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Chapter 11

[Textbook Note] Chapter 11 - Development.docx

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Steve Joordens

Chapter 11 – Reading Notes Development 11.0  Developmental psychology: The study of continuity and change across the life span. 11.2  Zygote: A fertilized egg that contains chromosomes from both a sperm and an egg.  Zygote develops into an embryo at 2 weeks and then into a fetus at 8 weeks.  Each human sperm cell and each human egg cell contain 23 chromosomes which contains genes.  Genes are the blueprint for all biological development.  The 23 chromosomes can come in two variations: X or Y. o Y chromosomes = Male o X chromosomes = Female  Germinal stage: The 2-week period of prenatal development that begins at conception. o Zygote begins to divide into 2 cells that divide into 4 and then divide into 8. o Migrates back down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the wall of uterus. o Male zygotes are especially unlikely to complete this.  Embryonic stage: A period that lasts from the second week until about the eighth week. o Zygote continues to divide and its cells begin to differentiate. o Zygote is known as an embryo: Has a beating heart, arms and legs. o Embryos that have a Y chromosome begin to produce a hormone called testosterones which masculinize their reproductive organs. o X chromosome embryos do not produce testosterones and continue developing as a female.  Fetal stage: A period that lasts from the ninth week until birth. o Embryo known as a fetus. o It has a skeleton and muscles  capable of movement. o During last 3 months of fetal stage: fetus size increase, fat develops beneath its skin, digestive & respiratory system mature. o The brain develops; brain cells generate axons and dendrites. o Undergo a process known as myelination. o Myelination: The formation of fatty sheath around the axons of a neuron.  This process starts during fetal stage but doesn’t end for years; myelination of the cortex continues into adulthood.  A newborn human’s brain is only 25% of its adult size.  Why are human beings born with such underdeveloped brains when other primates are not? o Adult size brains are bigger and require a bigger head to house them. If a newborn’s head were too close to its adult size, the baby wouldn’t be able to pass through its mother’s birth canal. o Humans’ greatest talent is its ability to adapt to a wide range of novel environment that differ in terms of climate, social structure, and so on. Therefore, human beings arrive with brains that do much of their developing within the very environments in which they will function. 11.3  Development of a child starts as early as in the womb of the woman. o The placenta is the organ that allows exchange of material between the mother and the developing embryo/fetus. The food the mother eats during pregnancy can affect her fetus. Child that receive insufficient nutrition during pregnancy tend to have both physical and psychological problems.  Most notably an increased risk of schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder.  It can also affect food preferences, children will tend to prefer the food that their mother ate during pregnancy.  Teratogens: Agents that damage the process of development. o Literally means “monster makers”. o Most common is alcohol.  Fetal alcohol syndrome: Is a developmental disorder that stems from heavy alcohol use by the mother during pregnancy. o Children that suffer from FAS have a variety of distinctive facial features, brain abnormalities and cognitive deficits. o Some studies suggest that light drinking does not harm the fetus but there are no medical consensuses about what a “safe” amount is.  Tabacco is another common teratogen. o Have lower birth weights and are more likely to have perceptual and attentional problems in childhood.  The fetus can hear its mother’s heartbeat, the gastrointestinal sounds associated with her digestion, and her voice. 11.5  Infancy: The stage of development that begins at birth and lasts between 18 and 24 months. 11.6  Motor development: The emergence of the ability to execute physical actions such as reaching, grasping, crawling, and walking.  Reflexes: Specific patterns of motor response that are triggered by specific patterns of sensory stimulation. o Rooting reflex = tendency for infants to move their mouths toward any object that touches their cheek. o Sucking reflex = tendency to suck any object that enters their mouths (omfg this is just so wrong). o These reflexes allow newborns to find their mother’s nipple and begin feeding.  The development of more sophisticated behaviours tends to obey two general rules. o Cephalocaudal rule: Also known as the “top-to-bottom” rule which describes the tendency for motor skills to emerge in sequence from the head to the feet.  Infants tend to gain control of their heads first, their arms and trunks next, and their legs last.+96 o Proximodistal rule: Also known as the “inside-to-outside” rule which describes the tendency for motor skills to emerge in sequence from the center to the periphery.  Babies learn to control their trunks before their elbows and knees, and they learn to control their elbows and knees before their hands and feet. o Motor skills develop in an orderly sequence but not on a strict timetable. The timing of these skills is influenced by the baby’s incentive for reaching, body weight, muscular development and general level activity. 11.7  Cognitive development: The emergence of the ability to think and understand. o Between infancy to adulthood, children must come to understand:  How the physical world works  How their minds represent it  How other minds represent it  Piaget suggested that cognitive development occurs in four stages: o Sensorimotor stage (Birth – 2 years) o Preoperational stage (2 – 6 years) o Concrete operational stage (6 – 11 years) o Formal operational stage (11 years and up)  Sensorimotor stage: A stage of development that begins at birth and lasts through infancy. o Infants at this stage use their ability to sense and their ability to move to acquire info. o Actively exploring their environment with their eyes, mouths and fingers, infants begin to construct schemas (theories about or models of the way the world works). o If infants realize that tugging at a toy makes it come closer, it will incorporate it into a theory about how physical object behave. The infant will later use that theory when he/she wants a different object to get closer. Piaget called this process assimilation (when infants apply their schemas in novel situations). o When an infant pull on a cat’s tail, the cat is more likely to run away. The infant will then learn from it and adjusts their theory as they discover new things. Such as “inanimate things come closer when I pull them”. Piaget called this process accommodation (when infants revise their schemas in light of new information). o Infants do not have a theory of object permanence (The idea that objects continue to exist even when they are not visible). Infants act as thought objects stop existing the moment they are out of sight. However studies show that infants have some understanding of object permanence by the time they are just 4 months old.  Childhood: The stage of development that begins at about 18 to 24 months and lasts until adolescence, which begins between 11 and 14 years.  According to Piaget, childhood consist of two stages: o Preoperational stage: The stage of development that beings at about 2 years and ends at about 6 years. During which the child learns about physical or “concrete” objects. o Concrete operational stage: The stage of development that begins at about 6 years and ends at about 11 years. During which the child learns various actions or “operations” can affect or transform those objects. o Piaget showed children a row of cups and asked them to place an egg in each.  Preoperational children were able to do this and they agreed that there were just as many eggs as there were cups. However, if the eggs were removed and spread out in a long line that extended beyond the row of cups, preoperational children would incorrectly claim that there are more eggs than cups because the row of egg is longer than the row of cups.  Concrete operational children would correctly report that the number of eggs did not change. Piaget called this conservation (the notion that the quantitative properties of an object are invariant despite changes in the object’s appearance).  Centration: The tendency to focus on just one property of an object to the exclusion of all others. Whereas adults can consider several properties at once, children focus on the length of the line of eggs without simultaneously considering the amount of space between each egg.  Reversibility: Children do not consider the fact that operation that made the line of eggs longer could be reversed  The eggs could be repositioned more closely together and the line would become shorter.  Formal operational stage: The stage of development that begins around the age of 11 and lasts through adulthood. o Children can solve nonphysical problems with ease. o Childhood ends when formal operations begin and people who move on to this stage are able to reason systematically about abstract concepts such as liberty and love and about events that will happen, that might happened, and that never happened.  Egocentrism: The failure to understand that the world appears differently to different observers  Perceptions & Beliefs: A 3-year-old child may have trouble understanding that others may not know what they know.  Desires & Emotions: At very young age, children understand that people have different desires. However they take quite a long time to understand that other people may have emotional reactions unlike their own.  Theory of Mind: The idea that human behaviour is guided by mental representations. o Autism: A relatively rare disorder that affects approximately 1 in 2 500 children. Children with autism typically have difficulty communicating with other people and making friends, and some psychologists have suggested that this is because autistic children fail to acquire a theory of mind. Although they are typically normal or better on most intellectual dimensions, they have difficulty understanding inner life of other people. They don’t seem to understand that people can have false beliefs, belief-based emotions or self-conscious emotions. o Deaf children whose parents do not know sign language: Children are slow to learn to communicate because they do not have ready access to any form of conventional language. This restriction slows the d
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