Chapter one. Human Development The scientific study of the processes of development. ● Describe Example: When do children say their first words? ● Explain Example: How do children learn to use language? . Predict Example: Will delayed language development affect speech? ● Modify
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The scientific study of the processes of development
Example: When do children say their first words?
Example:How do children learn to use language?
Example: Will delayed language development affect speech?
Example: Can therapy help speech delays?Four Goals of Developmental Psychology
Developmental processes: change and stability
Two kinds of change:
Structure or Organization
Often difficult to anticipate
Number or Amount
Size of VocabularyTwo Types ofDevelopmental Change
Physical development: change and stability in growth of the body and brain, sensory capacities, motor skills, and health
Cognitive development: change and stability in mental abilities, learning, attention, memory, language, reasoning, creativity
Psychosocial development: change and stability in emotions, personality, social relationships
Influences on development:
normative: most people, similarities
individual differences: specific differences
Heredity & Environment
Heredity: inborn traits or characteristics inherited from the parents
Environment: inner and outer environment
Maturation: Unfolding of a natural sequence of physical changes and behavior patterns, mastery of skills, ability to learn.
Culture & Ethnicity
Culture is the society or group’s total way of life
Ethnic: people united by a distinct culture, ancestry, religion, language, or national origin
Timing of Influences: Critical or Sensitive Periods
Lorenz: hatched ducklings
Imprinting: automatic and irreversible; instinctive bonding with mother; a predisposition to learning
Critical Period: specific time when a given event (or absence) has specific impact on development. Not absolutely fixed.
Plasticity: ability to modify
Sensitive Periods: especially responsive to specific type of experience
Questions to consider:
Without feedback from the environment (that is, without experience) how can further development occur?
A child raised in a deprived environment with inadequate stimulation and feedback might fail to learn. The damage to a child is significant when love and attention are absent.
Critical & Sensitive Periods experience) how can further development occur?
Critical and sensitive periods are both times when the organism is biologically primed to most benefit from a particular experience.
Sensitive Periods: adverse effects caused by missing a sensitive period may be overcome at a later time, although with great difficulty.
Critical Periods: experience) how can further development occur? adverse effects caused by missing a critical period are permanent.
The only clearly demonstrated critical period in human beings involves early stimulation of certain neural and body cells. Without such stimulation, these cells atrophy and die (e.g., visual neurons must have light during their early development or they will die.
Depth perception may occur as well.
The first 5 to 6 years of childhood may be a critical period for the development of the brain.
Even when a part of the brain is damaged, if damage occurs before age 5/6, the brain may compensate and take over the functions. After age six, highly unlikely.
Learning and Early Experience childhood:
Sometimes a child misses an important learning experience because the environment fails to provide it. If the child eventually receives the necessary experiences they may be able to recover.
1.Development is lifelong
Change & adaptation occur throughout life
2.Development involves both gain & loss
Ex: Gaining vocabulary, but losing ability to acquire language
3. Biological & cultural influences shift over time
4. Development involves changing allocation of resources
Resources used for growth, maintenance, & recovery
5. Development shows plasticity
Ex: Memory can be improved with practice
6. Development is influenced by historical and cultural context.
Biological and environmental influences are similar for individuals in a particular age group
Normative age-graded influences
Biological and environmental influences are associated with history
Normative history-graded influences
Unusual occurrences that have a major impact on a specific person’s life
Non-normative life events
The Life-Span PerspectiveDevelopment is Contextual
The Nature of Development individuals in a particular age groupProcesses in Development
Children are born into a world individuals in a particular age groupcorrupted with inclination toward evil
Original sin view
Children born as “blank slates” and acquire characteristics through experience (Locke)
Tabla rasa view
Children born inherently good (Rousseau)
The Life-Span PerspectiveViews of Child Development
Development continuous or stages individuals in a particular age group
Continuous: Mechanist theorists; allows prediction of earlier behaviors from later ones; quantitative changes (frequency of response)
Stages: Organismic theorists; emphasis qualitative changes; stages, building on previous problems and developments.
Active versus passive development
People change their world as it also changes them
Nature and Nurture
Degree to which early traits and characteristics persist through life or change
Stability and Change
Extent development involves gradual, cumulative change (continuity) or distinct stages (discontinuity)
The Nature of DevelopmentDevelopmental Issues
The Nature of Development nurtureContinuity and Discontinuity in Development