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Chapter 10

PSYCHOLOGY - Chapter 10 Textbook Notes.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY 202
Professor
Tsasha Awong
Semester
Winter

Description
Human Development - Chapter 10 The Developing Body Before and After Birth Page(s) 413 -414 • Most of what develops in the prenatal (prior to birth) period is physical • The greatest changes in prenatal development occur in the earliest stages of pregnancy • Prenatal physical development unfolds in 3 basic stages: 1. The zygote (fertilized egg) begins to divide and double, forming a blastocyst - a ball of identical cells that haven't yet begun to take on any specific function in a body part. The blastocyst keeps growing as cells continue to divide for the firstr week and a half or so.Around the middle of the 2nd week, the cells begin to differentiate, taking a different role as the organs of the body begin to develop. 2. Once different cells start to assume different functions, the blastocyst becomes an embryo. The embryonic stage continues from the 2nd-8th week of development, during which limbs, facial features, and major organs begin to take shape. 3. By the 9th week, all major organs have been established and the heart has begun to beat. The embryo also becomes a fetus. For the rest of the pregnancy, the fetus is responsible for physical maturation. Brain Development: 18 Days and Beyond (Page 414) • The human brain begins to develop only 18 days after fertilization. • Our brains continue to develop through asolescence and probably even early adulthood. • Between the 18th day of pregnancy, and the end of the 6th month, neurons begin developing at an astronomical rate. This process is called proliferation. • Starting in the 4th month and continuing throughout pregnancy, migration of cells begins to occur. Neurons start to sort themselves out, and decide on a final poisition in a specific structure of the brain • The final stage of prenatal brain development begins only late in pregnancy but continues well after birth. • Three processes take place during this time - myelization, synaptogenesis, and pruning. These enhance transmission of information within the brain. Obstacles to Normal Fetal Development (Page 414) • Fetal development can be disrupted in 2 ways: 1. Exposure to hazardous environmental influences 2. Biological problems (genetic disorders, errors in cell duplication) Teratogens: Hazards to Fetal Health • Teratogens are environmental factors that can exert a negative impact on prenatal development • Some teratogens influence how specific parts of the brain develop, while others exert a more general impact on development • The brain is particularly vulnerable to teratogens because it has such a long period of maturation relative to most other organs • Brain impairment often doesn't become apparnet until children are several years of age or older Genetic Disruptions of Fetal Development (Page(s): 414 - 415 • Genetic disorders or random errors in cell division are another influence on prenatal development • Often, a single cell or family of cells is copied with some error in the genetic material Premature and Low-Birth Weight Babies (Page 415) • A full term baby is born at 40 weeks • Premature infants ("preemies") are born at fewer than 36 weeks gestation • The viability point: The point at which infants can typically survive on their own is around 25 weeks • Although prematurity may seem to be an obvious risk factor for infant mortality and developmental disorders, a low birth weight (less than 5.5 lbs) actually possess a much higher risk of death, infection, and developmental disorders • Underweight babies are far more common among low income families than in middle-class and high-income families Growth and Physical DevelopmentAfter Infancy (Page 415) • Growth spurts are real • Physical growth happens in a stop-start-stop-start fashion How Babies Get Going (Page(s) 416 - 417) Survival Instincts: Two Vital Reflexes • Infants are born with a set of automatic motor behaviours (reflexes) • Motor behaviours are triggered by specific types of stimulation and fulfill important survival needs • The sucking reflex is a response to oral stimulation • The rooting reflex serves the same survival need: eating • These reflexes help keep infants alive because if they needed to learn through association that sucking on an object yields nourishment, they might starve trying to get the hang of it The Brain, the Body, and the World: Factors Influencing Motor Development (Page(s) 416 - 417 • Physical maturation plays a key role in allowing children to become increasingly steady and flexible in their movements • Motor patterns are innately programmed and become activated at specific time points • This shows how nature accounts for motor development • Eperience also plays a crucial role in motor development • There's considerable variability in the timing of developmental milestones across cultures • The fact that some children skip a stage suggests that there isn't an innate and inflexible motor program • Even among children who pass through all stages, there are large individual differences within cultures in the age at which children achieve motor milestones • ^^^ These findings suggest that over time, children are training their brains and bodies to solve motor-based challenges, building up skills and control with practice • This shows how nurture accounts for motor development • Heavier babies tend to achieve milestones more gradually because they need to build up their muscles more before they can support their weight Cognitive Development: Children's LearningAbout the World • Cognitive Development: How children learn, think, reason, communicate and remember Developmental Processes: Theories and Evidence (Page(s): 418 - 423) • Jean Piaget was the first to present a comprehensive account of cognitive development • He attempted to identify the stages that children pass through on their way to adultlike cognitive abilities • Russian researcher Lev Vygotsky (1896 - 1936) was developing a different but equally comprehensive theory of cognitive development • We can distinguish cognitive development theories on the basis of 3 core features: 1. Whether they propose stage-like development 2. Whether they adopt a domain-general or domain-specific account of development D-G: Cross-cutting changes in children's cognitive abilities that affect all areas at once D-S: Children's cognitive skills develop independently 3. What they propose as the principle source of learning • Piaget believed that children's active exploration of the physical world is the primary force in cognitive development • Vygotsky believed that social interactions, especially between caretakers and children are central Piaget: How Children Construct Their Worlds (Page(s): 418 - 422) • One of Piaget's greatest contributions was his insight that children aren't miniature adults • Piaget's model is a constructivist theory • ^^^This is because he believed that children construct an understanding of their world based on the results of their behaviour • Piaget also believed that the end point of cognitive development is achieving the ability to reson logically about hypothetical problems • Piaget believed that cognitive change is marked by equilibration: Maintaining a balance between our experience in the world and our thoughts about it • Children are motivated to match their thinking about the world with their observations • When the child experiences something new, she checks whether that eperience fits with what she expected • If the information is inconsistent (a child believes that the earth is flat but learns in school that the earth is round), children use two "adjustment processes" - assimilation and accomodation, to keep their thinking about the world in tune with their experiences Assimilation: • The process of absorbing new experience into current knowledge structures is assimilation Accomodation: • When a child can no longer assimilate experiences into her existing knowledge structures, she's compelled to engage in accomodation • Accomodation is the altering of the child's beliefs to make them more compatible with experience • Accomodation drives stage change by forcing a child to enter a new way of looking at the world Piaget's Stages of Development: 1. Sensorimotor (From birth - 2 yrs old) • The sensorimotor stage is marked by a focus on the here and now • Children acquire all information through perceiving sensory information from the world and observing the physical consequences of their actions • The major milestone of this stage, which forces children to accomodate and enter a new stage, is mental representation - the ability to think about things that are absent from immediate surroundings < like remembering previously encountered objects • Children in this stage lack object permenance, the understanding that objects continue to exist even when out of view • Deferred imitation: The ability to perform an action that the child observed earlier, is also absent from the sensorimotor stage 2. Preoperational Stage (From about 2-7 yrs old) • Children go through the pre-operational stage, which is marked by an ability to construct mental representation of experience • Children in this stage can use such symbols as language, drawings, and objects as representations of ideas • Piaget believed children in this stage were hampered by egocentrism:An inability to see the world from others' perspectives • The preoperational stage is called the preoperational stage because of another limitation - the inability to perform mental operations • Although children in this stage have mental representations, they can't imagine what would happen if the vase was knocked over (for example) • Piaget developed a set of conservation tasks to test children's ability to perform operations. These tasks ask children whether an amount will be "conserved" (stay the same) after a physical transformation 3. Concrete Operational Stage (7 yrs old - 11 yrs old) • In this stage, children are able to perform mental operations but ONLY for actual physical events • Children can also perform conservation tasks in this stage • They can also do things like sorting coins by size or setting up a battle scene with toy soliders • Children in this stage are still poor at performing mental operations in abstract or hypothetical situations 4. Formal Operations Stage (Adolescence) • Children can now perform hypothetical reasoning beyond the here and now • Children can understand logical concepts (If I'm late for school, then I'll get sent to the office) Pros and Cons of Piaget's Theory • Piaget's theory turned out to be inaccurate in several ways • Reserach shows that much of development appears more continuous than stage-like • Developmental change also appears less general than Piaget proposed • Piaget used the term horizontal decalage to refer to cases in which a child is more advanced in one cognitive domain than another • Some critics have noted that the concept of horizontal decalage renders Piaget's claim that development proceeds in domain-general stages difficult to falsify Vygotsky: Social and Cultural Influences on Learning • Vygotsky was particularly interested in how social and cultural factors influence learning • He noted that parents and other caretakers tend to structure the learning environment for children in ways that guide them to behave as if they've learned something before they have • Vygotsky referred to this as "scaffolding:" when parents provide initial assistance in children's learning but gradually remove structure as the children become more competent • Vygotsky identified the zone of proximal development as the learning period when children are receptive to learning a new skill but aren't yet successful at it • According to Vygotsky, for any skill, children move from a phase when they can't learn a skill to the zon
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