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Lecture 2

Week 2 Readings.docx

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David Haley

Week 1 Readings Chapter 1: Introduction – Theories of social development Social development: A brief History - Child labour laws were not enacted till the 1800s - Study of children development began with Charles Darwin  Paved the way for the study of emotion - G. Stanley Hall used questionnaires to document children’s activities, feelings, and attitudes - John B. Watson argued that conditioning and learning were the processes by which social and emotional behaviour are acquired and modified - Freud claimed that social development was the product of how adults handled children’s basic drives, such as the infants drive to suck Critical questions about social development 1) How do biological and environmental influences affect social development?  Nature- nurture issue  Nature: biology is destiny and the course of development is predetermined by genetic factors which guide the natural maturation (predetermined process of growth that unfolds over a period of time) of complex social skills and abilities  Nurture: environment – genetic factors put no restriction on the ways that environmental events shape the course of children’s development  Organizing the environment could train any infant to become an athlete etc  Both influence social development 2) What role do children play in their own development?  Past believed that children were passive organisms who were shaped by external factors  Now, contemporary psychs believe that children are more active agents who control , and direct the course of their own development  Over years children engage in interchanges called transactional: interchanges between social partners such as a parent and child across time that result in modifications of social behaviour of each 3) What is the appropriate unit for studying social development?  Social dyads: pair of social partners such as friends, parent and child or marital partners  Larger units given attention called social triads such as mother-father-child or a trio of friends  Social groups studied 4) Is development continuous or discontinuous?  Continuous process: each change building on earlier experiences in an orderly way  Development as smooth and gradual  Discontinuous process: discrete steps and organizational behaviour as qualitatively different at each new stage or plateau  Skills learned in each phase are different than every other phase (Piaget and Freud)  Some developmental psychs suggest that our judgement of continuity or discontinuity depends on the power of the lens we use when we look at changes across time  Looking over a longer period you see distinct stages  Looking more closely you see abrupt shifts and a lot of variability 5) Is social behaviour the result of the situation or the child?  Dual contribution of both personality and situational factors  Children seek out situations in which they can show case their personalities 6) Is social development universal across cultures?  Most psychs recognize universal aspects of development as well as the importance of considering cultural contexts 7) How does social development vary across historical eras?  Historical changes play a part in shaping children’s development social lives of children and their families are affected by specific historic events such as the Vietnam War etc 8) Is social development related to other developmental domains?  Emotion important in the domain of social development as well as cognitive development  Language and motor domain important as well 9) How important are mothers for children’s social development?  Mothers may be the most important in children’s lives but other ppl play an important role as well  Social development is embedded in a social matrix in which many individuals guide and support children’s progress toward healthy social relationships and social skills 10)Is there a single pathway of social development?  Varied routes of development  Multifinality: divergence of developmental paths in which 2 individuals start out similarly but end at very different points  Equifinality: convergence of developmental paths in which children follow very different paths to reach the same developmental point 11)What influences how we judge children’s social behaviour?  Three factors (characteristics of the child, adult and the context) can influence social judgements and the labelling of social behaviours 12)Do developmental psychologists “own” social development?  Diversely disciplinary perspectives Theoretical perspectives on social development (TABLE 1.1) - Theories serve 2 functions: 1. Help organize and integrate existing info into coherent and interesting accounts of children’s development 2. Lead to testable hypotheses and predictions about children’s behaviour - Psychodynamic perspective  Freud’s theory  Psychological growth governed by unconscious biologically based drives and instincts such as sex, aggression, and hunger and is shaped by encounters with the environment, especially fam members  Id: instinctual drives that operate on the basis of the pleasure principle  Ego: rational component of the personality, which tries to satisfy needs through appropriate, socially accepted behaviours  Superego: personality component that is the repository of the child’s internalization of parental pr societal values, morals, and roles  Development as a discontinuous process, organized in 5 distinct stages 1) Oral stage: inrdnts preoccupied with activities such as eating, sucking etc 2) Anal stage: (3 year) Children forced to learn to postpone the pleasure of expelling 3) Phallic stage: (5 /6 year) sexually curiosity is aroused and preoccupation with sexual anatomy and the pleasures of genital stimulation alert them to the differences in sexual anatomy of the sexes o Boys become enmeshed with the Oeidipus complex: boys become attracted to their mother and jealous of their father  resolves when boys give up their sexual feelings for their mothers and identify with their fathers o Electra complex: girls blame their mother for their lack of penis and focus their sexual feelings on their father  when they finally realize that they cannot possess their father as a mate, girls transfer their feelings to other males 4) Latency stage: sexual drives are temporarily submerged (6yrs – puberty)  children avoid relationships and become involved with peers of the same sex 5) Genital stage: sexual drives remerge, but this time more correctly directed to peers  Erikson theory  Psychosocial theory: each stage of development depends on accomplishing a psychological task in interactions with the social environment  Development is discontinuous  Stages: 1) Development of basic trust: by learning to trust caregivers and parents they learn to trust their environments and themselves 2) Learn self-control and develop autonomy: they develop shame and self- doubt if they remain worried on their continuing dependency and their inability to live up to adult expectations 3) During the ply age (3-6 yrs) children struggle to develop initiative and to master their environment, but at the same time fell guilty of they are too aggressive 4) 6-12 yrs children develop a sense of industry, largely by succeeding at school  period of constant social comparison 5) Adolescence main focus is the search for a stable definition of self  danger is role confusion if they do not succeed 6) Young adulthood the task is intimacy with others, a stable and intimate relationship 7) Middle age: task to create something – children, ideas or products  if not given this quality of generativity it can deteriorate n stagnation 8) Ego integrity (older adult): when reflection on ones past accomplishments and failures leads to regret and doubt, despair may result  Psychodynamic perspective: an evaluation  Claims of Freud’s theory cannot be empirically tested  Theory based on info gathered from adults  Methods of collecting data, such as free association, were biased  Focus on childhood sexuality was both too narrow and exaggerated - Traditional learning theory perspective  Classical and operant conditioning  Same principles of learning shape development throughout childhood and across the entire life span  Development as a continuous process; children playing a passive role  Classical conditioning: type of learning in which stimulus is repeatedly presented with a familiar stimulus until an individual learns to respond to the new stimulus in the same way as the familiar stimulus  Pavlov (salivating dogs). Watson (Little Albert)  Operant conditioning: type of learning that depends on the consequence of behaviour; rewards increase the likelihood that a behaviour will recur, but punishment decreases that likelihood  Skinner  Drive reduction theory: suggesting that the association of stimulus and response in classical and operant conditioning results in learning only if it is accompanied by reduction of basic primary drives such as hunger and thirst.,  Learning theory approaches: an evaluation  Desensitization: classical conditioning therapy used to overcome phobias and fears through exposure to increasingly intense versions of the feared stimulus - Cognitive learning perspective  Cognitive social learning  Theory that stresses the importance of observation and imitation in the acquisition of new behaviours, with learning mediated by cognitive processes  Albert Bandura first to demonstrate that children who watched another person behaving aggressively were likely to imitate that person’s aggressive actions (Bobo doll) o Suggested that 4 sets of factors determine how well children learn by observing another person’s behaviour: attention, retention, reproduction, motivation  Beyond modeling: reciprocal determination and self-efficacy  Reciprocal determination: children not only learn from models’ behaviour they also influence the model  According to cognitive social learning theory interactions occur on a 2-way street and children actively contribute to their social environment  Also contribute to their social development through their perception of how competent they are  Bandura – children that see themselves as competent have high self-efficacy; they believe they can solve problems and are willing to try  Other children have low self efficacy; pessimistic about their ability to deal with a social situation and either avoid trying or put forth a modest effort  Self efficacy also important for determining whether children persist in the face of failure or rejection  Children develop self efficacy from a number of sources: o Direct experience when children have success in previous similar attempts o Vicarious experience when children observe other pp who are somehow like them succeeding on similar tasks o Parents and peers as sources of high self efficacy o Self efficacy comes from biological and affective reactions to social situations o Peer groups, a family, a school, or even a neighbourhood  collective efficacy: groups shared belief in its ability as a unit to achieve some goal  Cognitive social learning theory evaluation  Influential in clinical child psych and has guided the development of therapeutic approaches for helping children overcome fears and phobias  Limitations: o Not very developmental little elaboration of the role genetic, hormonal, or other biological influences o Even though the environment plays an important role in this theory, most of the evidence is based on experimental studies conducted in labs not very generalizable o Sensitivity to cultural variations has received little attention - Information-processing perspective  Information processed like a computer  Development as a continuous process  Social information processing  Explanation of a person’s social behaviour in terms of his or her assessment and evaluation of the social situation as a guide in deciding on a course of social action  Children go through cognitive processing decision steps to arrive and act on their final decision  Social information processing: an evaluation  Provides little insight into how social-cognitive processing changes with age  Lack of attention to emotional factors and how they modify cognitive-decision making in social encounters - Cognitive development perspective  Piaget’s cognitive development theory  2 processes play a role in increasing child cognitive understanding: 1. Use current knowledge as a framework for the absorption or assimilation (applying an existing schema to a new experience) of new experiences 2. Modify their existing knowledge through the process of accommodation (modifying existing schema to fit new experience) of their mental structures  Children not merely passive receivers; they actively seek experience to increase
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