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PSYC 1000 Chapter Notes -Agreeableness, Menarche, Sex Organ

Course Code
PSYC 1000
Harvey Marmurek

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Course: PSYC*1000 (DE)
Professor: Harvey Marmurek
Schedule: Summer, 2012
Textbook: Psychology – Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers
Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615
Module 15: Adolescence
How is adolescence defined, and what physical changes mark this period?
Life-span perspective – psychologists began to look at how maturation and experience shape us not only in
infancy and childhood, but also in adolescence and beyond
Adolescence – years spent morphing from child to adult – starts with physical beginnings of sexual maturity
and ends with social achievement of independent adult status
Tension between biological maturity and social dependence
Physical Development
oAdolescence begins with puberty; primary sex characteristics (reproductive organs and genetalia);
secondary sex characteristics (non-reproductive traits – breasts, hips/facial hair, deep voices; pubic
oPuberty landmarks – first ejaculation or first period
oBrain is a work in progress – until puberty, brain cells increase their connections; during
adolescence comes a selective pruning of unused neurons and connections
Frontal lobes maturation lags behind the emotional limbic system
How did Piaget, Kohlberg, and later researchers describe adolescent cognitive and moral development?
Developing Reasoning Power
oPiaget – formal operations (apply new abstract reasoning tools to the world around them)
oLeft behind concrete images of early childhood – may now seek a deeper conception of God and
Developing Morality
oTwo crucial tasks: discerning right from wrong and developing character (controlling impulses)
oPiaget and Kohlberg – moral reasoning guides moral actions
oMoral dilemmas – is it okay to steal to save someone’s life
Moral Intuition
oJonathan Haidt believes that much of our morality is rooted in moral intuitions (gut feelings) *quick
and automatic
oCould human morality be run by the moral emotions, while moral reasoning struts about pretending
to be in control
oPunishment – generally driven by emotional outrage not by reasoning
oJoshua Greene – push someone onto tracks to save the other 5 people? No – personal dilemma
engaged emotions in scan
oMoral Action – morality involves doing the right thing, which depends on social influences
oHannah Arendt, Nazi camp guards – moral people who were corrupted
oAs children’s thinking matures, their behaviour becomes less selfish and more caring
Kohlberg’s levels of Moral Thinking
Preconventional Morality (before age 9) – Self-interest; obey rules to avoid punishment or gain concrete
rewards (If you save your dying wife, you’ll be a hero)
Conventional Morality (early adolescence) – Uphold laws and rules to gain social approval or to maintain
social order (If you steal the drug for her, everyone will think you’re a criminal)
Postconventional Morality (adolescence and beyond)
According to Kohlbert (conventional) morality focuses on upholding laws and social rules, (preconventional) morality
focuses on self-interest, and (postconventional) morality focuses on self-defined ethical principles.
What are the social tasks and challenges of adolescence?
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