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Chapter 5

SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Behaviorism, Cognitive Development, Old Age


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 1100
Professor
Linda Gerber
Chapter
5

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Chapter 5 Summary Notes
Without social experience a child is not able to act or communicate in a
meaningful way and seems to be as much an object as a person
Socialization refers to the lifelong social experience by which people
develop their human potential and learn culture
Humans need social experience to learn their culture and to survive
Social experience is the foundation of personality which is a person’s
fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking, and feeling
We build personality by taking in (internalizing) our surroundings
Human Development: Nature and Nurture
Western Europeans linked differences in people around the world to
biology rather than culture
This led people to think that human behaviour was instinctive and our
nature
Psychologist John B. Watson developed a theory called behaviourism
which says that behaviour is not instinctive but it is learned
Watson rooted human behaviour not in nature but in nurture
Nurture matters more in shaping human behaviour, therefore nurture is
our nature
Social Isolation
Research with monkeys
oPsychologists Harry and Margaret Harlow placed rhesus monkeys
in conditions of social isolation
oComplete isolation with adequate nutrition for 6 months seriously
disturbed the monkeys’ development causing them to be passive
and anxious when returned to a group
oThey also placed infant monkeys in cages with an artificial mother
made of mesh and wood, these monkeys were also unable to
interact with others when placed in a group
oThe third category of monkeys were placed in a cage with mesh
mothers covered with soft terry cloth, these monkeys did better
because they benefited from the closeness of being able to rub up
to the “mother”
oInfant monkeys could recover from 3 months of isolation but 6
months caused irreversible damage
oAffectionate physical contact is crucial for the development of
monkeys and humans
Studies of Isolated children
oAnna
Was a 5 year old girl found tied up in a second-floor storage
room and only given enough food to survive

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She could not laugh, speak, or smile
After her discovery she received extensive medical
treatment and showed improvement
But she had permanent damage, at 8 her mental
development was less than a 2 year olds
At age 10 she died of a blood disorder
oIsabelle
Found under similar conditions as Anna
Underwent an intensive learning program and after a year
and half knew 2000 words
By 14 she was attending grade 6 classes and on her way to
a normal life
oGenie
From the time she was 2 she was tied to a potty chair in a
dark garage
When she was rescued at 13 she had the mental
development of a 1 year old
With intensive treatment she become physically healthy but
her language ability remains that of a young child
She now lives in a home for disabled adults
Sigmund Freud’s Element of Personality
Developed the theory of psychoanalysis
Basic Human Needs
oClaimed that biology plays a major part in human development and
that humans have two basic needs or drives that are present at
birth
oFirst is a need for sexual and emotional bonding which is the “life
instinct” or eros
oSecond is that we share an aggressive drive he called the “death
instinct” or thanatos
oThese opposing forces create deep inner tension
Freud’s Model of Personality
oCombined basic needs and influence of society into a model of
personality with three parts: id, ego, and superego
oThe id represents the human’s basic drives, which are unconscious
and demand immediate satisfaction
oId is present at birth and rooted in biology
oThe ego is a person’s conscious efforts to balance innate pleasure-
seeking drives with the demands of society
oThe ego develops as we become aware of ourselves and realize
we cannot have everything we want
oThe superego refers to the cultural values and norms internalized
by an individual
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oThe superego operates as our conscience
Personality Development
oAs a child’s superego develops the child learns moral concepts of
right and wrong
oThe id and superego remain in conflict but in a well-adjusted person
the ego manages these two opposing forces
oCulture in the form of the superego, represses selfish demands
which forces people to look beyond their own desires
oSublimation is the competing demands of self and society that
result in compromise
Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Studied human cognition, how people think and understand
Identified four stages of cognitive development
oThe Sensorimotor Stage
The level of human development at which individuals
experience the world only through their senses
The first two years of life
oThe Pre-Operational Stage
Children enter this stage at age 2
It is the level of human development at which individuals first
use language and other symbols
Children begin to think about the world mentally and use
imagination
Lacking abstract concepts, they cannot judge size, weight,
etc
In an experiment he placed two identical glasses containing
equal amounts of water on the table and asked children if
they contained the same amounts to which they said yes. He
then poured the water from one glass into a taller more
narrow glass and asked them again to which they responded
the taller glass contained more
oThe Concrete Operational Stage
Is the level of human development at which individuals first
see casual connections in their surroundings
Between the ages of 7 and 11
Children focus on why things happen
oThe Formal Operational Stage
The level of human development at which individuals think
abstractly and critically
At about age 12, young people begin to reason abstractly
Lawrence Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
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