PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Lev Vygotsky, Mary Ainsworth, Teratology

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21 Dec 2016
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Lifespan Development
10.1Physical Development from Conception Infancy
Developmental psychology: the study of human physical, cognitive, social, and behavioral
characteristics across the lifespan.
Requires methods for measuring and tracking change over time cross-sectional design
measures and compare samples of people at different ages at a given time.
E.g. compare people of different age groups to study cognition
Vs. longitudinal design: Follows the development of the same ppl over time.
Both have pros&cons: cross-sectional is cheap, easy, and quick BUT there are
differences between people that result from being born in different time periods
norms, culture, etc.
longitudinal study pros&cons: Following a single group of people for a long time is costly
and time-consuming. Suffer from attrition, participants drop out of a study for any
reason
PATTERNS OF DEVELOPMENT: STAGES AND CONTINUITY
Development is a progression of abrupt transitions in physical or mental skills, spread with
slower, gradual change.
Described as stages b/c rapid shifts in thinking/behaving, fundamental shifts abilities
performed
sensitive period: time which exposure to environmental stimulation is needed for
normal development of an ability e.g. abilities such as depth perception, balance and
recognition of parents
FERTILIZATION AND GESTATION
Fetus development impacted by genetics & env (understanding nature vs nurture)
Assuming u know how a zygote forms
Germinal Stage: 1st phase of prenatal development, spans from conception to two
weeks.
Embryonic Stage: Weeks 2-8, the embryo develops major physical structures (heart and
nervous system) and the beginnings of arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Fetal Stage: Weeks 8- birth, the skeletal, organ & nervous system develops and
specializes muscles, sleep cycles, external cues
FETAL BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
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Begins in embryonic stage(2nd-3rd w gest). At birth, newborn has 100B neurons and a brain that is 25%
the size of an adults., This means that at birth, the infant has created all of the neurons that will
comprise the adult brain; hat’s issig fo them is the connections between these neurons.
NUTRITION, TERATOGENS AND FETAL DEVELOPMENT
Fetal brain is highly vulnerable to environmental influences othe’s utitio ad
teratogens in the bloodstream
Fetal malnutrition means higher chances of illnesses/diseases & cognitive deficits
E.g Dutch babies post WWII Famine- schizophrenia and anti- social personality disorder
Fetal development disrupted by teratogen exposure (e.g. thalidomide caused
miscarriages blindness etc)
Sensory and Motor Development in Infancy
Why are babies so helpless at birth? Actually begin to make sense of the world in the womb;
mums voice >>
The audito patteig of aies’ ais is significant they internalize the sounds of their
own native tongue, even before birth! Babies cry with an accent too.
As the infant begins to navigate the world under, their perceptual understanding sharpens.
Synaptogenesis: The forming of new synaptic connections, occurs at blinding speed through
infancy and childhood, and continues through the lifespan.
Synaptic pruning: Loss of weak nerve cell connections, quickens during brain development.
Synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning increase neural effciency by strengthening needed
connections between nerve cells and weeding out unnecessary ones.
Cognitive Changes: Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
Cognitive development: The study of changes in memory, thought, & reasoning processes
through a lifespan.
Piaget focused on cognitive development from infancy through early years, how thinking and
reasoning develop
Knowledge accumulates and is modified by two processesassimilation and
accommodation.
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Assimilation: people fit new info into the belief systems they already posses
Accommodation: People modify their belief structures based on experience
Piaget’s oseatios revealed that cognitive development passes through four stages:
sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and the formal operational stage
Object permanence: The ability to understand that objects exist even whe the ae’t
physically there
Childe’s inability to manipulate abstract info is shown by testing their understanding of
conservationthe knowledge that the amount of an object is not the same as the physical
arrangement and appearance of that object.
Criticism: Childe’s inability to perform certain tasks as a futio of the hild’s itepetatio of the
task, not their underlying cognitive limitations.
Concrete Operational Stage (ages 7 to 11): When children develop skills in logical thinking and
manipulating numbers.
Can classify based on size, value, shape properties
THE FORMAL OPERATIONAL STAGE: ABSTRACT AND HYPOTHETICAL
THOUGHT
Development of advanced cognitive processes such as abstract reasoning and
hypothetical thinking.
Scientific thinking, like gathering evidence and systematically testing possibilities, is a
characteristic
Approaches to Piaget
Piaget underestimated the infant abilities and rates of development
Experience the world through sensation and movement
strong emphasis on cognitive tasks overlooked socio-cultural and biological elements of
cognitive growth hilde’s ailities ae esposie to thei soial eioet
Lev Vygotsky-- ideal development is when children attempt skills and activities that push
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