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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

WEEK 16 TEXTBOOK NOTES: THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT Cross-sectional design: used to measure/compare samples of people @ diff. ages @ a given point in time -advantage of convenience; more time + cost efficient to compare people of different ages at once -cohort effects: consequences of being born in a particular year or generation -differences across age cohorts due to societal, nutritional, medical, etc environ. Longitudinal design: follows the development of the same set of individuals through time -costly and time-consuming -attrition: subjects quitting the study Developmental changes occur in a series of stages: fundamental shift in type of abilities -rapid change in young age -slow, steadier rate of change in adults: continuous change Sensitive Period: window of time during which exposure to specific type of environmental stimulation is needed for normal development of a specific ability -long-term repercussions can happen if the stimulation (eg. Language input) is missing during this period GESTATION Germinal Stage -fertilization; formation of zygote -division of zygote into blastocyst -blastocyst moves through fallopian tubes; dividesembryo+placenta EMBRYONIC STAGE -embryo begins developing major physics structures (heart, nervous system, appendages) Fetal Stage -skeletal, organ, and nervous systems develop and specialize -muscles develop, fetus begins to move -circadian rhythms; senses are fine-tuned and even responsive to external cues -brain cells migrate to appropriate locations to create the major divisions of the brain TERATOGENS -a substance that is capable of harming fetal development -defects appear at birth or shortly after -Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: abnormalities in mental f’ning, growth, and facial development in the offspring of women who use alcohol during pregnancy -alcohol passes through placental membrane that’s supposed to be a barrier against toxins -Smoking: decreases blood O2, increases risk of miscarriage or infant death; babies w/ low birth weight and increased chance of premature birth; increased changes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome NEWBORN SENSORY AND MOTOR ABILITIES -can discriminate b/w smells -complex responses to social cues (eg. Imitating facial expressions of caregivers) -involuntary reflexes (fades after a bit) INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD -in contrast to reflexes, the development of motor skills relies more on practice and deliberate effort -children raised in different environments mature at slightly different rates -different childrearing practices and expectations -major structures of the brain are all present @ birth; development is ongoing through early adulthood -childhood: cerebral cortex thickens in sensory + motor areas, then in regions of perceptions and then higher-order thinking and planning -these changes correspond w/ development of cognitive abilities through late childhood Synaptogenesis: formation of billions of new synapses; rapid in infancy and childhood, continues through life Synaptic pruning: loss of weak nerve cell connections that are unused -both f’ns serve to increase brain f’nality by strengthening needed connections b/w nerve cells and weeding out unnecessary ones Piaget’s COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT Sensorimotor Stage (birth-2) Cognitive experience is based on direct, sensory experience w/ world as well as motor movements that allow infants to interact w/ the world; object permanence Pre-Operational (2-7) Thinking is beyond immediate appearance of objects; understanding of physical conservation: knowledge that the quantityéamount of an object is not related to the physical arrangement and appearance of that object -ideas through symbolism Concrete Operational (7-11) Ability to perform mental transformations for object that are physically present emerge; thinking is more logical and organized Formal Operational (11-adulthood) Capacity for abstract and hypothetical thinking develops; scientific reasoning and thinking emerges CORE KNOWLEDGE HYPOTHESIS -infants have inborn abilities for understanding some key aspects of their environmen
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