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Developmental Psychology

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Presentation on theme: "Developmental Psychology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developmental Psychology
Unit 8

2 Topics in Developmental Psychology
Research Methods Prenatal Influence on Development Motor/Sensory Development Stage theories Cognitive/Moral/Gender Development

3 Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychologists study how our behaviors and thoughts change over our entire lives, from birth to death Researches seek to understand the relationship between Nature(genetic factors) and Nurture(environmental factors) and how they influence our behavior

4 Research Methods A couple different types of studies can be used to track behaviors in people over time: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal A Cross-sectional study may interview people from different age ranges and ask how their relationship with their parents are. A researcher would determine trends in relationships among different age groups. A Longitudinal study of this same topic would track the same people for their entire lives asking them to report every few years on the same data

5 Prenatal Influences Genetics can play a huge role in the behaviors we exhibit. Hereditary traits are passed down from parents that can influence our abilities such reflexes and motor skills. Twin studies have also been studied at length to see which traits are most influenced by genetic factors. Thomas Bouchard conducted a number of studies on twins separated at birth with astounding results.

6 Teratogens One Prenatal influence on our behavior that has been shown to be less to do with genetics are Teratogens. Teratogens are chemicals that cause harm if ingested or contracted by the mother while carrying a baby Alcohol is one of the most common Teratogens Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) may have damaging effects on newborns such as misshaped skulls and developmental delays. FAS comes from mothers who drink heavily. Fetal Alcohol Effect is a less severe, but still problematic condition(learning disabilities or behavioral problems) that may come from mothers who drink casually during pregnancy.

7 Motor/Sensory Development
All babies, regardless of genetic factors exhibit a specific set of reflexes upon birth. Rooting reflex: When touched on cheek, baby will turn its head to attempt to put touching object in mouth Sucking reflex: When object is placed in mouth, baby will suck Grasping reflex: If object is placed in baby’s hand, it will try and grasp Moro reflex: When startled, baby will fling out it’s arms and legs and quickly retract them making themselves as small as possible Babinski reflex: When foot is stroked, baby will spread toes

8 Newborn Senses Babies possess the ability to hear, even before birth and will try to turn their heads to the sound of the mother’s voice minutes after birth Babies also posses the same basic preference for taste we do, especially sweets Babies have poor eyesight, generally only seeing about inches in front of them. Their vision is usually developed around 12 months Babies also prefer to look at face-like images or objects with symmetrical proportions

9 Motor Development All babies develop motor skills in the same order, although timing may change from person to person Most babies can roll over at about 5-6 months Babies can generally stand at about 8-9 months Walking completely independently occurs around 15 months Parental encouragement has little to do with these developmental steps

10 Parenting Parenting is one of the major environmental factors in the development of a child. The relationship between a child and a parent is of vital importance In some species, such as geese, the infant will Imprint on individuals or objects they see just after birth. Human babies do not do this, but are attached to parents in other ways. Two significant researchers contributed to findings in the field of parental attachment; Harry Harlow & Mary Ainsworth

11 Harry Harlow & His Monkeys
Harry Harlow created an interesting experiment in which he tested baby monkeys experience with fake wire monkey mothers He created two monkey mothers out of wire, one with a bottle and one wrapped in a blanket When the baby monkeys were tested and frightened, stressed or surprised they chose the comfort of the blanket mother over the bottle mother. This experiment had long lasting effects on the behaviors of these monkey. The monkeys tested exhibited erratic behaviors the rest of their lives

12 Mary Ainsworth A second researcher studied attachment through a set of experiments in which babies were left alone by their parents in a strange room. The responses were grouped into 3 categories Secure attachment: 66% of infants explored the room when parent was present, got distressed when they left, and flocked to the parents upon return Avoidance attachment: 21%-Explore the new room but do not look to parents for comfort when they return to the room Ambivalent attachment: 12%-Have mixed reactions to parents. Extreme stress when parents leave, but do not seek comfort upon return

13 Parenting Styles Another important way children are shaped is the style of parenting that is used on a child. Researcher Diana Baumrind studied parental styles and categorized them in 3 ways: Authoritarian Parents Permissive Parents Authoritative Parents

14 Authoritarian Parents
Authoritarian parents set very strict standards for their children’s behavior and apply punishments for violations of rules Obedience is valued over an explanation of the rules. Punishment is used more than reinforcement If you break the rules, you get punished with little to no explanation of WHY the rules exist

15 Permissive parents Permissive parents do not set clear guidelines for their children The rules that do exist in the family constantly change or are not enforced consistently Children perceive that they can get away with anything due to parent’s inconsistencies in enforcing the rules Parents reactions to rule breaking is unpredictable; sometimes mad, sometimes apathy, sometimes threats of punishment but no follow through

16 Authoritative Parents
Authoritative parents have set, consistent standards for their children The standards that are set are reasonable and well explained Authoritative parents encourage independence, but not past the point of violating rules Praise is used as often as punishment When a punishment is given, parents are clear as to WHY they are giving the punishment

17 Effects of parenting styles
Authoritative parenting has the most desirable results Children from authoritative homes are more socially capable and perform better academically Children from permissive parents are more likely to have emotional problems and are more dependent Authoritarian parents’ children are more likely to distrust others and are withdrawn from peers. Parenting style is not the end all, be all in child development, but it is hugely important

18 Stage Theories One of the major arguments relating to developmental psychology is the debate over continuity and discontinuity. Are we developing continually, steadily over the course of our existence, or does our development happen periodically, and in various amounts? Biologically, we know our growth is discontinuous with huge spurts of growth coming as infants and an adolescent growth spurt as well. But what about psychologically? Do we go through stages, or are we growing and evolving mentally each day?

19 Freud and Erikson Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson were two pioneers in researching and theorizing the different stages of development. They believed in a discontinuous development and each had their own unique outline of when we pass through specific stages Freud described the Psychosexual stages of development in which we go through 5 stages Erikson, who was influenced by Freud’s work had an alternative stage theory that was more based on our interactions with others. It was called the Psychosocial stage theory

20 Cognitive Development
One main area of research in developmental psychology is the intellectual development of children. Intellectual development has been a notoriously difficult area to assess. The most famous researcher in the filed was Jean Piaget. Piaget worked on testing children’s intelligence. He noted that children of the same age very frequently gave the same wrong answers. Piaget determined that children create a schemata, or cognitive rules that they use to interpret the world

21 Assimilation and Accommodation
Normally, we incorporate our experiences into our existing personal Schemata in a process called Assimilation.. For instance, most children see a woman in a skirt and it makes sense because they have always seen women in skirts, so it fits. What happens if a child travels with their parent to Scotland and sees men wearing kilts. Their schemata is violated. They only believe woman are to wear skirts. Once the culture is explained to them, their schemata must be altered to fit in this new info in a process called Accommodation

22 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Piaget developed a series of stages that he believed we go through in our road to cognitive development. His 4 stages are: Sensorimotor (birth to approximately 2 years old) Pre-operational (2 to 7 years old) Concrete operations (8 to 12 years old) Formal Operation (12 through adulthood)

23 Sensorimotor Stage: Birth-2 years old
During this stage babies start exploring the world with their senses Babies very early on develop a cognitive schemata that explains the world through their senses Babies begin to develop Object Permanence. Initially, babies do not understand that an object exists even when they cannot sense it. The development of Object permanence is shown when babies start to look for or acknowledge missing items.

24 Preoperational Stage: 2-7 years
Once a child has developed object permanence, a child starts to use symbols to represent real world object. This is the beginnings of language Still have limited ability to consider the characteristics of objects Babies in this stage are very Egocentric. They lack the ability to see the world from anyone’s perspective but their own

25 Concrete Operations: 8-12 years
Children begin to think more logically about complex relationships between different characteristics of objects. Children demonstrate a knowledge of Concepts of Conservation. This is the realization that properties of objects remain the same even when shape changes. (Same amount of water poured into different shaped cups, play- doh spread out in different ways, 7+4 AND 8+3 both equal 11)

26 Formal Operations: 12-Adulthood
Adult reasoning begins. This is demonstrated by abstract reasoning. A person entering the Formal operation stage should be able to give a detailed answer to thought-provoking questions like “can you please give specific examples of how your life would be different if you had no parents?” They can’t see, smell or hear that, but they should be able to use logic to answer the question Comparing and contrasting different ideas is one major characteristic We can also think about the way we think: Metacognition

27 Criticisms of Piaget’s model
While many developmental psychologists agree that this order is on track, they believe it is a bit rigid. He may have under estimated children Piaget may have relied too heavily on the use of language in his tests giving a bias to older children The Information-processing model offers a more continuous explanation for our development. All of our cognitive skills are always developing instead of going through rigid steps. Most researchers agree, however, there is no perfect model.

28 Moral Development Lawrence Kohlberg studied a different aspect of how we develop; Morality. He was concerned with how our ability to reason about ethical situations changed over time One of his most famous experiments was the Heinz experiment. It’s story about a man who needs to steal a drug to save his wife’s life. He categorized responses into 3 groups

29 3 Stages of Moral Development
Pre-conventional: children make decision to least likely avoid punishment. Heinz shouldn’t steal because he will get in trouble Conventional: Can now look through others’ eyes. May try to please others with decision Heinz should do it because he will be seen as a hero. Post-conventional: Examines and weighs the rights and wrongs in situation. Societal rules may be challenged instead of followed blindly. Heinz should do it because the good of saving his wife outweighs the trouble he can get it.

30 Criticisms of Kohlberg
Failed, initially, to test girls. When he eventually did, he did not give their answers much weight. Researcher Carol Gilligan also added that men and women view moral dilemmas differently. Men are more concrete, she argued, in their views of Morality, while women pay more attention to individual circumstances She claimed boys had rules that applied to all situations while girls looked more at context

31 Gender and Development
Researchers have long studied the cognitive differences in the male and female brain Gender traits cross cultural lines, however, what may be considered masculine or feminine in one society, may not be the same in another Three main theories discuss the main differences between gender and development

32 Bio-psychological Theory
The bio-psychological theory looks at variances in the brain between men and women. The main takeaway from this theory is that women, on average, have a larger Corpus Callosum than men do. This allows left and right hemispheres to communicate better with each other

33 Psychodynamic Theory Psychodynamic theory was championed by Freud. He viewed gender development as a competition. Boys compete with their fathers for their mother’s attention and vice versa for girls. When the child realized he cannot win that battle, he begins to associate more with the parent of the same sex. Boys become more like their fathers and girls more like their mothers.

34 Social Cognitive theory
Social cognitive theory delves into the role society play in gender development. From a young age, boys and girls are taught to be specific ways Boys are taught to be more psychical and play rough while girls are taught to tend to matters in the house Children develop a schemata on how boys and girls are supposed to appropriately act

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