2Chapter OverviewI. Developmental Science II. Children, Society, and Science III. The Central Issues of Developmental Science IV. Theories of Development V. Methods for Studying Development
3Child DevelopmentArea of study devoted to understanding constancy and change from conception to adolescencePart of a larger, interdisciplinary field known as Developmental Science (including changes throughout the lifespan)
4Developmental Science The field has two goals:1.2.
5Periods of Development Prenatal (from conception to birth)Infancy and toddlerhood (from birth to 2 years)Early childhood (from 2 to 6 years)
6Periods of Development Middle childhood (from 6 to 11 years)Adolescence (from 11 to 18 years)Emerging adulthood (from 18 to 25 years)
7Domains of Development PhysicalMotor capacities like reaching, sitting, crawling, and walkingCognitiveUnderstanding of infants’ surroundingsEmotional and SocialAdults stimulation with games, language, and expressions of delight at infants’ new achievementsNOTE: These domains are not really distinct!
8Domains of Development What shapes development?Physical EnvironmentCultural beliefsFamily and PeersNeighborhoods and communitiesInstitutions (e.g., schools and government)
9The Central Issues of Development Science Research focuses on four fundamental issues:Sources of Development (nature or nurture?)PlasticityContinuity/DiscontinuityIndividual Difference (one course of development or many?)
11Sources of Development Question about the sources of development:How do nature and nurture interact to produce development?EmphasisDebates the importance of biology and environment
12Plasticity Question about plasticity: Greatest Impact To what degree, and under what conditions, is development open to change and intervention?Greatest ImpactDuring sensitive periods.
13Plasticity Sensitive Periods: Critical Periods: A time in an organism’s development whenExampleCritical Periods:A period during which
14Continuity/Discontinuity a process of gradually adding more of the same type of skills that were there to begin witha process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific timesFigure Is Development Continuous or Discontinuous?
15Continuity/Discontinuity Question about Continuity/Discontinuity:To what extent does development consist of the gradual accumulation of small changes, and to what extent does it involve abrupt transformations, or stages?ExaminesQuantitative versus Qualitative Changes
16Individual Differences Questions about individual differences:What combination of nature and nurture makes individuals different from one another?To what extent are individual characteristics stable?
17Contexts of Development One course of development or many?Unique combinations of:GeneticsEnvironment Can result in different paths of development
18Theories of Development Research on child development started in the late nineteenth and early twentieth and inspired the construction of theoriesTHEORY: An orderly, integrated, evidence-based set of statements thatDescribesExplainsPredicts behavior
19Theory Describes Explains Predicts behavior EXAMPLE: infant-caregiver attachmentDescribesExplainsPredicts behavior Provide organized frameworks for our observations of children; can be verified by research
20Theoretical Perspectives Development is approached from several theoretical perspectives:Four Grand TheoriesPsychodynamic theoriesBehaviorismPiaget’s Constructivist theoryVygotsky’s Sociocultural theoryFour Modern TheoriesEvolutionary TheoriesSocial Learning TheoriesInformation-Processing TheoriesDynamic Systems Theories
21Early Scientific Study of Development Baby Biographies (Darwin, Preyer)Normative Approach (Hall, Gesell)The Mental Testing Movement (Simon, Binet)
22Early Scientific Study of Development Early Development Theorist (James Mark Baldwin)Children’s understanding of their physical and social worlds develops throughNeither the child nor the environmentChildren actively
23Key Principles of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Natural Selection, or Survival of the FittestSpecies have characteristics that are adapted—or fit—to their environments.Individuals best adapted to their environments survive to reproduce.Their genes are passed to later generations.
24Psychodynamic Theories Theories exploring the influence on development and developmental stages of the universal biological drives and life experiences of individuals.
25Psychodynamic Theories Key Psychodynamic TheoristsSigmund FreudIn which psychosexual stages are associated with the changing focus of the sex driveErik EriksonIn which psychosocial stages are associated with tasks or crises shaped by social and cultural factors.
26Psychodynamic Theories Contributions and LimitationsEmphasis on the individual’s unique life history as worthy of study and understanding (clinical or case studies)Inspired the wealth of research on many aspects of emotional and social development (infant-caregiver attachment; aggression; sibling relationships; child-rearing practices; morality; gender roles; adolescent identity)Became isolated because they were so strongly committed to in-depth study of individual children that they failed to consider other methodsConcepts are so vague that they are difficult or impossible to test empirically
27Behaviorism and Social Learning Theories that focus on development as the result of learningBehavioral changes resulting from the individual’s forming associations between behavior and consequencesJohn B. Watson, Edward Thorndike, B.F. Skinner
28Behaviorism and Social Learning Classical ConditioningStimulus – ResponseOperant ConditioningReinforcers and PunishmentsSocial LearningModeling
29Behaviorism and Social Learning Traditional Behaviorism (classical conditioning)Watson was inspired by Ivan Pavlov’s studies on animal learningApplied classical conditioning to children’s behaviourTaught Albert (11mos) to fear a neutral stimulus (a soft white rat) by presenting is several times with a sharp, loud sound, which naturally scared the baby.Albert liked to touch the rat, but started to cry and turn his head away at the sight of it (Watson & Raynor, 1920).
30Behaviorism and Social Learning Traditional Behaviorism (classical conditioning)Watson concluded that environment is the supreme force in development and that adults can mould children’s behaviour by carefully controlling stimulus-response associations= development as a continuous process, consisting of a gradual increase with age in the number and strength of these associations
31Behaviorism and Social Learning Traditional Behaviorism (operant conditioning)According to Skinner, the frequency of a behaviour can beincreased bydecreased= operant conditioning became a broadly applied learning principle
32Social Learning Theory Theories that focus on the learning of associations between behaviors and their consequences but emphasize learning that occurs through the observation of, and interaction with, others.
33Behaviorism and Social Learning Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura)Emphasis modelling, otherwise known as imitation or observational learning, as a powerful source of developmentDiverse factors affect children’s motivation to imitateSocial-cognitive TheoryChildren gradually becomeChildren develop
35Behaviorism and Social Learning Contributions and LimitationsBANDURA grants children an active role in their learning!
36Piaget’s Constructivist Theory Piaget’s theory states that cognitive development results from children’s active construction of reality based on their experiences with the world.
37Piaget’s Constructivist Theory Concepts:Children progress through universal stages of cognitive development.As children strive to master their environments, they change their schemas through adaptation.A schema is the most basic unit of cognitive functioning.
38Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development SensorimotorBirth – 2 yearsPreoperational2 – 6 yearsConcrete Operational6 – 12 yearsFormal Operational12 years and older
39Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 years)Preoperational Stage (2 to 6 years)
40Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Concrete operational Stage (6 to 12 years)Formal operational Stage (12 years on)
41Piaget’s Constructivist Theory Contributions and LimitationsTheory has been challenged, because Piaget
42Information-Processing Theories Theories look at how children process, store, organize, retrieve, and manipulate information in increasingly efficient ways.Analogous with computer processingInformation is presented to the senses at INPUT until it emerges as behavioural responses at OUTPUT, information is actively coded, transformed, and organized.Often flowcharts are used to map the precise steps individuals use to solve problems and complete tasks
43Information-Processing Theories Views children as actively making sense of their experience and as modifying their own thinking in response to environmental demandsNo stagesThought processes are studied (perception, attention, memory, categorization of information, planning, problem solving, comprehension of written and spoken prose) are regarded as similar at all ages but present to lesser or greater extent
44Information-Processing Theories Commitment to rigorous methodsNo comprehensive theoryIgnores aspects like imagination and creativity
45Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Brings together researchers from psychology, biology, neuroscience, and medicine to study the relationship between the brain and the developing child’s cognitive processing and behaviour patterns.
46Evolutionary Theories Theories look at how human characteristics contributed to the survival of the species and to how our evolutionary past influences individual development.Concept of Ethology
47Evolutionary Developmental Psychology Seeks to understand adaptive value of human competenciesStudies cognitive, emotional and social competencies and change with ageExpands upon ethology
48Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory Vygotsky’s theory focuses on the role of culture in development and on children learning through finely tuned interactions with others who are more competent.Social interaction is necessary to learn cultureZone of Proximal Development:The gap between what children can accomplish independently and what they can accomplish when interacting with others who are more competent.
49Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory Children are active, constructive beingsCognitive development is a socially mediated process, in which children depend on assistance from adults and more-expert peers as they tackle new challengesEmphasis on culture and social experience led him to neglect the biological side of development
50System TheoriesTheories that envision development in terms of complex wholes made up of parts and that explore how these wholes and their parts are organized and interact over time.
51System Theories Ecological systems theory: Dynamic systems theory: Focuses on the organization of the environmental contexts within which children develop.Dynamic systems theory:Focuses on the development of new systems of behavior from the interaction of less complex parts
52An Ever-Changing System Uri Bronfenbrenner: chronosystemChildren are both products and producers of their environment.Child and the environment form a network of interdependent effects.
53The Dynamic Systems Theory The child’s mind, body, and physical and social worlds form an integrated system that guides mastery of new skillsSystem is dynamic or constantly in motionTheorist acknowledge that a common human genetic heritage and basic regularities in children’s physical and social worlds yield certain universal, broad outlines of development. Development cannot be characterized as a single line of change
54The Dynamic Systems Theory – View of Development Figure 1.5 The Dynamic Systems View of Development
55Methods of Studying Development Goals of Developmental ResearchBasic Research:Applied Research:Action Research:
56Why Should We Learn About Research Strategies? Helps us separate dependable information from misleading results(be a critical consumer of knowledge)Individuals who work with children may be in a unique position to build bridges between research and practice. To broaden efforts, a basic understanding of research process is essential!
57Research StrategiesResearch process = planning and implementing studiesResearch strategy:SelectDecideEvaluate
58Hypothesis Research can: A prediction often drawn from a theory. Test a prediction of one theory against that of anotherTest a prediction of one theoryStart with a research question, if there is no theory
59Methods of Studying Development Criteria for Developmental ResearchObjectivityReliabilityReplicabilityValidityEthically Sound
60Methods of Data Collection Naturalistic ObservationExperiments
63Psychophysiological Methods Methods to uncover the biological bases of perceptual, cognitive, and emotional responsesMeasure the relationship between physiological processes and behaviourHelp to infer perceptions, thoughts, and emotions of infants and young childrenMeasures of autonomic nervous system activityHeart rate(infant staring at a stimulus – heart rate is stable; processing the stimulus – heart rate slows; experiencing distress – heart rate rises)blood pressureRespirationPupilsstress hormones
64Methods of Measuring Brain Functioning Electroencephalogram (EEG)Detect changes in electrical activity in the cerebral cortex, which plays a central role in complex mental functions, including attention, perception, memory, language, planning, and problem solvingBrain-wave patterns are examined for stability and organizationEvent-related potentials (ERPs)Detect the general location of cortical activity as a child processes a particular stimulusOften used to study preverbal infants, impact of experience on development of brain regions, and atypical brain functioning in children at risk for learning or emotional problems
65Methods of Measuring Brain Functioning (Neuroimaging techniques) Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)Detects increases in blood flow and oxygen metabolism throughout the brain magneticallyYields 3D-computerized pictures of the entire brain and its active areasProvides most precise information about which brain regions are specialized for certain capacities and about abnormalities in brain functioningPositron emission tomography (PET)Depends on X-ray photography, which requires the injection of a radioactive substance
66Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Figure 2.1 Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) This 6-year-old is part of a study that uses fMRI to find out how his brain processes light and motion. The fMRI image shows which areas of the boy’s brain are active while he views changing visual stimuli.
67Near-infrared spectoscropy (NIRS) NIRS is limited to examining the functioning of the cerebral cortex.Infrared light is beamed at regions of the cerebral cortex to measure blood flow and oxygen metabolism while the child attends to a stimulus.Can be used on very young babies as they sit on their parent’s lap.Figure 2.2 Near-infrared optical topography (NIROT).
68Psychophysiological Methods Are powerful tools for uncovering relationships between the brain and psychological developmentEven though a stimulus produces a consistent pattern of brain activity, the researcher cannot be certain that an infant has processed the stimulus in a certain wayMany factors can influence a physiological responseChildren often do not perform as well as they do outside or without apparatusChildren’s fearful reaction to the equipment affects physiological measures
69Clinical/Case Study Method Brings together a wide range of information on one childInterviewsObservationsTest scoresPsychophysiological measures
70Designs for Studying Development Looking for information about the way participants change over timeExtend correlational and experimental approaches to include measurements at different agesLongitudinal designsCross-sectional designsSequential designsMicrogenetic designsFigure 2.7 A natural, or quasi-, experiment on the relationship of child maltreatment to children’s social adjustment.
71Designs for Studying Development LongitudinalSame participants studied repeatedly at different agesCross-sectionalPeople differing in age are all studied at the same timeCohort sequentialSame groups of different-aged people studied repeatedly as they change agesMicrogeneticSame participant studied repeatedly over a short period as they master a task
76Example of a Sequential Design 3 cohorts (1985, 1986, 1987)3 years longitudinalDevelopmental trends across five yearsFigure 2.9 Example of a Sequential Design. Three cohorts, born in 1985 (blue),1986 (orange), and 1987 (pink),respectively, are followed longitudinally for three years.Testing the cohorts in overlapping grades enables researchers to check for cohort effects by comparing participants born in different years when they reach the same grade (see diagonals). In a study using this design, same-grade adolescents who were members of different cohorts scored similarly on a questionnaireassessing family harmony, indicating no cohort effects. By following each cohort for just three years, the investigator could infer a developmental trend across five years, from sixth to tenth grade.
77Microgenetic DesignObservations over years can describe changes, but cannot capture the processes that produce these changesMicrogenetic designs
78Microgenetic Design Offers insights into how change occurs Requires intensive study of participants’ moment-by-moment behavioursThe time required for participants to change is difficult to anticipatePractice effects may distort developmental trends
79Children’s Research Rights Protection from harmInformed consentPrivacyKnowledge of resultsBeneficial treatments
80Children’s Research Risks Children are less capable of benefitting from research experiencesAge DifferencesChildren’s limited social power can make it hard to refuse participationWithdrawing from a study would have negative consequences (external pressure to continue)Children’s Unique Characteristics