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PSY100 Chapter 11.docx

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 11: Human Development - Developmental psychology: concerned with changes, over the lifespan, in physiology, in cognition and in social behavior - Age-related changes in psychological capacities such as perception, language, and thinking What Shapes a Child? - Environment also influences what happens throughout development o Infant care - Physically, at about the same periods in the lifespan, each human grows and matures o Walking Development Starts in the Womb - Zygote into embryo  fetus Physical Development - Basic brain regions begin to form by week 4 - Cells the form cortex are visible by week 7 - Thalamus and hypothalamus by week 10 - Left and right hemisphere by week 12 - Working nervous system by month 7 - Brain is always developing - Hormones that circulate the womb affect the fetus o Low thyroid  lower IQ and diminished intellectual development - Mother’s emotional state can also affect fetus o High stress  low birth weight and negative cognitive and physical outcomes that can persist throughout life Teratogens - Teratogens: agents that can impair physical and cognitive development in the womb (drugs, alcohol, bacteria, virus and chemicals) o Language and reasoning may be apparent - Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS): symptoms of which consist of low birth weight, face and head abnormalities, slight mental retardation and behavioral and cognitive problems o Permanent brain damage  neocortex, hippocampus and cerebellum o Learning, attention, inhibition and regulation of behavior, memory, casual reasoning, and motor performance o Recreational drugs: premature birth  HOWEVER, not all babies born to a drug user will necessarily be impaired Brain Development Promotes Learning - Newborns’ perceptual skills increase tremendously over the first few months of life - Grasping reflex: holding finger - Rooting reflex: turning - Sucking reflex Myelination and Neuronal Connections - Specific areas within the brain mature and become functional - Regions of the brain learn to communicate with one another through synaptic connections - Myelination: help brain circuits mature, which begins on the spinal cord during the first trimester of pregnancy and on the brain’s neurons during the second o Occurs on different regions at different stages of development o Nerve fibers are wrapped with a fatty sheath to increase speed for transmitting signals - Myelinated axons form synapses with other neurons - Synaptic pruning: a process whereby the synaptic connections in the brain that are frequently used are preserved and those that are not are lost - Synaptic density is highest in the auditory cortex, age 3 o Visual cortex, age 1 and 2 o Prefrontal cortex, age 6 (critical for reasoning) - Progression of learning is tied closely to brain development, presents a new and exciting approach for research energized by the biological revolution in psychological science - High plasticity o Early childhood nutrition have more myelination Sensitive Learning Periods - Key to learning is the creation of connections among certain neurons and that certain connections are made most easily during particular times in development - Eric Lenneberg: critical periods: biologically determined time periods for the development of specific skills o Sensitive periods: biologically determined time periods when specific skills develop most easily Attachment Promotes Survival - 4 -6 weeks: first social smile - Attachment: a strong emotional connection that persists over time and across circumstances o Heightened feelings of safety and security o John Bowlby: innate repertoire of attachment behaviors motivate adult attention o Attachment is adaptive Attachment in Other Species - Imprinting: Konrad Lorenz: Within 18 hours, birds will attach themselves to an adult and then follow them - Money clung to the cloth mother and went to it in times of threat, but approached the wire mother only when hungry Attachment Style - Separation Anxiety: become distressed when they cannot see or are separated from their attachment figures - Mary Ainsworth: Strange-Situation test: Secure, avoidant and anxious- ambivalent child attachments o Secure: majority, who are readily comforted when their caregiver returns after a brief separation o Avoidant: 20-25%, ignore caregiver when they return and may be comforted by the stranger o Anxious-ambivalent: 10-15%, becomes extremely upset when they leave but will seek attention and rejects them when they return - Disorganized attachment mixed responses - Children with behavioral problems tend to me anxious ambivalent or avoidant Chemistry of Attachment - Oxytocin is released o Social acceptance and bonding and sexual gratification o Higher = better attachment How Do Children Learn about Their Words? Perception Introduces the World Infant-Research Techniques - Preferential-looking technique: show two objects, if one is looked at longer, researchers know that the infant can tell the difference and finds one more interesting - Orienting reflex: human’s tendency to pay more attention to new stimuli than to stimuli to which they have become habituated, or grown accustomed to - If the infant looks at the new stimulus the same amount of time as the old, it is assumed that the infant doesn’t know the difference Vision - Visual acuity: infants respond more to objects with high contrast patterns o The smaller the stripes, the less contrast, the more infants can’t tell the difference between the gray patches and that o Distant objects is poor but increases rapidly over the first 6 months - Stereograms: view of an image is shown to one eye and another view to the other o Disparity information: differences in images seen by their eyes to perceive depth Auditory Perception - By 6 months, they have adult levels of auditory function - Memory for sounds - Event-related potentials Memory Improves over Childhood Infantile Amnesia - Infantile amnesia: the inability to remember events from early childhood - Childhood memory develops with language acquisition because the ability to use words and concepts aid in memory retention Inaccurate Memory - Confabulate: make things up o Underdeveloped frontal lobes Piaget Emphasized Stages of Development - Jean Piaget: 4 stages of development o Sensorimotor – birth to two years  Acquiring information through senses  Sucking schema – children must adjust their understanding of sucking  Exploratory schema: learn they can act on objects to understand them  Reaction to action  Object permanence: understanding that an object continues to exist even when it cannot be seen o Preoperational – two to seven years old  Can think about objects not in their immediate view and have developed various conceptual models of how the world works  Think symbolically  Development of language  Egocentric thinking  No understanding of the law of conservation of quantity o Concrete Operational – 7 to 12  Children begin to think about an understand operations in way that are reversible  Logical thinking about objects and events, reasoning is limited to concrete things  Overcomes limits of egocentrism o Formal Operational – 12 to adulthood  Ability to think abstractly and to formulate and test hypotheses through deductive logic  Deductive reasoning and problem solving - Schemas: ways of thinking, conceptual models of how the world works o Assimilation: process by which a new experience is placed into an existing schema o Accommodation: process by which a new schema is changed to incorporate a new experience that does not easily fit into an existing schema Challenges to Piaget’s Theory - Different areas in the brain are responsible for different skills, and that the development of different skills therefore does not have to follow strict stag
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