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Lecture 01 - January 10.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2040A/B

*Tests are not cumulative Research portfolio: find three newspaper articles (not from a specialised magazine like Parenting) It has to revolve around a child developmental issue – normative (not exceptionalities) Refer to the textbook/lecture and write up a theoretical piece that explains the piece Find a peer reviewed article that supports or refutes the newspaper article Summarise the article’s findings and relate it back to your original news article One and a half to two pages in length per newspaper article Scatter the dates throughout the semester – find one now, one at the midterm and one later Give the dates of access – make sure they are spread out Use different lenses for each article – can’t use the same one three times Human Development Occurs from pre-birth until death This course focuses from prenatal development to early adolescence What is development? “Systematic continuities and changes in an individual that occur between conception and death” Developmental psychology Focusing on the scientific study of changes in human behaviours and mental activities – lifetime You have a theory right now as to how children should grow up – probably not based on science While these are fine, we’re not focusing on them in this course We will rely on research about growth and change in children What causes us to develop? Maturation: hereditary influences on aging process (biological, our genetic makeup, nature) Learning: change in behaviour due to experience (nurture, socially acquired) Developmental patterns Normative: typical of the group Ideographic: individual variations Character of development It is a continual and cumulative process (like going up a ramp and the stairs) A holistic approach (everything they experience interacts in a holistic way to promote development) Plasticity (ability to change due to interacting with our environment) Historical/cultural context (“Back in my day”, adolescence – based on the Western ideal?) History of childhood Children used to be seen as livestock or objects to be traded (dowries, hope chests) Laws to protect children are new as well (industrial revolution – little fingers for machines) Ancient cultures Sparta: Any imperfection = left outside the walls for wolves Carthage: Bled and sacrificed infants to be placed in their wall to make it stronger. Medieval times Preformationism: children were considered mini adults (when you started walking) This also harboured the notion of evil vs. saintly children The Reformation: children must be evil because sex is “evil” Early philosophical reproaches History of childhood Thomas Hobbes Child’s inherent nature: original sin Child’s role in development: passive Jean Jacques Rousseau Child’s inherent nature: innate purity Child’s role in development: active John Locke Child’s inherent nature: tabula rasa (children are blank slates – the parents decide) Child’s role in development: passive Origins of a scientific approach Charles Darwin – baby biographies He used the same approach as he did when gathering data about evolution with babies “Age _ the child did _” Problems: restricted to his own children or child (not able to generalise to everyone) Not objective – who doesn’t “my baby is the best” G Stanley Hall – developed the questionnaire Sigmund Freud – developed one of the first theories of childhood He conducted observations on adults and conferred childhood drama backwards Psychosexual theory – id, ego, superego Everything revolved around sex and dying (stages of development) Developmental psych as a science Theory: Organisational framework used for something. Hypotheses: Best guess of the outcome (Needs a parsimonious theory – simplest form) Scientific method: Issues of cultural and cross-cultural research Investigates individuals from different cultures/subcultures Is development universal? We don’t look just for what is similar, but what is different Fundamental issues in developmental theories Nature vs. nurture Nature: biological predispositions are most important Nurture: environmental influences are most important You need an interaction of both of them in order to get the best results Active vs. passive role of t
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