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Chapter 12

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Psychology 1000

Psychology 1 Chapter 12: Development Over the Lifespan DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: ISSUES AND METHODS 4 broad issues guide developmental research: 1. Nature and nurture 2. Critical and sensitive periods 3. Continuity verses discontinuity (is development continuous and gradual or discontinuous, progressing through stages) 4. Stability vs. change Critical period—an age range in which certain experiences must occur for development to proceed normally or along a certain path Sensitive period—is an optimal age range for certain experiences, but if those experiences occur at another time, normal development will still be possible There are 5 developmental functions that portray how different processes change with age 1. No change: ability present at or before birth that remains relatively constant across lifespan 2. Continuous change: an ability not present at birth that develops gradually 3. Stages (discontinuity): an ability that progresses in stages, with relatively rapid shifts 4. Inverted U-shaped function: an ability that emerges after birth, peaks, and disappears 5. U-shaped function: an ability that is present early in life, disappears temporarily, and reemerges later (diapers to diapers) Cross-sectional design—research design that simultaneously compares people of different ages at a particular point in time Longitudinal design—repeatedly tests the same cohort as it grows older Cohort: age group Sequential design—combines the cross-sectional and longitudinal design. We can repeatedly test several age cohorts as they grow older and determine whether they follow a similar development pattern PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT Three stages: 1. Germinal stage: first 2 weeks—sperm fertilizes egg, produces zygote 2. Embryotic stage: up to week 8—placenta and umbilical cord form. Placenta allows nutrients to flow to cord and cord gives nutrients to baby. Cells specialize and organs form Psychology 2 3. Fetal stage: week 9 onward—muscles become stronger, organs develop, 24 weeks eyes open, 28 weeks reaches age of viability (able to survive out of womb) Sex determination  Egg and sperm have only 23 chromosomes, when together they form 23 PAIRS of chromosomes (46 individual)  The Y chromosome contains TDF (testis determining factor) gene, which triggers male sexual development. At 6-8 weeks, TDF gene forms testes, which release androgens which form a male (without this a female forms) this is the prenatal critical period Environmental influences Teratogens—environmental agents that cause abnormal prenatal development such as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, alcohol use, rubella Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)—a group of severe abnormalities that results from prenatal exposure to alcohol. FAS children have facial abnormalities and small, malformed brains  Fetal movements can be caused by loud sounds and vibroacoustic stimulation  Fetuses also learn. They stop responding to loud sounds and vibrations, reflecting short term memory  They also have long term memory and prefer sounds that are familiar to them (mothers voice)  They can also learn about odours from their mother and like those foods INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD Newborn sensation and perception  Preferential looking procedure—Robert Fantz use this to study infants visual preferences by placing them on their backs and showing them 2 images to see which ones they focused on the longest. He found they prefer complex patterns  Infants have poor visual acuity (about 40x worse than an adult)  They turn toward off-centered auditory and tactile targets Newborn learning Visual habituation procedure—a new visual preference can be established in newborns by presenting the same stimulus repeatedly until they look at it for a shorter time (infants stare at unfamiliar things longer than familiar) Auditory habituation procedure—to study infant memory. Infants will look away from familiar sounds and toward novel sounds. They learn rapidly to associate particular sounds with particular objects Psychology 3 Sensory-perceptual development—processes are exercised in the uterus, and they all, including vision, operate at some level at birth. Most improve rapidly during the 1 year of life but some abilities appear rather suddenly several months after birth while others decline temporality or disappear during the first year. Some U-shaped functions are sound localization, auditory pattern perception Physical Development  Cephalocaudal principle—reflects the tendency for development to proceed in a head- to-foot direction. The head of a fetus is disproportionately large because growth focuses first on the head  Proximodistal principle—development begins along the innermost parts of the body and continues toward the outermost parts. Arms before fingers, and shoulder moves before fingers Brain development  Develops most dramatically  First areas to mature fully lie deep within the brain and regulate basic survival functions  Last area to mature is frontal cortex  Shows later in childhood Motor development  Reflexes—defined as automatic inborn behaviours elicited by specific stimuli—present at birth. Newborns will swim and crawl, grab things and even walk. Healthy reflexes indicate normal neurological maturity at birth  Some motor skills follow a U shaped developmental function. For example the stepping reflex drops out and comes back around 1 year old 3 points that apply across the realm of human development 1. Biology sets limits on environmental influences 2. Environmental influences can be powerful 3. Biological and environmental factors interact  Experience is critical for normal development; without pattern vision, visual acuity stalls at the newborn level but recovers to a large extent when vision is restored, although permanent defects rain if he deprivation occurs during the sensitive/critical period Cognitive development Piaget’s stage model  Relied on observational research  Proposed children’s thinking changes qualitatively with age  Children’s brains build schemas (the world is for sucking) Psychology 4  2 key processes are involved, assimilation and accommodation  Assimilation—the process by which new experiences are incorporated into existing schemas. Infants try to fit new experiences into a schema they already have  Accommodation—the process by which new experiences cause existing schemas to change. Once a child realizes not everything will fit into their existing schemas, they change and cognitive growth occurs  Piaget charted four major stages of cognitive growth 1. Sensorimotor stage: birth to age 2—infants understand their world primarily through sensory experiences and physical motor interactions with objects. For young infants out of sight means out of mind. At 8 months, object permanence: the understanding that an object continues to exist even when it no longer can be seen 2. Preoperational stage: around age 2 to 7—they represent the world symbolically through words and mental images, but don’t understand basic mental operations or rules. Doesn’t understand conservation: the principle that basic properties of objects, such as their volume, mass, or quality stay the same even though their outward appearance may change. Thinking displays egocentrism, irreversibility and centration 3. Concrete operational stage: 7 to 12—child can think logically about concrete events. Grasps concepts of conservation and serial ordering 4. Formal operational stage: 12 on—adolescent can think more logically, abstractly, and flexibly. Can form hypotheses and test them systematically Early understanding of the physical world—violation of expectation experiment used to examine infants’ understanding of basic concepts Vygotsky: the social context of cognitive development  Highlighted the sociocultural context interacts with the brains biological maturation  Zone of proximal development—the difference between what a child can do with assistance from adults or more advanced peers o Helps us recognize what children may soon be able to do by themselves o Emphasizes that people can help to move a child’s cognitive development forward within limits dictated by the child’s biological maturation Information-processing approaches  Information-search strategies—older children are better able to search systematically for relevant information (compare 2 like things)  Processing speed, attention, and response inhibition—the speed children process information becomes faster with age, attention span and ability to inhibit impulsive responses to distracting stimuli improves with age, cognitive flexibility and selective attention improves with age,  Working memory and long-term memory—working memory, visuospatial information, more likely to use strategies to improve memory, larger library of info in long term memory in older children  Continuity vs. discontinuity Psychology 5 Theory of mind  Refers to a persons beliefs about the mind and the ability to understand other peoples mental states  Not until 4 years of age to children realize this  Lying and deception—those who have a false belief understanding ar more likely to lie and children can be very convincing Social-emotional and personal development  Personality—a distinctive yet somewhat consistent pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving  Emotional reactions become more diverse with age  Emotion regulation—the process by which we evaluate and modify our emotional reactions (also becomes more diverse with age)  As children age, their emotional expressiveness and ability to regulate their emotions becomes part of their emotional competence  Temperament—a biologically based general style of reacting emotionally and behaviorally to the environment  Shyness forms behavioral inhibition  Infants who have extreme characteristics (really out going or really shy) usually become that way as children. Infants who have moderate characteristics develop independently  Studies have shown that children who are very inhibited and uninhibited carry this to adulthood. Another study my Schmidt showed that infants who were aggressive had a different genetic profile for the dopamine receptor gene (DRD4) Erikson’s Psychosocial theory  Believed that personality develops through confronting a series of eight major psychosocial stages, each of which involves a different crisis over how we view ourselves in relation to other people and the world  Stages: basic trust vs. basic mistrust autonomy vs. shame and doubt initiative vs. guilt industry vs. inferiority identity vs. role confusion  intimacy vs. isolation generativity vs. stagnation integrity vs. despair (see pg. 461 if want ages) Attachment  Imprinting—a sudden, biologically primed form of attachment. Involves critical period (ducklings will ignore real parents and follow introduced ones)  Attachment—in humans, refers to the strong emotional bond that develops between children and their primary caregivers. Involves a sensitive period  Contact comfort—body contact with a comforting object is more important in fostering attachment than is the provision of nourishment. Proven by Harlow with rhesus monkeys  Attachment in infancy develops in 3 phases 1. Indiscriminate attachment Psychology 6 2. Discriminate attachment 3. Specific attachment behaviour  Stranger anxiety—distress over contact with unfamiliar people  Separation anxiety—distress over being separated from a primary caregiver, shows a U-shaped age function  Goal directed partnership: children and caregivers can describe their feelings to each other a
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