PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Psy, Eaves, Univers

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18 Jan 2011
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PSY 100H t development psychology
What is Human Nature?
- Study of people from their birth to death Æ biology vs. culture, nature vs. nurture
- Given that they are always intertwined, how can we know whether there is such a thing
as innate human nature and what that would look like
Babies Æ blank slate
- Prenatal and infant development progress in highly predictable ways and are largely the
result of genetic programming
- Of course even prenatal and infant development are affected by environmental factor Æ
not strictly by genetic
- Teratogens can cause abnormal development in the womb, many chemicals pervasive in
the environment are now found in fetus Æ e.g. 200 industrial chemicals in brain of
infant
- 6WUHVVDQGPRWKHU¶VHPRWLRQDOVWDWHÆ birth weight, cognitive and physical development
Æ socioeconomic states
- Culture practices Æ sleeping on back vs. front Æ lowers SIDS - crawling
o Sleep front Æ develop posture and muscle in infants for crawling (locomotive)
- Brain development (myelination, formation of connection between neurons) is also
dependent on proper environmental stimulation, nutrition, etc.
- So even at the earliest stages
Role of the Environment
- But aside from basic stimulation, why does it matter what happens in early life? Kids
DUHQ¶WJRLQJWRUHPHPEHULWDQ\ZD\
o E.g. kid playing with cDWSOD\LQJ«HWFÆ happy kid is good despite not
remembering
- Some examples of children growing up in extreme circumstances have profoundly
deepened our understanding of the roles of the environment in human development
o Warmth and coldness Æ physiological emotional support
o Is the universe predicable? Æ Random? Æ emotional memories for the child
o Studies in children growing up in Romanian (& other) orphanages and other
situations of neglect
Sleep same bed with adult with mental difficulties Æ unwanted and
under-staffed Æ long term development of the kids Æ turn out do okay
but at the mean level not in the same ways as brought up normally Æ
unresponsive to the environment as they stay in the cribs for so long in
WKHLUHDUO\OLIH«Æ GRQWVKRZVDPHNLQGRIresponsiveness Æ facial
development different [did not see so many faces]
Feral Children
- Victor ± WKHµ:LOG%R\RI$YH\RQ´± captured 1797, escaped, remerged in 1800, Jean-
Marc Itard attempted to civilize him without much success Æ development was stunned
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PSY 100H t development psychology
- Saturday Mifune Æ raised by monkey to age 5 Æ violent Æ hated clothes, ate raw meat,
veggies and banana
- Genie Æ in 1970 Æ took her from abusive husband, kind of mentally delay Æ unable to
do anything that require full extension to limb, not reactive to environment
(unresponsive) Æ locked in room for more than 10 years (only negative contact with
parent) Æ (natural environment Æ LQWHUDFWZLWKEHLQJVQDWXUHIRRG«HWFÆ not
functional human Æ tried to rehabilitate her Æ some vocabulary and social connection
[development was stunned] Æ world of institutional world
- ([WUHPHFDVHVOLNHWKHVHVKRZXVWKDWEHLQJKXPDQLVOLNHSUHWW\PXFKHYHU\WKLQJZH¶YH
learned about, more liNHDVNLOOWKDQDQLQQDWHDELOLW\LW¶VVRPHWKLQJZHOHDUQWKURXJK
PRACTICE, being bathed in language, cultural practices and affection
o Organism and surrounding environment
o Brain structure alters
o Take away practices, take away ability
The importance of Social Contact
- Key theme in development psychology is that human are profoundly social beings
- Who are we depends to an extraordinary degree on human contact we have throughout
our lives, from learning language to developing a sense of emotional security to adopting
beliefs, habits and even prejudices etc. of our family
- Central part of this process is formation of attachment
Attachment
- Attachment is the bond that develops between the caregiver and child; emotional
connection
o Love is conditioning due to pleasure respond?!
o Babies are designed to form attachments and elicit attachment forming
behaviours from adults
Holding out arms, smiling, crying, settling down when held
o Adults respond also automatically Æ picking up, exaggerate expression, higher
pitched voices
o First social simile to caregivers occurs 4-ZHHNVRIDJHDQGLW¶VDJRRGWKLQJLWGLG
o Even very young infants have highly interactive relationships
o Emotional attunement, infants as young as 10 weeks get extremely upset when
their mothers stop showing any facial expressions of emotions
o Attachment is like an emotional memory (not cognitive), laying the foundation
for our emotional system our basic sense of security and trust in others
o Attachment experiences build associative networks that reflect these experiences,
forming our schemas for ourselves and others
Where does attachment come from? What is love?
- The dominate perspectives in the mid 20th century were Freudian (no Oedipal complex)
- Basic motives are primary drives (hunger ..etc.), love and care is 2ndar
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Document Summary

Study of people from their birth to death biology vs. culture, nature vs. nurture. Given that they are always intertwined, how can we know whether there is such a thing as innate human nature and what that would look like. Prenatal and infant development progress in highly predictable ways and are largely the result of genetic programming. Of course even prenatal and infant development are affected by environmental factor not strictly by genetic. Teratogens can cause abnormal development in the womb, many chemicals pervasive in the environment are now found in fetus e. g. 200 industrial chemicals in brain of infant. ,3/249078024943,89,90 birth weight, cognitive and physical development. Culture practices sleeping on back vs. front lowers sids - crawling: sleep front develop posture and muscle in infants for crawling (locomotive) Brain development (myelination, formation of connection between neurons) is also dependent on proper environmental stimulation, nutrition, etc. happy kid is good despite not remembering.

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