PSYC21 – Lecture 1 Prof’s Speech - Purple
Slide 2 – What is the study of social development?
- Description of children’s
o Social behaviour and how it changes over time
o Knowledge of themselves and others
o Ideas about relationships with peers and adults
Peers are others who are in the same age group as the child
Adults include teachers, religious leaders, etc.
o Emotional expressions and displays
o Ability to function in social groups
- And examination of how other aspects of development underlie children’s social behaviour
o Examination of different things that could be influencing development
- Individual differences, changes that occur with age (maturation), and the explanation of these
- This course will focus on child-adolescent social development
Slide 3 – Bet you didn’t know that…
- Newborns can recognize their own mothers by smell
- Even 2 year olds experience jealousy
- Aggressive behaviour in an 8 year old can predict criminal behaviour at age 30
- Infants in orphanages show lower levels of the “love” hormone
- Child abuse can lead to changes in children’s brain functioning
- Having a close friend can make up for being rejected by classmates
- A conflicted relationship between mother and daughter can speed up the onset of puberty
- Biology also affects these relationships
- Relationships with other play a regulatory function in our lives
- We are hardwired to want to be around others – we like the company of others
- Early experiences may be more important that later experiences – but later experiences can also
enhance or interrupt behaviour
- Nomophobia – fear of being separated from cell phone
o Related to need for contact with others
Slide 6 – Questions to consider in social development
- 1. How do biological and environmental influences interact and affect social development?
o Role of nature, nurture, biology, maturation
- 2. What role do children play in their own development?
o Are they passive? Do they just let things happen?
o Are they active? Do they explore and discover?
o Their role is ongoing, there are interchanges between the child and parent – the
relationship between them is always changing - 3. What is the appropriate unit for studying social development?
o Should we study the individual only? Interactions by oneself? In a dyadic setting? Social
triads? Generational gaps? Peer groups? Siblings?
o Different people bring out different things in a child (e.g. may be shy around a parent or a
- 4. Is development continuous or discontinuous?
o (slide 7 graphs)
o A – development as a smooth continuous line
o B – development as a staircase
o C – development as learning one strategy, then another, and then another, where the
Slide 8 – Questions to consider in social development
- 5. Is social behaviour the result of the situation or the child?
o Children behave differently in different situations
o Children act differently when parents are present
- 6. Is social development universal across cultures?
o There are cultural differences
o Cultures provide a backbone to how the child will interact
- 7. How does social development vary across history?
o Related to the structures of families and how families change
o Models of communication also change (i.e. technology)
o Significant events also shape social development (e.g. wars, economic boom/bust, natural
Slide 10 – Questions to consider in social development
- 8. Is social development related to other domains?
o Related to emotional, cognitive, motor development
- 9. How important are mothers?
o Mothers are often seen as key players in development
o Infants are attracted to her, but mothers are not the only key person
- 10. Is there a single pathway of social development?
o Multifinality – divergence of developmental paths – where 2 similar individuals start off
on similar paths, but end up with different results
o Equifinality – children following different paths, end up on a similar path/reach a similar
- Social development started with Darwin
- Theories develop a coherent account of