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Chapter 3

Psychology Chapter 3.docx

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Ronald Cummings

Psychology Chapter 3: Human Development Nature and Nurture: Developmental Psychology: study of progressive changes in behaviour and abilities from conception to death Heredity and environment shape and change us through out life Heredity and environment are equally important, everything that happens is related to both Heredity gives us potentials and limitations which are then affected by environmental influences, such as learning, nutrition and culture Heredity: the transmission of physical and psychological characteristics from parents to offspring through genes Lots of personal features are set at conception Even when identical twins are raised apart they are still alike in motor skills, physical development, and appearance, although they are less alike as adults as they are when they are children The nucleus of every human cell contains DNA Deoxyribonucleic Acid: a molecular structure that contains coded genetic information o Ladder like chain od chemical molecules o Order of molecules acts as a code for genetic information o DNA in each cell contains a record of all the instructions needed to make a human o Linked molecules make up the rungs in DNA Chromosomes: thread-like colored bodies in the nucleus of each cell that are made up of DNA o 46 in human DNA Ova and sperm cells only contain 23 chromosomes Genes: specific areas on a strand of DNA that carry hereditary information A single gene can be responsible for an inherited feature Dominant Gene: a gene whose influence will be expressed each time a gene is present Recessive Gene: a gene whose influence will be expressed only when it is paired with a second recessive gene Few characteristics are controlled by single genes, most are polygenic Polygenic Characteristics: personal traits or physical properties that are influences by many genes working in combination Heredity determines eye colour, skin colour and susceptibility to some diseases Genes can switch on or off a certain ages Maturation: physical growth and development of the body and nervous system Readiness: a condition that exists when maturation has advanced enough to allow the rapid achievement of a particular skill A child fails when a part tries to teach a skill to early Average age for completed toilet training is about 3 years Environment: the sum of all external conditions affecting development, including especially the effects of learning During the first 3 years of life millions of new connections form in the brain every day, unused connections disappear Humans are still similar to care dwellers Prenatal Influences: Environmental conditions can still affect a developing child Congenital Problems: problems or defects that originate during prenatal development in the womb Genetic Disorders: problems caused by defects in the genes or by inherited characteristics Teratogen: radiation, a drug, or other substance capable of altering fetal development in nonheritable was that can cause birth defects If a mother is addicted to a drug the child may be born with the addiction Heavy drinking during pregnancy cause FAS o Low birth weight, small head, bodily defects and facial malformations o Suffer from emotional, behavioral and mental handicaps Smoking while pregnant reduces oxygen to the fetus o Children score lower on tests of language and mental ability Sensitive Periods: during development, a period of increased sensitivity to environmental influences, also, a time during which certain events must take place for normal development to occur Sometimes extra care can reverse the effects of a poor start in life Deprivation and Enrichment: Deprivation: the loss or withholding or normal stimulation, nutrition, comfort, love and so forth; a condition of lacking Enrichment: deliberately making and environment more stimulating, nutritional, comforting, loving and so forth Children whose first years are spent in restricted environments are usually mute, retarded, and emotionally damaged Mild deprivation occurs in many families (families living in poverty) Poverty can affect children in two ways 1. Poor parents arent able to give their children the needed resources, leading the children to be sick more often, cognitive development lagging and they do poorly in school 2. Stress of poverty can be hard on parents, leading to less positive parenting, this can damage a childs socioemotional development People who grow up in poverty usually remain poor 1 in 7 American families are below the poverty line Enriched environments may make some children brighter and improve abilities Babies should be surrounded by colours, music, people, and things to see, taste, touch and smell Childhood is a relatively sensitive period Reaction Range: the limits environment places on the effects of heredity Reciprocal Influences: Nurture often affects the expression of hereditary tendencies through ongoing reciprocal influences Growing infants influence their parents behaviour at the same time they are changed by it Newborn babies differ a lot in temperament Temperament: the physical core of personality, including emotional and perceptual sensitivity, energy levels and typical mood 40% of newborns are easy children who are relaxed 10% are difficult children who are moody and easily angered 15% are slow-to-warm-up children and are restrained, unexpressive and shy The rest dont fit perfectly into a category Therefore babies rapidly become active participants in their own development Inherited temperaments are modified by learning Developmental Level: current state of physical, emotional and intellectual development
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