Life Span Development I Fall 2011
Developmental Psychology • Three most important debates or questions: • Nature vs. Nurture • Continuity vs. Stages • Stability vs. Change
Nature vs. Nurture • Plato argued that humans are born with innate knowledge and abilities. • Aristotle held that learning occurs through the five senses. • Tabula rasa or blank slate concept—our environment determines what messages are written on that slate.
Nature vs. Nurture • Nature Position • Human behavior and development are governed by automatic, generally predetermined signals in a process known as maturation. • Humans have critical periods, an optimal period shortly after birth, when an organism is especially sensitive to certain experiences that shape the capacity for future development.
Nature vs. Nurture • Nurture Position • Development occurs by learning through personal experience and observation of others.
Laurence Steinberg on Nature vs. Nurture • http://www.5min.com/Video/Laurence-Steinberg-on-the-Nature-vs-Nurture-Debate-304230832
Continuity vs. Stages • Continuity proponents • Development is continuous, with new abilities, skills, and knowledge being gradually added ay a relatively uniform pace. • Stage proponents • Development occurs at different rates, alternating between periods of little change and periods of abrupt, rapid change. • e.g., Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg
Stability vs. Change • Have you generally maintained your personal characteristics as your matured from infant to adult? • Does your current personality bear little resemblance to the personality you displayed during infancy? • Most psychologists prefer an interactionist or biopsychosocial perspective.
Physical Development • Conception-when your mother’s egg, or ovum, united with your father’s sperm cell. • The new cell developed is called a zygote. • Nine month development is broken into three stages: • Germinal Period • Embryonic Period • Fetal Period
Prenatal Development • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kGN2dcjNUY&feature=related • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2MFFzldkYQ&feature=related • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si20cxSHrWU
Environmental Conditions That Endanger the Child • Malnutrition • Stress Exposure • Exposure to X-Rays • Legal and Illegal Drugs • Diseases
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuBBLEf2u7I
Motor Development • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNizU5Jbhuw
Sensory and Perceptual Development • Newborns can smell most odors and distinguish between sweet, salty, and bitter tastes. • Breast-fed babies show a preference for their mother’s milk. • Newborn’s sense of vision is poorly developed • At birth 20/200-20/600 (the level of what you see at 200-600 feet is what a baby sees at 20 feet) • Newborns hear quite well • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDnBU4y0pm4
Adolescence and Adulthood • Puberty-the period of adolescence when a person becomes capable of reproduction. This signifies the end of childhood. • Adolescence is the loosely defined psychological period of development between childhood and adulthood. • Most dramatic sign is the growth spurt—rapid increases in height, weight, and skeletal growth.
Adulthood • After middles age, most physical changes in development are gradual and occur in the heart, arteries, and sensory receptors. • Cardiac output decreases and blood pressure increases due to stiffening of aterial walls. • Visual acuity and depth perception decline • Hearing acuity lessens • Smell sensitivity decreases • Aging does not appear to take a toll on memory loss; though, it does seem to take a toll on processing speed.
Ageism • Prejudice or discrimination based on physical age. • Byproduct of media. • Advertisers are shifting to cater to the large baby boomer population.
What causes us to die? • Set aside secondary aging i.e., disease, disuse, neglect. • Primary aging • Programmed Theory-aging is genetically controlled; cells have a built-in life span. • Damage Theory-an accumulation of damage to cells and organs over the years ultimately causes death.
Jean Piaget • Developed his four stages of cognitive development from the 1920s-1930s. • He demonstrated that a child’s intellect is fundamentally different from an adult’s. • He showed that infants begin at a “primitive” level and progress in distinct stages, motivated by an innate need to know.
Jean Piaget • Three major concepts: • Schemas • Infants are presented with nipples or nipple-like things and they suck. • Assimilation • Suck blankets and fingers • Accomodation • Eating solid food…with a spoon the infant first uses the sucking schema…
Jean Piaget • Stages of Cognitive Development • Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OinqFgsIbh0&feature=related • Preoperational stage (ages 2 to 7) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLj0IZFLKvg • Concrete operational stage (ages 7 to 11) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLj0IZFLKvg • Formal Operational stage (age 11 and over) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjJdcXA1KH8&feature=related • Stages cannot be skipped because skills at earlier stages are required for mastery in later stages.
Life Span Development II Social, moral, and personality development How sex, gender, and culture affect development Developmental challenges through adulthood
Attachment • John Bowlby-babies are equipped with following behaviors such as crying, crawling, smiling, etc. that elicit instinctive nurturing responses from the caregiver. • Konrad Lorenz- imprinting supported the biological argument for attachment. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UIU9XH-mUI&feature=related
Attachment • Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues found significant differences in the typical levels of attachment between infants and their mothers. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTsewNrHUHU • Strange situation procedure-researchers observe infants in the presence or absence of their mother and a stranger. • Securely attached • Avoidant • Anxious/Ambivalent
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development • Preconventional Level • Stage 1 (punishment-obedience orientation) • Stage 2 (instrumental-exchange orientation) • Conventional Level • Stage 3 (“good child” orientation) • Stage 4 (law-and-order orientation) • Postconventional Level • Stage 5 (social-contract orientation)
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development • Are people who achieve higher stages on Kohlberg’s scale really more moral than others, or do they just “talk a good game”? • Few gender differences in level or type of moral reasoning. • Some cross-cultural differences
Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdPPXGadRAU
Sex and Gender Influences on Development • Sex- biological maleness and femaleness, including chromosomal sex. Also, activities related to sexual behaviors, such as masturbation and intercourse. • Gender-psychological and sociocultural meanings added to biological maleness or femaleness. • Gender Roles-societal expectations for normal and appropriate male and female behavior.
Gender Differences • Females tend to score higher on tests of verbal skills, whereas males score higher on math and visuospatial tests. • Young boys are more likely to engage in mock fighting and rough-and-tumble play.
Gender Differences • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGoC8FTLKSI • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKVwcwXc4Dk&feature=related • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwersydp9-Y&feature=related
Androgyny • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBCMKmCn0g4
Cultural Influences Individualistic Cultures Collectivistic Cultures Cultures in which the needs and goals of the group are emphasized over the needs and goals of the individual. I am….a daughter, Chinese… 70% of the world lives in collectivist cultures. Sensitivity=behavior that conforms to a person’s role expectations. • Cultures in which the needs and goals of the individual are emphasized over the needs and goals of the group. • I am….shy, outgoing, a teacher, a student… • Sensitivity=behavior in accordance with one’s inner feelings.
Developmental Challenges Through Adulthood • Having realistic expectations in a relationship. • Finding a fulfilling career. • Personality-job fit theory • Activity Theory of Aging • Disengagement Theory • Socioemotional Selectivity Theory
Kubler-Ross Model of Death and Dying • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP5faZiDhuM