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Chapter 1

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Elizabeth Johnson

PSY210: Textbook Notes [Lecture 1] Chapter 1: Introduction Introduction to Child Development I. Definition a. seeks to account for the gradual evolution of the child’s cognitive, social, and other capacities b. first describes changes in the child’s observed behaviours c. then uncovers the processes and strategies that underlie these changes to help explain why and how they occur II. history – America and Europe a. relatively young discipline (barely a century ago) b. Charles Darwin i. Research on infants’ sensory capacities and young children’s emotions ii. Showed that children could be studied c. John B. Watson, Freud, Jean Piaget i. Continued research on children III. History – Canada a. James Mark Baldwin i. Appointed to UofT ii. Used own daughter as subject b. Opening of St. George’s school for Child Study in Toronto headed by William Emet Blatz i. Studies with Dionne quintuplets 1. 5 sisters raised from 2 months to 8 years in a special compound ‘on display’ to general public 2. Promoted study of child development IV. Why study child dev a. Help society protect and advance well being of children b. Used to shape social policy on behalf of children Themes Of Development (Pg 4) I. Origins Of Behaviour: Biological Versus Environmental Influences a. Both bio and envt factors influence human development b. Arnold Gesell – emphasis on biological factors i. Concentrated on maturation (the natural unfolding of development over the course of growth) c. John B. Watson – emphasis on environment i. Bio factors place no restrictions on how envt can shape the course of a child’s development ii. Claimed he could produce a genius or a criminal based on envt factors alone d. Modern developmentalists focus on both envt and bio factors (combination of the 2) i. Ex. Child maltreatment 1. Children with certain genetic characteristics are more likely to exhibit behaviour problems than children without them 2. When children with these dispositions live in abusive environments, they’re more likely to be maltreated than other children II. Pattern Of Developmental Change: Continuity Vs Discontinuity a. Some psychologists view development as a continuous process i. Each new event builds on earlier experiences ii. Smooth and gradual accumulation of abilities iii. No abrupt shifts b. Others see it as discontinuous i. Series of steps in which behaviour gets reorganized into a new set of behaviours c. Most see it as continuous with interspersed periods of discontinuous change III. Forces That Affect Developmental Change: Individual Characteristics Vs Contextual And Cultural Influences a. Do children behave the same across all situations or does context matter? b. Many psychologists adopt an interactionist viewpoint i. Dual role of individual and contextual factors 1. Ex. Children w/ aggressive tendencies may seek out contexts in which they can display these tendencies (ex. Sports) c. Risks To Healthy Development And Individual Resilience i. Study individual characteristics by examining how children respond to situational challenges (biological and environmental risks) 1. Ex. Illness, family income ii. Children cope with risks differently 1. some suffer developmental disruptions 2. some cope well at first and then exhibit problems later (‘sleeper effect) 3. some are resilient 4. some are able to adapt to new risks better after experiencing them in childhood d. Researching Across Cultures i. Differences in development in children from different cultures 1. Ex. Walking – encouraged early on in some cultures but not in others (carried for long periods) Theoretical Perspectives on Development (pg. 8) I. Theories serve 2 main functions a. Help organize and integrate existing information into coherent and interesting accounts of how children develop b. Generate testable hypotheses about children’s behaviour II. All theories are used, no one theory is dominant III. 5 perspectives a. Structural-Organismic Perspectives i. Freud and Piaget – mutual interest in biology ii. Interested in psychological development – adopted ‘structuralism’ approach iii. The organism goes through an organized or structured series of stages discontinuous changes) iv. Saw stages as universal v. Psychodynamic Theory 1. Sigmund Freud 2. Emphasizes how the experiences of early childhood shape the development of the adult personality 3. Id, ego, superego a. Id – instinctual drives b. Ego – infant under control of Id gradually becomes controlled by the ego; the rational and reality bound aspect; attempts to gratify needs through socially accepted behaviour c. Superego – emerges when child internalizes parental and societal norms and values and develops a conscience (ability to apply moral values to own acts) 4. 5 stages a. Oral – preoccupied with pleasurable activities like eating and biting b. Anal – 2-3 years old; learns to postpone gratification and to use the toilet c. Phallic – 3-6 years old; curiosity about sexuality appears; stage critical to formation of gender identity d. Latency period – 6 years of age to puberty; sexual drives temporarily submerged, children avoid relationships with peers of other gender e. Genital period – sexual desires towards peers emerge 5. The ways in which the child negotiates every stage has profound impact on emotional development and adult personality a. Ex. Unsatisfied needs for oral stimulation in oral stage = more likely to smoke as adults vi. Erik Erikson – concepts that stem from Freud’s ideas 1. Psychosocial theory a. development in 8 stages that unfold throughout lifespan b. each stage contains personal and social tasks that must be accomplished i. 0-1: infancy 1. task: develop basic trust in oneself and others 2. risk: mistrust of others ii. 1-3: early childhood 1. Task: learn self control and establish autonomy 2. Risk: shame and doubt about one’s own capabilities iii. 3-6: play age 1. Task: develop initiative in mastering environment 2. Risk: feelings of guilt over aggressiveness and daring iv. 6-12: school age 1. Task: develop industry 2. Risk: feelings of inferiority over real or imagined failure to master tasks v. 12-20: adolescence 1. Task: achieve a sense of identity 2. Risk: role confusion over who and what individual wants to be vi. 20-30: young adulthood 1. Task: achieve intimacy with others 2. Risk: shaky identity may lead to avoidance of others and isolation vii. 30-65: adulthood 1. Task: to express oneself through generativity 2. Risk: inability to create children, ideas, or products may lead to stagnation viii. 65+: mature age 1. Task: Achieve a sense of integrity 2. Risk: doubts and unfulfilled desires may lead to despair vii. Piagetian Theory 1. Jean Piaget 2. Principle of organization a. Reflects the view that human intellectual development is a biologically organized process b. A child’s understanding of the world changes in an organized way over the course of development 3. Principle of adaptation a. Process by which intellectual change occurs as the human mind becomes increasingly adapted to the world 4. All children go through 4 stages of cognitive development a. Infants: rely on sensory and motor abilities b. Preschool: mental structures and symbols (language) c. School years: logic d. Adolescence: reason abstract ideas 5. Cogn dev is a process in which the child shifts from a focus on the self and immediate sensory experiences, to a more complex understanding of the world xLearning Perspectives Behaviourism I. John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner II. Focuses on the learning of behaviours a. Emphasize experience b. Gradual and continuous view c. theories of behavior must be based on direct observations of actual behavior and not on speculations about unobservable things (ex. human motives) III. classical conditioning a. John B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov b. A type of learning in which 2 stimuli are repeatedly presented together until indivs learn to respond to the unfamiliar stimulus in the same way as to the familiar stimulus IV. Operant conditioning a. B.F. Skinner b. Learning depends on the consequences of behavior c. Positive reinforcement in form of praise increases likelihood that the behavior will be exhibited again d. Punishment decreases the chances that the behavior will be exhibited again Cognitive Social Learning Theory I. learning through observing and imitating others a. Ex. Bobo doll experiment b. Albert Bandura II. Children select specific behavs to imitate and imitation relies on how they process this information III. 4 cognitive processes govern how well a child will learn by observing a. must attend to a model’s behavior b. must retain the observed behav in memory c. must have the capacity (physically, intellectually) to reproduce the behavior d. must be motivated to reproduce the behavior Information­Processing Approaches I. focus on the flow of information through the child’s cognitive system and the specific operations the child performs between input and stimulus phase II. output may be in form of an action, a decision, a memory III. the child uses various cognitive processes a. storing in memory, comparing with other memories, generating responses, making decisions about appropriate responses, et. IV. Theory valuable in studying how children develop an understanding of reading and mathematics Dynamic Systems Perspectives I. Individuals develop and function within systems; relationships among indivs and systems and the processes by which these relationships occur II. Individuals and their achievements can be understood and interpreted within the framework of interacting components of the system III. ‘dynamic’ a. constant interaction and mutual influence of the elements of the system IV. some principles of dynamic systems theory: a. complexity i. each part of the system is unique but related to one or more parts ii. ex. a family: individual members (mother, brother) and subsystems (married couple), and extended members (cousins) b. wholeness and organization i. the whole system is organized and more than just the sum of its parts ii. ex. family: need to study the organization of all family relationships and the whole family as an interacting unit c. identity and stabilization i. despite change, the identity of the system remains intact ii. ex. family: family unit continues even when new members join and older members die; continuing care parents give their children and the relations among group members help maintain the family as a stable system d. morphogenesis i. change in the system ii. a system must grow and adapt to changes iii. ex. family: children go to school, leave home, and marry; catastrophic
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