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PSYC1000 - Module 15

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PSYC 1000
Harvey Marmurek

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 o Adolescence begins with puberty; primary sex characteristics (reproductive organs and genetalia); secondary sex characteristics (non-reproductive traits – breasts, hips/facial hair, deep voices; pubic hair) o Puberty landmarks – first ejaculation or first period o Brain 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 o Piaget – formal operations (apply new abstract reasoning tools to the world around them) o Left behind concrete images of early childhood – may now seek a deeper conception of God and existence • Developing Morality o Two crucial tasks: discerning right from wrong and developing character (controlling impulses) o Piaget and Kohlberg – moral reasoning guides moral actions o Moral dilemmas – is it okay to steal to save someone’s life • Moral Intuition o Jonathan Haidt believes that much of our morality is rooted in moral intuitions (gut feelings) *quick and automatic o Could human morality be run by the moral emotions, while moral reasoning struts about pretending to be in control o Punishment – generally driven by emotional outrage not by reasoning o Joshua Greene – push someone onto tracks to save the other 5 people? No – personal dilemma engaged emotions in scan o Moral Action – morality involves doing the right thing, which depends on social influences o Hannah Arendt, Nazi camp guards – moral people who were corrupted o As 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? • Erikson – each stage of life has its own psychosocial task o Forming an Identity – which self should I be, the one at home, the one at school, the one on Facebook, the one in my club :: resolution is a self-definition that unifies the various selves into a consistent and comfortable sense of who one is o Self-esteem falls during early to mid-teen ye
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