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PSYCH 1XX3 (384)
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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Development Video Lecture Psych 1XX3

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Joe Kim

Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Chapter 1: Developmental Psychology Development 1  Levels of Analysis o Each frames different questions which lead to different answers to give a richer understanding of a complex problem o Provide a working framework with testable hypotheses and tools to create a rich tapestry of knowledge for understanding the intriguing problems of psychology, neuroscience and behavior o Eg/ Learning, Social, Cognition  Foundational Topics o Development: Gene-environment interactions across an individuals lifespan o Evolution: Gene-environment interactions across the evolutionary history of a species o Neuroscience: The study of the nervous system and the neural bases of thought and behavior Introduction to Development  Development – refers to the continuities and changes that occur within the individual between conception and death  Developmental psychologists are interested in studying how you change over time and how you stay the same  Two processes which lead to developmental change o Maturation – the biologically timed unfolding of changes within the individual according to that individuals genetic plan  Influenced by specific environmental conditions that shape the genetically-determined processes o Learning – the relatively permanent change in our thoughts, behaviors and feelings as a result of our experiences  Allow you to acquire new information and guide optimal strategies to respond to events and stimuli in the environment  Learned processes can be controlled but can also become so practiced as to become automatic  Interactionist Perspective – the view that holds that maturation and learning interact during development o Eg/(Maturation affecting learning) Must develop muscles in torso and limbs to have the balance to be able to learn to walk o Eg/ (Learning affecting maturation) A child given proper nutrition to develop, but isolated in a dark room – not able to learn Studying Development  Changes that occur earlier in life are much more dramatic than those occurring later in life  Measuring Abilities in Infants 1. Habituation (behavioral measures to understand infants sensory interactions with the environment) 2. Event Related Potentials (neural measures to understand infants sensory interactions with the environment) 3. High-Amplitude Sucking Method (liked and dislikes) 4. Preference Method (likes and dislikes) 1. Habituation Procedure – used to determine if an infant can detect the difference between two stimuli; used to study infants basic sensory capabilities o Infants tend to show interest in novel objects in the environment o Repeatedly present a stimulus to an infant while measuring changes in physiological responses (heart rate, breathing etc.) or behavioral orienting responses (head or eye movements)  When novel stimulus is presented, the infants responses will return to baseline levels – at this point, the infant has demonstrated habituation to the stimulus o Stimulus can be changed – if the infant recognizes the change by distinguishing the new stimulus from the old one, she is said to dishabituate and shows another burst in responses Video Lecture Psych 1X03  Observes the amount of time an infant chooses to attend to different stimuli  Habituation – a decrease in the responsiveness to a stimulus following repeated presentation of the stimulus  Dishabituation – an increase in the responsiveness to a stimulus that is somehow different from the habituated stimulus 2. Event Related Potentials (ERP) – a measure of the brain electrical activity evoked by the presentation of stimuli; allows researchers to research neural measures which coincide with the behavioral events observed o A special cap with an array of electrodes is carefully placed on the scale – sensitive electrodes can detect changes in electric activity across a population of neurons in the brain o The particular behavior being measured will evoke changes in various brain regions of interest  Measures brain activity in response to a presented stimulus 3. High Amplitude Sucking Method – used to determine what an infant likes and dislikes by measuring sucking rate o Measure baseline sucking rate for the infant in the absence of relevant stimuli o During the shaping procedure – the infant is given control over the presentation of a stimulus to be tested (such as a series of musical notes) o If the infant sucks the pacifier at a faster rate than baseline, a switch is activated in the pacifier that causes the stimulus to be presented o If the infant likes the stimuli (music notes) – continue sucking to prolong the interaction with the stimuli (keep the music playing longer)  Allows an infant to control the presentation of a stimulus to measure preference 4. Preference Method – used to determine what an infant likes and dislikes o Infant is put in a looking chamber to simultaneously look at two different stimuli o The researcher can accurately measure the direction that the infant is looking to tell if more attention is being directed to one stimulus over the other o Researchers have found that infants tend to prefer looking at big patterns with lots of black and white contracts and prefer looking at faces  Tests ability to discriminate between two stimuli  Developmental psychologists are making inferences about complex cognitive perceptual processes primarily from carefully observed behaviors – there are some limitations  Competence-Performance Distinction – an individual may fail a task not because they lack those cognitive abilities, but because they are unable to demonstrate those abilities o Eg/ A child who is preverbal will be unable to respond to your questions on her preferences between two different toys – you m ay wrongly assume that failure to respond to your questions indicated that she is unable to discriminate between the two toys o Must be considered in developmental psychology because  Researchers may incorrectly conclude that an infant does not possess an ability that they actually do  Researchers may use a research technique that does not properly measure the variable of interest given their subject pool Introduction to Development Research Methods  Tracking changes over time introduces the need to use some unique experimental designs 1. Longitudinal Design – a development research design in which the same individuals are studied repeatedly over some subset of their lifespan o Allows researchers to assess developmental change o Eg/ If you were interested in how memory lists of numbers changes with age  Test the same group of people every year on the same type of test from the time they’re 5 to 75  Track each person over time as they develop, and you could uncover any links between how they did early in life with how they did later in life  Could find patterns that are common to all people o Disadvantages Video Lecture Psych 1X03  Selective Attribution – loss of participants in a study such that the sample ends up being non- responsive of the population as a whole  Practice Effects – changes in participants responses due to repeated testing  Expensive and time consuming 2. Cross-Sectional Design – a developmental research design in which individuals from different age groups are studied at the same point in time o Allows researchers to address developmental
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