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PSYC 1010 Chapter Notes -Prenatal Development, Escalator, Zygote

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Heather Jenkin

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Module 13: Developmental Issues, Prenatal Development and the Newborn
Developmental Psychology’s Major Issues
What three issues have engaged developmental psychologists?
Developmental psychology examines our physical cognitive an social development across the
life span, with a focus on three major issues.
Nature and Nurture: How does our genetic inheritance (our nature) interact with our
experiences (our nurture) to influence our development?
Continuity and stages: What parts of development are gradual and continuous like riding an
escalator? What parts change abruptly in separate stages like climbing rungs or on a ladder?
Stability and change: Which of our traits persist through life? How do we change as we age?
Continuity and Stages
Do adults differ from children by gradual and cumulative growth? (tree and seed)
Or do they differ by distinct stages? (caterpillar to butterfly)
Generally we see a slow continuous shaping process.
There seem to be clear cut stages of psychological development.
This can be doubted because Piaget says that children have some abilities that are attributed o
later stages.
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Stability and Change
If meeting up with an old friend, do we say it’s the same person? or are they strangers?
Research can prove that we experience stability and change. Some characteristics like
temperament are stable.
Some traits like social attitudes are much less stable.
As people get older, personality gradually stabilizes.
Life requires both stability and change.
Stability provides our identity and allows us to depend on others and be concerned about the
healthy development of the children in our lives.
Prenatal Development and the Newborn
What is the course of prenatal development, and how do teratogens affect that
Woman’s ovary releases a mature egg. (woman was born with all immature eggs)
Men begin producing sperm cells at puberty.
When one sperm penetrates the egg it blocks out all the others.
The egg nucleus and sperm nucleus fuse.
Prenatal Development
Zygotes survive beyond the first weeks.
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