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Psyc 357 ch2.doc

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PSYC 357
Dagmar Bernstein

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Psyc 357- Ch2 Models of development: Nature and Nurture in adulthood • Traditional developmental psychology focuses on youth but as knowledge/interest RE adult years expands, emphasis shifting toward more all encompassing view of change o Life span perspective= reflected in shift toward understanding dev as continuous from childhood thru to old age o Developmental psych now incorporates social (contextual influences) on dev  Shift arose b/c of now outdated nature vs nurture debate(movement away from versus)  Now use term “developmental science” not developmental psychology (b/c goes beyond inference that we should look just w/in indiv to understand change to acknowledging that external factors important too) • Can’t look at just immediate environment, go to broader social context and see indiv as part of society/culture/community • Descriptive approach to dev where researchers attempt to explain mechanisms/underlying processes of dev changes instead of just describing them • Models of individual-environment interactions=classic dev psych evolved around notion that growth in childhood happened mostly b/c of “nature” o Record changes over dev and thought they would reflect ontogenesis (maturational processes) as they unfold w/in child  Role of environment (specifically parents) to understand sequence of changes and then provide the right growing conditions (not long until Nurture position emerged)  John B Watson said that child’s future could be modeled entirely by the environment parents provide  Niche picking= genetic and environmental factors work together to influence direction that children’s lives take(we’re born w/certain abilities but need to nurture them to enhance) o Gerontology= study of the aging process o Organismic model= based on notion that “nature” is prime influence in dev. Growth beyond childhood is manifestation of genetic predisposition expressed in physical and mental dev of indiv  Changes occur thru qualitative/structural alterations in indiv’s psychological qualities (ie intelligence and personality)  This model the basis for stage development which postulate that change over life span is in “leaps” or steps rather than being continuous o Mechanistic model= premise that “nurture” is primary force in def  Growth thru life occurs thru indiv’s exposure to experiences that present new learning opportunities  Gradual exposure, no clear cut/identifiable stages, dev=smooth and continuous set of gradations as the indiv acquires experiences o Interactionist model= indiv actively participates in own dev thru reciprocal relations w/environment  Proposition of multidirectionality (multiple paths in dev)  Multidimensionality= principle of interactionist model which means that there are multiple processes in dev  Model based on assumption that there’s plasticity in dev (course of dev may be altered depending on indiv’s specific interactions w/environment) o All theories of dev fall into one of these 3 models  Ie learning theory mechanistic model  Perspective= presents position or set of ideas (ie biopsychosocial persp interactionist) o Reciprocity in dev= adults products of their experiences (interactionist) tho adults also shape own experiences (thru active interpretation and thru actions they take)  Reciprocal nature of dev= explicit recognition that ppl both influence and are influenced by the events in their lives • Sociocultural models of development: o Ecological perspective= identifies multiples levels of the environment that interact w/indiv processes of change  Inner biological level=physiological changes that take place over time and affect indiv functioning  Individual level of functioning= cognition, personality, and other processes of adaptation  Proximal social relational level= involve indiv’s rlnshps w/significant others,peers and nuclear family members  Sociocultural level= relations w/larger institutions (ie education, gov’t, economic systems) o The Life course perspective= emphasizes the importance of age based norms, roles, and attitudes as influences that shape events thru dev  Attempt to forge links b/c broad social factors and indiv adjustment  Disengagement theory= there’s an optimal rlnshp b/w older indiv and society, one in which the older person retreats from active involvement in social roles • This theory says society w/draws support and interest in indiv during later years of life (thru ie retirement) BUT starting in (ie) late middle age, indiv chooses to disengage o Successful aging therefore process of mutual w/drawal  Activity theory= considered disengagement theory direct assault on underlying tenets of prevailing views in social gerontology which said it’s harmful to older adult well being to force them out of productive social roles  Continuity theory= older adults suffer loss of well being and negative effects of being excluded from social roles if this exclusion goes against their will • Either forced retirement or forced activity will lead to lower adjustment and self esteem in middle aged/older adults o Ageism as a social factor in the aging process=  Ageism= set of beliefs/attitudes/social institutions/acts that denigrate indivs’groups based on their chronological age • Components represent stereotyped views of dif age groups (e teens lazy/self centered/rebellious) tho more commonly ageism refers to acts against older age groups • Involves making overgeneralizations about indivs based on outward characteristic (to can be overly positive or negative) • Perhaps such negative attitudes represent fear of death/dying/aging? (old ppl remind younger ppl of their mortality) o Young ppl most likely to experience ageist attitudes are actually the ones who id most strongly w/their own age group  Young adults w/less id w/own age group have more positive attitudes to older adults • Ample evidence for ageism, little consensus on cause o Modernization hypothesis= increasing urbanization and industrialization of western society have led to lower social value for older ppl (tho perhaps this view overly simplistic?)  BUT evidence for negative attitudes toward elders found in current pre-industrialized societies (and in some highly industrialized countries adults revered/respected) o Multiple jeopardy hypothesis= older indivs who are of minority status (esp women) are affected by additional biases beyond those from ageism  Alternative to this hypoth= Age-as-leveler hypoth where as ppl become older age overrides other “isms”  Alternative= inoculation hypoth where older minorities and F have become immune to effects of ageism thru years of exposure/discrim and due to history of discrim are in better position than white males to w/stand negative attitudes they experience as older adults o Social clock= time line for normative expectations for ages at which major life events should occur (ie parenthood w/biological component, tho some others w/social calendar)  Criticism when not “on time”, tho ppl more and more setting own unqiue social clocks • Neither ageism nor Multiple jeopardy seem to have deleterious effects on feelings of happiness and well being (but effects of less health care and exposure to negative attitudes can/do take a toll) • Psychological models of development in adulthood: o Erikson’s psychosocial theory= dev of ego thru series of 8 stages where each stage a crisis (challenge to ego)  Is psychosocial but also called biopsychosocial  Intimacy vs isolation stage where young adult biologically capable of engaging in sexual rlnshp, psychologically capable of serious emotional involvement and socially expected to settle down • Crisis in terms of moving to positive or negative resolution  Epigenetic principle= each stage unfolds from previous stage according to predestined order (stages and order built into human hard wiring)  Issues that characterize each stage may coexist as relevant concerns thru life • But can revisit stages b/c of certain life events or reach stages early (ie breast cancer at 35 and terminal diagnosis to bring Integrity vs Despair debate) • Stages not age specific, no set correlation w/chronological age  1-Identity achievement vs Identity diffusion= first emerges in adolescence (first of adult stages) but persists thru adulthood and cornerstone of later adult crisis • If achieved clear identity and have clear sense of purpose have Identity achievement vs Identity diffusion where lack of direction, vagueness about life purposes and uncleaer sense of self  2-Next Intimacy vs Isolation= intimacy attainment is establishing mutually satisfying close rlnshp w/person and lifelong commitment made vs Isolation where never achieve true mutuality w/partner  3- Motive for caring for next generation rests on succe
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