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PSYB32H3 Lecture Notes - Tabula Rasa, Developmental Psychology, Erik Erikson

Course Code
Mark Schmuckler

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What is a theory
What is a theory in general?
A set of concepts or propositions that describe and explain
some aspect of experience.
-to organize our knowledge and helps us understand broad
range of topics
-what makes a certain theory good
What is a scientific theory?
A public pronouncement indicating what a scientist
believes about his or her area specific area of investigation
What are the characteristics of a good theory?
Concise, yet able to explain a wide range of phenomena
-theory that has few principles and explains large number
of observations wins to one with many principles but not
many observations
Capable of making explicit predictions
-allows you to test the theory
Heuristic value
Can be applied to unknown situations and
-good theory lets you investigate other theories
from it
- you are able to apply the theory outside of the
reason it was developed for

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Question and controversies about human development
Assumptions about human nature
-whether children are born inherited good or evil
Innate purity versus original sin
-both views about child
Tabula rasa
-child being blank state rather how environment plays
are role int heir development
Nature versus nurture
Activity versus passivity
-child's own role in his her development in terms of active
role or relying on (passive) world's/environments
Continuity of development (how connected/continuous is
Stages of development
Quantitative versus qualitative change
Quantitative changes in degree
-continuous, just changing the amount of something like as
you get older you get taller, you talk easily
-just a change in amount of the ability you have
Qualitative changes in kind
-organism is different than he she was before. tadpole
changing into a frog e.x, caterpillars to butterflies
Connectedness of development
-how much relation is between development at early age vs
development at later age
-e.x aggressive toddler growing into aggressive adult, or
-early behavior changes as one grows up (discontinuous
-infants smile at early age but after 12-18 months they

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instead become fearful.
-lack of connection between smile at early age and later
ages (discontinuous)
Similarity versus differences
-are changes universal or differenta across different
cultures and environments and areas and subcultures and
from person to pers
-humans follow same developmental path, e.g acquiring
language at same age, sexual maturity at same age,
regardless of the environment or culture
-e.g mathematical reasoning, literacy vary on individual
bases, and from cultures to cultures (not universal)
Continuous versus Discontinuous Development
Theories of child development
Psychoanalytic viewpoint
Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development
Components of the personality
The Id legislator of the personality
The Ego executive of the personality
The Superego judicial branch of the personality
The theory of psychosexual development
-how parents manage their childs sexual drives in their
early development, it has impact on future behavior.
-believed child had libido-sexual urges that focused on
different parts of body causing a conflict of child.
-how the child responded to libido constituted the child's
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