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Developing Person- Intro Scientists who study physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life cycle are called developmental psychologists.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Person- Intro Scientists who study physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life cycle are called developmental psychologists."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Person- Intro Scientists who study physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life cycle are called developmental psychologists.

2 2 Developmental Psychology- work on Major Issues IssueDetails Nature/Nurture How do genetic inheritance (our nature) and experience (the nurture we receive) influence our behavior? Continuity/Stages Is developmental a gradual, continuous process or a sequence of separate stages? Stability/Change Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age.

3 Prenatal Development and the Newborn Conception begins when a woman’s ovary releases a mature egg The few sperm that reach the egg, release digestive enzymes that eat away the egg’s protective covering. As soon as one sperm penetrates the egg, the egg’s surface blocks all other sperm. The egg and sperm nuclei fuse and become one. Fertilized eggs are called zygotes. Week one- cells begin to differentiate while the outer part of the fertilized egg attach to the uterine wall.

4 Prenatal Development and the Newborn From 2 weeks until 8 weeks, the developing human is formed from the inner cells of the fertilized egg, is called a embryo. During the final stage of prenatal development, the developing human is called a fetus. Formed as the zygote attached to the uterus, the placenta transfers nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the fetus. Along with nutrients, a range of harmful substances known as teratogens can pass through the placenta

5 Prenatal Development and the Newborn Moderate consumption of alcohol can affect the fetal brain. If a mother drinks heavily, her baby is at risk for birth defects and mental retardation that accompany fetal alcohol syndrome. When a infant’s cheek is touched, it will vigorously root for a nipple. Other instant reflexes include sucking, swallowing, tonguing, and breathing. William James believed that a newborn experiences a “blooming, buzzing confusion.” This belief is incorrect.

6 Prenatal Development and the Newborn To study a infants’ thinking – psychologists have used a simple form of learning called habituation, which involves a decrease with repeated stimulation. Using the novelty- preference procedure, researchers have found that infants prefer sights, such as faces, that facilitate social responsiveness

7 Infancy and Childhood The developing brain over produces neurons. At birth, the human nervous system is not fully mature. Between 3-6, brain is developing most rapidly in the frontal lobes which enable rational planning. The last areas to develop are the association areas which are linked with thinking memory and language. After puberty, a process of pruning shuts down neural connections and strengthens others.

8 Infancy and Childhood Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior are called maturation. Infants pass the milestones of motor development at different rates, but the basic sequence of stages is fixed. Infants sit before they crawl and walk before they run.

9 Infancy and Childhood Genes play a major role in motor development. Until the necessary muscular and neural maturation is complete, including the rapid development of the brain’s cerebellum, experience has a small effect on learning to walk for example. Our earliest memories generally do not occur before age 3. This phenomenon is known as infantile amnesia.

10 Piaget stages of Cognitive Development Cognition refers to all of the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. First researcher to realize thought processes were different was Jean Piaget. To organize and interpret his or her experiences, the developing child constructs cognitive concepts called schemas.

11 Piaget stages of Cognitive Development The interpretation of new experiences in terms of existing ideas is called assimilation. The adaption of existing ideas to fit new experiences is called accommodation. Picture of Piaget- could not find good picture

12 12 Piaget’s Theory and Current Thinking

13 Piaget In the sensorimotor stage (0-2), babies take in the world by looking, hearing, touching, mouthing, and grasping. Children younger than 6 months of age do not grasp object permanence, i.e., objects that are out of sight are also out of mind (at 8 months they do)

14 Piaget Developmental researchers have found that Piaget and his followers underestimated young children’s competence. They underestimated babies grasp of simple laws of physics and a understanding of mathematics According to Piaget, during the preschool years and up to age 6 or 7, children are in the preoperational stage. The principle that the quantity of a substance remains the same when the shape of the container changes is called conservation. Piaget believed preschoolers have not developed this concept. (at 6 they can’t, at 8 they can)

15 Piaget Preschoolers have difficulty perceiving things from another person’s point of view. This inability is called egocentrism. The child’s growing ability to take another person’s perspective is evidence that the child is acquiring a theory of mind. Between 3 and a half and 4 and a half, children come to realize that others hold false beliefs.

16 Piaget This disorder characterized by deficient communication and social interaction and an impaired theory of mind is autism. This disorder is related to malfunctions of brains areas that allow us to take another’s viewpoint. The “high functioning” form of this disorder is called Asperger Syndrome. Baron- Cohen’s theory proposes that autism represents an “extreme male brain.” According to this theory, girls tend to be empathizers, who are better than boys at reading facial expressions and gestures. Boys tend to be systemizers, who understand things in terms of rules or laws.

17 Piaget In contrast to Piaget’s findings, researchers have discovered that the abilities to perform mental operations, to think symbolically, and to take another’s perspective begin to show up early and continue to develop gradually. Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky noted that by age 7 children stop thinking aloud and instead rely on inner speech. Talking to themselves helps children control their behavior and actions. Picture of Vygotsky

18 Piaget Piaget believed that children acquire the mental abilities needed to be comprehend mathematical transformations and conservation by about 6 or 7 years of age. At this stage, they enter the concrete operational stage. In Piaget’s final stage, the formal operational stage, reasoning expands from the purely concrete to encompass abstract thinking. Piaget believed most children begin to enter this stage by age 12.

19 Piaget Completing Piaget’s emphasis on interaction with the physical environment is Vygotsky’s emphasis on interaction with the social environment. When parents mentor children and give them new words., they provide, according to Vygotsky, a scaffold upon which the child can build higher level thinking.

20 Nourishment, Body Contact, and Familiarity on Infant Social Attachment Soon after object permanence emerges and children become mobile, a new fear, called stranger anxiety emerges. The fear emerges at about age 8 months. The development of a strong emotional bond between infants and parents is called attachment. Harlow’s studies of monkeys have shown that mother- infant attachment does not depend on the mother providing the comfort of body contact. Another key to attachment is familiarity

21 Nourishment, Body Contact, and Familiarity on Infant Social Attachment Human attachment involves one person providing another with a safe haven when distressed and a secure base from which to explore. In some animals, attachment will occur only during a restricted time called a critical period. Lorenz discovered that young birds would follow almost any object if it were the first moving thing they observed. This phenemenon is called imprinting. Human infants do not have a precise critical period for becoming attached. However, because of mere exposure, they attach to what they know

22 Secure and Insecure Attachment- Role of Parents Placed in a research setting called the strange situation, children show one of two patterns of attachment: Secure attachment or Insecure attachment. A father’s love and acceptance for his children are comparable to a mother’s love in predicating their children’s health and well- being. Separation Anxiety peaks in infants around 13 months, then gradually declines. This is true of children throughout the world.

23 Secure and Insecure Attachment- Role of Parents According to Erikson, securely attached infants approach life with a sense of basic trust. Most researchers now believe that the early attachments do form the basis of adult attachments. Attachment style is also associated with motivation. Securely attached people exhibit greater drive to achieve.

24 Parent Neglect, Family Disruption, and Day Care The Harlows found that when monkeys reared in social isolation were placed with other monkeys, they reacted with either fear or aggression. Most abused children do not later become abusive parents. Although most children who grow up under adversity are resilient and become normal adults, early abuse and excessive exposure to stress hormones may alter the development of the brain chemical serotonin.

25 Parent Neglect, Family Disruption, and Day Care When placed in a more positive and stable environment, most infants recover from disruptions of attachment. Experts agree that child care per se does not constitute a risk factor in children’s development. High quality care- supportive interactions with adults that is safe, healthy, and stimulating. More important than time spent in day care in influencing a child’s development are the family’s economic and educational levels.

26 Children’s Self Concept Primary social achievement of childhood is the development of a self concept which occurs in most children by age 12. A child’s self image generally becomes stable between the ages of 8 and 10, when children begin to describe themselves in terms of gender, group memberships, and psychological traits.

27 Describe Three Parenting Styles- Know what is most effective? Parents who impose rules and expect obedience are exhibiting a authoritarian style of parenting Parents who make few demands of their children and submit to their desires are known as permissive. Setting and enforcing standards after discussion with their children is the approach taken by authoritative parents Studies have shown that children with the highest self- esteem, self- reliance, and social competence usually have authoritative parents

28 Adolescence Adolescence is defined at the transition period between childhood and adulthood. The storm and stress view of adolescence is credited to G. Stanley Hall, a psychologist who studies adolescence. Begins at puberty- typically 11 for girls and 13 for boys. Growth is marked by primary sex characteristics (genitalia, reproductive organs as well as secondary sex characteristics pubic hair, breasts, etc)

29 Adolescence First menstrual period called menarche. In boys, the first ejaculation is called spermarche The sequence of pubertal changes is more predictable than their timing. Boys Maturing Early Characteristics- popular, self- assured, independent, prone to alcohol use, delinquency, premature sexual activity

30 Adolescence Girls Maturing Early- stressful because their bodies are out of sync with their emotional maturity. Reminds us that heredity and environment interact. Adolescent brain begins to go through pruning where unused neurons and connections are let go. Impulsiveness and riskiness comes from the fact that the frontal lobe lags behind the limbic system

31 Adolescents’ Reasoning and Moral Abilities Adolescents’ developing cognitive ability enables them to think about what is ideally possible and compare that with imperfect reality. During early teen years, reasoning is often self- focused, as adolescents often feel their experiences as unique. Piaget- final stage- concrete operational- characterized by abstract thought which enables them to spot inconsistencies and hypocrisy

32 Adolescents’ Reasoning and Moral Abilities The theorist who proposed that moral thought progresses through stages is Lawrence Kohlberg. These stages are divided into preconventional, conventional, postconventional Preconvention- obey rules in order to avoid punishment or gain rewards Convential- emerges in early adulthood; Emphasis is gaining social approval or upholding social order Postconvential- - individuals who base moral judgments on their own perceptions of basic ethical principles

33 Adolescents’ Reasoning and Moral Abilities The idea that moral feelings precede moral reasoning is expressed in the social intuitionist explanation of morality. Research studies using moral paradoxes involves more than merely thinking; it is also a gut- level feeling. Morality depends on social influence. Today’s character education programs have the goals of teaching children empathy for other’s feelings. Children who learn to delay gratification- more socially responsible through service learning. Tend to have better academic success. Moral ideas grow stronger when acted on

34 Erikson’s 8 Stages

35 To refine their sense of identity, adolescents in individualistic cultures experiment with different selves in different situations. The result may be role confusion, which is resolved by forming a self- definition, or identity. Some adolescents forge their identity early, simply by adopting their parents values and expectations. Others may assume an identity opposing that of their parent

36 Erikson’s 8 Stages During early to mid- teen years, self- esteem generally falls. During the late teens and twenties, self- esteem generally rises and identity becomes more personalized. Erikson saw the formation of identity a prerequisite for the development of intimacy in young adulthood.

37 Parental and Peer Influences Adolescence is typically a time of increasing influence from one’s peers and decreasing influence from parents. Most adolescents report they do get along with parents who tend to shape religious faith. When rejected adolescents withdraw, they are vulnerable to loneliness, self- esteem, and depression. As a result of increased body fat and weakened parent- child bonds, sexual maturity is beginning earlier than in the past. Emerging Adulthood- time from 18 to mid 20’s characterized by a not so settled phase of life

38 Adulthood During adulthood, age is not a very good predictor of people’s traits. Mid Twenties characterized by increased muscular strength, reaction time, sensory keenness, cardiac output. Because they mature earlier, woman also peak earlier. During mid 20’s, physical vigor has less to do with age than a person’s health and exercise habits.

39 Adulthood The cessation of the menstrual cycle known as menopause, occurs within a few years of 50. Lower levels of estrogen are produced. Woman’s experience during this time depends largely on her expectations and attitudes. Men experience lower sperm counts and lower levels of testosterone, and speed of erection and ejaculation during later life

40 Adulthood Life expectancy increased from 49 years in 1950 to 80 years and beyond in developing countries. Woman outlive men by 4 years worldwide, 5 in Canada, US, and Australia. With age, the tips of our chromosomes, called telomeres, shorten. Evolutionary theory suggests our bodies age and wear out because once we have completed our gene- producing and nurturing task, there are no natural selection pressures against genes that cause degeneration in later life.

41 Adulthood Human Spirit matters. Amazingly, people tend to pass right after their birthdays, a finding referred to as the death- deferral phenomenon. With age, the eye’s pupil shrinks and lens become less transparent. As a result, the amount of light that reaches the retina is reduced. Although older adults are more susceptible to life- threatening ailments, they suffer from short- term ailments such as flu less than young adults.

42 Adulthood Aging slows neural processing and causes a gradual loss of brain cells. Exercise stimulates brain cell development and neural connections, thanks perhaps to increased oxygen and nutrient flow. The mental erosion that results from progressive damage to the brain is called dementia. Alzheimer's Disease- irreversible disorder that causes progressive brain deterioration. Linked to a deterioration of neurons that produce AcH. (acetylcholine)

43 Aging on Memory and Intelligence Studies on learning and memory show that during adulthood there is a decline in the ability to recall new info., but not in the ability to recall such info. One factor that influences memory in the elderly is the meaningfulness of the material Adults prospective memory remains strong when events help trigger recall. Cognitive abilities among 70 year olds are more varied than 20 year olds

44 Aging on Memory and Intelligence Longitudinal Studies- compare people at various ages. Found evidence of intellectual decline during adulthood. Crystallized Intelligence- accumulation of stored info that comes from education and experience which tends to increase with age The ability to reason abstractly is referred to as fluid intelligence, which tends to decline with age

45 Path of Adult Development Contrary to public opinion, job and marital dissatisfaction do not surge during the 40’s, thus suggesting that a midlife crisis need not occur. The term used to refer to the culturally preferred timing for leaving home, getting a job, marrying, sand so is the social clock. Timing of these events is less predictable. More important than age are life events and chance encounters According to Erikson, the two basic tasks of adulthood are achieving intimacy and generativity. According to Freud, the healthy adult is one who love and work.

46 Path of Adult Development Human societies have nearly always included a relatively monogamous bond. Marriage bonds are usually lasting when couples marry after age 20 and are well educated. Today’s marriage- twice as likely to end in divorce than in Couples that live together prior to marriage have a higher rate of divorce. Marriage is a predictor- happiness, sexual satisfaction, health, income. Lesbian couples report a greater well being than those who are alone.

47 Path of Adult Development As children begin to absorb time and energy, satisfaction with the marriage itself decreases. This is particularly true among employed women, who shoulder most of the burden. For most couples, the children’s leaving home produces an increase in marital satisfaction. During first two years of college, most students cannot predict their later careers. Most do shift from their original major.

48 Life Satisfaction From early adulthood to midlife, people typically experience a strengthening sense of identity, confidence, and self- esteem. According to studies, older people do report as much happiness and satisfaction with life as younger people do and their feelings do mellow. As we age, the brain areas called the amygdale show decreased activity in response to negative events. People do better later in life due to biopsychosocial influences.

49 Life Satisfaction Grief over a loved one’s death is especially severe when it comes suddenly. Reactions to a loved one’s death do vary according to cultural norms. Those who show greatest grief do not purge their grief more quickly. Terminally ill and bereaved people do not go through predictable stages According to Erickson, the final task of adulthood is to achieve a sense of integrity.

50 Successful Aging

51 Developmental Issues Continuity and Stages Researchers who view development as a slow, continuous process are generally those who emphasize experience and learning. Biologists, on the other hand, view maturation and development as a series of genetically predisposed steps or stages. These include psychologists like Piaget, Kohlberg and Erikson.

52 Developmental Issues Stability and Change- Lifelong development requires both stability and change. Personality gradually stabilizes as people age. However, this does not mean that our traits do not change over a lifetime. Some temperaments are more stable than others

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