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Developmental PSY Lec 01.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Mark Schmuckler

Developmental PSY Lec 01 The central controversy in child development: nature (heredity, genes) vs nurture (environment, learning, experience) Plato  mind-body problem - Souls exist in the “realm of ideas”  enters the body with Innate ideas: pre-existing knowledge - Trapped inside a body until death Rene Decarte 1. Mind and body are separate, 2. Division of human behaviour into 2 realms (psychological functioning and physical workings of body) 3. First modern philosopher to accept a nativistic conception of development - Cartesian Duality: mind independent of body John Locke - Knowledge gained through experiences (REJECTED concept of INNATE IDEAS) - First major philosophical statement emphasizing “nurture” of environment - Mind of infant as Tabula Rasa John- Jacques Rousseau - Child born with innate ideas and knowledge that unfolds naturally with age - Knowledge also acquired through interactions with world, guided by child’s own interest - Child as “noble savage” Charles Darwin - Survival of the fittest - Behaviour has survival values as well G. Stanley Hall - adopted at nature viewpoint  translated darwin’s view into human development - proposed Recapitulationist Theory: life cycle changes are a repetition of evolutionary changes John Watson (Behaviourism) - Biological factors placed no restrictions on the ways that the environment can shape the course of child’s development (by organizing environment  genius/criminal) - Learning is a process of combining stimuli with responses under lawful and empirical conditions - Development = result of learning Developmental PSY Lec 02 3 Characteristics of a good theory: 1. Parsimony – concise + able to explain a wide range of phenomenon 2. Falsifiability – able to make explicit predictions 3. Heuristics value – can be applied to unknown situations and cases Only as good as being able to predict Learning theory (BEHAVIOURSM) Classical conditioning: 2 stimuli are repeatedly presented together until individuals learn to respond to the unfamiliar stimulus in the same way they respond to the familiar stimulus Operant Conditioning: learning depends on consequences of behaviour (reward/punishment) Cognitive social learning theory: learning by observation and imitation mediated by cognitive processes and skills (OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING) - 4 cognitive processes govern how well a child will learn by observing: 1. Must attend to model’s behaviour (ATTENTION) 2. Must retain the observed behaviour in memory (RETENTION) 3. Must have capacity to reproduce behaviour (physically and intellectually) – (REPRODUCTION) 4. Must be motivated/have a reason to reproduce behaviour (MOTIVATION) Information-processing approaches: development focus on the flow of info through the cognitive system, beginning with input/stimulus and ending with output/response/action (like how computers process info) BRONFENBRENNERS ECOLOGICAL THEORY Ecological theory: theory of development that stresses the im
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