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  1. Psych 315: Childhood and Adolescence University of British Columbia Dr. Susan Birch

  2. Today’s Topics • Course Mechanics • Why Study Developmental Psychology? • Brief History of Developmental Psychology • Research Methods in Developmental Psychology Next class… 7 Enduring Themes

  3. Instructor and TAs Instructor: • Dr. Susan Birch, Assistant Professor • Office: Kenny Bldg. Room 2031 (corner of West Mall and University) • Office hours: Mondays 2-3pm or by appointment. • E-mail: Teaching Assistants: • Section 001: Karthyn Dewar • Section 002: Jeremy Frimer

  4. Course Description • This course will provide an introduction to the major theories and empirical research that is fundamental to Developmental Psychology. In addition to an overview of the theories and foundations of childhood and adolescent development, this course will provide an introduction to some of the most influential recent findings in the developmental psychology literature. Such topics include: physical development, language and conceptual development; social cognition, emotional development; gender development; and peer and family relations. In learning about typical development it is important to discuss how atypical development can shed light on many key issues. In accord with this, we will also touch on examples of atypical development.

  5. Text Required Text (Available at the UBC Bookstore): Siegler, S, Deloache, J, & Eisenberg, N. (2003). How Children Develop. 1st Edition. Worth Publishing.  *Additional readings will be made available on-line Text website: • Sign-up as a student • material such as chapter outlines, practice tests, etc.

  6. ClassWebsite • Lectures on-line • As Powerpoint (print as “handouts”) or PDF files • Acrobat Reader Install available here or at • Usually available before class (in the a.m.) • Additional Readings (some marked required, others optional) • Grades by ID #, announcements, etc.

  7. Course Requirements & Grading • 1 Quiz worth 30% of your final grade • 1 Written Assignment worth 25% of your final grade • Final Exam worth 45% of your final grade (cumulative with greater emphasis on material since Quiz) • The final exam and quiz will consist of: • approximately 60% Multiple Choice, True/False, Fill-in-the-Blanks • approximately 40% Short answers (e.g. list the 3 stages of …, list 4 pieces of evidence that support the claim that…) and short essays (e.g. “From a socio-cultural perspective describe 3 factors that have the most influence on…”) •  **Final grades are subject to being scaled.

  8. Topic Timeline Week 1: Sept 6 & 8: Introduction to Childhood and Adolescence [Course Introduction, Course Mechanics, Developmental Research Design, Major Themes] • Reading: Chapter 1 Week 2: Sept 13 & 15: Biology and Behavior: Physical, Motor, and Perceptual Development • Reading: Chapter 3 Week 3: Sept 20 & 22: Theories of Cognitive Development • Reading: Chapter 4 Week 4: Sept 27 & 29: Theories of Social and Gender Development • Reading: Chapter 9 Week 5: Oct. 4 & 6: Conceptual Development • Reading: Chapter 7 (p. 258-265 will be covered in 2 weeks) Week 6: Oct 11 & 13: Language Development • Reading: Chapter 6 • Midterm: October 13th on material up to but not including Lang. Dev.

  9. Topic Timeline Week 7: Oct. 18 & 20: Social Cognition and ‘Theory of Mind’ Development Reading: Ch. 7 (p. 258-265) and additional readings will be available on-line Week 8: Oct. 25 & 27: Social Cognition and Theory of Mind Development cont’d… Reading: Available on-line Week 9: Nov 1& 3: Intelligence and Academic AchievementReading: Chapter 8 Week 10: Nov 8 & 10: Attachment and Emotional Development Reading: Chapters 10 & 11 Week 11: Nov. 15 & 17: Family, and Peer Relations Reading: Chapters 12 & 13 Written Assignments Due November 15th or before

  10. Topic Timeline Week 12: Nov. 22 & 24: Moral, Prosocial, and Antisocial Development Reading: Chapter 14 Week 13: Nov 29 & Dec. 1st: Catch-up and Conclusions Reading: Chapter 15 Final Exam (Date to be announced) • Cumulative greater emphasis on material not covered on Quiz 1

  11. Written Assignment Objective • Write a 1-2 page (single-spaced) review and critique of an empirical journal article* (on a topic of your choice within Developmental Psychology). The objective is to clearly and succinctly describe: • ·        the experimenters’ question(s) of interest and rationale/motivation for conducting the study (or studies) [This may involve briefly describing previous findings that the researchers mention in the article] • ·        the methods they employed to address their question(s) of interest • ·        the main findings of the study (or studies) described in the article • ·        what these findings tell us and why it is important • In addition, you are being asked to scientifically evaluate the research described in the article by thinking critically about the methods, the findings, and the interpretation of the findings. Graded on 2 components: 1) Writing Style/Quality and Clarity of Review 2) Level of Critical/Analytical Thought and Evaluation

  12. About the Course: Objectives • To introduce basic questions, theories and methods of developmental approaches to psychology. • To show how developmental approaches to psychology can begin to answer these questions. • To help you think critically about issues relating to child development and human nature. • To be interesting!

  13. What level of detail should you know? WHO? Only major theorists, historical figures WHAT? Must know what the main findings are, and the basics of the design (not the trivial details) WHEN? Exact dates and ages are not important, but you should know when (roughly) children reach certain milestones and in what order they acquire new skills. WHERE? Not usually important, except when talking about cultural differences WHY? ***Most importantly you should know why the research was done, why it is important to the field and what it tells us about development or human nature!

  14. Why Study Child Development?

  15. Why Study Child Development? • In order to be better parents. • Information and understanding can help parents raise their children successfully. • In order to help choose and shape social policies. • help society adopt policies that promote children’s well-being. • Improve education system • In order to understand human nature. • Child development research is a window into human nature and the human mind in general. • understand atypical development or problem behavior to prevent or treat it.

  16. Historical Foundations of the Study of Child Development Aristotle: We learn everything through our experience with the world I think we are born with knowledge Plato: Early Philosophical Views (4th Century B.C.) The Beginnings of: The Nature-Nurture Debate

  17. 2,000 Years Later… John Locke (1632–1704) • tabula rasa--‘a blank slate’ Emphasized “Nurture” • Importance of early strict parenting--progressive freedom Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) • Greater emphasis on “Nature” children are innately good • children learn through spontaneous interactions with objects and people rather than instruction; • importance of maximum freedom

  18. The Beginnings of Research on Children • When? During the 19th and Early 20th Centuries • Why? • Social Reform Movements • Child Labor Laws 2. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution • “A Biographical Sketch of an Infant” (1877) (diary of his own child’s development, i.e observational research) A Young Darwin

  19. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Famous for his novel theory of how our unconscious desires could influence development. G. Stanley Hall (1844-1904) 1878--Earned 1st Ph.D. in Psychology in America 1887--Founded 1st Psychological Journal in America (American Journal of Psychology ) 1892--Founded American Psychological Association 1904--Wrote Adolescence 1917--Founded the Journal of Applied Psychology

  20. John Watson (1878-1958) • Famous for Founding Behaviorism • the study of observable and quantifiable aspects of behavior and excludes subjective phenomena (e.g. emotions or motives). • Heavily Influenced by Ivan Pavlov’s work on Conditioning • concluded that a child’s development is controlled by environmental conditions --particularly rewards and punishments • Emphasized Nurture • “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.”

  21. Operant Conditioning Behavior that is rewarded will increase, behavior that is not rewarded or punished will decrease

  22. Classical Conditioning

  23. How you’ve learned through classical conditioning… e.g Dentist's drill: Unconditional Reflex UCS UCR drilling pain Conditional Reflex CS CR sound of drill pain

  24. John B. Watson in his experiment with Little Albert, an 11 month old baby, studied how emotions are learned. He presented (A) a white rat (CS) and (B) a loud noise (US) to Little Albert. After several pairings, Albert showed fear (CR) of the white rat. Later, Albert generalized the fear to stimuli that were simular to CS, such as (C) a beard.

  25. Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Moving Beyond Behaviorism… Famous for founding the field of Cognitive Development and providing one of the broadest theories to ever account for the changes in children’s thinking.

  26. Basics of Research Methods

  27. 3 Main Ways of Collecting Data • Interviews • Naturalistic Observation • Structured Observation * Each have their advantages and disadvantages and the type of data collection method a researcher chooses depends on which is best suited to the primary goal of the research

  28. Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages: • Reveals children’s subjective experience • Inexpensive/easy means of data collection • Can be geared to specific individuals Disadvantages: • Reports are often biased in a positive direction • Participant’s memory is often inaccurate or incomplete • Participant’s ability to predict their actions are often inaccurate. • Subject to experimenter bias

  29. Naturalistic Observation • A person observes the child in their normal environments of interest (e.g. home, school, playground etc.) • Used when the primary goal is to describe how children behave in their usual environments

  30. Naturalistic Observation Advantages • Particularly useful for studying social interactions (e.g. parents and child) and other types of behavior which could not be studied “on-demand” in a lab • E.g. How a child’s behavior changes after a new baby brother or sister is brought home • E.g. How children react when Mom & Dad are fighting

  31. Naturalistic Observation Disadvantages • Can’t control all variables in a natural environment making it very hard to determine which variable(s) influenced the behavior • Possibility that the observer influenced the behavior • The behavior you are interested in might occur very rarely, reducing the opportunity to study it • subject to experimenter bias

  32. Structured Observation(aka experimental and correlational designs) Researchers design a specific task or situation that will elicit the behavior relevant to their hypothesis Advantages • Ensures all children experience the same thing--allowing for direct comparison of different children/groups Disadvantages • Reveals less info about subjective information than interviews • Not in the child’s natural environment

  33. Experimental Designs • Enable you to determine cause and effect Experimental Designs must meet 2 premises: • 2 or more groups of participants are comparable at the beginning (via random assignment) • Each group is presented with experiences that differ in only 1 way. If the 2 groups yield different responses you can assume that the one thing that was different caused the differences.

  34. Correlational Designs Correlational Designs • Used to determine if there is a relationship between 2 variables • If there is a strong relationship, knowing one variable helps predict the other e.g. aggressive behavior and hours watching TV Can’t tell you the direction of the cause!

  35. Examining Development: Cross sectional vs Longitudinal design

  36. Cross Sectional vs. Longitudinal Design Longitudinal: Advantages • Reveal information about the stability of individual differences or patterns of change in individual children • Avoids cohort effects (8 vs. 80-year olds computer knowledge) Longitudinal: Disadvantages • Time-consuming, expensive • Subject loss (attrition) may influence the results

  37. But what do you do when your subjects can’t speak? What about babies? They can’t talk! What do they do? (besides eating, pooping, and sleeping)? • Cry • Smile • Suck • Look around Researchers have designed clever ways to ask infants questions and have them answer using all of the above (most often Looking!!)

  38. Preferential Looking Paradigm

  39. Preferential Looking Paradigm This method measures the amount of time they spend looking at different stimuli. If they consistently look longer at 1 it tells us 2 things: They can tell the difference between the two. They prefer to look at one over the other.

  40. When Preferences Fail… • if infants fail to show a preference between two stimuli, what explanations follow? • they cannot tell the difference • they can tell the difference, but happen not to have a preference • we need to use a different technique to find the answer.

  41. Habituation Method

  42. what happens when we change the stimulus? new old

  43. Habituation Method

  44. Habituation Method • Repeatedly presents infants with one thing over and over until they become “bored” • (decrease their looking time to a set criterion) • Then a new stimulus is presented. • If they can tell the difference between the old and the new stimuli they should increase their looking time when the new stimuli is introduced.

  45. Violation of Expectation Paradigm Based on the assumption that infants (or anyone) will look longer when something violates their expectations or “surprises” them. For example, When a magician cuts a person in 2.

  46. Violation of Expectation Baillargeon’s Drawbridge study