PSYA02-Chapter 11-Development.docx

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Biological Sciences
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Steve Joordens

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Development 11.0  Adi (Adolf Hitler) wanted to be an Artist, but was rejected by an art school  U.S gov’t has collected most of his collection and is not shown to the public  Developmental psychology: the study of continuity and change across the life span 11.1 Prenatality: A Womb with a View  Prenatal stage of development ends with birth and begins when the sperm meets the egg (aww that’s you)  Once that lucky sperm penetrates the egg, the egg itself releases a chemical that seals the coating and keeps the rest of the sperm from entering 11.2 Prenatal Development  Zygote: a fertilized egg that contains chromosomes from both a sperm and an egg  Each sperm cell and egg cell contain 23 chromosomes that contain genes  The 23 chromosome can be either the X or Y  Sperm cells carry the X or Y  Germinal stage: 2 week period that begins at conception  Zygote begins to divide in exponential rate  Zygote will contain 23 chromosomes from each of the sex cells (46 total)  Zygote migrates back down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the wall of the uterus  Embryonic stage: period that lasts form the second week until about the eighth week  Continues to divide  Zygote becomes the embryo (1 inch long)  Embryo with X and Y begins to produce testosterone (omg you are going to become a male)  Females do not develop this hormone  Fetal stage: period that lasts from the ninth week until birth  Embryo becomes a fetus  Has a skeleton and muscles and able to move  Last 3 months, fetus rapidly increases in size  Develops a layer of insulating fat beneath its skin, and its digestive and respiratory systems mature  Cells that become the brain divide very quickly around the third or fourth week after conception, and this process is more or less complete by 6 months  These cells begin to generate axons and dendrites (permits communication with other brain cells)  Undergo myelination: the formation of a fatty sheath around the axons of a neuron  Myelin insulates a brain cell and prevents the leakage of neural signals that travel along the axon  Myelination of the cortex continues into adulthood  Newborn’s brain is 25% of its adult size 11.3 Prenatal Environment  Placenta is the organ that physically links the bloodstreams of the mother and developing embryo or fetus and permits the exchange of materials  The food the mother eats can affect the fetus, such development, psychological problems and the child’s food preferences  Teratogens “monster makers”: agents that damage the process of development  Fetal alcohol syndrome: is a developmental disorder that stems from heavy alcohol use by the mother during pregnancy  Children with FAS have a variety of distinctive facial features, brain abnormalities, and cognitive deficits  Tobacco and second-hand smoke can cause lower birth weights and are more likely to have perceptual and attentional problems in childhood  Fetus can hear sounds and become familiar with it (like its mother’s voice) 11.5 Infancy and Childhood: Becoming a Person  Infancy is the stage of development that begins at birth and lasts between 18-24 months 11.6 Perceptual and Motor Development  Level of detail that a newborn can see at a distance of 20 feet is roughly equivalent to the level of detail that an adult can see at 600 feet  Newborns will stare at a picture for awhile, but the attention will decrease over time  Habituation is the tendency for organisms to respond less intensely to a stimulus as the frequency of exposure to that stimulus increases  More attentive to social stimuli  Can mimic facial expressions  Motor development is the emergence of the ability to execute physical actions  Born with a small set of reflexes: specific patterns of motor responses that are triggered by specific patterns of sensory stimulation  Reflexes present at birth disappear after a few months once they learn to execute more sophisticated motor behaviours  Tends to obey two general rules  Cephalocaudal rule (top to bottom rule): the tendency for motor skills to emerge in sequence from the head to the feet  Proximodistal rule (inside to outside rule): the tendency for motor skills to emerge in sequence from the center to the periphery (controlling their trunks before their elbows and knees)  Motor skills emerge in an orderly sequence but also influenced by many factors, such as the baby’s incentive for reaching, body weight, muscular development, and general level of activity 11.7 Cognitive Development  Cognitive development: the emergence of the ability to think and understand  Between infancy and adulthood, children must come to understand how the physical world works, how their minds represent it, and how other minds represent it Discovering the World  Piaget suggested that cognitive development occurs in four stages: the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage  Sensorimotor stage is a stage of development that begins at birth and lasts through infancy  Infants use their ability to sense and their ability to move to acquire information about the world they live in  Construct schemas: theories about or models of the way the world works  Assimilation: infants apply their schemas in novel situations (i.e. tugging on a toy to bring it closer)  Accommodation: infants revise their schemas in light of new information (i.e. tugging on a cat’s tail will not make it come closer)  Infants do not have a theory of object permanence, which is the idea that objects continue to exist even when they are not visible  Infants are more fascinated by ‘impossible’ events  Studies have suggested infants have some understanding of object permanence at 4 months Discovering the Mind  Childhood: the stage of development that begins at about 18-24 months and lasts until adolescence, which begins between 11-14 years  Childhood consists of two stages:  Preoperational stage: the stage of development that begins at about 2 years and ends at about 6 years, during which the child learns about physical or “concrete” objects  Concrete operational stage: the stage of development that begins at about 6 years and ends at about 11 years, during which the child learns how various actions or “operations” can affect or transform those objects  Concrete operational children understood that quantity is a property of a set of concrete objects that does not change when an operation such as spreading out alters the set’s appearance  Piaget called the child’s insight conservation: the notion that the quantitative properties of an object are invariant despite changes in the object’s appearance  Centration is the tendency to focus on just one property of an object to the exclusion of all others  Children fail to think about reversibility  They did not consider the fact that the eggs could be repositioned more closely together  Preoperational children do not fully grasp the fact that they have minds and that these minds contain mental representations of the world  Adults can make a distinction between the way things are and the way we see them  Formal operation stage: the stage of development that begins around the age of 11 and lasts through adulthood, that they can solve nonphysical problems with similar ease  Be able to reason systematically about abstract concepts such as liberty and love and about events that will happen, that might have happened, and that never happened Discovering Other Minds  Preoperational children don’t fully grasp the fact that they have minds that mentally represent objects, they also don’t fully grasp the fact that other people have minds that may mentally represent the same objects in different ways  Egocentrism is the failure to understand that the world appears differently to different observers  Desires and emotions:  Very young children seem to understand that other people have different desires  Children take quite a long time to understand that other people may have emotional reactions unlike their own  At 6 years old they come to understand that they and others may experience different emotions in the same situation  Theory of mind:  Majority of children ultimately come to understand that they and others have mind and these minds represent the world in different ways  Theory of mind: the idea that human behavior is guided by mental representations  Children with autism typically have difficulty communicating with other people and making friends, and some psychologists have suggested that this because autistic children fail to acquire a theory of mind  Difficulty understanding the inner life of other people  Deaf children whose parents do not know sign language are slow to learn to communicate because they do not have ready access to any form of conventional language, and this restriction seems to slow the development of their understanding of other minds  Theory of mind can be influenced by the number of siblings the child has, the frequency with which the child engages in pretend play, whether the child has an imaginary companion, and the socioeconomic status of the child’s family  Children’s language skills are an excellent predictor of how well they perform on false belief tests  Piaget Remixed:  Piaget thought children graduated from one stage to another in the same way that they graduate kindergarden to first grade  Modern psychologists see development as a more continuous and less step-like progression  More like the change of seasons  Piaget’s claims is that children acquire many of the abilities that Piaget described much earlier than he realized  Every year, it seems, research lowers the age at which babies can demonstrate their ability to perform sophisticated cognitive tasks Discovering Our Cultures  Lev Vygotsky believed that cognitive development was largely the result of the child’s interaction with members of his or her own cultural tools, such as language and counting systems, exert a strong influence on cognitive development  Regularity of the counting system that children inherit can promote or discourage their discovery of the fact that two-digit numbers can be decomposed 11.8 Social Development Becoming Attached  Konrad Lorenz wanted to be a goose when he was a child  As a child he discovered that a newly hatched gosling will follow the first moving object to which it is exposed  imprinting  Human babies do things (i.e. cry, gurgle, coos, eye contact, smiles, etc.) that cause their caregiver to stay close to them  During first 6 months, they keep a mental tally of who responds most often and most promptly, and they soon begin to target their signals o the best responder or primary caregiver  Attachment: an emotional bond with a primary caregiver  Infants who are deprived of the opportunity to become attached suffer a variety of social and emotional deficits  Strange situation: behavioural test used to determine a child’s attachment style (i.e. when the primary caregiver brings the child to a lab room and the caretaker briefly leaves the room and then returns)  About 60% show a secure attachment style, when the caregiver returns, infants who had been distressed by the caregiver’s absence go to her and are calmed by her proximity, while those who had not been distressed acknowledge her return with a glance or greeting  20% display and avoidant attachment style, meaning that they are generally not distressed when their caregiver leaves the room, and they generally do not acknowledge her when she returns  15% display an ambivalent attachment style, meaning that they are almost always distressed when their caregiver leaves the room, but then they rebuff their caregiver’s attempt to calm them down when she returns, arching their backs and squirming to get away  5% display a disorganized attachment style, with no consistent pattern of responses when their caregiver leaves or returns  German children tend to have avoidant attachment styles  Japanese children tend to have ambivalent attachment styles Working Models  Quality of attachment is influenced by the child, the primary caregiver, and their interaction  Internal working model of relationships: a set of beliefs about the self, the primary caregiver, and the relationship between them  Different attachment styles = different working models of relationships  Infants with a secure attachment style act as though they are certain that their primary caregiver will respond when they feel insecure  Infants with an avoidant attachment style act as though they are certain that their primary caregiver will not respond  Infants with an ambivalent attachment style act as though they are uncertain about whether their primary caregiver will respond or not  Infants with a disorganized attachment style seem to be confused about their caregivers  Speculate abuse  Different children are born with different temperaments: characteristic patterns of emotional reactivity  Very young children vary in their tendency toward fearfulness, irritability, activity, positive affect, and other emotional traits  Children who are negative and impulsive as youngsters tend to have behavioural and adjustment problems in adolescence and poorer relationships in adulthood  Differences in how mothers respond are probably due in large measure to differences in their ability to read their infant’s emotional state  Mothers who are highly sensitive to these signs are almost twice as likely to have a securely attached child as are mothers who are less sensitive  Securely attached infants tend to do better than children who were not  Social relationships and academics  Why? Children apply the working models they developed as infants to their later relationships with teachers and friends  Others say attachment style is correlated with later success only because both of these are caused by the same environment 11.9 Moral Development  Before babies hit their very first diapers, they can tell when something feels good, they can tell when something feels bad, and they strongly prefer the former to the latter  As they mature, they begin to notice that their pleasures are often someone else’s pains  Developing a distinction between right and wrong Knowing What’s Right 1. Children’s moral thinking tends to shift from realism to relativism. Very
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