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Developmental Psychology

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  1. Developmental Psychology Studying Changes over Time

  2. Jean Piaget • Swiss psychologist • Studied his own kids • Emphasis on cognitive development • Said that our thinking changes qualitatively over time

  3. Piaget’s 4 stages of cognitive development • Sensorimotor (0-2 years) • Preoperational (2-6 years) • Concrete Operational (7-11 years) • Formal Operational (11 yrs. +)

  4. Sensorimotor Stage (0-2 years of age) • Development focuses on sensory information and increasing motor skills • Development of object permanence — awareness that objects continue to exist even when they can no longer be seen • Piaget believed object permanence developed around 8-9 months • Current researchers believe that it may develop earlier than Piaget thought • Piaget’s testing may have been flawed by extraneous variable of motor skills

  5. Preoperational Stage(2-6 years) • Symbolic thoughtis developing throughout this stage • At this stage, the child is not able to successfully complete tasks that require conservation — principle that properties such as mass, volume and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects

  6. Concrete Operational Stage(7-11 years) • Able to complete tasks requiring conservation • “Budding scientist”—interest in cause & effect, differentiation between reality & fantasy • Emergence of metacognition—thinking about one’s own thinking • Development of concrete perspective taking

  7. Formal Operations Stage (11 yrs. +) • Development of abstract reasoning, including abstract perspective taking

  8. Attachment • Attachment behaviors in infants • Mary Ainsworth: attachment one of the most critical social tasks that we engage in during childhood • Harlow’s study of monkeys • Ainsworth’s Strange Situations Protocol – secure vs. insecure attachment • Use of attachment figure as a “base” from which to explore the world. • Importance of responsive parenting.

  9. Marsha is a 22-year-old college senior enrolled in a senior capstone course. She has to pass this course to graduate, but she is currently failing. She has to work five hours a day to pay her way through school. Her grandmother is ill and Marsha has had to help take care of her. Her professor had told the class that he would not add any requirements that those already listed on the syllabus. However, the professor has become angry at several students who have been talking during the class period and has decided to give a pop-assignment which will count as a regular test. Marsha has not had time to study or prepare, and if she fails this assignment she will probably fail the course and not be allowed to graduate with her classmates. You are Marsha’s good friend and realize how stressed she has been lately. You are prepared for the assignment and Marsha in desperation wants to copy your paper. What would you do?

  10. Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral Reasoning • Preconventional morality—morality of self-interest—avoiding punishment or gaining rewards • Conventional morality—cares for others & upholds laws & social rules because they are the laws & rules. Doing what is expected is important. What people see as good. Maintaining the social order. • Postconventional morality—focus on basic ethical principles that must shape our choices.