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Lifespan Development. Developmental Psychology - psychological changes across the entire life span Themes: Stages Critical periods Gradual changes Heredity vs environment. Genetics. A. Chromosomes, DNA, Genes B. Genotype/Phenotype C. Dominant/Recessive Genes

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lifespan development
Lifespan Development
  • Developmental Psychology - psychological changes across the entire life span
  • Themes:
    • Stages
    • Critical periods
    • Gradual changes
    • Heredity vs environment
  • A. Chromosomes, DNA, Genes
  • B. Genotype/Phenotype
  • C. Dominant/Recessive Genes
  • D. Sex-Linked Recessive Characteristics
    • Color blindness, night blindness, hemophilia
prenatal development
Prenatal Development
  • Germinal period— 0-2 weeks
  • Embryonic period— 2-8 weeks
  • Fetal period— 8 weeks to birth
  • Provides very different qualitative info than “trimesters”
Amniotic sac
  • Umbilical cord
  • Placenta
  • Teratogens—any agent that causes a birth defect (e.g., drugs, aspirin, ibuprofin, radiation, nicotine, alcohol, viruses)
reflexes inborn behaviors that have been selected for b c they have survival value
Reflexes – inborn behaviors that have been selected for b/c they have survival value
  • Blinking
  • Rooting (orient head/mouth)
  • Sucking
  • Grasping
  • Stepping
  • Babinski (toes)
  • Moro (startle)
  • All senses functioning before birth
  • Vision
  • Visual acuity (fuzzy)
  • can see color, but prefer bold B/W contrast
  • minimal tracking of moving objects
  • will mimic facial expressions in first month
  • Hearing – can orient toward sounds
  • Smell – will turn head away from unpleasant odors
  • Taste - prefer sweet to sour tastes
  • Touch – will react to virtually any touch, especially painful stimuli
physical development
Physical Development
  • Brain and neuron development
    • At birth, brain is 25% of adult weight
      • By 5, brain is 95% adult size
    • Body weight is only 5% of adult weight
  • Motor skill development
    • 3 mos – grasping
    • 6 mos – standing
    • 12 mos - walking
social and personality development
Social and Personality Development
  • Temperament - inborn predisposition to react to stimuli - physiological
  • Easy — adaptable, positive mood, regular habits
  • Difficult — intense emotions, irritable, cry frequently
  • Slow to warm up — low activity, somewhat slow to adapt, generally withdraw from new situations
  • Average — unable to classify (1/3 of all children)
attachment john bowlby
Attachment – John Bowlby
  • Attachment-- emotional bond between infant and caregiver
  • Parents who are consistently warm, responsive, and sensitive to the infant’s needs usually have infants who are securely attached
  • Parents who are neglectful, inconsistent, or insensitive to infant’s needs usually have infants who are insecurely attached
  • Survival value – protection
  • Contact comfort
  • Separation anxiety
  • Culturally influenced
ainsworth s strange situation
Ainsworth’s Strange Situation
  • Used to study quality of attachment in infants
  • Observe child’s reaction when mother is present with the child in a “strange” room
  • Observe the child’s reaction when mother leaves
  • Observes the child’s reaction when mother returns
attachment styles
Attachment styles
  • Secure
  • Avoidant
  • Resistant
  • Disorganized
  • Internal Working Model – schema
  • Secure style 70% likely to continue
  • Insecure styles 30% likely to continue


gender role development
Gender Role Development
  • Gender—cultural, social, and psychological meanings associated with masculinity or femininity
    • Different than “sex”
  • Gender roles—various traits designated either masculine or feminine in a given culture
  • Gender identity—A person’s psychological sense of being male or female
gender differences
Gender Differences
  • Toy preferences
  • “aggressive” play
  • “rigidity” in sex-role stereotypes
social learning theory
Social Learning Theory

Gender roles are acquired through the basic processes of learning, including reinforcement, punishment, and modeling

gender schema theory
Gender Schema Theory
  • Gender-role development is influenced by the formation of schemas, or mental representations, of masculinity and femininity
  • Trucks are for boys and dolls are for girls
  • Girls can be mommies and boys can be daddies
  • Gender permanence – age 5
piaget s theory of cognitive development
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
  • Jean Piaget (1896–1980) Swiss psychologist
  • Constructivist - “children are active thinkers, constantly trying to construct more advanced understandings of the world”
  • Jean Piaget’s stages
  • Adaptation
    • assimilation
    • accommodation
  • Sensorimotor 0-2
  • Preoperational 2-7
  • Concrete operational 7-11
  • Formal operational 11 +
  • Object permanence, egocentrism, conservation
sensorimotor stage birth 2 years
Sensorimotor Stage (birth – 2 years)
  • Use of senses and motor actions
  • Child perceives and manipulates but does not “reason”
  • Symbolic thought emerges with brain maturation, experience, and language development
  • Object permanence is acquired
preoperational stage 2 7 years
Preoperational Stage (2–7 years)
  • Emergence of symbolic thought
  • Centration
  • Egocentrism
  • Lack of the concept of conservation
  • Animism
concrete operational stage 7 12 years
Concrete Operational Stage (7–12 years)
  • Increasingly logical thought
  • Classification and categorization
  • Less egocentric
  • Ability to understand that physical quantities are equal even if appearance changes (conservation)
  • Inability to reason abstractly or hypothetically
formal operational stage age 12 adulthood
Formal Operational Stage (age 12 – adulthood)
  • Hypothetico-deductive reasoning – can manipulate problems in the mind
  • Emerges gradually
  • Continues to develop into adulthood
  • Transition stage between late childhood and early adulthood
  • Sexual maturity is attained at this time
  • Puberty--attainment of sexual maturity and ability to reproduce
  • Health, nutrition, genetics play a role in onset and progression of puberty
  • Puberty – rebirth into adulthood
  • Menarche – spermarche
  • Biological growth precedes cognitive, emotional growth
  • “Storm & Stress”?
  • Body Image
  • Peers become more important, distance from parents (individuation) Search for Identity
  • Coming to terms with new emotions (& hormones and moods)
  • Popularity and acceptance
social relationships
Social Relationships
  • Parent-child relationship is usually positive
  • May have some periods of friction
  • Peers become increasingly important
  • Peer influence may not be as bad as most people think.
erikson s theory
Erikson’s Theory
  • Biological and Social
  • Eight psychosocial stages - crises
  • Outcome of each stage varies along a continuum from positive to negative
identity development
Identity Development
  • Identity vs. role confusion - adolescence
  • Successful resolution leads to positive identity
  • Unsuccessful resolution leads to identity confusion or a negative identity
stage 1 birth 1 trust vs mistrust
Stage 1 (birth–1)Trust vs. Mistrust
  • Infants must rely on others for care
  • Consistent and dependable caregiving and meeting infant needs leads to a sense of trust
  • Infants who are not well cared for will develop mistrust
stage 2 1 3 years autonomy vs shame and doubt
Stage 2 (1–3 years) Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
  • Children are discovering their own independence
  • Those given the opportunity to experience independence will gain a sense of autonomy
  • Children that are overly restrained or punished harshly will develop shame and doubt
stage 3 3 5 years initiative vs guilt
Stage 3 (3–5 years)Initiative vs. Guilt
  • Children are exposed to the wider social world and given greater responsibility
  • Sense of accomplishment leads to initiative, whereas feelings of guilt can emerge if the child is made to feel too anxious or irresponsible
stage 4 5 12 years industry vs inferiority
Stage 4 (5–12 years) Industry vs. Inferiority
  • Stage of life surrounding mastery of knowledge and intellectual skills
  • Sense of competence and achievement leads to industry
  • Feeling incompetent and unproductive leads to inferiority
stage 5 adolescence identity vs confusion
Stage 5 (adolescence)Identity vs. Confusion
  • Developing a sense of who one is and where one is going in life
  • Successful resolution leads to positive identity
  • Unsuccessful resolution leads to identity confusion or a negative identity
stage 6 young adulthood intimacy vs isolation
Stage 6 (young adulthood)Intimacy vs. Isolation
  • Time for sharing oneself with another person
  • Capacity to hold commitments with others leads to intimacy
  • Failure to establish commitments leads to feelings of isolation
stage 7 middle adulthood generativity vs stagnation
Stage 7 (middle adulthood)Generativity vs. Stagnation
  • Caring for others in family, friends, and work leads to sense of contribution to later generations
  • Stagnation comes from a sense of boredom and meaninglessness
stage 8 late adulthood to death integrity vs despair
Stage 8 (late adulthood to death)Integrity vs. Despair
  • Successful resolutions of all previous crises leads to integrity and the ability to see broad truths and advise those in earlier stages
  • Despair arises from feelings of helplessness and the bitter sense that life has been incomplete
kohlberg s theory of moral development
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
  • Assessed moral reasoning by posing hypothetical moral dilemmas and examining the reasoning behind people’s answers
  • Proposed six stages, each taking into account a broader portion of the social world
levels of moral reasoning
Levels of Moral Reasoning
  • Preconventional—moral reasoning is based on external rewards and punishments
  • Conventional—laws and rules are upheld simply because they are laws and rules
  • Postconventional—reasoning based on personal moral standards
adult development
Adult Development
  • Genetics and lifestyle combine to determine course of physical changes
  • Social development involves marriage and transition to parenthood
  • Paths of adult social development are varied and include diversity of lifestyles
types of love robert sternberg
Types of Love – Robert Sternberg
  • Passionate love (romance, lust, infatuation, physical)
  • Intimate love (closeness, truly knowing another, sharing yourself, emotional)
  • Commitment (enduring, walking toward the future side by side)

Passion (biological)

Passion + Intimacy = romantic love

Passion + commitment = fatuous love

Intimacy (emotional)

Commitment (rational)

Intimacy + commitment = companionate love

Passion + Intimacy + commitment = consummate love

parenting styles diana baumrind p 387 388
Parenting Styles - Diana Baumrind – p. 387-388






Promote high SE

But low SC

Promote high SE, SC


High social skills,

Achievement, identity

Self-centered, entitled




Promote low SE, SC


Demand obedience

Impulsive, depressed,


Angry, resentful,


late adulthood
Late Adulthood
  • Old age as a time of poor health, inactivity, and decline is a myth
  • Activity theory of aging—life satisfaction is highest when people maintain level of activity they had in earlier years
death and dying
Death and Dying
  • In general, anxiety about dying tends to decrease in late adulthood
  • Kubler-Ross stages of dying
    • Denial
    • Anger
    • Bargain
    • Depression
    • Acceptance
  • Not universally demonstrated