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Chapter 11

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PSYC 1000
Anne Bergen

Chapter 11: Development over the life span Major issues and Methods • Nature and nurture • Critical period and sensitive period - Critical period: an age range in which certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally or along a certain path. - Sensitive period: an optimal age range for certain experiences, but normal developments are still possible at other times. • Continuity vs. discontinuity. Is development continuous and gradual, or progressing through qualitatively distinct stages? • Stability vs. change. Do our characteristics remain consistent as we age? Five developmental functions (A) No change – abilities present at birth that remain constant across the life span; (B) Continuous change – abilities absent/immature at birth that mature gradually over age; (C) Stages (discontinuity) - abilities that emerge in stages, with relatively rapid shifts. (D) Invert U-shaped function - Abilities that emerge after birth, peak, and then disappear with age. (E) U-shaped function – abilities present early in life, disappears temporarily, and re-emerges later. Cross-sectional people of varying Pro: Widely used b/c Cons: different age design ages studied data from many age groups (cohorts) grew simultaneously groups can be up in different collected relatively historical periods. quickly. Longitudinal design Same people studied Everyone is exposed Time consuming and over a period of time. to the same historical sample may shrink time frame. substantially. Sequential design Combines both Most comprehensive Most time consuming approaches and costly. Parental development - Consists of three stages: - zygote(fertilized egg) - Embryo (2-8 week), placenta and umbilical cord develop at the start of this stage. - Fetus (9 week), lasts until birth, muscles become stronger and other bodily systems continue to develop. 1 - By 28 weeks, the fetus attains the age of viability, meaning it is likely to survive outside the womb. Teratogens – environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) – consists of a group of abnormalities resulting from prenatal exposure to maternal alcohol consumption which include facial abnormalities, small malformed brains and small stature. Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) – the less severe pattern of symptoms. Infancy and Childhood Preferential looking procedure - developed by Robert Fantz; Fantz placed infants on their backs, showed them two or more stimuli at the same time, and record how long they looked at each stimulus, and discovered that newborns have visual preference for complex patterns. Visual habituation procedure – the same stimulus is presented repeatedly until infant looking time declines. When a novel stimulus is presented, infants usually look longer at the novel rather than the familiar stimulus. This is evidence that infants have a memory and that they discriminate between familiar and novel stimuli. The use of habituation and other test procedures demonstrate that infants are born with the capacity to recognize, respond to, and remember their primary caretakers and to learn other important information about significant events in their environment. Maturation- is the genetically programmed biological process that governs our growth. Physical and motor developments follow several biological principles. - The cephalocaudal principle reflects the tendency for development to proceed in a head-to-foot direction. Thus the head of a fetus/infant is disproportionately large, because physical growth concentrates on the head and proceeds toward the lower part of the body. - The proximodistal principle states that development begins along the innermost parts of the body and continues towards the outermost parts. Thus a fetus’s arms develop before its hands and fingers, and at birth infants can control their shoulders, but not their hand or fingers. Experience plays a critical role in the development of sensory, perceptual, motor, and physical development. • Biological sets limits on environmental influences. • Environmental influences can be powerful. • Biological and environmental factors interact. Piaget’s Stage Model - Children’s thinking changes qualitatively with age, and that it differs from the way adults think. - Cognitive development results from interplay of maturation and experience, and he viewed children as natural-born “scientists” actively exploring and seeking to understand their world. - To achieve this understanding, the brain builds schemas (organized patterns of thought and action). Cognitive development occurs as we acquire new schemas, and as our existing schemas become more complex. 2 - Two key processes are involved: Assimilation (process by which new experiences are incorporated into existing schemas) and Accommodation (the process by which new experiences cause existing schemas to change) Stage Age(years) Major Characteristics Sensorimotor Birth – 2 - Infant understands world through sensory and motor experiences - Achieves object permanence - Emergence of symbolic thought Preoperational 2 -7 - Symbolic thinking; child uses words and images to represent objects and experiences; pretend play. -Thinking displays egocentrism, irreversibility and centration Concrete 7-12 - Child can think logically about concrete events. Operational - Grasps concepts of conservation and serial ordering Formal 12 on - Adolescent can think more logically, abstractly and flexibly Operational - can form hypotheses and test them systematically. - Although the general cognitive abilities associated with Piaget’s four stages appear to occur in the same order across cultures, children acquire many cognitive skills at an earlier age than Piaget believed. - Also the cognitive development within each stage seems to proceed inconsistently. Vygotsky: The Social Context of Cognitive Development - He emphasized that cognitive development occurs in a socio-cultural context. - Each child has a zone of proximal development, reflecting the difference between what a child can do independently and what the child can do with assistance from others. Theory of mind - refers to a person’s beliefs about how the “mind” works and what other s are thinking about. Kohlberg’s stage Model Level of Moral Reasoning Basis for Judging what is moral Level 1:Preconventional Actual/anticipated punishment and rewards, rather than internalized values Stage 1: Punishment/Obedience Obeying rules and avoiding punishment Orientation Stage 2: Instrumental/ hedonistic Self-interest and gaining rewards 3 orientation Level 2:Conventional Conformity to the expectations of social groups; person adopts other people’s values Stage 3: Good child orientation Gaining approval and maintaining good relations with others Stage 4: Law and Order orientation Doing one’s duty, showing respect for authority, and maintaining social order Level 3: Postconventional Moral principles that are well thought out and part of one’s belief an
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