Ch13 – Developmental Psychology
• What is developmental psychology
• Cross sectional approach
– Study in a single slice of time
– How does „X‟ interact right now
• Longitudinal approach
– Study across time
– How does „X‟ change over time
• Developmental questions can often only be answered by longitudinal studies
– Or successive cross sections
3 From Conception to Birth
Called a zygote, embryo or fetus UNTIL birth (then can be called a baby)
• Germinal Stage (approximately 2 weeks)
• Embryonic Stage
- Ectoderm (outer layer)
- Mesoderm (middle layer)
- Endoderm (inner layer – digestive system, etc.)
Embryo lives in amniotic sac (fluid filled), which protects embryo and maintains constant temperature.
• Fetal Stage (development of bone cells = fetus) starts at approximately week 9
- Age of viability (between week 22 and week 28) fetus is developed enough to survive outside mother
• Newborn (can now be called a baby)
• ANY environmental agents that interfere with normal differentiation and growth
- Anything the mother ingests (knowingly or not) that affects growth (drugs, alcohol, nicotine, etc).
- Stops the cells from growing the way they should
– Malformations of organs & physical characteristics (arm stumps, deafness etc.)
– Effects are worst during the period that individual structures are forming
– Rubella (German measles - virus) / Thalidomide (drug developed to fight morning sickness in the
1950‟s, caused birth defects – such as missing limbs, deformities, etc.)
• Not all embryos are equally affected
• Same defect can be caused by different teratogens
• A variety of effects by a single teratogen
• The longer the exposure, the more serious harm
• Long term effects are also influenced by postnatal environ.
5 Infant Reflexes (Video Clip)
• Reflex – neonate organized pattern of behaviour (automatic responses to stimuli)
• Survival reflexes (help the baby survive)
– Enable the newborn to adapt to the environment
• Primitive reflexes
– Controlled by subcortical areas – disappear
• Infant states
– Levels of sleep and wakefulness
1 6 Survival Reflexes
• Eye blink
• Pupillary (pupils expand and contract depending on light conditions)
• Rooting (stroke baby‟s cheek, it will turn head toward you and open mouth)
• Sucking (put something on inside of baby‟s lips, they suck)
• Swallowing (put something in baby‟s mouth, fear the back, it swallows it)
7 Primitive Reflexes (will go away)
• Babinski (stroke sole of baby‟s foot, they curl toes) – should disappear in 8 months
• Palmar grasping (put pressure in baby‟s hand, they grasp) – should disappear between 4-6 months
• Moro (shoulders back, head turtles – when startled) - should disappear between 4-6 months
• Swimming (submerge baby in water, close eyes/mouth, arch head up and paddles up to the surface)
– should disappear in 4 months
• Stepping (hold baby up, they move legs as steps forward)
– should disappear in 8 weeks, unless practiced
8 Reflex Significance
• Provide adaptive means to respond right from day 1
• Diagnostic clues
• Some reflexes disappear during development
– Lack of proper functioning is an important diagnostic tool
9 Temperament (tendency to respond to something in predictable way) and Development
• Hereditary influences
– Components are genetically influenced.
• Environmental influences on temperament
– Home environment of siblings clearly influences positively toned aspects of
• Activity level, irritability, sociability, and shyness are stable temperament components.
• Children who are at the extremes (high/low) show more stability
– Children who are at moderate levels (the majority) show higher levels of fluctuation.
10 Temperament and Development (cont.)
• Scarr, Thomas/Chess
- Children, in some ways, produce their own environment
– Genetic make up is very important
– There is not a 1:1 relationship between parenting style and later child temperament
• Different children Different Strategies (listen to lecture again, make notes on this)
– Slow to warm up
• Environmental impact
11 What Are Emotional Attachments?
• Attachments are reciprocal relationships.
• 7 months (primary attachment) – infants have an attachment figure
– Then become attached to other individuals
– Primary attachment figure is generally the mother (or the caregiver around most)
– Secondary attachment could be father, grandparents, siblings, etc. (anyone that is around often)
• Establishment of interactional synchrony
– Coordinated interactions between infant and caregiver occur several times a day.
– Important to establishing emotional attachments
2 12 Theories of Attachment (cont.)
Infants of many species display the “kewpie-doll” (cuteness response) effect that makes them
appear lovable and elicits caregivers‟ attention.
13 Two Attachment-Related Fears of Infancy
• Stranger anxiety (Starts around 6 months)
• Separation anxiety (anxiety expressed when physically separated from caregiver(s))
- Why do infants fear strangers and separations?
– The ethological viewpoint states that a fear or avoidance response has become
– The cognitive-developmental viewpoint states that infants have developed stable
schemes concerning their caregivers.
14 Individual Differences in Attachment
• Assessing attachment security through the strange situation test
– Secure attachment – infants have trust in caregiver, doesn‟t usually cry - is happy when mom returns
– Resistant attachment – infants is upset when mother leaves, and when returns – sometimes anger
– Avoidant attachment – infant not usually upset when mother leaves or returns
– Disorganized/disoriented attachment - confusion
15 The Prelinguistic Period
• The ability to discriminate speech from nonspeech and to differentiate a variety of
speechlike sounds is either innate or acquired in the first few days of life.
– Intonational cues are an important aspect of learning to understand speech.
• Producing sounds: The infant's prelinguistic vocalizations
– Cooing (vowel sounds)
– Babbling (repetitive vowel and consonant combinations) starts at approx. 4-6 months
• What do prelinguistic infants know about language and communication?
– Gestures and nonverbal responses begin by 8 to 10 months of age.
– Receptive language is ahead of productive language. (ability to comprehend language is virtually
always ahead of ability to produce language)
16 The Holophrastic Period
• Holophrase: A single word that seems to represent an entire sentence's worth of meaning (ex: ball!)
• Early semantics: Building a vocabulary is a one-word-at-a-time process.
• Attaching meaning to words: Fast mapping (meaning of a word is learned after hearing it a few times)
– Common errors in word use
•Overextension: Using a word to refer to a wider variety of objects or events than an
•Underextension: Tendency to use a general word to refer to a smaller range of
objects than an adult would
17 The Telegraphic Period (listen to this section again for age info)
• Telegraphic speech contains only critical content words, such as nouns, verbs, and
adjectives, while leaving out articles, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs.
• Telegraphic speech varies in meaning according to context; semantics can be differ