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Lecture

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Moral Development, Twin Study, Personality Development


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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March 14th 2011
The format of the exam
The format will be very similar to the last one
8 multiple choice questions per chapter approximately
20-30 marks for short answer
WHAT IS DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY?
Area of psych that really covers all areas
Focus is on how humans develop and change over time
Examples: cognitive development
There is a general consensus that changes can occur across the life span of the person
Cradle to grave developmental psychology--but really we are talking about before cradle--
moment of conception until the time we die
Questions that have arisen in the field: Is change continuous or discontinuous--stages
How concrete are stages?
Perceptual development--senses develop and decay or become less optimum over time
Assumes that change is inevitable
Physical, emotional, motor development
Attachments--how that occurs
Moral development--won’t be talking about it today, but its in the chapter--in adults you can
DEFINITELY see a range in this area
Personality development
Assumes that change is inevitable-universal truth
Those that survive and flourish are those that adapt
Those who see change not as a trauma or something to be feared, but as an opportunity for
growth
Strong bias in develop psy towards stages idea
CORE DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES-
Everything is NATURE AND NURTURE--this debate basically closed
What kinds of things are MORE influenced by experience? Which by genetics?
Ie: height, eye colour extremely genetic influence, but other factors could affect how tall you
end up being
Mutations in genes COULD occur through a force
MORE ENVIRO driven developments could include: interpersonal trust--depends on a lot of
things, personality factors that drive this not as important as early experiences, role models etc,
primary caregivers
Through twin studies we can see diff. Bwtn what is determined by nature vs. Nurture
MATURATION--refers to biologically determined changes that follow an orderly sequence--
puberty--occurs diff. Times for diff. Ppl.--puberty is one example
Importance of early experiences:--the notion of “critical periods”
An important issue is to assess whether change is continuous or in qualitative stages
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FREUD:
Freud’s theories usually not scientific
Freud thought sexual drive and motivation formed personality
4 contributions of Freud we just can’t ignore *Note: these are 4 big ones, of many:
1. First, to say how important a role unconscious plays in human behaviour. In order to be
scientific phyc needs to look at observable behaviour to look at probabilities that these are true
theories. Even through all this--unconscious impo. Part of human behav.
2. First to use psychotherapy as a real type of therapy. Treatment of disorders through talking--
respond better that to drugs or surgery. FREUD is grandfather of psychotherapy. Can change
neurotransmitters etc. Psychotherapy relieves stress, anxiety, which makes ppl. Psychologically
healthier.
3. First 5 years of our experiences the most important. Thought personality built in first 5 years
of lives. Today, most agree 5 years very important.
5. Defense mechanisms-denial, displacement etc.
Important of early experiences “critical periods”
Critical periods: this 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
Prof. Urbzat divided them into critical periods:
A. Of necessary stimulation ex. Certain period/window to develop vision in cats we know
B. Critical periods of vulnerability--where we don’t want any certain type of stimulation ie:
esp. In womb
Some refer to this as “sensitive period”
Example: GENIE, a case of neglect. Father had paranoid schizophrenia. Daughter lived in a
closet and nobody spoke to her. When Genie was discovered she was below physical
development. Stunted mental development. Made some gains in language, but couldn’t make
many. Hadn’t been exposed to language. Critical period for language development before age
of 5. Eg. Language learning-all kinds of evidence of children being able to learn a new
language faster than adults.
Sensitive period-b/c genie wasn’t exposed to language then, she never developed necessary
ability yet she did make some gains later in lide
She never developed speech more than a 2 year old
Also looked at cases of feral children who have never made gains in language
An example of a critical period of vulnerability--measles contracted during certain fetal periods
can cause mental retardation
Fetal alcohol syndrome-->alcohol more likely during later periods of fetus development than
earlier
DEVELOPMENTAL METHODOLOGIES:
We use these methodologies whenever we are interested in changes over time
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Cross-sectional method compares groups of diff. Ages at same time ex. 3 groups of subjects
at same time, 5, 10, 15 year olds
Useful for assessing age diff.
NOT useful for examine age changes
AGE cohorts are every child born in a given year (in general)
15 year olds are diff. Age and diff. Age COHORT than 5 year olds
Maybe something happened in last 10 years in culture, schooling, environment
Onset of menses (first period) is getting much earlier
Theories: exposure of hormones given to beef produces activating cycles in humans; 2. In
general we are being exposed to highly sexualized images younger and younger and this is
creating a psychological factor leading to it;
COHORT effects
Results we get could be confounded.
LONGITUDINAL STUDY
We can be sure that changes occur b/c of time and not other factors
Same group at multiple points in time ie; over 15 years
NO cohort effects
Problem-only one sample
Take a long time
Very expensive
Takes long-term funding
Tritian??? (don’t know this word)--you lose subjects over time ie: subjects move
We can combine BOTH methods:
SEQUENTIAL STUDY--looks at multiple age cohorts AT multiple points in time.
Sequential study gives us the most options
Can look at cohorts, changes over time etc
Problem: MOST expensive
Still a long time etc
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Prenatal period has 3 phases:
1. Germinal period (1st 2 weeks after conception)---ZYGOTE-doesn’t look human-like--
makes ways down fallopian tubes and try to implant self on uterus wall---1 in 5 pregnancies
end at this point---in many cases the women don’t know they were pregnant; if the zygote
implants itself anywhere other than the uterus walls it results in no chance of the baby coming
to terms its called an ectopic pregnancy--surgery is necessary or radiation which kills rapidly
developing cells if nothing is done, mother will die
2. Embryonic Period (3rd to 8th week of gestation) usually when ppl. Realize pregnant--
EMBRYO--start to see little eyes, see some features, heart beat and brain visible, see tail; tails-
evolutionary--- tails-genes that remain dormant-when someone is born with a tail it is turned
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