[PSYC 355] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (28 pages long!)

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PSYC 355
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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PSYC355 Textbook Notes
Chapter 1
1) Reasons to Learn About Child Development
a) Raising children
i) How to help children control anger/negative emotions
(1) Spanking study showed it made problem worse; the more often child was
spanked in Kindergarten, the more often they acted inappropriately in 3rd grade
(2) Expressing sympathy
(3) Helping child find positive alternatives to express emotions
(4) Denham & Burton 1996 “Turtle technique”- children taught to isolate self and
retreat to turtle shell to think about situation during time of conflict
(a) Proved to be very successful
b) Choosing Social Policies
i) Reliability of children’s testimony in court
(1) Important not to question child repeatedly about same issue
(2) No leading questions esp. with younger children
ii) Holding kids back in school
iii) Health education program for teens
c) Understanding human nature
i) Studies of how children’s ability to overcome effects of early maltreatment is affected
by its timing
(1) Studied Romanian orphans
(a) Negative effects of early deprivation persisted over time
(i) Effect size decreased when orphans were adopted at younger age
ii) The timing of experiences influences their effects
2) Historical Foundations of the Study of Child Development
a) Early researched used general philosophies/beliefs instead of empirical study
b) Early philosophers
i) Plato & Aristotle
(1) Focused on nature vs nurture
(2) Believed long-term welfare of society depended on childrens’ upbringing
(3) Plato self-control/discipline should be goal of education; knowledge is innate
(4) Aristotle knowledge comes from experience
c) Later philosophers
i) John Locke (1632-1704) & Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
(1) Focused on how parents/society should give children max. freedom
(2) Locke child as tabula rasa (blank slate)
(3) Rousseau children learn from hand own experience not lessons; no formal
education until age 12 (“age of reason”)
d) Social Reform Movements
i) Industrial Revolution many children in US/Europe worked as poorly paid laborers
w/ no legal protection
(1) Earl of Shaftesbury (Britain) passed law forbidding employment of kids younger
than 10
e) Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
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i) “A Biographical Sketch of an Infant”– detailed observations of motor, sensory, and
emotional growth of his infant son
ii) Evolutionary theory influences thinking of modern developmentalists
(1) Infants’ attachment to mothers
(2) Innate fear of natural dangers
(3) Sex differences
(4) Aggression and altruism
(5) Mechanisms underlying learning
f) Research-Based Theories of Child Development
i) Freud ideas based on patient’s recollection of dreams/childhood experiences
(1) Psychoanalytic theory biological drives (sexual) are crucial influence
ii) John Watson based on results of experiments that examined learning
(1) Behaviorist theory development determined by environmental factors
(rewards/punishments)
3) Enduring Themes in Child Development/7 Fundamental Questions (FINAL)
a) Nature and Nurture
i) Nature biological endowment (genes from parents)
ii) Nurture environments that influence development (physical and social)
iii) Genome influences behaviors/experiences as behaviors/experiences influence genome
(a) Ex: autism, Phenylketonuria
(2) Genes matter when environment is similar, environment matters when genes are
similar
(3) Epigenetics study of stable changes in gene expression that are mediated by the
environment
(4) Methylation biochemical process that reduces expression of a variety of genes
and that is involved in regulating reactions to stress
b) Children Shaping Their Own Development
i) Children select what they pay attention to
(1) Infants draw to faces, esp. mother’s face
ii) Language development
(1) Toddlers talk when alone in a room
iii) Play
c) Continuity/Discontinuity of Development
i) Stage theories development occurs in a progression of distinct age-related stages
(qualitative shifts)
(1) Theory of cognitive development (Piaget) between birth and adolescence there
are 4 stages of growth
(a) Conservation task study showing children same amount of something just
different about of space and see if they believed the amount to change based
on container/space
ii) View often depends on how you look at development
(1) Ex; changes in height can either be viewed as continuous or discontinuous
d) Mechanisms of Development
i) Interactions between genes, brain structures, processes, experiences/environment
(1) Ex: effortful attention, strategies for solving math problems
e) Sociocultural context
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