DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. Key controversies in Developmental:. Nature vs. Nurture: are we the result of our genes or the environment? - Critical periods and maturation Continuity vs. Stage: Do we develop gradually or in rapid bursts?
Nature vs. Nurture: are we the result of our genes or the environment?
- Critical periods and maturation
Continuity vs. Stage: Do we develop gradually or in rapid bursts?
Stability vs. Change: Does your personality stay the same or change with time?
Longitudinal: follows the same group of people over many years
- Snowdon’s Minnesota Nun Study:1986 & Alzheimers disease
- Terman’s termites:1927 – Gifted children
Cross-sectional: studies people of all different ages at one point in time
- cohort effects are confounds
3. Cross-sequential: both
Brain has fewer- dendrites + synapses
During first 3 years Brain Density increases
Stimulation causes brain growth
Deprivation = lack of stimulation
What does an “Enriched Environment” look like with respect to physical environment and personal interaction?
Piaget’s theory (1960s)
Children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world, & their cognitive development takes place in stages.
Argued that children adapt to their surroundings.
Children don’t come out with blank slate, but with methods for acquiring knowledge.
Piaget believed learning occurs through
"To present an adequate notion of learning one must first explain how the individual manages to construct and invent, not merely how he repeats and copies."
Schema: a mindset or way of thinking about something [cognitive structures]
Examples: what is your schema of NCS? Canadians? A Car?
Schemas influence how we think about the world around us
Many schemas are activated and used automatically – or without any conscious thought. [example: stereotypes]
Read the following paragraphs and fill in the missing words:
The problems that confront p___ in raising ch___ from in___ to adult life are not easy to ___. Both fa___ and m___ meet with many di___ in their concern for the pro___ from the e__ stage to later life. It is important that young ch___ should have plenty of s___ and good f___ for healthy growth. B___ and g___ should not occupy the same b___ or sleep in the same r___. They are often afraid of the d____.
The problems that confront poultrymen in raising chickens from incubation to adult life are not easy to summarize. Both farmers and merchants meet with many difficulties in their concern for promotion from the egg stage to later life. It is important that young chicks should have plenty of sunshine and good feed for healthy growth. Banties and geese should not occupy the same barnyard or sleep in the same roost. They are often afraid of the dark.
Every stage except for the last one is an inadequate approximation of reality.
Development from one stage to the next is caused by the accumulation of errors in the child's understanding of the environment
this accumulation eventually causes such a degree of cognitive disequilibrium that thought structures or schemas require reorganizing or changing
Sensorimotor (birth to 2 yrs)- infants acquire knowledge by “acting” on their environment, using their senses and movements to explore the world.
Preoperational (2-7 yrs)- preschool-age children acquire advanced language skills and start to think using symbols.
Concrete operational (7-11 yrs)- Children’s reasoning becomes logical. They learn to logically organize concepts. They learn conservation of liquids and solids.
Formal operational (11+ yrs)-Abstract thinking comes on-line, problem solving ability improves.
Before 6-7 children think concretely
Age 7 more logical thinking
Begin to think symbolically
Still intuitive, beginning logic
Egocentric= unable to see the viewpoint of others – self concerned
Age 7-11 Concrete Operational Stage
Concept of conservation developed
Idea that objects have mass and volume constancy
Children begin to use time, space and number
1. Piaget underestimated the competencies of infants and preschoolers.
(E.g., when young children are given tasks scaled down in difficulty, their understanding appears closer to that of older children and the adult)
2.Children’s performance on Piagetian tasks can be improved with training.
Suggests there is a problem with the assumption that discovery learning rather than adult teaching is the best way to foster development.
Which is more important:
Exploration or Experts?
What factors may inhibit moving from one stage to the next?
How can we encourage or accelerate the transition from one stage to the next?
age StageDescription of Task
Infancy Trust vs. mistrust If needs are dependably met, infants
(1st year) develop a sense of basic trust.
Toddler Autonomy vs. shame Toddlers learn to exercise will and
(2nd year) and doubt do things for themselves, or they doubt their abilities.
Preschooler Initiative vs. guilt Preschoolers learn to initiate tasks
(3-5 years) and carry out plans, or they feel
guilty about efforts to be independent.
Elementary Competence vs. Children learn the pleasure of applying
(6 years- inferiority themselves to tasks, or they feelinferior.
puberty)Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
age Stage Description of Task
Adolescence Identity vs. role Teenagers work at refining a sense of self by
(teens into confusion testing roles and then integrating them to
20’s) form a single identity, or they become
confused about who they are.
Young Adult Intimacy vs. Young adults struggle to form close relation-
(20’s to early isolation ships and to gain the capacity for intimate
40’s) love, or they feel socially isolated.
Middle Adult Generativity vs. The middle-aged discover a sense of contri-
(40’s to 60’s) stagnation butingto the world, usually through family
and work, or they may feel a lack of purpose.
Late Adult Integrity vs. When reflecting on his or her life, the older
(late 60’s and failure. adult may feel a sense of satisfaction or up) despairErikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
In Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, generativity is a struggle against stagnation that ascends during adulthood. Generativity in the psychosocial sense refers to the concern for establishing and guiding the next generation and is said to stem from a sense of optimism about humanity.
Favorable outcomes at each stage are sometimes known as "virtues"
The virtues in the order of the stages in which they may be acquired are:
Criticism of Kohlberg’s theory comes from Gilligan, who argues that the theory is androcentric (male bias) after Kohlberg reporting that most men were at stage 4 while most women were at stage 3.
Gilligan (1982) claims that the female participants of Kohlberg’s study were being judged using a male standard due to the gender bias of Kohlberg’s original research, which was based solely on studying men. Gilligan reached the conclusion that Kohlberg’s theory did not account for the fact that women approach moral problems from an ‘ethics of care’, rather than an ‘ethics of justice’ perspective, which challenges some of the fundamental assumptions of Kohlberg’s theory.
The fact that Kohlberg’s theory is heavily dependent on an individual’s response to an artificial dilemma brings question to the validity of the results obtained through this research. People may respond very differently to real life situations that they find themselves in than they do to an artificial dilemma presented to them in the comfort of a research environment. Further, the gender bias issue raised by Gilligan is a reminded of the significant gender debate still present in psychology, which when ignored, can have a large impact on results obtained through psychological research.
The way in which Kohlberg carried out his research when constructing this theory may not have been the best way to test whether all children follow the same sequence of stage progression. His research was cross-sectional, meaning that he interviewed children of different ages to see what level of moral development they were at.
A better way to see if all children follow the same order through the stages would have been to carry out longitudinal research on the same children. However, longitudinal research on Kohlberg’s theory has since been carried out by Colby et al. (1983) who tested 58 male participants of Kohlberg’s original study. She tested them 6 times in the span of 27 years and found support for Kohlberg’s original conclusion, that we all pass through the stages of moral development in the same order.
How were you raised?
If you had to describe your parents’ parenting style what would it be?
Give 5 adjectives that describe it.
What would you have changed?
How do you hope to raise your children?
Too much freedom
Rights but few responsibilities
Rules not enforced
Spoiled kids = poorly behaved child
Expectation to stay out of trouble
Put responsibilities on kids
Kids have few rights
Children- usually obedient, self controlled
Must accept parent view of right and wrong
Higher rates of drug abuse
Firm consistent guidance
With love & affection
To act responsibility
To make good decisions
Child Qualities & Parenting Styles
lively and happy disposition
self-confident about ability to master tasks.
well developed emotion regulation
developed social skills
less rigid about gender-typed traits
Child Qualities & Parenting Styles
poor emotion regulation (under regulated)
rebellious and defiant when desires are challenged.
low persistence to challenging tasks
Child Qualities & Parenting Styles
anxious, withdrawn, and unhappy disposition
Low self-esteem and prone to depression
poor reactions to frustration (girls likely to give up and boys become hostile)
do well in school (studies may show authoritative parenting is comparable)
not likely to engage in antisocial activities (exp: drug and alcohol abuse, vandalism, gangs)
Object permanence is achieved during the pre-operational stage
Conservation is lacking or not present during the pre-operational stage
Concrete operational stage. Ages 7-11yrs.
- logical thinking
- conservation is present
- lacking abstract thought –
everything is taken quite literally.
Example: When Mom says to her 7 yr
old son “Give your sister a lick”
because he is eating an ice cream cone,
what does he do?
- lacking hypothetical or “what if” thinking
4. Formal operational stage. Ages 11+
for developing this skill.
Formal operational stage
- imaginary audience and the spotlight effect
- unrealistic optimism and the personal fable