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Chapter 1

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Elizabeth Johnson

Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods PART I: THEMES AND THEORIES THEMES OF DEVELOPMENT 1. Origin of behavior – biological vs. environmental influences 2. Pattern of change - Continuous or discontinuous development over time 3. Contextual influences that influence developmental change THEME 1: ORIGIN OF BEHAVIOR: • Arnold Gessel - Focused on the biological factors that influence development - concentrated on maturation (natural unfolding of an organisms genotype over the course of their life) • John B. Watson - Focused on the environmental factors that influence development - Claimed that he could produce a genius or a criminal out of anyone if given proper environment THEME 2: CONTINUITY VS. DISCONTINUITY - 2 basic patterns: 1. continuous process: (Macroscopic) - each new event builds on earlier experiences - no stages - abilities are acquired smoothly and gradually - Developmental changes add to previous abilities w/o any abrupt shift - Change is cumulative & quantitative Ex: learning how to swim, you get better at it gradually 2. Discontinous process: (Microscopic) - Abrupt step-like change each qualitiatively different from the one that precedes it in development - involves stages - qualitative in nature 1 Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods FORCES THAT AFFECT DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGE - Individual characteristics can affect the context and vice versa - An aggressive child might join gangs or violent games might increase aggressive behavior in kids RISK TO HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT AND INDIVIDUAL RESILIENCE - one way to study development is by seeing how kids react to challenges or risks RISKS: - can come in many forms - biological, environmental or psychological - every child responds to risk differently - some suffer permanent developmental disruptions while others show “sleeper effects” ; they seem to cope well initially but have problems later in life THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON DEVELOPMENT: 2 main functions of a theory are: 1. Help in organization of information into interesting accounts of how children develop 2. Generate testable hypothesis and predictions 5 general approaches in the field of development are: 1. Structural-organismic 2. Learning 3. Dynamic systems 4. Contextual 5. Ethological and evolutionary views 1) Structural – organismic perspective: - psychological structures + processes that undergo discontinuous changes in development - Freud (Psychodynamic theory) + Piaget (Piagetian theory) + Erikson (Psychosocial theory) - structuralism - wanted to understand how structure of societies and kin systems effects behavior - Freud was interested in emotions and personality. - Piaget was interested in thinking (cognitive processes). - Erikson presented stages that involve a task vs. risks.. - So, they used S-O perspectives in their theories - Their theories were based on discontinuous changes; occur in stages over life span - An organism goes through an organized or structured series of stages over the course of development and these stages are universal. A) Psychodynamic theory: 2 Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods - Freudian - based on the premise that human behavior is shaped by conscious and unconscious factors - Development is determined by biologically determined drives - 3 interrelated components: id, ego, superego - so, his theory focuses on how a person’s unconscious thoughts and feelings influence his present behavior. This theory emphasizes how are childhood experiences shape our life later - Everything we do is caused by a drive that needs to be satisfied - Id: Persons unconscious drives that demand immediate satisfaction. Operates on the basis of pleasure principle. Controls the persons unconscious drives and is the origin for sexual + aggressive energies. - Ego: controls the thoughts and processes consciously. Controls id’s needs. It is the realistic, rational component. Ego tries to satisfy id’s needs through socially acceptable behaviors. - Superego: conscious role. Plays the critical and moralizing role. Right vs. wrong. Punishes id’s needs with feelings of guilt. It tells kids to obey their parents or they will be punished. STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT AGE PERIOD PSYCHODYNAMIC: Freud PSYCHOSOCIAL: Erikson 0 – 1 Oral: focus is on eating & Infancy: trust vs. mistrust taking things in mouth 1 – 3 Anal: toilet training. Postpone Early autonomy vs. personal grastfication of childhood: shame/doubt excretion. 1 experience with discipline and authority 3 – 6 Phallic: Curiosity about Play age: initiative vs. guilt sexual anatomy, increase in sexual urges, formation of gender identity 6 – 12 Latency: sexual urges School age: industry vs. repressed, concern for others and education inferiority 12 – 20 Adoles. : identity vs. confusion 20 – 30 Genital: Altruistic love joins Y. Adulthood: intimacy vs. selfish love . sexual desires toward opp. Sex. isolation 30 – 65 Adult: generativity vs. 3 Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods productivity 65 + Mature: integrity vs. despair Freudian: O ranges A nd P ineapples Look G ood B) Psychosocial theory: Erikson - development proceeds through 8 stages that unfold over the lifespan - task vs. risk. EX: in Y. adulthood, if a person doesn’t have close relationships, the risk would be isolation. C) Piagetian theory: - uses 2 basic principles: 1. organization – human intellectual develop. Is a biologically organized process, so develop. occurs in an organized way over life. 2. Adaptation - change occurs in an organized way as human mind becomes increasingly adapted to the world All children go through 4 stages of development according to Piagetian theory: 1. Sensorimotor stage (birth -2) 2. Preoperational stage (2- 7) 3. Concrete operational (7 – adolescence) 4. Formal operational (Adolescence) 2. LEARNING PERSPECTIVE 1. Behaviorism (classical + operant conditioning) 2. Cognitive social learning theory 3. Information processing approaches A) Behaviorism: - John Watson, Pavlov, B.F. Skinner - Holds that theories of behavior must be based on direct observation of actual behaviors in natural or lab settings without any interference 4 Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods - Learning is based on experience - Learning is gradual and continuous not stage-like Classical conditioning: - 2 stimulus repeatedly presented together until the individual learns to respond to the 2d stimulus the same way as to the 1 one Meat = salivation Meat + bell (several times) = salivation Bell = salivation Watson > classically conditioned a child to fear white furry animals. (Little Albert) Operant conditioning: - Learning depends on the consequences of behavior - positive reinforcement increases the likelihood of a certain behavior occurring again and negative reinforcement decreases the likelihood B) Cognitive Social Learning Theory: - learning by observing and imitating others - Albert Bandura – Bobo doll experiment (when kids saw how the woman reacted aggressively to the bobo doll, they did the same because they imitated the adult, their model). - Children only select specific behaviors to imitate - Involves 4 cognitive processes: Attention  Retention  Reproduction  Motivation - So a child first must attend to the model’s behavior, change it into a mental representation, then store in memory. Then he compares it with other memories, generates various responses based on feedback from others and reproduces that behavior. Lastly, he will be motivated to produce that behavior by various incentives, his own standards, and his tendency to compare himself to others. C) Information processing theory: - Focuses on the flow of information through the cognitive system, beginning with an input (stimulus) and ending with an output (response) 3. Dynamic Systems Theory: - can be applied to many developmental issues including motor development, perception, language, cognition, and social behavior - Principles of DST: 1. Complexity – Each developmental issue has unique parts but they are also related to each other 2. Wholeness & organization – Whole system is organized and studied as a unit 3. Identity & stabilization – identity of the system remains intact regardless of change 4. Morphogenesis – changes in the system. Growth + adaptation to those changes 5 Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods 5. Equifinality - most individuals reach the same developmental milestone regardless of how they get there. 4. CONTEXTUAL PERSPECTIVES 3 main perspective: 1. Sociocultural theory (Lev Vygotsky) 2. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory 3. Lifespan perspective A) Sociocultural theory: - By Lev Vygotsky - development results from the social interactions a child develops with more skilled people - so, social interaction is seen as a critical force in C.D - child learns to function on his own with help of more skilled adults or peers - ex: tutoring, mentoring B) Ecological Theory: - Stresses the importance of the relationship of the child vs. environment and the environment vs. environment - Contextual systems that influence C.D: 1. Microsystem - child himself 2. Mesosystem - Family, peers, school, playground, health institutions 3. Exosystem - extended family, neighbors, family friends, mass media 4. Macrosystem - Attitudes + ideologies of the culture 5. Chronosystem – Time based dimension that can alter the operation of all other levels C) Lifespan Perspective: - incorporates historical factors that may affect C.D, a.k.a AGE COHORT - Age cohort: people born within the same generation, or historical period or year. - ex: children who were born during the great depression had to be raised during difficult times that might have had an impact on their development later in life. 5. Ethological and Evolutionary Perspectives: 2 theories: 1. Ethological theory 2. Evolutionary theory 6 Ch 1 PSY210 Themes, Theories, and Methods A) Ethological theory: - Every behavior must be kept to its own context in which it occurred and must be viewed and understood in the light of that particular context (Setting) - Behavior must be looked at as having adaptive or survival value - Method of study: observing children in their natural setting - Goal: develop detailed descriptions & classifications of behavior - crying is an elicitor and is biologically based according to ethologists.. Children cry when they need something. And that something is always important for their survival. Ex: crying for food, diaper change, affection and so on. B) Evolutionary theory: - Critical components of psychological functioning reflects evolutionary changes and are critical for survival - Focuses on the cognitive processes that enable species to survive - But the cognitive processes are only useful in contexts they occur because different contexts during human development, present us with different problems to undertake What’s 1 feature of human cognition, which is a product of evolution? The adaptation of our intelligence to the types of problems that are important to solve in the environment we live in What is cogn
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