PSYC 101 Chapter 5: Chapter 5 Textbook Notes

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PSYC 101
Adena Schachner

Chapter 5 (p171-175 and p178-192) – 4/13/17 - Introduction o Babies learn a lot just through observation: watch parents wash dishes and break glass o Use tools (sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching) to gather information o Focusing on infant development is important ▪ Rapid change at this age ▪ Infant development in perception, action, learning, and cognition is intertwined o Active child theme: infant is eager to explore their environment o Continuity/discontinuity: this argument is addressed between behavior in infancy and subsequent development - Perception o William James believed that the world of the newborn is a big blooming buzzing confusion (not true) o Sensation: processing of basic information from external world by senses o Perception: process of organizing and interpreting sensory information about objects, events, and spatial layout of the world around us o Vision ▪ Newborns begin visually exploring the world minutes after leaving the womb ▪ Scan environment ▪ Vision improves rapidly in the first months ▪ Research methods: • preferential looking technique (Robert Fantz): 2 visual stimuli displayed and if baby looks longer at one of them, they can tell the difference between the 2 stimuli and have a preference • habituation: repeated presentation of stimulus until infants are bored, then new stimulus is presented to see if response increases ▪ visual acuity: can assess how clear they can see through preferential looking • see if they can distinguish between striped lines and gray solid color • prefer to look at striped lines; have poor contrast sensitivity (can detect patterns only with highly contrasting elements) because of immature cones • at 1 month, can’t see much color until 2-3 months ▪ visual scanning: attracted to moving stimuli • have trouble tracking stimuli because eye movements are jerky until 2-3 months • under 2 months, prefer looking at corners/outer edges ▪ pattern perception: subjective contour • can see a square from 4 circles cut off at the corners: infants integrate separate elements to perceive the whole • can perceive coherence among moving elements: look at lights that suggest human movement longer than normal light movement ▪ object perception: perceive constant shape of an object even if it moves closer/farther away (perceptual constancy) • debate between empiricists and nativists: o empiricists: all knowledge from experience (perception from environmental experiences) o nativist: certain aspects of knowledge are innate (perception inherent) ▪ supported when newborns were tested ▪ object segregation: perception of boundaries between objects • experiment: 4-month-olds were presented with a box in front of a pole that can be perceived as either one or two objects. The pole moved together. When presented with only the pole as 2 objects, looked for longer because surprised with the results. This feature must be learned • experiment: if a tube and box are next to each other, could be 2 separate objects. If the tube is above ground, tube must be attached to the box. When The 1 image was shown as separated, 8-month-olds weren’t surprised. When nd the 2 image was shown as separated, 8-month-olds were surprised ▪ depth perception
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