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British Empiricist School of Thought
Believed that all knowledge is gained through experience, child's mind is a blank slate; Tabula rasa [Locke]. There are no predetermined tendencies and dev. is completely dependent on experiences in the environment. It is the role of parents and society to mold the child to fit into society.
[Hobbes, Berkeley, Hume, J. Mill, and J.S. Mill] all in British Empiricist School of Thought
Opposed Locke's view and thought society was not only unnecessary for raising a child but also a detriment to optimal dev. Conveyed child raising thoughts in book (Emile: Concerning Education), book was so controversial Archbishop denounced it and Rosseau fled France to avoid arrest.
Functionalist System of Thought
- Involved with evolutionary theory which stressed the importance of studying the mind as it functioned to help the individual adapt to the environment.
- Theory proposed by Darwin who kept 'baby biographies' full of detailed information concerning sequence of physical and psychological dev. Darwin's theory also caused researchers to become interested in the study of individual differences.
G. Stanley Hall
- Inspired by Darwin
- Named "Father of developmental psychology"
- One of the first to do empirical research on children
- One of the founders of APA
- Believed in the importance of environmental influences in dev.
- Was a behaviorist; didn't think psychology should put any focus on mental states and the goal should only be to predict behavioral responses to particular stimuli and such
- Accepted tabula rasa theory
- Said "Give me a dozen healthy infants..."
- Thought even emotions were learned and parents had a great deal of responsibility for raising competent children and needed to avoid being too "sentimental"
Believed that dev. occured as a maturational (or biological) process; rejected learning and behaviorist theories (which focused on importance of environmental factors, learning, conditioning, and practice) and believed that much of dev. was biologically based and that the developmental blue print existed from birth
- Another major perspective in the view of psychology
- Originating in the work of Freud and arising out of clinical as oppossed to acedemic or research settings.
- These theories stress the role of subconscious conflicts in the dev. of functioning and personality
- A cognitive structuralist (where the thinking and ability of people is emphasized in dev.)
- Piaget saw children as more actively involved in their environment- constucting knowledge of the world through their experience with the environment
3 Methodologies in Dev. Psych:
- Cross Secctional studies- Compare groups of subjects at different ages
- Longitudinal studies- Compares/studies a specific group of people over an extended period of time
- Sequential Cohort studies- Combines both approachs and several groups of different ages are studied over several years
- Initiated the study of genetics, after studying pea plants hypothesized the existence of the basic unit of heredity; the gene.
- Suggested that each specific trait was controlled by an allele. For any given gene there are two alleles and each variation is represented by an allele that is either dominant or recessive
The total genetic complement (genetic makeup) of an individual
- The individuals observable characteristics (expressed traits)
- Individuals with identical phenotypes can have different genotypes
Genes are located on chromosomes. The 23rd pair of chromosomes determines the sex of the child (XX for female, XY for male; sex determined by father)
Nucleus of each cell in the body, except for sperm and egg, holds 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 total). These cells are called diploid- meaning the chromosomes they contain exist in pairs.
The gametes (sperm and egg cells) are haploid; they contain 23 single chromosomes. During conception the 2 haploid cells come together to make a diploid of 23 pairs; each parent contributes a gene for each trait. 50% of genes from each parent. 50% in common between siblings/fraternal, 100% for identical twins.Even very specific behaviors can have a genetic basis
Tryon and Maze Running
- Tested a large number of rats on maze running skills, both given equal number of trials to become familiar with maze. He then divided them into 3 groups: "Maze-bright" and "Maze-dull" and intermediate. Bred only brights with brights and dulls with dulls for several generations and found the difference between the groups intensified with each generation.
- Further research showed that the performance of the 2 groups differed only on mazes of the types Tryon used; on other types the maze-bright performed no better than the maze-dull (Proving the maze-bright were not just more intellegent and better at running all mazes)
Research Methods on Genetic Influence
- Family Studies- genetically related individuals are more likely to have similar phenotypes. Research often compare rates of similarity between related individuals and non-related (i.e prevelence of schitzophrenia). Family studies are limited because environment is also shared and thus cause between genetic and environmental factors cannot be determined
- Twin Studies- Mono and Dizygotic. Assumed the differences between them reflect heredity; MZ twins tend to be more similar in regard to cognitive, social, and emotional than DZ suggesting some genetic influence on these characteristics. [assumption not unchallenged; argue that MZ twins are treated more similarly by people than DZ and tend to imitate each other more so they may not necessarily share their environment to the same degree as DZ] On personality measures MZ raised in same house are most alike but MZ raised in different house are still more similar than DZ reared in same house. DZ reared apart least similar [shows personality characteristics are somewhat heritable]
- Adoption Studies- these studies compare the similarities between the biological parent and the adopted child to the similarities between the adoptive parent and the adoptive child. Child's IQ is more similar to biological parents' suggesting it's heritable. Criminal behavior in boys shows a similar pattern of heritability.
Compared groups of children with high IQ's (135 and above) with typical children in population to discover similarities and differences. Study was important because was first to focus on gifted children and it was a large-scale longitudinal study observing study group every 5 years
Genetic anomoly in which individual has an extra 21rst chromosome and show varying levels of mental retardation. Risk increases with age of parents because of genetic mutation
[genetic effects on intelligence and behavior is evident in people afflicted with mental retardation)
Genetic disorder that is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Results when the enzyme needed to digest certain amino acids (found in milk and other foods) is lacking, today infants are given a test that can avoid severe effects of disease with a strict diet. PKU was the first genetic disease that could be tested in large populations
Sex chromosome abnormality where males posses an extra X chromosome (an XXY configuration). These males are sterile and often have mental retardation
When females only have one X chromosome; often results in failure to deveop secondary sex characteristics and physical abnormalities such as short fingers and unusually shaped mouths
Stages of Conception
- [Important because the importance a maturing nervous system and hormonal levels have on behavior]
- Conception- takes place in fallopian tubes. The 2 gametes (ovum and sperm) combine to form a single cell, the zygote (or fertilized egg). Spends 2 weeks dividing and travelling from tube to uterus (germinal stage)
- Embryonic stage- embryo grows to about an inch long and starts to develop human like appearance
- Fetal period- takes place during the 3rd month (is marked by the beginning of measurable electrical activity in the brain)
External threats to prenatal develoment
- Maternal malnutrition is considered to be a leading cause of abnormal development
- Prenatal exposure to x-rays, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, protein deficiency, thalidomide (tranquilizer in 50's led to missing/malformed limbs), mothers who contract viral infections (measles, mumps, rubella) before the end of the 2nd month has a strong link to mental retardation
Reflexes in infants
- Automatic responses such as rooting. Other reflexes may have served an adaptive purpose in earlier stages of dev. now mainly used to compare the time they appear to established norms and assess whether neural dev. is taking place in the normal fashion
- Moro reflex- Infants react to abrupt movements of their head by flinging out their arms, extending fingers, and then bringing arms back in and hugging themselves (possible evolutionary link) this should dissapear by 4 month, if it is still present at one year it is a strong suggestion of dev. difficulties
- Babinski reflex- stimulate bottom of foot and infants spread toes
- Grasping reflex- infant grips object placed in their hand
Piaget and his 4 stages of dev.
- Held that children pass through 4 stages of cognitive dev., and that cognitive growth is a continuous process that begins at birth and proceeds through these stages
- Sensorimotor: 0-2
- Preoperational: 2-7
- Concrete operational: 7-11
- Formal operational: 11+
Schema (regarding infants according to Piaget)
- Children learn from interacting with the environment through reflexive behaviors (grasping reflex they learn they can grasp things)
- Schema- organized patterns of behavior and/or thought. Infants develop behavioral schemata, characterized through action tendencies; older children develop operational schemata characterized by more abstract representations of cognition
Adaption according to Piaget
- Adaption takes place through 2 compmlementary processes:
- Assimilation- the process of interpreting new info in terms of existing schemata
- Accommodation- occurs when new info doesn't really fit into existing schemata; the process of modifying existing schemata to adapt this new info
- Birth to 2
- 3 Important concepts:
- Primary circular reactions- the infant begins to coordinate separate aspects of movement. This is the advent of goal oriented behavior (i.e when the infant is hungry he/she will suck indiscriminately trying to gain satisfaction from putting something in his/her mouth) because of the repetition of this behavior it is called circular.
- Secondary circular reactions- While primary reactions are restricted to motions concerned with the body, secondary reactions are directed towards manipulations of objects in the environments
- Object permanence- occurs when child realizes that objects continue to exist even though the child cannot percieve their existence (instead of of sight out of mind). Object permanence marks the beginning of representational thought. This means the child has begun to make mental representations of external objects and events. Once the child begins this type of thought they have entered the next stage...
- Age 2-7
- Characterized by the beginning of representational thought (that objects continue to exist even when they can't be seen)
- Centration- another cognitive characteristic of this stage. This is the tendency to be able to focus on only one aspect of a phenomenon.
- One example of this is Egocentrism (i.e a child can tell you that she has a sister but can't accurately tell you if her sister has a sister)
- Another example of centration, children in this stage are unable to understand the concept of Conservation- the notion that the physical properties of matter (such as volume and quantity) don't change simply because the appearance of the matter changes (provided nothing is taken away/added) [Shown by beaker experiment. Piaget showed 2 identical beakers, kids said they're even. Then in front of kids pours one into a taller, skinnier beaker. Kids then say that one has more 'cause it's taller. When he pours it back kids say it is again equal]
Concrete operational stage
- Children can conserve and take the perspective of others into account (can think more logically, organized, rational), but are limited to working with concrete objects or information that is directly available. These children have difficulty working with abstract thought (or hypothetical situations).
- Child becomes able to "think like a scientist", able to think logically about abstract ideas
- Difference between this and concrete shown in pendulum experiment:
- Given pendulum in which they could vary length of string, weight, height of push, force, and asked to find out what determines the frequency of the swing. Concrete operational stage they manipulated variables at random and even distorted data to fit preconceived hypotheses. Adolescents though were able to hold all variables but one constant and proceed methodically to answer (length of string)
More on Piaget and criticisms
- Piaget believed that it was the dev. of thought that directed language (not vice versa); how we use language depends on what cognitive stage we're in
- Criticisms- Piaget preferred observational methods to statistical measures. Most believe this is fine as a supplement but empirical data is necessary. Researchers have also failed to find evidence of formal operations in adolescents and in non-technical cultures
Vygotsky suggests that it's the internalization of various interpersonal and cultural rules and processes (symbols, language) that drives cognitive dev. in children
Zone of proximal development- Vygotskys concept for skills and abilities that are in the process of developing but are not fully dev. yet. The difference in scores between a child taking a test on their own and taking the test with guidance from an adult
4 components of language
- Phonology- the actual sound stem of language. Children must learn to distinguish between sounds of language and environmental noises and speech sounds that do not denote differences in meaning. The ability to distinguish between sounds that denote differences in meaning and sounds that don't denote differences in meaning is called categorical perception. There are 40 phenomes (speech sounds) in English
- Semantics- involves the learning of word meanings. Must learn certain combinations of phenomes represent certain physical objects or events, and some can represent entire categories while others are more specific (Women vs mommy)
- Syntax- How words are put together to form sentences; the effect of word order on meaning
- Pragmatics- Actual efficient use of language. Must recognize meanings of inflections and be able to produce them well
Lenneberg, Rebelsky, and Nichols on babbling
As a precursor to language children begin to babble during their first year. The age of babble beginning is the same for hearing children with hearing or deaf parents, and deaf children. Hearing babies however continue to babble at increasing frequency peaking between 9 and 12 months while deaf children soon cease babbling. Study by Petitto and Marentette shows that deaf children with deaf parents will appear to 'babble using their hands'
Errors of growth
As children rapidly dev. more language around age 2-3 grammatical errors increase. As child begins to master complex general rules we often see 'errors of growth' or 'overregulation'. "I ran" becomes "I runned"; "hisself" instead of "himself". It is thought that children are generalizing some internalized rule. This suggests the language acquisition is not the result of imitation or reinforcement but the application of a dynamic internalized set of linguistic rules
Known for his study of transformational grammar- focused on syntax (changes in word order that differ w meaning) transformation and noted kids learn to make such transformations effortlessly at an early age. Therefore concluded this ability must be innate (why it seems to be easier for kids to learn a language than for adults). He called this innate capacity for language a language acquisition device (LAD) and it is thought to be triggered by exposure to language. Believed in a critical period for learning language (2-puberty). Case of Genie (isolated from all sound till 13), Genie could learn some aspects of language but not others. Shows there's not a critical time for language dev. but more a sensitive period for language development one (which occurs before the onset of puberty)
Libido (life or sex drive) is present from birth, not lying dormant until puberty. Believed the libido energy and drive to reduce the libidinal tension were the underlying dynamic forces that accounted for the human psychological process. 5 distinct phases, at each stage children are faced with the conflict between societal demands and a desire to reduce the libidinal pressure associated with different body parts. Fixation occurs when a child is overly indulged or overly frustrated in a particular stage of dev., as a result the child forms a personality pattern based on the particular stage that persists into adulthood.
Freud: Life Stage 1
Oral Stage-(0-1 yr), gratification is obtained by putting objects in mouth, biting, sucking. An orally fixated adult would likely exhibit excessive dependency.
Freud: Stage 2
Anal Stage- (1-3 yrs), gratification gained through elimination and retention of waste. Fixation at this stage would lead to either excessive orderliness or sloppiness as an adult
Freud: Stage 3 and 4
- Phallic- (3-6 yrs), time of Oedipal/Electra conflict boys want to sleep with their mother and kill their father but fear castration by their father and also feels guilty about his desires. Resolves guilt by identifying with the father, establishing a sexual identity, and internalizing moral values. Next child de-eroticizes or sublimates his libidinal energy- this may be expressed by collecting objects or focusing on school work. (electa opp. But ‘penis envy’ instead of castration fear)
- Stage 4- Once the libido is sublimated the child enters the LATENCY phase which lasts until puberty.
Freud: Stage 5
Genital phase- (begins during puberty and lasts until adulthood) If dev has proceeded correctly at this point the person should enter into healthy hetero-sexual relationships but if the sexual traumas of childhood have not been resolved fetishisms may result.
Erikson: General theory and Stage 1
- Psychosocial theory, dev is a series/sequence of crisis each with a favorable and unfavorable outcome. Emphasizes emotional dev and interactions with the social environment. Believe that dev occurred through resolutions of the conflicts between needs and social demands
- Stage 1- (0-1 yr) Trust vs Mistrust. If successful child will trust himself and environment if not may be distrustful of world, perhaps throughout life
Erikson: Stage 2
Stage 2- (1-3 yrs) Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt. Sense of will and competence in autonomy, if shame and doubt than sense of lack of control; feeling that what happens to one is the result of external influence instead of ones own volition.
Erikson: Stage 3
Stage 3- (3-6 yrs) Initiative vs Guilt, if good child will have sense of purpose, the ability to initiate activities and enjoy accomplishments. If bad child will be so overcome by fear of punishment they may either overly restrict themselves or overcompensate by showing off.
Erikson: Stage 4
Stage 4- (6-12 yr) Industry vs Inferiority, if favorable the child will feel competent, confident. If not child will have a sense of inadequacy, inability to act in a competent manner, and low self esteem
Erikson: Stage 5
Stage 5- (During adolescence) Identity vs Role Confusion, what Erikson called a “physiological revolution), if good one has the ability to see themselves as a unique integrated person with sustained loyalties. Bad results in confusion in identity and a kind of amorphous personality that shifts from day to day
Erikson: Stage 6
Stage 6- (young adulthood) Intimacy vs Isolation, Good then love, intimate relationships w others and ability to commit oneself to another person and to ones goals. If not resolved there will be an avoidance of commitment, alienation, distancing self from others and from own ideals; isolated and withdrawn or only capable of superficial relationships with others
Erikson: Stage 7
Stage 7- (Middle age), Generativity vs Stagnation, successful individual is a productive, caring, contributing member of society. If not overcome they may become self-indulgent, bored, self-centered, with little care for others
Erikson: Stage 8
Stage 8- (old age) Integrity vs Despair, If good then we see wisdom (or as Erikson called detached concern with life itself, assurance in the meaning of life, dignity, and acceptance that life has been worth while and now ready to face death) If not there will be feelings of bitterness about ones life, that it’s been worthless and also fear over ones own impending death
- Refers to individual differences as well as an individual's pattern of responding to the environment.
- Temperament is thought to be somewhat heritable, to emerge early in life (during infancy), to be stable over time, and pervasive across situations
Thomas and Chess
- Performed longitudinal study to examine temperament
- Proposed 3 categories of infant emotional and behavioral styles:
- Easy- Generally displays positive mood, regularity in body functions, easily adapts to new situations
- Slow to warm up- Initially withdraws but soon able to adapt to new situations
- Difficult- Tends to have negative emotions, irregular body functions, tend to withdraw in new situations
- Temperment measured in 3 ways:
- Parental reports of child behavior [maybe biased]
- Observations in naturalistic settings (home) [time consuming]
- Observations in laboratory settings [possibly not accurate of normal behavior]
Wolff and crying
- Identified 3 distinct patterns of crying:
- Basic cry: Usually hunger
- Angry cry: Frustration
- Pain cry: Painful stimulus
- Found even non-parents respond with accelerated heart rate to the pain cry. Infants learn by about 2 months that adults will respond when they cry
Social smiling and fear response
- Social smiling- first 'real' smiling. At first any face can elicit a smile then around 5 months only familiar faces will usually get a smile
- Fear response- At first any sudden change in level of stimulation evokes fear (turning on a light in a dark room) then grows more specific (may have separation or stranger anxiety) and can be reserved for the sudden absence of a specific individual. Often context dependent, a novel stimulus can elicit a smile in a familiar context and fear in an unfamiliar one
- Studied the importance of caregiver to infant bonding and its effect on emotional behavior. Used monkeys; took babies from their mothers and placed them with 'surrogate mothers' 2 types:
- Wire cylinder: Feeding nipple attached
- Terry cloth: No feeding nipple, food not provided
- Monkeys overwhelmingly preferred the cloth monkey suggesting that 'contact comfort' was more essential in bond formation than providing for physical needs
- Found that the wire monkeys were less socially adept and took longer to integrate w other monkeys than the cloth
- Raised some monkeys in total isolation and they were severely dysfunctional. If isolated less than 1 year certain other monkeys Harlow named 'therapist monkeys' would take on the task of bringing the dysfunctional ones back into society. However if the monkeys had been isolated over a year they were beyond help; they were sexually inept, overly aggresive, and would be abused by the other monkeys
- Studied children brought up in institutions and foster homes where physical needs were met but they often lacked intimate bodily contact; these children were usually timid and asocial
- Bowly identified several phases in attachment process:
- Pre-attachment- lasts several weeks, infant reacts to every adult and smiling face
- 3 months- infant discriminates between familiar and unfamiliar faces
- 6 months- infant seeks out and responds specifically to its mother
- 9-12 months- bonding intensifies and child begins to express stranger anxiety
- 2nd year- child reacts to mothers absense with strong protest- referred to as seperation anxiety
- 3rd year- child is able to seperate from mother without prolonged distress
- Demonstrated the universality of Bowly's attachment series theory with the "strange situation" procedure
- Mother brings child into unfamiliar room with toys in it, then series of 3 minute episodes:
- Child is free to explore
- Stranger comes in (silent at first, then talks with mother and plays with infant)
- Mother leaves room and stranger interacts with infant
- Mother returns and stranger departs
- Infant left alone
- Stranger returns and interacts
- Mother returns and stranger leaves
Ainsworth's attachment styles
- (Insecure)Avoidant (Type A)- Not distressed when left alone with stranger and avoid contact with mother upon her return
- Secure Attachment (Type B)- Mildly distressed upon seperation but greet mother positively upon her return
- (Insecure)Ambivalent/Resistant (Type C)- Distressed during seperation and are inclined to resist physical contact with mother when she returns
Ethologist (study animal behavior) Lorenz studied Imprinting- the rapid formation of an attachment bond between an organism and an object in the environment. Ethologist have sought to determine which specific stimuli infants will attach to (it is often a specific physical feature of mother, or specific movement). Lorenz imitated the strut of a jackdaw (bird) and the bird became attached or imprinted. Bird followed Lorenz and preferred human company to his own species, even attempted to initiate mating w humans. Led Lorenz to believe all imprinting happens during certain critical periods (again many argue there are sensitive periods but not critical periods)
Kolberg: Phases (and stages) of Moral Development
- Believed there were 3 phases of moral thought with each phase consisting of 2 stages each for a total of 6 stages. Each stage builds upon another and is associated with changes in cognitive structure.
- Phase 1:
- Preconventional Morality- Right and wrong are defined by hedonistic consequences of an action (punishment/reward)
- Punishment and Obedience [Stage 1]
- Orientation toward reciprocity (also called the 'instrumental relativist stage) [Stage 2]
- Phase 2:
- Conventional Morality- Based on social rules
- "Good girl/Nice boy" orientation- where one is looking for approval of others [Stage 3]
- "Law and order" orientation- Morality defined by the rules of authority [Stage 4]
- Phase 3:
- Post-Conventional Morality
- Social contract orientation- Moral rules are seen as convention that is designed to ensure the greater good [Stage 5]
- Universal ethical principles [Stage 6]
The Heinz Dilemma
Kohlberg devised a test to determine the moral level of a given individual; test consisted of a series of hypothetical moral dilemmas, such as: Heinz and his sick wife, drug cost 200 to make, sold for 2000, guy wouldn't lower price, he steals it; right or wrong? Answer not so much important as reasoning behind it.
Gilligan's criticism of Kohlberg
The postconventional phase has especially come under a lot of attack. Gilligan asserts that women adopt different perspectives on moral issues (which stem from the different ways the genders are raised). Points out all his research was done on males and should not be generalized. Gilligan's theory is that women adopt an interpersonal orientation as opposed to rule-bound thinking of men (womens way is neither more or less mature, just diff.) Basically Gilligan argues that womens morality tends to be focused around caring and compassion and more concerned with relationships and social responsibilities
Sociobiologists and Social learning, and Cognitive theorists on gender differences
- There are gender differences in personality and social behavior (mathmatical, spatial reasoning, linguistics). Sociobiologist think gender differences should be understood according to an evolutionary perspective. Men and women develop gender-stereotyped behaviors because of the historical survival functions of these behaviors
- Social learning theorist emphasize the social environment and the fact that children model their behavior after their parents and same sex peers.
- Cognitive dev theorist stress the importance of cognitions that children have concerning gender
Kohlberg's Gender Stages
- A cognitive developmental theory, 3 stages:
- Gender labeling (2-3 yrs)- Children achieve gender identity, realize they're a member of a particular sex and accept the label to themselves as sex, and can label others as such
- Gender Consistency (3-4)- Marks the period when children can predict whether they'll still be a boy or girl when they grow up- superficial and based off physical notion
- Gender Consistency (4-7)- Children understand the permanency of gender, regardless of what one wears or how one behaves
Martin and Halverson
- Gender schematic processing theory:
- (Builds on Kohlbergs theory)- holds that as soon as children label themselves they begin concentrating on behaviors they deem associated with their gender and pay less attention to whats assoc. with the opposite
- Proposes 3 parenting styles
- Authoritarian- use punitive control methods and lack emotional warmth
- Authoritative- high demands for child compliance (but score low on punitive control methods), utilize positive reinforcements and high on emotional warmth
- Permissive- low on control and demand
Authoritative raised kids are more socially and academically competent. Authoritarian and permissive raised kids tend to have difficulties in school and peer relations
Tend to play more vigorously with their children than mothers. Mothers tend to stress verbal over physical interactions