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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 summary

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Prof
Semester
Fall

Description
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 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 mothers uterus about 10-14 days after conception o Embryonic Stage Extends from end of 2 week through 8 week Embryo Cell mass 2 life-support structures develop Placenta o Located on uterine wall o Contains membranes that allow nutrients to pass from mothers 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 9 week after conception fetus Lasts until birth Muscles become stronger Bodily systems continue to develop 24 week Eyes open 28 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. One-third to one-half of infants born to alcoholic mothers have FAS o Nicotine, Heroine & Cocaine Increases risk of miscarriage, premature birth, & low birth weight Linked to low infant birth weight & increased risk of respiratory infections Often born addicted & experience withdrawal symptoms after birth Cognitive functioning & ability to regulate arousal & attention impaired Fetus o Relatively loud sounds elicited increases in heart rate & movements during 3 trimester of pregnancy o Greater responses at earlier fetal ages - by vibroacoustic stimulation Vibrator - placed on the mother's abdomen, when it was turned on or remained off o Used both longitudinal & cross-sectional designs to compare changes o Body movements - first found around 27 weeks & increased with fetal age o Heart rate acceleration responses were found in almost all fetuses beginning at 29 weeks & responses remained high until birth o Also learn Stop responding to repeated presentations of vibroacoustic& auditory stimuli reflecting short-term memory Long-term memory - sounds heard repeatedly during development Newborns seem to prefer sounds that are familiar to them during their last months of fetal development Ex. mothers voice Learn about odours from their pregnant mother's diet Newborns of mothers who habitually consumed anise- flavoured foods & drinks also preferred anise odours Non-anise consuming mothers responded either neutrally or showed aversion to anise o
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