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Developmental Psychology. A Life of Change. Research Focus . Nature vs. Nurture How do genetic inheritance (nature) and experiences (nurture) influence develop Continuity vs. Stages Is development a gradual, continuous process, or does it proceed though sequence of stages?

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developmental psychology

Developmental Psychology

A Life of Change

research focus
Research Focus
  • Nature vs. Nurture
    • How do genetic inheritance (nature) and experiences (nurture) influence develop
  • Continuity vs. Stages
    • Is development a gradual, continuous process, or does it proceed though sequence of stages?
  • Stability vs. Change
    • Do our early personality traits persist though life, or do we become different persons as we age?
the competent newborn
The Competent Newborn
  • Infants will gaze at objects – preferring those that have face-like features
  • Within days of birth, infant’s will turn toward familiar smell – mother
  • Around 3 weeks, infants can differentiate different sounds/voices
physical development
Physical Development
  • Maturation (Brain Development)
    • Orderly sequence of biological growth
    • Slowed by severe deprivation or abuse
    • Sets the course for development, experience adjusts it
  • Motor Development
    • Genes play a major role in motor development
slide5
Cognitive DevelopmentCognition – all mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
  • What is the earliest memory you have?
    • Average age of first conscious memory
      • 3.5 years old
  • How does a child’s mind develop?
    • “If we examine the intellectual development…the human spirit goes through a certain number of stages, each different from the other.”

- Jean Piaget

piaget cognitive development
Piaget & Cognitive Development
  • As we develop, we are constantly building schemas – concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
    • Assimilate– interpreting new experiences in terms of our current understanding (schemas)
      • Trying to fit new object into old schema
      • Example: Referring to all four-legged animals as dogs
    • Accommodate – adapting/adjusting our schemas to incorporate information provided by new experiences
      • Change our schema to fit new object
forming attachments
Forming Attachments
  • Attachment is powerful survival impulse
    • Keeps infants close to caregivers
  • Harry Harlow - studied relationship between mother and child
  • Importance of nourishment and body contact
  • Familiarity
    • Imprinting – process by which certain animals form attachments during critical period – inherited tendencies - early in life
    • Children do not imprint – attach through mere exposure
self concept how does parenting impact children s traits and self concepts
Self-ConceptHow does parenting impact children’s traits and self-concepts?
  • Describe your parent/guardian’s parenting style considering the following factors:
    • Communication/Reasoning
    • Rules
    • Obedience
    • Punishment/Rewards
  • How has this parenting style impacted your development?
    • Self-esteem, self-reliance, social skills/competence, maturity
  • Would you describe their parenting as too hard, too soft, or just right?
parenting styles
Parenting Styles
  • Authoritarian
    • Parents impose rules and expect obedience
      • Examples: “Don’t interrupt”; “If you stay out too late, you’re grounded”
  • Permissive
    • Parents submit to their children’s desires
    • Parents make few demands and use little punishment
  • Authoritative
    • Parents are both demanding and responsive
    • Exert control by setting rules and enforcing them…also explain the reasons for rules
    • Encourage open discussion when making the rules, allowing exceptions
      • Older children
slide12

WHAT IS MORALITY?

  • HOW IS ONE’S MORALITY DEVELOPED?
  • WHAT HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR MORAL BELIEFS?
consider the following
Consider the Following:
  • A runaway trolley is headed for five people. All will certainly be killed unless you throw a switch that diverts the trolley to another track, where it will kill one person. Should you throw the switch?
  • Same situation.
    • To save the five people, you must now push a large stranger onto the track to stop the trolley. You will obviously kill him, but will save the other five. Do you do it?
kohlberg s development of morality
Kohlberg’sDevelopment of Morality
  • Pre-conventional (before age 9)
    • Focuses on self-interest - egocentric
    • Obey rules to avoid punishment or gain reward
  • Conventional (early adolescence)
    • Become aware of what others think
    • Caring for others, recognizing and upholding laws and social rules
  • Post-conventional
    • Is a law fair or just?
    • Universal ethical principles
physical changes in adulthood
Physical Changes in Adulthood
  • Physical decline begins in early adulthood, but is less noticeable
    • Muscle strength
    • Reaction time
    • Cardiac output - stamina
    • Sensory abilities
      • Vision, Smell, Hearing
physical changes in adulthood1
Physical Changes in Adulthood
  • Menopause
    • End of woman’s menstrual cycle (around 50 years old)
  • Mid-life crisis
    • What comes to mind?
  • Ageism
    • Prejudice against the old
  • Dementia – mental disintegration
    • Caused by small strokes, brain tumor, alcohol dependence
    • Alzheimer’s Disease
      • Loss of brain cells and deterioration of neurons
      • Forgetfulness, confusion »loss of emotion, disorientation »mental vacancy
how do we learn language
How Do We Learn Language?
  • B.F. Skinner (Behaviorist)
    • Operant learning
      • Association of sight of thing with sounds of words
      • Imitation of words and syntax modeled by others
      • Reinforcement with smiles and hugs when the child says something right
  • Noam Chomsky (Linguist)
    • Language is not just the acquisition of words and meanings
    • Language development is much like “helping a flower to grow in its own way”
      • Given adequate nurture, language will naturally occur
    • Humans possess a language acquisition device
      • Switches just need to be turned on
    • All human languages have the same grammatical building blocks
      • Example: We start speaking mostly in nouns
thinking language
Thinking & Language
  • Benjamin Whorf (Linguist)
    • Language determines the way we think
      • Linguistic determinism – different languages impose different conceptions of reality
    • Studies of tribal groups have revealed how words may not determine what we think, but do influence our thinking
    • How we describe ourselves, our emotions, classify numbers, or even describe colors