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Module 14 - Infancy and Childhood

8 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Heather Jenkins

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M ODULE 14 - INFANCY AND C HILDHOOD Physical Development  Maturation -biologically programmed orderly sequence of growth  Cephalo-caudal principle -development proceeds from head to foot -head is large - growth proceeds towards lower body  Proximo-distal principle -development proceeds from innermost to outer -arms before fingers  Brain -at birth=25% of adult weight -6 months = 50% -cells become larger -neural networks form  Stages -first areas = brainstem -last areas =associative areas of cortex -this allows mental abilities to increase  Growth Rate -slows in later childhood -5 years = 90% of adult size -continued maturation and new synapses more specialized Motor Development Reflexes  innate behaviors Most skills follow stage-like sequences  age of acquiring skill varies  sequence does not  some have U-shaped function -stepped reflex Environment and Culture Physical  diet  enriched environments -heavier brains; more synaptic connection Sensory  visual deprivation can permanently damage visual abilities  sensitive/critical periods can be up to 10 years Cognitive Development  cognition refers to all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating Piaget's Stage Model  brain builds schemas (concepts or mental molds into which we pour our experiences) to achieve understanding  schemas are modified to create equilibrium between environment and understanding  we assimilate new experiences into existing schemas  we adjust, or accomodate our schemas to incorporate information provided by new schemas; causing existing schemas to change Jean Piaget believed that cognitive development: 1) Is a combination of nature and nurture. Children grow by maturing as well as by learning through interacting/playing with the environment. 2) Is not one continuous progression of change. Children make leaps in cognitive abilities from one stage of development to the next. Sensorimotor Stage  birth to 2 years  understand world through sensory experiences and physical interactions with objects (looking, hearing, touching, mouthing, grasping)  begin to acquire language  object permanence - understanding that objects continue to exist even when they can no longer be soon (at about 8 months)  stranger anxiety - fear of strangers Preoperational Stage  ages 2-7  world represented symbolically through words and mental images  using intuitive rather than logical reasoning  symbolic thinking enables pretend play  child does not understand conversation  thinking displays irreversibility, centration, animism, egocentrism(difficulty perceiving things from another's point of view)  Theory of Mind - people's ideas about their own and others' mental states - about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict -beliefs about how the mind works and what others are thinking -lying and deception provide evidence for theory of mind -rudimentary understanding develops around age 3 to 4 -with a theory of mind, you can picture that Sally will have the wrong idea about where the ball is (Textbook diagram p.183). Concrete Operational Stage  ages 7-12  think logically about concrete events  grasping concrete analogies and performing arithmetical operations  easily perform basic mental operations involving tangible problems and situations (reversing 3+7=10 to figure out that 10-7=3)  often have difficulty with problems that require abstract reasoning Formal Operational Stage  develops around age 11 or 12 to adulthood  child can think logically about concrete and abstract problems - abstract reasoning/logic  able to form and test hypotheses  potential for mature moral reasoning Assessment of Piaget's Theory  cognitive abilities associated with four stages develop in the same order across cultures -universality principle  children acquire cognitive skills at earlier ages than Piaget believed  development within each stage proceeds inconsistently  culture influences cognitive development Autism - a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind Vygotsky - believed that social interaction is important  Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) studied kids too, but focused on how they learn in the context of social communication  Principle: children learn thinking skills by internalizing language from others and developing inner speech: "Put the big blocks on the bottom, not the top..."  Vygotsky saw development as building on a scaffold of mentoring, language, and cognitive support from parents and others.  zone of proximal development -difference between what child can do independently and what he/she can do with assistance -provides insight into cognitive abilities that are in process of maturation -others can facilitate child's cognitive development within limits of biological maturation.  by mentoring children and giving them new words, parents and others provide a temporary scaffold from which children can step to higher level of thinking  language provides the building blocks for thinking Social Development: Stranger Anxiety  stranger anxiety develops around ages 9-13 months. In this stage, a child notices and fears new people.  children at this age have schemas for familiar faces, when they cannot assimilate new faces into these remembered faces, they bec
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