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Psych 1000 - Chapter 12 Notes.docx

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Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

Chapter 12 Notes - Developmental psychology examines changes in our biological, physical, psychological and behavioral processes as we age - Four broad issues guide developmental research o Nature and nurture – to what extent is our development the product of heredity or the product of environment o Critical and sensitive periods  Critical period – an age range in which certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally or along a certain path  Sensitive period – an optimal age range for certain experiences but if those experiences occur are another time, normal development will still be possible o Continuity vs. Discontinuity – Is development continuous and gradual, or discontinuous and progressing through stages o Stability vs. Change – Do our characteristics remain constant as we age - Developmental psychologists addresses these issues by describing developmental functions that portray how different processes change with age - psychologists often use special research designs to plot these age functions o Cross-sectional design – a research design that simultaneously compares people of different ages at a particular point in time  Widely used because data can be collected relatively quickly  A drawback is that different age groups (cohorts) grew up in different historical periods so there may be other factors influencing development o Longitudinal design – repeatedly tests the same cohort as it grows older  Time consuming  The sample may shrink over time as people move or drop out  Information may not be relevant to different cohorts o Sequential design – combines the cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches by repeatedly testing several age cohorts as they grow older to determine whether they follow a similar development pattern  Most comprehensive but also most time consuming and most costly - Principles of Development o Involves interdependent complementary processes o Growth  Notmal qualitative changes In physiological aspects of the organism over time o Maturation  Anatomical, neurophysiological, and biochemical changes over which individuals have little or no control o Learning  Releativly permanent changes in behavior resulting from experience, special training, observation, or practice - The Critical Periods Approach o Hyporthesis – normal development proceeds through a series of phases or stages each of which is marked by an increased receptivity toward certain environmental conditions o What happens at these stages affects late development and learning potential o The critical period of a body part is usually the period of its most rapid growth o Malleability to environmental factors is increased o Ex. thalidomide stops the development of limb buds only between 6-8 weeks - Prenatal Development o Consists of three stages  Germinal stage  Embryonic stage  Fetal stage o Genetics and Sex Determination  Sex cells have 23 chromosomes and they combine to form a full 46  The Y chromosome contains the TDF (testis determining factor) gene that triggers male sexual development o Environmental influences  Teratogens – environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development  The placenta prevents may dangerous substance from reaching the embryo but sometimes harmful chemical molecules and diseases can pass through  Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) – a group of severe abnormalities that results from prenatal exposure to alcohol. They have facial abnormalities, small malformed brains, intellectual and motor impairments, and poor adaptive functioning  Babies of pregnant mothers who regularly use heroine or cocaine are often born addicted and experience withdrawal symptoms after birth. Their cognitive functioning and ability to regulate their arousal and attention may also be impaired - Patterns of Development o Generally development is continuous and proceeds in an orderly and predictable sequence for all humans, its rate vary both within a given body system and between body systems (known as asynchronous growth and can contribute to disequilibrium - Infancy and childhood o Newborn Sensation and Perception  Preferential looking procedure (Fantz, 1961) –Infants preferred complex patterns to simple patterns and solid colors  Infants have poor visual acuity  They orient to significant stimuli in their environment o Newborn Learning  Infants appear to learn rapidly, within hours of birth they can distinguish their mother’s face from a stranger  A new visual preference can be established in newborns by using the visual habituation procedure where the same stimulus is presented repeatedly until looking time declines  When a novel stimulus is presented, infants usually look longer at the novel rather than the familiar stimulus’ o Sensory-Perceptual Development  Newborns sensory-perceptual abilities improve rapidly. Their visual field expands to almost adult size by 6 months  Not all perceptual development functions show improvement with age during infancy. Sound localization has a U-shaped function  Sensory-perceptual processes are exercised in the uterus o Physical, Brain, and Motor Development  Because of maturationour bodies and movement skills develop rapidly during infancy and childhood  Cephalocaudal principle – the tendency for development to proceed in a head-to-foot direction.  Proximodistal principle – development begins along the innermost parts of the body and continues toward the outermost parts (eg. Arms develop before hands and gingers  Reflexes – automatic, inborn, behaviors elicited by specific stimuli  Physical and motor development are also influence by experience. For example, sever malnutrition leads to stunted growth and less brain development and potentially death  Depriving newborns of touch also stunts their development, human contact helps restore normal growth and accelerates development o Cognitive Development  Piaget’s Stage Model  Believed that children’s thinking changes qualitatively with age and it differs from the way adults think  Cognitive development results from an interplay of maturation and experience. Cognitive development occurs as we acquire new schemes (assimilation) and as our existing schemas change and become more complex (accommodation)  Sensorimotor stage – from birth to about age 2, infants understand their world primarily through sensory experiences and physical interactions with objects. There reflexes are the earliest schemas that guide thought and action but as sensory and motor capabilities increase, babies began to realize they could make things happen. They also develop object permanence, which is the understanding that an object continues to exist even when it can no longer be seen. Finally they begin to use words and think, plan, form simple concepts, solve some problems mentally, and communicate  Preoperational stage – they represent the world symbolically through words and mental images but do not yet understand basic mental operations or rules. There is rapid language development which helps label objects and represent simple concepts. They still do not understand conservation, the principle that basic properties of objects, such as their volume, mass, or quantity, stay the same even if their outward appearance changes. Children’s thinking displays irreversibility and it is difficult for them to reverse an action mentally. Preoperational children exhibit centration where they centre on one aspect of the situation. Their thinking also reflects egocentrism and they have difficulty viewing the world from someone else’s perspective (they believe everyone perceives the same thing in the same way)  Concrete operational stage – Between 7-12 years children can perform basic mental operations concerning tangible objects and situations. They grasp the concept of reversibility, show less centration, and easily solve conservation problems. They still often have difficulty with hypothetical or abstract thinking and/or reasoning  Formal operational stage – individuals think logically about concrete and abstract problems, they form hypotheses, and systematically test them. It begins at about 11 to 12 years and increases through adolescence. Children also begin to think more flexibly  Assessment of Piaget’s Model  Piaget’s universality principle – the general cognitive abilities associated with Piaget’s four stages occur in the same order across cultures  Contrary to his principle, researchers have found that culture can influence cognitive development  Infants appear to acquire many concepts at an earlier age than Piaget proposed, but they can’t express their knowledge in words  Cognitive development is more complex and variable than Piaget proposed and development within each stage may proceed inconsistently  Vygotsky – The Social Context of Cognitive Development  Highlighted how the sociocultural context interacts with the brain’s biological maturation  Zone of proximal development – the difference between what a child can do independently and what a child can do with assistance from adults or more advanced peers  Bruner’s Theory  Neonatal are not simply passice receivers of stimuli  They can control stimulus presentation by altering suckling responses which will increase to allow examination of more novel stimuli or less novel stimuli (preferred)  Information Processing Approaches  Many researchers view cognitive development as a continuous, gradual process in which the same set of information-processing abilities becomes more efficient over time  Language and Congition  Some researchers believe language is necessary for complex learning, thinking, concept formation, reasoning and problem solving  Luria argues children internalize speech which helps organize experiences and control behavior  Other researchers maintain that language development is dependent upon cognitive operates the preceded speech in time (studies with deaf children)  Conclusion – language plays a indirect role in cognitive development. Thus language can serve as an additional pathway for learning but is not a required pathway  Theory of Mind – Children’s Understanding of Mental States  Theory of mind – a person’s beliefs about the mind and the ability to understand other peoples’ mental states  Young children have trouble recognizing what other people are thinking  People who have false belief understanding are more likely to lie, starting as early as the age of 3  Children understand several aspects of other peoples’ thinking by 3 to 4 years of age which is well before Piaget proposed o Social-Emotional and Personality Development  Children also grow emotionally and socially, they form attachments and display a unique personality, a distinctive yet somewhat consistent pattern of thinking  Infants can’t express their feelings but their facial expressions, vocalizations, and behavior give us some information  Around 18 months, infants begin to develop a sense of self  Their emotional reactions become more diverse as does emotion regulation, the process by which we evaluate and modify our emotional reactions  Emotional competence – emotional expressiveness and ability to regulate emotions. This influences social behavior and how well their peers and other people like them  Temperament – a biologically based general style of reacting emotionally and behaviorally to the environment. It is different for each person  Some traits have genetic markers  Still predicting how any individual infant will turn out as an a
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