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Mark Schmuckler

CHILD PSYCHOLOGY LECTURE 2 What is a theory? A theory is a set of concepts or propositions that describe and explain some aspect of our experience o A theory is a set of concepts or prepositions that describe some aspect of experience Scientific theory: a public pronouncement by a scientist, of what the scientist believes to be true Theory: organizes our thinking about a broad range of topics What makes a theory good? o 3 characteristics of a good theory o 1. Theory should have parsimony A theory should be concise , yet it should be able to explain a wide range of phenomena, a theory that has few principles but explains a wide range of observations Falsifiability: theory is capable of making explicit predictions Heuristic value: can be applied to unknown situations and cases. Can apply it outside of where it was initially developed. Question and Controversies about human development Assumptions about human nature- whether children are born inherently good/evil o Innate purity vs. original sin children are born innately noble/pure, puritans thought the child was born evil original sin o Tabula rasa child is neither good or evil , the child is a blank slate and not born either way o Nature vs. nurture whether human beings are a product of their heredity or other biological predispositions or being shaped by environmental factors and the experiences they undergo as they age. o The midground positiongenes and environment interact in shaping development. Complex human attributes , such as intelligence , personality , it is not just biologically or environmentally driven because the two factors interact . What is the nature of the relationship Activity vs. passivity: childs own role in his /her development. Is the child an active creature or is the child a passive recipient of what the world inflicts on his or her development Continuity of development: o Stages of development: o Quantitative vs. qualitative change Are there stages in development or is development more continuous (smooth curve) There arent any sudden changes? Child moves through discrete, discontinuous steps ( the child is at one level, and something happens and they jump up to the next level) (stepped graph) o Quantitative vs. qualitative change Quantitative : changes in degree ( as you get older you get taller, or run faster ) o Qualitative: changes in kind (discontinuous, where the organism is fundamentally different than the organism was before)(caterpillar turns into butterfly Connectedness of development: how much of a relationship is there in developmental attributes earlier in life, vs. later in life? Does a aggressive child turn into a delinquent teenager? An earlier behavior is unrelated to a later behavior , the later behavior replaces the earlier behavior . Infants will smile at anyone at a young age. At around 12-18 months they stop smiling and become very fearful of people they dont know. The weariness of strangers goes away in time. The lack of connection between earlier and later developmental behaviours Similarity vs. differences: the changes we experience are universal/similar across different environments and culture or do they differ around different areas, places and from person to person. How universal is development? Is individual development an individual thing Humans all acquire language, and sexual maturity occurs in early adolescence. Developmental changes vary greatly from culture to culture o Mathematical reasoning, literacy can vary from culture to culture and individual. Development is very individualistic THEORIES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEWPOINT - SIGMUNDS THEORY OF PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVLEOPMENT - Attempting to uncover unconscious motivations of the individuals - The conflicts between biological drives and social expectations - Determines the nature and structure within the individuals personality - Components of the personality o The id: legislator of personality (fulfill drives) o The ego: executive of the personality (conscious , rational part of the mind) o The superego: judicial branch of the personality (moral arbiter) o When the baby is born it just wants to satisfy biological needs, and the superego emerges between 3-6 years of age, and the child is capable of making decisions - PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT: parents manage psychosexual drives, and how these drives are managed was a critical component of their personality and identity o Children have sexual impulses (called libido) the impulses focus on different parts of the body at different ages, and these impulses caused conflicts. Libido focused on different parts of the body o Oral stage (birth-1 year) mouth gave the child pleasure, sucking , biting, spitting, gave the child pleasure The nature of how the child resolves conflicts , shows personality development o Anal stage (1-3 years) : the libido centres in the anal region, the ability to go to the bathroom, there is a conflict because the child has to go through toilet training. The parent has to impose a structure on the nature of the childs behavior. How the child resolves the conflict has a lot to say about the nature of the personality o Phallic stage (3-6): genitals have matured, and the child is interested in his/her genitals The child begins to develop incestuous desires for the opposite sex parent Oedipus complex: child desired his mother, boys developed a sexual desire towards their mothers, and are jealous of their fathers. Child fears castration (castration anxiety) , this fear becomes too intense. TO deal with castration anxiety, they repress their desire for their mom, they begin to act like their father as a means of dealing with this. ELECTRA COMPLEX: girls develop an sexual desire for their fathers, their resolution is not as strong , it fades away as they get older. The process of identification with the same sex parent isnt as strong , one of the consequences is the development of the superego. Freuds theory predicts that women are going to develop weaker superegos than men because there is less a process of identificatio
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