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PSYB20 Lecture 2

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Mark Schmuckler

PSYB20 Lecture 2 September 21, 2011 Behaviourism -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 evaluation 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 -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 behaviour -humans have more of a sensitive period; weaker equivalent of a critical period -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 attention -adaptive value of cognitive, social, and value emotional competencies Vygotsky & Sociocultural Theory -child studies have become increasingly aware of the importance of social interaction -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, workplace benefits for employee care, etc; can have more favourable outcomes in development if these things are present in the culture -these layers are not a static force but are an everchanging system -can add new systems; like moving to a new neighbourhood, divorce, etc -the time of these changes can also be important -chromosystem --> the relationship between all the systems will change over time; systems can be added to t
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