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PSYC 251 Study Guide - Final Guide: Speech Perception, Social Learning Theory, Joint Attention

Course Code
PSYC 251
Study Guide

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Child Psychology
Themes in Child Development
*Nature— biological endowment (genes)
*Nurture— experience (environment)
-Infants and young children contribute to own development through attentional patterns, use of language and choice of activities
-Developmental changes involve complex interplay between experiences, genes, brain structures and activities
-Contexts shaping development include people with children interact with (family and friends), institutions they participate in (schools, religious organizations), and
societal beliefs and values (related to race, ethnicity and class)
-Individual differences reflect differences in genes, treatment by others, interpretations of own experiences and choice of environments
Methods for Studying Child Development
-Scientific method— question, hypothesis, test, conclusion
-Useful measure = relevant, reliable (independent observation of a given behaviour are consistent), and valid (measure assesses what is intended to measure)
-Interviews (useful for revealing objective experience), naturalistic observations (useful when goal is to describe how children behave in everyday environment) and
structured observations (useful when goal is to describe how different children react to identical situations)
-Correlation causation — correlation (indicates degree two variables are associated) causation (indicates changing the value of one variable will change the value of
-Correlational designs useful when goal is to describe relations among variables of when variables of interest cannot be manipulated)
-Experimental designs valuable for revealing causes of children's behaviour
-Date obtained through cross-sectional designs (examining different children of different ages), longitudinal designs (examining the same children at different ages), or
microgenetic designs (same children repeated experience over short time and analyzing change precess in detail)
Chapter 3: Biology and Behaviour
Nature and Nurture
-Interplay between nature and nurture are constant
-Development beans with genotype (genes inherited at conception from parents), genes expresses become observable characteristics— dominance patters allow some
genes to be expresses— most traits influenced by multiple genes— genes switch on and off over time during development— process affected by methylation
-Outcome of genotype continent on environment it develops in— parents behaviour towards children influenced by own genotypes— child’s development influence by
environment they seek out and different responses characteristics/behaviour evoke in others
-Behavioural genetics concerned with joint influence of genetic and environmental factors on behaviour— behavioural patterns found to run in families and heritability
estimates used to evaluate relative contribution of heredity and environment to behaviour
Brain Development
-Neurons = basic units of brains informational system, transmits information via electrical signals, impulses transmitted from one neuron to another at synapses
-Cortex—involved in higher functions— different areas specialized for general behavioural categories— cortex divided into two cerebral hemispheres, each specialized
to certain processing modes (cerebral lateralization)
-Brain development— begins with neurogenesis and differentiation of neurons— synaptogenesis— profusion of connections among neurons generates starting
prenatally and continuing for first few years after birth— synaptic pruning sheds excess connections among neurons
-Experience strengthens of eliminates synapses— fine tuning involves experience-expectant processes (existing synapses are preserves as function of stimulation of all
humans) and experience dependent processes (new connections formed as function of learning)
-Plasticity— brain can rewire itself in response to damage— makes developing brain vulnerable to absence of stimulation at sensitive periods in development
-Ability for brain to recover from injury depends on age— very early damage during neurogenesis and synaptogenesis can have devastating effects— damage during
preschool years when synapse eliminating occurs less likely to have permanent harmful effects
The Body: Physical Growth and Development
-Humans undergo prolonged period of physical growth (uneven— proceeds rapidly early in life/adolescence) —secular tends have been observed in increases in
average height/weight
-Food preferences begin with innate response by newborns to basic tastes— additional preference result through experiences— problems with regulation of eating
evident in NA where obesity epidemic related to environmental and genetic factors
-Rest of world dominant problem is undernutrition— associated with poverty leading to behavioural/physical problems in children— prevention is needed to allow
children to develop normal brains and bodies
Online Quiz
1.) Variables X and Y are positively correlated. This correlation indicates which of the following?
-C/D True (Y/X increases) (X/Y decreases)
2.) Werners Kauai study demonstrated which of the following?
-Some biological disadvantages lead to long term negative outcomes only if there are also environmental disadvantages
3.)An adoption twin study is conducted to examine the role of genetics and environment on musical ability. Which of the following results would lead to a conclusion
that environmental factors are NOT very important in determining and individual’s musical ability?
-Identical twins who were reared together are no more similar in musical ability than identical twins reared apart
4.) The finding that children who grow up in troubled homes are more likely than other children to become schizophrenic is evidence of:
-The influence of nurture
5.)A class of 3rd graders is split into two groups through random assignment. Group A is given training in a new game and Group B is not. Both groups are then tested
on their skill in playing the new game. We consider Group A to be the ___ group and Group B to be the ___ group.
-Experimental; control
6.) Which of the following is a mechanism for genetic differences between parents and off spring?
-All of the above are mechanisms for genetic difference between parents and off springs( crossing over, mutation, random assortment in the formation of germ cells)
7.)Which of the following does not belong with the others?
8.) A clinical interview would probably be the method of choice for a researcher interested in:
-Obtaining extensive information about a single child’s feelings about his friendships

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Chapter 4: Theories of Cognitive Development
Piaget’s Theory
-Conveys children's thinking at different ages (stage theory)
-Constructivist— depicts children as constructing knowledge in response to experience— children learn through two processes present from birth (assimilation and
accommodation) which are balances between equilibration producing continuities across development
-Divides cognitive development into 4 stages— sensorimotor (birth-2), pre-operational stage (2-7), concrete operational stage (7-12) and formal operational stage (12+)
— all reflecting discontinuities in development
-Sensorimotor stage— infants intelligence expresses through motor interactions with environment, gaining understanding of concepts like object permanence and
become capable of deferred imitation
-Pre-operational Stage— children able to represent experience in language, mental imagery and though but limitations lil egocentrism and contraptions cause problem
solving difficulties like in conservation task relation to taking others perspectives
-Concrete operational Stage— children able to reason logically about concrete objects and events but have difficulty reasoning in abstract terms and succeeding on tasks
with hypothetical thinking
-Formal operational Stage— children tai cognitive capabilities of hypothetical thinking
-Weaknesses— depicts children's thinking more consistent then it is, underestimates infants/young children’s cognitive competence, understates contribution of social
world in development, and vaguely describes mechanisms giving rise to thinking and cognitive growth
Information Processing Theories
-Focus on specific mental processes underlying children's thinking— in infancy seen as actively pursuing goals, encountering processing limited and devising strategies
allowing them to overcome processing limited and attain goals
-Memory system includes working memory, LT memory and executive functioning
-Working memory— actively at tenting to, gathering, maintaining, storying and processing information
-LT memory— enduring knowledge accumulated over lifetime
-Executive functioning— crucial for controlling though and action, develops during preschool and early elementary school— related to academic achievement and
occupational success
-Development of memory and learning reflects improvements in basic processes, strategies and content knowledge
-Basic processes allow infants to learn and remember from birth onward— association, recognition, generalization and encoding
-USe of strategies enhances learning and memory beyond level that basic processes could provide, rehearsal and selective attention are two important strategies
-Increasing content knowledge enhances memory and learning of all type of information
-One important contributor to growth of problem solving is development of planning
Sociocultural Theories
-Vygotsky— focuses on way social work moulds development— emphasize development is shaped by interactions with others/skills learned from them and by artefacts
with which children interact/beliefs, values, and traditions of the larger society
-View humans as different from other animals in propensity to teach and learn
-Establishing intersubjectivity between people through joint attention is essential to learning
-Describe people as learning through guided participation and social scaffolding which others who are more knowledgeable support learners efforts
Dynamic Systems Theories
-View change as the one constant in development and propose there is no periods/stages
-View each person s unified system that in order to meet goals, integrates perception, action, categorization, motivation, memory, language, conceptual understanding
and knowledge of physical and social worlds
-View development as a self-organizing process that brings together components as needed to adapt to a continuously changing environment
-Attaining goals requires action and thought— though shapes action/action shapes thought
-Variation and selection produce biological evolution and produce cognitive development
Online Quiz
1.) Six month old exclusively breast-fed since birth and never drank milk from bottle. The first time he is offered bottle, he tries to suck on it the same way he is used to
suckling. This sucking behaviour is an indication that he has engaged in which of the following processes?
2.) According to dynamic systems theories, the efficiency and relative success of a strategy influence the likelihood of its:
3.) Which of the following is an example of guided participation?
-Jacobs father separates all of the large lego pieces so Jacob will know he should start building the bridge with large pieces.
4.) Joint attention is an example of:
-Social Referencing
5.) Which of the following is an example of egocentrism?
-Jane gives her father a doll for his birthday
6.) Repetition of other peoples behaviours some time after it has been observed is referred to as:
-Deferred imitation
7.) Task analysis is part of which of the following theories?
-Information processing
8.)According to core-knowledge theories, informal theories of which of the following domains develop earliest?

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Chapter 5: Seeing, Thinking and Doing in Infancy
-Human visual system immature at birth—young infants have poor acuity, low contrast sensitivity, and minimal colour vision— newborns begin visually scanning work
minutes after birth and young infants show preferences for strongly contrasted patterns and human faces
-Visual abilities like perception of constant size and shape present at birth — others develop over first year— binocular vision and ability to identify object boundaries
(object segregation) emerges at 4 months — at 7 months infants sensitive to monocular/pictorial depth cutes and pattern perception has developed (infants can perceive
illusory (subjective) contours
-Auditory system well developed at birth and newborns turn heads to localize sounds— young infants patter proficiency in auditory stimulation underlies sensitivity to
musical structure
-Infants sensitive to smell from birth and can identify mother by her scent
-Through active touching with mouth and hands infant s explore and learn about self and environment
-Intermodal perception research reveals that infants integrate information from different senses, linking their visual with auditory, olfactory and tactile experiences
Motor Development
-Development of action precedes rapidly in infancy through series of motor milestones— starts with reflexes displayed by newborns— development of strength, posture
control, balance and perceptual skills are regular patterns of development— some vary across cultures
-Each new motor achievement, from reaching to self-locomotion expands infants experience of work and presents challenges— infants adopt variety of strategies to
move around in the world successfully and safely
-Infants habituate to repeated stimuli and form expectancies about recurrent regularities in events— through active exploration, they engage in perceptual learning and
also learn through classical conditioning (involves forming associations between natural and neutral stimuli) and instrumental conditioning (involved learning about
contingency between one’s own behaviour and some outcome) can also make use of prior experiences to generate expectations about the future
-From .5 years on, observational learning (watching and imitating other behaviour) is an increasingly important source of information. Infants’ assessment of intention
of a model affect what they imitate
-Violation of expectancy procedure has established that infants display impressive cognitive abilities— first research based on Piaget’s object permanence but young
infants can mentally represent invisible objects and even reason about observed events
-Infants knowledge of physical world demonstrate understanding of some effect of gravity, take babies months to work out conditions under which one objects can
provide stable support for another
-What infants know about people — infants pay attention to intentions of others
-Bass issues— theorists divided on how to account for abilities and deficiencies in infants thinking
Online Quiz
1.) Object permanence refers to the concept that:
-Objects exists independently of one’s ability to perceive or act on them
2.) At the age of 7 months, infants exhibit:
-Stable reaching
3.) The habituation technique based on the expectation that infants:
-Lose interest in objects that are familiar
4.) Newborn feels something touch his left check and turns his head toward that side in response. They have just demonstrated which reflex?
5.) An infant is given a pacifier that causes music to be played from a nearby speaker whenever it is sucked in a particular pattern. At first, the infants sucking pattern is
random, but she eventually learns to suck with only that pattern in order to keep the music playing. The infant has learn this through which type of learning?
-Instrumental conditioning
6.) Which of the following depth perception cues are both eyes necessary?
-Binocular disparity
7.) What age are children able to localize sounds?
-At birth
8.)Infant placed in crib that vibrates to a particular rhythm. At the same time, she view two televisions which a bunny jumps in two different rhythms, one that matches
the vibration she is experiencing and one that does not match it. If she prefers to look at the monitor showing the bunny jumping to the matching rhythm, she has
detected the similarity through which of the following?
-Intermodal perception
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