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Chapter 10

PSYA02H3 Chapter 10: Module 10.1 - Physical Development from Conception through Infancy (Textbook Notes)

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Steve Joordens

10.1 Physical Development from Conception through Infancy Methods for Measuring Developmental Trends Crosssectional design: study used to measure and compare samples of people at different ages at a given point in time o Study cognition from infancy to adulthood, you could compare people of different age groupssay, groups of 1, 5, 10, and 20yearolds If a researcher only has one year to complete a study, they should use crosssectional design on a topic that spans from the entire range of childhood o Advantages: Relatively cheap and easy to administer Allow a study to be done quickly because you dont have to wait around while your participants age o Disadvantages: Cohort effects: differences between people that result from being born in different time periods (such as differences in nutrition, parenting norms, medical advances, cultural changes, environmental pollutants, or many other factors) Longitudinal design: study that follows the development of the same set of individuals through time o You would select a sample of infants and measure their cognitive development periodically over the course of 20 year o Advantages: Does not get affected from cohort effect o Disadvantages: Can be very costly and time consuming Attrition: can suffer from this problem, which occurs when participants drop out of a study for some reason, such as losing interest or moving away Patterns of Development: Stages and Continuity o Stages: pattern of change The importance of Sensitive Periods o Timing is everything during key stages of development o Sensitive period: window of time during which exposure to a specific type of environmental stimulation is needed for normal development of a specific ability Ex. to become fluent in their native language, infants need to be exposed to speech during their first few years of life Effects of language deprivation during infancy and childhood can be irreversible Zygotes to Infants: From One Cell to Billions Fertization and Gestation o During pregnancy, the fetuss development is already being shaped by both genetic and environmental factor o Zygote: the initial cell formed when the nuclei of egg and sperm fuse This is the beginning of the germinal stage o Germinal stage: the first stage of prenatal development, which spans from conception to two weeks Shortly after it forms, the zygote begins dividing, first into two cells then four then eight, etc.
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