Wednesday, February 22, 2017
HOW DO WE BECOME SOCIALLY SKILLED ?
-Professor Gedeon O. Deak
➢ Why study development?
○ “explaining [quantum physics] is child’s play compared to [explaining] child’s play” - Albert
○ Why is it important?
■ Basis for deciding how to treat disabilities
■ Potential to improve education; parenting
■ Improve the lives of infants/children at risk ie. low income children have a worse
prognosis for education, health, etc. outcomes → can look at the impacts of children
in regions in the middle of a war
■ To know a trait, and know how it emerges
● ie. Walking emerges in various ways, but every infant first starts with alternating
➢ Development of Social Skills
○ What sorts of skills (basic)?
■ Kin recognition or “system identification” ie. in hooved mammals, infants and their
mothers are able to recognize each other by smell (when the baby is born, the mother
licks the amniotic fluid off the baby which changes her olfactory system/cues) →
evolutionarily, it’s so that the mother isn’t feeding all of the children, just their own
● Humans can use smell to recognize people (also voice → can hear the mother
when in utero due to prenatal experience) but vision is the primary sense
○ Some things are people, and they do useful things for you. What are people like?
■ What do people look like?
■ How do people move around?
● Bertenthal et al, 1987. Do 3-month-olds discriminate biological motion? →
infants are sensitive to some sense of biological motion - they are learning
some expectation of actions/behaviors in the world
● when changing the orientation of the pattern (ie. a person walking) we lose the
perception of the person
● Habituation - with the repetition of a stimulus, the response is lessened