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Lecture 1

PSY311H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Behaviorism, Bandura, Observer-Expectancy Effect

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Stuart Kamenetsky

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Lecture 1:
-Social dev: studies children rather than adults
-Social psych: studies adults
oFocuses on how we relate to others and how others influence our behaviours,
feelings and thoughts
Why are children studied?
-They are interesting to study because they are changing drastically over time
-We can study the emergence into adulthood
-We can intervene if there is a developmental problem with the child
-Because of an interest in children (questions such as :what is my child supposed to do at
such age)
oHas practical and theoretical implications
Because we tracked developmental changes we know the averages of
development to have this is a practical implication
We can determine if interventions need to be taken
Theoretical implications:
What happens first in language (understanding)
Understanding the timeline of language is a theoretical implication
because how does these things happen and why do the take this
pathway (of understanding, then talking, than wrighting)
-Because of an interest in adults (questions about the nature and product of development –
in order to understand why adults behaves the way they do
oWhy is it that we are who we are and what we are
Historical Perspective
-Evolutionary development of the field
-Concern about child education and child upbringing has been alive for long
-Only until the 19th century was it subject to modern science (the latter part of the 19th
oThen the questions about child dev was brought into this scientific process
oDarwin was very influencial
oStanley Hall and such
-3 periods of social dev research
oEmergence (1880-1900): Baby biographies (Darwin, Hall (they brought the child
into scientific discovery))- same questions as today but different methods
Baby biographies: parents would observe their child and right a biography
about them they wanted to get a snap shot of the important moments in
child developments to get an understanding of ourselves
oMiddle period (19000-1960)
Maturationalist approach: Chart and describe the unfolding of endowed
It is very focused on biology, we are who are we are and it is
charted in our genes

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Environmental approach: Wastson (behaviourism) – experimentally and
objectively determine how the child learns
Only focused on observations and not infering anything
This was all external and environmental rather than biological
Socialization: Psychoanalytic and sociological theory – how do adults
contribute to child growth and development
Looks at the child environment
Infers internal processes based on behaviours that we see
Looks at how the parents are
Depending on what the parents give the child, that’s how the will
be socialilization was only in one direction
oModern Era (1960s – today)
Structuralist approach: Piaget, Kohlberg – social processes are important
and child is an active agent
Child compares themselves to others
Child is an active agent they can control their own future
oThe child chooses things that shape them
Normative-descriptive focuses resulting in Stage theories
oOnce the stage theories were thought of they started to
conduct research that tested this
Transformations in Social Developmental Research
-Specifying developmental processes
oThe search for developmental processes (maturationgal, behaviourism,
psychoanalytic, social learning)
What is the process that enables us to develop
We use theories and approaches to get there none of these are
perfect and we should combine all of these
oMediational processes in social development: structural reorganization of throught
and action (piaget, Kohlberg) as developmental change agents
Social learning by bandura (learning by observation)
But there is also other mediational processes (if the model is a
good role model)
-Expand view of regulatory processes
oHow is the child’s behaviour regulated ??
Socialization (sift away from exclusive top down processes)
Media changes things, and media gives mixed messages, this is a
very complex area of study now
Self-regulation (coping with stress, emotional regulation, individual
difference in temperament)
Children are taught the same thing, but they still do different
things, so what is the difference between them ?
How is it that kids cope with stress and emotion
oA lot of this has to do with individual differences
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