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Chapter 4. Development. Prenatal Development & the Newborn. Developmental Psychology: A branch of psychology that studies the physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life span. Prenatal Development & the Newborn. Prenatal Development & the Newborn. Zygote Fertilized egg

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chapter 4

Chapter 4


prenatal development the newborn
Prenatal Development & the Newborn
  • Developmental Psychology:
    • A branch of psychology that studies the physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life span
prenatal development the newborn2
Prenatal Development & the Newborn
  • Zygote
    • Fertilized egg
    • 2 week period of rapid cell division
    • Develops into an embryo
  • Embryo
    • 2 weeks after fertilization until the second month
    • Formation of organs
  • Fetus
    • The developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception until birth
prenatal development the newborn3
Prenatal Development & the Newborn

40 days 45 days 2 months 4 months

prenatal development the newborn4
Prenatal Development & the Newborn
  • Teratogens
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
    • Physical and cognitive abnormalities
    • Pre and post-natal birth deficiencies

Photo courtesy of Teresa Kellerman

brain damage from prenatal alcohol
Brain Damage from Prenatal Alcohol
  • Brain on the left was from a 5 day old child with FAS
prenatal development the newborn5
Prenatal Development & the Newborn
  • Reflexes
    • Newborns are equipped for survival
    • “Rooting” reflex
  • Preferences
    • Prefer certain sights and sounds
    • Prefer things that facilitate social interaction
    • Gaze longer at pictures resembling the human face
infancy childhood physical development

At birth

3 months

15 months

Cortical Neurons

Infancy & Childhood: Physical Development
  • Maturation
    • Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior
    • Relatively uninfluenced by experience
infancy childhood physical development1
Infancy & Childhood: Physical Development
  • Babies only 3 months old can learn that kicking moves a mobile--and can retain that learning for a month

(Rovee-Collier, 1989, 1997).

cognitive development
Cognitive Development
  • Jean Piaget
    • Developmental psychologist
    • Administered intelligence tests to children
    • Became obsessed with their wrong answers
    • Concluded that a child’s brain is not a miniature version of an adult’s
      • But that they think differently
infancy childhood cognitive development
Infancy & Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Schema
  • Assimilation
  • Accommodation
  • Cognition
piaget s stages of cognitive development

Typical Age



of Stage



Birth to nearly 2 years


Experiencing the world through

senses and actions (looking,

touching, mouthing)

  • Object permanence
  • Stranger anxiety

About 2 to 6 years


Representing things

with words and images

but lacking logical reasoning

  • Pretend play
  • Egocentrism
  • Language development

About 7 to 11 years

Concrete operational

Thinking logically about concrete

events; grasping concrete analogies

and performing arithmetical operations

  • Conservation
  • Mathematical transformations

About 12 through


Formal operational

Abstract reasoning

  • Abstract logic
  • Potential for moral reasoning
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
infancy childhood cognitive development1
Infancy & Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Object Permanence
    • Awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
infancy childhood cognitive development3
Infancy & Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Egocentrism
    • Preoperational child’s inability to take another’s point of view
    • Birthday parties and presents
  • Theory of Mind
    • Begin forming in preschool
    • Begin to develop ideas about other people’s mental states and emotions
  • Stranger Anxiety
    • The fear of strangers that infants display
    • Begins usually around 8 mos
infancy childhood cognitive development4
Infancy & Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Attachment
  • Mary Ainsworth
    • Strange Situation
      • Studied basic attachment patterns in the first six months
      • After spending time with mother/child pair, mother leaves the room
      • Findings:
        • Securely Attached
          • Comfortable and happy when mother is present
          • Distressed w
        • Insecurely Attached
  • Findings:
    • Securely Attached
      • Comfortable and happy when mother is present
      • Distressed when mother leaves but seeks contact when mother returns
    • Insecurely Attached
      • Ambivalent
        • Less likely to explore environment and clings to mother
        • When mother leaves, very upset and stays upset
        • OR seems indifferent when mother returns
      • Avoidant
        • No signs of distress when mother leaves
        • Ignores or avoids mother when returns
social development
Social Development
  • Body Contact
  • Harry Harlow
    • “Harlow’s Monkeys”
social development1
Social Development
  • Familiarity
    • Attach to what is familiar
  • Critical Period
    • Optimal period shortly after birth when an organism’s exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development
  • Imprinting
    • Process in which certain animals form attachments during a critical period during very early life
    • Children do not imprint
      • Mere exposure breeds familiarity
social development2
Social Development
  • Why is primary caregiver role so important?
  • Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson
    • Securely attached children have a sense of basic trust- that the world is predictable and reliable
      • Attributed to early parenting
      • Power of attachment gradually relaxes, but never ceases
social development child rearing practices
Social Development: Child Rearing Practices
  • 3 Parenting Styles
    • Authoritarian
      • Characterized by little discussion between parent and child about rules
      • Parents “say” all the time
      • Little compromise
    • Permissive
      • Submit to the child
      • Make few demands of the child
      • Often characterized by lack of respect for the parent
      • Little punishment
    • Authoritative
      • Demand and respond
      • Exert control but not by strict rules
      • Explain with reasoning and discussion
  • Adolescence: transition between childhood and adulthood
  • Puberty
  • Menarche
  • Primary Sex Characteristics
    • Begin to develop dramatically
  • Secondary Sex Characteristics
    • Non-reproductive sex traits
      • Breasts, hair growth, deep voice, etc

1890, Women

7.2 Year Interval






1995, Women

12.5 Year Interval


  • In the 1890’s the average interval between a woman’s menarche and marriage was about 7 years; now it is over 12 years

Height in




















Age in years



  • Throughout childhood, boys and girls are similar in height. At puberty, girls surge ahead briefly, but then boys overtake them at about age 14.
cognitive development1
Cognitive Development
  • Lawrence Kohlberg sought to describe moral development
  • Agreed with Piaget, that children’s moral judgments build on their cognitive development
  • Understanding right v. wrong
  • Developed “moral dilemmas”
    • Asked children, adolescents, and adults if their action was right or wrong
kohlberg morals
Kohlberg & Morals
  • Pass through three levels of moral thinking
  • Kohlberg’s Moral Ladder
  • Tied to cognitive development

Morality of abstract

principles: to affirm

agreed-upon rights and

personal ethical principles



Morality of law and

social rules: to gain

approval or avoid






Morality of self-interest:

to avoid punishment

or gain concrete rewards

adolescence social development
Adolescence: Social Development
  • Identity
    • Have many “selves”
    • Role confusion resolves with the formation of an identity
    • Identity: one’s sense of self
      • Erikson- one’s goal is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
      • Can be life long
  • Intimacy
    • Follows development of an identity
    • Intimacy: the ability to form close, loving relationships
      • Primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood