Developmental Psychology:Studies physical, cognitive and social changes through the life span.
Prenatal Development and the Newborn From zygote to birth, physical development progresses in an orderly sequence.
Infancy & Childhood Physical Development • You are born with the most brain cells you would ever have! • Neural networks multiply as we grow & gain abilities • Association areas for thinking, memory, and language are last areas to develop • Maturation - gradual unfolding of genetically-programmed physical changes
Infant Reflexes Rooting reflex Moro reflex Grasping reflex Babinski reflex
Infants & Habituation • Infants look longer at novel stimulus • Look less at familiar stimuli
Motor Development • Experience has little effect on motor development; it is mostly due to our genes & maturation
Maturation & Infant Memory • Infantile amnesia • Conscious memory at age 3 ½ (Bauer, 2002) • As we develop language, the way in which we organize memories change. • A 5-year-old has a sense of self and an increased long-term memory, thus organization of memory is different from 3-4 years. Infants do show evidence of some memory. (Rovee-Collier)
Temperament • Temperament = infant’s individual style & frequency of expressing needs/emotions • Difficult babies • Emotional, difficulty in adapting to new situations, easily fussy/reactive to stimuli (noise, temperature, jostling, etc.) • Easy babies • Less reactive, able to adapt to situational changes • Slow-to-warm up babies • Take time to warm up to new environments/people
Attachment & Familiarity • Familiarity forms during critical period & leads to attachment • Imprinting forms attachment during critical period in early life • Konrad Lorenz (1937) • Goslings were imprinted to him because he was the first being they knew • Attachment is instinctual in animals
Infants & Social Development • Attachment – bond between infant & caregiver • Stranger anxiety @ 8 months (Bowlby) • Showing anxiety towards someone new means they have an attachment to someone familiar (care-giver)
Attachment & Body Contact • Harry Harlow (1971) • Attachment forms through comfort, contact – NOT merely providing nourishment
Deprivation of Attachment What happens when circumstances prevent a child from forming attachments? In such circumstances children become: Withdrawn Frightened Unable to develop speech Harlow’s studies showed that monkeys experience great anxiety if their terry-cloth mother is removed.
Ainsworth’s Types of Attachment • Secure (60%) • Play & explore happily on their own • Distressed when caregiver leaves • Readily greets caregiver upon return • Insecure (30%) • Less likely to explore • Avoid or ignore caregiver (avoidant) • Very upset when caregiver leaves, but alternate between greeting/rejecting upon their return (ambivalent) • Disorganized
Temperament & Attachment • Sensitive parents have securely attached infants • Heredity (Rothbart, 2007) • Nurturing, sensitive parent (Van den Boom, 1990, 1995) • Even children of abusive parents develop attachment
References Kaplan, H. Development (PPT file). Retrieved from AP Psychology Commune web Site: http://www.appsychology.com Myers, D.G. (2011). Myers’ psychology for AP. Holland, MI: Worth Publishers.