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Chapter 1

Developmental Psychology - Chapter 1.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Diana Valencia

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ____________________ ________ ____ Chapter 1: ChildDevelopment:Themes,Theories,andMethods -lecture********** Themes of Development  3 themes that scientists examined pertaining to psychological growth: origins of human beh, pattern of developmental change over time and the individual and contextual factors  aspects of development: bio, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, and social Origins of Behaviour: Biological vs Environmental Influences  Arnold Gesell believed that the course of development was largely predetermined by biological factors - concentrated on maturation - maturation: a genetically determined process of growth that unfolds naturally over a period of time  Watson focused on envir - assumed that bio factors placed no restrictions on the ways that the envir can shape the course of a child's development - believed that if he could organize envir, he could produce a genius or criminal  modern day: explore how bio and envir factors (nature and nurture) interact to produce developmental variations in diff children  children with certain genetic characteristics are more likely to show beh prob  combination of child's bio characteristics, the way they express these characteristics behaviourally and the abusive envir puts a particular child at risk  interaction between bio and envir is an active, dynamic process where children also contribute to the process Pattern of Developmental Change: Continuity vs Discontinuity  some view development as a continuous process – new events build on earlier experiences - development is a smooth and gradual accumulation of abilities  some view development as discontinuous - series of discrete steps or stages in which beh get reorganized into a qualitatively new set of beh -> like learning to swim  continuous = quantitative  discontinuous = qualitative Forces ThatAffect Developmental Change: Individual Characteristics vs Contextual and Cultural Influences  interactionist viewpoint: stresses the dual role of individual and contextual factors - ex children with aggressive personality traits may often seek out contexts where they can show aggressive characteristics -> more likely to join a gang - but children in settings that don't allow aggressive beh = less likely to behave aggressively Risks to Healthy Development and Individual Resilience  children respond to diff risks in diff ways - some show permanent developmental disruptions while others show sleeper effects (seem to cope well initially but exhibit problems later in development) Theoretical Perspectives On Development  critical: a theory describes psychological change or development over time  theories serve 2 main functions: - help organize and integrate existing info into coherent and interesting accounts of how children develop - generate testable hypotheses or predictions about children's beh  good sci theory allows one to make sense of a observations, with fewest premises and can then be used to formulate new observations  in child psychology, no one theory dominates the field and no theory is complete on its own  most developmental psychos = theoretically eclectic -> mix and match concepts from diff theories to enable them to explain diff types of observation  two of the earliest theoretical attempts to focus on psycho development: freud's psychodynamic theory and Piaget's theory and cog development  5 general approaches to the main theories: structural organismic, learning, dynamic systems, contextual and ethological and evolutionary Structural-Organismic Perspectives  freud and piaget were interested in psycho development and they adopted the approach called structuralism - their theories focused on diff aspects of development - Freud interested in emo and personality - Piaget was interested in thinking - both had theories that had biology , esp evolutionary theory - both used structural-organismic perspective (theoretical approaches that describe psycho structures and processes that undergo qualitative or stage like changes over the course of development)  freud and piaget shared the view that an organism goes through an organized series of stages, or discontinuous changes, over the course of development - saw stages as universal Psychodynamic Theory  freud introduced this  emphasizes how the experiences of early childhood shape the development of adult personality  developing personality has 3 interrelated parts: id, ego and superego - id = instinctual drives ; later becomes more controlled by the ego - ego = rational and reality bound aspect and attempts to gratify needs through socially appropriate beh - superego = emerges when the child internalizes (accepts and absorbs) parental or societal morals, values and roles and develops a conscience or the ability to apply moral values to their actions  personality development = changes in the organization and interaction of the id ego and superego  personality development involves 5 stages - oral - anal: learn to postpone personal gratification - phallic stage: critical to the formation of gender identity - latency - genital  early experiences, esp in first 6 years influence later development  way the child negotiates the stages has an impact on emotional development and adult personality  Erikson: psychosocial theory (sees children developing through a series of stages largely through accomplishing tasks that involve them in interaction with their social envir) - stages are characterized by personal and social tasks - stage of adolescence: child focuses on identity development and seeks to establish a clear and stable sense of self  table 1-1 pg 11 Freud's and Erikson's developmental stages Piagetian Theory  describes intellectual development  piagetian theory: theory of cog development that sees the child as actively seeking new info and incorporating it into their knowledge base through the processes of assimilation and accommodation - uses two basic principles of bio and bio change: organization and adaption  principle of organization: human intellectual development is a biologically organized process - child's understanding of the world changes in an organized way over the course of development  principle of adaption: intellectual change occurs as the human mind becomes increasingly adapted to the world  4 stages of cog development – each characterized by qualitatively diff ways of thinking  cog development is a process in which the child shifts from a focus on the self, immediate sensory experiences and simple prob to a more complex, multi-faceted and abstract understanding of the world Learning Perspectives  process of learning is one of the oldest areas of psycho Behaviourism  Watson, Pavlov and Skinner  behaviourism: focuses on learning of beh - emphasizes the role of experience and it is a gradual, continuous view - same principles of learning shape development throughout childhood and across their whole life  classic conditioning (Pavlov, used by Watson): type of learning in which two stimuli are repeatedly presented tgthr until individuals learn to respond to the unfamiliar stimulus in the same way they respond to the familiar stimulus - Watson used this to explain things such as fear  operant conditioning (Skinner): learning depends on the consequences of beh ex positive reinforcement and punishment - used to change hyperactivity in children Cognitive Social Learning Theory  cognitive social learning theory: says that children learn through classical and operant conditioning and also by observing and imitating others  children select specific beh to imitate and their imitation relies on how they process this info - 4 cog processes govern how well a child will learn by observing another person: 1) child must attend to a model's beh 2) child must retain the observed beh in memory 3) child must have capacity, phys and intellectually to reproduce the observed beh 4) the child must be motivated or have a reason to reproduce the beh Information ProcessingApproaches  info processing approaches: focus on the flow of info through the child's cog system and particularly on the specific operations the child performs between input and stimulus phases - begin with input or stimulus and end with output or response – like how comp works  interested in the cog processes that a child uses to operate on knowledge and the gradual changes over the course of development in child's ability to use these processes  cog processes that the child use: attends to info, changes it into a mental or cog representation, stores it in memory, compares it with other memories, generates diff responses, makes a decision about the mos appropriate response and then takes action  approach has been applied to attention, memory, prob solving and planning  helped in studying how children develop an understanding of reading math and sci  Bandura's model of observational learning Figure 1-2 page 13 Dynamic Systems Perspectives  systems theory has been applied to developmental issues, like motor development, perception, lang , cognition and social beh  dynamism: what makes a system more than just a collection of parts  dynamic systems theory: proposes that individuals develop and function within systems; it studies the relationships among individuals and systems and the processes by which these relationships operate - dynamic : constant interaction and mutual influence of the elements of the system  all attempt to describe how child development arises from the system as a whole, not from a single factor - ex child who has muscle strength but no balance will not walk  behaviours like reaching arise from interaction of multiple, interdependent components under particular task and envir constraints  ensemble of components is important not the particular order of their development  Some principles of dynamic systems theory - complexity: each part is unique but related to one or more of the systems' other parts (ex family has individual members, subsystems like married couples, and extended members) - wholeness and organization: whole system is organized and more than just the sum of its parts - identity and stability: no matter how a system may change, the identity of the system remains intact (ex family unit continues even when ppl join or some pass away) - morphogenesis: changes in the system; system must be able to grow and adapt to internal and external changes - equifinality: principle states that most individuals reach the same developmental milestones, even when each one experiences different combinations of genetic and envir influences Contextual Perspectives  3 theoretical perspectives that illustrate contextual approaches to development: sociocultural theory, brofenbrenner's ecological theory and the lifespan perspective Sociocultural Theory  sociocultural theory: theory of development, proposed by Lev Vygotsky that sees development as evolving out of children's interactions with more skilled others in their social envir  Lev's theory proposes that child development is best understood in relation to social and cultural experience - social interaction is a critical force in development - with help from experienced ppl in social envir, the child gradually learns to function intellectually on their own - social world mediates individual cog development  this approach offers new ways of assessing children's cog potential and of teaching Reading, math and writing – Ex peer tutoring (older helps younger)  this theory increased our appreciation of the importance of cultural variation in development  ways adults support and direct child development are influenced by culture  use cultural tools to understand the world and solve cog problems - these tools are devised by cultures (like language, math symbols..) Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory  ecological theory: stresses the importance of understanding in relationships between the organism (like the child) and various envir systems (like the family) but the relations among the envir systems themselves  bronfenbrenner provides a framework that describes the layers or envir or contextual systems that influence child development  See figure 1-3 page 16 (Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of development)  microsystem: a setting where the child lives and interacts with the ppl and institutions closest to them (like peers and parents)  mesosystem: comprises the interrelations among the components of the microsystem – ex parents interact with teachers and school system; family members and peers may maintain relations with a religious institution  exosystem: composed of settings that impinge on a child's development but with which the child has indirect contact (like a parent's work may affect the child's life if it requires that the parent travels a lot)  macrosystem: represents the ideological and institutional patterns of a particular culture or subculture  the 4 systems change over time = chronosystem  chronosystem: the time based dime
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