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PSYC 1000 Chapter Notes -Space Western, Parenting, Solitary Confinement

Course Code
PSYC 1000
Dan Meegan

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Module 12: Culture, Gender, and Other
Environmental Influences
How Does Experience Influence Development?
- Kenrick
o We are not blank slates more like colouring books
o Certain lines predisposed and experience fills in the pictures
- Formative nurturing begins in prenatal environment
o Nutrition, varying toxic elements
- Continues outside of the womb
o Early experiences foster brain development
Experience and Brain Development
- Genes dictate brain architecture and experience fills in details
o Developing neural connections
Prepares brain for thought and language and other later experiences
- Rosenzweig and Krech
o Rats in solitary confinement vs. those in a communal enriched environment
Developed heavier thicker brain cortex
Enriched brain cells, more brain activity
Can be used on other animals and children in institutions
- Infants that are handled develop faster neurologically and gain weight rapidly
o Give preemies massage therapy, allows them to go home sooner
- Brain maturation provides with abundance of neural connections and experiences trigger a
pruning process
o Senses and experience activate and strengthen connections
o By puberty massive loss of unemployed connections
- Early childhood learning
o Excess connections are still on call
But eventually use it or lose it
- Neural tissue is always changing and new neurons are born
o Perform with increasing sill as our brain incorporates the learning
How Much Credit or Blame Do Parents Deserve
- Society has been reinforced with “parent blaming”
o Praise parents for children’s virtues and blame for vices
- Power of parenting is clearest at its extremes
- Shared environment from the womb onward typically account for less than 10% of children’s

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Peer Influence
- At all ages, but especially during childhood and adolescence, we seek to fit in with our groups
and are influenced by them
o Preschoolers will eat food they dislike when sitting at a table with peers that do
o Children will pick up the accent of friends rather than parents
o Teens that start smoking have friends that do
May be result of the selection effect
- Peers and parents are complimentary (Gardner)
o Parents
Education, discipline, responsibility, orderliness, charitableness and ways of
interacting with authority figures
Choose neighbourhoods and schools that supply the peers
Look to them when planning future
o Peers
Learning cooperation, finding the road to popularity, inventing styles of
interaction among people of the same age
Children find them more interesting
Cultural Influences
- Culture
o The enduring behaviours, ideas, attitudes, values and traditions shared by a group of
people and transmitted from one generation to the next
- Other animals exhibit the rudiments of culture
o Primates have local customs of tool using, grooming and courtship
- Mastery of language so humans can have the preservation of innovation
- Culture enables the division of labour
- Although across cultures there may be differences, the great similarity is the capacity for culture
o Transmits the customs and beliefs that enable us to communicate, exchange money for
things, to play, to eat and to drive with agreed upon rules
Variation Across Cultures
- Human nature manifests in human diversity
o See adaptability in cultural variations among our beliefs and values
- Only when you try to go against a unified culture do you realize it is there
- All cultures share some type of basic moral ideas
- Each group creates its norms
o An understood rule for accepted ad expected behavior
o Norms prescribe “proper” behaviour
- When cultures collide differing norms befuddle
- Culture shock
o When we don’t understand what is expected or accepted
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