Chapter 4 Nature, Nature & Human Diversity 02/19/2014
What makes us who we are? (Nature vs. nurture)
Nature: Genes, DNA, hereditary
Nurture: Everything other than genes, DNA and hereditary.
Family, culture, friends, etc.
Most psychologists believe that who we are is a result of both
The two can interact together;
ie. A Down syndrome child can be nurtured well but he will always have Down syndrome due to nature.
A child living in poverty to do nurture may be naturally smart but will not have any opportunities to use it.
II. The Nature Component
A) Genes: Our biological blueprint
46 Chromosomes in each cell. They are carriers of genetic information in the form of DNA molecules.
DNA consists of things such as genes
Genes are the basic unit of heredity, they provide instructions that give and organize characteristics.
Sometimes a single gene is responsible for characteristics. Ie. Different sizes in dogs
Other times gene complexes is at work, where many groups are responsible for traits. Ie. Obesity
Genes consists of nucleotides, which are biochemical building blocks that consist of adenine, thymine,
guanine, and cytosine.
Known as the alphabet of life, because the sequence of the nucleotide determines what the gene can and
can’t do. If one letter is changed the entire sequence is changed.
Human genome was mapped and 30,000** were found and every human being are genetically 99.99%
similar to each other.
The 0.01% difference: 5% difference among “races”, 95% differences within a “race”
Nature genetics, 2004: race biologically does not exist, it is a social and cultural concept
95.98% genes are shared with chimps, 90% are shared with mice, 50% with bananas, 44% with fruit flies,
30% daisies B) Evolutionary psychology
B.1 What is EP?
Newest approach in psychology based on the theory of evolution and it is applied to psychology to explain
characteristics, behaviors etc.
The main goal for all organisms is to survive and transmit genes.
However natural selection deems that only the fittest survives.
EP researchers took this idea (and others) to explain that any behavior, trait or characteristics that helped
us survive are seen in the majority of human beings.
Ie. Universal fear of snakes, heights, spiders due to ancestors
They are interested in universal and common behaviors
B.2. Application > Sexuality
Surveys indicated that men think more about sex, masturbate more, sacrifice more for sex
Different attitudes toward sex regarding gender
Clark & Hatfield (78): men were more willing to have sex with strangers than women.
According to EP both men and women have the same goal (survive and transmit) due to biological
differences men and women have different strategies. Women take 9 months to produce one baby, while
men don’t have any limits. The best strategy for men is to have multiple sex partners. The best strategy for
women is to have relationships.
B.3. Critique of EP *** (EARN A POINT)
Why humans pair off monogamously
Wouldn’t it make sense to be monogamous because two people are often better at taking care of their
offspring as well as give protection to both their mate and offspring?
Wouldn’t a ritual bonding (marriage) stop harassment from other males?
Socialization plays a role
If socialized to value commitment = men bond with one partner
If socialized to have multiple partners = women do that C. Behaviour Genetics
Def: The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait
may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied
As environments become similar = heritability increases
Similar heredities, different environments = heritability decreases
D. Molecular Genetics
Definition: The subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes
Goal: find some genes that influence normal human traits, such as weight, sexual orientation, extraversion
and also to explore the mechanisms that control gene expression
May be a good thing but also can lead to designer babies, keeping the good traits and terminating the bad
III. The nurture component
A) Prenatal development
Begins at the moment of conception
The baby is well protected but still vulnerable (many are born with physical and mental deformities)
Teratogens: harmful agents such as viruses and drugs
The placenta forms the zygote’s cells and gives nutrients to the babies (attached to the uterine wall) The mom can change it depending on her diet.
Types of teratogens (see ch.5)
HIV virus: there is a possibility that they baby will receive it too
Heroin: the baby will be born an addict if mother was too at the time pregnancy
Smoking: Both suffer the effects of smoking
Drinking: FAS can affect the fetus’ brain, because it depresses activity in the CNS (increase the
Twins share the same womb it may not necessarily be the same prenatal environment and the same
Fraternal twins share the same placenta
Identical twins can share different placentas
One twin can get the better nutrients, oxygen, protection than the other
Identical twins are genetically similar except they may not share for their number of copies
Some twins have their own placenta and one twin may have the better spot
The placenta is the prenatal environment
Those who share the same placenta are more similar to each other than those who don’t
**According to doctors DNA and lifestyle in adulthood will affect your life. It is now possible that DNA in the
womb (cancer, hbp, diabetes) may be affected. A baby can appear healthy but it can be born with a
defected heart. What happens in the womb can affect our health in adulthood.
B. Experience and brain development
B.1 Experience facilitates brain development
Your genes can predispose you to have an amazing brain but without experience and stimulation from the
outside world, the brain will never develop properly.
Ie. The orphanages in Romania experienced extreme neglect: there is a dramatic brain image compared to
healthy children of the same age. (Study some of the examples in the book, and understand them)
B.2 Experience changes the brain
Researchers thought the brain would stay the same after traumatic experiences. But the brain is in fact
plastic and changes with the interaction with the environment
Ie. Experiments on old poor rats and rich rats shown that those who were stimulated by their environment
(rich rats) did better in memory tests and had stronger and thicker brains. The poor rats who had no
stimulation had weaker brains and performed more poorly in tests. With the acquisition of a new skill the brain changes
C. How much credit/blame do parents deserve?
No credit or blame given to parents
The only thing you can blame your parents for are the genes you receive
NATURE = BLAME/CREDIT
NURTURE = not possible
The power of parenting works in extreme cases, but most likely no parenting doesn’t do much, it’s all about
D. Peer influence
Peers: individuals of the same age or of the same level of maturity
Peers are important and can be traced back as far as infancy.
Growing interaction: Those who had positive interactions as infants tend to have better social relations
when they’re older
Having peers can protect us from some negative affects of child abuse
The older we get the more time is spent with peers and they influence how we dress, do etc.
The biggest influence from peers is on risktaking behavior. Children and teens are more likely to
engage in risktaking behavior if they BELIEVE their peers are doing it too.
Is it the selection effect? Are those who are interested in smoking, drinking etc. gravitate towards those who
It is both!
Parents remain influential and can do so in 3 ways:
Lifestyle choices (where your parents choose to live can influence who ends up as your peers)
Advice: the advice you get from your parents
Quality of parentchild relationship: it can affect the peerchild relationship. Those who have positive
relations with their parents are more likely to have positive relations with their peers.
Bullies are most likely coming from parents who bully them Children who are bullied tend to have overly anxious parents
Children who are treated with respect and dignity are less likely to be aggressive in life and do not bully/get
bullied others and use assertiveness when dealing with problems
Parenting does make a difference
BOTTOM LINE: Both parents and peers influence us and their influences are both distinct and
Parents influence Peers influence
Won’t eat food parents give Will eat food if other children do too
Does not adopt accent Adopts accent
Influences culture of peers Cultural influence
More useful (advice, goals) More interesting
Important for education, discipline, responsibility, Important for: cooperation, popularity, inventing
orderliness, charitableness, authority interaction styles, interaction with other peers
Definition: The behaviours, ideas, attitudes, values and tradition shared by a group of people and
transmitted from each generation
Supports our species survival and reproduction by enabling social and economic systems
Enables human diversity
E.2 Variations Across Cultures
Each culture has their own norms: an understood rule for accepted/expected behaviour
In places like japan everything is more fastpaced and punctuality is valued, but in Indonesia everything is
Culture and the Self
Individualism: giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals (me); NA, Oceania, Western Europe Behavior reflects personality
Collectivism: giving priority to goals of one’s group (we); Asia
Behavior reflects social norms
Developmental Similarities Across Groups
We humans are more alike than different
**Earn a point*** (p.153158) there will be questions on the midterm
IV. The Nature & Nurture of Gender
Gender similarities & differences (not in the first midterm but it is a MUST FOR THE FINAL
EXAM). Two columns similarities and differences (every chapter in the book)
45 of chromosomes are unisex Women live longer, start puberty faster
By age 50 we’re all similar! Women carry more fat and less muscle and are
Women express their emotions freely
Women are more likely to develop anxiety,
depression and ED
Men are more suicidal, or suffer alcohol
dependence, autistic, colour blind, ADHD, antisocial
We’re more similar to each other than different
The sex chromosomes: 2 of the 46 are sex chromosomes. They determine whether we’re genetically male
Two major types: X, Y.
Every healthy human being have two of them, one from our mothers, one from our fathers.
Mothers always give the X and the father either gives the X or Y The baby can sustain life with only an X, but cannot with a Y
First 67wks of life in the womb babies look the same
Around week 7 a gene on the Y chrom. S, R, Y triggers to produce testes and male genitalia forms.
Hormones influence and affect behavior:
Animal studies: a healthy rooster has high levels of testosterone, crows every morning, and is highly
aggressive and sexual. Those who are castrated become very docile and lost interest in sex.
Human cases: The female embryos exposed to higher levels of testosterone: the female genitalia look more
masculine, are more tomboyish etc.
Phoebe is genetically male but in the womb she was not exposed to testosterone so she looks like a
female, a=more feminine
Exposed to high levels of testosterone = more masculine
Normal hormone levels = average woman
Higher levels of progesterone = more feminine
The role of culture and society
Parents describe their babies differently in terms of gender (ie. Baby girls are little and delicate and boys
are strong and firm) but there are no medical differences.
Gender Identity is having a clear sense of maleness or femaleness
Brenda and Aidan/Bonny’s story
Gender roles are patterns of behaviors that are considered to be appropriate for a man or woman in a
particular society. It varies depending on cultures.
Provide the basis of what is masculine and what is feminine
Gendertyped is when we choose a traditional role in our society
Ie. Women who choose to stay at home mom
Ie. Man chooses to work and not do housework
Learning about gender
Social Learning Theory: we learn about gender through observation and copying our role models.
Also learn about gender through rewards and punishment. Ie. When a little boy is yelled at for playing with a
Barbie he’ll stop and start kicking a ball
Gender Schema Theory: Accept the theory above however it is not enough to learn about gender. Children
are not passively learning through observation. Based on interactions they are actively forming schemes
(mental model of something) and are actively categorizing the information (this is what boys do and this is
what girls do).
Schemes become a mental rule and guide: in their life V. Reflections
This highlights the importance of nature genes) and nurture (environment). Even a clone will have the
same genetic information but not the same personality. Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
fI. Introduction to Developmental Psychology
The study of human development from the moment of conception to death.
How we change physical, behaviorally, morally, emotionally, and cognitively.
We talk about patterns of change that begin at the moment of conception and continue throughout the
lifespan. Includes growth and… and decay and deterioration
The Major Questions
2.Is development continuous or does it occur in stages
A seed growing into a tree or a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly
3. Stability vs. Change
Does it continue into adulthood?
Age range where certain experiences must take place, or dev. Will not progress properly
The impact of early experience?
Ie. abuse children will that impact them later on in life.
II. Prenatal Development and the Newborn
Women are born with all the eggs need in their lifespan (may change in the future)
Men start producing sperm from puberty and will decrease production as they age
Women are born with all the eggs in their lifetime
Only 1/5000 egg will mature and released
Men continually sperm for life Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Over 200 million are released
B.1 The 3 Stages of Prenatal Development
Gestation period: the duration of pregnancy from conception to birth. It is divided into 3 stages.
1. The Germinal Stage: The baby is a Zygote
This stage last about 2weeks.
The egg is fertilized by the sperm and then undergoes mitosis until it splits to 8 cells.
The cells will start to differentiate (eye cells, body cells, etc.)
The zygote then migrates to the fallopian tubes, many will not survive (male zygotes)
Once there the zygote attached it self to the uterine wall
2. The embryonic stage: Baby is an embryo
2 – 8 wks
Begins with the zygote attached to the uterine wall duration
The placenta will form and the placenta will help with the oxygenation, viruses, and nutrition.
All major organs will begin to form and function: very explosive growth in this stage
3. The foetal stage: The baby is a foetus
Further maturation and development in the foetus (i.e. stomach is developed and a preemie can survive at
The bones start to solidify and get stronger (foetus to can move)
During this time there is an explosive (THE BRAIN PRODUCES 250 million neurons per MINUTE!!!) of the
Animal studies show that, foetuses in the womb can learn, and ear their mother’s voice
B.2 Environmental Influences
The baby is well protected in the womb, but not at 100% Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Teratology: the study of birth defects.
Teratogens: Agents that causes a birth defect ie. radiation, cigarette, alcohol
Effects will depend on the following:
The time of exposure (stages)
Prescription and nonprescription drugs :In 1959 thalidomide morning sickness drug)
Psychoactive Drugs : i.e. alcohol is poisonous for the brain, it kills the baby neurons and they will end up
Infectious diseases (e .g HIV, Herpes, HPV): HIV can infect the baby if mom has the virus and
breastfeeds the baby. When the mother is giving birth and the baby gets in contact with the blood.
Nutritional excellence : the mother must be VERY healthy. In example when woman are deficient in
folic acid the baby will have a spinal deficiency.
Emotional states & stress : Blood vessels are contracted and that could lead to a miscarriage or
Age : Women under 18 there is a higher risk for birth defects and down syndrome.
Exposure to env . Hazards: ie. the minamaca disease, first seen in Japan, mother’s who ingested
mercury while pregnant.
Low levels of vitamin C: High risk of birth defects and cancers for their children.
Smoking: Nicotine damages your DNA, as a result, their partners will have a higher risk of miscarriages,
and children will have birth defects and cancers.
Exposure to radiation, pesticides: SUPER dangerous for the baby since it damages the fathers DNA.
Age: Dad’s in there 40 and up, higher risk for birth defects and Down syndrome.
C. The Competent Newborn
Babies can take in information and learn actively Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Methods of study
Sucking response : the babies get that if they suck fast the get X and if they suck slow they get Y. They
ADJUST their rate of sucking. Infants prefer to hear the stories they heard in the womb, rather than
unknown stories and they prefer to hear the voice of their mom rather than another woman’s voice.
Orienting Reflex : Our tendency to orient to anything surprising and to pay more attention to new stimulus
than to old ones. And babies see this anything new and surprising they focus.
Habituation: Our tendency to pay less and less attention to the same stimuli eg. Slater and alis, 19 … study
with babies 7 HOURS old, this shows that those babies were tuned in to their environment and when it
became habituate they were no longer interested COOL!!!
COMPETENCIES: Within hours newborns can tell which woman is their mom and which one isn’t. They
know that they can control stuff…
reflexes: babies come with reflexes
rooting reflex : helps them find the nipple
Sucking: babies come equipped with the knowledge of how to suck if not they would die.
Sights and sounds: babies are tuned in to anything human, they like anything that is human.
Smell : babies like the smell of their mom and they can differentiate it from other smells.
III. Infancy & Childhood
A. Physical Development
Maturation: a genetically driven process. Genes will determine the exact sequence of dev. And their order.
Ie. walking : involves certain stages that ALL babies must go through.
Brain development: After birth, brain continues mature. By age 2 = 75% of adult brain.
Pruning: Pathways that are not being used, are cut off and others are strengthened Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
A.1 Maturation and memory:
Childhood amnesia: Adults and older children that do not remember their childhood. The longterm memory
system had not matured yet, but they do have it.
Subconsciously we can remember but because of childhood amnesia it cannot become conscious
A.2. The Competent Newborn
Babies have automatic reflexes that help with survival; rooting reflex (when you touch the cheek they will
root for a nipple)
Habituation: decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation (babies can be bored and remember
They like looking at faces
B. Motor Development
B.1 Cognitive Development
Cognitive: refers to higher order mental processes that we use to understand and adapt to the world
(thinking, learning, memory)
Jean Piaget: Biggest name in psychology and cognitive development
Revolutionized our thinking about child development.
BEFORE J.P: It was thought that the mind our children was the same as the adult logic.
J.P refuted that concept he also did not believe that children are passive learners they are active learners.
They want to understand the world and categorize it into schemas
Two ideas with schemes according with Piaget:
Assimilation: interpreting new experiences into existing schemas.
Learning what a cow
Accommodation: Adapting our schemas to accommodate new information.
Learning that not every four legged animal is a cow
4 Stages of Learning
Sensorimotor (02yrs): Experiencing the world through senses and actions
Thoughts = physical actions, look at what they’re doing to figure out thoughts Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
(Develops at 8ms) Object permanence: the awareness that things continue to exist even when we cannot
O.P achieves earlier than he thought.
They can achieve abstract learning. Infants have a head for numbers. Studies show that infants have a
basic law of physics.
Preoperational stage (27): a stage in which the child learns to use language but does not
comprehend mental operations of concrete logic
Conservation: The principle that properties such as mass, remain, the same despite changes in forms of
i.e. when milk is poured into both a tall and short class you know it has the same volume
Egocentrism: Kids this age according to J.P are incapable to take another point of view but their own.
Literal thinking: they don’t understand nuances.
MAJOR LIMITATIONS: unable to preform mental operations (operation is an action that you can reverse i.e.
turning a light on and off). Ie. 1+3 =4, 3+1 =????
Centration: During that stage children fall pray to centration. Focuses on one aspect and one aspect only
and disregards other information. E.g the chocolate example.
Theory of Mind: people’s ideas about their own feelings and other’s mental states about their feelings,
perceptions and thoughts, and the behaviours these might predict (taking another’s perspective)
Concrete operational stage (711): Thinking logically about concrete events; grasping concrete
analogies and performing arithmetical operations
Children can preform mental operations, but according to Piaget they can only perform concrete operations.
Less likely to fall for centration an they understand conservation.
4 Formal Operational stage (11 and up):
Our thinking, according to Piaget, our thinking is theoretical, hypothetical, logical. We can do critical
However, researchers show that Piaget over estimated this stage and many will not even reach the 4 th
PLUG IN WHAT J.P WAS CORRECT AND WRONG ABOUT
C. Social Development
C.1 Attachment Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Attachment: strong emotional bound that we form with our caregivers, mothers, fathers and later on with
This attachment is shown around 8months. We can see it through stranger anxiety andseparation
SURVIVAL VALUE: for the longest time psychologist believed that babies formed attachments with their
moms because they provided food. But later research shows that that was wrong. Babies are born with an
attachment survival value
Body contact and Harlow’s experiment: Because of Him we know that attachment has nothing to do with
food. Based on his research he approved that the purpose of attachment is a safe haven and a secure
base. Ideally the role of the attachment figure is to be a safe haven.
Familiarity: they form an attachment to those who are familiar.
Children can form an attachment to caregivers who are rejecting, abusive, neglecting, loving or kind.
The difference is the QUALITY of attachment.
Responsiveness: A good caregiver is going to be responsive to what the child needs. If the child is sad you
will hug and comfort. A good parent is a responsive parent.
Secure vs. Insecure attachment: If the caregiver is kind and responsive the attachment will be secure. If the
caregiver is neglecting and reject full attachment will be insecure.
Secure attachment is linked and associated with positive consequences and viceversa.
If the child has a secure attachment they learn that they are valuable, they are worth loving, they learn that
the world is safe, predictable and reliable.
Insecure attachment is the opposite.
Is it parenting styles or temperaments?
Van Den Boom (1994): indicates that secure attachment is based on parenting style and not
EAP: (192194) Destructions of attachment
A sense of worth and value
How is it defined: positively or negatively?
Positive self concept= positive consequences
Negative selfconcept= negative consequences Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
When do we realize we’re all separate? Darwin suggested that when the children can recognize themselves
in the mirror they could recognize selfawareness.
Researchers used his suggestion and performed tests and the test proved that selfawareness developed
between age 1518 months
Many animals pass the selfawareness test
Selfconcept influences actions, emotions, and behaviors
The choices, goals and motivations made are influenced and effected by our selfconcepts
Parenting styles are linked with selfconcept whether it be positive or negative
The dimension of warm: the extent to which parents are encouraging, accepting, supporting vs rejecting,
neglectful, abusive, unresponsive.
The dimension of control: the extent to which children are supervised, extent to which parents have rules
and use them.
Four types of parenting styles
Authoritarian: low on warmth, high on control. They enforce rules like dictators and use aggression
frequently. Do not offer explanation of the rule.
Permissive: high on warmth, low on control. Very little rules and let the kids do whatever, very little
Uninvolved: low on warmth, low on control: Do not offer any support or rules/control
Linked and associated with negative consequences
Authoritative: high on warmth, high on control. Responsive and loving and have strict rules that they want
their children to follow but exert the rules in a democratic fashion.
Linked and associated with the most positive consequences
Yes some of the studies are correlational; yes correlation is not causation, however there are a large
number of experimental studies done in parenting styles and with experimental studies that can conclude
there is a cause and effect parenting style.
Enough studies for us to give our own opinion
A period between childhood and adulthood.
It begins with puberty and ends with the person assumes adult responsibilities
These days we’re spending more time being adolescence than ever before because:
Earlier puberty Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Emerging adulthood: that gray area where you’re not a traditional teenager but you haven’t yet assumed full
and complete adult responsibilities (around 1820ish)
The timing of puberty: genes play a component in puberty, but also social and environmental factors such
Health: a healthy diet tend to enter puberty early
Body size: children who are heavier tend to enter puberty earlier
Physical activity: delays puberty on average of two years
All in the family: children that come from dysfunctional family tend to enter puberty earlier than those who
come from healthy families. The absence of the biological father, boys tend to enter puberty earlier than
those who live with both biological parents. With mothers living with another man, the girls will enter puberty
Time of strife or vitality? Vitality, not strife
B. Physical Development
Puberty: physical changes our bodies undergo that leads to sexual maturity and reproductive capacity
Primary sexual characteristics will develop: the organs directly involved with reproduction i.e. Uterus and
ovaries and the testes
Secondary sexual characteristics: traits that are not involved in reproduction, breasts, hips, facial hair, voice,
Landmarks of puberty:
For boys: when spermarche occurs they’re in puberty: first ejaculation (on average age 14)
For girls: menarche: the first menstrual cycle (on average 11/12)
Early maturation: children who enter puberty earlier than average
For boys: there are payoffs because they’re taller and bigger and more athletic, confident, popular, parents
have less control over them. But those guys are more impulsive and likely to engage in high risk taking
For girls: mostly negative returns, have a negative body image, may attract attention from older men, social
relations may break, may engage in early sexual activity, higher risk for pregnancy and weight gain later on
in life, parents become more controlling
The adolescent brain: a work in progress because it has not finished developing. It finishes developing
around age 25.
The frontal lobes take the longest to mature and they’re the seed for higher mental functioning, planning,
reasoning, impulse control etc.
There is a surge in dopamine activity (emotion, pleasure and motivation hormone) Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
The brain continue to develops and goes through pruning which is when the neural pathways that aren’t
used the brain cuts them off (pruning)
C. Cognitive Development
C.1 Developing reasoning power
Thinking become more logical, abstract, hypothetical
Imaginary audience: we feel like we’re spotlighted and judged by everyone. We don’t want to stand out so
few get peer pressured
Personal fable: tend to believe that their experiences are so unique and special (feels sad, believes they’re
alone) it is also the tendency to believe that they’re invincible.
Idealism: they focus on what is logical instead of what is realistically reasonable so their expectations are so
high that they’re always disappointed and become less tolerant.
C.2. Developing Morality
Important on the level of society because we wouldn’t have a lawabiding society and essential for yourself.
3 aspects of morality: thinking, feeling and action
Moral Thinking: Kolhberg was fascinated by moral thinking and created moral stories where the character is
struggling with a moral dilemma and gave it to children and adults to explain if they character was right or
wrong and strongly believed that moral development relates to cognitive development.
Proposed a model: 3 stages, and they’re universal and the sequence is the same for everybody
Preconventional stage: selfinterest guides moral thinking. If an action is rewarding it is morally
right, and viceversa
Common in children
Conventional stage: the laws of the land become important. Anything that is in line with the law is
good, what isn’t, is bad. Society plays a huge role.
Common in adolescents and adults
Postconventional stage: ethical values we have chosen will be the guiding principles, however
these values have to be based on universal ethical principles
Only 5% of us reach this level
Moral Feeling: strong connection between moral thinking and moral feeling due to this connection J. Haidt
wrote social intuitionist account of morality and says that moral feelings come first and moral
thinking is there to voice the feelings.
Moral Action: Gap between attitude and action, it takes awhile to act on our feelings
Question is how can we promote moral action? We have to work on all three moral components (come up
with own ideas) Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
D.1. Forming an identity
(Table 5.2 not included in first midterm, but is for the final)
Erikson: the major tasks in adolescence is to develop a sense of identity: which is a sense of who I am, my
expectations, skills, beliefs, morals
There are different paths to identity
Sometimes it can be easy by adopting their parents values
Other people try different identities and ultimately choose a blend and make it their own
Some adopt a negative identity and reject family and society and conform to a peer group (ie. Gangs,
Sometimes their identity can remain confused
With time identity becomes more positive and more personalized
D.2 Separating from Parents?
Stranger anxiety: the fear of strangers that develop around 8ms
The media portrays negative stormy and stressful relationships but that is not the case
97% of teens value and respect their parents
There will be some conflict but it should be worked through
The quality of the relationship can be affected in many ways
Those who have healthy relationships tend to do better at school, better relationships with peers, and are
happier & healthier
Those who have a negative relationship are the opposite
Peers have a higher importance in our life (see ch.4)
A. Physical Development
Our bodies peak in our midtwenties, however if we remain healthy we can be healthy and vital until the end
of our lives Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Ie. Picasso, Madonna
A.2 Middle Adulthood
Women go through menopause, which is the end of menstruation and the end of reproductive capacity
Myth: Women are depressed, feel less of a woman, have psychological problems
The reality: the majority of women report feeling better than they have felt in years. 98% felt no regret for
their loss periods.
Menopause does not increase the risk of clinical depression
Men do not go through a manopause, but there is a gradual decline in the production of sperm.
Ejaculation and erection experience a gradual decline
The majority of men do not go through midlife crisis
Both men and women will continue to desire, seek and enjoy sex until the end of their days
Some things that can interfere: if they’re ill, lose their partner, their culture says no.
The majority of middleagers say that their still satisfied with their sex life
A.3 Old Age
Worldwide we’re growing older however the west is the fastest growing segment of the population
Young people are not producing enough children (low birth rate)
Life expectancy is longer than ever before
Ie. In 1950: average life expectancy is 49, today it is 75+
Inequality of the sexes
First year of life, more baby boys die than baby girls
Women outlive men to more than 5+ years
By age 100, F: M ratio is 5:1
Sensory abilities decline Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Immune system is experienced so it won’t be susceptible to the common cold and flu
It is also weakened and are more vulnerable to lifethreatening experiences
Nursing homes only 58% of 65+ and 8% of 75+, most live independent and are in good mental health
Some shrinkage and the speed of processing will decline (happens earlier and faster in men)
However with stimulation and exercise the brain can remain good
First areas to be affected are the frontal lobes (last areas to mature)
Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease:
Significant changes in the function of the brain which affects personality, emotions, mental capacity which
interferes with activities in their every day life
There are different causes of dementia (dehydration)
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia: it kills and destroys neurons and is progressive. It starts
deep in the brain and spreads
It is not a normal part of aging
The first neurons destroyed are Achly= important for memory
When it is done the person is dead on the inside
Prevalence: 3% of 6475 and may be 50% of 85+
Potential Causes: Tangles and plaques there are an overabundance of them
Genetics: early onset (3060): chroms. 21, 14, 1. Late onset (65+): 19, 10
Other possible risk factors? Cardiovascular disease? Inflammation? inside the body (can also lead to
cancer, diabetes). Free radicals? Unstable molecules that don’t have an e and take it from others, Diet?
Can be a risk factor if you’re not eating healthy? Body weight? The higher (145, every 7lbs add 6%)
B. Cognitive Development
Recall or recognition,
Recall = a memory task without any retrieval cues. Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Recognition = a memory task along with several pieces of information.
There is a decline in recall, however in recognition there is not a decline
Type of information: meaningless information there is a decline, and meaningful info means no significant
Type of task: time based tasks could be a problem, however event days task are better to remember
Shows that it declines: crosssectional studies (IQ studies)
However the study did not account for generational differences, so they did longitudinal studies which is
when a group of people are followed for a long period of time
It depends on what type of intelligence we’re talking about
Crystallized intelligence: knowledge acquire from learning, experience. This increases with age (wisdom)
Fluid intelligence: Does not have any content and is based on the type of intelligence used to process and
solve new information and make inferences and identify patterns.
Peaks in adulthood and slowly declines at age 75 and sharply 85+
Based on research older is wiser, in old age the brain can be the smartest it has ever been.
C. Social Development
C.1 Adulthood’s Ages and Stages
Midlife crisis are not triggered by age, but due to major events
Social clock: the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood and retirement
i.e. in Western E. only 10% of men over 65 are still working, 16% in the U.S., 36% in Japan, 69% in Mexico.
People are a lot freer with it
Two aspects dominate adulthood (Erikson) intimacy (forming relationships) and generativity (being
productive/support future generations)
Freud: the healthy adult can love and work Chapter 5 Developing Through The Life Span 02/19/2014
Married couples are happier than single people
Those with empty nests are much happier than those that still have their adult children living with them
Happiness is about finding work that you love!
Wellbeing Across the life span
Positive feelings grow after midlife and negative feelings subside
The amygdala in older people show less response to negative stimuli but maintains its responsiveness to
As we get older, things mellow out and life becomes more stable
Death and Dying
Grief is severe when the death is seen as sudden, and mourning takes a long time
But when it is expected, grief is not that long, a year of intense grieving before the life satisfaction rises
once again, though they still talk about their partner
Stability and Change
The first two years of live provide a poor basis for predicting personality. Older children and adolescents
can change (bratty kids can become successful adults)
As people grow older personality gradually stabilizes
We all change with age J
Life requires both stability and change. Stability enables us to depend on others, provides our identity and
motivates our concern for the healthy development Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
I. What is intelligence?
There is not one definition of intelligence, there are several researchers cannot agree on. Researchers
agree that certain characteristics represent intelligence thinking rationally, solving problems, ability to
acquire knowledge, to act purposefully, and to effectively cope and deal with the environment
B. One or Several Intelligences?
B.1 The FactorAnalysis Approach
Factor analysis: a statistical technique that is used in order to identify the factors that underline clusters of
test items (identify stuff in common)
Spearman: one of the researchers who used factor analysis that asked the question whether we have or
multiple intelligences, based on research he concluded that there are different abilities (mathematical,
verbal) however; these are not multiple intelligences, simply separate abilities.
There is a common factor that underlies everything which is G (general intelligence). S is specific abilities
Thurstone: completely opposed to the idea of G, he believed there were multiple intelligences that are
distinct and separate from each other
He came up with 8 different intelligences
Word fluency, verbal comprehension, spatial ability, perceptual speed, numerical ability, inductive
Modern researchers found evidence of G within his research
B.2 Contemporary Approaches
Opposed to the idea of G
We have multiple intelligences that are distinct and separate from each other (you can be smart socially, but
terrible at math)
Each intelligence is valuable, however different cultures value different intelligences, taking culture into
Logic: people who have brain damage some abilities are still effective and others remain in tact. The mere
fact that we have some abilities effected show that we have multiple intelligences and they’re neurologically
Savants: a person who is extraordinary in one ore more abilities but seriously below average in other
abilities. A prodigy is extraordinary in one/more abilities and average in other. So this shows that there are
multiple intelligences either all intelligences are great or none.
Different abilities have different developmental course (Mozart learned music before reading and writing) Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
Intelligences: linguistic (word smart), logicalmathematical (logic smart), naturalist (nature smart), musical
(music smart), bodily kinesthetic (body smart), spatial (space smart), interpersonal (people smart),
intrapersonal (self smart), existential (major questions smart).
Opposed to 8 intelligences
Developed the triarchic theory
Analytical intelligence: basic analytical skills to identify define and solve a problem. We use those skills in
order to asses, evaluate and judge information (book smart)
Creative intelligence: thinking outside of the box
Practical intelligence: being intelligent about life, and effectively cope with problems life throws at us
Spearman: We have General intelligence and Special abilities intelligence
Thurstone: Nah b we have diff intelligences (awks how his research has G)
Gardner: Actually we have 8 (MILLSINK), savants, prodigies as proof
Sternberg: No, we have 3 (CAP)
3. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Those with high IQs are not necessarily successful in life (marriages, relationships, personal growth)
Components of emotional intelligence:
Know your emotions (selfaware)
Understanding your emotions (literate in terms of emotions)
Managing your feelings (not hijacked by feelings/not suppressed)
Delay of gratification (ability to say no to attractive ST goals, in favor of a highly values LT goal) – study with
the 4years and marshmallows
Recognizing other’s emotions Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
Managing other’s emotions (without getting sucked in)
C. Intelligence & creativity
Generating ideas that are novel, useful and adaptive
Creativity and IQ (is there a relationship): IQ is essential at some level for creativity to take place, however
this is to an extent. When IQ reaches 120 the relationship ends.
Components of creativity
Expertise: people who have studied years and years to understand knowledge
Nonconformity: they’re not afraid that challenges the existing paradigm
Curiosity: super curious and open to new experiences which broadens their database
Persistence: persist in the face of challenge, learn from their failures
Creative thinking needs all three components:
Ideational fluency (able to come up with many ideas in a short period of time
Flexibility of though (different categories of ideas)
Originality of ideas
Intrinsic motivation (do it for the pleasure)
Positive affect (more likely to be creative when experiencing positive emotions)
A creative environment (two brains are better than one)
The brain: highly creative people have both hemispheres engaged, less creative people have only the right
hemisphere is engaged
II. Assessing Intelligence
A. Origins of intelligence testing (p.41517, EAP)
A.1 Alfred Binet: Predicting School Achievement
In order to tests a child’s mental ability they developed a system that measured the child’s mental age, the
level of performance typically associated with a certain chronological age Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
A.2 Lewis Terman: The Innate IQ
Terman adapted Binet’s tests and made it standardized
Stern drived the IQ from it, which is the person’s mental age divide by their chronological age.
This took the world by storm and it was issued to many children, however critics say that those that weren’t
anglosaxon did poorly because it was not geared towards them
B. Modern tests (p. 418 EAP)
Achievement tests: designed to asses what a person has learned
Aptitude test: designed to predict a person’s future performance
WAIS: intelligence test that uses both verbal and performance subtests (used by psychologists)
C. Principles of Test Construction
In order for any psychological test to be considered valuable it must follow certain criteria:
Standardization: give your test to a large representative sample, everyone takes the test under uniform
conditions and the scores are used to develop norms and standards to judge and interpret any future score.
Reliability: considered reliable when it produces consistent results given to the same people at different
times, the more similar the more reliable called testretest. Splithalf: the questionnaire is divided into two.
Content validity: does the test measure the behavior of interests
Predictive validity: the scores used can predict future behaviors/performances
D.Is intelligence Neurologically Measurable?
D.1 Brain Size
In terms of the relationship between the brain size and the head the correlation is small (r=0.15)
In terms of relationship between the size of the brain and IQ have a modest correlation (r=O.33)
Those with more synapses tended to be higher educated Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
(Study Einstein’s brain)
Historically human brains have strong but we are smarter than before
D.2 Brain Function
In terms of the relationship between brain function and IQ there is a link between processing information
Studies used to prove this
Perception speed: how long does it take you to inspect a stimulus before being questioned about it.
Nerve conduction velocity (NCV): how fast is the action potential
Brain waves: A machine to measure brain waves and those who produce faster and more complex waves
have a higher IQ
Frontal lobes: there is a connection between fluid intelligence and IQ , the frontal lobes are the one to light
up the most in the brain.
Glucose consumption: the brain consumes 25% of glucose for energy, the brain with the higher IQ does not
consume as much glucose because it is working efficiently
Glutamate: when there is more glutamate it increases cognitive function
Dopamine: drugs that increase and enhance dopamine also increase cognitive ability
III. The Dynamics of intelligence
Intelligence tests before age 3 modestly predict their futures
Age 4 is when their intelligence can predict adult scores
A longitudal study done on 11 years to 80yrs and their test scores stayed the same, as well as they lived
longer, whereas the lower scoring ones died earlier, or had Alzheimer’s
B. Extremes of intelligence
B.1 The low extreme
Mental retardation: intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulties in everyday life Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
Can range from mild to serve
Down syndrome: condition of retardation due to an extra chrom 21
B.2 The high extreme
IV. Genetic & Environmental Influences
A. Genetic influences
Twin studies clearly indicate there is there is a genetic component to intelligence
Adoptive studies show that adopted children are more similar to their biological parents than adoptive
The basic gene on chromosome 6 appears in 1/3 of high IQ people vs. 1/6 of lower IQ
Heritability: the study of how much is the difference is due to genetics
Individual differences (see chap 4)
B .Environmental Influences
Impoverished vs. enriched, an enriched environment is associated with higher IQs while an impoverished
environment is associated with lower IQ
Nutrition is associated with IQ, malnourished children have stunted cognitive function
Breast feeding: babies who have been breast fed for at least 6 months tend to have higher IQs than those
who were not
More nutrients in the breast milk
The bonding between mom and child helps mental function
Schooling effects: the longer the years spent in school, the higher the IQ. During summer IQ drops
Stereotype threat: when a negative stereotype you belong to is activated you perform less well on a test
Stereotype life: when a positive stereotype about the group you belong to is activated you are likely to do
Flynn effect: IQ scores are increasing and with every 10 years IQ points are increasing by 3pts because the
world is becoming more complex which is forcing us to engage in mental abilities Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
C. Group Differences in intelligence test scores
Ethnic differences: historically whites have done better on IQ tests than blacks, could this difference indicate
genetic or environmental factors?
There are no differences in IQ between white babies and black babies, so this is due to environment
There are no differences between racially mixed children and full black children, so this is due to
environment and not genetics
Poverty is linked with lower IQs and it affects all no matter what race
Worldwide groups who are discriminated against have lower IQs
Attitudes make a difference in scores, if you believe it you’ll make it a selffulfilling prophecy
The IQ gap between blacks and whites is closing, researchers believe that the differences will ultimately
The differences between my grand parents and myself are 1015pts because it is environmental (not
Race does not exist biologically so it cannot make sense in terms of a race being smarter than others
There are no differences between men and women in terms of IQ scores, however there is a difference in
the specific parts of the IQ test
Verbal abilities women outperform men
Spatial ability (form of math) men tend to do better than women
Verbal abilities are linked with frontal lobes
Spatial abilities are linked with parietal lobes and testosterone
Emotion detection ability: women are better at reading expressions
Differences between groups are always smaller than differences within a group
Ie the women are more different from each other than more different from men
D. The Question of Bias
Are IQ tests biased? Chapter 10 Intelligence 02/19/2014
Yes: they reflect the culture, the knowledge, values, back ground, education, socioeconomic status of the
people who developed them
No: They’re not biased in a statistical test, they’re used to make predictions and there predicted ability is the
same across the board, it is gender blind Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
I. Stress & Illness
1900s we we’re dying from
Today (all healthbehavior related)
We’re dying earlier due to our behaviors
A new scientific field was created called behavioral medicine
Health psychology: scientific field where researchers study any factors associated with health and illness
Emotions and diseases
Personality and disease
Stress: is a psychobiological process and is defined as a negative emotion that we experience when facing
threatening or taxing/challenging events to us
Stressor: any event that we perceive as threatening, challenging or taxing.
B.2 The Stress Response System
Canon: the first to scientifically study stress
When animals/humans are faced with a stressing environment their body undergoes physiological change
such as the body releases stress hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine)
Fight or flight response (coined by Canon)
Stress hormones cause the heart rate to increase, dilated pupils, releases sugars in the blood stream, halts
digestion, lowers bp Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
Shorttime stress enhances our survival and is adaptive, however longterm stress is harmful to our body
The Amygdala il ustrates: the instantaneous and automatic fear response experienced when unexpectedly
stumbling upon a snake
Selye: coined the term stress
Proposed the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS): the body has a generalized response to stress that
consist of three phases:
Alarm reaction: when you meet up with the stressor, the body is activated and mobilizes it’s resource in
order to fightorflight
Resistance: when the stress does not stop, it either tries to copes with the situation or resists.
Exhaustion: when the stress continues and the body can no longer resist or cope, the body’s resources are
depleted and makes us more vulnerable to illnesses. Extreme cases: death
Adrenal glands excrete stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine)
When faced with a stressor the body activates two systems:
Cortex > Hypothalamus > Spinal Cord, SNS > Adrenal Medulla > Epinephrine & norepinephrine
Cortex > Hypothalamus > Pituitary gland > Adrenal Cortex > Cortisol
B.3 What Causes Stress?
Stressful life events
Significant life changes
Daily hassles: these are a better predictor of physical health than the number of significant life changes
Social and cultural: when you in a stressful society, have more mental illnesses
Conflicted in choices
Ie. Approachapproach, two choices that are equally pleasant and you must choice one
Approachavoidance: cause a lot more stress. There are good and bad things associated with something
Avoidanceavoidance: two undesirable choices
Perceived control: having the perception of control, it is better to have a realistic sense of control because
those people are happier, healthier, efficient, selfreliant, and are less likely to be stressed Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
C. Stress and the Heart
C.1 Friedman & Rosenman
1956: Heart disease became the number one killer
Recruited couples and watched their diets and realized that stress levels are generally low
2 study: recruited accountants and before tax season took their levels and they were normal. then during
tax season they did the same testing and noticed that they were very stressed, and after tax season they
noticed that it went back to normal
3 study: recruited 3000 men and interviewed them and divided them into two groups:
Type A: hostile, angry, highly competitive, very motivated
Type B: easy going, relaxed
After 9 years they contacted them and 257 of them had heartattacks and 69% of them were type A
C.2 What is it about Typ e A?
Engage in unhealthy behaviors
Temperament: their bodies are more aroused by competitive situations, they speed up the blocking of the
arteries because blood vessels constrict, as well as when we experience stress fightorflight we are
immobile and the fat that releases is not used
Negative emotion anger
Age 25 year olds, those who are angry and cynical were 5x more likely to die at age 50 than those who are
C.3 Other Toxic Emotions
Pessimism: more vulnerable to disease and die earlier than optimists
Depression: makes us more vulnerable to disease, die earlier and are more susceptible to having heart
Recruited 180 nuns (22) to write a short bio about themselves, some had positive emotions others had
negative emotions. The nuns with the positive emotions lived 7yrs longer and by age 80, 54% have died,
vs. 24% of happy ones.
D. Stress & Susceptibility to Disease
D.1 Stress & the Immune System
Immune system: highly complex sophisticated surveillance system that protects us from foreign/inside
invaders and there are many soldiers within: Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
Macrophages: type of WBC that circulates the body looking for bacteria to destroy by either engulfing and
ingest or taking them to other cells that kill them
B lymphocytes: type of WBC that form in the bone marrow that produce antibodies
T lymphocytes: type of WBC that form in the thymus and go after infected cell or transplanted cells
Natural killer cells: protect us from cancer, the spread of cancer and viruses
Helper Tcells: enhance and regulate the activity of the immune system (target by HIV cells)
Stress hormones weakens the immune system
It can overreact the body’s tissues (MS, arthritis)
It can underreact and things can spread
Some cells protect cancer cells from being destroyed
Women have stronger immune systems but are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases
Psychophysiological illness: A real illness that has psychological roots and is linked with psychological
factors i.e. HPB, migraines
Psychoneuroimmunology: the study of the link between psychological processes the NS and immune
How does it make us more vulnerable? Stress diverts energy from the immune system inhibiting activities of
D.2. Stress & AIDS
Disease will progress faster and will be prone to infections when you’re stressed out
Stress management is very important and should be included along with their medications
D.3. Stress & Cancer
Animal studies: indicate a link between stress and cancer
Ie. The subjects were genetically susceptible to cancer. They stressed one group and left the others alone.
At the end of the study over 90% of the rats developed cancer and 7% of the relaxed group developed
Human studies: studies are inconclusive.
Some studies show a link, others do not Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
However recent research indicates that when people have cancer and are stressed out, the cancer can be
II. Promoting Health
A. Coping with Stress
Definition: the effort we put into dealing with the stressful situation
Coping can be both adaptive and maladaptive
problemfocused coping: identify the problem, face it and solve
emotionfocused coping deal with the emotions associated with the stressful situation
Depends on the situation, if you’re able to control a problem then 1 is a must if not then 2 is a must
Reappraising the problem
Learning from the experience
Making social comparisons: common human experience
Upward comparison: If you’re comparing yourself to people that have done better than yourself then it is
maladaptive. Use the person as a role model
Downward comparison: Comparing yourself to people who you have done better
Cultivating a sense of humor
Perceived control: i.e. Viktor Frankl – used his mind to survive concentration camp
Animal studies: 3 groups of rats were injected with cancer cells (50% will get cancer and die). 1 group was
zapped, 1 group wasn’t zapped and the other group was zapped but given a button. 50% of the unzapped
rats died, 30% of the rats with control died, 70% without any control died.
B. Managing Stress
B.1. Aerobic Exercise
Definition: sustained physical activity and intense enough for your heart to beat between 55% and 85% of
Health Benefits: strengthens the immune system Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
Elderly men that walked 3x a wk were 44% less likely to die
Reduces heart disease by 30%
Stroke by 400%
Colon cancer 66%
Breast cancer 200%
Increases your life by 2years
Psychological wellbeing 10mins/2hrs psy wellbeing
Body produces NGF (nerve growth factors) essential for growth repair and maintenance for neurons. Slows
down neuron degeneration, stimulates neuron generation, stimulates more dendrites, saves damaged
neurons from imminent death. Increases neuronal metabolism: more blood = more nutrients, 02 are going
to reach the neurons, better cleanup around the neurons. And the brain will function more efficiently
because of this.
Animal studies: those injected with NGF are much smarter
Human studies: elderly men who were active 3x report 20% more cognitive function.
Certain areas stop shrinking they will also rebuild back up (old age)
Lowers physiological response to stress and burns stress hormones
Increases: norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, selfesteem, personal power
B.2 Biofeedback & Relaxation
Biofeedback: A system that electronically records, amplifies and feeds back information regarding subtle
physiological responses (cures tensions headaches best). Does not always work, meditation works for
Blood lactate (makes you anxious) Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
Fight or Flight
Attention and focus (frontal lobes become thinker)
Study done: 80% HD, 50% Cancer
B.3. Social Support
Definition: Family and friends with whom you feel valued, accepted, and who you feel are the safest to be
Affect us in two ways, positive relationships is a buffer between stress so you’re happier. When
relationships are negative it is toxic to our health.
Being judged study: Researchers had subjects do a math problem. One group had a research assistant
look down on them while they were doing the problem and the other group were exposed to outside factors
such as loud noises, changes in temperature etc. Those who felt judged by the assistant had 3x higher
stress levels than the one’s exposed to the outside stimulus.
DNA: Telomeres protects the chrom. Every time cells divide telomeres get shorter, if they get too short they
will die. In order to be healthier we need longer telomeres.
When we don’t have social support it will change the expression of your genes
Genetic alterations: mom rats, some were nurturing others were neglectful.
Those that were nurtured had more synapses, were more confident, exploratory, had higher IQs,
appropriate response to fight or flight
Those that weren’t nurtured has less synapses, were more timid had lower IQs, inappropriate respond to
fight or flight (would still be stressed even after the stimulus stopped)
Nurture: Study on mothers who were always treated with love, and mothers who were neglected.
The women who were nurtured had higher activity in the left frontal lobe (positive emotions).
The women who were not nurtured had high activity in the right frontal lobe (associated with sad emotions,
Believing in something bigger than yourself Chapter 12 Stress & Health (527549) 02/19/2014
Why? We feel social support from a higher power, optimism for the afterlife, feeling of security, form of
medication, perceived control, placebo effect Chapter 13 Personality 02/19/2014
EAP p.553572 (at least 10 Q)
I. The Psychoanalytic Perspective
A) Exploring the Unconscious
Freud led to discovering the unconscious not through hypnosis which did not work but by free association: a
method in which the patient is told to relax and discuss whatever comes to mind no matter how trivial.
He believed that free association would lead into the unconscious and uncover unpleasant memories
Psychoanalysis: theory of personality that explains thoughts and actions to unconscious motives/conflicts.
The method used in treating psych disorders exposes/interprets unconscious tensions
The mind is mostly hidden and is like an iceberg
Our conscious mind is above the water
The unconscious mind is the large section below the water we are unaware of that expresses our innermost
thoughts, wishes, feelings and memories
We hold these in our unconscious because we want to repress unacceptable thoughts, however they can
influence us in our daytoday life
Jokes = expression of repressed sexual + aggressive tendencies
Dreams = royal road to unconscious
The manifest content is the remembered content of dreams
The latent content is the hidden meaning
A.1 Personality Structure
Human personality is the result of our efforts to resolve basic conflict – to satisfy our impulses without
There are three interacting systems that make up the mind:
Id: unconscious energy that wants to satisfy basic survival, and sexual drives. Operates on a pleasure
principal and wants immediate action
Ie. Infants cry and don’t care about the others
Ego: the conscious executive that mediates between id, superego and reality. Operates on a reality
principle that will gratifies ids request in a realistic fashion that brings longterm happiness. Contains
conscious perceptions, thoughts, memories, judgments
Ie. A young child responds to the real world
Superego: both conscious/unconscious part that reps internalized ideals and provides standards for
judgment (a conscience) and for future aspirations. Forces the ego to consider the ideal/perfection.
Ie. Around 45 the child develops this, guilt and morals come into play Chapter 13 Personality 02/19/2014
It is hard to satisfy all three due to the animalistic tendencies of the id and the high demands of the
A.2 Personality Development
Personality forms during the first few years of life. Children pass through a series of psychosexual stages
during which the id’s pleasure seeking energies focus on erogenous zones
Oral (018m) – pleasure from eating
Anal (1836m) – pleasure from pooping
Phallic (36yrs) – pleasure from the genitals/Oedipus complex
Latency (6 to puberty) – dormant sexual feelings
Genital (puberty +) – maturation of sexual interests
The Oedipus complex is when the son has sexual feelings towards his mother and hatred for his father for
being with her. Eventually the boy learns to suppress this feeling and identifies (mimics) with the father
Identification process strengthens the child’s superego and they incorporate the parent’s values and their
gender identity is formed
Our childhood influences our identity and personality
Any conflicts during any psychosexual stage will result in a fixation during adulthood. Ie. If there are
problems during the anal stage the adult will have an anal fixation and will either be anal retentive or anal
A.3 Defense Mechanisms
Definition: The egos protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
Seven examples of DM
Repression: banishes anxietyarousing thoughts, feelings and memories from the consciousness
Regression: retreating to an infantile stage when faced with anxiety
Reaction formation: the ego makes unacceptable impulses look like their opposites
Projection: disguises threatening impulses by attributing them to others
Rationalization: offering selfjustifying explanations to hide the real reasons for our actions
Displacement: shifting aggressive impulses to a less threatening stimulus
Denial: refusing to believe painful realities Chapter 13 Personality 02/19/2014
A.4 Accessing Unconscious Process
Projective tests: a personality tests such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli
designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): expressing ones inner feelings through stories they make up about
Rorschach inkblot test: describing what you see in an inkblot
B. Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective
Psychologists of today say that development is lifelong and not only during childhood, Freud overestimates
parental influence and underestimates peers
B.1 The Modern Unconscious Mind
We indeed have a limited access to all that goes in our mind
Projection is now the false consensus effect which is the tendency to overestimate the extent to which
others share our beliefs and behaviours.
Recent history tells us that we do indeed defend ourselves against anxiety
B.2 Freud’s Ideas as Scientific Theory
His theory rests on few objective observations and offer testable hypotheses
It offers explanations of any characteristic but cannot predict behaviours
A good theory makes testable predictions
C. The Humanistic Perspective
Humanistic psychologists are focusing on ways healthy people strive for selfdetermination and self
C.1 Maslow’s SelfActualizing Person Chapter 13 Personality 02/19/2014
We are motivated by a hierarchy of needs
After achieving each step in the pyramid we seek selfactualization (the process of fulfilling our full
Everyone are inherently good
C.2 Rogers’s PersonCentered Perspective
He agreed with Maslow and believed that people are basically good and are endowed with selfactualizing
A growthpromoting climate requires genuineness, acceptance and empathy
People nurture growth by being genuine and open with their feelings
People nurture growth by being accepting and offering us unconditional positive regard (attitude of total
People nurture growth by being empathetic and sharing and mirroring our feelings and reflecting out
A central feature of personality is one’s selfconcept (thoughts + feelings about ourselves)
If it is positive we tend to act positive and surround ourselves with positivity if negative we act negatively
and surround ourselves with that
Freud: We are driven by unconscious motives. Does not mention culture/enviro, repression does not always
happen, only focused on childhood
Maslow: Driven by a hierarchy of needs, must achieve it
Rogers: Agreed with Maslow but says that the environment plays factors into it as well. Can lead to
selfishness because it is about finding yourself, and living life you want to it to be, morals don’t matter
D. The Trait Perspective
A new way to describe personality – in terms of fundamental traits – people’s characteristic behaviours and
D.1 Exploring Traits
By placing people on several trait dimensions simultaneously, psychologists can describe countless
individual personality variations.
Factor Analysis has been used for personalities
There are two personality dimensions, extraversions and introversion and stable and unstable Chapter 13 Personality 02/19/2014
D.2 Biology and Personality
Some studies explain that extraverts seek stimulation because their brain activity is low
Dopamine is higher in extraverts
D.3 The Big Five Factors
CANOE is used to determine one’s personality
II. Contemporary Research on Personality
A. What is personality?
The typical way we think, feel and behave
How do we end up thinking, feeling and behaving in this typical way?
Number of different theories
Evaluating the Trait Perspective (see EAP)
The Person – Situation Controversy
Criticism at the trait perspective
Disregards the role of situational and environmental factors (they count and influence and affect behavior)
Trait theorists believe that traits influence and predict x their future behaviors
Mischel (criticized the trait perspective) traits are poor predicative of behaviors, behaviors are inconsistent,
knowing their trait cannot predict behaviors. Chapter 13 Personality 02/19/2014
Epstein: agreed with Mischel however he also disagreed. Traits are poor predicative of behaviors only if
they’re used to predict specific behaviors.
Traits are good predicative of behaviors if used to predict behaviors across similar situations (on average)
Trait perspective lacks an explanation, can describe personality and behavior but doesn’t give an
explanation. Does not explain cultural differences
B. The Behavioral Perspective
According to behaviorists personalitie