2Human DevelopmentEnvironment determines which of a person’s genes are expressed and how they are expressedNature and nurture both play a role in developmental outcomeHow much of who we are as humans is hardwired in our genes, and how much is the result of experience?What is human nature when it is stripped of society and culture?Genie’s extreme case provided the opportunity to witness and record the potential consequences of extreme social isolation
3“Inherited Obesity Is Amplified Across Generations” If having children is on your agenda and you want to help them avoid becoming overweight, lose weight yourself before you get pregnant. That’s the message from researchers who have found that obesity during pregnancy can cause lifelong obesity in the next generation. But as this ScienCentral News video reports, the researchers also found that diet can reverse this effect.
49.1 What Shapes Us During Childhood? Describe how the prenatal environment can affect development.Explain how dynamic systems theory illuminates the ways biology and environment work together to shape development.Describe key processes in infant brain development and how these processes affect learning.Describe the types of attachment infants have to their caregivers.Explain how attachment and emotion regulation are related.4
59.1 What Shapes Us During Childhood? Biological and social forces combine to shape the path of human development.developmental psychology: the study of changes, over the life span, in physiology, cognition, emotion, and social behaviorPhysically, each human grows and matures at about the same periods in the life span:prenatal period: begins with conception and ends with birthinfancy: begins at birth and lasts between 18 and 24 monthschildhood: begins at the end of infancy and lasts until somewhere between ages 11 and 14adolescence:begins at the end of childhood and lasts until somewhere between 18 and 21 yearsadulthood: begins at the end of adolescence and lasts until deathThe consistency of this pattern suggests that our genes set the order of development; however, the constant interplay between nature and nurture shapes who we are as we develop.5
6Development Starts in the Womb The process begins at the moment of conception, when sperm unites with egg to create the zygote, the first cell of a new life2 weeks: Zygote is firmly implanted in the uterine wall; next stage of development begins2 weeks to 2 months: Developing human is known as an embryo; organs and internal systems begin to form; exposure to harm — such as toxins, drugs, extreme stress, or poor nutrition — can having lasting effects on developing organ systemsAfter 2 months: Growing human is called a fetus; no new structures emerge after prenatal month 2; the fetus simply grows larger, stronger, and fatter, as the body organs matureMost healthy full-term pregnancies end with the birth of the baby between 38 and 42 weeks
7FIGURE 9.2a Development in the Womb (a) The union of egg and sperm forms a zygote.
8FIGURE 9.2b Development in the Womb (b) The zygote develops into an embryo.
9FIGURE 9.2c Development in the Womb (c) The embryo becomes a fetus.
10Hormonal Influences During Prenatal Development Hormones that circulate in the womb influence the developing fetusFor example, if the mother’s thyroid does not produce sufficient amounts of hormones, the fetus is at risk for lower IQ and diminished intellectual developmentThe mother’s emotional state can also affect the developing fetusHigh levels of stress hormones may interfere with normal development, producing low birth weight and negative cognitive and behavioral outcomes that can persist throughout life
11Exposure to Teratogens During Prenatal Development Teratogens: environmental agents that harm the embryo or fetus, e.g. drugs, alcohol, bacteria, viruses, and chemicalsThe extent to which a teratogen causes damage depends on when the fetus is exposed to it, as well as the length and amount of exposureDrinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to a variety of defects that collectively are referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD);the most severe being fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)Alcohol interferes with normal brain development and can cause permanent brain damage, especially to the neocortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The resulting impairments can negatively affect learning, attention, the inhibition and regulation of behavior, memory, causal reasoning, and motor performancePremature birth and other complications have been associated with the use of recreational drugs — such as opiates, cocaine, or cannabis — during pregnancyPaternal smoking is related to infant hydrocephalus, and paternal alcohol use is related to infant heart defects
12FIGURE 9.4 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Compare (a) the brain of a normal 6-week-old baby with (b) the brain of a baby of the same age with FAS. What effects do you see of the interrupted brain development caused by FAS?
13Biology and Environment Influence Developmental Milestones Children often achieve developmental milestones at different paces, depending on the cultures in which they are raisedDynamic systems theory: the view that development is a self- organizing process, where new forms of behavior emerge through consistent interactions between a biological being and his or her cultural and environmental contextsDevelopmental advances in any domain (physiological, cognitive, emotional, or social) occur through both the person’s active exploration of an environment and the constant feedback that the environment provides
14FIGURE 9.5 Learning to Walk Usually, a human baby learns to walk without formal teaching, in a sequence characteristic of all humans. The numbers of months given here are averages, however. A child might deviate from this sequence or these times but still be developing normally.
15Brain Development Promotes Learning The mind develops adaptively. New, useful skills appear at appropriate times, even in the absence of specific trainingNewborns have various basic reflexes that aid survival:grasping reflex:Some scholars believe this reflex is a survival mechanism that has persisted from our primate ancestorsrooting reflex:the turning and sucking that infants automatically engage in when a nipple or similar object touches an area near their mouthsAt birth the brain is sufficiently developed to support basic reflexes, but further brain development appears necessary for cognitive development to occur
16Myelination and Neuronal Connections Myelination occurs in different brain regions at different stages of development and is the brain’s way of insulating its “wires”Myelination begins on the spinal cord during the first trimester of pregnancy and on the neurons during the second trimesterThe myelinated axons form synapses with other neurons. The abundance of connections allows every brain to adapt well to any environmentThe brain organizes itself in response to its environmental experiences, preserving connections it needs in order to function in a given contextsynaptic pruning: a process whereby the synaptic connections in the brain that are used are preserved, and those that are not used are lost, e.g. “use it or lose it”Although most neurons are already formed at birth, the brain’s physical development continues through the growth of neurons and the new connections they makeEnvironmental stimulation, interaction, and nutrition affect aspects of brain development, including myelination
17FIGURE 9.7 Environment and Synaptic Connections These images illustrate the impact of neglect on the developing brain. The CT scan on the left is from a healthy 3-year-old child with an average head size. The CT scan on the right is from a 3-year-old child following severe sensory-deprivation neglect (e.g., minimal exposure to language, to touch, and to social interaction) during early childhood. This brain is significantly smaller than average, and its cortical, limbic, and midbrain structures are abnormally developed.
18Sensitive Learning Periods Certain connections are made most easily during particular times in development, as long as the brain receives the right stimulisensitive periods: time periods when specific skills develop most easilyLanguage is one skill that is easier to learn during early sensitive periods when the brain is more plastic (the first 5 to 10 years)The emergence of close emotional attachments with caregivers is another example of a developmental milestone most easily acquired in the early sensitive periods of infancy
19“Moms Who Listen”This Mother’s Day, thank your mom for listening. Psychologists now say that explaining things to your mom actually helps you learn better. This ScienCentral News video has more.
20Children Develop Attachment and Emotion Regulation Socioemotional development includes the maturation of skills and abilities that enable people to live successfully in the world with other peoplePeople who can productively express and cope with emotions without hurting themselves or others have developed the skill of emotion regulationThe bonds between parents and children motivate children to want to conform to adult expectations for emotional expressionBonding is an adaptive trait; forming bonds with others provides protection for individuals, increases their chances of survival, and thus increases their chances of passing along their genes to future generationsOne of the fundamental needs infants have is to bond emotionally with those who care for themattachment: a strong emotional connection that persists over time and across circumstancesAttachment is also adaptive; attachment is a dynamic relationship that facilitates survival for the infant and parental investment for the caregiversAttachment behaviors begin during the first months of life, but may vary somewhat, depending on cultural practicesAttachment motivates infants and caregivers to stay in close contact
21Attachment in Other Species Imprinting: a sensitive period during which young animals become strongly attached to a nearby adultHarlow’s monkeys and their “Mothers” findings established the importance of contact comfort — physical touch and reassurance — in aiding social developmentHarlow’s experiments provided an understanding of the origins of social behavior and offered insights into abusive behaviors seen in humansThis research also showed that some key behaviors, such as mothering skills, are learned and not genetically preprogrammedThe lack of nurturing skills has potentially long-term, intergenerational negative consequences
22FIGURE 9.9 Scientific Method: Harlow’s Monkeys and Their “Mothers”
23Attachment StyleAttachment responses increase when children start moving away from caregivers and typically display separation anxietyUsing the strange-situation test, Ainsworth identified infant/caregiver pairs:secure attachment: the attachment style for a majority of infants. The infant is confident enough to play in an unfamiliar environment as long as the caregiver is present and is readily comforted by the caregiver during times of distressinsecure (anxious) attachment: the attachment style for a minority of infants. The infant may exhibit insecure attachment through various behaviors, such as avoiding contact with the caregiver, or by alternating between approach and avoidance behaviorsAttachment is a complex developmental phenomenon; both parties contribute to the quality or success of the interactionsResearch shows that secure attachments are related to better socioemotional functioning in childhood, better peer relations, and successful adjustment at schoolInsecure attachments have been linked to poor outcomes later in life, such as depression and behavioral problems
25Critical Thinking Skill: Understanding That “Some” Does Not Mean “All” We tend to change relative probabilities to absolute statements when we convert terms such as some and more into allrelative possibility: If securely attached as an infant, a person is more likely to have healthy romantic relationships later in lifeabsolute statement: If I was securely attached to my caregiver in infancy, I will have better romantic relationships as a young adultBy focusing on the properly limited meanings of a study’s terms, we can draw correct conclusions from that study’s results
26Chemistry of Attachment Oxytocin plays a role in maternal tendencies, feelings of social acceptance and bonding, and sexual gratificationInfant sucking during nursing triggers the release of oxytocin in the mother and stimulates the biological process that moves milk into the milk ducts so the infant can nursePhenomena that appear to be completely social in nature, such as the caregiver/child attachment, also have biological influences
279.2 As Children, How Do We Learn About the World? Provide examples of techniques psychologists use to find out what infants know and can do.Explain how memory changes over time as children grow and learn.List and describe the stages of development proposed by Piaget.Explain how empathy and understanding others’ viewpoints influence changes in moral reasoning over time.Trace the development of language in infants and in older children.
28“Baby Talk and Brain Waves” Researchers studying the brains of toddlers say the strength of their brain waves can indicate language ability. The research might lead to early identification of language impairment.
29Perception Introduces the World The development of infants’ sensory capacities allows infants to observe and evaluate the objects and events around themInfants then use the information gained from perception to try to make sense of how the world works
30Infant Research Techniques Based on the observation that infants tend to look longer at stimuli that interest them, one type of experiment uses the preferential-looking technique:Researchers show an infant two things. If the infant looks longer at one of the things, the researchers know the infant can distinguish between the two and finds one more interestingBy using their knowledge of habituation, researchers can create a response preference in an infant for one stimulus over anotherOther experiments are based on the orienting reflex — humans’ tendency to pay more attention to new stimuli than to stimuli to which they have become habituated, or grown accustomedSuch tests are used to gauge everything from infants’ perceptual abilities to their understanding of words, faces, numbers, and laws of physics
31VisionThe ability to distinguish differences among shapes, patterns, and colors develops early in infancyDevelopmental psychologists use the preferential-looking technique to determine an infant’s visual acuityRobert Fantz was the first scientist to determine that infants prefer patterns with high contrastInfants’ visual acuity for distant objects is poor when they are first born; it increases rapidly over the first six months and reaches adult levels at around a year after birthThe increase in visual acuity is probably due to a combination of practice in looking at things in the world, the development of the visual cortex, and the development of the cones in the retina
32FIGURE 9.12 Testing Visual Acuity in Infants Which infant-research technique is being used here to test visual acuity?
33Auditory PerceptionThe infant’s abilities to recognize sounds and locate those sounds in space improve continuously as she or he gains experience with objects and people and as the auditory cortex developsBy age 6 months, the baby will have a nearly adult level of auditory functionAnthony DeCasper and William Fifer used operant conditioning to determine whether infants were aroused in response to specific sounds
34“Baby Music”Very young children are much better than adults at learning music. As this ScienCentral News video explains, the way young children experience music gives new insight as to how we learn.
35Memory Improves during Childhood Carolyn Rovee-Collier revealed that from a very young age, infants possess some types of memoryIn one experiment, with infants ranging from 2 months to 18 months old, older infants remembered the link between kicking and a mobile moving for longer periods
36FIGURE 9.13 Scientific Method: The Memory Retention Test
37Infantile AmnesiaInfantile amnesia: the inability to remember events from early childhoodPsychologists have offered various explanations for this phenomenon:Some psychologists believe that children begin to retain memories after developing the ability to create autobiographical memory based on personal experienceOther psychologists suggest that childhood memory develops with language acquisition because the ability to use words and concepts aids in memory retentionStill other psychologists theorize that children younger than 3 or 4 do not perceive contexts well enough to store memories accurately
38Inaccurate MemoryEvidence from investigations of source amnesia suggests that many of our earliest memories come from looking at pictures in family albums, watching home movies, or hearing stories from our parents — not from actual memories of the eventsThe fact that children have underdeveloped frontal lobes may explain why they are more likely than adults to confabulateResearch supports that memories can change based on later experienceMemory skills improve as cognitive abilities mature
39Piaget Emphasized Stages of Cognitive Development Piaget developed the theory that children go through four stages of development: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operationalPiaget believed that each stage builds on the previous one through two learning processes:assimilation: the process by which we place new information into an existing schemaaccommodation: the process by which we create a new schema or drastically alter an existing schema to include new information that otherwise would not fit into the schemaFrom Piaget’s perspective, children’s views of how the world works are based on different sets of assumptions than those held by adultsContemporary researchers argue that developmental “immaturity” in early-stage thinking actually serves very important functions for children’s abilities to grow in their mental processes
40FIGURE 9.15 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
41Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 Years) Sensorimotor stage: the first stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. During this stage, infants acquire information about the world through their senses and motor skills. Reflexive responses develop into more deliberate actions through the development and refinement of schemasAccording to Piaget, one important cognitive concept developed during this stage is object permanenceobject permanence: the understanding that an object continues to exist even when it cannot be seenObject permanence aids the child in developing attachments to a small set of consistent caregivers and contributes to the child’s understanding of the world of objects
42Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 Years) Preoperational stage: the second stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. During this stage, children think symbolically about objects, but they reason based on intuition and superficial appearance rather than logic.Children at this stage have no understanding of the law of conservation of quantity: that is, even if a substance’s appearance changes, its quantity may remain unchangedKey cognitive limitations of the preoperational period:centration: This limitation occurs when a preschooler cannot think about more than one detail of a problem-solving task at a timeegocentrism: This is the tendency for preoperational thinkers to view the world through their own experiencesInstead of viewing this egocentric thinking as a limitation, modern scholars agree with Piaget that such “immature” skills prepare children to take special note of their immediate surroundings and learn as much as they can about how their own minds and bodies interact with the world
43FIGURE 9.16 The Preoperational Stage and the Law of Conservation of Quantity In the preoperational stage, according to Piaget, children cannot yet understand the concept of conservation of quantity. They reason intuitively, not logically.
44Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 11 Years) Concrete operational stage: the third stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. During this stage, children begin to think about and understand logical operations, and they are no longer fooled by appearancesA classic operation is an action that can be undone, e.g. a light can be turned on and offAccording to Piaget, the ability to understand that an action is reversible enables children to begin to understand concepts such as conservation of quantityPiaget believed that children at this stage reason only about concrete things (objects they can act on in the world). They do not yet have the ability to reason abstractly, or hypothetically, about what might be possibleWith concrete information, children in this stage can think in much more logical and less egocentric ways than children in the preoperational stage
45Formal Operational Stage (12 Years to Adulthood) Formal operational stage: the final stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. During this stage, people can think abstractly, and they can formulate and test hypotheses through deductive logicPiaget found that adolescents can form hypotheses and systematically test themAdolescents are able to consider abstract notions and think about many viewpoints at once
46Challenges to Piaget’s Theory Piaget’s framework leaves little room for differing cognitive strategies or skills among individuals — or among culturesTheorists believe that different areas in the brain are responsible for different skills and that development does not necessarily follow strict and uniform stagesWithout specific training or education in this type of thinking, many adults continue to reason in concrete operational ways, instead of employing critical and analytical thinking skillsPiaget underestimated the age at which certain skills develop:For example, contemporary researchers have found that object permanence develops in the first few months of life, instead of at 8 or 9 months of ageIn Renée Baillargeon’s research, infants demonstrated some understanding that an object continues to exist when it is out of sightIn his various testing protocols, Piaget may have confused infants’ cognitive abilities with infants’ physical capabilities
47Understanding the Laws of Nature: Physics Numerous studies conducted by the developmental psychologist Elizabeth Spelke and colleagues have indicated that infants even have a primitive understanding of some of the basic laws of physicsHumans are born with the ability to perceive movement: A newborn will follow a moving stimulus with his or her eyes and head, and a newborn will also prefer to look at a moving stimulus than to look at a stationary oneInfants appear to use movement to infer that objects moving together are continuous, whereas for infants two stationary objects may or may not be continuous
48FIGURE 9.17 The Perceptual Effect of Occlusions in Early Infancy As shown by this rod-and-block test, infants are able to perceive that objects moving together are continuous. Understanding the relation between movement and physical properties requires cognitive skills beyond those that Piaget expected 4-month-old infants to have.
49Understanding the Laws of Nature: Mathematics Piaget concluded that children understand quantity — the concepts more than and less than — in terms of length. He felt that children do not understand quantity in terms of numberHowever, research by Jacques Mehler and Tom Bever indicated that when children are properly motivated, they understand and can demonstrate their knowledge of more than and less thanDespite Piaget’s enormous contributions to the understanding of cognitive development, the growing evidence that infants have innate knowledge challenges his theory of distinct stages of cognitive development
50FIGURE 9.18 Piaget’s Marble Test This test led Piaget to conclude that very young children do not understand quantity in terms of number. They understand it in terms of length.
51FIGURE 9.19 The M&M’s Version of Piaget’s Marble Test This test enabled Mehler and Bever to show that very young children can in fact understand quantity in terms of number. Children who might not have succeeded on Piaget’s marble test were able to choose the row that contained more M&M’s. Why?
52We Learn from Interacting with Others Early social interactions between infant and caregiver are essential for understanding other people and communicating with them through languageTo interact with other people successfully, we need to be aware of other people’s intentions, behave in ways that generally conform to others’ expectations, develop moral codes that guide our actions, and so on
53“Language Learning”New research is shedding light on the question of whether babies think before they learn language. This ScienCentral News video has more.
54Theory of MindTheory of mind: the term used to describe the ability to explain and predict another person’s behavior as a result of recognizing her or his mental stateThe recognition that actions can be intentional reflects a capacity for theory of mind, and it allows people to understand, predict, and attempt to influence others’ behaviorEven though preschool-age children tend to behave in egocentric ways and view the world through their own perspectives, mounting evidence suggests that they have the cognitive abilities to understand others’ perspectivesChildren’s development of theory of mind appears to coincide with the maturation of the brain’s frontal lobesUnlike theory of mind, however, the way people understand morality and come to view moral judgments can vary widely based on socialization history and cultural experiences
55Moral Reasoning and Moral Emotions Moral development is the way people learn to decide between behaviors with competing social outcomesTheorists typically divide morality into moral reasoning, which depends on cognitive processes, and moral emotionsResearch has shown that if people lack adequate cognitive abilities, their moral emotions may not translate into moral behaviorsLawrence Kohlberg devised a theory of moral judgment that involved three main levels of moral reasoning:preconventional level: earliest level of moral development; at this level, self- interest and event outcomes determine what is moralconventional level: middle stage of moral development; at this level, strict adherence to societal rules and the approval of others determine what is moralpostconventional level: highest stage of moral development; at this level, decisions about morality depend on abstract principles and the value of all lifeKohlberg considered advanced moral reasoning to include a consideration of the greater good for all people, with less thought given to personal wishes or fear of punishment
56Moral Reasoning and Moral Emotions Moral-reasoning theories such as Kohlberg’s have been faulted for emphasizing only the cognitive aspects of morality, to the detriment of emotional issues that influence moral judgments, such as shame, pride, or embarrassmentMoral actions, such as helping others in need, may be influenced more by emotions than by cognitive processesResearch on the emotional components of moral behavior has focused largely on empathy and sympathy:empathy arises from understanding another’s emotional state and feeling what the other person is feeling or would be expected to feel in the given situationsympathy arises from feelings of concern, pity, or sorrow for anotherMoral emotions, such as embarrassment and shame, are considered self-conscious emotions because they require comprehension of oneself as a causal agent and because they require an evaluation of one’s own responses in comparison to other peopleRecent research has shown that parents’ behaviors influence their children’s level of both moral emotions and prosocialbehaviorAdults’ displays of inductive reasoning promote children’s sympathetic attitudes, appropriate feelings of guilt, and awareness of others’ feelings
57FIGURE 9.20 Parental Behavior Affects Children’s Behavior Parents who are high in sympathy, and who allow their children to express negative emotions without shame or hostility, tend to have children who are high in sympathy.
58Physiological Basis of Morality Moral emotions may be based in the physiological mechanisms that help people make decisionsPeople with damage to the prefrontal cortex fail to become emotionally involved in decision making because their somatic markers are not engagedResearch by Damasio and colleagues shows the frontal lobes appear to support the capacity for morality
59Language Develops in an Orderly Way There is some variation in the rate at which language develops, but overall the stages of language development are remarkably uniform across individualsResearch has demonstrated that infants and caregivers attend to objects in their environment together and that this joint attention facilitates learning to speakLanguage enables us to live in complex societies, because through language we learn the history, rules, and values of our culture or cultures
60From Zero to 60,000Language can be viewed as a hierarchical structure, in that sentences can be broken down into smaller units, or phrasesPhrases can be broken down into words; each word consists of one or more morphemes (the smallest units that have meaning, including suffixes and prefixes)Each morpheme consists of one or more phonemes (basic sounds)The system of rules that govern how words are combined into phrases and how phrases are combined to make sentences is a language’s syntaxHumans appear to go from babbling as babies to employing a full vocabulary of about 60,000 words as adults without working very hard at itSpeech production follows a distinct path
61FIGURE 9.21 Acquiring Spoken Language In learning to read, these children are combining phonemes into morphemes.
62From Zero to 60,000Telegraphic speech: the tendency for toddlers to speak using rudimentary sentences that are missing words and grammatical markings but follow a logical syntax and convey a wealth of meaningIn other words, children speak as if sending a telegram. They put together bare-bones words according to conventional rulesAs children begin to use language in more sophisticated ways, one relatively rare but telling error they make is to over-apply new grammar rules they learn, e.g. adding –ed to a verb: runned, holded.These errors occur because children are able to use language effectively by perceiving patterns in spoken grammar and then applying rules to new sentences they have never heard before
63Acquiring Language with the Hands Petitto found that deaf babies exposed to signed languages from birth acquire these languages on an identical maturational timetable as hearing babies acquire spoken languagesFor example, deaf babies will “babble” with their handsThis research shows that humans must possess a biologically endowed sensitivity to perceive and organize aspects of language patternsThis sensitivity launches a baby into the course of acquiring language
64FIGURE 9.22 Acquiring Signed Language Deaf infants have been shown to acquire signed languages at the same rates that hearing infants acquire spoken languages.
65Universal GrammarNoam Chomsky revolutionized the field by arguing that all languages are based on humans’ innate knowledge of a set of universal and specifically linguistic elements and relationsChomsky believed we automatically and unconsciously transform surface structure to deep structure (the implicit meanings of sentences)Research has shown that we remember a sentence’s underlying meaning, not its surface structureFor example, you may not remember the exact words of an insult , but you will certainly recall the deep structure behind that person’s meaningAccording to Chomsky, humans are born with a language acquisition device, which contains universal grammar and allows all humans to come into the world prepared to learn any languageWith exposure to a specific cultural context, the synaptic connections in the brain start to narrow toward a deep and rich understanding of one’s native language over all others
66Social and Cultural Influences Psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed the first major theory that emphasized the role of social and cultural context in the development of both cognition and languageAccording to Vygotsky, humans are unique because they use symbols and psychological tools — such as speech, writing, maps, art, etc. — through which they create cultureCultural values shape how people think about and relate to the world around themCentral to Vygotsky’s theories is the idea that social and cultural context influences language development; in turn, language development influences cognitive developmentInteraction across cultures also shapes languagecreole: a language that evolves over time from the mixing of existing languagespidgin: an informal creole that lacks consistent grammatical rules
67FIGURE 9.23 Creole Language A creole language evolves from a mixing of languages. In Suriname, where this boy is reading a classroom blackboard, over 10 languages are spoken. The official language, Dutch, comes from the nation’s colonial background. The other tongues include variants of Chinese, Hindi, Javanese, and half a dozen original creoles, among them Sranan Tongo (literally, “Suriname tongue”).
68Animal CommunicationNonhuman animals have ways of communicating with each other, but no other animal uses language the way humans doTo test Chomsky’s assertion that language is a uniquely human trait, Terrace, Petitto, and Bever attempted to teach American Sign Language to a chimpanzeeASL-trained chimps use bits and pieces of language almost exclusively to make requests but otherwise are not able to express meanings, thoughts, and ideas by generating language
709.3 How Do We Progress from Childhood to Adolescence? Describe the key challenges faced in each of Erik Erikson’s first five stages of psychosocial development.Understand how biology and environment interact to influence puberty.Explain key factors that influence gender identity development and gender-specific behaviors.Describe how parents, peers, and cultural forces shape the sense of self.
719.3 How Do We Progress from Childhood to Adolescence? Identity formation is an important part of social development, especially in Western cultures, where individuality is valued.Psychologist Erik Erikson proposed a theory of human development that emphasized age-related psychosocial challenges and their effects on social functioning across the life span.Erikson further conceptualized each stage as having a major developmental “crisis,” or development challenge to be confronted.Each crisis provides an opportunity for psychological development; a lack of progress may impair further psychosocial development.71
73Physical Changes and Cultural Norms Influence the Development of Identity Biologically, adolescence is characterized by the onset of sexual maturity and the ability to reproduceDuring puberty, hormone levels increase throughout the bodyadolescent growth spurt:a rapid, hormonally driven increase in height and weightprimary sex characteristics:maturation of the male and female sex organssecondary sexual characteristics:pubic hair, body hair, muscle mass increases for boys, and fat deposits on the hips and breasts for femalesPuberty is affected by a complex and dynamic interaction between biological systems and environmental experiencesThe brain undergoes a phase of reorganization, with synaptic connections being refined and gray matter increasingThe frontal cortex of the brain is not fully myelinated until the early 20s, so adolescents have a difficult time thinking critically about the consequences of their actions or planning for eventualitiesSome psychologists use the term sex to refer to biological differences and the term gender for differences between males and females that result from socialization
74FIGURE 9.25 Physical Development during Adolescence These Images show the major physical changes that occur in girls’ and boys’ bodies as they mature from children to young adults.
77Cultural InfluencesChildren develop their expectations about gender through observing their parents, peers, and teachers, as well as through mediagender identity: personal beliefs about whether one is male or femalegender roles: the characteristics associated with males and females because of cultural influence or learninggender schemas: cognitive structures that reflect the perceived appropriateness of male and female characteristics and behaviors
78Biological InfluenceThe biological aspects of gender come from many sources, the most important of which is brain chemistryGender identity begins very early in prenatal development resulting from a complex cascade of hormones, changes in brain structure and function, and intrauterine environmental forcesA transgendered person was born with one biological sex but feels that her or his true gender identity is that of the other sexEthnic identity is also an important discovery for teenagers attempting to figure out who they are in light of the struggles their group may face within the dominant culture
79Peers and Parents Help Shape the Sense of Self The importance of peersThe importance of parents
80The Importance of Peers At around one year, infants begin to imitate other children, smile, and make vocalizations and other social signals to their peersChildren and adolescents compare their strengths and weaknesses with those of their peers and use peer groups to help them feel a sense of belonging and acceptanceMembers of cliques are thought to exhibit the same personality traits and be interested in the same activities; individuals are seen as virtually interchangeableTeenagers may not see themselves as part of homogeneous groups of peers and may see themselves as completely unique and individualAdolescent identity development is shaped by the perceptions of adults, the influences of peers, and the teen’s own active exploration of the world
81FIGURE 9.31 Cliques and Individuality Outside observers would tend to place these young men into a single clique, “punks,” and would tend to react to them all in similar ways. Each adolescent, however, might view himself as individualistic.
82The Importance of Parents Neither the peer group nor the family can be assigned the primary role in a child’s social developmentAcross cultures parents have incredible influence over the development of their children’s values and sense of autonomyOther research has shown that parents have multiple influences on their children’s attitudes, values, and religious beliefsThe best style of parenting is dynamic and flexible, and it takes into account the parents’ personalities, the child’s temperament, and the particular situationConflict helps adolescents develop important skills
83“Brain Building”Brain imaging research has uncovered new details about how young brains develop through the teenage years. This ScienCentral News video reports why idle isn’t better when it comes to mind.
84“Teen Sleep”Plunging grades, low self-esteem, and depression don’t have to be hallmarks of adolescence. As this ScienCentral News video reports, researchers now believe unhealthy changes in your child’s attitudes or schoolwork may be linked to lack of sleep.
85“Teen Mood Swings”If your teenager is moody, they really can blame changing hormones. For the first time scientists have identified a hormone that switches from soothing to stressful during puberty. This ScienCentral News video has more.
869.4 What Brings Us Meaning in Adulthood? Describe the key challenges of the last three of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development.Contrast an egosystem perspective with an ecosystem perspective.Understand the physical changes that occur as we age.Explain key research findings on the benefits of a healthy marriage and how to keep a marriage healthy after the birth of a child.Describe the cognitive changes that occur as we age.
879.4 What Brings Us Meaning in Adulthood? In recent decades, researchers working in a wide range of fields have demonstrated that important changes occur physiologically, cognitively, and socioemotionally throughout adulthood and into old age.Although aging is associated with cognitive and physical decline, it is an important part of life and can be very meaningful.87
88Adulthood Presents Psychosocial Challenges Intimacy versus isolation: Young adults face the challenge of forming and maintaining committed relationships with friends and partnersGenerativity versus stagnation: Middle aged adults contemplate how productive they areIntegrity versus despair: Older adults look back on their lives and respond either positively or with regret
89Adults Are Affected by Life Transitions People in their 20s and 30s undergo significant changes as they pursue career goals and make long- term commitments in relationships, as in getting married and raising childrenThe major challenges of adulthood reflect the need to find meaning in our livesPart of that search for meaning includes acknowledging, coping with, and playing an active role in the physiological, cognitive, and socioemotional changes of adulthood
90Physical Changes From Early to Middle Adulthood Between the ages of 20 and 40, we experience a steady decline in muscle mass, bone density, eyesight, and hearingThe better cognitive, physical, and psychological shape we are in during early adulthood, the fewer significant declines we will see as we ageBrain functioning and body health are “use it or lose it” phenomena: We have to keep oxygen and blood flowing by caring for those systems through adequate sleep, proper diet, cognitive stimulation, and at least moderate daily exercise
91Psychology: Knowledge You Can Use—How Can I Satisfy the Need to Belong? Egosystem and ecosystem are not mutually exclusive. It is important to develop a habit of mind that helps us see ourselves as interconnectedThree strategies will help you:Think and write about your personal values and priorities;Articulate goals you have that relate to outcomes for other people;Adopt an attitude of gratitudeThe research of Crocker and colleagues suggests that there is wisdom in taking a broader, less self-focused perspective (there is more than “looking out for number one”)This perspective might also help you negotiate the Eriksonian task of middle age: finding a sense of generativity (versus stagnation)
92MarriageThe vast majority of people around the world marry at some point in their lives or form some type of permanent bond with a relationship partnerPeople today marry later in life and the percentage who marry is declining slowly in most industrialized countriesMarried people typically experience increased longevity, greater happiness and joy, and are at less risk for mental illnesses such as depression compared with unmarried peopleUnhappily married people are at greater risk for poor health and even mortalityConflicts within marriage are associated with poor immune functioningNote, though, that these studies are largely correlational
93FIGURE 9.33a MarriageAcross cultures, marriage remains a building block of society. If the statistics hold true, (a) this Sami couple in Norway, (b) this Amhara couple in Ethiopia, and (c) this Hani couple in China will report being happy in their marriages.
94FIGURE 9.33b MarriageAcross cultures, marriage remains a building block of society. If the statistics hold true, (a) this Sami couple in Norway, (b) this Amhara couple in Ethiopia, and (c) this Hani couple in China will report being happy in their marriages.
95FIGURE 9.33c MarriageAcross cultures, marriage remains a building block of society. If the statistics hold true, (a) this Sami couple in Norway, (b) this Amhara couple in Ethiopia, and (c) this Hani couple in China will report being happy in their marriages.
96Having ChildrenBeing a parent is central to the self-schemas of many adultsA consistent finding is that couples with children, especially with adolescent children, report less marital satisfaction than those who are childlessMarriage researchers Philip and Carolyn Cowan have found that a couples’ failure to discuss roles and responsibilities before the birth of a child leads to misunderstandings and feelings of resentment after the birth of the childPartners who report their early married life as chaotic or negative early on are more likely to find that having a baby does not bring them closer together or solve their problems, but increases the existing strain
97The Transition to Old Age Can be Rewarding In Western societies, people are living much longer, and the number of people over age 85 is growing dramaticallyThe elderly contribute much to modern societyFor example, 40 percent of U.S. federal judges are over 65, and they handle about 20 percent of the caseloadMany older adults work productively well past their 70s
98FIGURE 9.34 Changing Views of the Elderly The Rolling Stones, now in their 60s and early 70s, have been making music for nearly 50 years. In your opinion, can senior citizens “rock”? Do older performers such as the Stones qualify as “elderly”? Explain your answer.
99DeteriorationThe body and mind start deteriorating slowly at about age 50Trivial physical changes include the graying and whitening of hair and the wrinkling of skinSome of the most serious changes affect the brain, where frontal lobes shrink proportionally more than other brain regionsOlder adults who experience a dramatic loss in mental ability often suffer from dementia: a brain condition that causes thinking, memory, and behavior to deteriorate progressivelyAlzheimer’s includes profound memory deficits and personality changesExcept for dementia, older adults have fewer mental health problems, including depression, than younger adults
100“Alzheimer’s Alarm”Brain researchers believe they have found the trigger for memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. This ScienCentral News video has more.
101“Is Alzheimer’s Diabetes” Is Alzheimer’s disease actually some kind of diabetes? New research is starting to support that idea. And as this ScienCentral news video reports, it could have the implications for treating Alzheimer’s.
102“Insulin for Alzheimer’s Disease” New research says that insulin, the hormone used to treat diabetes, might someday be useful for treating or preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
103FIGURE 9.36 Damage from Alzheimer’s Disease The brain on the bottom shows the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease in comparison to the normal brain on top. The holes (ventricles) in the middle of the brain are extremely large, and every section of gray and white matter has lost density.
104MeaningAccording to the psychologist Laura Carstensen’s socioemotional selectivity theory, as people grow older they perceive time to be limited, and therefore they adjust their priorities to emphasize emotionally meaningful events, experiences, and goalsFor example, some people choose to spend more time with a smaller group of close friends and avoid new people
105“Does Pleasure Get Old?” They say youth is wasted on the young, but when it comes to pleasure chemicals in the brain, the opposite may be true. A study released today shows that there is a drastic change in how our brains respond to pleasure and reward as we age.
106Cognition Changes as We Age Cognitive abilities eventually decline with age, but it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes the declineThe frontal lobes, which play an important role in working memory and many other cognitive skills, typically shrink as people grow olderOne of the most consistent and identifiable cognitive changes is a slowing of mental processing speedSensory-perceptual changes occur with age and may account for some of the observed declineSensitivity to sound also decreases with age, especially the ability to tune out background noiseAging also affects memory and intelligence
107MemoryGenerally speaking, long-term memory is less affected by aging than is working memoryOlder people often need more time to learn new information, but once they learn it, they use it as efficiently as younger people. They are also better at recognition than at retrieval tasks.Consistent with the socioemotional selection theory is the finding that older people show better memory for positive than for negative informationLogan’s findings suggest that one reason for the decline in memory observed with aging is that older adults tend not to use strategies that facilitate memoryAnother reason for declines in working memory is age-related reductions in dopamine activity in the frontal lobes
108“Estrogen and Memory”Estrogen levels may play a role in learning and memory in older women. As this ScienCentral News video reports, scientists have learned that estrogen can affect brain disorders that are related to old age.
109IntelligenceResearch has indicated consistently that intelligence, as measured on standard psychometric tests, declines with advanced ageFluid intelligence tends to peak in early adulthood and decline steadily as we ageCrystallized intelligence usually increases throughout life and breaks down only when declines in other cognitive abilities prevent new information from being processedAlthough memory and the speed of processing may decline, the continued ability to learn new information may mitigate those losses in terms of daily functioningContemporary work suggests there may be gender differences in both genetic susceptibility to the negative effects of aging and the level and severity of cognitive impairment late in life