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LECTURE 1.docx

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Stuart Kamenetsky

LECTURE 1 What is Social Development? •Abranch of Developmental Psychology •Subfield that studies "changes over time in the child's understanding of attitudes toward, and actions with others" • Includes affective, cognitive and social aspects of development •Social Psychology focuses on how we relate to others and how others influence our behaviours, feelings and thoughts. Why are Children studied? •Because of an interest in children (questions such as "what is my child supposed to do at this age?") o Practical and Theoretical implications •Because of an interest in adults (questions about the nature and product of development- in order to understand why adults behave the way they do). Historical Perspective •Evolutionary Development of the field •Three periods of social development research: o Emergence: Baby biographies-same questions as today but different methods o Middle Period: • Maturationalist approach: Chart and describe the unfolding of endowed characteristics • Environmentalist approach: Watson (Behaviourism)- experimentally and objectively determine how the child learns • Socialization: Psychoanalytic and sociological theory- how do adults contribute to child growth and development o Modern Era • Structuralist approach: Piaget, Kohlberg-Social processes are important and child is an active agent. • Normative-descriptive focus resulting in Stage theories Transformations in Social Developmental Research •Specifying developmental processes- The search for processes. Mediational processes in social development: Structural reorganization of thought and action (Piaget, Kohlberg) as developmental change agents •Expanded view of regulatory Processes: -socialization (shift away from exclusive top down processes) -Self regulation (coping with stress, emotional regulation, individual difference in temperament) • Expanded units of social experience: o Diadic units of analysis (mom-child-Bowlby's theory) o Shift away from "Early Determinism"- studies of children brought up in orphanges o Peers- bidirectional influences •Incorporating contextual variations into social processes o Bronfenbrenner- The Ecology of Human Development o Still major challenge for researchers Methods of Study: • Change over time is primary concern o Longitudinal designs (study same people over time) • Good- Within Subjects design- age differences are not attributable to between subject differences • Bad- practice effects (repeated measures), practical difficulties, attrition o Cross sectional designs (study different people at one time) • Good-no practice effects (no repeated measures), no practical difficulties, no attrition • Bad- between subjects design-age differences are attribtuable to between subject differences-sampling; Cohort effects due to confounding • Meta analyses of studies of distinct age groups Goals of Research: • Exploration: to determine whether or not a phenomenon exists • Description: examining a phenomenon to more fully define it or to differentiate it from other phenomena • Prediction: identifying relationships that enable us to speculate about one thing by knowing about some other thing • Explana
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