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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

Adulthood physical development
Adulthood: Physical Development

  • Menopause

  • Alzheimer