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Chapter 1

CH.1 Introduction.docx

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Mark Schmuckler

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Chapter 1: Child Development – Themes, Theories and Methods - Child development – a field of study that seeks to account for the gradual evolution of the child’s cognitive, social and other capacities first by describing changes in the child’s observed behaviours and then uncovering the processes and strategies that underlie these changes. - What things change as children get older - Charles Darwin – conducted r esearch on infants sensory capacitates and young children emotions - Canadian Psychological Association – a national organization of Canadian psychologists (formed in 1938) - James Mark Baldwin – developed the first laboratory of psychology on the British empire, using his own daughter as a subject - St. George’s School for child study in Toronto (1926, which still operates today as the Institute for child study) initially headed by William Blatz - Themes pertaining to psychological growth – 1. Origins of human behaviour 2. The pattern of developmental change and 3. The individual and contextual factors that define and direct child development - Aspects of development – biological, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social - Arnold Gesell (1928) believed that the course of development was predetermined by biological factors ( he concentred on maturation) - Maturation – a genetically determined process of growth that infolds naturally over a period of time - John Watson - placed emphasis on environmental factors, ways that the environment shapes the child’s development would produce either a genius or a criminal in a child - Today’s psychologists , explore both the areas also known today as Nature vs. Nurture - The combination of the child’s biological characteristics the way he or she expresses these behaviourally and the abusive environment can mould a child’s behaviour/personality - Continuous- process whereby each new event builds on earlier experiences, in this view development is a smooth and gradual accumulation of abilities - Discontinuous – development is a series of discrete steps or stages in which behaviours get reorganized into a qualitatively new set of behaviours - Developmental psychologists differ in their emphasise on individual characteristics vs. Situational or contextual characteristics - Interactionist viewpoint – stressing the dual role of the individual and contextual factors (e.g. children with aggressive personality traits may often seek out contexts in which they can display these characteristics thus, join a karate class rather than a church choir) - Risk can come in many forms – biological (e.g. serious illness), psychological (e.g. living with a psychotic parent) or environmental (e.g. family income, child’s experience at school). - Sleeper effects – they seem to cope well initially but exhibit problems later - 2 main functions of a theory – 1. They help organize and integrate existing information into coherent and interesting accounts of how children develop 2. They generate testable hypothesis or predictions about children behaviour - General theories (1) structural – organismic (2) learning (3) dynamic systems (4) contextual and (5) ethological and evolutionary Structural Organismic Perspectives - Structuralism – developed by Freud and Piaget 1 - Freud was interested in emotion and personality where as Piaget was interested in thinking - Structural organismic perspective – theoretical approaches that describe psychological structures and processes that undergo qualitative or stage like changes over the course of development Psychodynamic Theory - Psychodynamic Theory - Freud’s theory development, which proceeds in discrete stages, is determined largely by biologically based drives shaped by encounters with the environment and through the interaction of 3 components – id, ego and superego - Id - the person’s instinctual drives; the first component of the personality to evolve, the id operates on the basis of the pleasure principal - The id gradually becomes more controlled by the ego - pleasure principle- the rule that the id obeys: obtain immediate gratification whatever form it may take - Ego – the rational, controlling component of the personality, which tries to satisfy needs through appropriate, socially acceptable behaviours - reality principle – the tendency to satisfy the id’s demand realistically which almost always involves compromising the demands of the id and superego - Superego – the personality component that is the repository of the child’s internalization of parental or societal values, morals and roles - Conscience – the ability to apply moral values to her own acts - To Freud, personality development is the changes in the organization and interaction of the id, ego, and superego involves five stages - 1. Oral stage (age 0-1) – the first stage during which the mouth is the major erogenous zone to seduction of hunger drive (new born babies –suck and swallow, their sexual instinctual drive finds a n outlet in these activities ) - Under -gratification might result from early weaning and over gratification may result from zealous attempts by parents - Too little gratification or overstimulation – will lay to development of personality traits (like smoking, hoarding an excessive eating) - 2. Anal stage (ages 1-3) – the second of Freud’s psychosocial stage, during this stage the primary erogenous zone is the genital area and pleasure derives from both direct genital stimulation and nd general psychical contact (Begins at the 2 year of life (age 2)) - Set for early development of ego functions (personality traits– control mechanisms) - Megalomania – a single minded need for power and control - Mild toilet training – involves encouraging and praising the infant successfully producing bowel movement at the right place and time - 3. Phallic Stage – (age 3-6) During this stage the primary erogenous zone in the genital area and pleasure derives from both direct genital stimulation and general physical contact - At this stage children form strong immature sexual attachments to their parents of the opposite sex (father – daughter and mother- son = complexes) - According to Freud children experience jealousy of their sane sex parent’s close relationship with the opposite sex parent 2 - Also he believed boys unconsciously fear being punished by their fathers over their desire for their mother including the ultimate punishment – castration - Girl’s love for her father = envy for the mother and is complicated by the discovery of having no male gentile (Electra complex) - The conflict is resolved via identification = superego development - 4. Latency period (age 6-12) – the period b/w the phallic and the genital stage during which the sexual urges are submerged (the child is now an adolescent begins to form sexual attachments) Adolescence (12-20) - 5. Genital stage (20-30) – form puberty to adolescent– during this stage the adolescent develops sexual desires Psychosocial theory - Psychosocial theory - Erikson’s theory of development that sees children developing through a series of 8 stages largely through accomplishing tasks that involve them in interaction with their social environment - Each stage is characterized by the personal and social tasks that the individual must accomplish as well as the risks the individual confronts if she fails to proceed through stages successfully Piagetian theory - Jean Piaget introduced a structural organismic theory to describe intellectual development - The Piagetian theory – a theory of cognitive development that sees the child as actively seeking new information and incorporating it into his knowledge base through the processes of assimilation and accommodation - the principle of organization reflects the view that human intellectual development is a biologically organized process - Piaget proposed that all children go through 4 stages of cognitive development each characterized by qualitatively different ways of thinking 1. Infants rely on their sensory and motor abilities 2. Preschoolers rely more on mental structures and symbols 3. In school years children begin to rely on logic and 4. In adolescence children can reason abstract ideas Learning Perspectives - Behaviourism – Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner and John Watson - Behaviourism - a school of psychology that holds that theories of behaviour must be based on direct observations to actual behaviour and not on speculations about such unobservable things as human motives - the approach emphasises the role of experience and it is gradual, continuous view - classical conditioning – a type of learning in which individuals learn to respond to unfamiliar stimuli if the two stimuli are repeatedly represented together - operant conditioning – a type of learning in which learning depends on the consequences of behaviour; rewards increase the likelihood that a behaviour will recur whereas punishment decreases that likelihood 3 - positive reinforcement of a particular behaviour in the form of praise or a special treat was shown to increase the likelihood that a child would exhibit that behaviour again - punishment in the form of criticism or the withdrawal of privileges can decrease the chance that a child will repeat the same behaviour Cognitive Social learning theory - cognitive social learning theory – a learning theory that stresses learning by observation and imitation mediated by cognitive processes and skills - famous example by Albert Bundra – who showed that children exposed to the aggressive behaviour of another person would imitate that behaviour – Bobo Doll; children watched were more likely to attack and play aggressively with the doll than were a group of children who had not seen that doll - research has revealed the important contribution of cognition to observing behaviour – children do not imitate blindly or automatically rather they select specific behaviours that to imitate - 4 cognitive processes govern how well a child will learn by observing another person 1. The child must attend to a model’s behaviour 2. The child must retain the observed behaviours in memory 3. The child must have the capacity, physically and intellectually to reproduce the observed behaviour 4. The child must be motivated or have a reason to reproduce the behaviour Information Processing Approaches - Information processing approaches – theories of development that focus on the flow of information through the child’s cognition system and particularly on the specific operations the child performs between input and stimulus phases - In human information processing, output may be in form of an action, decision , or memory - These theorists are interested in the cog
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