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Developmental Psychology LEC 1.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mark Schmuckler

Developmental thychology September 14 , 2011 Office Hours: S-515 Thursday, 1-2PM [email protected] TA: Diane, H302, Tuesday 2-3. 287-7182. OR Joanna, SY145, Tuesday 12-1. 208-4987. Course Mechanics - Course Evaluation o 3 term exams (non-cumulative) each worth 33% o Multiple Choice Questions  focus more on application questions o Responsible for lecture + the whole book  Focus on experiment general idea and conflicting ideas • General findings and conclusion of ideas o Make-up exam is always around 1 week after the scheduled exam History of Developmental Psychology Introduction Human Development in Historical Perspective - What is development? o Development involves the systematic changes that occur in individuals between the moment of conception and the moment of death  Systematic implies that the developmental changes are orderly (excluding mood swings) - What is the science of development? o Developmental science versus developmental sciences  All the developmental processes of humans o Interdisciplinary nature of the study of development - The view of children today  Special period of time  Seen as a separate set of humans  Laws and regulations that protect them - th th - Childhood in Medieval Times (6 – 15 centuries) o The view of children  Special period of time  The way children are depicted in written text and documents • Portrayed as innocent, free spirited, respectful of adults, different from adults th • 14 century – had documents that offered advice on taking care of children ways of taking care of them, games, leniency of the legal system • vulnerable o The contradictory nature of childhood  Religious documents have descriptions of children being possessed by devil, born evil - Childhood in the Reformation (16 century) o The influence of Puritans  Puritans – belief in “original sin” gave strong emphasis that children were born evil (like the devil) • Parents are obligated to have strict teachings (training them) so that the child can behave • Dressed in stiff, uncomfortable clothing • Physical discipline in schools • Recognition of the importance of how children were raised o Harsh punishment notions o Trained them for self-reliance and self control o Later reformed so that they reasoned with children on how things are wrong o The idea of “original sin” - John Locke and the British Empiricists (Enlightenment) 17 century  PHILOSOPHER o Rejected concepts of innate ideas o Teaching were more humane o Mind of infant as a TABULA RASA  Child is a blank slate • Character is determined by the teachings of the parents and careful instructions • Environment critical is forging the child’s behaviour o Knowledge gained through experiences o Two important conceptual development  Idea of continuous development warm teachings of parents  Importance of “nurture” th - John-Jacques Rousseau (18 century)  PHILOSOPHER o Child born with innate ideas and knowledge that unfolds naturally with age o Genetic predetermined natural growth  Child naturally understood the rights and wrongs  Development proceeds through series of stages guided by inborn timetable  Innate knowledge includes principles of justice, fairness, conscience  Negative influence determines the way the innate ideas are unfolded o Child as “noble savage” o Important conceptual ideas  Concept of stages – organized period of development  Idea of “maturation” natural developmental growth - Charles Darwin 19 – 20 century o Natural Selection  Environment where animals exists places demands on animal to survive • Eg. There is only on type of food up in the tree. The environment demands characteristics of the animals in order for it to survive • Natural environment selects those organisms to survive  Thus, natural environment “selects” organism for survival o Survival of the fittest  Organisms possessing characteristics that fit the requirements of the environment will survive o Darwins discovered the animals of prenatal growth were very similar  Development of human child follows the same general plan of the human species • Charting parallels between specific aspect of child development - G. Stanley Hall o One of the most influential child psychologist of 20 century o Adopted at “nature” viewpoint, translating Darwinian principles into human development o Proposed the Recapitulationist theory, in which life cycle changes are a repetition of evolutionary changes o Development of individual proceeds through stages that are similar to the development to the entire human species  Young children like our primate ancestors? NO! • Human infant at age 2 has exceed all cognitive abilities of our animal ancestors • Kids vs. Primate  Hall emphasised on cataloguing  seeing how kids natural behave. o Students of Hall  Lewis Terman • Introduced intelligence test • Did intelligence testing on thousands of children in US o Changes in intelligence  Arnold Gesell • Aspects of sensory motors in children • Observation of children? • Motor development - 1950s o Concern with interpretation of “development” o Not interested in the “what of development” but the “how”  Processes of development  Theoretical approach  John Piaget  Developmental theories and how the facts of development integrates into an understandable concept WHAT ARE THEORIES? - What is a theory in general? o A set of concepts or proposition that describe and explain some aspects of experience - What is a scientific theory? o A public pronouncement indicating what a scientist believes about his or her area of specific area of investigation - What are the characteristics of a good theory? o Parsimony  Concise, yet able to explain a wide range of phenomena • Few propositions/principles, but allows for the largest set of empirical facts/obervations • Few principles for the same set of information o Falsifiability  Capable of making explicit predictions of future events • So that it can be tested in the future o Heuristic Value  Can be applied to unknown situations and cases not previously intended for IMPORTANT CONCEPTS - holds a number of concepts and themes important in development o Assumption about human nature  Variety of perspectives of human nature • “original sin” o BREAK SPIRIT OF CHILDREN • Innate purity o Children are born good with intuitive ability to know right and wrong  child is a noble savage”  tainted by negative • Children are blank slates (TABULA RASA) o Nature vs. Nurture (CONTINUING THEME)  Where does human behaviour come from and where does human development come in • Humans are a function of our genetics? o Genetics determine the course/nature of human development • Humans are the product of nurture  environment, experience in their life that determines human development and human behaviour  Few developmental psychologists are solely for or against one of the two above  NEW QUESTION: both factors are important, how do each factor contribute to specific situations and how genes interact with the experience and environment of the human o Activity vs. Passivity  Nature of the childs contribution to their own developmental course • View children as passive in the course and is influenced by factors surrounding them • View children as active in development  they are consciously/unconsciously choosing the structure of their development  choices of the child o Continuity of development vs. Discontinuity (CONTINUING THEME)  Stage of development • Continuous growth o Is development staged like, or a linear, non staged development (incremental process with no sudden changes) (Curve graph) o Eg. Physical growth is a continuity of development • Discontinuous growth o Children pass through stages. They stay at that level for a period then move to the next. (Staircase graph) o Eg. Piaget --. Children’s cogitative growth shows stages  Quantitative vs. qualitative changes • Quantitative (Continuity) o Changes in degree/amount eg. o Eg. Height etc. • Qualitative (Discontinuity) o Changes in kind o Is fundamentally different from an earlier stage to a later stage o Eg. Change from a tadpole to a frog (metamorphosis)  Crawling to walking  What we may not understand as a child (m & m example by a 3 year old may have a different thought process from that of a 5 year old)  The way you understand it now may be different from the way you understand it in the future (change in intelligence?)  Connectedness of development • Connection from past and present (connectedness in behaviour) • Continuous development o Shy toddler becomes shy adult • Discontinuous development o Shy toddler becomes an adolescent that is the centre of attention o Similarity vs. Differences  Changes we experience that are part of development universal or a particular?  Similarity • Language  14 – 18 months all children learn to walk • When adolescents become sexually mature  Differences • Difference in language depending on environment Theories of Child Development Psychoanalytical Viewpoint Freud believed we are driven by two Basic Instincts: - Eros – the life inst
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