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Chapter 2

developmental chap 2

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PSYC 2450
Jennifer Mc Taggart

CHAPTER 2: A child’s world : How we discover it Basic theoretical issues  Theory: is a set of logically related concepts or statements, which seeks to describe and explain development and to predict what kinds of behaviour might occur under certain conditions  They organize data and are a rich source of Hypotheses (tentative explanations or predictions that can be tested by further research)  Theories change to incorporate new findings The way theorists explain development depends in part on the way they view 2 basic issues 1. Whether children are active or passive in their own development 2. Whether development is continuous or occur in stages Issue 1: are children active or passive in their development?  This controversy goes back to the 18 thcentury  John locke ( English philosopher) thought that a young child is a tabula rasa- a “blank state” on which society “writes”  Jean Jacques rousseau (French philosopher) believed that children were noble savages who develop according to their own positive natural tendencies unless corrupted by society.  Both views are too simplistic because even though their own internal drives and needs influence development they still cant develop optimally in isolation  2 contrasting models of development came out of their theories and they are the mechanistic model (locke’s theory) and the organismic model (Rousseau’s theory)  Mechanistic model is the model that views development as a passive, predictable response to stimuli. So if you know how the human machine is put together and about the internal and external forces impinging on it, we can predict what the peson will do  The organismic model is the model that views development as internally initiated by an active organism and as occurring in a sequence of qualitatively different stages. This model sees people active, growing organisms that set their own development in motion. They initate events, they do not just react. Environmental influences do not cause development, though they can speed it up or slow it down.  If there was a study about why some adolescents drink too much; the mechanistic model would look for environmental influences (such as advertising or if friends drink to excess) but the organismic model would be likely to look at what kinds of situations they choose to participate in and with whom Issue 2: is development continuous or does it occur in stages?  Mechanistic theorists sees development as continuous like walking or crawling up a ramp. Focus on quantitative change; example changes in frequency with which a response is made, rather than changes in the type of response.  Organismic theorists focus on qualitative change. They see development as occurring in a series of steps, like stair steps. At each stage people cope with different issues and devlop different types of abilities. Each stage builds on the previous one. Shifting balance: -most of the early theorists like Sigmund frued, jean paiget etc favoured organismic or stage approaches - the mechanistic theory gained support in 1960s by the work of john b Watson -today developmental scientists seek to discover what specific types of behaviour show continuity or lack of continuity -they often find that influences are bidirectional: people change their world even as it changes them. Example is a baby girl with cheerful disposition is likely to get positive reactions from adults Theoretical perspectives:  To evaluate and interpret research, it is important to recognize the theoretical perspective on which it is based Five major perspectives are : 1. Psychoanalytic – Which focuses on unconscious emotions and drives human behaviour. Freud developed the approach aiming at giving patients insight into unconscious emotional conflicts 2. Learning- which studies observable behaviour 3. Cognitive- which analyzes thought processes 4. Contextual- which emphasizes the impact of the historical, social and cultural context 5. Evolutionary/sociobiological- which considers evolutionary and biological underpinnings of behaviour Psychoanalytic perspective: perspective 1 Sigmund Freud: psychosexual development:  Freud believed that people are born with biological drives that must be redirected to make it possible to live in society  He concluded that the sources if emotional disturbances lay in repressed traumatic experiences of early childhood  He created 3 hypothetical parts of the personality- the id, the ego and the superego.  Id - begins with newborns and the seat of unconscious instinctual drives; it goes under the pleasure principle  Superego – develops at age 5 to 6, it contains the conscious and incorporates “ should” and “should nots” into the childs own value system. The superego is very demanding and if needs aren’t met the child can feel guilty or anxious  Ego- its the conscious self. Develops during the first year and is a reality principle. It finds ways to control the id.  Psychosexual development: in freuds theory, an unvarying sequence of stages of personality development during infancy, childhood, and adolescence, in which gratification shifts from the mouth to the anus and then to the genitals. The five stages will be listed and detailed below.... 1. Oral stage ( birth-12 to 18 mnths)- babys cheif source of pleasure involves mouth-oriented activities( sucking and feeding). If needs are not met may become nail biters or develop “bitingly” critical personalities. 2. Anal stage (12-18 months to 3 years)- child derives sensual gratification from withholding and expelling feces. Zone of gratification is anal region, and toilet training is important activity. If the child is fixed at this stage they can become obsessively clean, rigidly tied to schedules/routines or defiantly messy. 3. Phallic ( 3 to 6 years)- child becomes attached to parent of the other sex and later identities with same sex parent. Superego develops. Zone of gratification shifts to genital region . boys develop sexual desire for their mothers and have aggressive urges toward their fathers and girls experience penis envy which is the repressed wish to process a penis and the power it stands for( first 3 stages are crucial for personality development, if a child receives too little or too much gratification in any of these stages, they are at risk of fixation which means an arrest in the development that can show up in adult personality) 4. Latency (6 years to puberty)-time of relative calm between more turbulent stages. Period of intellectual and social exploration. They direct their sexual energies into other pursuits ex. Schoolwork, hobbies etc 5. Genital (puberty through adulthood)-re- emergence of sexual impulses of phallic stage, channelled into mature adult sexuality which freud defined as heterosexual relations with persons outside the family of origin. - Some of freuds ideas like the Oedipus crisis and the penis envy now are widely considered obsolete. Others like the id and superego cannot be empirically tested. Freud made us aware of the unconscious thoughts, feelings etc and the pathway to normal development Erik Erikson: psychosocial development - He modified and extended freuds theory by emphasizing the influence of society on he developing personality. Even though freud thought early childhood experiences permanently shape personality, erikson says that the ego development is lifelong. - Has a theory of psychosocial development: covers eight stages across the lifespan, the socially and culturally influenced process of development of the ego or self - Each stage involves a “crisis” personality which is extremely important at the time but will remain an issue to some degree throughout the rest of life. But later dropped the term “crisis” and referred instead to conflicting or competing tendencies - Each stage has a negative and positive aspect. The positive one should predominate but some degree of the negative is needed as well - He is most widely known for his concept of the “identity crisis” - His theory puts emphasis on social, cultural influences and development past adolescence - Page 26 outlines the 8 stages in brief detail Perspective 2: Learning -learning perspective maintains that development results from learning, a long lasting change in behaviour based on experience or adaptation to the environment - learning theorists see development as continuous ( no stages) and emphasize quantitative change -2 important learning theories are behaviourism and social learning theory Learning theory 1: behaviourism  Behaviourism-is a mechanistic theory which describes observed behaviour as predictable response to experience  Behavioural research focuses on associative learning, in which a mental link is formed between two events. 2 kinds of associative learning are classical conditioning and operant conditioning.  Classical conditioning is learning based on associating a stimulus that does not ordinarily elicit a particular response with another stimulus that ordinarily does elicit the response. It was created by Ivan Pavlov, did experiments where dogs would salivate at the sound of a bell that rang at feeding time. The response would be the salivation, the stimulus is the bell and the stimulus that normally elicits it is food.  John B. Watson applied stimulus to a 11 month child to scare him of white furry objects. So whenever the child was about to touch the furry white rat , a loud noise would appear and the child would cry. After several sessions the child cried at the vision of the rat.  Operant conditioning is based on reinforcement or punishment. Ex a child smiles in his cribe , then his mother goes and plays with him. He smiles again then his dad goes to play with him. So the child learns that his behaviour ( smiling) can produce a desirable consequence ( loving attention from parents). It became an accidental behaviour to a conditioned response. It involves voluntary behaviour. B.F skinner formulated the principles of operant conditioning and used rats/pigeons but realized it applies to human beings as well. Reinforcement is the process by which a behaviour is strengthened , increasing the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated. Reinforcement can either be positive (giving an award like food,money praise etc) or negative (taking away something that the individual does not like ex loud noise). Reinforcement ismost effective when it immediately follows a behaviour. If a response is no longer reinforced , it will be extinguished and go back to its original level (base line). Punishment is the process by which a behaviour is weakened , decreasing the likelihood of repition ( ex spanking a child or by moving a positive event like tv watching). Behaviour modification or behaviour therapy is a form of operant conditioning used to eliminate undesirable behaviour or to instill positive behaviour which is helpful with young children with mental disabilities. But this conditioning does not address individual differences with cultural or social influences. Learning theory 2: social learning (social cognitive) theory  Social learning theory: maintains that children learn social behaviours by observing and imitating models  Albert bandura developed many of the principles of social learning theory, also known as a social cognitive theory, which today is more influential than behaviourism  Badura suggests that the impetus for development is bi-directional. She calls this the concept of reciprocal determinism-the child acts on the world as the world acts on the child  Observational learing ( modelling) : learning through watching the behaviour of others. It is the most important element in how children learn a language, deal with aggression etc . models to imitate can be a parent, teacher etc. However, observational learning can still occur without imitating the observed behaviour  Newest version of social learning theory is called social cognitive theory, where you learn large chunks of behaviour and can still make it your own by putting it into a new pattern  Children gradually develop a sense of self-efficancy: confidence in their ability to succeed in goals and master challenges Perspective 3:cognitive -cognitive perspective focuses on thought processes and the behaviour that reflects those processes -perspective encompasses both organismic and mechanistical theories -includes paigets cognitive-stage theory which is the theory that childrens cognitive development advances in series of four stages involving qualitatively distinct types of mental operations -includes Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory Jean Paiget’s cognitive-stage theory  Was the forerunner of todays “cognitive revolution” with emphasis on mental processes  Piaget created theory of cognitive development by standardized tests Alfred binet created and looked at the intelligence tests on children. He discovered that a
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