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Early Childhood

Early Childhood. Chapter 7-8 Psyc311 Jen Wright. Theory of mind . The ability to understand the existence of mental states in the minds of others Desires Beliefs etc. Strongly explanatory and predictive . Yet, non-tangible. Desires – “I want…” children speak about early (2 years)

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Early Childhood

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  1. Early Childhood Chapter 7-8 Psyc311 Jen Wright

  2. Theory of mind • The ability to understand the existence of mental states in the minds of others • Desires • Beliefs • etc. • Strongly explanatory and predictive. • Yet, non-tangible.

  3. Desires – “I want…” • children speak about early (2 years) • Beliefs – “I believe that…” • don’t show up in speech until 4-5 years • Desires – simple constructs • mind-to-world fit • concerned with the person • How we want the world to be • similar to emotions (non-representational) • Beliefs – more complex constructs • world-to-mind fit • concerned how the world • How it really is • representational

  4. Maxi “false-belief” tasks ? ?

  5. Succeeding at the false belief task… • Requires understanding that Maxi • has a mental state (belief) that is different from the child’s mental state. • has a mental state (belief) that is different from reality. • Beliefs come apart from reality • they can be false. • Desires don’t.

  6. Children can use belief states to explain behavior before they will use them to predict. • Katie is looking for her kitty. Her kitty is in the garage. Katie is looking for her under the piano. • Why is Katie looking under the piano? • When confronted with a behavior they can’t otherwise explain, children will appeal to a (false) belief. • She is looking under the piano cause she thinks the kitty is there.

  7. examples • Experimenter: Why does Jason cry? • Child: Because he was scared. • Experimenter: Why else does Jason cry? • Child: He thought it was a rattlesnake. • Experimenter: Was it really a rattlesnake? • Child: No. • Experimenter: Why is Ann smiling? • Child: ’Cause she likes cookies. • Experimenter: Why else is Ann smiling? • Child: ’Cause she’s happy. • Experimenter: Why else is Ann smiling? • Child: She thinks she can eat it? • Experimenter: Can she really eat it? • Child: It’s not real.

  8. Appearance-reality tasks

  9. What do all of these tasks have in common? • Executive function • The ability to override current information with • New information • Past information • Additional information • The ability to hold 2+ thoughts in mind and compare them.

  10. emotions and self-development Emotions are important in the emergence of self-awareness: • Self-efficacy • awareness that you can affect events in your surrounding • Self-control • learning to modulate emotional reactions • Self-concept • episodic memories • external vs. internal characteristics

  11. Self-esteem: higher order emotions that involve injury or enhancement to sense of self • shame, embarrassment, guilt, envy, pride • Emerge end of 2nd year, with sense of self • Accompanies other self-recognition tasks • Awareness of expectations/reactions of others • Important distinction between shame and guilt. • What is the difference? • Why do we call these emotions “moral emotions”?

  12. Emergence of the conscience: • moral awareness- sense of good vs. bad • Self-regulatory emotions • Guilt/Shame • Pride • Disgust • Inhibition of bad behavior, promotion of good behavior • socialization- culturally relevant norms and feelings

  13. empathy • May be more important for moral socialization than negative emotions • Global distress • Emotional contagion • Egocentric empathy (2 yrs) • Non-egocentric empathy (3 yrs+) • Cognitive empathy (middle childhood) • Abstract perspective-taking

  14. Play • Play: a pleasurable activity that is engaged in for its own sake • Theorists have focused on different aspects of play: • Freud and Erikson: play helps child master anxieties and conflicts, satisfies our exploratory drive • Play therapy • Piaget: play advances cognitive development; children’s cognitive development constrains the way they play • Vygotsky: play is an excellent social setting for cognitive development

  15. Importance of play • Cognitive development • Appearance – reality shift (make believe) • Theory of mind • Imagination • Social competence • Empathy • Role-playing • Emotional regulation

  16. Types of Play: • Sensorimotor play • behavior by infants to derive pleasure from exercising their sensorimotor schemes • Practice play • the repetition of behavior when new skills are being learned or mastered • Pretense/symbolic play • occurs when the child transforms the physical environment into a symbol • Social play • play that involves interaction with peers • Constructive play • combines sensorimotor/practice play with symbolic representation • Games • activities that are engaged in for pleasure and have rules

  17. Levels of social complexity • Parallel play • Parallel aware play • Simple social play • Complementary/reciprocal play • Cooperative social pretend play • Complex social pretend play • Meta-communication about play

  18. Parenting styles • Authoritarian: restrictive style in which parents demand obedience and respect • Parent places firm limits and does not allow discussion • Parent rigidly enforces rules but rarely explains them • Children are often unhappy, fearful, and anxious • Authoritative: encourages children to be independent while placing limits and controls on actions • Extensive verbal give-and-take • Parents expect mature, independent, age-appropriate behavior • Children are often cheerful, self-controlled, and self-reliant

  19. Parenting Styles • Neglectful: parent is very uninvolved in child’s life • Children feel that other aspects of the parent’s life are more important than they are • Children tend to be socially incompetent, immature, and have low self-esteem • Indulgent: parents are highly involved but place few demands or controls on the child • Children never learn to control their own behavior and always expect to get their way

  20. Two Dimensions: • Responsiveness • Demandingness

  21. Gender • Sex: biological classification of male or female • Gender Identity: the sense of being male or female • Gender Roles: sets of expectations that prescribe how females or males should think, act, and feel

  22. Gender • Two basic types of theories • Gender differences are built-in • Psychoanalytic: unconscious urges/tensions • Epigenetic: biological/genetic underpinnings • Gender differences are learned • Behaviorism: behavior is conditioned by reward/punishment • Cognitive: learned schemas (same as “restaurant” schema) • Socio-cultural: socialization, internalizing norms

  23. Parental Influences: • Mother’s Socialization Strategies: • Mothers socialize daughters to be more obedient and responsible than sons • Mothers place more restrictions on daughters’ autonomy • Father’s Socialization Strategies: • Fathers show more attention to sons than daughters, engage in more activities with sons, and put more effort into promoting sons’ intellectual development

  24. Peer Influences: • Peers extensively reward and punish gender behavior • Greater pressure for boys to conform to traditional gender roles • Children’s Groups: • Children show preference toward same-sex playmates by age 3 • From age 5 onward, boys are more likely than girls to form large groups and participate in organized group games • Boys engage in rough play, competition, conflict, etc. • Girls engage in “collaborative discourse”

  25. Emotions and motivation • Extrinsic – reference to rules, rewards, punishment • Intrinsic – reference to internal (emotional) states of self or other • E.g. makes me feel bad, hurts someone’s feelings • Providing extrinsic motivation (rewards) can interfere with intrinsic motivation. • Difference in rewards given after and those promised before hand.

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