can serve as a theory explaining emotional development.
Classical conditioning is a type of
learning in which individuals learn to respond to unfamiliar stimuli in the
same way they are accustomed to spend to familiar stimuli if the two stimuli
are repeatedly presented together. Once that response is applied on the
participant it’s possible to remove one of the stimuli and still get the same
response. This was shown in the Little Albert experiment; they found emotions
are classically conditioned responses of the autonomic nervous system. Using a
11-month old infant they were able to get him to fear furry animals by showing
the baby a white rat accompanied by a loud noise. This shows how it’s possible
to contour infant’s emotional state and influence what they are and are not
afraid of. One of the three ways that emotions develop is external, and with
classical conditioning they are able to trigger an emotional response form a
Summarize the results of the Skodak
and Skeels study and the Honzik study.
Explain how these studies underscore the importance of convergent data
in child psychology. Provide two other
examples that illustrate the importance of convergent data.
What Skodak and Skeels did a study about
correlations between children that were adopted and their biological mother,
children who were not adopted and their birth mother they lived with and
adopted children with their adoptive parents. Their results showed an identical
correlation between the child and their biological mother and an adoptive child
and their biological mother. There was no relation what so ever between the
adoptive child and their adoptive parents.
These studies underscore the importance of using convergent data, or
data obtained from different methods is because results like these can explain
to someone who is adopting a child that they should know they even though they
have a good stable home and more than likely have a higher IQ then their
biological mother they will still have the similarities with their birth
mother. Examples that illustrate the importance of convergent data is Piaget’s
experiments and brain imagining data that both point toward there being three
periods of qualitative change
Behavior geneticists assert that
genes and environment always interact.
Use three well-explained examples that illustrate this assertion. Can you think of any evidence that contradicts
These studies involve comparing
similarities of identical and fraternal twins raised together in the same home.
With identical twins they share the same genes since they are created from one
zygote but fraternal twins only share half their genes. If identical twins show
more resemblance then fraternal twins do it’s safe to assume the resemblance is
influenced by genes. But if on a given trait the two kinds of twins resemble
each other almost equally, we can assume that the resemblance is strongly influenced
by the environment.
Twins having schizophrenia: Gottesman found
that it’s possible that one identical twin can form schizophrenia and the other
will not. At that point it’s not about the genes that cause the disease to form
because if that was the case they both would have it. The environment, even
though they have not entered the world yet was the cause of forming the
disease. Where they were located inside the womb and that environment was what
formed the disorder.
Researchers compare characteristics of
adopted children with those of both their adoptive and biological parents. Even
though the adoptive parents put out environmental influences on their adoptive
child it does not determine any genetic similarities. Any similarities between
adopted children and their adoptive parents must be due to their social
environment and any similarities between these adoptive children and their
biological parents that they were not raised around must be the result of
and none shared environments
Investigators argue that the experiences of
identical twins, when reared together are more similar then fraternal twins
because their inherited predispositions evoke more similar responses from
people outside the family. Identical twins select more similar settings,
companions, and activities for themselves than fraternal twins do. This means
that identical twins have more shared environments then fraternal twins do, so
any similarities in their traits must be attributed to both environment and
their genetic makeup. This shows that
people are active creators of their own environments, both deliberately and
unintentionally shaping the many experiences in which they are exposed to.
What is heritability? How is it estimated? What do heritability estimates tell us about
the origins of important psychological characteristics?
the percent of variability in a population that has genetic origin, which can
vary from 0 to 1. The way to estimate heritability is dividing the genetic
variability by the total variability (which is genetics + environment). These
heritability estimates tell us if certain psychological characteristics are due
to genetics or environmental factors.
Define or identify the
following: 2-3 sentences at most
Erikson’s theory: Erikson held a
psychosocial theory which said that development was discontinuous, proceeding
through a series of stages. He said there were 8 specific stages of
development. Each stage specified the
personal and social tasks that the individual must accomplish, as well as the
risks the individual confronts if she or he fails at the tasks of that
view development as a continuous process, where each new event or change builds
on earlier experiences. Others view is as occurring in a series of discrete
steps or stages and others suggest that children use a variety of strategies in
thinking and learning and that change as the age changes.
was used to monitor the same groups of children from birth to the age of 18
years. They used it to assess patterns of stability and change over time.
the process that humans use to seek out or create environments that are
compatible with one’s own genetic predispositions. If someone is extroverted
they are going to search out other individuals that are also extroverted.
Answer in a well-formed paragraph
What are the external or exogenous
influences on the strength of classically conditioned responses? Does some specific set of external influences
form an “ideal environment” for emotional development?
external influences on the strength of classically conditioned responses are
the conditioned stimuli. The factor that they apply in order for there to be a
conditioned response. Each individual would have a specific set of external
influences that form their ideal environment” for emotional development.
What are identical twins who are
discordant for schizophrenia? What have
we learned from the study of these twins.
twins have had similar health problems, and experienced the same life
How does autism illustrate the
importance of behavior genetic research?
importance in behavior genetic research with autism is because it helped
relieve a lot of parents of the burden that their child had autism because of
them. Not only did they have a retarded child, they were also getting blamed
for it. Before behavior genetic research it was seen that autism was a result
of rejecting parents which formed normal child to become cold. Later it was
found that it was genetically based which helped a lot of parents.
Explain Waddington’s model of cell differentiation in
development. Can you relate this
model to the concept of critical period?
Of Teratogens? Explain your
original definition of epigenesis referred to changes in the state of cell
differentiation during development, and the way in which cell fates become
restricted as development proceeds. When
an embryo develops, cell differentiation is critical, because it allows the developing
organism to create numerous different needed cell types, from neurons which will make up the
brain to epidermal cells which will create the upper layers of skin. Once
mature, the organism will have germ
cells, somatic cells, and adult stem
cells. Germ cells are haploid cells which are used in reproduction,
while somatic cells make up most of the cells in the body, with over 250 known
kinds of cell in the human body alone
environment agent, such as a drug, medication, dietary imbalance, or polluting
substance that may cause developmental deviations in a growing human organism;
most threatening in the embryonic stage but capable of causing abnormalities in
the fetal stage as well.
Define the concepts of critical and sensitive period. How were these concepts discovered? Can you relate these to the timing
sensitivities in pre-natal development?
To the scheduling of cataract surgery? To the Rosenzwieg experiments?
Critical and sensitive periods are the influence
of biological and experiential factors during periods of developmental change.
A critical or sensitive period is defined as a period when certain experiences
are particularly important because they have a significant influence on later
development. Cross sectional design demonstrated a sensitive period.
Sensitive period correspondent with the age in which the brain growth was
faster. Sensitivity of the growing
embryo to Teratogens is greatest in the first four to eight weeks of
development. If teratogens get to the embryo it’s so defenseless that it dies.
If it happens in later weeks it’s likely to stunt its growth or cause
functional problems. If cataract surgery is done before the part of the visual
development is complete it is possible for the brain develop a normal visual
Describe the visual cliff experiment thoroughly and explain why
it has had such a significant impact.
In several sentences each, describe three experiments that follow
the general inferential model of the visual cliff experiment.
The visual cliff experiment consists of an elevated
glass platform with a checkerboard pattern directly beneath the glass on one
side(shallow side) and the same pattern several feet below the glass on the
other side(deep side). If the baby was over 6 months they would not cross to
their mother showing they have developed depth perception. The “rough” test.
The rat brain size test, more complex environment showed larger
Describe the Rosenzwieg experiments thoroughly. Explain why the results of these
experiments are so important and relate the results to public policy
Impoverished and enriched rearing environments in rats,
how brain weight increases with age(male brains tend to be heavier then females
brains because of men’s larger body size but this has no correlation with
Describe the important events in the development of gender and
gender identity. How does your
answer relate to the nature/nurture theme?
Describe the important lessons to be learned from the David Reimer Case.
are the determining factor when it comes to development of gender and gender
identity. Males have small amounts of female hormones as do the same with
females. In the prenatal period, hormones organize the biological and psychological
predisposititions to be masculine or feminine and the surge of hormonal
functions during puberty. are we shaped by our biology (nature), or are we
products of learning through life's experiences (nurture)?
David reamer case shows us
that its not possible to make a born male into a female and for that person to
believe they are something they are not. He still acted like a guy and felt
like a male as well. It just resulted in a lot of psychological problems and
eventually killed himself.
What is development?
How do theories of such things as conditioning, cognition, social
interaction become developmental theories?
Development is the changes in the observed behaviors
and then by uncovering the processes and strategies that underlie these
Classical conditioning is a type of learning
where individuals learn to respond to unfamiliar stimuli in the same way they
are accustomed to respond to familiar stimuli if the two stimuli are repeatedly
Cognition social learning theory stresses
learning by observation and imitation mediated by cognitive processes and
Use the concepts of critical and sensitive periods to
illustrate the importance of timing of experiences. Give at least one example from each section
of the course.
Critical periods are the specific period in
children’s development when they are sensitive to a particular environmental
stimulus that does not have the same effect on them when encountered before or
after this period. For language this stretches from infancy to puberty, an
example of this would be Gene who was isolated from the age of 18 months and
was never able to acquire normal language. Also, the wild boy who was found in France
shows how once the critical period has passed it is very difficult to nearly impossible
for some people to learn language and things that would naturally come very
How does Mark Rosenzwieg’s experiment help us to
understand the importance of early experiences?
Describe three examples of work that applies the results of this
experiment to human development.
Mark Rosenzwieg’s experiment suggested that the brain may have the
capacity to regenerate nerve cells.
: as the
environmental complexity increased the animals had larger brains and larger
animal. Cortices (cortex part of brain) were larger. Few if any neuronal
changes. Increases in Glial cells - faster more targeted neural activity-makes
major neurotransmitter in the brain- rejuvenated by acetylcholine esterase
(ACHE) more ACHE leads to more usable ACHE. Brain less susceptible to
fatigue, higher peak rates and more sustained act.
first there didn't seem to be very many behavioral advantages. However, in very
difficult tasks environment complexity confirmed a behavior advantage
Cross sectional design demonstrated a
sensitive period. Sensitive period correspondent with the age in which the
brain growth was faster
The changes could be modality specific
(movement, vision, hearing) enriched environment in a certain modality it
increased or changed it, all but vision.
Selective stimulation and selective changes
Explain to a friend how children are not miniature
adults? Can you provide both Piagetian
and non-Piagetian examples?
Children think different then adults do, the way they see the world is completely different from the way adults perceive it. Children have to start experiencing conflict and experience when their concepts fail in
order for them to think the way we do. For example they will think two different
size containers with water in it will have different amounts even though they
saw someone measure it to be the same. Children
use their current knowledge of how the world works as a framework for the assimilation
of new experiences. And until they use the process of accommodation has its
full effect and they reach adolescence that the ability to use logic and to
engage in deductive reasoning appears.
Piagetian theory describes the child as actively
seeking information and new experiences. Development results from increasingly
complex reorganizations of mental frameworks as the child moves through an invariant
sequence of stages (Sensory motor, Pre logical, Concrete, Formal operations) to more advanced levels of cognitive functioning.
He proposed that all children go through several stages of cognitive development.
Vygotsky’s Sociocultral theory of development
is a good example of non-Piagetian theory. This theory of development proposes
that the child’s development is best understood as a product of social
interaction, that it evolves as the child and role models solve problems in
Describe at least four ways that the mind of the
infant has been studied scientifically- at least two of these should be drawn
from the final third of the course. How
do the results of the methods you describe relate to the view of the infant as
a blank slate – i.e. a tabula rasa? What does the work of Eleanor Gibson and the
work of Mary Slater Ainsworth have in common.
philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) proposed that the mind of the newborn infant
is a tabula rasa, or blank slate, on which experience writes.
differentiation theory proposed that sensory input is in itself a rich source
of information and not in need of enrichment. The child’s task is to learn to
identify and discriminate the important features of objects and relations from
the vast flow of sensory information.
made valuable observations of infant’s attachments and exploratory behavior at
about one year of age
Freuds classic psychoanalytic theory, babies become attached to their
caregivers because the caregivers are associated with gratification of infants
innate drive to obtain pleasure through sucking and other forms of oral
ethological theory of attachment derives from the biological preparation of
both infant and parents to respond to each others behaviors in such a way that
parents provide the infant with care and protection
How does sexual development serve as an example of the
importance of biological determinants on development? of the importance of timing in
development? Discuss the David Reimer
case in the light of these principles.
Do you think that the Reimer case proves that experience have little or
no effect on sexual development?
Sexual development serves as an very
important example of the importance of biological determinants on development
and this is scene in the case of David Reimer. He was born a boy but when the
circumcision went wrong they had to remove this penis. A doctor contacted the
family and proposed the idea that they turn David into a girl. If they family
raised him and a girl he could live a normal life. They thought that since he
was so young and didn’t have a sexuality and identity yet they could create a different
one from what he was born with. I think that the Reimer case proves that
experiences have a big impact on sexual development, because even though he was
being told he was a girl he didn’t feel like a girl and acted as if he was a
boy. Anyone can imagine how hard that would have been for him being so confused