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Chapter 1

PSYB20 Chapter 1 Notes

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Michelle Hilscher

PSYB20 Chapter 1 Chapter 1: Child Development: Themes, Theories and Methods Child Development – Interested in what things change as children get older and how these changes happen Research in child development started barely 100 yrs ago Charles Darwin one of most notable –conducted research on infants sensory capacities and young children’s emotions. Which demonstrated that scientists could study infants and children. John B. Watson, Sigmund Freud, and Jean Piaget all important as well Canadian Psychological Association formed in 1938 (46 yrs after APA) Earliest and most significant event in Canadian development psych was appointment of James Baldwin to UofT in 1889 - Established first Psych lab on British soil - Using own daughter as subject, examined and published papers on topics such as handedness, suggestion and will in infancy, and imitation St.George’s School for Child Study opened in 1926, still open today as Institute for Child Study - Originally headed by William Blatz (known for Dionne quintuplets (raised in special compound that was on display to general public) Themes of Development -Scientists examined and debated three main issues pertaining to psychological growth - Origins of human behaviour, Pattern of developmental change over time, individual and context factors -Aspects of development: biological, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social Origins of Behaviour: Biological Vs. Environmental Influences -Arnold Gesell – believed course of development largely predetermined by biological factors -Concentrated on maturation: the natural unfolding of development over course of growth -John B. Watson – placed emphasis strictly on environment -Assumed biological factors placed no restrictions on way environment can shape development -Modern developmentalists explore how nature and nurture interact Pattern of Developmental Change: Continuity vs. Discontinuity -Question that confronts developmental psychologists is how to describe pattern of developmental change -Some view it as continuous (each new event builds on earlier experiences). In this view development is a smooth and gradual accumulation of abilities -Others view it as discontinuous; likens development to series of discrete steps or stages in which behaviours get reorganized into a qualitatively new set of behaviours Forces That Affect Developmental Change: Individual Characteristics vs. Contextual and Cultural Influence -One important way individual characteristics have been studied is by examining how different children respond when confronted with situational challenges or risk to healthy development -Some risks are biological or psychological (i.e. a serious illness or living with psychotic parent) -Other risks are environmental (i.e. family income, experience at school, marital conflict at home) - Individual children respond in different ways, some suffer permanent developmental disruptions, others have sleeper affects (cope fine at first, show problems later), and some are resilient and deal with the challenge and better deal with it later in life PSYB20 Chapter 1 -Recent studies in resilience has identified factors that promote resilience in normal conditions -Culture also has a big impact on development for those who study contextual influences Theoretical Perspectives on Development -Not sufficient that a developmental theory focus on children – critical that it describes psychological change or development over time -Theories serve two main functions: - Organize and integrate existing info into coherent and interesting accounts of how children develop - Generate testable hypotheses or predictions about children’s behaviour -In Child psychology, no one theory dominates the field, they mix and match concepts from different theories to enable to explain different types of observation Structural-Organismic Perspectives -Both Freud and Piaget developed their theories in early 20 century -Used Structuralism approach (describe formal structure or organization of system they were interested in to provide insight on how it worked.) -Freud interested in emotions and personality, Piaget interested in thinking; both incorporated interest in biology, esp. evolutionary theory -Both used Structural-Organismic Perspective: organism goes through structured series of stages or discontinuous changes over course of development. Stages seen as universal. Psychodynamic Theory (emphasizes how experiences of early childhood shape development of adult personality) -For Freud developing personality consisted of the id (instinctual drives), ego (rational aspect and attempts to gratify needs through socially appropriate behaviour), and superego (emerges when child internalizes parental or social norms and develops a conscience and apply moral values to own acts) -For Freud personality development involves 5 stages: - Oral (Focus on eating and taking things into mouth, 0-1yr) -Anal (Emphasis on toilet training, first experience with discipline and authority, 1-3yr) -Phallic (Increase in sexual urges, arouses curiosity of gender difference, 3-6yr) -Latency (Sexual urges repressed, emphasis on education and beginning of concern for others 6-puberty) -Genital (Altruistic love joins selfish love, needs for reproduction underlie adoption of adult responsibility) -Freud’s primary contribution is emphasis on how early experiences especially in first 6 years affect later development -Erik Erikson devised Psychosocial Theory of development, which has 8 stages, each characterized by a personal and social task (T) that needs to accomplish to move on, and risks (R) if they don’t. -Infancy: T:develop trust in self and others, R: mistrust others and lack of self-confidence -Early Childhood: T: learn self control, develop autonomy, R: Shame and doubt own capabilities - Play Age: T: develop initiative in mastering environment, R: feelings of guilt over aggressiveness&daring -School Age: T: Develop industry, R: feelings of inferiority -Adolescence: T: Achieve sense of identity, R: Role confusion -Young Adulthood: T: achieve intimacy with others, R: Shaky identity may lead to isolation -Adulthood: T: Express oneself through generativity, R:Inability to create children, ideas or products -Mature Age: T: Achieve sense of integrity, R: Doubts and unfulfilled desires may lead to despair Piagetian Theory (Uses two principles of biology and biological change: organization and adaption) -Piaget proposed all children got through 4 stages of cognitive de
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