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Chapter 10

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PSYC 1101

Ch. 10 – Human Development I. Special Considerations in Human Development - Developmental Psychology: the study of how behavior changes over the life span - Post Hoc Fallacy o The mistake of assuming that because A comes before B, A must cause B - Bidirectional Influences o Children’s experiences influence their development, and their development influences their experiences o Children influence their parents and vice versa - Keeping an Eye on Cohort Effects o Cross-Sectional Design: a design in which researchers examine people of different ages at the same point in time  Issue: can’t control for Cohort Effects o Cohort Effects: effects due to the fact that sets of people who lived in one time period (cohorts) can differ in some systematic way from sets of people in a different time period  Ex. Baby Boomers grew up in a different technological age than those of us today  Solution: Longitudinal Design o Longitudinal Design: psychologists track the development of the same group of subjects over time  Allows us to track developmental changes  Home videos of people at different times in development  Not experimental designs and thus cannot be used to infer cause-and-effect relationships - The Influence of Early Experience o Infant Determinism  The myth that extremely early experiences are more influential in shaping us than those in adulthood  No evidence supports this claim o Childhood Fragility  The myth that children are delicate beings that are easily damaged  Research shows kids are resilient and can emerge just fine from traumatic situations - Nature-Nurture Debate o Betty Hart and Todd Risley  Six month investigation that showed parents who speak to their kids a lot produce kids with larger vocabularies  Confound: parents and kids share genes as well as environment o Gene-Environment Interactions  Nature and nurture interact  Genes can depend on environment and vice versa o Nature via Nurture  A phenomenon where children with certain genetic predispositions often seek out and create their own environments  Nature allows children to express their genetic identities o Gene Expression  A phenomenon where environmental expressions actually turn genes on and off  Ex. Children with genes that predispose them to anxiety will only become anxious if a stressful event occurs II. The Developing Body: Physical and Motor Development o Conception and Prenatal Development o During prenatal development, the human body acquires its basic form and shape o Three stages of Development  Germinal Stage (0-2 weeks)  Zygote divides and forms blastocyst – a ball of identical cells  Embryonic Stage (2-8 weeks)  Once cells finish dividing a few weeks after fertilization they begin to form an embryo  Fetal Stage (8-birth)  9 week  Heart begins to beat  Begins to mature physically o Brain Development: 18 days and beyond  Proliferation: by the end of 6 months, the neurons begin to develop at an astronomical rate – rapid neurogenesis o Obstacles to Normal Fetal Development  Exposure to hazardous environmental influences  Biological influences from genetic disorders  Premature birth  Teratogens: Hazards to Fetal Health  Environmental factors that can exert a negative influence on prenatal development o Ex. Alcohol can result in fetal alcohol syndrome  Genetic Disruptions of Fetal Development  Genetic disorders  Single cell mutations  Errors in cell division  Prematurity  Suffer from severe mental and physical damage  Before 25 weeks lessens chance of survival  Viability: between 25 and 36 weeks - Infant Motor Development: How Babies Get Going o Survival Instincts: Infant Reflexes  Infants are born with survival needs or reflexes that are triggered by specific stimuli  Ex. Sucking reflex  Ex. Rooting reflex o Coordinating Movement  Learned through trial and error  Motor Behaviors: bodily motions that occur as a result of self-initiated force that moves bones and muscles o Factors Influencing Motor Development  Nurture and nature o Growth and Physical Development  Growth spurts every 30 to 55 days - Physical Maturation in Adolescence: The Power of Puberty o Adolescence: the transitional period between childhood and adulthood  Hormonal changes  Estrogens and androgens are released into the bloodstream  In boys: voice change, pubic and chest/armpit hair, muscle tissue, etc.  In girls: breast growth, uterus and vaginal maturation, menstruation, etc. o Puberty: sexual maturation; the attainment of physical potential for reproduction  Primary-sex characteristics: reproductive organs and genitals  Secondary-sex characteristics: sex-differentiating body parts that do not have to do with reproduction  breasts, voices, pubic hair  Menarche: the onset of menstruation in girls  Spermarche: first ejaculation in males - Physical Development in Adulthood o Physical Changes in Middle Adulthood  Fertility in women begins to decline in their 30s and 40s  Menopause: termination of menstruation in women o Changes in Agility and Physical Coordination with Age  Elderly adults become less flexible with time III. The Developing Mind: Cognitive Development - Theories of Cognitive Development  1. Stagelike changes in understanding vs. continuous changes  2. Domain-general vs domain specific; first: cross-cutting changes, second: cognitive skills develop independently  3. Physical vs social interaction vs biological maturation o Piaget  Stage Theorist  Theory of cognitive development hypothesized several observable stages that children pass through on their way to adult-like thinking  Showed that children’s understanding of the world differed from adults  Piaget believed that cognitive change is marked by equilibration  Equilibration: maintain a balance between our experience of the world and our thoughts about it o Assimilation and Accommodation  The two process that , according to Piaget, children use to keep their thinking in tune with the world around them  Assimilation: the process of absorbing new experiences into current schemas  A child simply reinterprets knowledge to fit what she knows  Ex. If told the world is round, she will picture the flat earth as a circular coin; still flat but also round  Accommodation: the altering of a schema to make it more compatible with experience  Ex. Child changes his perception of the world from flat to spherical o Piaget’s Stages of Development  Sensorimotor Stage  0-2 years  children acquire all knowledge through perception and observation  children in this stage lack object permanence  they also lack deferred imitation – the ability
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