A Topical Approach to Lifespan Development John W. Santrock
Chapter 1: Introduction • The Lifespan Perspective • History • Characteristics • Nature of Development • Theories of Development • Context of Development • Research in Development
What is Development? • a pattern of movement and change • It includes growth, transition, and decline.
Why would you want to know about development? • To anticipate To avoid • To plan To understand • To cope To help
Where did this information come from? • Research and study in many fields of endeavor including psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, and medicine.
What have been the prevailing views of children (human nature) throughout history? • Preformationism • Original Sin • Tabula Rasa • Innate Goodness
Historical View Preformationism • 6th 15th Centuries • Children are basically small adults without unique needs and characteristics. • Little or no need for special treatment
Historical View - Original Sin • 16th Century (Puritan) • Children are born sinful and more apt to grow up to do evil than good. • Parents must discipline children to ensure morality and ultimate salvation.
Historical View - Tabula Rasa • 17th Century, philosopher John Locke (behaviorist) • Children are born “blank slates” and parents can train them in any direction they wish (with little resistance).
Historical View – Innate Goodness • 18th Century, philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau (humanist) • Children are “noble savages” who are born with an innate sense of morality. • Parents should not try to mold them at all.
Life Expectancy • - the number of years a person can expect to live when born in a certain place in a certain year. • US, 1900 47 years • US, 2005, 77 years (30 year increase) • Lifespan – the maximum number of years a person could live; 120 years
What are the characteristics of the lifespan perspective? • Multidimensional • Biological • Cognitive • socioemotional • Multidirectional • Growth and decline • Plastic • Potential for change
What are the influences of the context of development? • Normative age-graded • e.g., puberty, graduation, retirement • Normative history-graded • e.g., war, famine, earthquakes, terrorism • Non-normative life events • Individual experiences
How do we apply the restuls of research on lifespan development? • Parenting advice • Educational programs • Primarily on social policy.
Does the government have/spend adequate social welfare resources? • 15% of US children (almost 50% of ethnic minority children) will be raised in poverty including increased risk for stress from violence, crowding, poor housing, family turmoil, etc.
Does the government have/spend adequate social welfare resources? • 40-50% of US children can expect to spend at least 4-5 years in a single-parent home. • Drug-use and AIDS are still problems • Older adults need prescription drugs.
Social Policy • Marian Edelman (Children‘s Defense Fund, 2004) • Parenting and nurturing the next generation of children is our society‘s most important function and we need to take it more seriously than we have in the past.
What is generational inequality? • It is society being unfair to its younger members by giving more of its resources to older people. • How well off are older people? • Who would look after them if the government did not?
What are the three dimensions of development? • Biological - physical, genetic, brain development, motor skills, aging & decline • Cognitive - changes in thinking, intelligence & language • Socioemotional - relationships, personality
What are the periods of development? • Prenatal - conception to birth • Infancy – birth to about 2 years • Early childhood – about ages 2-6 (preschool) • Middle & late childhood – about ages 6-11 • Adolescence – ages 10-12 or puberty until about ages 18-22 or independence
What are the periods of development? • Early adulthood – ages 20/25 – 40/45 • Middle adulthood – ages 40/45 – 60/65 • Late adulthood – ages 60/65 on • Young old: 65-84 • Oldest old: 85+
To what extent are we becoming an age-irrelevant society? • People‘s lives are more varied. • All ages are about equally happy (78%) • We have a loose “social clock.”
How many ways can we conceptualize age? • Chronological: years since birth • Biological: health; vital organ capacity • Psychological: adaptable; learning; flexible; good judgment • Social: roles, expectations
What are the issues of developmental psychology? • Nature vs. nurture • Stability vs. change • Continuity vs. discontinuity
Issue 1: Nature/nurture • Nature = biological inheritance (genetics) • Rousseau • Nurture = all experience • Locke • Is that all there is? • Are they separable? • What is epigenetic theory? • Interaction of nature and nurture
Issue 2: Stability/change • When characteristics are biologically inherited or the result of early experiences, can they be changed? • Are the effects of early and late experiences equal, or are early ones more important (or later ones)?
Issue 3: Continuity/discontinuity • Did the change happen suddenly or gradually (first step; first word)? • Is there a marker event? • Does the old resemble the new (butterfly)?
Five Theories (Perspectives) of Development • Psychoanalytic (Freud) • Cognitive • Behavioral and Social Cognitive • Ethological • Ecological
Psychoanalytic Theory • Unconscious mind • Symbolic meaning of behavior • Early experience • Importance of emotion
Psychoanalytic Theory • Freudian personality • Id: instincts; energy; unconscious; no contact with reality; amoral; irrational • Ego: reasoning • Superego: conscience; moral branch • Repression: banishment into unconscious • Phallic stage: ages 3-6; Oedipus complex; identification with same-sex parent; development of superego
Psychoanalytic Theory: Erik Erikson (1902-1994) • Eight psychosocial stages in the lifespan • Trust v. mistrust • Autonomy v. shame/doubt • Initiative v. guilt • Industry v. inferiority • Identity v. confusion • Intimacy v. isolation • Generativity v. stagnation • Integrity v. despair
Psychoanalytic Theory: Criticisms • Not scientific or testable • Data was from memory and unreliable • Too much emphasis on sex • Too much emphasis on the unconscious • Too negative • Culture and gender biased
Cognitive Theories (1960s) • Emphasize thinking, reasoning, language • Jean Piaget: Swiss (1896-1980) • Children actively construct understanding • Four stages • Lev Vygotsky: Russian • Knowledge is constructed through interaction with other people • Information Processing • Analogy between human brain & computer
Behavioral & Social-cognitive Theories • Behavioral theories • Ivan Pavlov: classical conditioning • Pair a neutral stimulus with one (UCS) that automatically produces a response (UCR) • John B. Watson: conditioned emotional responses (Little Albert) • B. F. Skinner: operant conditioning • Behavior followed by a reward is more likely to occur again; punished behavior is less likely
Behavioral & Social-cognitive Theories • Social-Cognitive Theories • Albert Bandura: observational learning (Includes anger, cruelty, kindness). • Reciprocal determinism: behavior, the environment, and the person (and their cognitions) mutually influence each other
Ethological Theory • Based on study of animal behavior • Considers the influence of biology/evolution • Considers critical or sensitive periods • Konrad Lorenz: imprinting-rapid, innate learning • John Bowlby: attachment
Ecological Theory • Urie Bronfenbrenner • Emphasizes environmental concepts • Microsystem: daily life • Mesosystem: relates microsystems • Exosystem: influences from other social systems • Macrosystem: culture • Chronosystemn: (time) personal/social history
What are the methods of collecting data? • Observation • Laboratory • Naturalistic • People act/react differently when they know they are being watched. • Survey/interview: asking questions • Unstructured/open-ended • Structured, quantitative • Ask the right questions of the right people.
What are the methods of collecting data? • Standardized tests: comparison of performance with others • Remember tests are cultural and they do not predict behavior in non-test situations. • Physiological measures: hormones in blood; neurological measures (PET; fMRI) • Remember there is never a one-to-one relationship between a physiological measure and a psychological state.
What are the methods of collecting data? • Case study: intensive, in-depth study of a single case as with a physician-patient or therapist-patient relationship. Good for gaining insight. • Life-history records: education, work, medical, family
Research Designs • Descriptive – includes more detail • Correlational – numbers show strength & direction of relationship • Used for prediction • Ranges from -1.00 to +1.00 (+ is direct; - is inverse) • Remember: correlation does not equal causation
Experimental Research • Is evidence of cause-effect because of control and manipulation. • One factor (independent variable) is manipulated. • A behavior (dependent variable) is measured. • All other factors are held constant. • A change in the dependent variable could only be caused by manipulation of the independent variable.
Experimental Research • Manipulation means there is different treatment in different groups. • The experimental group experiences the manipulation. • Control groups do not; they are for comparison. • Random assignment of participants to groups ensures that groups start out the same.
Research Across the Life-span • Cross-sectional: people of different ages, same year • Cohort effects: due not to common age, but common experience • Longitudinal: same people; different years • Expensive, time-consuming, dropouts • Sequential: a combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal
Research Journals • Publish scholarly & academic information • Articles chosen by a board of experts for importance, methodology, writing • Written for other professionals, use technical terms, great detail • Format: abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, references • May have biases in interpretation of data.
Ethics in Use of Human Subjects • There should be a Human Subjects Review Board. • Informed consent/parental consent • Confidentiality • Debriefing • Deception