PSYC1030 Developmental Psych notes

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Prof Blake Mc Kimmie

PSYC1030: Developmental Psychology Studying development Cross-sectional studies: compare groups of participants of different ages at a single time to see whether differences exist among them - Useful for providing a snapshot of age differences, or variations among people - Do not directly assess age changes Longitudinal studies: assess the same individuals over time, providing the opportunity to assess age changes rather than age differences - Reveal differences in an individual’s character over time due to experiences or changes - People born at different times might show different trajectories or developmental paths Sequential studies: studying multiple cohorts longitudinally - Allows researchers to distinguish between age effects and cohort effects - Take years or decades to cpmplete Infancy Nature vs. Nurture The extent to which individual development occurs according to genetically programmed maturation (nature) or learning and experience (nurture) Plasticity: brain doubles in size in first two years of life Gene-environment interactions: impact of genes on behavior depends on environment in which individual develops Nature via nurture: genetic predispositions drive us to select and create particular environments Senses  Vision o 20cm fixed focus at birth o Adult vision by 8 months of age  Hearing o Sound localisation at birth o Listening preferences at birth - heartbeat  Taste o Preference for sweet tastes  Touch o Skin-to-skin contact important to development  Smell o Babies recognise mother’s smell at 1 month Newborn reflexes  Moro (Startle)  Grasping  Rooting – when cheek is brushed or stroked, infant turns head in direction of touch  Sucking – infants suck rhythmically in response to stimulation 3-4cm inside mouth  Stepping Motor skills development Age (months) Skill 2 Lifts chin 5 Sits alone 6 Stands with support 7 Crawling 9 Walks with support 11 Stands alone 12 Walks alone Emotional expressions  Happiness  Fear  Digust  Sadness  Anger  Surprise  Interest  distress Temperament  Easy o Readily approach and adapt to new situations o Regular in sleep and eating routines o Positive overall mood  Difficult o Withdraw from or are slow to adapt to new situations o Intense reactions o Negative mood and frequent crying episodes o Irregular routines  Slow to warm up o Withdraw from or are slow to adapt to new situations o Low level of activity o Show a lot of negative mood Experiments with infants Preferential sucking technique: babies suck dummy to make a tape play  Infants prefer their maternal language Preferential looking technique: babies look at one or another visual display  Babies prefer to look at human faces Habituation technique: babies look at one type of display until bored, then second display is presented  Babies distinguish male from female faces Violation of expectation paradigm: researches create ‘magic show’ with surprising outcome  Babies expect objects to obey laws of gravity Attachment Dependency theory ‘Cupboard love’ – attachment based on needs and primary motivation of receiving food Ethological studies Konrad Lorenz (1935): studies of imprinting in geese  Tendency to follow animal to which they were exposed during a sensitive period early in life  Infant/parent bond not based on food Harlow & Zimmermann (1959): infant Rhesus monkeys raised in isolation; some provided with feeding surrogate mother and/or soft surrogate mother  Isolates with soft surrogate clung to it  Isolates with both feeding surrogate and soft surrogate clung to soft  Isolates without soft surrogate showed bizarre behavior  Isolates re-introduced to groups exhibited antisocial behavior and were unable to mate Attachment theory Bowlby (1969): A baby loves its mother because she provides security  On par with feeding and mating  Developed by 8-9 months  Infants show separation anxiety on being separated from their attachment figures Non-attachment in early years causes lifelong psychological malfunction Critical period theory Development characterized by critical periods in which there is sensitivity to specific types of learning  After these periods, stimulus has little to no effect Challenges to critical period theory:  Monkey experiments challenge critical period hypothesis as isolates housed with juveniles recovered from their antisocial behavior  Outcomes for orphaned, abandoned human babies – early deprivation can be overcome Attachment behavioural system Separation anxiety begins to show at 6-7 months A: anxious avoidant  30% of infants in Western cultures  Infant tends to ignore mother  Explores freely; less avoidant of strangers; no distress at separation; no proximity seeking at reunion Mothers more likely to report disliking contact with infants B: secure  55% of infants in Western cultures  Baby uses mother as secure base  Explores room after warm up period; distressed at separation; seeks contact at reunion Mothers likely to be more ‘sensitive’ – spend greater time in face-to-face contact C: anxious ambivalent  15% of infants in Western cultures  Infant cannot cope in strange situation  Clings to mother; prone to hysteria at separation; aggressive on reunion Mothers more likely to be inconsistent in their responses to their infants Implications of attachment for later development Early relationship experiences later relationship behaviour Not the only determinant of later behaviour Adult attachment based around relationship partner Separation protest: become distressed when partner is unavailable Secure base: derive security and confidence from relationship Safe haven: seek comfort from partner in times of stress Proximity seeking: desire to be with partner Avoidant: - Described as insecure and detached in preschool - Dismiss importance of attachment relationships Secure: - Higher self-esteem - More socially competent - Have more positive expectations about what they can expect from relationships Ambivalent: - Appear preoccupied with and ambivalent about their parents Language development Age (months) Skill 1-5 Vocalizes randomly i.e. coos, laughs, cries 6-18 Babbling: verbalizes in response to speech of others 10-13 First words 12-18 One-word sentence stage; uses nouns primarily; over-extensions begin 18-24 Vocabulary spurt Age (years) Skill 2 Two-word sentence stage; uses more pronouns and verbs 2.5 Three-word sentence stage; modifies speech to take listener into account 3 Uses complete simple active sentence structure; tells stories 3.5 Expanded grammatical forms; uses four-word sentences 4 Uses imaginary speech; uses five-word sentences 5 Well-developed and complex syntax 6 Displays metalinguistic awareness Input  Linguistic sensitivity in infancy - Young babies can hear all phonetic distinctions  ‘Motherese’ - High pitch, elevated contours - Babies prefer it Output  Babbling - Young babies produce all phonetic distinctions  Pointing - Usually just precedes infant’s first word Word learning Joint attention: infants and toddlers watch to see what people are attending to as they speak The indeterminacy problem: ‘what a cute bunny’ could refer to the whole animal or just it’s ears or a rabbit in daylight or an edible mammal etc. Whole object assumption: babies ‘assume’ that names refer to whole objects First words: Object names: ball, doggie, book Simple actions: drink, give, uh-oh Pragmatic functors: bye-bye Overextensions:Moon could refer to moon or lightbulb or white circle Underextensions: dog refers to one dog but not all other dogs Naming explosion: occurs at 18mths or after 50-75 words are acquired - Children learn an average of 9 words per day until age 6 Syntax - Two-word stage at 18mths - New level of linguistic power - Word order errors very rare - After 3 word stage, complexity of language increases dramatically Nature vs. nurture debate Language is built into the human brain: - Developmental regularity of language acquisition - Children say things they’ve never heard - Humans born with Language Acquisition Device (LAD), an innate set of neural structures for learning language (Chomsky) - Deaf children use grammatical constructions their parents do not know in sign language Language is learned in human interaction: - Variation in languages across the world - Children learn language by imitation Piaget’s Theory Assimilation: interpreting actions or events in terms of one’s present schemas (i.e. infant’s tendency to suck anything that will fit into its mouth) Cognitive development occurs through… Accommodation: modification of schemas to fit reality (i.e. infant with sucking schema presented with a cup so they must modify the schema to drink from this device) Equilibration: balancing assimilation and accommodation to adapt to the world – infants either try to fit new things into existing schemas, combine schemas to construct an entirely new schema to fit the new reality Stages of development 1. Infancy: Sensorimotor development (0-2)  Reflexes - Modifiable starting-state schemas which form basis of later schemas - Grasp, look etc.  Incomplete object concept - Not understanding that objects continue to exist even when they aren’t visible - Achieve object permanence – the recognition that objects exist in time and space independent of the child’s actions towards them  Entirely egocentric view 2. Early childhood: Preoperational Tho
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