Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Romanian Orphans, Classical Conditioning, Erik Erikson

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Development Over Lifespan
Developmental Psychology: Issues & Methods
Examines changes in biological, physical, psychological, & behavioural
processes through age
o Nature & Nurture
Extent to which development is product of heredity (nature) or
product of environment (nurture)
Nature and nurture interaction
o Critical & Sensitive Periods
Experiences especially important at particular ages
Critical period
Age range in which certain experiences must occur for
development to proceed normally
Sensitive period
Optimal age range for certain experiences, but if those
experiences occur at another time, normal development
will still be possible
o Continuity Versus Discontinuity
Development continuous and gradual or discontinuous,
progressing through qualitatively distinct stages
o Stability Versus Change
Characteristics remain consistent as we age
Address this by plotting (describing) developmental functions that portray how
different processes change with age
o 5 Developmental Functions
No Change
Ability present at or before birth
Remains relatively constant through lifespan
Ex. Ability to see objects distinct from background
Continuous Change
Ability not present or very immature at birth
Develops gradually over months/years
Remains constant after
Ex. certain types of intelligence
Stages
Ability that progresses in stages
Relatively rapid shifts from lower level performance
to higher level
Ex. Motor development
Inverted U-Shaped Function
Ability that emerges after birth
Peaks
Disappears with age
Ex. Separation anxiety
U-Shaped Function
Ability present in early life
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Disappears temporarily
Re-emerges later
Ex. Stepping with support
Developmental psychologist
o Describe these functions and explain their existence
o Use special research designs to plot these age functions
o Cross-sectional design
Compare people of different ages at same point in time
Ex. Administer intellectual tasks to 10-, 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-and 60-
year-olds
Test each person only once & compare how well different age
groups perform
Data from age groups can be collected relatively quickly
Drawback different age groups, cohorts, grew up in different
historical periods
Could be due to aging or environmental differences (e.g.,
poorer nutrition, poorer medical care, less education)
o Longitudinal Design
Repeatedly tests the same cohort as it grows older
Test a sample of 10-year-olds this month and then retest them
every 10 years, up to age 70
Everyone is exposed to the same historical time frame
Time-consuming and, as years pass, our sample may shrink
substantially as people move, drop out of the study, or die
Due to aging or developmental experiences unique to our
particular cohort
o Combination Design
Combines cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches
Repeatedly test several age cohorts as they grow older and
determine whether they follow a similar developmental pattern
Most comprehensive, most time-consuming and costly
Prenatal Development
Consists of three stages of physical growth
o Germinal Stage
Constitutes approx. first 2 weeks of development
Beginning when sperm fertilizes egg
Zygote
Fertilized egg
Repeated cell division
Zygote becomes mass of cells that attaches to
mother’s uterus about 10-14 days after
conception
o Embryonic Stage
Extends from end of 2nd week through 8th week
Embryo
Cell mass
2 life-support structures develop
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Placenta
o Located on uterine wall
o Contains membranes that allow nutrients to pass
from mother’s blood to umbilical cord
Umbilical Cord
o Contains blood vessels that carry nutrients and
oxygen to the embryo
o Carries waste products from embryo to mother
Embryonic cells divide rapidly and become specialized
Bodily organs and systems begin to form
By the end
Heart of the 2cm long embryo is beating
Brain forming
Facial features can be recognized
o Fetal Stage
9th week after conception fetus
Lasts until birth
Muscles become stronger
Bodily systems continue to develop
24th week
Eyes open
28th week
Fetus attains age of viability (likely to survive outside
womb)
Environmental Influences
Teratogens
o Environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development
o Placenta prevents many dangerous substances from reaching the
embryo and fetus
o Some harmful chemical molecules and diseases can pass through
Rubella
Can cause blindness, deafness, heart defects &
retardation
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Produces brain damage, blindness, and deafness,
depending on the disease
Untreated syphilis 25% of fetuses are born dead
HIV 25% of fetuses are infected
Mercury, lead, radiation, other environmental toxins & drugs
o Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Group of severe abnormalities that results from prenatal exposure
to alcohol
Facial abnormalities and small, malformed brains
Intellectual (IQ) defects
Fine- and gross-motor impairments and poor adaptive functioning
(deficits in communication and social skills
Threshold level of alcohol exposure needed to produce FAS is not
known.
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Document Summary

Examines changes in biological, physical, psychological, & behavioural processes through age: nature & nurture. Extent to which development is product of heredity (nature) or product of environment (nurture) Nature and nurture interaction: critical & sensitive periods. Age range in which certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally. Optimal age range for certain experiences, but if those experiences occur at another time, normal development will still be possible: continuity versus discontinuity. Development continuous and gradual or discontinuous, progressing through qualitatively distinct stages: stability versus change. Address this by plotting (describing) developmental functions that portray how different processes change with age: 5 developmental functions. Ability not present or very immature at birth. Relatively rapid shifts from lower level performance to higher level. Developmental psychologist: describe these functions and explain their existence, use special research designs to plot these age functions, cross-sectional design. Compare people of different ages at same point in time.

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