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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Background and Theories.docx

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University of Ottawa
David Collins

PSY 2105 F Chapter 1 Background and Theories September 5 & 10 th2012 Developmental Psychology and It’s Roots What Is Developmental Psychology?  Developmental Psychology o The study of changes in behaviour and abilities over the course of development  Goals of developmental psychology: o Description:  Identify children’s behaviour at various developmental points  Example Questions  When do babies start to detect colour  What do 5-year olds understand about the mind  How do adolescents usually resolve conflicts with their peers o Explanation:  Determine the causes and processes that govern developmental change  Examines the effects of such factors as the genes children inherit from their parents  Biological characteristics of the human brain  Physical and social environment in which children live and types of experiences they encounter Why Study Children?  Period of rapid change o Physical growth, social interactions, cognitive and emotional effects  acquisition of language, memory abilities  Long-Term Influences o Events and experiences influence an individual’s later adult development o Who we are today depends on out development and experiences as children  Insight into complex adult processes o Useful for understanding complex adult behaviours  The growing child showcases development of skills and abilities such as language  Real-world applications o Benefits:  Poverty, illiteracy, drugs and crime o Effects of daycare, classroom teachings methods and parental disciplinary techniques  Interesting subject matter o Human children are intriguing and wondrous 1 PSY 2105 F Chapter 1 Historical Views  Ancient Greece and Rome o Importance of education but defended  Infanticide, slavery, domestic work & service in brothels, severe punishment & exploitation  Medieval and Renaissance Periods o Catholic Church:  Promoted idea/image of children being  Pure and innocent beings  Strong stand against infanticide o Renaissance  Foundling homes  Wealthy individuals took in sick, lost and unwanted children Materialism and Empiricism  Materialism o Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) o Soul is meaningless o Nothing exists but matter and energy o Human behaviour understood in terms of physical processes in the body, especially the brain o Conscious thought is product of brain  Empiricism o John Locke influenced by Hobbes’ work o All human knowledge and thought derives from sensory experience o Ideas not innately present o Though is not product of free will, but a reflection of one’s experience Early Theorists  John Locke (1632 – 1704) o Believed children gain knowledge though experience and learning o Environmentalist Point of View  Children are products of their environment and upbringing  Stressed use of rewards and punishments  No material rewards (toys, candy) or physical punishment o “Tabula Rasa” (Latin – “Blank Slate”)  The mind is a blank slate at birth; this suggests that all behaviours are learned  Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) o Believed children are born with innate knowledge and ideas that drives development o Nativism  Inborn processes that guide the emergence of behaviours in predictable manner  Whatever knowledge the child doesn’t possess innately is acquired gradually from interactions with the environment, guided by the child’s own interests and level of development  Child Rearing  Not to instruct children formally, but to have them learn through exploration and discovery 2 PSY 2105 F Chapter 1  Johann Gottfried Von Herder (1744 – 1803) o Cultural Relativism  Each culture should be examined and evaluated on its own terms  Everyone is born into a specific cultural community with a shared language and historical traditions  shape the minds of the members of community  Emphasizes  Language o Cultural practices and values are transmitted from generation to generation  Culture o Language and culture not passively absorbed by children  We are changed and reinterpreted by members of community  “we live in a world we create”  Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) o “Natural Selection”  Evolutionary process in which characteristics that allow the organism to survive are passed along to future generations o Recapitulation  Development of the individual repeats the development of the species  Human development follows a progression; similarly to children’s development o Baby Biography  research method in which a parent studies the development of his/her own child Pioneers of Child Psychology  G. Stanley Hall o Father of Psychology o Founded the field of developmental psychology  James Mark Baldwin o First academic psychologist in Canada to study development (U of T)  Later became interested in child development o Research program studying infant development  Examining origins of handedness, colour vision, and suggestibility & imitation  John B. Watson o Behaviourism  Human development results primarily from conditioning and learning processes  Believed psychology should follow the example of the other natural sciences and deal only with objective and observable subject matter  Conditioning  Animal Psychology o Dog to salivate food at the sound of a bell  Simple Conditioning o Explained changes in human behaviour over time  Language 3 PSY 2105 F Chapter 1  Verbal behaviour o grow in complexity (baby-adult) o gradually develops in a silent form  thinking, reasoning, and problem solving o important to observe more than just physical changes, instead study first steps in the conditioning process that produces complex human behaviour  Arnold Gesell o Maturation  Biological process primarily responsible for human development o Norms  Timetable of age ranges indicating when normal growth and development milestones are typically reached  Produced age-related norms for development  Sigmund Freud o Two major contributions  Clinical Psychology  Model of personality and techniques of Psychoanalysis  Developmental Psychology  Stage theory of Psychosexual Development o Libido  children are born with innate sexual energy o Erogenous Zones  When the Libido focuses within certain bodily regions *Stimulation of these regions result in pleasure and gratification* o Fixation  Failure to move from stage to stage Age Psychosexual Stages Characteristics Birth – 1.5 Oral Libido  located at mouth Physical Pleasure  Sucking 1.5 – 3 Anal Physical Pleasure  Bowel Movements 3 – 6 Phallic Libido moves to genital area Sexual Attraction opposite sex - parent Conflict  rival with same sex parent Resolution  force libido into unconscious & adopt same characteristics as same sex parent 6 – 12 Latency Libido  remains repressed and inactive 12 – 18 Genital Libido  re-emerges in the genital area Sexual Attraction  opposite sex - peers o Personality Formation  Many aspects of adult personality result from events during childhood psychosexual stages  Inappropriate childhood experiences  Libido remains partially fixated in that erogenous zone rather than moving on 4 PSY 2105 F Chapter 1 o Example  If a child does not receive appropriate amount of oral gratification during the first stage, the libido will remain partially fixated at the mouth.  Later in life, this fixation will manifest in the adult’s behaviour  Smoking, chewing on pencils, unusual interest in kissing o Phallic Stage  Most complex of the psychosexual stages  Oedipus Complex  When children become sexually attracted to the parent of the opposite sex  Feelings of conflict arise with same sex parent – powerful rival  Resolve conflict o Repression  Desires/motivations are driven into unconscious (wipe feelings) o Identification  The child adopts the characteristics of the same sex parent o Two Fundamental Concepts  Rejection of both a purely nativistic and strictly environmental explanation of human behaviour  Interactionist Perspective o Combination of inborn processes and environmental factors o Development represents an interaction between biological systems and environmental influences  Early experiences can have important effects on behaviour in later life  Freud spurred others to test his theories and to develop their own theories  Erik Erikson o Expanded Freud’s stages; proposed an 8-stage model o Psychosocial Model  Focuses on social and cultural influences on development  Expanded on Freud’s stages of psychosexual development  proposed an 8-stage model for psychosocial stages Age Psychosocial Stages Characteristics Birth – 1.5 Basic Trust vs. Mistrust Trust must form with caregivers Inadequate care results in mistrust 1.5 – 3 Autonomy vs. Shame Autonomy  feelings develop as skills are mastered (walking) Shame  failure to meet expectations 3 – 6 Initiative vs. Guilt Initiative  take on more in dealing with their environment Guilt  conflicts with caregivers 6 – 12 Industry vs. Inferiority Industry successfully dealing with demands to learn new skills Inferiority  failure leads to feelings 12 – 18 Identity vs. Role ConfusioMust establish occupation, gender, etc... or risk role confusion Young Adult Intimacy vs. Isolation Must form intimate relationships or suffer from loneliness Adult Generativity vs. StagnatioFind means to support future generations through child rearing or other productive activities, or come to a standstill in their lives Older Adult Ego Integrity vs. Despair Must feel a sense of fulfilment in life or experience despair in death 5 PSY 2105 F Chapter 1 Issues in Developmental Psychology  Nature vs. Nurture o Does developmental change occur primarily due to biological factors or environmental factors  Example: When unusual talents are presented  Biological Factors o A fortuitous combination of genes from parents probably also gifted in similar ways  Environmental Factors o opportunities provided with to acquire and practise the necessary skills and the rewards received for high levels of achievements  Continuity vs. Discontinuity o Two Components  Pattern of development  Is developmental change smooth and constant (continuous) or occur at different rates; stage-like (discontinuous)?  Example: Height (child growth, puberty); Erikson’s Stage-like theory  Continuity  Behaviours and abilities can be traced directly back to development early in life  Individual skills are added at one time, usually through learning experiences  Combine and recombine as children learn these skills to produce increasingly complex abilities o Quantitative change  The simpler elements are essentially added together to produce the more advanced capabilities  Tend to characterize environmentalist models of development  Discontinuity  Some aspects of development emerge relatively independently of what has come before and cannot be predicted from the child’s previous behaviour  Development is guided primarily by internal biological factors  Stage Theorists o Unevenness of children’s development  Relatively stable periods followed by abrupt changes  Reflects discontinuous nature of the change taking place in the underlying structures of the body and brain  Development is thought to involve qualitative changes in previous abilities or behaviours  Normative vs. Idiographic o Should research focus on identifying commonalities in human development (normative) or on the causes of the individual differences (idiographic) o Normative development
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