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Chapter 12

Psychology 1000 Chapter 12: Psych - Chapter 12
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, Spring 2018
20 pages30 viewsSpring

Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 1000
Professor
Dr.Mike
Chapter
12

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Chapter 12 Development over the Lifespan
Developmental psych examines changes in our biological, physical, psychological,
and behavioural processes as we age
Research designs used:
Cross sectional design compare people of different ages at same point in time
o Quick
o Drawback people grow up in different historical ages, ex. Are young people
actually smarter than old ones or is it just that the old people grew up in
poorer environments (less education, less medical care, etc. In 1950s)
Longitudinal design repeatedly test same cohort as they age
o Ensures everyone exposed to same historical time frame
o Time consuming
o Some people die, drop out of study, etc.
o Some things can be unique to cohort
Sequential design combines the 2, repeadetly test several age cohorts as they
grow older
o Best one
o Time consuming
PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT
3 stages
Germinal stage first two weeks, begins with sperm fertilizing egg making a zygote
o After many divisions, becomes a mass of cells and attaches to uterus after
about 2 weeks
Embryonic stage 2 to 8 weeks after conception
o Mass of cells called embryo
o Placenta forms allows nutrient flow from blood to umbilical cord
o Umbilical cord blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to embryo, and
waste products from embryo to mother
o Organs develop, heart starts beating, brain starts forming, features begin
Fetal stage after 9 weeks
o Muscles become stronger, development
o 24 weeks eyes open
o 28 weeks age of viability
Genetics and Sex Determination
Sperm and egg have 23 chromosomes
Zygote has 23 pairs of chromosomes
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XX = female
XY = male
Y chromosome contains TDF gene (testis determining factor) that triggers male
sexual development
TDF initiates 6 to 8 weeks after conception
The testes secrete androgens that continue male pattern of organ development
Without testes, female pattern of development continues
Environmental Influences
Teratogens environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development
Placenta is supposed to protect embryo and fetus
Rubella in mother can cause blindness, deafness, heart defects, etc in infant
STDs in mom can cause brain damage, blindness, deafness, death etc in infant
Mothers with HIV pass it on to infant
Toxins like mercury, lead, radiation can cause defects
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders deficits caused by prenatal exposure to
alcohol
Fetal alcohol syndrome severe developmental abnormalities
Nicotine is another one
Smoking increases risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low weight
Even father smoke in linked to this due to second hand
Cocaine and heroin mothers cause children to be born with addiction and undero
withdrawal symptoms and impairment
INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD
The Amazing Newborn
Visual system is least developed at birth since other things are already developed
while in womb like auditory, chemical perceptual, tactile, etc
This makes is a good candidate for identifying innate capabilities
Newborn Sensation and Perception
Infants born nearsighted: 20/800
Cannot see far
40 times worse than normal
Can see things that are really close like mother face
Preferential looking procedure used to study infants’ visual preference
They prefer complex patterns like faces rather than simple patterns and solid colours
They readily turn towards off centered sounds
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Most important stimuli they react to is everything from mother
Newborn Learning
They learn fast
Takes around 72 hours to distinguish mothers face from others
They look longer at new things (different colours included)
They quickly associate particular sounds and objects with mother
Newborns learn through classical and operant conditioning, and imitation
See examples on 434
Sensory-Perceptual Development
Sensory-perceptual abilities improve rapidly
Visual field gets as good as adults after about 6 months
Visual acuity takes till around age of 4
Gestalt principles are seen in visual development
Sound localization shows U-shape function, instead of showing improvement with
age during infancy
Ability of newborns to turn towards sounds disappears around 2 months and then
reappears at 4 months age
o Due to lack of practice, lack of interesting targets, ear is maturing, not
completely clear
At 1-2 months of age, they can detect tiny changes in speech that differentiate one
word from another (phonemes)
“use it or lose it” – at first infants can detect phonemes that aren’t even in their
parent’s languages, but after 12 months as they get used to native language, they
lose this ability (mostly)
Young infants can also perceive and discriminate music like adults do
Physical, Brain, and Motor Development
Cephalocaudal principle tendency to develop from head to toe
o Babies usually have relatively larger heads
Proximodistal principle development begins along innermost parts of body and
continues outward
o Baby develop arms before hands and fingers
The Young Brain
Brain develops most dramatically
At 6 months, brain reaches half of adult weight
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