Magic trick #1: pulling a rabbit from a hat, where did it come from?
- The rabbit came from the outside world
- The rabbit was in the hat the whole time, we just couldn’t see it
- The rabbit was constructed in the hat, by the hat.
Magic trick #2: normal kid, where did the knowledge come from?
- Put in the brain from outside the brain (empiricism)
- Was in the brain all along (nativism)
- Was constructed in the brain by the brain (constructivism)
None of these theories alone are individually necessary and jointly efficient; none of
these alone is enough to explain knowledge acquisition
EXAMS ARE CUMMULATIVE
Themes in developmental psychology:
1) Nature vs. Nurture issue (nature- biological endowment, genes. Nurture-
environment; physical, social, cultural, linguistic, economic, and historical) - would
you be the same person if you had different genes/ different environment?
Genes are like recipes, like blueprints/ instructions, take ingredients (things from
environment) to make an organism
Environment is the ingredient
Genes expect an environment (the same way a recipe makes an
assumption genes make assumptions, ie. ingredients will be fresh)
Nature vs. nurture decomposes into 2 issues:
1) Common abilities (CA) - yellow and blue mix to make green, makes no sense to
wonder which contributes more to make the green (dependent on both colours),
therefore green depends on 100% of the yellow paint and 100% of the blue paint.
Venn diagram, nature on one side, nurture on other side, common ability is in the
middle. This adds up to 200%, but that’s okay.
Common abilities: walking, speaking, thinking and reasoning, seeing, reading*
These are species typical; these will develop (without abnormalities)
Reading is not species typical, it can be considered borrowing of common abilities
(it depends on common abilities, like thinking and seeing)
Not common abilities: seeing UV light (vision system is specifically designed to only
see a small range of wavelengths of light), certain kinds of navigation (idk what that
Not CA: things that other species have that we lack
2) Individual differences: the second of the 2 issues of nature vs. nurture. If you vary
the yellow and blue you get different shades of green. Vary environment/ genes and
it changes the individual. **Differences in common ability are underwritten by differences in nature,
differences in nurture, or both. (Common ability still depends 100%, 100%).
Something that doesn't depend on other common abilities (like reading and music
does), and things that are born into our species (the UV light)
2) Continuity/Discontinuity Issue: is child development a continuous or
discontinuous process (continuous- a tree growing, discontinuous- a butterfly in
discrete stages), or both (some traits continuous, some discontinuous)
Examples: height: continuous, but if you look at height as a function of days there
are little jumps in a graph of height vs. time. The issue often turns on how often you
look when looking at continuity or discontinuity. If you look at height gain there are
discrete stages (grow a lot when you're a kid, level off at puberty, etc) - how do you
look at it?
Another example: the liquid conservation task- measures children's ability to use
logic and reasoning, is the development of this continuous or discontinuous?
(Experiment: "rocket fuel", equal amounts in same cups, pour one into a bigger
shorter cup and kids say they're different amounts). Younger kids usually fail and
older kids usually get it. A graph looks like a stair, looks like discrete processes. IT
depends critically on how often you look, if you look annually any changes will seem
like huge jumps, but if you look day to day it may seem more continuous. So,
depends on: how you look at it and how often you look.
3) Active/ Passive Child Issue: Passive = world acts on the child, active= child acts
on world. Example: Johnston and Morton, baby is sitting in a car seat and they're
moving the paddles with faces on them, measuring how much the babies are turning
their head (turning their