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Psych 3GG3 - Entire Course Notes

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McMaster University
Mel Rutherford

Chapter 1What is Developmental PsychologyPaul Almond7 UpEnglands Labour government had claimed to create a classless society however he believed that social class in England actually determined a childs opportunities and eventual outcomeCreated a longitudinal study following the same set of children at regular intervals over a long period of time to test this hypothesisThe films showed a lot of class stability and influence with some surprising exceptionsDevelopmental psychologythe scientific study of recurrent psychological changes across the human lifespan focusing on development from the prenatal period to early but sometimes middle and late adulthoodUtilizes the scientific method for descriptionsreporting at what age a child typically shows a particular set of skills and understanding or for explanationstesting current beliefs hypotheses that predict that changes in a given variable will affect another variable Hypothesiseducated guesses that can and should be testedScientific MethodAsk questiondo background researchconstruct hypothesistest hypothesisdraw conclusionIf hypothesis is true report resultsIf hypothesis is false try again reconstruct hypothesis start from thereDevelopment is inevitable the death of an individual creates an available niche and mechanisms for bringing new individuals into the world evolveGametesone of two sex cells egg or sperm that fuse together during fertilizationThe beginning of development is marked by the union of the complete genomeAdaptationa trait that is designed and preserved by the process of natural selection because that trait confers a reproductive advantage in the environment in which it evolvedSpeciestypical environmentthe environment that provides the features that the genome needs or expects in order to develop typicallyWhy study developmental psychologyTo see how information in these environments interacts with the developing child to bring about lasting changes and how deviations from the environments whether experimental or accidental will affect developmentTo provide information into adult psychological processes which may be too complex and difficult to studyTo determine how interactions with children affect their developmentNativistone who views development as being driven primarily or exclusive by internal forces information needed for development is assumed to exist within the developing child often this information is thought to be preserved in the genes iePlato JeanJacques Rousseau also called rationalismEmpiricistone who believes that all knowledge depends upon direct experience or empirical observation the newborns mind is a blank slate and requires exposure to information in order to gain knowledge ieAristotle John LockeCharles Darwin published A Biographical Sketch of the Infanta description of his infant sons developmentbecame known as baby biographyintensive study describing the activities of an individual babyththThe empirical field of child development research started to thrive in the late 1920 centuriesThe prediction followed that human children would develop in the same way that other young animals developturned out to be an inaccurate simplification but prompted further research re first pointG Stanley Hallfounder of developmental psychologyhad the first psychology lab first to use scientific method on child developmentemphasized the maturational process that characterized child developmentbelieved that children developed following and inherent plan that would unfold more or less automatically given the proper circumstances started the normative approachthe study of development in which norms or averages are computed over a large population and individual development is compared to these normsArnold Gesell followed Halls views of normative development and maturational processfurthered these methods and using his methods one was able to tell whether or not an individual child was developing normally in areas such as motor social and personality development first person to make baby milestones available to parentsJohn Watsonfather of behaviourismextreme empiricistbelieved that variation in individuals is entirely dependent on how they were raisedbelieved behaviour could be entirely controlled via reward and punishment trainingClassical conditioningassociation of two events and Operant conditioningbehaviour and outcomeJean Piagetcognitive development started off as running intelligence tests on children noticed that it wasnt just the quantitative differences in older children to younger children ieolder kids got numerically more questions right but they were qualitatively different iethey asked different things saw things different understood differentlyGenetic epistemologyPiagetdescribes the process of cognitive development from birth through to late adolescence the study of knowledge developmentPiagets theory of cognitive developmentstage theory which predicted that children attained a certain set of cognitive skills at a certain stage and were limited by skills characterizing their stage until they entered the new stage and received a whole new set of cognitive skillsClinical methodPiageta research method involving a semistructured interview the researcher approaches the interview with a planned set of questions but may have followed up on or probed areas of interest depending upon the childs responsesLev Vygotskydeveloped his theory of social development which emphasized the influence of culture and other people on a childs development knowledge and thinking believed much of a childs cognitive development resulted from the dialectical processa process of shared problemsolvingworking together adultchild to problem solve a task togetherZone of proximal developmentVygotskythe tasks a child can complete with and without adult supportWithout genes nothing develops and without the necessary environmental input nothing developsbam you need nature and nurture who wouldve thoughtEvolutionary psychologyan approach to the study of psychology that holds that being well informed about the process of evolution as well as the circumstances in which our ancestors lived during our evolutionary history will aid us understanding the function and design of the human mindChildren develop as a result of an intricate interaction between the environment and the developing child and they do so as a result of developmental demands that recurred in the environment in which our ancestors evolvedThe blank slate model is contradicted by evolutionary theory because a blank slate a child that knows nothing and could be taught anything contradicts the fact that psychological processes promote survival and reproduction through evolutionHow evolutionary psychology contributes to developmental psychology1promotes research that is consistent with what is known about evolution by natural selection2 provides guidance in terms of hypothesis testingHow developmental psychology contributes to evolutionary psychology1provides insight into how an adult comes into being2allows an opportunity to examine how changes in the environment during development lead to changes in the adult3buffers evolutionary psychologists from accusations of genetic determinism4allows them to study nonadult adaptationsGenes do not inevitably lead to predetermined outcomesOnly evolution by natural selection can explain otherwise improbably complex traitsDarwins arguments for the evolution of complex adaptive traits1natural species have enough potential fertility to increase exponentially blanketing the planet with individuals if unfettered2populations tend to remain more or less stable3natural resources such as food water and suitable shelter are limited4there is a struggle to acquire resources and survive the winners of this competition are those best suited to solve the challenges of their current environment5there is variability in the population with respect to many traits some relevant and some irrelevant to survival and reproduction6these variables are heritable7success in this struggle to survive is not random there is an advantage to those whose genetic inheritance is well suited to their current environment the unequal success with respect to survival and reproduction due to genetic inheritance is natural selection8over many generations of natural selection individuals become better and better suited to their environment with adaptations that are more complex efficient effective reliably developing etcSelection pressures are environmentspecific and adaptations are designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems in a particular environmentBy knowingstudying the environment to which the adaptations are suited you can learn about the adaptations themselves and why they adapted because they adapted to suit perfectly the environment in which our ancestors existed
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