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PSYB32H3 Lecture Notes - Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Social Learning Theory, Ecological Systems Theory

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Mark Schmuckler

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PSYB20 Lecture 2
September 21, 2011
-Watson wanted to create a truly objective form of scientific psychology
-Skinner thought the frequency of behaviour could be increased by
associating it with various outcomes (reinforcer)
-or punishment to decrease the likelihood of behaviour
-social learning theory introduced by Bandura
-critical notion of learning was that people could learn simply by observing;
observational learning
-children are selective with what they learn through observation because of
socio-cognitive variables
-practical applications like behaviour modification used to increase desirable
behaviours and vice versa
-works well
-effective in dealing with severe development problems like hyperactivity; as
well as everyday things like phobias
-biological factors dont play that big a role in social learning theory; negative
Cognitive Theories
-Piaget very influential
-viewed children as "constructivists": curious active explorers who responded
to their environment according to how they view the world
-thought children constructed their own reality and their own worlds
-understanding the world on their own terms
-a sequence of stages of how they understand the world; qualitatively
different ways of understanding
-discontinuous stage theory
-referred to cognitive psychology to help explain how children understand
their world
-input --> output; looking for a behavioural response
-computer- like methodology is used; flow charts of the steps one goes
through in terms of solving tasks
-individual processes; perception, attention, memory, categorization, problem
solving; how these processes change as a function of age; a continuous
approach of understanding the development
-information- processing theory; developmental cognitive neuroscience --> all
variables brought into terms with child development
-analyzing brain activity helps because you can see how as the brain grows
how the development changes
-learning; cognitive processes, are substantiated into how the brain operates
-we can assess the nature of these changes with brain analyzation
-brain is highly plastic when young
-brain is open to regrowth and taking over areas if there is damage
-remains able to re-organize throughout life
Ethological & Evolutionary Theories
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-concerned with the adaptive and survival aspects of development
-imprinting: early following behaviour; led to the idea of critical periods
-set time periods in early life during which the child must receive the proper
stimulation to enable them to develop
-biologically prepared to acquire certain adaptive behaviours; if they dont
receive the proper stimulation in that time period, they wont learn the
-humans have more of a sensitive period; weaker equivalent of a critical
-doesnt have as strict time boundaries of a critical period; behaviour can still
be learned outside the time period but it is harder
-like learning language; easier when younger
-have a set of behaviours that are inherent; like crying to get food and
-adaptive value of cognitive, social, and value emotional competencies
Vygotsky & Sociocultural Theory
-child studies have become increasingly aware of the importance of social
-most research has looked at culture specific frameworks
-how does one's cultures beliefs, customs, etc play a role in development &
how are they transmitted to the next generation
-believes development is extremely dependent on social interactions
-communication between children and adults can become a part of the
internal dialogue children experience when they think about interactions
-he was convinced that children were active in their construction of socially
mediated processes, not their own world or reality
-children in different cultures had numerous different strengths, based on the
role of their cultural experiences
-he neglected the biological role in development
-emphasis on social transference of development
Bronfenbrenner & Ecological Systems Theory
-contextual influences on development
-child is developing within a complex system of relationships that are affected
by numerous layers from the surrounding environment
-envisioned that the environment consisted of nested layers that formed the
complex functioning system
-microsystem --> inner most layer of environment; two person dyads;
interactions in the immediate surroundings
-mesosystem --> connections between the home, neighbourhood, etc;
academic progress in school, etc; parents
-exosystem --> social settings that dont include children but still affect them;
formal institutions, parents work place, etc; things like flexible work
schedules, to be able to spend time with children, etc; thus has an indirect
impact on the child; parental social networks can interfere with parenting
styles, etc
-macrosystem --> cultural values, laws, customs, norms, etc; ability to meet
the childs needs affect the rest of the layers; like high quality daycare,
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