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Anthropology 1025F/G
Christopher Ellis

Development Over The Lifespan- Chapter 12 Developmental Psychology: Issues And Methods Developmental psychology examines changes in our biological, physical, psychological, and behavioral processes as we age. Four broad issues guide developmental research: 1. Nature And Nurture- to what extent is our development the product of heredity (nature) or the product of environment (nurture)? How do nature and nurture interact? 2. Critical And Sensitive Periods- Are some experiences especially important at particular ages? A critical period is an age range in which certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally or along a certain path. A SENSITIVE PERIOD- is an optimal age range for certain experiences, but if those experiences occur at another time, normal development will still be possible. 3. Community Versus Discontinuity- Is development continuous and gradual, as when a sapling slow grows into a tree? Or is it discontinuous progressing through qualitatively distinct stages, as when a creeping caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as a soaring butterfly 4. Stability Versus Change- Do our characteristics remain consistent as we changes. *******Check out the graph on page 440*********** The following are the types of changes: o No change- an ability present at or before birth that remains relatively constant across the lifespan (ex. The ability to discriminate high from low pitched sounds , or to see objects as distinct from their background: figure ground perception) o Continuous change (continuity)- an ability not present, or very immature, at birth that develops gradually over months or years and then remains constant over age (certain types of intelligence) o Stages (discontinuity)- an ability that progresses in stages, with relatively rapid shifts from a lower level of performance to a higher level (eg. In motor development, the shift from rolling to crawling, to standing, to walking, in cognitive development, the shift from non- verbal thought to symbolic thinking involving words.) o Inverted U shape function- an ability that emerges after birth, peaks and disappears with age. (eg. Separation anxiety, visual activity across the lifespan) o U- shaped function- an ability that is present early in life disappears temporarily and re- emerges later (eg. Newborn turning point toward off centered sound and stepping with support To study how intellectual abilities change from age 10- 600 uses a CROSS- SECTIONAL DESIGN- we would compare people of different ages at the same point in time. We would test each person only once and compare how well the different age groups perform. This is widely used because data for many age groups can be collected relatively quickly, but a key drawback is that the different age groups called COHORTS grew up in different historical periods. This would trickle down to seeing the environmental differences To avoid this problem, a LONGITUDINAL DESIGN repeatedly tests the same cohort, as it grows older. So, you track them and test the every ten years for example until they turn 70, to make sure that everyone is exposed to the same historical time frame. The downside is that it is time consuming, and as years pass, sample may shrink substantially as people move, drop out of the study, or die. If we find intelligence decline at age 60, is it really due to aging or developmental experiences unique to a particular cohort? Researchers can answer this using SEQUENTIAL DESIGN- that combines the cross sectional and longitudinal approaches. That is we can repeatedly test several age cohorts as they grow older and determine whether they follow a similar developmental pattern. This design is the most comprehensive, but also the most time consuming and costly Prenatal Development Consists of 3 stages of physical growth: o The germinal stage- constitutes approximately the first two weeks of development, beginning when one sperm fertilizes a female egg (ovum) this fertilized egg is called a zygote. Through repeated cell division the zygote becomes a mass of cells that attaches to the mothers uterus about 10- 14 days after conception o The embryonic stage extends from the end of the second week through the eighth week after conception, and the cell mass is now called an embryo. Two life- support structures, the placenta and umbilical cord, develop at the start of this stage. Located on the uterine wall, the placenta contains membranes that allow nutrients to pass from the mothers blood to the umbilical cord. In turn, the umbilical cord contains blood vessels that carry these nutrients and oxygen to the embryo to the mother. Supplied with nutrients, embryonic cells divide rapidly and become specialized. Bodily organs and systems begin to form and by week eight the heart of the embryo is beating. The brain is forming, and facial features such as eyes can be recognized. At 9 week embryo is called a fetus. During the fetal stage, which lasts until birth, muscles become stronger and other bodily systems continue to develop. At 24 weeks, eyes open, 28 weeks fetus attains the age of viability, meaning that it is likely to survive outside the womb in case of premature birth Genetics And Sex Determination rd Female and male both have 23 chromosomes each. At conception, contains 23 pairs. The 23 pair of chromosome determines the babys sex. A genetic females 23 pair contains 2 X chromordmes (XX), so called because of their shape. Because women carry only X chromosomes, the 23 chromosome in the egg is always an X A genetic males 23 pair contains an X and Y (XY) The Y chromosome contains a specific gene known as the TDF (Testis determining factor) that triggers male sexual development. At 6- 8 weeks after conception the TDF gene initiates the development of testes, once formed, the testes secrete sex hormones called ANDROGENS that continue to direct a male pattern of organ development. If TDF is not present testes do not form. In the absence of sufficient androgen activity during this prenatal critical period- an inherent pattern of female organs develop Environmental Influences Teratogens- are environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)- is a group of severe abnormalities and small malformed brain. Psychological symptoms of FAS my include IQ and fine and gross motor impairments and poor adaptive functioning Loud sounds elicitae reliable increase in fetal heart rate and boy movement during the 3 trimester of pregnancy Nature and nurture play a role in pregnancy. When pregnant the womb can remember and recognize sounds and words. Newborn Sensation And Perception Robert Fantz used PREFERENTIAL LOOKING PROCEDURE to study infants visual preferences Newborns orient to significant stimuli in their environment, the most important being their mothers face, voice and smell, optimizing their access to food, warmth and social stimulation Newborn Learning Learn rapidly when born, recognize familiar stimuli, and stare at mother VISUAL HABITUATION PROCEDURE- the same stimulus is presented repeatedly until infant looking time declines. When a novel stimulus is presented, infants usually look longer at the novel rather than the familiar stimuli. Russel Adams and Mary Courage used VHP to study newborn color vision Philip Zelazo used an AUDITORY HABITUATION PROCEDURE to study infant memory Barbera Morrongeillo used habituation procedure and showed that newborns rapidly learn particular sounds with particular objects including mothers face and voice Newborns can learn through classical and operant conditioning and imitation Infants are born with mechanisms that help them respond to caretakers and important events in the environment Sensory- Perceptual Development Visual field in each eye expands to almost adult size in 6 months Around 3- 4 months of age, infant pattern perception is organized according to certain Gestalt principles Not all perceptual developmental functions show improvement with age during infancy Developmental function from 20/800 at birth to 20/ 100 by 6 months of age. Around 3 to 4 months of age, infant pattern perception is organized according to certain Gestalt principles, while other Gestalt principles appear in step like fashion. Not all perceptual development functions show improvement with age during infancy Phonemes- sound difference in words Sensory perceptual processes are exercised in the uterus, and the al, including vision, operate at some level at birth Physical Brain And Motor Development Maturation- the genetically pr
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