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Week 16 Major Theories of Developmental Psychology Online Lesson.docx

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PSYC 100
Erica Refling

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Week 16: Major Theories of Developmental Psychology Online Lesson - Classical conditioning example: Little Albert performed by John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner in 1920 o Exposed Baby Albert to a number of stimuli, where there was not fear response – he tried to play with the items o When reaching for stimuli, a rat, the researchers struck a steel bar with a hammer to produce a loud clang that scared the baby o Rat was paired with the frightening noise, and Albert began to display a fear response to the rat itself o Generalized the fear to other stimuli that were somehow related to rat, including rabbits dog, furry objects, and a white mask - B.F. Skinner interested in what motivates behaviours, believing that people tend to repeat behaviour that are rewarded (reinforcement) and avoid behaviours with unfavourable outcomes (punishment) o Discovered that receiving attention is a powerful reinforce for young children and that they will act out in the hopes of receiving even negative attention o Far more difficult to extinguish behaviour that has been intermittently reinforced than behaviour that has been consistently reinforced  Intermittently reinforced behaviour is sometimes not rewarded  affects the expectations of the reinforcement, individual not surprised if behaviour is not rewarded and the perception remains that next time there may be a reward - Skinner theorized that we reinforce unwanted behaviour in children by giving into demands  providing intermittent reinforcement of their demanding behaviour - Jean Piaget o Theorized that humans develop through a series of four stages that roughly map onto key ages o First to emphasize importance of the interaction between environmental and maturational factors in development o Developed theory of cognitive development largely from naturalistic observation of children, often his own children o Proposed that cognitive abilities develop in stages and that children of similar ages have similar cognitive abilities o Also proposed that children of similar ages make similar errors in problem- solving tasks, and that all typically developing children go through same sequence of developmental stages (e.g. making same error in reasoning) o Believed that they must become capable at each stage in order to progress to the next stage o Believed our progression through stages is marked by the building and rebuilding of schemata through cyclic processes of assimilation, accommodation and equilibration - Schema: mental framework or bod of knowledge that organized and synthesizes information about a person, place, or thing - Assimilation: process by which new information about the world is incorporated into existing schemata - Accommodation: process by which existing schemata are modified or changed by new experiences - Equilibration: process within Piaget’s theory that reorganizes schemata, person will hold a more advanced schema after equilibration - Piaget’s stages: o Sensorimotor Stage: from birth to two years and marked by an orderly progression of increasingly complex cognitive development – infants build understanding of environment primarily through their sensory and motor abilities – reflexes fade and are replaced by voluntary behaviour, they begin to actively explore and experiment with objects  Infants begin to develop fragile mental representations at about 8 months – they gain concept of object permanence at 8months o Preoperational Stage: from 2 to 6 or 7 years of age, transition period between first being able to think symbolically and being able to think logically – inability of the child to perform operations, or reversible mental processes – marked by substantial cognitive development mostly in symbolic representation and the beginning of logical reasoning – children are egocentric and have trouble understanding conservation o Concrete Operational Stage: from about age 7 to age 11 or 12, children come to understand conservation, perspective taking and other concepts, such as categorization – the end of this stage marks a transition into adolescence – children will master conservation problems – experience growth in ability to understand feelings and thoughts of others (perspective taking), begin to understand logical problem solving but use of logic is challenging o Formal operational stage: from age 12 to adulthood, individuals first become capable of more formal kinds of abstract thinking and hypothetical reasoning, ability to think about abstract concepts and formulate and test hypotheses in a logical and scientific fashion – reaching this stage of development is not universal – could not be able to apply forms of reasoning across all domains (there is a limit to expertise) - Object permanence: feature of Piaget’s sensorimotor period marked by the understanding that objects do not disappear when they are out of sight - A-not-B error: Piaget task that indicates preservative error as, for example, an infant continues to look for an object where he last found it, despite seeing the object placed elsewhere - Egocentric: self-centeredness; preoperational children can see the world only from their own perspective - Conservation: understanding that specific properties of objects remain the same despite apparent changes in the shape or arrangement of those objects - Socio-cultural theory: theory of cognitive development that places emphasis on environmental factors, including cultural influences - Lev Vygotsky – first proponent of socio-cultural theory - Vygotsky and Piaget agree on importance of active interaction with the environment for development o Vygotsky placed emphasis on social environment o Piaget tended to focus on physical environment - Intersubjectivity: an understanding between two individuals of the topic they are discussing – important element of socio-cultural theory- encompasses both joint attention and social referencing - Joint attention: ability to share attention with another towards the same object or event - Social referencing: tendency of a person to look to another in an ambiguous situation to obtain clarifying information - Social scaffolding: when a mentor or guide supports a learner by matching his or her efforts to a child’s development level, changing the level of support to fit the child’s current performance – as a child’s competence increases, less guidance is given - Zone of proximal development: the increased potential for problem solving and conceptual ability that exists for a child if expert mentoring and guidance are available - Erikson looked at social development over a long span o Viewed lifespan development as a series of stages defined by the resolutions of ‘crisis’ faced by he developing child regarding how to deal with their environment o Crisis are developmental tasks that can be resolved in either a positive or negative way o Development is a process that lasts until death, as opposed to ending in the late teens/early twenties - Erikson’s stages of development o Truth vs. mistrust – birth to 12 months of age, the infant at this age relies totally on others to look after his or her well being, if his or her needs are met, the infant learns to trust the caregivers, and if the need is not met, the infant learns mistrust o Autonomy vs. shame and self-doubt – one t
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