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Developmental Psychology Lecture 2.docx

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Mark Schmuckler

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? •Parsimony •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 •Falsifiability •Capable of making explicit predictions -allows you to test the theory •Heuristic value •Can be applied to unknown situations and cases -good theory lets you investigate other theories from it - you are able to apply the theory outside of the reason it was developed for 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 contribution •Continuity of development (how connected/continuous is development) •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 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 -HOW UNIVERSAL IS DEVELOPMENT -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 personality •The oral stage (birth – 1 year) -child libido focused on biting, spitting, suckling -again the resolving of the libido mattered in terms of child's personality -This behavior influences adult attributes •The anal stage (1 – 3 years) -Libido centers on anal region, going to bathroom seems fun to the child -the conflict is that going to bathroom is pleasurable but toilet training is also taking place, not so fun for parents -Parents imposing the structure on child behavior induces a conflict for the child and again its resolving matters in term sof the personality •The phallic stage (3 – 6 years) •The Oedipus complex -focused on genitals -child had incestual interests -jealos of fathers, interested in mothers -children understood that dad will win in this competition of obtaining mother attention -while jealos at the same time, child feels fearful of dad, and supresses their interests -as time passes, the child associates more with father -electra complex for girls is there but is not as strong -how girls resolve this is not intense as boys oediplus complex -one of consequences of this form is developmental of superego - Freud theory predicts women will have weaker superego because there is less identification or resolvation of their issue •Latency period (6 – 12 years) -focus is shifted from genitals •The genital stage (12 years on) -libido is again woken up, reactivation of libido is focused on appropriate ways through opposite sex Evaluation of theory -suggested much of human behavior is driven unconsciously -most psychotherapists acknowledge that -Freud gave notion of early experiences impacting future behaviors and personalities (agreement among most psychotherapists) -Freud overemphasized role of sexual drives and libido in terms of personalities and development -1)his theory came out in a time where sexuality was repressed -women at that time were supposed to supress their needs and motivations -2)its not sure if his theory was applicable throughout different cultures because his research was only based on one group -3) Freud did not study children and how would you ever study the child development especially their sexual needs -girls having weaker superego, would mean that they should have weaker morality understanding but there is no evidence for this -if boys do not have father figure at home, then how would the psychosexual development happen since the father is absent in terms of this role in the psychosexual development of the child -there is evidence that boys without a role model at early age tend to be somewhat less masculine. How? -this evidence is consistent with the Freud's theory -Freud's theory is also considered unnecessary. Theory of psychoanalytic development -Erik Erikson maintained social relations and social factors as having impact on child's development and their resolution had impact on child's future behavior and personality -Erikson theory claims that development does not stop at sexual development, it continues through adulthood and after -psychoanalytic approach is insulated from rest of the fields because some of ideas are not really testable; and theories need to be testable -intuitive appeal about his theory is that it constitutes important personality development through stages Theories of child development Learning theory (Behaviorism) John B. Watson (1878-1958) •Classical conditioning •Association of a neutral stimulus with a non-neutral stimulus -infant Albert was trained to fear the white rat using other stimuli -consistent with tabula rasa of John Locke that how environment can mold the child according to its desires -continous development is displayed through classical conditioning •Little Albert
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