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PSYB20 - Lecture 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mark Schmuckler

PSYB20 Lecture 2 Profs Speech - Purple Slide 2 What is a Theory - What is a theory in general? o A set of concepts or propositions that describe and explain some aspect of experience or belief Purpose: to organize thinking of a broad range of topics; organize our knowledge Some theories are better than others - What is a scientific theory? o 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? o Parsimony Concise, yet able to explain a wide range of phenomena Theory with the fewest principles wins as long as it can explain a wide range of things o Falsifiability Capable of making explicit predictions Can confirm or disconfirm o Heuristic value Can be applied to unknown situations and cases Theory isnt limited to only the situation for which the theory was devised, but can make predictions in unknown cases Slide 3 Questions and Controversies about Human Development - Assumptions about human nature o Innate purity versus original sin Whether the child is born inherently good or evil o Tabula rasa Notion that a child is blank slate at birth - Nature versus nurture o Fundamental issue o Are humans a product of their heredity or are they shaped by their environment and experiences? o Genes and the environment interact in shaping; therefore, the question is how do nature and nurture combine - Activity versus passivity o In regards to a childs own role in his/her development do they have one? Or is it just whatever the world inflicts on them? What is their contribution? - Continuity of development - 3 different ways to view the issue o Stages of development Discontinuous Stages are discrete, discontinuous steps seen as an individual ages As opposed to development as a gradual growth; smooth curve; continuous o Quantitative versus qualitative change Quantitative changes in degree Continuous, ex: older=taller Qualitative changes in kind Discontinuous, i.e. organism is fundamentally different than before, ex: tadpole to frog, caterpillar to butterfly o Connectedness of development How much of a relationship is there between early and later times in life? Early developmental attributes vs. later attributes Early behaviour is not related to later behaviour (i.e. it is replaced by later; discontinuous) Early behaviour is related to later behaviour (continuous) - Similarity versus differences o Are changes universal across different environments and cultures? o How universal is development? Or is it an individual thing? o Some developmental changes can vary across cultures (i.e. literacy, mathematic reasoning) Slide 7 Theories of Child Development, Psychoanalytic Viewpoint - Psychoanalytic viewpoint says that children go through stages of development in which there is conflict between biological and personal aspects - Freud, psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalytic viewpoint - Sigmund Freuds theory of psychosexual development o Formulated theory from observations and life histories of the mentally ill patients he was treating o Freud was attempting to uncover conscious motivations for the individuals behaviours o In the psychosexual theory parents manage the childs sexual drives which were critical in personality development and behaviours - Components of the personality o The Id legislator of the personality Fulfills basic needs (i.e. hunger) o The Ego executive of the personality Conscious, rational part of the personality Directs id impulses into socially accepted/appropriate means o The Superego judicial branch of the personality Makes sure the egos solution fits - The theory of psychosexual development o Freud during childhood, a child was born with sexual impulses (libido) which focus on different body parts at different ages o Before Freud, no one really thought of early experiences/childhood as important to development o The oral stage (birth 1 year) Libido focuses on the mouth Actions involving the mouth give the child sexual pleasure (i.e. sucking, biting) o The anal stage (1 3 years) Ability to go to the washroom anytime = fun Get pleasure from relieving bowels But the parent is trying to impose structure on the activity with potty training how the child resolves this conflict reflects their personality o The phallic stage (3 6 years) Libido focuses on the genitals Child develops desires for the opposite sex The Oedipus complex Oedipus killed his father, married his mother Freud says little boys develop sexual desires for their mothers; jealous of dado Castration anxiety the child believes that dad will castrate him because of these desires and therefore suppresses the desires o The child begins to act like dad to deal with the conflict o Electra complex for girls, but not as intense because girls cannot be castrated, for girls the desire just fades away The process of identification with the same sex parent is not as strong Consequence of this stage: development of the superego, Freud predicts that women have a weaker superego because there is not as much of a process involved o Weaker superego = weaker morality, sense of understanding and reasoning o Latency period (6 12 years) Libido sleeps o The genital stage (12 years on) Puberty wakes up the libido Reactivates interest in the genital region - Evaluation of theory (problems) o Freud overemphasized the importance of sexual drive and feelings in development o The theory is derived from observation of patients who were mainly women during a sexually repressed time (Victorian Age) most women were thinking of things regarding sex but this was because of a historical reason o Not clear that the theory applies across cultures only one group was studied o Theory based on observations, doesnt make any predictions o If boys do not have a father figure during the phallic stage, there is no rival and therefore
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