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Chapter 11

PSY100 Chapter 11

9 Pages

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Dan Dolderman

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Chapter 11- Human Development Genie case study • Locked up, tied to chair for first 10 years of her life, abused • No human contact, no stimulation from outside world • Strange gait, like a rabbit, held hands out like a dog • After being cared for by scientists, made some progress in forming social relationships and acquiring very minimal language skills • Showed experience’s role in shaping both brain development and psychological capacities What shapes a child? • Progression of human physical development- follows consistent pattern which suggests that our genes set pace and order of development • Enviro also influences what happens throughout development • Children achieve developmental milestones at different paces depending on the cultures they were raised in • Cultures differ in patterns of infant care • Ex: child put to sleep on back vs. stomach (↑ chance of suffocation but also learns to walk earlier) • Physical enviro • Genes in combination with enviro in womb govern most of human NS prenatal development • Most of brain’s N cells develop in specific sequence in first 7 months of gestation • Hormones in womb influence development of fetus • Anxious mothers fetuses exposed to high levels of stress hormones interferes with normal development ↓ birth weight, ↓IQ • Teratogens: agents that can impair physical and cognitive development in womb (alcohol, drugs, bacteria, viruses, chemicals) • Physical effects might not be apparent until child is older • Fetal alcohol syndrome Brain development promotes learning • Newborns normally come into world able to see, smell, hear, taste, touch • Sense not fully developed but can still process sensory stimuli to learn about external enviro • At birth brain is sufficiently developed to support basic reflexes which pave way for learning more-complicated behaviour patterns such as feeding or walking Myelination • Brain circuits mature through myelination- brain’s way of insulating “wires” with fatty myelin sheath around nerve fibres, ↑ speed of signals • Myelinated axons form synapses with other neurons • Synaptic pruning: getting rid of connections that aren’t needed, keeping ones that are • Once connections established, brain sets about making them more myelinated • Synaptic density spikes age 1-6 (when the brain’s most plastic, malleable) after adolescence (synaptic pruning), density levels off and remains relatively constant (but brain is still plastic, hard-wired to adapt to different environments) • Early nutrition, poverty, both affect myelination and other aspects of brain development Sensitive learning periods • Key to learning is creation of connections among certain neurons, these connections most easily made during particular times in development if right stimuli is present = sensitive periods • Lenneberg- critical periods in which we are able to acquire specific skills and knowledge, if not acquired during this period can’t be acquired Attachment promotes survival • Infants display first smile at 4-6 weeks enhances powerful feelings of love between caregiver and child • Infants have innate repertoire of attachment behaviors that motivate adult attachment adaptive! • Desire to remain close to caregiver Higher chance of survival through adult protection Attachment of other species • Bird species have critical period in which infants become strongly attached to neaby adult, even one form another species • Lorenz- goslings became imprinted on him and did not want to go back to their biological mother • Harlow’s monkey experiment • Most psychologists believed that infants needed mothers primarily as a food source • Hypothesized that infants also needed comfort and security in addition to food • Clung to cloth mother most of day and in times of threat, only went to wire mother when they were hungry • Findings illustrated importance of contact comfort, allowing infant to cling to and hold something soft in social development Attachment style • Bowlby hypothesized attachment encourages proximity b/t infant and caregiver, therefore attachment will increase when separated from caregivers • When infants learn to crawl at 8-12 months separation anxiety, become distressed when they cannot see or are separated from caregivers (occurs in all human cultures) • Ainsworth- strange situation test • Observe child, caregiver, and unfamiliar but friendly adult stimulate different scenarios see how child copes with distress indicates quality of child’s attachment to caregiver 4 types of child attachment: 1. secure attachment: happy to play alone, friendly to stranger, distressed from attachment figure leaves, but is happy and comforted when they come back 2. avoidant attachment: not distressed or upset by parent leaving, may be comforted by stranger, when parent returns, ignores, avoids attachment figure 3. anxious ambivalent attachment: anxious throughout whole test, clings to attachment figure, when they leave, goes crazy, when comes back is kicking and shouting rejecting parent but still trying to hold on 4. Disorganized attachment: attachment style in which infants give mixed/contradictory responses when their caregiver leaves and then returns (might smile than ignore them) • Children with behavioural problems- are more likely to be insecurely attached (anxious ambivalent attachment) • Emotionally or behaviourally inconsistent caregiver tends to have children with an anxious ambivalent attachment style • Rejecting caregivers have children with an avoidant attachment style * Caregiver personality contributes to (≠ cause) child’s attachment style Chemistry of attachment • Oxytocin is related to infant/caregiver attachment • Oxytocin promotes behaviours that ensure survival of young sucking mom’s nipple ↑ oxytocin, sends more milk to milk ducts for breast feeding • Higher levels of oxytocin predictive of better maternal attachment Infant-research techniques- how to tell what baby knows about world • Preferential looking technique: researcher shows infant 2 things, if they spend longer looking at 1 thing, they can tell difference b/t 2 and finds 1 more interesting • Experiments based on orienting reflex: human’s tendency to pay attention to new stimuli than to familiar stimuli • Show infant object repetitively, becomes bored of it, show it new stimulus to see if infant reacts to change in stimulus Vision • Infants respond more to objects with high-contrast patterns than to other stimuli • Fox’s experiment to test if baby can use binocular disparity for depth perception • Results showed that depth perception develops b/t 3 ½ and 6 months Auditory perception • By 6 months, babies have nearly adult levels of auditory function • Also seem to have memory for sounds Memory • Carolyn Rovee Collier- infants from very young age possess some types of memory, but very rudimentary • Experiment- attached ribbon to infant’s ankle, if they kicked mobile would move, measured baseline kicking rates • Measured kicking rates later on, quicker kicking rates indicate that infant remembered that kicking moved the movie • Infantile amnesia: inability to remember events from early childhood • Young children often also have source amnesia- difficulty knowing where they learned something • Also known to confabulate (make thing’s up)- underdeveloped frontal lobes Piaget’s 4 Stages of Development • Pass through 4 different stages, reflect different ways of thinking about world • During each stage, children form new schemas (way of thinking) • Each stage builds on previous one through assimilation and accommodation 1. Sensorimotor (birth- 2) • Infants acquire info about world through senses, respond reflexively (suck nipple, grasp finger) • Realize that they can’t suck everything sensorimotor schemas merge into exploratory schemas (infants learn they can manipulate, understand objects rather than simply reacting them) • Achieves object permanence- understands that object continues to exist even when it is hidden from view 2. Preoperational (2-7) • Child begins to think symbolically (taking stick to pretend it’s a gun) • Base their reasoning on immediate appearance not logic Cannot yet understand the concept of conservation (pour water into taller, thinner glass, they think there’s more water) 3. Concrete operational (7-12) • Can start thinking logically about objects and events- understand objects are reversible • Can only reason about concrete objects, not yet developed ability to reason abstractly, hypothetically 4. Formal operational (12- adulthood) • Ability to think abstractly, formulate and test hypotheses through deductive logic to solve a problem Challenges to Piaget’s theory • Critics argue that every person might not go through the stages of development in same order, some children might back and forth between stages • Perhaps reflecting differences in cognitive strategies and skills among individuals/cultures Infants have early knowledge about the world • Show apple, hide it, reveal carrot “impossible event” infants look longer at carrot as they expected to see apple • Suggest that object permanence occurs earlier than Piaget believed • Spelke argued that infants have a primitive understanding of some of the basic laws of physics • Showed 4 year old rod that moves back and forth behind occluding block • Took away block to reveal rods, infants spent longer time looking if rods were separated (2 small
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