January 09/2012 Lecture 2 PSY210
- Developmental psychology defined: scientific study of changes or continuities in an
organism between initial conception and death.
- Child development : gradual evolution of child’s cognitive, social, and other capacities
first by describing change in child’s observed behaviours and then uncovering the
processes and strategies that underlie these changes
- Historical roots: plato: experience is not the souce of human knowledge because our
senses are too fallible.
- Plato: Children enter the world armed with innate knowledge about the world and
experience simply riggers this pre-existing knowledge. nativist
- Aristotle: opposite view than plato. Empiricist
- Nativist: emphasizes the role of nature or innate factors in development
- Empiricist: emphasises the role of experience.
- John locke: childs mind is a blank slate. With Aristotle. Gain knowledge through
- Jaques Rousseau: children enter the world with innate knowledge.with plato
- EMPIRCIST: ARISTOTLE, LOCKE, WATSON
- NATIVIST: ROUSSEAU, PLATO
- During the renaissance, many kids were pulled out of school and worked in factories
abandoning education.so this created the question of if all children are created equal?
- Fetal development:
- first trimester: the embryonic stage begins 3 to 4 weeks following fertilization. Most body
parts including the nervous system and limbs are formed
- Second trimester: fetus is 12 to 15 inches long and mother can feel their movements
- Third trimester: fetus reaches the age of viability (22-26 weeks): meaning that the child
can survive if born early, ear and eye become structurally complete, rapid expansion of
the cerebrum and myelination of the
- spinal cord.
- Third trimester: eyelids open, retina sensitive to light, amniotic fluid tastes like what
mother ate, auditory system begins experience sound, taste receptors become functional
- Fetal auditory system: all sounds that reach the womb are low pass filtered (high
frequencies removed) physiological noises are the first to be heard by fetus.
- Mothers voice is most salient external stimulation that reaches the fetus.
- Experience begins in the womb: amniotic fluid flavoured by what the mother has eaten
(as is the breast milk)
- newborns prefer to listen to:
- Their mothers voice over another woman voice
- Their mothers native language over another language.
- The acoustics of a newborns cry exhibits distinctive characteristics of the mothers native
- Young infants recognize stories and music they were exposed to while still in the womb.
- The cry sounds like the intonation in the language.
Experience & Genetics - Personality traits and cognitive abilities in partly- determined by genetic inheritance.
Determined by moms state of mind during pregnancy.
- Fetal development: many aspects of human physical and emotion development are
- Early development unfolds according to a well-defined plan.
- Experience begins before birth, and affects the behaviour of the fetus
- Maternal behaviour during pregnancy can have a long-lasting impact on her childs
- Questions developmental psychologists typically ask
- Question 1: Nature vs nurture
- What roles do biology and environment have on the kids
- Question 2: is development continuous or stage like? Whether developmental changes
best described as qualitative changes or quantitative changes? Do children have different
ways of solving questions or just not as good?
- Question 3: What drives changes? Contributions from external environment. And
contributions from children themselves. Is it development passive or active? Does a
childs innate endowment impact her environment?
- Question 4: domain interaction? Do different core abilities develop independently or in
concert? – can cognitive development be understood without considering social
development? Yes can social development be understood without considering perceptual
- Question 5: how predictive and critical are the early stages of development? For example
Is a fussy 3 month old destined to become an irritable adult? Another question are IQ
increases due to environmental stimulation maintained over the course of the life, or are
they only temporary?
- Types of theoretical approaches psychologists use to address these questions:
- What is a developmental theory: an organized set of ideas that is designed to explain
- Theories generate developmental hypotheses(which are testable predictions for
describing and explaining development)
- Approaches to development: theories can be grouped according to the type of approach
they take to studying development
- Approaches to development: biological, structural- organismic, learning, contextual.
1) biological approach: maturational theory by Gessel
-experience is n