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PSYC14H3 (215)
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Chapter 5

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Sisi Tran

CHAPTER 5 – Development and Socialization - culture shapes many norms that govern our behaviour –ex: question of interpersonal space - no good evidence for such kinds of population differences in genes underlying differences in ways of thinking - second possibility ppl of diff cultural backgrounds come into world w/ rather similar genetic temperaments, yet interact w/ diff environments as they grow up; acquire their cultures through socialization (cultural psych hinges on this explanation, not solely genes) UNIVERSAL BRAINS DEVELOP INTO CULTURALLY VARIABLE MINDS - humans are cultural beings –able to learn and accumulate cultural info well (distinguish from proto-chimpanzee ancestors) allowed us to succeed in amazingly diverse array of environments - we’re born culture-less –must learn these skills, and have certain biological potentials = enable us to learn them well - ppl coming from diff cultures come into world similarly yet end up having diff life experiences = powerful role that socialization occupies in influencing who we become SENSITIVE PERIODS FOR CULTURAL SOCIALIZATION - sensitive period: period of time in organism’s development that allows for relatively easy acquisition of set of skills - trade-off between ability to learn new behaviours that suits new environment, and abilities to specialize in behaviours effective in particular environments  some specialize shortly after birth (ex: imprinting)  others (like humans) continue specialize through their lives in some domains  most species go through critical developmental transition –emphasizing acquisition of new skills to emphasizing specialization and exploitation of skills already acquired  these developmental transitions = existence of sensitive period Sensitive Periods for Language Acquisition - language ability is hallmark human characteristic; no other species is as dependent on language skills or has as complex language system as humans - must be source of evidence for sensitive period of lπanguage acquisition - one source: with respect to ppl’s abilities to discriminate among diff sounds –ppl not able to discriminate easily between some phonemes not in their own language; use approx. 150 phonemes in communication  young infants can discriminate among all phonemes humans able to produce functional to perceive sounds categorically, as exposed to language = begin categorize sounds in ways used by that language (w/in 2st year of life = children begin to lose ability to distinguish between closely related sounds not in own language –figure 5.1)  in process of learning a language, brains need to organize sounds and other features of our language = can recognize them –humans better at acquiring and mastering language early in life (before puberty, brain pliable for organizing themselves in response to language input), declines w/ age - diff in language competence quite striking among members of family of diff ages at time immigrated to new country - another source of evidence in studies of bilingual individuals’ brains  placed in fMRI to see which parts of brain active while listening to diff languages  if learned second language later in life = diff areas activated when heard native and second language (both in Broca’s area)  if learned second language early in life = same area activated when heard native and second language - most compelling kind of evidence comes from “forbidden experiment”: raise child w/ no language input until 15 or so and try to teach language and measure their performance  no such experiments –but case studies: figure 5.2 –Genie, and Wild Boy of Aveyron Sensitive Periods for Acquiring Culture - language and cultures = both meaning systems that we acquire through social interactions, and depend greatly on each other - it’s not straightforward to determine whether someone has mastered particular culture - way to study is to study ways immigrants adapt to new culture = may provide evidence for sensitive period  figure 5.3: targeted large group of immigrants who moved from same origin to same host culture at diff ages (Hong Kong immigrants to Vancouver, Canada)  results: found ppl had difficult time acquiring new cultural info after age of 15 = evidence for sensitive window for cultural acquisition CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES EMERGE WITH AGE - cultural diff in psychological processes should become more pronounced w/ age (young children more similar than older children) - conducting studies across diff age groups = inherently challenging –few that have been done highlight how ppl become socialized to think in culturally divergent ways  ex: beliefs about how future will unfold (Chinese expect change to be nonlinear vs. Canadians) –boy sad one day, how will he feel next day?  age 7: both respond quite similarly  age 9: Chinese more likely expect reversal of trends compared w/ Canadians, slightly more pronounced among 11yr olds –figure 5.4  w/ age = ppl from diff cultures diver in their psychological experiences HOW DO EARLY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES DIFFER ACROSS CULTURES? Infants’ Personal Space - figure 5.6 –amount of time mother was in bodily contact w/ infant, and amount of time mothers made face-to-face contact w/ their infants  in sum: first experiences of infants vary quite dramatically around the world - physical experiences differ in other ways –daily massage & exercise, others put infants asleep on their backs = delay onset of crawling, others don’t encourage crawling = never crawl and skip to walking - “where do we put the baby?” –tell us a lot about one’s cultural values  North America = baby has their own room; others have “co-sleeping” - tendency to moralize parenting decisions (“good” or “bad”)  seen as behaviours that reflect moral value of parents  these decisions, and ways others in culture respond to them = reflect underlying values of a culture - co-sleeping and why North Americans reject it vs. others who are with it  lack of availability of space –may not have enough pace to give child own room - lack of space not only reason figure 5.7 experiment: Indian vs. American family sleeping arrangements  Indian reasons – “incest avoidance”, “protection of the vulnerable”, “female chastity anxiety”, and “respect for hierarchy”  American reasons –agreed w/ “incest avoidance” as most important, “sacred couple”, and “autonomy ideal” Parenting Styles - figure 5.8: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom –Chinese mother talking about her rules for her two daughters; debate over it because of her very strict parenting - Baumrind typology:  authoritative parenting: high demands of children, w/ strict rules and little open dialogue between parent and child; typically involves low lvls of warmth or responsiveness by parents to chid’s protests  authoritative parenting: child-centered approach which parents hold high expectations of maturity of their children, try ot undertand children’s feelings and teach how to regulate them, and encourage them to be independent while maintaining limits and controls on their behaviours; associated w/ parental warmth, responsiveness, and democratic reasoning  permissive parenting: parents being very involved w/ children, much expressed parental warmth and responsiveness, but placing few limits and controls on their behaviour 
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