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PSY100H1S - Human Development and Personality

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Dan Dolderman

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PSY100H1S Human Dev’t and Personality 26/03/13 Harry Harlow quotation—“Love...” Cognitive dissonance—mention of Ryerson story (hazing rituals?) - we reduce dissonance through conscious effort/belief - E.g. choosing CD’s (5 or 6)—reduce dissonance by convincing oneself one is better than another; this would not happen if there was a clear preference of one over another, to begin with (there’d be no dissonance). - Dissonance is also responsible for: o e.g., being part of tormenting hazing rituals for an exclusive club (that you believe is really awesome)  by making people suffer as part of initiation ritual, they cement their commitment to the group  those who follow through with sufferings therefore have better perception of clubs/groups o However, experiments with classical dissonance that tried to play on this behaviour failed → collectivistic culture → conclusion was drawn that people in individualistic cultures had strong inclination towards internal consistency (integrity) and therefore would not make choices that were not consistent with the person they identified as; however, in collectivistic cultures, a strong inclination was instead developed towards internal fluidity and harmony with social networking Final conclusions—individualistic cultures have much stronger internal dissonance processes than collectivistic cultures What is Human Nature? (Dev’t Psych) - bio vs culture; nature vs nurture - given that they are always intertwined, how can we know whether there is such thing as “innate” human nature, and what that would look like? Babies: - prenatal & infant dev’t progress in highly predictable ways and are, largely, the result of genetic ‘programming’ - environmental factors before and after birth of babies are effective - Eg. teratogens (e.g., alcohol, viruses, drugs, etc.) → abnormal dev’t in womb; many pervasive chemicals in environment now found in foetuses - Experiment: - previously perceived that wombs fairly safe environment PSY100H1S Human Dev’t and Personality 26/03/13 - took cord blood samples → found about half the number of toxins from industrial society that were tested for - E.g., stress & mother’s emotional state → birth weight, cognitive & physical dev’t - E.g., cultural practices (e.g., sleeping on backs vs. fronts) → crawling (but this reduces the speed of the child’s motor development) Altruistic behaviours/tendencies affected by → Factors affecting emotional security: - frequency of being held (skin on skin contact with parents) - frequency of parents answering babies’ cries - brain development (myelination, formation of connection between neurons) is also dependent on proper environmental stimulation, nutrition, etc. Role of the Environment: - some examples of chidren growing up in extreme circumstances have profoundly deepened understanding of role of environment in human dev’t - E.g., studies of children growing up in Romanian (and other) orphanages, and other situations of neglect → filled with kids, massively understaffed - not differences between “sensitive period” and “critical period” → used to be considered latter term, but is not entirely true and therefore referred to by former term (there is flexibility in development, though the difficulty in developing major processes at older ages is highly increased) Feral Children - Victor – the “Wild Boy of Aveyron;” captured 1797; escaped, re- emerged 1800 → plateau-ed very early in development and could not further progress, though learned fairly quickly - Saturday Mifune – raised by monkeys to age 5; violent, naked, ate raw meat, veggies, and of course, bananas - Genie The Importance of Social Contact - key theme in dev’t psychology is that humans are profoundly social beings - who we are extraordinarily depends on huma contact we have throughout our lives, from learning language to dev’ping a sense of emotional security, to adopting the beliefs, habits, and general ‘way of being’ of our families PSY100H1S Human Dev’t and Personality 26/03/13 - central part of this process is the formation of attachment Attachment - the bond htat dev’s between the caregiver and child; emotional connection - babies designed to form attachments, and engage in attachment-eliciting behaviours, early in life, with adults o e.g., holding out arms, smiling, crying, settling down when held o babies cry when deprived of human contact o first ‘social smile’ occurs 4-6 weeks of age Infants are Social Beings - Even very young infants have highly interactive relationships (though they are “dramatically useless”) - can read emotional face expressions → E.g., emotional attunement: infants as young as 10 weeks get extremely upset when their mothers stop showing any facial expressions of emotion Attachment - attachment is like emotional memory, laying the foundation for our emotional systems, our basic sense of security and trust in others Where does attachment come from? What is love? - dominant perspectives in mid-20 c. were Freudian and drive theories that emphasized biological functions of mother (i.e., food source) o emphasized psychodynamic processes (Freud) and drive theories (behaviourism) - “...position commonly held - Primary Drive Reduction—mom Harlow’s Monkeys - for 3 years, separated 60 rhesus monkeys from mothers... - During studies, noticed that babies showed strong attachment to cloth pads (folded gauze diapers) used to cover floors of cages → infants clung to pads and engaged in violent tantrums when pads removed for sanitary purposes - also noticed → monkeys raised in cages without pads seldom survived or thrived → cloth for comfort made huge difference o highlighted importance of physical comfort, or “touch” o fashioned a ‘wi
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