PSY311 Lecture 1: Introduction and Research Methods January, 6, 2014
- Tests: 40 MC (textbook), 10 Definitions, ¾ short answer (lecture material)
o Previous tests!
- Assignment: research paper
What is Social Development?
- Branch of developmental psychology (now: a major theme/approach in research rather than a
- Sub-field that studies:
o “Changes over time in the child’s understanding of attitudes toward, and actions with
Age not a causal factor, can only study change over time
How/why attitudes and relationships with other kids change
o Stanley Hall, ‘Father’ofAmerican Psychology studied: “the small child’s activities and
feelings, control of emotions and will”.
What are the various different triggers of emotions
- Includes affective, cognitive, and social aspects of development
- Social psychology focuses on how we relate to others and how others influence our behaviours,
feelings and thoughts.
o Doesn’t focus on children, change over time
o Looks at adults today
o Sociology: the who, rather than the individual. Psychology: individual differences
Why are Children Studied?
- Because of interest in children (questions such as ‘what is my child supposed to do at age X?’).
o Do we have the right expectations of them at the age they are at? Designing curriculums
o Practical implications (schooling, discipline)
o Theoretical implications (language acquisition).
- 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). o Mother’s depressed: what kind of impact did that have on me?
o Does childhood matter? If so, how?
- Evolutionary development of the field
o Concerned for child bringing and education has always been there (ex: Bible), how
parenting affects children
o 19 century: study of childhood scientifically using the scientific method
Charles Darwin: baby biographies
- Three periods of social development research:
o Emergence (1870s – 1900s): baby biographies (Darwin, Hall) – same questions as today
but different methods
o Middle period (1900s – 1960s)
Maturationalist approach: chart and describe the unfolding of endowed
• chart the sequence, when do they happened and how long do they take
• assuming that its all biologically driven and it’s going to unfold whether
we intervene or not (ex. Puberty) and were simply going to chart and
describe how it happens
Environmentalist approach: Watson (behaviourism) – experimentally and
objectively determine how the child learns
• Less correlational research and more experimental
• Objective observers vs. baby biographies (inclined to present own child
• Strong approach on behavior rather than making inferences
Socialization: psychoanalytic and sociological theory – how do adults contribute
to child growth and development
o Modern Era (1960s – today) Structuralist approach: Piaget, Kohlberg – social processes are important and