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PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes -Bobo Doll Experiment, Social Learning Theory, Erik Erikson

Course Code
Mark Schmuckler

of 9
Child Psych-Ch1
Child development: identifies and describes changes in a child’s cognitive, emotional, motor
and social capacities and behaviors from conception until adolescence (WHAT things change). It
also uncovers the process that underlies these changes to help explain how and why they
occur. (HOW they came about)
Charles Darwin-research on infants sensory capacities and young children’s emotions
John B Watson-formal analysis of children’s learning capacities.
Freud and Piaget- our understanding of children
Mark Baldwin- established first laboratory on British lands at U of T. work on mental health
Why should we know child development? Help society protect well being of children as well as
shape the social policy on behalf of children.
Themes of development
Biological versus environmental influences
-both biological and environmental factors influence human development
-researcher Gesell described it as only biological factors influencing the development. Focused
on maturation: a genetically determined process of growth that unfolds naturally over a good
period of time
-watson focused on environmental factors as having an effect.
-both nature and nurture interact to produce developmental variations in different children
-socializing agents such as parents, peers or teachers do no only mold the child, but the children
actively influence and modify the actions of their parents and other people whom they interact
Continuity versus discontinuity
-some view development as a continous process where new events build on earlier experiences
-smooth and gradual accumulation of abilities Ex: process of learning how to swim. Continuous
-those who view development as discontinuous likens development to a series of discrete steps
or stages in which behaviors get reorganized into a qualitatively new set of behaviors ex: a
tadpole to a frog specific stages
-most child development researchers see development as continuous but can sometimes see
periods of change
Individual characteristics versus cultural influences
-some researchers involve the interactionist viewpoint where there is a dual role of individual
and contextual factors
Risks to healthy development and individual resilience
-this is about how different children respond when they are confronted with situational
challenges or risks to healthy development
-many seem to suffer permanent development disruptions, some show the sleeper effect
where they deal then are later on affect and others are just resilient and deal completely.
** how do children deal with disruptions in development? Some can suffer permanent
development causes because they don’t know how to deal with it, others may show sleeper
effect, where it doesn’t influence them until later on in life, and others may be fully capable of
dealing with it right on spot so it doesn’t have an effect
Researching across cultures
-examining child development across cultures provides info about variation in the range of
human potential and expression that may emerge in different circumstances of growth. Ex: in
some cultures children learn to walk at a certain age, in others children are carried for longer
periods of time which reduces their chances to walk until they are older.
-It depends on the individual but at the same time the context they are in
All development that occurs happens in each child, but it depends on the environment and
people that influence the child, that will determine how early, or how late and the rate at which
they are developing. Ex culture is a big influence*
Theoretical perspectives on development
Theories help organize and integrate existing information into coherent and interesting
accounts of how children develop. They also generate a testable hypotheses or predictions
about children’s behavior.
Today a lot of developmental psychologists mix and match different concepts of different
theories to come up with new ones to explain their observations.
Structural organismic perspective
-structuralism: Freud and Piaget
-freud was interested in emotions and personality and piaget in thinking
-they came up with the structural-organismic perspective: organisms goo through organized or
structured series of stages or discontinuous changes over the course of development
-they saw the stages as universal meaning that all humans went through these specific stages
no matter how they` developed.
Psychodynamic theory
-introduced by Freud
-the developing personality consist of 3 interelated parts: id,ego, superego
-id: which is composed of our instinctual drives
-ego: consists of the rational and reality bound aspect and attempts to gratify needs through
socially appropriate behavior
-superego: accepts and absorbs parental societal morals and values and roles. Development of
a conscience or the ability to apply moral values to her own acts
-with these he came up with 5 stages where children undergo through the personality steps
1.oral (0-1years): focus on eating sucking and biting. All around the mouth
2. anal (1-3yrs): emphasis on toilet training. learning how to control the sphincter. Discipline
and authority come into play where the parent makes them learn to sit on the toilet.
3. phallic (3-6years): increase in sexual urges. Learn gender differences. They learn my parts are
different than yours.oedipus complex superego problem can’t be physically seen and so cant be
4. latency (6-12years): sexual urges are suppressed and they are in school and focus on that and
others around them.
5. genital (20+ years): focus on reproduction and love.
The way in which children negotiate the oral, anal and phallic stages has a profound impact on
emotional development and the adult personality. These stages influence later life
-erik erikson was among ones that followed freuds theory
-he established the psychosocial theory where development is seen as proceeding through a
series of eight stages that unfold across the lifespan
-each stge is characterized by the personal and social tasks that the individual must accomplish
as well as the risks that come if they are not accomplished
Piagetian Theory
-based on 3 basic principles of biology and biological change: organization and adaptation
-the child’s understanding of the world changes in an organized way over the course of
-intellectual change occurs as the human mind becomes adapted to the world
Infants: rely on their sensory and motor abilities to learn about the world
Preschool children: rely more on mental structures and symbols-language
Children: rely more on logic
Adolescence: can reason about abstract ideas
Learning perspectives problem** they play down the role of biological factors
-watson, Pavlov and skinner
-it focuses quite simply on the learning of behaviors
-watson used Pavlovs classical conditioning to explain many aspects of children’s behavior such
as fear. Ex: got a infant to be scared of furry animals by introducing it to a rat.
-operant conditioning was also applied to children’s behavior
-it has been incorporated into many applied programs to help teachers and parents change
children’s behavior (reinforcement and punishment)
Cognitive social learning theory
-children learn not only through classical and operant conditioning but also by observing and
imitating others.ex: BOBO doll experiment
-four cognitive processes govern how well a child will learn by observing another person
1.the child must attend to a model’s behavior
2.child must retain the observed behavior in memory