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Chapter 2

Chapter 2- Developmental Psyc

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

Developmental Psychology – Chapter 2 A scientific theory is nothing more than a set of concepts and propositions that describe, organize, and explain a set of observations. These theories help us organize our thinking about aspects of experience that interest us. Good theories should be parsimonious(theory that uses fewest explanatory principles to explain it), falsifiable(capable of generating predictions that could be disconfirmed), and heuristic(build on existing knowledge and stimulate new discoveries). Nature vs Nurture: The debate among developmental theorists about the relative importance of biological predispositions(nature) and environments(nurture) as determinants of human development. Active vs Passive: Debate whether children are active contributors to their own development or, rather passive recipients of environmental influences. The assumption is that parents have control and are responsible for their child’s behaviour. Continuity vs Discontinuity: Debate whether changes are quantitative and continuous or qualitative and discontinuous. Quantitative is incremental change in degree without sudden transformations. Qualitative change is a change that makes people different from what they were before. Discontinuity theorists claim we progress through developmental stages, phase of life characterized by a set of abilities, emotions, motives, or behaviours. The psychosexual theory is Freud’s theory that states maturation of sex instinct underlies stages of personality development. He relied heavily on methods such as hypnosis, free association, and dream analysis because they gave indication to unconscious motives and repressed memories. Instinct is an inborn biological force that motivates a particular response or class of responses. ID is the term for what is driven by instincts. Ego is the rational component of personality. Superego is the component of personality that consists of one’s internalized moral standards. Fixation is a development at a particular psychosexual stage that can prevent movement to higher stages(such as sucking thumb can express oral fixation, leading to smoking or giving oral sex). Psychosexual Stages Oral(Age 0-1): Sex instinct centres on the mouth because infants derive pleasure from oral activities. Anal(1-3): Voluntary urination and defecation become primary methods of gratifying sex instinct. Toilet accidents can lead to messiness, or being wasteful. Phallic(3-6): Pleasure is derived from genital stimulation, Oedipus/Electra complex. Latency(6-11) Traumas of this stage casue sexual conflicts to be repressed and urges to be rechanneled. Genital(12+): Puberty triggers a reawakening of sexual urges, must express these urges in socially acceptable ways. Psychosocial theory was Erickson’s revision of Freud’s theory that emphasizes socioculture rather than sexual determinants of development and posits a series of 8 psychosocial conflicts that people must resolve to have healthy adjustments. Erickson’s stages Age 0 -1: Basic trust vs. Mistrust: Infants must learn to trust others for their basic needs, if caregivers are rejecting than infant may view place as dangerous. 1-3 years: Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt: Children must be able to feed and dress and look after themselves. Failure will cause the child to feel shameful. 3-6 Years: Initiative vs. Guilt: Children act grown up and take on unnecessary responsibilities, to resolve, child must still feel initiative to do things. 6-12: Industry vs. Inferiority: Master social and academic skills. 12-20 Years:
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