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Psych 211 Readings.docx

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University of Waterloo
Mattieu Lecorre

Psych 211 Readings 9/18/2012 12:39:00 PM Chapter 3.1 Mechanisms of Heredity -when sperm penetrates the cellular wall of a egg this causes chemical changes that block any other sperm from entering -the egg and sperm are called gamete and each gamete has 23 chromosomes vs. a full set having 46 chromosomes -in vitro fertilization: mixing sperm and egg in lab dish and then placing several fertilized eggs in the mother uterus (with hope they will become implanted into the wall of the uterus)  only about 1/3 of attempts succeed  causes increased likelihood in having twins or triplets or babies with low birth weight and defects -first 22 pairs are autosomes and the chromosomes in each pair are about the same size -23 rdpair has chromosome X much larger than chromosome Y and determines the sex of the child (egg contains X and sperm contains X or Y)  When 23 rdpair is XX=girl and when XY=boy -each chromosome consists of one molecule of DNA  consists of a genetic code with nucleotide bases  adenine is paired with thymine, and guanine is paired with cytosine  this code causes the cell to create specific amino acids, proteins, and enzymes  each group of nucleotide bases that provide instructions are called a gene -a complete set of genes makes up a persons genotype -genetic instructions and environmental influences produce a phenotype (individuals physical, behavioral, and psychological features) Single Gene Inheritance -genes come in different forms called alleles  alleles can be the same (homozygous)  or different(heterozygous) -if a person receives homozygous alleles they have the same instructions for a specific phenotype and that phenotype will either occur or not occur -if heterozygous alleles occur, one allele is dominant and its chemical instructions are followed, whereas one is recessive and ignored  sometimes one allele does not dominate another completely so incomplete dominance occur (phenotype that results often falls between the phenotype associated with either allele) -certain alleles can be more common in certain environments because their survival can be passed on Genetic Disorders -disorders can be inherited or can occur when a sperm or egg has less than 23 chromosomes  Inherited Disorders -usually triggered with a child inherits recessive alleles from both parents -if caused from dominant alleles , individuals usually do not live long enough to produce so these alleles usually vanish from species eg. Huntingtons: progressive nervous system degeneration-dominant allele on chromosome 4- develop through until middle age where nerve cells begin to deteriorate and cause muscle spasms, depression and changes in personality -some disorders are sex linked and the gene is carried on one of the sex chromosomes eg. Hemophilia: blood does not clot easily and can cause severe bleeding with minor injury-carried by X chromosomes Females are generally only carriers of this disease since they have 2 X chromosomes, whereas the disorder would occur in men since they only have one X chromosome  Abnormal Number of Chromosomes -if born with extra, damaged or missing chromosomes development will be disturbed st -eg. Downs Syndrome: caused by a extra 21 chromosome (usually from the egg) and results in cognitive deficits and developmental delay-develop normally within first month but then begin to delay-life expectancy is 25-60 years odds of it occurring increases with a womens age -abnormal autosomes can be aborted when fertilized in eggs naturally -abnormal sex chromosomes can also disrupt development but not disorders consist solely of Y chromosomes eg. Klinefelters: tall, small testicals, below normal intelligence XYY Complement: tall, some cases below normal intelligence Turners Syndrome: short, limited development of secondary sex characteristics, problems perceiving spatial relationships XXX Syndrome: normal stature but delayed motor and language development Chapter 5.3 The Developing Nervous System - neuron: basic unit of the brain and the rest of the nervous system- specializes in receiving and transmitting information -cellbody: contains biological machinery and keeps the neuron alive -dendrite: receiving end, branched, receives input from many neurons -axon: sends info to other cells -myelin: fatty sheath that slows information to be transmitted more rapidly -terminal buttons: release neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry information to nearby neurons) -cortex: made up of billions of neurons, regulates many functions, hemispheres are linked by corpus callosum  left hemisphere: ability to produce and understand language, to reason, and to compute  right hemisphere: artistic and musical abilities, perception of spatial relationships, ability to recognize faces and emotions -frontal cortex: ability to make and carry out plans and personality  Emerging Brain Structures -at roughly 3 weeks after conception a group of cells form the neural plate and at 4 weeks this forms into a tube through folding to become brain and spinal cord -neurons begin to form in small region once tube is fused shut (10 weeks) -all neurons are developed by 28 weeks -brain builds in layers until all 6 layers are built (7 months) th -in 4 month of prenatal development axons begin to acquire myelin and this continues through till adolescencefirst are neurons that carry sensory info up until neurons in the cortex -dendrites, axons, and synapses develop after 1 month after conception until about their first birthday after synapses then gradually disappear (synaptic pruning)weeds out unnecessary connections between neurons (depends on activity of the neural connections)occurs first in sensory and motor function areas then basic language and spatial skills, followed by attention and planning  Structure and Function -using EEGs and fMRIs it is shown that areas of the cortex begin to function in infancyshown through studies with babies with brain damage who have damage to the functions that area provides, and when certain areas provide more electrical activity when performing its actions continue to become more specialized over time (less area of brain is used when performing specific tasks as we get older in order to fine tune the systems)  Brain Plasticity and the role of Environmental Input -the brain is somewhat plastic and depending on the damage sometimes other neurons can take over the processing areas that were damaged -more common in younger children (functions are more easily reassigned in the young brain) -depends on the function, some are not plastic eg. vision (specified at birth) -when neurons become available they can end up in many different locations because genetic instructions do not assign specific brain regions (can be affected by experience -a general framework is there at birth and a neural path must then design to perform its specific functions-certain areas have their functions but completion requires information from the environment to causes general purpose neurons to specialize Chapter 6 9/18/2012 12:39:00 PM Basic Sensory and Perceptual Processes -sensory organs translate physical stimuli into nerve impulses -studied through experiments where baby is presented with sensory stimuli and they are evaluated by expressions babies usually pay more attention to novel situations vs more familiar situation -smell: babies respond positively to pleasant smells and negatively to unpleasant smells-also recognize familiar smells like mothers perfume -taste: react differently to different tastes-infants will even nurse more after their mother has consumed a sweet tasting substance -touch: shown that they are sensitive to touch through reflexes also shown to experience pain when submitted to a pain stimulus (agitation, increased HR, and shaking) pain is shows to be reduced by caregiving behaviors (eg. holding and sucrose) -hearing: babies respond to startling sounds, but their auditory threshold (lowest sounds able to be heard) can only be determined by putting on headphones and having a experimenter determine if they recognize when a sound is being heard even though they do not know when sounds are being administeredfound that adults can hear better and infants can hear quieter sounds (hear sounds best that have pitches in the range of human speeds)  infants can differentiate sounds of vowels vs consonants and by 4 ½ months they can recognize names  can distinguish between music melodies and prefer pleasant musiccan also distinguish between a new sequence of notes vs a old one they have heard previously  use sound to locate objects (can reach to side a sound is coming from while in the dark) -sight: -babies can respond to light and track moving objects from birth  visual acuity can be measured by showing 2 stimuli (1 with lines and the other a grey blob-when infant looks are both equally shows that the lines have turned into one blob and look the same-based on their size)-like with humans when we look at lines of lettersshown that infants see up to about 6m vs adults at 60-120 mthis develops rapidly in infants and will be at adults range by 1 year contrast sensitivity can also be measured by measuring responses to stimuli varying in size and contrast and is found that there is more improvement through childhood but doesn’t become adult- like till about 9 years color circuitry occurs through specialized neurons called cones that detect specific wavelengths to detect specific colorsit is shown that babies perceive colors by 3 months and circuitry has developed  Integrating Sensory Information -infants can link visual and auditory info (know objects moving further away are harder to hear) -can recognize objects they have touched -can link temporal properties of visual and auditory info through duration and rhythm -originally thought that sense must be fully developed before they could be integrated together BUT -now found that info like duration, rate, and intensity are amodal so it can be presented in different senses (eg. sounds of claps can provide info on the tempo of the music intersensory redundancy theory: infants perceptual system is particularily attuned to amodal info that is presented in multiple sensory modes-infants pay more attention to info focusing on both senses then info available to only one sense-causes more beneficial learning in infants Complex Perceptual and Attentional Processes Perceiving Objects -object perception is limited in newborns but develops rapidly within first few months -by 4 months infants use cues to determine which elements go together to form objects eg. motion-elements that move together are usually part of the same object-can alse use color and texture and aligned edges -when looking at a pencil moving with a box overtop they believe the pencil is moving with the box, but once box is removed and 2 pencils are shown they stare at this picture longer because they are trying to figure out what has happened  Perceptual Constancies -size constancy occurs earlier on in life (realization that a objects actual size remains the same despite changes in the size of its retinal image shown through same familiar responses to objects at different imagesachieved in full by 4 months -also occurs with color, brightness and shape  Depth -studied through a visual cliff (glass covered platform where a pattern is shown directly under the glass on one side by appears several feet below on the other side)-babies refuse to crawl to deep side even if parents are on that side calling themshows that they can perceive depth young babies notice depth difference whereas a fear response is not shown till babies are crawling (depends on experience of crawling) occurs through the use of cues:1) kinetic cues: use motion to estimate depth, visual expansion is used when a object moves closer and it fills a great proportion of the retina 2)motion parallax: nearby moving objects move across our visual field faster than those at a distance-at 1 month old babies will blink if it looks like something is going to hit them in the face 3)retinal disparity: left and right eye see slightly different versions of the same scene-greater disparity means the object is closer-this is used in infants around 4 months 4)pictoral cues: depend on the arrangement of objects in a image including linear perspectives (parallel lines coming together at a distance), texture gradient (less distinct objects in background), interposition (nearby objects obscure more more distant ones so we know they are closer), relative size (nearby objects look larger)  Perceiving Faces -one month olds look mostly at the outer edges of the face and eyes -3 month olds focus almost entirely on the interior of the face(particularly the eyes and lips) -it is thought that babies have a innate preference for facesproved through a experiment where babies turned there eyes more to follow a moving face than a face-like stimuli  after 4 weeks though babies begin to track all moving stimuli showing that this could be a reflex that is designed to enhance attention to face-like stimuli -babies could also have a built in face processing mechanism in their brain this was shown when it was proven that babies look at more attractive faces longer than unattractive ones and faces of a different race from theirs even with little exposure to said races -hand and arm gestures are found to be different between a baby seeing faces vs a object -contrasting idea: babies look at certain faces longer due to the general principles of perception: infants are attracted to faces because they have moving stimuli like lips and eyes and stimuli with contrastshown through a experiment where a baby was shown a face and a face-like stimuli that matched in variables like contrast and they turned their head equally to both  could also be that infants like more attractive faces due to their symmetry not their looks -clear point: babies have the perceptual skills to distinguish individual faces and then use info to recognize faces  3 month olds rely on facial configuration, 5 and 6 month olds rely on fine-grained spatial relations, -experiment was conducted to prove that infants begin to recognize faces because they are exposed to more over time and fine tune their facial recognition processexperimented by testing babies who had cataracts removed and had them view photos of faces with features altered by moving spaces between features (configural processing) or by replacing eyes or mouth with another(featural processing)found that babies could detect featural processing but not configural processing  proved that full experience with faces for the proper facial recognition system to develop  Attention -process by which we select information that will be processed further -when presented with a strong or unfamiliar stimulus an orienting response will occur (increased HR and brain wave patterns, of eye fixation)  will disappear if the stimulus is presented repeatedly (habituation)- keeps infants from wasting energy on insignificant stimuli-builds intelligence -as children grow they are able to stay engaged longer and are less easily distracted-emerges during preschool years and greatest improvements between 8-10 -Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity –have problems with conduct and academic performance (especially arithmetic, reading and spelling) –aggressive  Ritalin is a stimulant that stimulates that area of the brain that inhibit the areas of the brain for hyperactivity and impulsive behavior Motor Development -infants must learn locomotion, fine motor skills for grasping /holding /manipulating objects which gives babies access to information about their environment (promotes cognitive and social development)  Locomotion -originally thought that walking emerged from naturally when muscles and neural circuits have matured but now is viewed differently: dynamic systems theory: motor development involves many distinct skills that are organized and reorganized over time to meet the demands of specific tasks (one must master each component of a skill before it can be integrated with other skills) Posture and Balance -infants cannot maintain a upright posture until their limbs and muscles grow as they are top heavy until this occurs -continuously adjust posture once they can stand up and after a few months they begin to use visual cues and inner ear mechanism to adjust postureshown when 4 month olds in a sitting position lose their balance they try to keep their head upright even when blindfolded -infants must master balance for many position as each position uses different muscles group for compensation movements Stepping -when babies were placed on a moving treadmill by being held up they either let their legs drag, hopped forward, and some alternated steps on each leg if there were separate treadmills for each leg and one moved quicker than the other the babies adjusted -shows that the alternate stepping method to walking is evident before infants can even walk alone Perceptual Factors -when toddlers are put on surfaces that are not conducive to walk one they are able to judge it is unsuitable and resort to crawlinguse perceptual cues to do this Coordinating Skills -involves differentiation (mastery of component skills) and integration (combining them in a proper sequence) -experience can improve the rate of motor development eg. crawling on bellies help children crawl on their hands and feet -with more experience infants take longer and straighter steps, then begin to swing arms, rotating left arm as right leg moves etc. into adulthood -2year olds cannot walk and usually move their legs stiffly, by 5-6 years children run easily and can change directions and spped  Fine Motor Skills Reaching and Grasping -at about 4 months infants can successfully reach for objects -begins with slow unskilled reaches until reaches have fewer movements -grasping requires coordination of individual fingers4 month olds use fingers to grasp objects and by 7-8 months they use their thumb and can begin to position hands (no matter whether they can see their hand or not) -at 5-6 months old babies can use each hand and coordinate motions so that each hand performs a different action by 1 year can reach with one hand and by 2 with both hands -hand eye coordination improves rapidly -when eating with a spoon toddlers cannot rotate their wrist at first and fine motor skills progress rapidly after infancy -3-5 year olds can dress and undress themselves -dynamic systems theory applies to this Handedness -when babies reach for objects they do not have a preference as to which hand to use (9 months) but by 13 months a preference begins and by kindergarden childrens handedness is well established -how this occurs is unknown but some people believe it could be genetic or just experience through the large amount of right handed objects (most likely a bit of both)  Physical Fitness -schools only provided PE classes about once or twice a week and TV and sedentary activities contribute to obesity and low activity -many children get exercise through team sports and are able to improve their motor skills –can also improve self esteem and self initiative-mental health benefits –uses emerging cognitive skills through devising playing strategies -adults and coaches can sometimes overemphasize competition instead of skill development so activity becomes more like work than playlose interest and stop playing -if children get feedback and learn how to improve skills they can enjoy playing -coaches code= promoting principles of fair play, teach respect for officials and opponents, encourage players and offer constructive criticism rather than ridicule, remember that the coach should be a good example, give every child a chance to participate and to learn the skills of the game Chapter 7 9/18/2012 12:39:00 PM 7.1 Piagets Theory -believed that children are naturally curious and that they are constantly trying to construct understandingusually through creating theories -assimilation occurs when new experiences are readily incorporated into a childs existing theories -accommodation occurs when a child’s theories are modified based on experience (when presented with new info that completes incomplete theories)change original theory to make it more precise -assimilation and accommodation are usually in equilibrium but sometimes the balance can be upset and disequilibrium occurschildren discover they are spending more time accommodating then assimilating and they then reorganize their theories to return back to equilibrium (equilibration) results in mental structures called schemas-active and continuously changing structures that allow organization of information children must create a new theory each time they realize there are flaws in a old one -over time there are major changes that occur 3 times over their life span:  1)Sensorimotor stage=birth-age 2 -period where a infant progresses from simple reflex actions to symbolic processing –has 6 substages Basic Reflexes: birth-1 month-born with basic reflexes which will be built upon to become more coordinated behaviors Primary Circular Reactions: 1-4 months-reflex becomes more intentional -occurs when a infant accidentally produces a pleasing event and then trys to recreate that event eg. sucking on thumb becomes sucking on a bottle Secondary Circular Reactions: 4-8 months –external objects become incorporated into the circular reactions -occurs when a infant discovers repeated actions that involves a object -important for infants to learn about a object in the environment and to explore properties and actions (learn about sights, sounds and senses) Intentional Behavior: 8-12 months –the means of a activity become distinct –are able to move things out of way in order to get to a toy, are trying to achieve a specific goal Tertiary Circular Structures: 12-18 months –infant actively experiments with objects –repeats old actions with new objects and if trying to understand why different objects yield different outcomes –want to find out what happens when you drop or shake specific objects etc. Using Symbols -18-24 months –begin to talk and gesture and begin to engage in pretend play –may show ability to engage in deferred imitation (behavior seen in another time and place is reproduced) –ability to hold info in their mind and to use symbols Important Progressions in this Stage: Adapting to and Exploring the Environment Understanding Objects: objects exist independently of our actions and thoughts towards them (object permanence)-infants lack this understanding for much of their 1 year-out of sigh out of mindshown when put a object in front of babies with a cloth over top they will not reach for it and lose interest -by 8 months babies begin to search for objects but they still do not have a complete understanding of them –if shown a hidden object under a second cloth they will still look under the 1 one -cannot distinguish objects from their actions to locate it -full understanding does not occur till about 18 months Using Symbols: use symbols to confer actions and begin to anticipate the consequences of their actions mentally eg. know not to open a door with something in front because they anticipate it will knock that something  2) Preoperational Stage=2-7 -childs use of symbols to represent object and events -egocentrism: refers to young childrens difficulty in seeing the world from anothers viewpoint, do not comprehend other peoples different ideas non egocentric thought can occur -have tunnel vision: they often concentrate on one aspect of a problem but ignore other equally relevant aspects also called centration –shown when children think a taller skinnier class holds more liquid than a shorter thicker one (only look at level of juice instead of the change in diameter as well)  3) Concrete Operational Stage =7-11 years -children first use mental operations to solve problems (strategies and rules) -eg adding and subtracting –also that these can be reversed -begin to recognize that when juice is poured into a thinner glass and poured back into thicker it would be the same thing so levels are the same -take a concrete practical mind to problem solving and fixate on the perceptible and inferable reality it front of themcannot think abstractly and hypothetically  4) Formal Operational Stage= 11-adulthood -children apply mental operations to abstract entities and they think hypothetically and reason deductively -understand that the reality is not the only possibility -use hypothetical reasoning to probe the implications of fundamental change in physical and biological laws –also able to reason logically from premises and draw conclusions (deductive reasoning)-reach facts based on abstract entities do not correspond to real world situations Contributions of Piagets Work -the study of cognitive development: first scientist to look at the how of cognitive development -a new view of children: constructivism=view that children are active participants in their own development who construct more sophisticated understanding of the world Weaknesses of Piagets Theory The theory underestimates cognitive competence in infants and young children and overestimates cognitive competence in adolescents: -said that cognitive development is steady in children but is actually particularly rapid, and have much greater understanding than Piagets expected -whereas adolescents often fail to reason according to formal operational principles and actually revert to less sophisticated reasoning The theory is vague with respect to processes and mechanism of change: accommodation and assimilation are too vague to test scientifically and they were abandoned for other processes The theorys stage model does not account for variability in childrens performance: a childs performance does not always reflect the distinctive imprint Piaget put on each stage The theory undervalues the influence of sociocultural environment on cognitive development: a childs effort to understand the world is influenced by interactions with family members, peers, and teachers 7.2 Vygotskys Theory: The Sociocultural Perspective -children are products of their culture: it defines which cognitive activities are valued, provides tools that shape the way children think, and help children to organize their knowledge and communicate to others -development for children is not a solitary journey and children always travel with someone causing them to progress more rapidly eg. language -intersubjectivity: mutual, shared understanding among participants in an activity -guided participation: cognitive growth results from childrens involvement in structured activities with others who are more skilled then themcauses them to learn how to connect new experiences and new skills with what they already know 3 main contributions The zone of Proximal Development -the difference between the level of performance a child can achieve when working independently and the higher level of performance that is possible when working under the guidance of more, skilled adults -cognition develops first in a social setting and only gradually becomes under the childs independent control Scaffolding -a teaching style that matches the amount of assistance to the learners needs (start with more direct assistance and then tapers off) -giving help but not more than is needed: facilitates learning Private Speech -helps children regulate their own behavior: begins from other peoples speech directed towards the child and then advance to instruct themselves by speaking aloud -as they gain even greater skill private speech then becomes inner speech (Piagets theory of childrens language being egocentric and non-social was wrong)increases with new or difficult tasks Information Processing -views humans as complex manipulators of symbols and characterize cognitions in ways like a computer –consists of mental hardware and software -eg answering a question: must first understand the question, then search memory for questions answers, then compares the question with the answers and answers the question out loud -this mental software gets stronger as children get older  Mental Hardware -mental and neural structures that are built in and that allow the mind to operate -has 3 components: Sensory Memory: memory where information is held briefly in a raw and unanalyzed form Working Memory: site of ongoing cognitive activity and the information that they require -eg. stores results of analyses briefly while they are used by other cognitive processes to give meaning to sequences of words Long Term Memory: limitless, permanent storehouse of knowledge of the world –includes facts and skills –rarely forgotten but sometimes hard to retrieve  How information processing changes with development Better strategies: older children use better strategies to solve problems (faster, more accurate, and easier) -occurs through parents, teachers, and more skilled children Increased capacity of working memory: more working memory to allocate to mental software and to information storage –can outperform in reading or solving complicated problems More effective Inhibitory Processes and Executive Functioning: can prevent task-irrelevant information from entering out working memory –relies on attentional processes -older children have fewer disruptions from irrelevant stimuli and thus a more efficient working memory Increased Automatic Processing: over time skills become automatic and can be done without looking -at first each individual step must be processes by the working memory and once they become automatic they no longer are stored there so there is more room to store other activities –as a child a substantial amount of working memory is needed Increased Speed of Processing: as children develop they complete mental processes at a even faster rate –process info much slower -this theory describes behavior as a quantitative change vs Piagets abrupt or qualitative changes Core Knowledge Theories -proposes distinctive domains of knowledge some acquired early in life -most knowledge is general but distinct and specialized forms do exist -accounts for the fact that children acquire some knowledge relatively easy and early in life –the ones that are important for human survival eg. language –simplified systems have evolved that make learning easier for these types of knowledge -also included knowledge of objects and simple understanding of people -some people think these domains are pre wired to analyze one kind of data and others think that they borrow from Piagets metaphor that children create informal theories of the world -innate principles are the starting point and informal or naive theories are made 7.3 Understanding in Core Domains Understanding Objects and their Properties -Renee Baillargeon: infants first saw a silver screen rotating back and forth until familiarized –then either shown a realistic event (orange box shows up behind the screen so that it cant rotate as far back) or a unrealistic event (orange box appears behind screen but it still continues to rotate-vanishes behind the screen)-the unrealistic event violates the idea that objects exist permanently -41/2 month olds were found to look at the unrealistic event longer because they found it novel –infants have some understanding of st object permanence early in their 1 year of life (contrary to what Piaget thought) -infants look longer at objects that violate specific properties (objects move along connected, continuous paths and objects cannot move through other objects) eg. infants looking at a ball rolling through a wall with a hole and a ball rolling through a wall without a hole –by 5 months they look longer at the ball rolling through the wall without a hole -infants also understand that one object striking a second object will cause the second one to move -these theories are not complete but their physical properties are understood at different levels -infants create a reasonably accurate theory on basic properties of objects Understanding Living Things -infants first distinguish between animate and inanimate objects using motion –achieved by 12-15 months (animate objects are self-propelled, can move in irregular paths, and act to achieve goals) -by 4 years childs naive psychology includes:  1) Movement: animate objects move by themselves and inanimate objects can only be moved by other people or objects  2) Growth: understand that animals get bigger and more complex but inanimate objects do not change in this way  3)Internal Parts: Know that inside animate objects there are different materials that inside inanimate objects (blood and bones are inside animate and cotton and metal inside inanimate objects)  4) Inheritance: realize that only living things have offspring that resemeble their parents whereas objects characteristics come from mechanical issues (dogs are pink due to genetics, phones are pink due to mechanics)  5)Illness: permanent illnesses are more likely to be inherited from parents but temporary ones are more likely to be transmitted through contact with other people  6) Healing: Understand that injured inanimate objects heal by regrowth wheras inanimate objects must be fixed by humans -the knowledge comes from watching animals or from parents readings books to them that highlight these properties -theories are not complete: don’t know about genes -theories also have misconceptions: they believe body parts have intentions, don’t consider plants to be living things (until about 7 or 8 years) Understanding People -naïve psychology allows us to predict how people act -infants understand that peoples behavior is intentional and designed to achieve a goal -experiment where Meltzoff had 18months watch a experimenter perform a action but fail to achieve a apparent goal and infants could finish the goal and could interpret what the actions were trying to accomplish from this the naïve psychology expands rapidly –between 2-5 years a childs theory of mind is developed (naïve understanding of the relations between mind and behavior) Wellman believed theory of mind occurs in 3 phases: children are aware of desires and often speak of their wants and likes and link their desires to their behavior (age 2) , then can clearly distinguish the mental world from the physical world –use mental verbs (age 3), then children understand their own and other peoples actions –believe it is based on beliefs about events and situations-even when wrong (age 4) -false belief tasks: child has accurate info but someone else does not -eg. Sally has a basket and Anne has a box and Sally puts a marble into the basket. When she goes for a walk Anne takes the marble and puts it in her box, and when Sally comes back she wants to play with her marble but where does she look for it? –Child knows the marble is really in the box but Sally still believes the marble is in her basket 4 year olds say Sally will look in her basket-due to her false belief but 3 year olds say she will look in Annes box -4 year olds understand sallys behavior is based on her beliefs despite they are incorrect -3 year olds attribute their own knowledge of the marbles location to Sally very robust result -at 4 years there is a fundamental change in childrens understanding of the centrality of beliefs in a persons thinking-they now realize that people not only have thoughts and beliefs but also that these are crucial to explain why people do things -childs theory of mind could be innate or could be a change in basic psychological processes like language and executive functions -after preschool naïve psychology moves beyond theory of mind: at age 7: children understand that the same event can trigger different thoughts in different people at age 8: understand that mental states can cause a persons mood (at 5 they think mood changes due to external observables cues) at age 10: children know that psychological states such as being nervous or frustrated can produce physical states such as vomiting and headache 9/18/2012 12:39:00 PM Elements of Language -language relates sounds of gestures to meaning -language is different from communication :  it has arbitrary units and is symbolic  it is structured and meaningful  it shows displacement-one can communicate about events distant in time and space  it is characterized by generativity –one can produce a infinite number of utterances from a languages vocabulary provided that one follows the structure -languages involve 5 distinct elements:  Phonology: sounds of a language  Morphology: rules of meaning within the language  Semantics: study of words and their meaning  Grammar: rules used to describe the structure of a language (syntax: rules that specify how words are combined to form sentences)  Pragmatics: study of how people use language to communicate effectively -learning language involves learning to hear the differences in speech sounds and how to produce them, learning the meaning of words and rules for combining them in sentences, and learning appropriate and effective ways to talk to others Perceiving Speech -phonemes: basic building blocks of language which are unique sounds that can be joined to create words -when infants are given a rubber nipple that is connected to a tape recorder the sucking turns on the tape and a sounds comes out of a loudspeaker -1 month olds are able to learn a relationship between sucking and the sounds they hear (sounds consisting of only ps) –become habituated to this action then occurs again with a new sound -infants can also distinguish between speech and non speech sounds which was shown at 2-7 months when they listened longer to speech sounds rather than non-speech sounds  Impact of Language Exposure -infants may be exposed to a variety of different languages and thus many different phonemes -Werker: showed that the ability to distinguish phonemes not used in native language declines across the first year of life –initially all phonemes are useful and the infant has the ability to learn any language which the adults around speak WHY? Could be innate and environmental factors –sounds sensitivity interacting with environmental experience –infants need to have experience with different phonemes in order to perceive and discriminate from them in language and once they grow and become exposed to a particular language they notice the distinctions that are meaningful to their own language  Identifying Words -7-8 months hear the same word repeatedly in different sentences they later will pay more attention to this words than to words they haven’t heard previously (can recognize sounds patterns they hear repeatedly) -by 6 months indants pay more attention to content (nouns, verbs) and function (articles) words and they look at the correct parent when they hear mommy or daddy -infants pay more attention to stressed (one syllable words or within two syllable words) vs unstressed syllables which causes them to ID the beginning of words –not always correct because some words have the second part stressed -statistical method: infants notice syllables that go together frequently (eg when shown a stream of syllables together they then later listen longer to them) -can also identify words through emerging knowledge of how sounds are used : 9month olds are able to identify the novel words when the final sound in the preceding word occurs infrequently with the first sound in the novel word when listening to continuous speech do not know meaning of words just recognize the syllables and sounds -infant directed speech: adults speak slowly and with exaggerated changes in pitch and loudness –may attract their attention more -babies are capable of distinguishing stress patterns in language in which they tune into (phonetic category learning) infant directed speech helps them perceive the sounds that are fundamental to their language First Steps to Speech -at 2 months infants begin to produce vowel-like sounds (coohing) -then comes babbling (speech-like sounds that have no meaning) -then infants begin to elaborate and experiment with more complex speech sounds precursor to real speech -infants open their mouth more on the left side when babbling just like in adults when speaking (showing that babbling is linguistic) -intonation: pattern of rising or falling pitch during a sentence –occurs in babbling as well -babbling involves trying to reproduce the speech that they hear –try to use their lips, tongue, and teeth to produce the sounds that approximate words Learning the Meaning of Words -children understand words as symbols by realizing that sounds forms words that refer to objects, actions and properties –also use symptoms through gesturing (eg. smack their lips to indicate hunger) -around 15 months children then begin to build their vocabulary (2/3 words per week) –around 18 months many children experience a naming explosion where they learn new words like the names of objects (10 or more words per week) -fast mapping: childrens ability to connect new words to their meanings so rapidly that they cannot be considering all possible meanings for the new word  Joint Attention -parents encourage word learning by carefully watching what interests their children –when toddlers touch or look at a object parents often label them -toddlers are more likely to learn the name of the object or action when adults look at the object or action while saying its name than when adults look elsewhere while labeling -joint attention is not required to learn words-children may learn from ongoing conversation or when they overhear others -when a speaker appears unfamiliar with a novel object or person 4 and 5 year olds are less likely to learn the new words  Constraints on Word Names -how does a toddler know the words their parents are saying is referring to the object vs the action: Au and Glusman: study presenting preschoolers with a stuffed animal that resembled a monkey and called it mido and became familiarized with the name mido-once shown a bunch of stuffed animals they were asked to find a their –they looked for any other animal that what they knew as the mido -shows that they follow a rule: if a unfamiliar word is heard in the presence of objects that already have names and objects that don’t the word refers to one of the objects that doesn’t have a name -it has been found that other rules exist: a name refers to a whole object not its parts or it relation to other objects and refers not to just this in particular but to all objects of the same type if a object already has a name and another name is presented the new name denotes a subcategory of the original name given many similar category members a word applied consistently to only one of them is a proper noun (name)  Sentence Cues -overall sentence structure can be helpful clues to a words meaning (when unfamiliar words are embedded in sentences containing words they know) -can find out which word is the verb and what it means -can also hear a unfamiliar word before the name of the objects and will assume that the unfamiliar word is the noun describing the object  Cognitive Factors -increased cognitive skills helps them to learn new words -when children begin to have goals and intentions language becomes a means to express those goals and to achieve them (learn language to achieve their goals) -improvement in attentional and perceptual skills also promote word learning -children also learn the names of objects through their shape (all balls are round and all cups are cylinders  Naming Errors -underextension: defining a word too narrowly (using ball to refer only to their favorite toy ball) -overextension: defining a word to broadly, occurs between 1 and 3 years old (using dog to refer to all4 legged animals) occurs more frequently when children are producing words than when they are comprehending words –may relate to another rule: if you cant remember the name of an object say the name of a related object -both errors disappear gradually as youngsters refine meaning for words with more exposure to language Individual Differences
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