Development pg. 401-422 and 429-340 Developmental Psychology The study of how behavior changes over time Nature vs. Nurture Nature = Genetics & biology, maybe shaped by evolutionary factors, maybe hard wired or inherited Nurture = experience & learning behaviors, environmental pressure/allowances, require some kind of experience to develop. both play a role in our behavior and development Gene-environmental interactions: a genetic factor and an environmental factor must both be present in order to see an impact Gene: naturally low levels of iron Environment: low iron diet= iron deficiency Nature via Nurture: A person with a genetic predisposition may seek out or create environments that let them express their genetic tendencies ( Shy child becomes very anxious around new people parents attempt to protect child by minimizing contact with others appears that environment ?made? child shy Gene Expression: Some genes may only be turned on if certain environmental experiences occur (A gene that increases risk of depression by affecting neurotransmitter levels may only be expressed under certain environmental conditions, like high stress Pre-Birth and Early Life The Prenatal (before birth) Period ? Stages Zygote- fertilized egg Blastocyst (2 weeks)- ball of identical cells without specific functions Embryo- cells differentiating; organs & face take shapes Fetus (9 or more weeks)- heart beating; refining basic structures Brain Development Starts around day 18 of pregnancy and continues well after birth and through adolescence Proliferation = neurons in brain are developing in very high rate (Day 18 of pregnancy until the end of 6 months) Teratogens a variety of environmental factors that can negatively impact prenatal development EX: excessive maternal alcohol consumptions -Fetal alcohol syndrome Reflexes Rooting Sucking ( Purpose = Survival need of eating Factors That Affect Motor Development ?Nature? ( physical maturation to allow for strength & coordination ?Nurture? ( experience also important individual differences in terms of age of achieving markers both within and between culture Experience-Related Differences Swaddling reduces limb movement (slows motor development) but reduces crying Heavier kids take longer to hit milestones (need more muscle strength) Theories of Development Stage-like vs. Continuous Spurts or gradual Domain-general vs. Domain-specific Cognitive skills in general or individual concepts (e.g. language, counting) Principal source of learning Individual experience (piaget) or social interaction (vygotsky) Piaget: effectively founded developmental cognitive psychology much research on supporting/refuting his theories constructivist model: kids construct an understanding of their own world Piaget?s Model Stage theory: development occurs in several steps each step involves radical reorganization in way of thinking stages are domain-general Equilibration balance between experience & thoughts/knowledge -Assimilation: integrating new experiences into existing beliefs & way of thinking Child learns the word for dog; they call all four-legged animal dogs. -Accommodation: developing new ways of thinking to accommodate experiences that don?t fit with existing beliefs. The child learns, not all furry animals with four legs are dogs. Piaget?s Stages Sensorimotor Stage (0 ? 2) All information is from the senses Milestone: achieving mental representation =ability to think of things absent from immediate surroundings Lack object permanence = object continues to exist even when out of view Lack deferred imitation = the ability to perform actions observed earlier Preoperational Stage (2 ? 7) Can construct mental representation of experience & use symbols Marked by egocentrism and inability to perform mental operations (transformations) Difficulties with conservation tasks Egocentrism Inability to take another?s perspective (3 mountain task) Conservation What does ?more? or ?bigger? mean to kids? Concrete operations (7 ? 11) Can perform mental operations but only for physical events Accurate performance in conservation tasks Require experience; can?t do hypothetical or abstract tasks Formal operations stage (11+) Able to reason hypothetically beyond present Understand logic (if-then statements) & abstract concepts (love, justice) Plenty of Problems with Piaget More continuous than stage-like Not as domain-general as he claimed Culturally biased & may underestimate competence Some (many?) people don?t achieve FO Piaget?s Legacy Kids ? small adults Learning is active, not passive General cognitive development (smaller number of systems = parsimony) Vygotsky Scaffolding: parents structure learning environment for kids Zone of proximal development: period of learning new skill without being successful at it Domain-specific, non-stage based account
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