Developmental Research (Collins, 2002)
Specifying developmental processes
o The search for developmental processes one theory that will explain the process
(maturational, behaviourism, psychoanalytic, social learning)
o Mediational processes in social development: structural reorganization of thoughts and
action (i.e. Piaget, Kolhberg) as developmental change agents
Expanded view of regulatory processes
o i.e. regulation of emotions how does a child go from throwing temper tantrums in
infancy to being able to explain how they are feeling as they grow older
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