Class Notes (838,386)
Canada (510,872)
Psychology (3,528)
PSY100H1 (1,637)
Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Human Development and Personality - March 26.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Dan Dolderman

March 26, 2013. Lecture 9 - Human Development and Personality  Cognitive dissonance: unpleasant arousal, inner tension, brain makes up for tension and discrepancy o E.g. brain convincing you to believe lies to lessen tension, or exaggerate how great a choice you make is and how bad the alternative option was o Once thought to be a cross cultural phenomenon, but with collectivistic cultures it works differently o Cognitive dissonance is about protecting the consistency of the self, something important to the psychology of the individual within Western/individualistic cultures o With collectivist cultures, the self is kind of relative to the group surrounding the individual What IS Human Nature?  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?  Biocultural beings, right from the beginning of our lives we are influenced by both biological inheritance and environmental factors/outside influences  Babies o Prenatal and infant development progress in highly predictable ways and are, largely, the result of genetic “programming” o Of course, even prenatal and infant development are affected by environmental factors  E.g., teratogens (e.g., alcohol, viruses, drugs, etc.) can cause abnormal development in the womb; many chemicals pervasive in the environment are now found in fetuses  Body burden studies found that babies in the womb have absorbed half of tested industrial chemicals  E.g., stress and mother’s emotional state  birth weight, cognitive and physical development  Surrounding family, world issues, economic situation, etc. can all affect baby’s development  E.g., cultural practices (e.g., sleeping on backs vs. fronts )  crawling  Used to always put babies to sleep on their stomachs, was found to increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)  We now put them to sleep on their backs, which apparently slows down their motor development o Development of emotional security a key factor in development of infants  E.g., skin to skin contact, attention to needs and crying  In North American culture these things are often replaced by strollers, motorized swings that sing songs, play pens, etc. all to entertain and distract the baby o Brain development (myelination, formation of connection between neurons) is also dependent on proper environmental stimulation, nutrition, etc. o So, even at the earliest ages, human development is an interaction between nature and nurture  The Role of the Environment: some examples of children growing up in extreme circumstances have profoundly deepened our understanding of the role of the environment in human development o E.g., studies of children growing up in Romanian (and other) orphanages, and other situations of neglect o Severe cognitive and psychological damage done due to this neglect, some of which can be repaired/made up for by love and support later in life, but some is irreparable o Note differences between “sensitive period” and “critical period”  Feral Children: Victor – The “Wild Boy of Aveyron”; captured 1797; escaped, re-emerged 1800 o Aimed to “civilize” Victor  Didn’t dress in proper clothes, have manners, communicate properly, eat with cutlery, etc. o He made a lot of progress in his training, but also plateaued really early on and would never be able to expand past this point  Same with Saturday Mifune – raised by monkeys to age 5; violent, naked, ate raw meat, veggies and of course, bananas o The way we behave is not entirely due to genetic programming, we are largely shaped into what we become o 1970: Genie; escaped from abusive father with her mother, was 4 ½ feet tall, 59 pounds, seemed 6-8 years old, turns out she’s 13  Also had weird qualities to her, disinterested in environment, unresponsive, walked oddly, motor functioning was strange, didn’t speak much, mentally delayed, could not fully extend her limbs  No biological reasons for this poor development  Turns out she spent more than 10 years locked in a tiny, dark room, tied to a chair and caged at night. No human contact except for beatings if she made noise, no stimulation…. Nothing.  Didn’t understand much language, could only form the briefest of sentences such as “stop it” and “no more”  For four years was cared for emotionally, psychologically and physically. She made progress, but plateaued very quickly. o Extreme cases like these show us that being human is, like pretty much everything we’ve learned about, more like a skill than an innate ability; it’s something we learn through PRACTICE, being bathed in language, cultural practices and affection  The Importance of Social Contact: a key theme in developmental psychology is that humans are profoundly social beings o Who we are depends to an extraordinary degree on the human contact we have throughout our lives, from learning language to developing a sense of emotional security, to adopting the beliefs, habits, and general “way of being” of our families o The central part of this process is the formation of attachment  Attachment is the bond that develops between the caregiver and child; the emotional connection  Babies are designed to form attachments, and elicit attachment-forming behaviours from adults  Adults have certain innate responses to babies actions; fairly automatic o E.g., holding out arms, smiling, crying, settling down when held o Adults respond almost automatically; e.g., picking up, exaggerated expressions, higher pitched voices o First “social smile” occurs 4 – 6 weeks of age…. (and it’s a good thing it does…)  Infants are social
More Less

Related notes for PSY100H1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.