Jen Lubelchek Period 6 Chapter 5: Development
Developmental Psychology • a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
Issues that Developmental Psychologists Study • Nature/nurture: How do genetic inheritance (our nature) and experience (the nurture we receive) influence our development? • Continuity/stages: Is development a gradual, continuous process like riding an escalator, or does it proceed through a sequence of separate stages, like climbing rungs on a ladder? • Stability/change: Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age?
When men and women start producing egg cells • Women were born producing eggs • Men start producing sperm at puberty
Definition of zygote • Zygote: the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
Definition of Embryo • Embryo: the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
Definition of Fetus • Fetus: the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
Definition of placenta • Placenta: which formed as the zygote’s outer cells attached to the uterine wall, transfers nutrients and oxygen from mother to fetus. The placenta also screens out many potentially harmful substances
Definition of teratogens • Teratogens: agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
Smoking mothers • If she is a heavy smoker, her fetus may receive fewer nutrients and be born underweight and at risk for various problems
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
Rooting Reflex • When something touches their cheek, babies turn toward that touch, open their mouth, and vigorously root for a nipple. Finding one, they automatically close on it and begin sucking—which itself requires a coordinated sequence of reflexive tonguing, swallowing, and breathing
William James • The pioneering American psychologist William James presumed that the newborn experiences a “blooming, buzzing confusion.”
Definition of Habituation • Habituation: decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
Novelty Preference Procedure • In the novelty preference procedure, the infants looked at the face rather than the body of the animal
We Know the Smell of our mothers at 1 week old • Within days after birth, our brain’s neural networks were stamped with the smell of our mother’s body. Thus, a week-old nursing baby, placed between a gauze pad from its mother’s bra and one from another nursing mother, will usually turn toward the smell of its own mother’s pad
We can recognize our mothers voice at 3 weeks old • At 3 weeks, if given a pacifier that sometimes turns on recordings of its mother’s voice and sometimes that of a female stranger’s, an infant will suck more vigorously when it hears its now-familiar mother’s voice
Figure 5.5 In humans, the brain is immature at birth. As the child matures, the neural networks grow increasingly more complex
Pruning Process • Fiber pathways supporting language and agility proliferate into puberty, after which a pruning process shuts down excess connections and strengthens others
Definition of Maturation • Maturation: biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
Motor Development • With occasional exceptions, the sequence of physical (motor) development is universal. • Babies roll over before they sit unsupported, and they usually creep on all fours before they walk
Back-to-sleep-position • The recommended infant back-to-sleep position (putting babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of a smothering crib death)
Genes play a role in motor development • Identical twins typically begin sitting up and walking on nearly the same day
Infantile amensia • Our earliest memories seldom predate our third birthday. We see this infantile amnesia in the memories of some preschoolers who experienced an emergency fire evacuation caused by a burning popcorn maker
First Conscious Memory • The average person remembers their first conscious memory at 4 or 5
Hippocampus • Hippocampus is the brain structure responsible for memory
Definition of Cognition • Cognition: all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
Piaget • Piaget is a Developmental Psychologist
Figure 5.8 Psychologists Judy DeLoache, David Uttal, and Karl Rosengren (2004) report that 18- to 30-month-old children may fail to take the size of an object into account when trying to perform impossible actions with it. At left, a 21-month-old attempts to slide down a miniature slide. At right, a 24-month-old opens the door to a miniature car and tries to step inside.
Definition of Schema • Schema: a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
Definition of Assimilate • Assimilate: interpreting our new experience in terms of our existing schemas
Definition of Accommodation • Accommodation: adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information.
Definition of sensorimotor stage • Sensorimotor Stage: in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities
Definition of Object Permanence • Object Permanence: the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
Definition of Preoperational Stage • Preoperational Stage: in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic
Definition of Conservation • Conservation: the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
Judy DeLoache’s study on symbolic thinking • Judy DeLoache (1987) discovered this when she showed children a model of a room and hid a model toy in it (a miniature stuffed dog behind a miniature couch). The 2½ -year-olds easily remembered where to find the miniature toy, but they could not use the model to locate an actual stuffed dog behind a couch in a real room. Three-year-olds—only 6 months older—usually went right to the actual stuffed animal in the real room, showing they could think of the model as a symbol for the room.
Definition of Egocentrism • Egocentrism: in Piaget’s theory, the preoperational child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view
Definition of Theory of Mind • Theory of Mind: people’s ideas about their own and others’ mental states—about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict
Jenkins and Astington • Jennifer Jenkins and Janet Astington (1996) showed Toronto children a Band-Aids box and asked them what was inside. Expecting Band-Aids, the children were surprised to discover that the box actually contained pencils. Asked what a child who had never seen the box would think was inside, 3-year-olds typically answered “pencils.” By age 4 to 5, the children’s theory of mind had leapt forward, and they anticipated their friends’ false belief that the box would hold Band-Aids
Lev Vygotsky • Lev Vygotsky concept of relying on inner speech: internalizing their culture’s language and relying on inner speech
Definition of Concrete Operational • Concrete Operational: in Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
Difference in Neurological Speed • “When my daughter Laura was 6, I was astonished at her inability to reverse simple arithmetic. Asked, “What is 8 plus 4?” she required 5 seconds to compute “12,” and another 5 seconds to then compute 12 minus 4. By age 8, she could answer a reversed question instantly” -Piaget
Definition of formal operational • Formal operational: in Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
Definition of Autism • Autism: a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others’ states of mind.
Autism Statistics • Once believed to affect 1 in 2500 children, autism or a related disorder will now strike 1 in 150 American children and, in Britain’s London area, 1 in 86 children
Theory that people with autism have an impaired theory of mind • They have difficulty inferring others’ thoughts and feelings. They do not appreciate that playmates and parents might view things differently.