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Psychology (1,899)
PSY311H5 (63)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Theories of Social Development

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY311H5
Professor
Stuart Kamenetsky
Semester
Spring

Description
NotesFromReadingCHAPTER1INTRODUCTIONTHEORIESOFSOCIALDEVELOPMENTPGS133SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT A BRIEF HISTORYThe study of childrens development is a relatively recent enterprise In the medieval period people viewed children as miniature adults and did not recognize childhood as a distinctive period deserving special attentionScientific study of childrens development began with the pioneering work of the evolutionary biologist Charles DarwinDarwin looked at the development of emotion in his own and other children which is now an important part of studying emotions in social development G Stanley Hall used questionnaires to document childrens activitiesfeelingsattitudes CRITICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTHow Do Biological and Environmental Influences Affect Social DevelopmentIn the early history of developmental psychology scholars took opposing positions on what was known as the naturenurture issueThe nature side argued that biology is destiny and the course of development is largely predetermined by genetic factors which guide the natural maturation a biologically determined process of growth that unfolds over a period of time or unfolding of increasingly complex social skills and abilities The nurture side assumed that genetic factors put no restriction of the ways that environmental events shape the course of childrens development and claimed that by properly organizing the environment they could train any infant to become an athlete architect or an attorneyToday we look at how the expression of a particular inherited biological characteristic is shaped modified and directed by a particular set of environmental influencesWhat Role Do Children Play In Their Own DevelopmentChildren are active agents who to some extent shape control and direct the course of their own developmentChildren actively seek out particular kinds of information and interactions while intentionally trying to understand and explore the world about themTransactional Ongoing interchanges between social pattern oSuch as a parent and child across time that result in modification of the social behaviour of eachWhat Is The Appropriate Unit for Studying Social DevelopmentPsychologists study of social development has typically focused on the individual child as the unit of analysis Focus has shifted to Social Dyad A pair of social partners such as friends parent and child or marital partnersAttention is also given to larger units include social triads such as motherfatherchildIs Development Continuous or DiscontinuousSome see development as a continuous process with each change building on earlier experiences in an orderly wayOthers view development as a series of discrete steps and see the organization of behaviour as qualitatively different at each new stage or plateauPiaget and Freud both proposed such stage theories of development suggesting that as children get older they move through different stages learning new strategies for understanding and acquiring knowledge and managing interpersonal relationshipsIs Social Behaviour the Result of the Situation or the ChildDevelopmental psychologists differ in the importance they assign to person factors versus situation factorsMany resolve the dilemma by stressing the dual contributions of both personality and situational factors Children seek out situations in which they can display their personalities
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