CHYS 1F90 Study Guide - Final Guide: White Privilege, Philip Zimbardo, Peekaboo

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CHYS 1F90 Exam Definitions
Scarr and McCartney’s Genotype Environment Effects
Genotypes are inherited genes that are expressed through phenotypes, which are observable
characteristics and behaviours. Sandra Scarr and Kathleen McCartney created the theory of
genotype  environment effects. Together they proposed the idea that a person’s genotype drives
their experience. There are three types of genotype  environment effects. The first type is
passive. It occurs when biological parents raise their child. Its effects decrease over time,
promotes similarities in siblings and has inseparable effects of genetics and environment. For
example, parents who are constantly uptight and worried about situations may lead their children
to think and behave similarly, seeing as they are exposed to this kind of behaviour from an early
age. The second is evocative. This affects the behaviour of others in the environment and
presumably remains constant. The child’s genotype elicits responses from others. Also, the
“unshared” environment increases differences among siblings in this evocative effect. For
example, children who are significantly impacted by their surroundings may be more likely to
conform to those around them Finally, there is the active effect. This effect shows how different
genotypes are attracted to different environments based on what seems comfortable to the
individual. This results in different experiences, which is also referred to as Niche-Picking. The
influence of this effect increases over time. It also states that children in the same home may
become increasingly different because of their active genotypes. For example, children who are
extroverted may seek different social situations than those who are more shy and withdrawn.
Myelination
Myelination is the process of coating neurons with myelin sheath. This process occurs at
different rates and promotes the faster transmission of electric impulses and signals. Myelin is a
fatty substance that surrounds the axons of neurons. The process of myelination begins in the
prenatal months and continues through adolescence and beyond. Sensory pathways to the brain
are myelinated at birth. For instance, pathways involving taste, touch, vision and hearing. Over
the first few years of life, myelination continues to proceed rapidly. However, the prefrontal
cortex is not fully myelinated until adolescence. Once myelination has occurred, the myelinated
nerve fibers fire more rapidly, have lower thresholds of sensitivity to stimulation and have
greater functional specificity. Overall, they function better than non-myelinated fibers.
Neural Darwinism
Neural Darwinism is the idea that the brain produces more neurons than can be used. As a result,
neurons must compete with one another to survive. Neurons in different locations actively
attempt to recruit neurons from adjacent brain regions over to their group. Each group is
associated with a function. For example, one group may be responsible for vision while another
group is responsible for auditory functions. Groups who receive the most stimulation develop
stronger synaptic connections. Thus, the weaker groups die off. A person’s experience produces
neuronal activity in the brain. If the neurons receive no neuronal activity, it will result in cell
death. This selective cell death usually begins during the late prenatal period.
Piaget’s Stages of Development
Jean Piaget stated that development occurs over four main stages: the sensorimotor stage, the
preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage and the formal operations stage. The
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sensorimotor stage occurs from birth to the age of two. This is when sensory inputs and motor
capabilities become coordinated. The development of imitation and object permanence also take
place. Through object permanence, infants learn that things still exist once hidden from view.
This can be done by playing peek-a-boo or placing an object underneath a cloth or blanket that
the child can remove to find the object. From the ages of two to seven is when the preoperational
stage is in effect. The child’s use of symbols increases. It is an important preconceptual period in
which children make use of symbolic function through symbolic pretend play. More specifically,
this kind of learning can take place by playing house, school, doctor or any other kind of role
playing activities. The concrete operational stage occurs from seven to eleven years of age.
Children are now able to think more logically about real objects and experiences. They are also
now able to conserve and reverse thought. Finally, the formal operations stage occurs from age
eleven to twelve and beyond. Children now have the ability to think more rationally and
systematically about abstract concepts and hypothetical events.
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory describes cognitive development as driven by collaborative
dialogues with more knowledgeable members of society. This may vary from culture to culture.
From a sociocultural perspective, cognitive development is inseparable from cultural context.
The process of cognitive change is seen as a “child as apprentice.” Children’s intellectual
processes are developed within adult-child exchanges to handle problems pertinent to their
specific environment. Vygotsky also states that a child’s understanding of the physical world
exists within an understanding of the sociocultural world. In terms of cognitive development, it
progresses through the collaborations of members of one generation with another generation.
The final component of the sociocultural theory is that thought is always social, even when a
child is alone. Concepts are constantly being constructed and interpreted by culture. Placing
children in social settings to learn is a prime example of putting Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory
into practice. Guiding children to look for answers by imitating what they see in others, listening
to instruction and working as part of a group all provide opportunities for them to expand their
current base of knowledge.
Thomas and Chess Temperament Profiles
Temperament refers to a person’s stable emotional reactivity and intensity. Theorists Thomas
and Chess state that babies display one of three basic temperaments: easy, difficult or slow-to-
warm-up. They defined each temperament’s characteristics by the baby’s modes of responding to
environmental events. Some of these include activity level, irritability, soothability, fearfulness
and sociability. Easy temperament babies have a generally positive mood, regular habits and are
adaptable to change. These are the babies that are seen constantly smiling and are fine in social
settings with new people. On the other hand, difficult babies are active, irritable and react
negatively to novelty. These babies do not particularly like change and do not react well to new
environments. The third slow-to-warm-up temperament involves babies that are moody, inactive
and will eventually adapt to novelty. This temperament is a medium between easy and difficult
babies, displaying a middle ground between the characteristics of both temperaments.
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory focuses on the social contexts around students and the
people who influence them. This theory has 5 environmental systems: microsystem, mesosystem,
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exosystem, macrosystem and chronosystem. The microsystem includes the child’s family, peers,
school and neighborhood. Within microsystems, students have direct interactions with others.
The student is also active in reciprocal interactions and constructions of contexts and settings.
The mesosystem links elements of the microsystem. This includes extended family, the school
board and religious settings. The experience in one mesosystem can influence student
interactions in another mesosystem. In relation, rejection in one mesosytem can lead to difficulty
developing positive relationships in other microsystems. Third is the exosystem. The exosystem
involves experiences in another setting in which students have no active role. Instead, it
influences the experiences of students and teachers. For example, the quality of schools and
parks and recreation in terms of resource and funding allocations. The exosystem can also help
or hinder development. The macrossystem involves the broader culture of students and teachers,
including values and customs. Culture specifically includes the role of ethnicity and
socioeconomic factors. Finally, the chronosystem involves sociohistorical conditions of students’
development. For instance, Aboriginal history, exposure to changes in child care and exposure to
technology.
Erik Erikson’s Theory
Erik Erikson’s theory suggests that people go through eight stages throughout their lifetime. To
pass onto the next stage, basic needs must be met to allow for progression. The first stage, trust
vs. mistrust, occurs from birth to eighteen months. During this time, infants are learning to trust
their caregivers which can be reinforced through feeding and responding to emotional needs.
Autonomy vs. shame and doubt occurs during ages two to three. The toddler is now learning
basic independence through toilet training and clothing themselves. Initiative vs. guilt is during
the third to fifth years of life. The preschooler is learning rights and wrongs through exploration.
Between the ages of six to eleven, the child is in the industry vs. inferiority stage. They are trying
to make sense of the world through interactions at school and being involved in extra curricular
activities. Identity vs. role confusion occurs from the age of twelve to eighteen. Adolescents are
learning who they are through social relationships. Next is intimacy vs. isolation, from nineteen
to fourty years of age. Young adults are learning to love, specifically by experimenting with
romantic relationships. Generativity vs. stagnation takes place between the ages of fourty and
sixty five. In their adulthood, individuals are focused on making their lives count by working and
establishing a household. The final stage from the age of sixty five and beyond is ego integrity
vs. despair. In this last stage, individuals are reaching their final maturation and reflect on their
life thus far.
Locus of Control
Julian Rotter introduced the idea of locus of control, which refers to how an individual thinks
about what is responsible for actions and results. There are two main patters for locus of control,
either internal or external. The internal condition is inside the learner whereas the external
condition exists outside of the learner. The challenge for teachers is to set the external conditions
that support and spark the internal conditions. If a person has an internal locus of control, then
they attribute success or failure on a task to themselves. For example, a positive result on an
exam would be attributed to effective study habits and personal effort. If a person has an external
locus of control, then they would attribute either success or failure to environmental impacts that
are outside of the individual’s control. For example, the same positive result on the exam would
be attributed to luck or an easy exam.
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