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Lecture 10

PSYB32H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Social Comparison Theory, Anna Freud, Anti-Social Behaviour

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Mark Schmuckler

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PSYB20 Lecture 10 Prof’s Speech - Purple
Slide 2 Who is a peer? What functions do peers serve?
- Definition of a peer:
o Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
A “peer” is one who is of equal standing with another
o Peers as social equals, or individuals who are operating at the same level of behavioural
complexity as you
- What functions do peers serve?
o Same age or equal status peers
When children interact among agemates, children take on new roles, learn
o Mixed age interactions
Different age groups can be peers with each other if they adapt to the
younger/older level
Different age interactions are asymmetrical
Older children usually possess more power/competence than other
Mixed age groups are fixed in families older siblings will always be older
siblings whereas mixed age groups can change in other environments
Importance of mixed age interactions
Asymmetry helps the child develop different competencies i.e.
leadership, etc.
Younger children can learn to ask for help, follow directions of more
powerful others, learn from the behavior of older peers
Differences between mixed age and same age interactions
o Frequency of peer contacts
Between age 2-12, children spend a greater amount of time with peers and less
time with adults
o Gender
By 1-2 years of age, children show gender segregation they are likely to choose
someone of the same gender to play with
Boys tend to play in packs, girls play in pairs
o How important are peer contacts?
Harlow’s work with monkeys
Looked at monkeys raised by their mothers but without any peers
o The monkeys didn’t develop normal patterns of behaviour
o They avoided or acted aggressively when introduced to other
Peer-only monkey displayed abnormal behaviour as well
o Monkeys couldn’t be separated from each other because of
strong attachment issues
A human parallel research by Anna Freud
3 kids found at 3 years old living along on Nazi camp, parents had died
Slide 3 The Development of Peer Sociability
- Infant beginnings:
o Infants are sociable creations (towards parents)
o Are infants’ socially blind?
Early claims babies don’t show interest in other babies in the first few months
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o Peer interactions in the 1st year
Infant smiling and babbling
By the middle of the first year, babies will smile at other babies, give
toys to other babies
o Peer interactions between 12 and 18 months
Children begin to react more appropriately towards one another
o Peer interactions between 18 and 24 months
Coordinated interactions that are social
Children will imitate, smile, and take turns with one another
o Peer interactions after 24 months
By 24 months, children can play complementary games
Children will try to coordinate actions mutually to achieve a goal
Secure kids are more popular than insecure kids
Coordinated activities children have to have the cognitive awareness of
the self before they can participate
o They start to display these at the same time when they can
recognize self in the mirror
- Peer sociability during the preschool years:
o The character of peer interactions
2-5 years more outgoing, direct social gestures to the wider audience
Older kid play is more focused on the other child and approval from the other
child in terms of how they’re playing
o Parten’s (1932) social play characterizations
Talked about play and social development
3-step sequence
Non-social play unoccupied onlooker, solitary play, don’t try to engage
Parallel play child plays near other children, but not actually with other
children, not necessarily interacting
Cooperative play children play with other children, borrow toys,
converses, and interacts with other child
Slide 4 Howes and Matheson (1992) Cognitive Complexity of Social Interactions
- Expanded plays (above) in terms of complexity of social interactions going on
- For siblings the nature of social interaction varies because they are typically mixed-groups
- For older children social interactions begin to include actual games i.e. monopoly, scrabble
Slide 5 Cooperation and Competition on Children’s Play
- Grade 1 and 3 children play board game
o Play with either competitive or cooperative rules
o As the child is playing the game, their partner is playing with the opposite rules
o What do we do in this conflict?
When rules mismatch, grade 1 children simply matched their behaviour to their
partners, and ignore their own rules
Grade 3 children showed a mixture they were aware of the two different types
of behaviours, so they tried to mix the two
- By adolescence spend most time associating with friends/cliques, rather than parents, family
o Groups are a way for adolescents to define their place in social structure
Groups are a means for social outing
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