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Psychology 2410A/B
Adam Cohen

Dev. Psyc. Class 1: “The origins of knowledge and other issues” 1/7/2013 6:35:00 AM Sometimes we are more alike at present time with our younger selves, and sometimes we are more alike someone our own age than we are with our younger selves. Origins of Knowledge? Magic Trick #1  Where did the rabbit come from? Magic Trick #2  Infant, then when older playing basketball Where does knowledge come from?  1. Put into the mind/brain from outside (empiricism)  2. Was in the mind/brain all along (nativism)  3. Was constructed in the mind/brain, by the mind/brain (constructivism)  genetically based, with learning mechanisms, built to construct knowledge. o Therefore, 1, 2, and 3 go hand in hand. (individually necessary and collectively sufficient) Teacher: Look at notes within 24hrs = BEST MEMORY  After each day you lose more info from memory – forgetting curve (Ebbinghaus) LOOK AT COURSE GOALS BECAUSE ITS SOMEWHAT OF A CHEAT SHEET FOR WHAT QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED ON EXAM!  -------- EXAMS ARE CUMULATIVE Themes in Dev. Psyc. 1. Nature/Nurture Issue  By mature we refer to genes, and by nurture we refer to environment (environment can be physical, social, cultural, linguistic, economic, historical, etc). o Genes are recipes o Environment are ingredients  They are useless unless they go hand in hand  Genes expect an environment The nature/nurture debate has some SUB-topics 1. a) Common Abilities (CA)  Example- teacher uses a venn diagram with green in center, blue and yellow on opposite sides… to get G, we need 100% of Y and 100% of B.  Comparison with Nature/Nurture, Common Abilities depend on 100% Nature and 100% Nature Examples of Common Abilities: walking, speaking, thinking, reading, seeing (these things are usually species-typical)  With reading, it is a special case, because we wouldn’t necessarily consider it a common ability, but we depend on things like thinking and seeing to develop reading. (Note: species typical DOESN’T mean it has to be with EVERY species, but rather what is shared among some or most) 1. b) Individual Differences  Differences in CA are underwritten by differences in nature, differences in nurture, or BOTH. o CA still depends on 100% genes, 100% environment. Examples of Non-common Abilities: seeing UV light (ultraviolet) --- humans cant… certain kinds of navigation, e.g. bird navigating by looking at stars --- humans cant. 2. Continuity/Discontinuity Issue  What kind of process underlies the development? o Ex. Height – cont/discont? o Ex. Liquid conservation task (Piaget) – cont/discont?  The task (shown in video in lecture) has 2 children reasoning with how much water (“rocket fuel”) the teacher or the child has. The 4-year old considers
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