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Chapter 1

CH.1 - WHY A THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIAL FOR PSYCHOLOGY.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 315
Professor
Andrew Baron
Semester
Fall

Description
WHY A THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIAL FOR PSYCHOLOGY Chapter 1 – An introduction to Child Development Why study child development?  Raising children – answer the many questions parents have concerning child development o Promote child learning, anger management… o Show children sympathy, distract them from anger-triggering situations, recognizing own emotions…  Choosing social policies o Child testimony in court: questions have to be asked in a neutral fashion and should not ask repeatedly o Health-education: teen-pregnancy, smoking, drinking…  Understanding human nature o Orphans in Romania – early deprivations causing long-term damage  Deprivation over 6 months had damaging effects on orphans Historical foundation of Child development  Plato: children born w/ innate knowledge  Aristotle: knowledge comes from experience, children mind is an empty blackboard o Both Plato & Aristotle stressed proper raising of children  Locke: “tabula rasa” = blank slate; nurturing of parent & society o Stressed growth of child’s character & discipline  Rousseau: learn through experience (nurture), innately good o Freedom; children need to learn from spontaneous interactions Enduring themes in Child development 1. How do nature and nurture together shape development?  Nature: biological endowment, genes from parents  Nurture: environment; physical & social components 2. How do children shape their own development? (Active VS. Passive)  Children select what they pay attention to; This aids them in learning what’s important around them o EX. Attending to mother’s face  Child speech & child play (pretend games) 3. In what ways is development continuous and discontinuous?  Continuous: changes w/ age occur gradually in small increments  Discontinuously: changes w/ age large shift; transition  Stage theories: development occurs in a series of discontinuous, age- related phases o Theory of Cognitive Development (Piaget) 4. How does change occur?  Brain changes & genes that determine productions of neurotransmitters 5. How does sociocultural context influence development?  Sociocultural: physical, cultural, economic, historical circumstances that make up child’s environment o Attitude, religion, parents’, friends, school system…  Sleeping arrangements – some cultures value independence (child sleep alone) but some value interdependence and parent-child relationship (sleep in same room)  SES – children in low SES family more likely to be exposed to dangerous environment, worse health and education…better to have stricter parenting? 6. How do children become so different from each other?  Genetic differences  Di
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