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Lecture 3

PSY 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Secondary Sex Characteristic, Deindividuation, Mental Chronometry

Course Code
PSY 110

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Cognitive Development
A. Cognition = mental activities associated with thinking
1. Reasoning
2. Memory
B. Childhood Jean Piaget's theory
1. Describe how cognition changes as we mature
2. Two ways we deal with new information:
i. Assimilation
a. Incorporate new information into existing knowledge
b. Treat new objects/info as is they are things we are familiar with
c. Example: child assimilates a moose into her cow schema (thinks moose
is a cow)
ii. Accommodation
a. More sophisticated strategy
b. Change our understanding of the world to fit new info
c. Example: child learns moose are different from cows because they have
3. Four stages of thought:
i. Sensorimotor Stage (birth to 2 years)
a. Learn about objects by manipulating them
b. Coordinate sensory input with motor actions
c. Acquire object permanence
1. Realize objects continue to exist even when we cannot see
2. Marks the end of the sensorimotor stage
ii. Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 years)
a. Can use symbolic representations of objects (memory)
b. Egocentrism can't distinguish own from others' perspectives
c. Animism believe inanimate objects have animate qualities
d. Syncretism believe simultaneously-occurring events are connected
e. Don't understand conservation idea that an object's physical
properties don't change just because they look different
f. Centration tend to focus on one feature of a problem or object,
ignoring others
iii. Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 11 years)
a. Less egocentric, syncretic, animistic
b. Understand conservation
c. Can think logically with tangible objects and real events
d. Still have difficulty with hypothetical thinking
iv. Formal Operation Stage (12 years to adult)
a. Systematic, logical thought, even when dealing with abstract or
hypothetical concepts
4. Some Problems
i. Piaget underestimated children's abilities (age groups are exact)
ii. Sometimes children fluctuate between stages
5. Contributions
i. Helps parents understand children's capabilities
ii. Helps with curriculum design
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C. Adulthood
1. Intellectual Performance
i. Evens off between 40s and 60s
ii. Slight decline after 60, but still good overall
iii. Declines may be due to shower motor speed, sensory decline
iv. Best way to keep intellectual skills is to use them
2. Memory
i. Very slight, steady decline after mid-30s for recall tasks
ii. There is generally less decline in recognition tasks
Physical and Motor Development
A. Human Gestation
1. 40 weeks
2. Age of viability point at which infant can survive if born prematurely
i. Now about 22-26 weeks
ii. Often complications if born before 26th week
3. Three developmental periods:
i. Germinal Stage
a. Conception to 2 weeks
b. Egg and sperm unite, forming a zygote
c. Around 7-14 days, zygote attaches to uterine wall
d. Problems:
1. Many fertilized eggs never implant
2. Ectopic pregnancy
ii. Embryonic Stage
a. 2 8 weeks post-conception
b. All body organs begin to form and function
c. All appendages form (from inside out)
d. Problems
1. Period of highest vulnerability to toxins
2. Most miscarriages occur during this period
iii. Fetal Stage
a. 8 40 weeks post-conception
b. Further growth and development of existing structures, organs
c. Many sensory capabilities fairly well developed
d. Problems:
1. Usually due to premature birth (under-developed senses,
immune system)
4. Factors the influence development
i. Environmental
a. Teratogens any agent that harm the growing organism
1. Most harmful during embryonic period
2. Types: viruses, drugs, alcohol, etc.
b. Malnutrition
ii. Genetic
a. Chromosome Problems (example: down syndrome)
b. Others
B. Birth
1. Born with all the neurons we will ever have but pathways not well formed
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