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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Developmental Psychology and Prenatal Development

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Elizabeth Johnson

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PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 2 – January 14, 2014 REVIEW from last class: Developmental Psychology vs. Child Psychology - Developmental Psychology Defined o Scientific study of changes or continuities in an organism between initial conception and death - Child Development (Child Psychology) o Page 4 from the textbook Philosophical Roots of Child Psychology Plato, Rousseau, Aristotle, Locke - Plato, Rousseau,Aristotle, Locke o Infants possess extensive innate knowledge about the world  Plato, Rousseau o Infants depend on experience to gain knowledge of world  Aristotle, Locke - Nativist vs. Empiricist o Nativist: emphasizes the role of nature (or innate factors) in development o Empiricist: emphasizes the role of nurture (or environmental factors) in Scientific Study of Development (Darwin, Hall, Binet, Watson, Freud) - ANew Scientific Field is Born o In late 1800s and early 1900s, the field of developmental psychology was born - All men are created equal? o Binet wanted to classify the cognitive abilities of children to understand where they should be placed in school o Poor children were not succeeding academically o People wanted to know if we could all reach this great potenitial if we improved the environment of children Applied vs. Basic Research o The goal of applied research is to solve practical problems o The goal of basic research (fundamental, pure) is to acquire knowledge for the knowledge’s sake (no direct application). The motivation behind this work is scientific curiosity. o Basic research is closely tied to applied research Developmental Psychology in Canada Dionne Quintuplets - Initially headed by William Blatz o Later became famous for his work on the Dionne quintuplets, exploring the interaction of environment and genetics - The Dionne quintuplets o The quintuplets were taken from their family in early infancy and lived in “Quintland” until the age of 7 o Scientists were curious about them, and saw them about being important for science, and they were concerned for their welfare living with 5 other kids o People would pay to observe these girls who were displayed in a one-way glass mirror - The Dionne Quintuplets: In Retrospect o What are the negative consequences? o What are the positive consequences? o Was it worth it? PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 2 – January 14, 2014  It wouldn’t be where we are today if this never happened  These were dramatic to their lives What are some underlying themes that interest Developmental Psychologists? Nature vs. nurture - What roles do biology (nature) and environment (nurture) play in child development? Continuous or stage-like - Are developmental changes best described as qualitative changes or quantitative changes? What drives change? - Contributions from external environment? - Contributions from children themselves? o Is development passive or active? o Does a child’s innate endowment impact her environment? Domain interaction - Do different core abilities develop independently or in concert? o Can cognitive development be understood without considering social development? o Can social development be understood without considering perceptual development? How predictive and critical are early stages? - For example, is a fussy 3 month old destined to become an irritable adult? - Are IQ increases due to environmental stimulation maintained over the course of the life, or are they only temporary? What sorts of theoretical approaches do developmental psychologists use to address these questions? - Developmental Theory – An organized set of ideas that is designed to explain development - Theories generate developmental hypotheses o Testable predictions for describing and explaining development - Approaches to development o There are many theories of development, and these different theories can be grouped according to the type of approach they take to studying development Biological - Maturational o Championed by Gessell (1880-1961) o Child development reflects a specific and prearranged scheme or plan within the body o Development is just a natural unfolding of a biological plan o Weakness was that it allowed learning to play little role in development - Ethological Theory o Championed by Lorenz o Behaivour must be viewed and understood as occurring in a particular context and as having adaptive survival value o Many types of learning can only take place during a critical period o Biologically based, evolved behaviour patterns are stressed, but an appropriately stimulating environment is necessary to elicit them PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 2 – January 14, 2014 o Strength: can allow for environmental influences o Lorenz experimented with imprinting; where his black boots were thought to be the mother of ducks who followed him (but only during critical period) o Language is learned most successfully before the onset of puberty  Late learners of English  Orally trained deaf children Structural-Organismic Perspective - Refers an approach to development where development is described in terms of stages (stage-like) - Development is determined primarily by how a child resolves conflicts at different age - Freud o Psychodynamic Theory – Development, which proceeds in discrete stages, is determined largely by biologically-based drives shaped by encounters with the environment and through the interaction of three components of personality – the id, ego and superego (page 10) o 5 Stages: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency, Genital - Erikson o Psychosocial Theory – Sees children developing through a series of stages largely through accomplishing tasks that involve them in interaction with their environment (page 11) o 8 Stages: Infancy, Early Childhood, PlayAge, School Age, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Adulthood MatureAge - Piaget o Piagetian Theory – Atheory of cognitive development that sees the child as actively seeking new information and incorporating it into his knowledge base through the processes of assimilation and accommodation (page 11) o Cognitive development: Sensorimotor (0-2), Pre-operational (2-7), Concrete Operational (7-12), and Formal Operational (12+) o He said that children are like little scientists trying to make sense of the world Learning - Focus on environmental influences - Development is generally continuous - Behaviourism o Based on earlier work by Pavlov and training of dogs of salivating at the sound of a bell linked to food o An approach that views directly observable events – stimuli and response – as the appropriate focus of study and the development of behaviour as taking place through classical and operant conditioning o Classical Conditioning – Individuals learn to respond to unfamiliar stimulus in the same way that they are accustomed to response to familiar stimuli if they two stimuli are repeatedly presented together o Operant Conditioning – Learning depends on the consequences of behaviour; rewards increase the likelihood that a behaviour will recur, whereas punishment decreases the likelihood that a behaviour will recur o Watson – Famous for fear conditioning experiment with “Little Albert” with white rats PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 2 – January 14, 2014 o Skinner studied learning in rats using what is now termed a “skinner box”. He held empiricist views on development and made strong claims on human development based on findings with rats. - Cognitive Social learning o Alearning theory that stresses learning by observation and imitation mediated by cognitive processes and skills (page 14) o Albert Bandura – very different type of learning theory emphasizing imitation of social models. o Children learn not only through classical and operant conditioning, ut also through observing and imitating others o In class experiment, preschoolers to an adult acting aggressively towards a plastic clown doll. Subsequently, these children were more likely to act aggressively towards the doll than children who had snot seen the adult model - Information Processing o Yet another theoretical approach inspired by imagining the brain as a computer o Focus on the flow of information throug
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