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Child Development.docx

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University of Washington

Primary Questions  Nature VS Nurture  Continuity VS Stages  Stability VS Change o Across developmental stages How Do We Study Preverbal Infants’ Abilities?  Habituation– reduced responding to something that is experienced repeatedly  Preferential Looking- looking time  Sucking Rate- play different sounds??  Electrophysiology- non invasive. Watch brain responses What Can Newborns Do?  They have no top-down processing, no previous understanding//being bombarded with information and expected to learn.  Physical: motor reflexes o Grasping o Rooting- turning cheek  Cognitive: cries  Different types of cries (annoyed, hungry, in pain)  Social: imitation// have ability to mimic faces Preferential Attention in Newborns  Speech over non-speech sounds  Native (mom’s) language  Mom’s voice  Motherese  Exaggerate sounds (sing-songy)  Now called “parentese”  Faces or face likes stimuli Developing Brain  Most cells are present at birth  Early development involves creating networks and “pruning” unnecessary cells  Enormous plasticity at birth (much more malleable at young age than at old age) Motor Development  First, infants begin to roll over.  Next, they sit unsupported, crawl, and finally walk.  Experience has little effect on this sequence.  Sitting unsupported: 6 months  Crawling: 8-9 months  Beginning to walk: 12 months  Walking independently: 15 months  *understand stages (sitting before crawling, etc), not actual details (i.e. crawling at 8-9 months) Memory Development  Previously didn’t realize how powerful associative learning is in babies  Associative learning (2-3 month olds) o Example: amount of kicking when hooked up to a string (connected to a mobile) compared to kicking without anything Infantile Amnesia  Earliest “autobiographical” memories come from about 3 ½ years-5 years of age  Original memory VS reconstructed memory o Reconstructed= seeing pictures + hearing the story so many times that you believe that you remember it o To verify… in your memory are you small?  We are clearly learning, but how come we cannot remember things?  WHY?? o Language  We don’t have a good language system  Can talk by 3, but pretty fluent by 3 years old o Sense of self  Need to know that you are a separate entity  i.e. when playing hide + seek or when in trouble.. you close your eyes thinking you have disappeared o Biology Cognitive Development  Our understanding of the categories/classes of things, relationships between concepts  Our cognitive development is shaped by our environment and the errors we make o Learn from trial and error: trying to slide on a mini slide, trying to get in a mini toy car Jean Piaget (1896-1980)  Biologist (moved from studying mollusks to his own children!)  1. Schemas & Language o Schemas are mental models of the world. Children learn through assimilation and accommodation.  i.e. Gabriella learns schema for “cow” from her picture books. She sees a moose and calls it a “cow” she is trying to assimilate this new animal into an existing scheme. Her mother tells her, “no it’s a moose” Gabriella accommodates her schema for large, shaggy animals an
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