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chapter 11.doc

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Psychology 1000

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MAJOR ISSUES AND METHODS Developmental psychology: changes in our biological, physical, psychological, and behavioural processes as we age Four issues guide developmental research: 1) Nature vs. nurture: development the product of heredity or environment 2) Critical and sensitive periods: experiences that are important at particular ages Critical period: an age range where certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally Sensitive period: an optimal age range for certain experiences; it those occur at a different time, development will still be possible 3) Continuity vs. discontinuity: is development gradual or discontinuous (progressing through distinct stages) 4) Stability vs. change: do characteristics remain consistent with age? Five developmental functions with different shapes 1) No change: Ability present at birth remains constant across the lifespan 2) Continuous change: an ability not present at birth develops gradually over months and then consistent with age 3) Stages: an ability progresses with relatively rapid shifts from a lower to higher level (from crawling to walking) 4) Inverted U-shaped: an ability emerges some time after birth and disappears with age 5) U-Shaped: an ability present early in age, disappears for a bit, and then reappears Research designs to plot age functions: Cross-sectional design: compare people at different ages at the same point of time Good: data from many age groups can be collected relatively quickly Limit: the different age groups (cohorts) grew up in different historical periods (environmental differences) Longitudinal design: repeatedly tests the same cohort as they grow older Good: now everyone is exposed to the same historical time frame Problem: time consuming and the sample may shrink through the years as people drop out or die Sequential design: combines the cross-sectional and longitudinal design; we repeatedly test several cohorts as they grow older to see if they follow a similar pattern Good: makes sure that an observation is due to a pattern and not unique to that cohort PRENETAL DEVELOPMENT 3 stages of physical growth: 1) Germinal stage: -the first two weeks of development beginning when the sperm fertilizes the egg (ovum) Zygote: fertilized egg; through cell division it becomes a mass that attaches to the mothers uterus 2) Embryonic stage: -the 2 to the 8 week of pregnancy; the cell is now an embryo -the placenta and the umbilical cord develop at the start of this stage Placenta: on the uterine wall which contains membranes that allow nutrients to pass from the mothers blood to the umbilical cord Umbilical cord: contains blood vessels that carries nutrients and oxygen to the embryo and waste from the embryo to the mother -embryo develops and becomes specialized; bodily organs and systems form, the heart begins to beat, the brain is forming, facial features such as eyes can be recognized 3) Fetalthtage: -9 week after conception; embryo becomes a fetus which lasts until birth -muscles become stronger and bodily systems continue to develop -24 week the eyes open; 28 week the fetus attains the age of viability- most likely to survive outside of the womb in the case of premature birth GENETICS AND SEX DETERMINATION -the baby’s sex is on the 23 chromosome (XX) = girl (XY)= boy -Y chromosome contains the TDF gene which triggers male sexual development (the tests at 6-8 weeks)- the testes secrete sex hormones (androgens) that develop male pattern of organ development -when the TDF gene is not present, testes do not form; there is an absence of sufficient androgen activity during the prenatal critical period and there will be a female pattern of organ development ENVIORONMENTAL INFLUENCES: -nature and nurture become intertwined even before we are born. Ex. maternal malnutrition is associated with miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, impaired prenatal brain development Teratogens: -Environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development -the placenta prevents dangerous substances from reaching the fetus but sometimes chemical molecules and diseases can pass through maternal stress: causes stress hormones to pass placenta; associated with premature birth, infant irrability, attentional deficits Rubella (German measles): can cause blindness, deafness, mental retardation, heart defects (especially during the period where the embryos eyes, ears, CNS are forming) Sexual transmitted diseases: can produces brain damage, blindness, deafness depending on the disease Environmental toxins: mercury, lead, radiation, drugs Fetal alcohol syndrome: facial abnormalities and malformed brains; the major cause of mental retardation Fetal alcohol effects: fetus’ exposed to alcohol that only display milder forms of deficits Nicotine: increases risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight Heroin or cocaine: born addicted to the drug and experience withdrawal symptoms Fetal behaviour: -studied by visualizing the fetus and recording the fetal heart rate using an ultrasound -reliable fetal body movements were first elicited 26 weeks gestational age and increased with age -heart rate acceleration were elicited beginning at 29 weeks and remained high until birth Fetal learning: -fetuses stop responding to repeated presentations of stimuli showing their short term memory -also develop long term memory for sounds that they have heard repeatedly during development INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD Problem with testing infants: hard to keep them focused and on task; they cant describe their experiences THE AMAZING NEWBORN William James: the newborn is passive, disorganized and have an empty mind Now: prenatal sensory motor development (tactile, auditory, perceptual systems are stimulated and operating) -visual system receives little fetal stimulation Newborn sensation and perception: -newborn vision is limited by poor acuity (objects seem blurred), a lack of coordinated eye movements (they see double), “tunnel vision” (a very small visual field) -minutes after birth… face off-centered visual objects, turn toward auditory and tactile targets The newborn orient to environmental stimuli, the most important being that related to their mother Preferential looking procedure: (Fantz) infants look longer at patterned objects (preferably complex patterns) -newborns look longer at their mother; could be due to their hairline since the preference disappears when the hairline is covered -newborn acuity = 20/800 (40 times worse that adult acuity of 20/20) Visual habituation procedure: the same stimulus is repeated until the infant looking time declines -infants look longer at novel stimuli (ie. They have a memory that discriminates between new and familiar) Therefore, infants are born with the capacity to recognize and respond to Newborn Learning: -infants stopped turning to a familiar sound (it wasn’t because they were tired since they avoided familiar sound, turned to new sound, partial habituation lasted 24 hours- long term memory) -newborns learn to associate particular sounds to particular objects; classical conditioning Ex. when a newborn was tapped (CS) food was given (UCS); after the tapping, they would turn towards the milk (UCR) Ex. infants can imitate adult expressions SENSORY- PERCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT -infant visual field expands to the size of adults by 6 months old -visual acuity increases to 20/100 by 6 months; Acuity progresses more slowly after that (continuous development) - discriminate between patterns (3-4 months; infants); Pattern perception organized according to gestalt principles; discriminate internal features of schematic faces (emerge as stages) -Sound localization – (U shaped function) -Newborns turn towards sound at birth; disappears at 2 months; comes back at 4-5 months Reason: lack of practice, captured by visual targets, inhibition as cortical areas mature and take control of subcortical reflexes -Auditory pattern perception- can detect tiny changes in adult speech sounds that differ between phonemes -Lose the ability at 12 months as they begin to speak; since adults can discriminate phonemes- (U-shaped) -infants perceive music the same way as adults (look longer at a pitch that adults find pleasing) PHSYICAL, MOTOR, AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT Maturation: the genetically programmed biological process that governs our growth Physical and motor development follows these principles: Cephalocaudal principle: -the tendency for development to proceed in the head to foot direction (concentration is on the head first) Proximodistal principle: -development begins along the innermost parts and continues to the outermost parts of the body (ex. a fetus’s hands develop before its finger) The brain: -develops the most rapidly; cells increase in size, axons develop myelin sheath, neural networks for cognitive and motor skills develop -First areas to develop (brain stem,); lie deep in brain and regulate basic survival functions (heartbeat, breathing) -last areas to develop (association areas of the frontal cortex); vital for high level cognitive functions (language) 5-10 years old: growth slows down (at 90% if adult size at age 5); -still matures: new synapses, association areas of cerebral cortex mature, hemispheres become more specialized Motor development: -a regular stage like sequence; infants vary in the age that they acquire skills but the sequence of skills is the same Reflexes: automatic “inborn” behaviours (present at birth) elicited by specific stimuli Ex. stepping reflex follow U-shaped function (drop after 2 months and reappear after 12 months); motor skill is hidden but not lost Environmental and cultural influences: -physical and motor develop are also influenced by experience (Ex. diet) Three points across human development: 1) biology sets limits on environmental influences: the best nutrition will not cause all people to grow to 7 feet 2) environmental influences can be powerful: nurturing environments foster physical, sensory- motor, psychological growth 3) biological and environmental factors interact: enriched environments enhance brain development COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT Piaget’s Stage Model: -intrigued since during tests children of the same age usually made the same mistakes; how did they get the answer -children’s thinking changed qualitatively with age and differs from how adults think -the brain building schemas: organized patterns of thought and action Ex. infants are born with a sucking reflex that provides a schema for interacting with objects -cognitive development occurs as we acquire new schemas or as our existing schemas become more complex Assimilation: the process by which new experiences are incorporated into our existing schemas Ex. a child who sees a horse for the first time may say “big doggie” by applying to her schema of her dog Accommodation: the process by which new experiences cause existing schemas to change Ex. the child will realize that the horse does not bark or fetch like other dogs Disequilibrium between existing schemas and new experiences forces the schemas to change (Ex. begin to develop new schemas for “horse” When a schema is modified it creates equilibrium between the environment and the child’s understanding of it Sensorimotor stage: Sensory motor stage: last from birth to 2 years old; children understand the world through sensory experiences and physical (motor) interactions with objects -reflexes are the earliest schemas; as sensory and motor capabilities increase they realize that “they can make things happen” Object permanence: the ability to understand that an object still exists even when it disappears from sight -towards the end of sensorimotor stage, children use words to represent objects, needs, and actions Preoperational stage: Preoperational stage: around 2 years old; they represent the world with words and mental images, but don’t understand basic mental operations or rules -can label objects, represent simple concepts, think about the past and future, think about consequences, can engage in pretend play (“make believe”) -do not understand the concept of conservation: the basic properties of objects (mass, volume) stay the same -displays irreversibility: difficult to mentally reverse an action -exhibits centration: focusing on only one aspect of the situation -display animism: attributing lifelike qualities to physical objects and natural events Ex. when it rains, the sky is “crying” -reflect egocentrism: difficulty viewing the world from someone else’s perspective (believe people perceive the same way as they do) Concrete operational stage: Concrete operational stage: ages 7-12; can perform basic mental operations concerning problems that involve tangible objects and situations -grasp reversibility, display less centration -grasp the concept of serial ordering and can arrange objects along various dimensions Ex. concrete operational child can draw a map to get to school; preoperational can lead you to school but not represent it symbolically -difficulty with hypothetical or abstract reasoning problems Formal operational stage: Formal operational stage: 11-12 through adolescence; able to think logically and systematically about concrete and abstract problems, form hypotheses and test them in thoughtful ways Assessment of Piaget’s theory: stages, ages and culture -general cognitive abilities associated with Piaget’s 4 stages occur in the same order across cultures (1) Object permanence (2) symbolic thinking (4) operational thinking; not always after (3) concrete reasoning -research shows culture influences cognitive development Ex. underdeveloped countries show “age delay” in Piaget’s tests; difference disappears in culturally appropriate tasks -children acquire cognitive skills at earlier stages than Piaget believed Ex. children make less errors in conservation tasks when they depend less on language -cognitive development within each stage seems to proceed more inconsistently Ex. a child may perform at a preoperational level on some tasks but a concrete level on other tasks Conclusion: continuity or discontinuity if there isn’t a distinct stage? Other researchers try to modify Piaget’s theory: Vygotsky: The Social Context of Cognitive Development -cognitive development occurs in a socio-cultural context; other peers stimulate a child’s cognitive growth Zone of proximal development: the difference between what a child can do independently and what a child can do with the assistance from adults or more advanced peers -gives us an idea of what children may soon be able to do on their own -people can provide feedback that “moves” a child’s cognitive development forward within limits Ex. having older siblings may stimulate a younger child’s cognitive development as long as they are biologically ready for the input Information- Processing approaches: Ex. a child may not be able to solve a problem since they pay insufficient attention, don’t search for key information, or are unable to hold all the information simultaneously in memory Information search strategies: young children are less able to search systematically for relevant details Information processing speed: improves continuously with age; slows down during adolescence Memory capabilities: preschoolers rarely use rehearsal methods and do not make effective use of “chunking” Metacognition: awareness of one’s own cognitive processes; older children have greater awareness Ex. older children know how well they understand the material for a test -believe that cognition is a continuous, gradual process (no stages) Neo-piaget theorists: children acquire new modes of processing information as they age -involve discontinuity and continuity Theory of mind: Children’s understanding of mental states: Theory of mind: a person’s beliefs about how the “mind” works and what others are thinking about Adults: mind consists of various states (feelings, desire) which are related to a person’s actions -use these assumptions to predict their own and other’s behaviour Piaget: children under 6-7 years old have a limited understand of how the mind works and have difficulty inferring what others are thinking (egocentrism) Actually… most 3-4 year olds were able to somewhat understand what a person is a story understood Lying and Deception: - reflect the theory of mind; imply an understanding that one can instill a false believe into another person’s mind Experiment: children peeked at a toy and most lied about peeking; difficult to conceal their lie in follow-up questions MORAL DEVELOPMENT Freud: children develop a moral conscience (internalize society’s moral norms) by identifying with their parents B.F Skinner: we learn “good” or “bad” behaviours through their association with reinforcement and punishment Piaget: a cognitive process in which children pass from a stage in believe behaviours are good or bad since their parents say so, to a stage of believing that morality involves subjective judgments about fairness Kohlberg’s Stage Model: -provided children, adolescents, and adults with moral dilemmas; interested in their reasons for their judgments 3 levels of moral reasoning: 1) Preconventional moral reasoning: -based on anticipated punishments or rewards; Stage 1: children focus on punishment; “steal the drug or else the wife will die and he’ll get in trouble” Stage 2: anticipated rewards and what is in the person’s best interest; “steal the drug so he’ll have his wife” 2) Conventional moral reasoning: -conformity to social expectations, laws and duties Stage 3: the desire to gain people’s approval; “people will think he’s bad if he doesn’t steal to save his wife” Stage 4: children think laws should be obeyed since they are meant to be followed “steal drug- duty to save wife” 4) Postconventional moral reasoning: -well thought out moral principles Stage 5: recognize laws but take individual rights into account; “stealing breaks law but reasonable since it saved a life” Stage 6: based on ethical principles of justice (viewed universal); “law is unjust; stealing drug is morally right” -progress in moral reasoning depends on general cognitive maturation Culture, gender, and moral reasoning: Overall findings within many cultures: -as we age childhood to adolescence, moral reasoning changes from preconventional to conventional -even in adulthood, postconventional reasoning is uncommon (frequency varies across cultures) -levels are not skipped; occurs in the order -moral judgments don’t always reflect the same level or stage Western cultural bias: in many cultures the highest moral values focus on principles not in Kohlberg’s model Gender bias: “justice” primarily reflects a male perspective; cross cultural studies find males/females to display similar levels of moral reasoning Doesn’t focus enough on moral behaviour: can’t assume that people in high stages always behave more morally Moral development is NOT just a cognitive process; it has a behavioural component PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Personality: each person displays a different yet somewhat consistent pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving Freud: adult personality is largely established by 5 years old; research doesn’t support it Erikson’s psychosocial theory: Psychosocial stages: 8 major stages in which personality developments each of which involve a different “crisis” over how we view ourselves in relation to other people and the world; each crisis is always present but takes importance at a particular stage 4 crises: 1) Basic trust vs.
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