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Robert S. Feldman Lifespan Development: A Topical Approach.

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1 Robert S. Feldman Lifespan Development: A Topical Approach

2 Orientation What is Human Development? It is a pattern of movement and change It is a pattern of movement and change Some things change Some things change Some things stay the same Some things stay the same Movement & change include growth, transition, and decline. Movement & change include growth, transition, and decline.

3 The Lifespan Perspective History History Studied child development since about Studied child development since about Studied adult development since about Studied adult development since about The reason for the difference is cultural change & increased longevity (life expectancy). The reason for the difference is cultural change & increased longevity (life expectancy).

4 Life Expectancy Changes Lifespan, the maximum number of years a human being could live (about 120 years) remains relatively constant. Lifespan, the maximum number of years a human being could live (about 120 years) remains relatively constant. Life expectancy, the number of years a person can expect to live when born in a certain place in a certain year, changes. Life expectancy, the number of years a person can expect to live when born in a certain place in a certain year, changes. U.S., years U.S., years U.S., 2005, 77 years (30 year increase) U.S., 2005, 77 years (30 year increase)

5 Lifespan Research is Multidisciplinary Where did this information come from? Where did this information come from? Research and study in many fields of endeavor including psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, and medicine. Research and study in many fields of endeavor including psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, and medicine.

6 What types of influences form the context of development? Normative age-graded (cultural) Normative age-graded (cultural) e.g., puberty, graduation, retirement e.g., puberty, graduation, retirement Normative history-graded (historical) Normative history-graded (historical) e.g., war, famine, earthquakes, terrorism e.g., war, famine, earthquakes, terrorism Non-normative life events & conditions (personal) Non-normative life events & conditions (personal) Individual experiences, biology, personality Individual experiences, biology, personality

7 Historical Views of Human Nature Prevailing views of children (human nature) throughout history? Prevailing views of children (human nature) throughout history? Preformationism Preformationism Original Sin Original Sin Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa Innate Goodness Innate Goodness How does each view affect child-rearing practices? How does each view affect child-rearing practices?

8 Historical View: Preformationism Time: 6 th 15 th Centuries Time: 6 th 15 th Centuries View: Children are basically small adults without unique needs and characteristics. View: Children are basically small adults without unique needs and characteristics. Effect: Little or no need for special treatment Effect: Little or no need for special treatment

9 Historical View - Original Sin Time: 16 th Century (Puritan) Time: 16 th Century (Puritan) View: Children are born sinful and more apt to grow up to do evil than good. View: Children are born sinful and more apt to grow up to do evil than good. Effect: Parents must discipline children to ensure morality and ultimate salvation. Effect: Parents must discipline children to ensure morality and ultimate salvation.

10 Historical View - Tabula Rasa Time: 17 th Century, philosopher John Locke (behaviorist) Time: 17 th Century, philosopher John Locke (behaviorist) View: Children are born “blank slates” and parents can train them in any direction they wish (with little resistance). View: Children are born “blank slates” and parents can train them in any direction they wish (with little resistance). Effect: Shaping children’s behavior by reward and punishment. Effect: Shaping children’s behavior by reward and punishment.

11 Historical View – Innate Goodness Time: 18 th Century, philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau (humanist) Time: 18 th Century, philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau (humanist) View: Children are “noble savages” who are born with an innate sense of morality. View: Children are “noble savages” who are born with an innate sense of morality. Effect: Parents should not try to mold them at all. Effect: Parents should not try to mold them at all.

12 Issue: Nature vs. Nurture Nature = biological inheritance (genetics) Nature = biological inheritance (genetics) Rousseau (humanists) Rousseau (humanists) Nurture = all experience Nurture = all experience Locke (tabula rasa) Locke (tabula rasa) Is that all there is? (Is it neither?) Is that all there is? (Is it neither?) Are they separable? Is it both? Are they separable? Is it both? What is epigenetic theory? What is epigenetic theory? Interaction of nature and nurture Interaction of nature and nurture

13 What does age have to do with it? How many ways can we conceptualize (think about) age? How many ways can we conceptualize (think about) age? Chronological age: years since birth Chronological age: years since birth Biological age: health; vital organ capacity Biological age: health; vital organ capacity Psychological age: adaptable; learning; flexible; good judgment Psychological age: adaptable; learning; flexible; good judgment Social age: roles, expectations Social age: roles, expectations

14 What are the periods (age groups) of development? These are not standard across textbooks. However, they roughly agree. Prenatal - conception to birth Prenatal - conception to birth Infancy – birth to about 2 years Infancy – birth to about 2 years Early childhood – about ages 2-6 (preschool) Early childhood – about ages 2-6 (preschool) Middle & late childhood – about ages 6-11 Middle & late childhood – about ages 6-11 Adolescence – ages or puberty until about ages or independence Adolescence – ages or puberty until about ages or independence

15 What are the periods (age groups) of development? Early adulthood – ages 20/25 – 40/45 Early adulthood – ages 20/25 – 40/45 Middle adulthood – ages 40/45 – 60/65 Middle adulthood – ages 40/45 – 60/65 Late adulthood – ages 60/65 on Late adulthood – ages 60/65 on Young old: Young old: Oldest old: 85+ Oldest old: 85+

16 To what extent are we becoming an age-irrelevant society? People‘s lives are more varied. People‘s lives are more varied. We have a loose “social clock.” We have a loose “social clock.” The frequency of reported happiness is about the same for all ages. (78%) The frequency of reported happiness is about the same for all ages. (78%)

17 Theories (Perspectives) of Development Psychoanalytic /Psychodynamic Psychoanalytic /Psychodynamic Freud: unconscious mind; sexual motivation Freud: unconscious mind; sexual motivation Personality formed by age 6 Personality formed by age 6 Erikson: eight socioemotional stages in the life-span Erikson: eight socioemotional stages in the life-span (very influential; not very scientific/testable) (very influential; not very scientific/testable) Behavioral (tabula rasa) Behavioral (tabula rasa) Classical conditioning (automatic learning from experience Classical conditioning (automatic learning from experience Operant conditioning (reward & punishment) Operant conditioning (reward & punishment) Social-cognitive learning (observation & imitation) Social-cognitive learning (observation & imitation) (very testable, but ignores individual differences) (very testable, but ignores individual differences)

18 Psychoanalytic Theory: Erik Erikson ( ) Eight psychosocial stages in the lifespan Eight psychosocial stages in the lifespan Trust v. mistrust Trust v. mistrust Autonomy v. shame/doubt Autonomy v. shame/doubt Initiative v. guilt Initiative v. guilt Industry v. inferiority Industry v. inferiority Identity v. confusion Identity v. confusion Intimacy v. isolation Intimacy v. isolation Generativity v. stagnation Generativity v. stagnation Integrity v. despair Integrity v. despair

19 Review of Theories Recommendations: We will not be studying these theories directly in this course. However, their general principles may be referred to in explaining developmental events or processes. If you feel that you need to review them, I would recommend: 1. your textbook 2. any Introduction to Psychology textbook 3. www. allpsych.com Google the word in question, e.g., psychoanalysis, ethology, B. F. Skinner, etc.

20 Data Where do we get our data? Where do we get our data? What information are we going to believe? What information are we going to believe?

21 What are the techniques of collecting data? Observation Observation Survey/interview: asking questions Survey/interview: asking questions Standardized Tests Standardized Tests Physiological Measures Physiological Measures Case Study Case Study Life-history records Life-history records

22 What are the techniques of collecting data? Observation Observation Laboratory Laboratory Naturalistic Naturalistic People act/react differently when they know they are being watched. People act/react differently when they know they are being watched.

23 What are the techniques of collecting data? Survey/interview: asking questions Survey/interview: asking questions Unstructured/open-ended Unstructured/open-ended Structured, quantitative Structured, quantitative Ask the right questions of the right people. Ask the right questions of the right people.

24 What are the techniques of collecting data? Standardized tests: comparison of performance with others Standardized tests: comparison of performance with others Remember tests are cultural and they do not predict behavior in non-test situations. Remember tests are cultural and they do not predict behavior in non-test situations. You may also have difficulty finding a test that measures your variable of interest. You may also have difficulty finding a test that measures your variable of interest.

25 What are the techniques of collecting data? Physiological measures: hormones in blood; neurological measures (PET; fMRI) Physiological measures: hormones in blood; neurological measures (PET; fMRI) Remember there is never a one-to-one relationship between a physiological measure and a psychological state. Remember there is never a one-to-one relationship between a physiological measure and a psychological state.

26 What are the techniques of collecting data? Case study: intensive, in-depth study of a single case as with a physician-patient or therapist-patient relationship. Good for gaining insight. Case study: intensive, in-depth study of a single case as with a physician-patient or therapist-patient relationship. Good for gaining insight. Life-history records: education, work, medical, family Life-history records: education, work, medical, family

27 Research Designs Descriptive – includes more detail Descriptive – includes more detail Correlational – numbers show strength & direction of relationship Correlational – numbers show strength & direction of relationship Used for prediction Used for prediction Ranges from to (+ is direct; - is inverse) Ranges from to (+ is direct; - is inverse) Remember: correlation does not equal causation Remember: correlation does not equal causation

28 Experiments Manipulation in experiments means there is different treatment in different groups. Manipulation in experiments means there is different treatment in different groups. The experimental group experiences the “real” treatment or manipulation. The experimental group experiences the “real” treatment or manipulation. Control groups do not; they are for comparison. (“Placebo” controls get a fake treatment.) Control groups do not; they are for comparison. (“Placebo” controls get a fake treatment.) Random assignment of participants to groups ensures that groups start out the same. Random assignment of participants to groups ensures that groups start out the same.

29 Experiments Provide Evidence of Cause-Effect Relationships This is because of control and manipulation. This is because of control and manipulation. One situational factor (Independent Variable) is manipulated. One situational factor (Independent Variable) is manipulated. A behavior (Dependent Variable) is measured. A behavior (Dependent Variable) is measured. All other factors are “held constant” or the same in all groups. (This is control.) All other factors are “held constant” or the same in all groups. (This is control.) A change in the dependent variable (behavior) could only be caused by manipulation of the independent variable because all else was controlled. A change in the dependent variable (behavior) could only be caused by manipulation of the independent variable because all else was controlled.

30 Research on How People Change across the Lifespan Cross-sectional research: P eople of different ages are measured in the same year. Cross-sectional research: P eople of different ages are measured in the same year. Cohort effects may occur. These are differences due not to common age, but common experience Cohort effects may occur. These are differences due not to common age, but common experience Longitudinal research: T he same people are repeatedly measured across different years. Longitudinal research: T he same people are repeatedly measured across different years. Expensive, time-consuming, dropouts Expensive, time-consuming, dropouts

31 Research on How People Change across the Lifespan Sequential or cross-sequential research: a combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal Sequential or cross-sequential research: a combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal People of different ages are measure the first year. Then at intervals (e.g., 1, 5, 10 years), the same people are measured again and new groups are added. People of different ages are measure the first year. Then at intervals (e.g., 1, 5, 10 years), the same people are measured again and new groups are added.

32 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? We are information dependent We are information dependent Bandura – learn from observing others Bandura – learn from observing others Vygotsky – learn through conversation/communication with others Vygotsky – learn through conversation/communication with others What is the world’s tallest mountain? What is the world’s tallest mountain? Why do you believe that it is Everest? Why do you believe that it is Everest?

33 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Robyn Dawes Robyn Dawes Why believe that for which there is no good evidence? Why believe that for which there is no good evidence? (Or possibly evidence to the contrary?) (Or possibly evidence to the contrary?) Most of what we know, we actually believe that we know from authority and consensus. Most of what we know, we actually believe that we know from authority and consensus.

34 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Authority implies that the knowledge is reliable Authority implies that the knowledge is reliable Source is trustworthy Source is trustworthy No ulterior motives No ulterior motives Possibly a good reputation Possibly a good reputation In position to have this type of knowledge In position to have this type of knowledge However, we often attribute this to consistency of report/public exposure (media). However, we often attribute this to consistency of report/public exposure (media).

35 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Consensus leads to lack of doubt. Consensus leads to lack of doubt. (Surely somebody would know if this is false.) (Surely somebody would know if this is false.) The fallacy in consensus is that if the same misinformation (lie) is told often enough, everyone believes it for the truth. The fallacy in consensus is that if the same misinformation (lie) is told often enough, everyone believes it for the truth. Becomes “common sense” (common nonsense) Becomes “common sense” (common nonsense)

36 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Ways to Know Include Ways to Know Include Authoritative sources Authoritative sources Opinions of others (consistent or not) Opinions of others (consistent or not) Personal experience Personal experience Intuition (with or without confirmation) Intuition (with or without confirmation) Reason (I figured it out.) Reason (I figured it out.) Common sense Common sense Data Data

37 Consider the Limitations of Data Some things cannot be measured, or detected by the five senses Some things cannot be measured, or detected by the five senses Some variables cannot be ethically or possibly submitted to experimentation, only correlation Some variables cannot be ethically or possibly submitted to experimentation, only correlation This will not show causality. This will not show causality. Correlations may be spurious. Correlations may be spurious. There may have been bias in data collection. There may have been bias in data collection. The interpretation may be incorrect. The interpretation may be incorrect. Information for public consumption may be less accurate. Information for public consumption may be less accurate.

38 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? In our culture data trumps other sources In our culture data trumps other sources Recorded evidence, we can all agree Recorded evidence, we can all agree May not agree in Interpretation May not agree in Interpretation Tend to discount “pre-scientific” claims to knowledge/understanding Tend to discount “pre-scientific” claims to knowledge/understanding We even discount “old” data. We even discount “old” data.

39 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? This tends to lead to bias against non-data sources, earlier historical times, and less industrialized civilizations. This tends to lead to bias against non-data sources, earlier historical times, and less industrialized civilizations. “So easy a cave man could do it.” “So easy a cave man could do it.” Don’t bother to study history. Don’t bother to study history.

40 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Led to the postmodern mindset Led to the postmodern mindset Truth is relative to the situation and changes across time. Truth is relative to the situation and changes across time. There is no ultimate truth that is unchanging. There is no ultimate truth that is unchanging. No reliable causes and effects. No reliable causes and effects. Reality is socially constructed. Reality is socially constructed. Idea that we create knowledge and reality, and it is what we say it is. Idea that we create knowledge and reality, and it is what we say it is. Hence, we can change it. Hence, we can change it.

41 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Contrast the prisca sapientia view. Contrast the prisca sapientia view. Was there a pristine and superior ancient knowledge? Was there a pristine and superior ancient knowledge? How else do you explain the writings of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Hebrews? How else do you explain the writings of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Hebrews? How to you explain the Mayan calendar and the construction of the Egyptian pyramids? How to you explain the Mayan calendar and the construction of the Egyptian pyramids? How was it lost? How was it lost? Did the search for it lead to modern science? Did the search for it lead to modern science?

42 How Do We Know? Or Do We Just Believe? Contrast the prisca sapientia view. Contrast the prisca sapientia view. The existence of this knowledge would imply a fixed and unchanging set of principles for operation of the universe and the natural world, including the biological world, and possibly for human nature and the social world. The existence of this knowledge would imply a fixed and unchanging set of principles for operation of the universe and the natural world, including the biological world, and possibly for human nature and the social world.

43 Practical Critical Thinking 1. Stop to think. 1. Stop to think. 2. Theories are not proven facts. 2. Theories are not proven facts. 3. Findings of research can be misinterpreted. 3. Findings of research can be misinterpreted. 4. Correlations are not evidence of causation. 4. Correlations are not evidence of causation. 5. Be very suspicious of politicized research. 5. Be very suspicious of politicized research. 6. Interpret journalistic media cautiously as a source of presentation of scientific findings. 6. Interpret journalistic media cautiously as a source of presentation of scientific findings. 7. Always ask whether the topic is more likely a law or principle rather than a social construction. 7. Always ask whether the topic is more likely a law or principle rather than a social construction.

44 What is political research? Research that drives or justifies public policy and/or major business decisions is of great interest to powerful people. Research that drives or justifies public policy and/or major business decisions is of great interest to powerful people. Research must be funded. Research must be funded. Funding agencies can and do influence what topics are funded. Funding agencies can and do influence what topics are funded. There also may be pressure to bias the experimental set-up or to withhold the findings from publication. There also may be pressure to bias the experimental set-up or to withhold the findings from publication.

45 Evolutionary Developmental Psychology Theory based on a theory based on a theory. Theory based on a theory based on a theory. Extended juvenile period evolved so that we could learn to cope with society. Extended juvenile period evolved so that we could learn to cope with society. Or did society “evolve” to cope with the juvenile period? Or did society “evolve” to cope with the juvenile period?

46 Evolutionary Developmental Psychology Perspective here has profound effects on: Concern for the tradition of learning/socialization: Judith Harris (Nature Assumption, 1998) says parents not important; genes and peers rule. Views of the meaning of life: Was man made for nature/society or nature/society for man?


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