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PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Psy, Eaves, Univers

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Michael Inzlicht

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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
- 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
o E.g. kid playing with cDWSOD\LQJ«HWFÆ happy kid is good despite not
- 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
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 is the bond that develops between the caregiver and child; emotional
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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