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What can you learn about developmental psychology at the beach?

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Presentation on theme: "What can you learn about developmental psychology at the beach?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What can you learn about developmental psychology at the beach?

2 The Study of Development
Developmental psychology is the field in which psychologists study how people grow and change throughout the life span, from conception until death. Psychologists use two methods to study people across the life span. The longitudinal method, in which researchers select a group of participants and then observe the same group for a period of time, often years or decades The cross-sectional method, in which researchers select a sample that includes people of different ages and then compare the participants in the different age groups

3 Reading Check Draw Conclusions What are two reasons that psychologists are interested in studying infancy and childhood? Answer: Early childhood experiences affect people as adolescents and adults, and by studying early stages of development, psychologists can learn about developmental problems.

4 Heredity and Environment
Developmental psychologists are concerned with two general issues: Ways in which heredity and environmental influences contribute to human development Whether development occurs gradually or in stages Psychologists have long debated the extent to which human behavior is determined by heredity (nature) or environment (nurture). Maturation is the automatic and sequential process of development that results from genetic signals. A critical period is a stage or point in development during which a person is best suited to learn a particular skill or behavior pattern. Arnold Gesell proposed that maturation played the most important role in development. John Watson’s view, however, favored the tabula rasa view of development.

5 Stages Versus Continuity
Developmental psychologists debate whether human development occurs primarily in stages or as a continuous process. Maturational theorists generally believe that most development occurs in stages. Jean Piaget is one of the most famous stage theorists. Other psychologists, including J. H. Flavell, argue that cognitive development is a gradual and continuous process.

6 Physical Growth Changes in reflexes, gains in height and weight, motor development, and perceptual development are examples of physical development. The most dramatic gains in height and weight occur before an infant’s birth. During infancy—the period from birth to the age of two years—dramatic gains continue in height and weight. During childhood—the period from two years old to adolescence—children gain on average two to three inches and four to six pounds each year until they reach the start of adolescence.


8 Reflexes A reflex is an involuntary reaction or response, such as swallowing. Reflexes are inborn, not learned, and they occur automatically. Reflexes include: Grasping Rooting Sucking Swallowing The Moro reflex The Babinski reflex As children develop, many reflexes, such as rooting and sucking, disappear. Some reflexes remain and others come under voluntary control.

9 Perceptual Development
Infants tend to prefer new and interesting stimuli. Infants’ perceptual preferences are influenced by their age. Infants’ depth perception seems to be influenced by experience.


11 Psychology in Today’s World
Raising a Better Child In the past, ideas about how to raise children generally came from one’s own family, religion, and other institutions within the community. Beginning around the 1900s, however, the theories of psychologists increasingly began to inform American parenting strategies. Why did parents look beyond traditional sources to learn how to raise their children? Social upheavals of the last hundred years give clues to the answer. One popular parenting idea is the “Mozart effect,” which says that playing Mozart’s music helps boost children’s intelligence. Results have been shown to be limited, however. Another idea deals with the importance of play. Some parenting books and theories have more merit than others. Parents need to do their homework when looking for help with their kids.


13 Thinking Critically What does the large number of child-rearing books suggest about the challenges that parents face? How do you think the ways that you played as a child have affected you?

14 Attachment Development of Attachment Contact Comfort
Attachment is an important factor affecting social development. It is defined as the emotional ties that form between people. Up until four months of age, infants prefer being held or even just being with someone. By about four months, infants develop strong attachments to their main caregivers, usually their mothers. By about eight months, some infants develop stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. Development of Attachment Based on studies with monkeys, researchers have concluded that attachment grows more from contact comfort than from feeding. Bonds of attachment between mothers and infants appear to provide a secure base from which infants can explore their environments. Contact Comfort

15 Secure Versus Insecure Attachment
Imprinting For many animals, attachment is an instinct. In a process called imprinting, some animals become attached to the first moving object they see. Children do not imprint. It takes several months before children become attached to their main caregivers. Secure Versus Insecure Attachment When mothers or other primary caregivers are affectionate and reliable, infants usually become securely attached. When caregivers are unresponsive or unreliable, infants are usually insecurely attached. Secure infants may mature into secure children.


17 Styles of Parenting Warm or Cold? Strict or Permissive?
Warm parents show a great deal of affection to their children. Cold parents may not be as affectionate toward their children or appear to enjoy them as much. Research suggests that children fare better when their parents are warm to them. Children of warm parents are more likely to be well adjusted. Strict or Permissive? Some parents are strict with their children, imposing many rules and supervising their children closely. Some parents are permissive with their children, imposing fewer rules and watching their children less closely. Authoritative parents combine warmth with age appropriate rules and responsibilities. Authoritarian parents believe in obedience for its own sake.



20 Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Assimilation and Accommodation Piaget believed that human beings use assimilation and accommodation to organize new information. Assimilation is the process by which new information is placed into categories that already exist. Accommodation is change brought about by new information. The Sensorimotor Stage The first stage of cognitive development is the sensorimotor stage. This stage is characterized by learning to coordinate sensation and perception with motor activity. It is also characterized by object permanence.


22 The Preoperational Stage
The next stage is the preoperational stage. It is characterized by one-dimensional thinking and egocentrism. The Concrete-Operational Stage In the concrete-operational stage, children begin to show signs of adult thinking. They are logical only when they think about specific objects and concrete experiences. They focus on two dimensions of a problem at the same time. They are less egocentric than children in earlier stages.

23 The Formal-Operational Stage
The final stage in Piaget’s theory is the formal-operational stage. People in this stage think abstractly. They can deal with hypothetical situations. They can solve problems and use imagination. Criticism of Piaget’s Theories Some psychologists have questioned the accuracy of Piaget’s views. Recent research indicates that preschoolers are less egocentric than Piaget’s research suggested. His theories are still respected, however.


25 Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
The Preconventional Level Children through the age of nine use preconventional moral reasoning to base their judgments of the consequences of behavior. The Conventional Level People at this level use conventional moral reasoning to make judgments in terms of whether an act conforms to conventional standards of behavior. The Postconventional Level Reasoning based on a person’s own moral standards of goodness is called postconventional moral reasoning. Bias in Kohlberg’s Theory Kohlberg’s stages and scoring system may have been biased to favor males.


27 What is your stage of development?
Activity that you will turn in


29 QUIZ What are the two methods used to study people across the life span? Developmental psychologists are concerned with which two general issues? Who is a psychologist with each of those issues? What are the four parenting styles? What is the 3rd stage of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development?

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