LEC 9-Developmental Psychology

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3 Aug 2010
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Department
Course
Developmental Psychology
z The focus of developmental psychology is on how humans develop and change
overtime
๎‚„ Change can occur across in life span of the PERSONAL
๎‚‹ Cradle to grave developmental psychology
๎‚„ Assumes that change is inevitable
๎‚„ Change can be continuous or discontinuous
Core Developmental Issues
z Delineate the interacting forces of nature and nurture
๎‚„ Maturation: refers to biologically determined changes that follow an orderly
sequence
z Determine the importance of early experiences
๎‚„ The notion of critical periods
z Assess whether change is continuous or in qualitative stages
Critical Periods
z Critical period concept suggests that the brain is set to acquire a function during a
limited period of time
z If key experiences do not occur during a critical time period, the function may not
develop or may not be fully developed
๎‚„ The case of Genie, a girl who was isolated until 13 years of age. Although Genie
made some gains in language, her syntax never approached normal levels. The
case of Genie supports a critical period for language acquisition
๎‚„ Measles can cause mental retardation if contracted during certain fetal periods
Developmental Methodology
z Cross-sectional method compares groups of different ages at the same time
๎‚„ Useful for assessing age differences
๎‚„ Not useful for examining age changes
๎‚‹ The problem is not each age group has different life experiences
z Longitudinal method compares same group at multiple time points
z Sequential studies examine different age groups at multiple time points (reduce
cohort effects)
Physical Development
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z Prenatal period has 3 phases
๎‚„ Germinal Period (1-2 weeks after conception)
๎‚„ Embryonic Period (3-8 weeks of gestation)
๎‚„ Fetal Period (from 9 weeks to birth)
Teratogens
z During the embryonic period, the developing fetus is susceptible to toxins
z Teratogens are environmental agents that harm the fetus (viruses, chemicals)
๎‚„ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: if the mother consumes alcohol during pregnancy, the
fetus is exposed to the alcohol, which can lead to abnormal physical
development and to learning disabilities
๎‚„ Crack Cocaine: fetal exposure to cocaine alters motor and emotional
development
Infant Reflexes
z Reflexes are innate motor responses elicited by critical stimuli
๎‚„ Reflexes are adaptive
z Examples of infant reflexes
๎‚„ Rooting reflex: a touch on the cheek induces the infant to move its mouth
toward the source of the touch (helps guide feeding)
๎‚„ Sucking reflex: tactile stimulation of the mouth produces rhythmic sucking
Motor Development
Emotional Development
z Temperament
z Attachment
๎‚„ Secure
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Document Summary

the focus of developmental psychology is on how humans develop and change overtime. T change can occur across in life span of the personal. delineate the interacting forces of nature and nurture. T maturation: refers to biologically determined changes that follow an orderly sequence. assess whether change is continuous or in qualitative stages. critical period concept suggests that the brain is set to acquire a function during a limited period of time. If key experiences do not occur during a critical time period, the function may not develop or may not be fully developed. T the case of genie, a girl who was isolated until 13 years of age. Although genie made some gains in language, her syntax never approached normal levels. The case of genie supports a critical period for language acquisition. T measles can cause mental retardation if contracted during certain fetal periods.

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