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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 psych Notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

Chapter 11-Human Development - Developmental psychology is concerned with changes over the lifespan, in physiology, in cognition and in social behaviour - Story of genie, who had autism and was locked in a cage at night and had no whatsoever contact with the world around her, was used to study how her environment and nurturing affected her ability to grow ‘abnormal’to the people surrounding her PART 1 What shapes a child? - The pattern of a child learning to sit up, crawl, rollover suggests that our genes set the pace and order of development - Environment also influences what happens throughout development children develop differently at different paces - Parental practices ( determining which side their child sleeps on, placing their infants on the floor or not ) influence how motor skills develop - Genes and experience work together to make us who we are - DEVELOPMENT STARTS IN THE WOMB: - Huge developmental process occurs throughout the 9 months in a mother’s womb - Zygote – male sperm and female sperm unite - Embryo- two weeks to two months the developing human - Fetus- after two months of growing - After that it undergoes a great deal of physical changes coming into a form of an infant - PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT- - Genes in combination with the environment in the womb govern much of the human nervous systems pre natal development - By the seventh month the infant has a working nervous system - Hormones that circulate in the womb influence the developing fetus (i.e. if the mother doesn’t produce enough hormones from her thyroid then the child can have low IQ, and emotional state can also affect the mother - TERATOGENS: - Teratogens- environmental agents that harm the embryo or the fetus (i.e. drugs, alcohols, bacteria, viruses and chemicals) - The extent to how much the teratogen affects the infant depends on when the fetus is exposed to it and how much - Fetal alcohol syndrome- excess of alcohol when pregnant - BRAIN DEVELOPMENT PROMOTES LEARNING: - Newborns are able to process a considerable range of sensory stimuli even though brain isn’t fully developed - Their senses are pretty good, their hearing is more better than their visual (20-30 cm) - The have basic reflexes that aid survival - Grasping reflex- holding onto your finger, to be carried from one place to another (adaptive from our ancestors) - Rooting reflex- the turning and sucking that infants automatically engage in when a nipple or a similar objects touches an area near their mouth (help in the future for feeding oneself and for walking) - MYELINATIONAND NEURONAL CONNECTIONS; - Early brain growth has two important aspects: - 1. Specific areas within the brain mature and become functional - 2. Regions of the brain learn to communicate with one another through synaptic connections - Myelination – one important way that brain circuits matures begins on the spinal cord during the first trimester of pregnancy and on the brains neurons during the second trimester brains way of insulating its wires - Nerve fibres are wrapped with a fatty sheath much like the plastic coating around electrical wire, to increase the speed with which they are able to transmit signals - The myelinated axons form synapses with other neurons, far more than is needed, and throughout time the ones that are consistently used stay, and the ones that aren’t used disappear/decay - Synaptic pruning- a process whereby the synaptic connections in the brain that are frequently used are preserved and those that are not are lost - After adolescence the density of the synapses remain approximately constant - Increasing myelination = making the regions in the brain permanent - Infants do not develop specific cognitive skills until certain brain connections are made - Highest synaptic density for auditory – age 3 - Highest synaptic density for visual – ages 1-2 - Highest synaptic density for prefrontal cortex (reasoning) – age 6 - Increase in size of brain is due to myelination = increase in synaptic connections - Organs are highly plastic – change accordingly to the environment - Early child nutrition affects myelination and other aspects of brain development - SENSITIVE LEARNING PERIODS: - Lenneberg- Critical periods: biologically determined time periods for the development of specific skills - Sensitive periods- biologically determined time periods when specific skills develop most easily - ATTACHMENT PROMOTES SURVIVAL: - Caregivers shape much an infant’s early experience from what the child eats to where it sleeps to what social connections it makes - Infants are very passive and cry in order to get specific reactions from their caregivers - Attachment- a strong emotion connection that persists over time and across circumstances- increases safety and security - Adaptive- have adult protection and more likely to pass it along to future generations - These behaviours cause the adult and the child to stay in close proximity - ATTACHMENT IN OTHER SPECIES: - Imprinting- will attach themselves to an adult (usually to an adult) in the beginning and then follow the object of their attachment - Some psychologists believed that infants used their caregivers only for food: - Harry Harlow felt that infants needed comfort and security in addition to food - Did experiment with monkeys beside a cloth monkey and a wire that produced only milk - They were attached to the cloth monkey more and felt comfort and only went to the wire when hungry - ATTACHMENT STYLE: - Bowlby said that attachment encourages proximity between infant and caregiver - Separation anxiety – become very distressed when they cannot see or are separated from their attachment figures - Experiment- strange- situation test – study on attachment - Acaregiver, a child and a stranger is observed - Three types of kids: - Secure attachment- observed, when the child is present with the attachment figure then the kids are happy to play alone and like the stranger, but when the attachment figure leaves they start crying ( 65% of kids) - Avoidant child – is not distressed when attachment figure leaves, doesn’t really care (20- 25%) - Anxious –ambivalent child- is so upset when attachment figure leaves, and both seeks and rejects caring attention (10-15%) - Disorganized attachment- attachment style in which infants give mixed responses when their caregiver leaves and then returns from a short absence - Children who rarely smile – are more disruptive and become fussy - Behaviourally inconsistent caregivers tend to have child being anxious-ambivalent - Caregivers who reject their children have children that are avoidant - It is the caregivers personality that contributes to the child’s attachment style - CHEMISTY OFATTACHMENT: - Oxytocin is related to social behaviours, including infant/caregiver attachment - Helps play a role in maternal tendencies feeling of social acceptance and bonding and sexual gratification - High oxytocin = high maternal attachment PART 2 How do Children Learn about their Worlds? - PERCEPTION INTRODUCES THE WORLD: - In order to learn, children need to obtain information from the world and do this by their senses - The infants use the information gained from perception to try to make sense of how the world works - INFANT- RESEARCH TECHNIQUES: - Preferential-looking technique- - Researchers show an infant two things- if the infant looks longer at one of the things longer that means the infant can distinguish between the two and prefer one more than the other - Orienting reflex- human’s tendency to pay more attention to new stimuli than to stimuli to which they have become habituated, or grown accustomed to - As the child becomes more bored, the amount of time the infant looks declines as well - VISION: - Ability to distinguish differences among shapes, patterns, and colours develops early in infancy - Use preferential looking technique to determine how well an infant can see known as visual acuity - Increase in visual acuity is probably due to the development of the infants visual cortex as well as the development of cones in the retina - Stereograms- one view of an image is shown to one eye and another view to another - Disparity information- the differences in images seen by their eyes - If they cannot use disparity information to perceive depth, they will see only a random collection of dots depth perception develops between three and a half and 6 months of age - AUDITORY PERCEPTION: - 6 month babies have nearly adult levels of auditory function, and have memory according to them - 3 month old infants show the same neural responses to those obtained from adults, hence similar brain regions are activated when they hear sounds or speech (they find this by using EEG measuresevent related potentials) - MEMORY IMPROVES OVER CHILDHOOD: - From a very young age infants possess some types of memory though that memory is quite simple - The older they are the more they could remember - Experiment- memory retention test- kicking their feet in trying to try moving the mobile as well - INFANTILEAMNESIA: - Infantile amnesia- the inability to remember events from early childhood - This may be because children begin to retain memories after developing the ability to create autobiographical memory based on personal experience OR because childhood memory develops with language acquisition because the ability to use words and concept aids in memory - INACCURATE MEMORY: - Source amnesia- not knowing where they learned to do something - Many source amnesia investigations shows that many peoples early memories come from photos and albums than actually recalling that memory - Children usually confabulate because they don’t really remember what actually happened - PIAGET EMPHASIZED STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT: - Jean Piaget devised an influential theory about the development of thinking - Children go through four stages of development - 1. Sensorimotor- birth-2 years- differentiates self from objects, undergoes an action that cause a reaction, achieve object permanence - 2. Preoperational- 2-7 years – learns to use language and to represent objects by images and words, has difficulty taking viewpoints of others, classifies objects by single features - 3. Concrete operational- 7-12 years- can think logically about objects and events, achieves conservation of number, mass and weight, can classify object through many features - 4. Formal operational- can think logically about abstract propositions, become concerned with the future and ideological problems - Children’s view of how the world works is based on an entirely different set of assumptions than those held by adults - During each stage of development children form new schemas (are ways of thinking, conceptual models of how the world works) - Assimilation- process by which a new experience is placed into an existing schema - Accommodation- the process by which a schema is changed to incorporate a new experience that does not easily fit into an existing schema process which a schema is adapted or expanded to include the new experience - STAGES: - Sensorimotor stage- first stage, where infants acquire information about the world through their senses and respond reflexively (senses) - Believed all sensorimotor schemas eventually merge into an exploratory schema - Assimilation leads to accommodation (i.e. sucking on a nipple, then thinking it’s the same when sucking on everything else) - Object permeance- the understanding an object continues to exist even when it cannot be seen - i.e. knowing where a toy was hidden and knowing where to look for it - PREOPERATIONAL STAGE ( TWO TO SEVEN YEARS) - Second stage during which children think symbolically about objects, but reason is based on appearance rather than logic - Begin to think symbolically, they cannot think “operationally”- cannot imagine the logical outcome of performing certain actions on objects, they base their reasoning on immediate appearance - CONCRETE OPERATIONAL STAGE (SEVEN TO TWELVE YEARS) - Third stage, during which children begin to think about and understand operations in ways that are reversible - Remain until adolescence is reached - Classic operation- is an action that can be undone - Children understanding reversible actions enables children to begin to understand concepts such as conservation of quantity - They only think about concrete things rather than possible hypothetical things that can exist - FORMAL OPERATIONAL STAGE (12 YEARS TO ADULTHOOD) - The final stage which involves the ability to think abstractly and to formulate and test hypotheses through deductive logic - Solving a problem, i.e. learning algebra - CHALLENGES TO PIAGET’S THEORY - Children go back and forth between stages rather than going one after the other - Other theorists believed that different areas in the brain are responsible for different skills and that the development of different skills therefore does not have to follow strict stages - INFANTS HAVE EARLY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE WORLD: - Children understand a lot of things when they are young - Contradicting Piaget’s view about the object permeance (said occurred after 9 months), research indicates that even 3 month old infants can remember an object even when it is no longer in sight - Have cognitive skill early in life as well (i.e. stare at things that don’t make sense longer than those that do) - Baillargeon’s apple/carrot test revealed that object permanence occurs earlier than Piaget believed - UNDERSTANDING THE LAWS OF NATURE: PHYSICS: - Spelke did experiments to show children know the basic principles of physics - Humans are born with the ability to perceive movement - Children prefer looking at something moving then something being stationary - Experiment study – on rods behind a brick  concluded that children seem to have an intuitive sense of the laws that govern the physical world in the experiment the look at a single rod moving behind
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