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Lecture 1 - Intro to Developmental Psychology

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Chandan Narayan

LECTURE 1 - Introduction & History What is Development? - refers to systematic changes in individual that occur between moment of conception and death - systematic = certain order, pattern - if development = systematic changes individual experiences, science of development = study of these changes - identify pattern occur in human development and then explain in...WHAT and WHY - child development: field of study that seeks to account for gradual evolution of child’s cognitive, social and other capacities first by describing changes in child’s observed behaviour, then uncover the processes and strategies that underlie these changes Human Development: Historical Perspective - modern society view child as very important period - have laws and regulations that suggest children must be valued - eg. free public schooling, always care and protect for them - western societies = “child centered” - “ culture see children as warranting great deal of attention, care and shelter from harm - but attitudes have not always existed Childhood in Ancient Greece and Rome - 600 BC to 400 AD -- regarded by modern historians as period of great enlightenment - status of children hardly enviable - practice of killing babies common - severe punishment and sexual exploitation was common and not considered wrong or cruel - during period, children sold as labours, sexual servants, etc. - children buried in foundations of buildings to make it stronger, as an item instead of human Childhood in Medieval and Renaissance Periods - Medieval: - 400 AD status of children improved - due to churches attempt to prompt new babies, birth of Christ - roles of spread of Christianity - idea of childhood as special period - progressed between now till Renaissance - but still undertreated, abused - still no notion of “children”, considered as small adults - Renaissance Period: - 14th - 17th centuries - kingdom-run welfare institutions...orphanages - rebirth of Western civilization - re-emergence of scientific (mathematics, astronomy, philosphy, etc.) investigation but no scientific progress of human mind in children Reformation - Early 16th century: - rise of Puritanism - comprehensive model of child development - child born = blameless, no fault, innocent and pure - with new concept, also now see children as natural sin and born evil - series interest in methods of child learning - great potential for learning, so parents have obligation to train them as not sinful by developing self-control (and not express natural sin) - sum: emphasis on education and training - unenviable status of children - central controversy in child development - the “nature-nurture” controversy Central Controversy in Child Development - nature vs nurture - definable in several ways, generally relates to relative roles of inborn characteristics and experiential influences in human development - history: - first idea ever elaborated about human development, still considered by some to be basic issue today - source of human behaviour and development? where does behaviour come from? Two Extremes - one end = behaviour derives from nature, modern terms = heredity, maturation, or genes - other end = behaviour and development derive from nurture, in modern terms = environment, experience, or learning - usually all say: have the genetics, but need the exper
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