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Psychology 1000

Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan Developmental Psychology: Issues and Methods - developmental psychology examines changes in processes as we age - four broad issues guide the research - Nature and nurture - Critical and sensitive periods - criticalperiod: age range in which certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally or along a certain path - sensitiveperiod: an optimal age range for certain experiences, but if those experiences occur at another time, normal development will still be possible - development is continuous or discontinuous - do characteristics remain consistent or change as we age - these issues are addressed by plotting developmental functions that portray how different processes change with age - No change - horizontal line - ability present before birth and doesn’t change with age eg. the ability to see objects as distinct from their background - Continuous change - logarithmic function - ability no present or very immature at birth but develops gradually over months then remains pretty constant for the rest of life eg. certain types of intelligence - stages (discontinuous) - steps - an ability that progresses in stages with relatively rapid shifts from a lower level of performance to a higher level eg. sitting up to walking - inverted U - something that emerges after birth then peaks and disappears eg. separation anxiety - U shaped - an ability that is present in early life then disappears temporarily then comes back eg. newborns turning toward off centred sound and stepping with support - to describe these functions developmental psychologists use special research designs - crosssectionaldesignyou compare people of different ages at the same point in time eg. give intelligence tests to 10, 20, 30, 40 year olds compare how well the different age groups perform - allows us to collect data from many age groups relatively quickly - but different age groups grew up in different historical periods so intelligence differences could be due to other things like education and nutrition Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - longitudinaldesignrepeatedly tests the same cohort (age groups) as it grows older. Eg. they test a group of 10 year olds and follow them with tests at different ages of their life - allows for researchers to make sure they are exposed to the same historical periods - but it is time consuming and people may stop participating cuz they want to move or die - also the results cannot be for sure because it could be actually for everyone or it may just be for the cohort they found - sequentialdesigncombines the cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches. They repeatedly test several age cohorts as they grow older and determine whether they follow a similar developmental pattern - most comprehensive - but most time consuming and most costly Prenatal Development - three stages 1. germinal: approximately the first two weeks of development starting with the zygote: a fertilized egg - through cell division the zygote becomes a mass of cells that attaches to the mother’s uterus about 2 weeks after conception 2. embryonic stage: second to eighth week - cell mass is now called an embryo - the placenta (on the uterus wall and allows nutrients to pass from the mother’s blood to the umbilical cord) and umbilical cord (contains blood vessesl that carry these nutrients and oxygen to the embryo and waste products back from the embryo to the mother) develop - embryonic cells divide and become specialized; body organs and systems begin to form - by the end of this stage, the hear is beating and the brain is forming with facial features being recognized 3. fetal stage: after the ninth week the embryo is now a fetusand lasts until birth - muscles become stronger and other bodily systems continue to develop - at 24 weeks the eyes open and by 28 weeks it attains the age of viability meaining that it is likely to be able to survive outside the womb Genetics and Sex Determination - the 23 pair of chromosomes determine the sex - women have XX and so only carry the X chromosome - males have and XY and so if it passes on the Y it will be a male and if it passes on an X it will be a female Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - the Y chromosome has a gene known as TDF(testisdeterminingfactor)genewhich triggers male sexual development - after 6-8 weeks after conception, TDF initiates the development of the testes - once the testes are formed they release sex hormones (androgens) that continue to direct a male pattern of organ development - if the testes are not formed there is a lack of androgen activity and so an inherent female pattern of organ development ensues Environmental Influences - teratogensare environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal developments - placenta prevents many dangerous substances from reaching the embryo and fetus but some things can pass through - eg. rubella (German measles) while the embryo’s eyes, ears, heart and nervous system are forming can cause deafness, blindness, heart defects and retardation - STD’s can produce brain damage, blindness and deafness eg. syphilis can cause babies to be born blind and HIV without proper treatment can be passed to the baby (especially during C-section) - alcohol causes fetalalcoholsyndrome(FAS) - a group of severe abnormalities that result from fetal exposure to alcohol - they have facial abnormalities and small malformed brains - can have IQ and fine/gross motor impairments and deficits in communication and social skills (adaptive functions) - but there is a range in symptoms some children may display a milder form of these deficits or no clear deficits - nicotine also causes low birth weight and increases the changes of miscarriage and premature birth - heroine and cocaine will causes babies to be born addicted and experience withdrawl symptoms - may also have impaired cognitive function - fetuses also respond with body (at 27 weeks) and heart rate acceleration (29 weeks) to stimuli such as loud sounds or vibrations (third trimester) - gives conflicting estimates of fetal sensory development - fetuses also learn; they stop responding to repeated stimuli - shows short term memory - also develops long term memory for sounds they hear repeatedly during fetal development ( likes mother’s voice better than a stranger’s) - can also learn odours- if the mothers usually consumed things with a specific odour, they prefer that too Infancy and Childhood Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan Newborns Sensation and Perception - preferentiallookingprocedureused to study infants’ visual preferences - given newborns to different visual stimuli to see how long they looked at each stimuli - they like more complex patterns but have poor visual acuity (40 times worse than a normal adults’ acuity of 20/20) - sees things super blurry - also they turn toward off centered auditory and tactile targets and odours - orient themselves towards significant stimuli in their environment optimizing their access to food, warmth and social stimulation Newborn Learning - they learn very fast and they like novel stimuli - a new visual preference can be established in newborns using visualhabituation procedure - the same stimulus is presented repeatedly until infant looking time declines - infants usually look at the new stimulus longer than the habituated one - auditoryhabituationprocedureshowed similar results - turned heads away or stopped responding after getting used to the sound - newborns can learn very quickly to associate particular sounds with particular objects such as a mothers voice with her face - newborns can learn through classical and operant conditioning and imitation - touched forehead and gave milk, babies cried when the milk was not delivered - learned that a sucking pattern would give rise to a tape of its mother’s voice - newborns will also imitate some adult facial expressions - seems infants are born with innate abilities that help them respond to caretakers and important events in their environments Sensory-Perceptual Development - their sensory-perceptual abilities improve rapidly - visual field and acuity improves in a continuous developmental functions most by 6 months and then slower until 4 years - at 3-4 months infant pattern perception is organized according to certain Gestalt principles and others appear later in a step like pattern - not all perceptual developmental functions show improvement with age during infancy - U shaped function for: - sound localization (turning head towards sounds) - disappears at 2 months then reappears around the 4 th - could be due to a lack of practice or interest or temporary inhibition as the cortical structures matures - discrimination between auditory patterns - young infants can discriminate subtle differences in sounds Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - but it is lost by 12 months of age as they learn their native language, they can only discriminate sounds of their learned language - demonstrates use it or lose it - but can be regained as adults can still learn new languages - infants also can remember musical melodies - reflects an early stage in the evolution of our communication system composed of melodies rather than words - BASICALLY - sensory-perceptual processes are exercised in the uterus and operate at some level at birth - most improve rapidly in the first year but some appears suddenly months after birth or some decline temporarily or disappear during the first year of life - reasons for U shaped developmental functions are unclear Physical, Brain and Motor Development - Maturationis the genetically programmed biological process that governs our growth - allows our bodies and motor skills to develop rapidly during infancy and childhood - cephalocaudalprinciplereflects the tendency for development to proceed in the head-to- foot direction - thats why baby heads are so large compared to their bodies, because physical growth starts at the head - proximodistalprinciplesays that development begins at the innermost parts of the body and continues towards the outermost parts - thats why infants can control their shoulders before their hands The Young Brain - brain grows very rapidly during infancy and early childhood then slows down in later childhood - neural networks that form the basis of cognitive and motor skills develop rapidly - the first brain areas to mature are deep in the brain and are the ones that are necessary to regulate basic survival functions (aka breathing and heartbeats) - one of the last areas to develop is the frontal cortex (vital to our highest level cognitive functions) - even though the size of a 5 year old brain is 90% of an adults, new synapses still form, unnecessary synapses are pushed back and lost, association areas in the cortex mature and cerebral hemispheres become more specialized Motor Development - follows a regular stage like sequences (tends to) - infants may vary in age but the sequence is consistant - this does not include reflexees Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - reflexesare automatic “inborn” behaviours elicited by specific stimuli which are present at birth - some things like breathing have adaptive significance, others are not so obvious - eg. some appear to walk when held upright - some motor skills follow a U shaped function - eg. the walking thing disappears after 2 months then reappears at 12 when they are learning to walk - the motor skill is hidden not lost Environmental and Cultural Influences - physical and motor development are guided by genes but they are influenced by experience - diet - malnutrition stunts growth and brain development and can cause death - babies thrive in an enriched environment where they can interact with others and their environment (toys) - baby rats in an enriched environment developed heavier brains, larger neurons, more synaptic connections and more neurotransmitters that enhance learning - physical touch - depriving babies from physical contact stunts their growth - physical contact with premature and normal babies can help them grow and accelerates their weight gain and neurological development - experience - helps in the development of motor skills - giving babies the “walking” practice causes them to walk earlier than other babies - SO... - biology sets limits on environmental influences - no matter the environment you can’t exceed the limits set by biology (cannot make a baby toilet trained before the nerve fibres that regulate bladder control is developed) - environmental influences can be powerful; can either accelerate or stunt growth - biological and environmental factors interact - enriched environment enhances brain development which facilitates our ability to learn and benefit from environmental experiences Cognitive Development Piaget’s Stage Model - proposed that children’s thinking changes qualitatively with age and it is different from the way adults think - says that cognitive development results from maturation and experience - cognitive development occurs as we acquire new schemas and as our existing schemas become more complex Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - schema is organized patterns of thought and action - Piaget said there are two main processes involved - assimilation: where new experiences are incorporated into existing schemas - when seeing something new, an infant tries to fit it into existing schemas - accommodation: where new experiences cause existing schemas to change - when they find the new thing doesn’t fit into the schema, they will change their schema to become more complicated eg. some things can be sucked some cannot and the schema of what a dog is has more qualifications - therefore learning is trying to understand new things in terms of what we know and changing our thinking to incorporate new experiences that don’t fit into our current schemas - Piaget said there are four major stages of learning 1. Sensorimotor stage - birth to 2 yrs - learns the idea of objectpermanence: the understanding that an objects continues to exist even when it no longer can be seen - towards the end of this period can use words to represent objects and needs - can plan, form simple concepts, solve simple concepts mentally and communicate their thoughts 2. Preoperational stage - around age 2 - they represent the world symbolically through words and mental images but do not yet understand basic mental operations or rules - can represent simple concepts like ‘the same’ or ‘different’ and things like “yesterday (past) tomorrow (future)” - this allows them to pretend play - does not understand conservationthe principle that basic properties of objects, such as their volume, mass or quantity stay the same even though their outward appearance may change - same volume of orange juice in a narrower but taller bottle makes them believe there is more in one than the other - their thinking displays irreversibility (cannot mentally reverse an action) - they exhibit centration (they only focus on one aspect of the situation) eg. focuses only on the height of the new beaker, thinking it has more juice in it - shows egocentrismmeaning they cannot view the world from another point of view Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - eg. they cannot imagine that a person standing at a different side of a model of a mountain will see a different view than them 3. Concrete operational stage - 7 - 12 yrs -could perform basic mental operations concerning problems that involve tangible objects and situations -grasp the concept of reversibility, displayed less centration and easily solved concentration problems -they can do serial ordering (tallest to shortest) and can form mental representations of a series of actions (drawing a map) -but have difficulty with hypothetical questions or questions needing abstract reasoning -eg. if you ask where they would put a third eye, they would line it up with where the other two are and their reasoning is usually unsophisticated like “So I can see you better” 4. Formal operational stage - begins at 11/12 and continues into adolescence - now individuals can think logically about both concrete and abstract problems - can form hypotheses and systematically test them - think more flexibly when tackling hypothetical problems and enjoy them - eg. brain teasers - eg. 12 years olds came up with more creative ideas for the third eye - put it on their palm to see around a corner Assessment of Piaget’s Theory - seems his order of development is universal - object permanence before symbolic thinking, before concrete reasoning, before abstract reasoning - but his principle is based on Western culture where cognitive development is equated with scientific logical thinking but other cultures may consider it to be social intelligence EarlyUnderstandingofthePhysicalWorld - infants and children seem to acquire many concepts earlier than Piaget proposed - violation of expectation experiment - infants stare at impossible scenarios longer than the expected ones - used this to show that infants have a rudimentary sense of object permanence and also showed rudimentary math abilities - this is met with controversy as they say the researchers infer too much about what goes on in an infants head - but seems they have a better concept of the world than Piaget thought Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan ComplexityofStages - cognitive development is more complex and more variable than Piaget proposed - eg. children made fewer conservation and egocentric thinking when tested on things that are more familiar to them - cognitive development at each stage proceeds inconsistently - child could be at the preoperational level on some tasks and concrete level for others - PROBLEM: if development is in distinct stages children should not show large inconsistencies in solving conceptually similar tasks Vygotsky: The Social Context of Cognitive Development - Piaget acknowledged that social factors influence children’s thinking but focused mainly on children’s independent exploration of the physical world - Vygotsky highlighted how the sociocultural context interacts with the brain’s biological maturation - eg. he says that two kids cannot solve a problem but one with parental guidance understands while the other still cannot. That means they are not at the same cognitive level - Zoneofproximaldevelopment: the difference between what a child can do independently and what a child can do with assistance - helps us recognize what a child may soon be able to do by themselves and that people can do things to help them move faster in their cognitive development, within their limit Information- Processing Approaches - Piaget’s model is stage, other researchers view cognitive development as continuous - says same set of information processing abilities becomes more efficient over time as they learn to search for key information and hold that information Information-searchstrategies - older children are better able to search systematically for relevant information - young children are not able to come with a strategy to solve a problem as efficiently Processingspeed,attentionandresponseinhibition - children process information faster as they get older - they are able to increase their attention span, improve their attention and so do not get distracted by irrelevant stimuli - also learn to have cognitive flexibility and selective attention - hard for preschoolers to switch rules (eg. sorting cards from colours into sorting with shape) WorkingmemoryandLongtermmemory - working memory improves with age - can also retain and manipulate visuospatial information in working memory more effectively (mental rotation tasks) Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - eg, rotating a shape - older children also more likely to use strategies to improve memory - eg. rehearsing words to help put into long term memory - older children also have more long term memory to help them solve problems or perform tasks ContinuityvsDiscontinuity - some say cognitive development involves both - still debated Theory of Mind: Children’s Understanding of Mental States - theoryofmind: refers to a person’s beliefs about the mind and the ability to understand other people’s mental states - young children do not understand what other people are thinking and believe what they know is what others know - older children are better able to predict what other people’s mental processes are LyingandDeception - children starting at 3 are able to lie meaning they have false belief understanding - though young children who make elaborate lies are more detectable - older children can lie very well Perspectivetakingandearlyword-learning - infants can begin to make inferences about an adult’s perspective knowledge and intentions early in life - eg. learn to attach words with what the adult is looking at and later learns to trust that more when the adult appears to be more knowledgeable about the word Social-Emotional and Personality Development Early emotions and emotion regulation - infants can express emotions, but they become more diverse - by 18 months they develop a sense of self (can recognize themselves in a mirror) and with that they develop embarrassment and envy - after 2 when they learn about performance standards and rules they display pride or shame and guilt - they also improve their emotionregulation: the processes by which we evaluate and modify our emotional reactions - as children age their emotional expressiveness and ability to regulate their emotions become part of their emotional competence and influences their social behaviour and how well their peers and others will like them - people who can’t control their anger are less likely to be liked - socialization will contribute to to children’s emotional development - as models and reinforcement Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan Temperament - temperamentis a biologically based general style of reacting emotionally and behaviourally to the environment - this is different in infants from birth - through research, it seems that very strong temperament traits remain consistent throughout life, but moderate ones in infancy is not reliable in predicting the future temperament - also some traits may have genetic markers - HOWEVER, it is difficult to predict how any individual infant or child will turn out as an adult - many factors influence development and even in childhood strong temperaments often mellow - temperament classifications vary depending of context (stress level) and observers Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory - Erik Erikson believed that personality develops through confronting a series of eight major psychologicalstages - each has a crisis over how we view ourselves in relation to other people and the world - Four crises occur during in infancy and childhood - basic trust vs basic mistrust - based on how our needs are treated we develop a basic trust or mistrust of the world - Autonomy versus shame and doubt - if parents restrict children or make harsh demands during the time children become ready to exercise their individuality, they develop shame and doubt about their abilities and later lack the courage to be independent - first two years - Initiative vs guilt - 3 - 5 children have curiosity - if they are held back from exploring they develop guilt about their desires and suppress their curiosity if they are encouraged, they develop initiative - industry versus inferiority - 6 - puberty - children who experience pride and encouragement develop industry (a striving to achieve) - repeated failure and lack of praise for trying leads to inferiority - personality is not fixed in childhood - successfully resolving each crises prepares us to meet the next and the themes that emerge in childhood set the basis for our lives Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan Attachment - imprintingis a sudden, biologically primed form of attachment - for some birds, such as ducks and geese - involves a critical period - so some species have to be exposed to their parents hours after they are born to attach them - attachmentthe strong emotional bond that develops between children and their primary caregivers - for humans - it is not automatic like imprinting is and there is no immediate post birth critical period that is needed for the bond to form - first few years of life are a sensitive period: most easy time for bond to be made - may be more difficult later in life but still possible Attachmentprocess - contact comfort (body contact with a comforting object) is more important in fostering attachment than the provision of nourishment - monkey with cloth mom and wire food mom chose the cloth mom when scared - develops in three phases - indiscriminate attachment - they display behaviour (crying) to everyone that evoke caregiving from adults - discriminate attachment - around three months - infants now direct their behaviour towards more familiar caregivers than strangers - specific attachment behaviour - 7 or 8 months - develop meaningful attachment - they become a base from which the infant can crawl about and explore - as attachment becomes more focused two types of anxiety can form - strangeranxiety - distress over contact with unfamiliar people from 6-18 months - separationanxiety - distress over being separated from a primary caregiver beings later, peaks at 12- 16 months and disappears between 2- 3 years - inverted U - these may be adaptive, to keep them safe - eg. fear or strangers and separation would prevent them from walking too far and losing their caregivers Typesofattachment Chapter 12- Development over the Lifespan - StrangeSituationTest(SST): a standardized procedure for examining infant attachment
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