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PSYB32H3 (1,174)
Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Chandan Narayan

Chapter 1 Child development: field of study that seeks to account for the gradual evolution of the childs cognitive, social and other capacities by 1 describing changes in the childs observed behaviours and then by uncovering the processes and strategies that underlie these changes o so basically child development answers the question how does the child gradually understands complex relationships, learns new info, feels responsible and interacts with others. 2 ways in which this is answered is: identifies and describes the changes in childs cognitive, emotional, motor and social capacities and behaviour from moment of conception through period of adolescence field tries to uncover the processes that underlie these changes to help explain how and why they occur o therefore, developmental psychologist are interested in what things change as children get older and how the changes come about the reason why we should study child development is because better info about it can help society protect and advance well being of children and can also be used to shape social policy on behalf of children Themes of Development 3 themes about psychological growth: o Origins of human behaviour o Pattern of developmental change over time o Individual and contextual factors that define and direct child development Origins of behaviour: biological vs environmental influences Maturation: a genetically determined process of growth that unfolds naturally over a period of time o Developmental psychologist, Arnold gesell said that developmental was mostly predetermined by biological factors and he [ ] on maturation Behaviourist, John b. Watson looked at environmental factors and said that by organizing the envionrment, he could make a genius or criminal Now, there are no theories that support any of these extreme positions, instead, they look at both nature and nurture interact to make developmental variations in different children Parents, peers, etc dont just mold the child instead, children influence and modify the actions of their parents and others they interact with o So interaction bw biology and environment is a active, dynamic process where the child contributes to that process Pattern of developmental change: continuity vs discontinuity www.notesolution.com 2 basic patterns of developmental change: o Development as a continuous process where each new event builds on earlier experiences figure 1-1a pg. 7. so developmental changes add tobuild on to earlier abilities in a cumulative or quantitative way without any abrupt shifts from one change to the next o Development as a discontinuous process where theres a series of discrete stepsstages in which behaviours get reorganized into a qualitatively new set of behaviours fig. 1-1b pg. 7 Contemporary child researchers see developmental as continuous or quantitative but sometimes interspersed with periods of change thats discontinuous or qualitative fig.1-1c pg.7. o this is knows as Robert sieglers overlapping waves model suggesting that children use various strategies in thinking and learning and that cognition involves constant competition among different strategies rather that using 1 strategy at a given level. The use of each strategy comes on with increasing age and expertise Forces that affect developmental change: Individual characteristics vs contextual and cultural influences many psychologist have an interactionist viewpoint, stressing the dual role of individual and contextual factors o ex. Children who have aggressive personality who are in a setting which promotes aggressivness (ex. Gang neighborhood) will get involved but same children who are in a place that doesnt promote it (ex. Quiet neighborhood) will be less aggressive Risks to healthy development and individual resilience imp. Way individual characteristics have been studied is by looking at how diff. children respond when theyre confronted with situational challenges or risks to healthy development risks can be: biological or psychological (ex. Serious illness, living with psychotic parent), environmental (ex. Family income, school) diff. children respond to these risks differently: o many suffer permanent developmental problems o some show sleeper effect they seem to cope well at the start but show problems later in development o some show resilience and are able to del with the challenge o some, when they confront new risks later in life, seem better able to adapt to challenges than children who have experienced littler or no risk Researching across cultures www.notesolution.com
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