Lecture 10:Psychological development of children Dr.Reem AlSabah
Dr. Reem Al-SabahFaculty of Medicine Psychology 220
Science of Human Development The study of human development: Seeks to understand how and why people change and remain the same over time. Is a science Studies all kinds of people Studies change over time
Continuity and Discontinuity Continuity refers to characteristics that are stable over time(e.g., biological sex) Discontinuity refers to characteristics unlike those than came before(e.g., speaking a new language, quitting a drug)
Five Characteristics of Development Multidirectional Multicontextual Multicultural Multidisciplinary Plasticity PHOTODISC
What is “plasticity”? Plasticity refers to the fact that human traits can be molded into different forms, and yet people maintain a durability of identity. It means that some aspects of development have the capacity for change, others may not.
More About Change Over Time Butterfly effect Sometimes a small event may culminate in a major event (e.g., one alcoholic drink at the wrong time during pregnancy). No effect Sometimes what seems to be a large event has little long-term impact (e.g., children in war-torn Bosnia).
Contexts of Development HISTORICAL In what ways do you differ from your grandparents? Great grandparents? Cohort: group of people of the same age Social constructions create “shoulds” (e.g., ages one “should” marry)
Contexts of Development SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES) A combination of income and other factors (parental education, occupation, etc.). The impact of SES depends on many factors.
Contexts of Development CULTURE Includes values, technologies, customs of a group of people. In what ways does culture influence development? PHOTODISC
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model of Human Development1. Microsystem: the relationships and interactions a child has with his/her immediate surroundings.2. Mesosystem: the connection between the structures of the child’s microsystem.3. Exosystem: the larger social system in which the child does not function directly .4. Macrosystem: cultural values, customs, and laws.5. Chronosystem: the dimension of time as it relates to a child’s environments.
Three Domains of Development Biosocial = brain and body Cognitive = thought processes, perceptual abilities, language Psychosocial = emotions, personality, interpersonal relationships
Nature-Nurture Debate What is more important in the course of human development, genes or social environment? Question: How much of any characteristic, behavior, or pattern of development is the result of genes, and how much is the result of experiences? Both nature and nurture are always involved, to varying degrees.
John Locke- 17th century British Philosopher “tabula rasa” or blank slate. Babies experiences get written on it. All knowledge comes to us through our senses. There is no built-in knowledge. Charles Darwin Theory of evolution emphasis on heredity and biological basis of human development.
John Watson, B. F. Skinner (Behaviorists) Human nature is completely malleable. You can train a child into being any kind of adult regardless of his heredity. Interactionist approach both nature and nurture interact continuously to guide development.
Maturation An innately determined (genetically programmed) sequence of growth and change that is relatively independent of external events Interaction of genes and environment(e.g., fetal development, motor development and speech development) Note: the environment affects the rate at which children acquire the skills, not the ultimate skill level
Stages of development What do we mean by Stages? behavior organized around a dominant theme. all children go through the same stages in the same order. the order of the stages does not vary, but environmental factors may speed up or slow down development.
Critical Period crucial time periods in a person’s life when specific events must occur if development is to proceed normally. example: fetal development, 6-7 weeks after conception is important for development of sex organs. It is the time of greatest vulnerability. Each body structure has it’s own critical period. Teratogens: substances/conditions that increase risk of prenatal abnormalities
Sensitive Period Psychological development. Periods that are optimal for a particular kind of development. E.g., language acquisition, attachment.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome A cluster of birth defects including abnormal facial characteristics, slow physical growth, and retarded mental development, caused by the mother’s drinking alcohol when pregnant
Capacities of the Newborn Methods of studying infant perception: Preferential looking behavior An infant’s tendency to look at some objects more than others. Habituation method While infants look directly at novel objects, they soon become bored with the same object- that is they habituate.
Vision Least mature sense at birth. Poor visual acuity, limited ability to change focus, and very near-sighted. Binocular vision: the ability to coordinate the two eyes to see one image Facial preference- an inborn, unlearned preference for faces.
Perceiving Depth Begins at 3 months, fully developed at 6 months. The “visual cliff” experiment infants generally respond to cues for depth by the time they are able to crawl (6-8 months).
Hearing Acute at birth Newborn infants can detect the difference between very similar sounds (e.g. “pa” and “ba”) better than adults. can distinguish human voice from other kinds of sounds.
Taste and Smell Preference for sweet-tasting liquids over liquids that are salty, bitter, sour or bland
Motor Skills Motor skill: any ability to move a part of the bodyThe sequence of motor skills: Proximal-distal (from near to far). Development proceeds from center of body to extremities. Cephalo-caudal (from head to tail). Development proceeds from the head down.
Reflexes Reflex:An involuntary response to a particular stimulusThree sets of reflexes are critical for survival: 1. Reflexes that maintain oxygen supply 2. Reflexes that maintain constant body temperature 3. Reflexes that manage feeding
Learning and Memory What’s your prediction: Can infants remember anything? For how long? What about a 1 or 2 year old? What is your earliest memory?
Memory Even very young infants (3 months) can remember IF: Experimental conditions are “real life” Motivation is high Special measures aid memory retrieval (repetition and reminders) Example: Rovee-Collier’s mobile experiment
Mobiles andMemories MICHAEL NEWMAN / PHOTOEDIT
Learning and Memory Important research findings for newborns Good memory by the time they are 3 months old Preference for human voices over other sounds Preference of heartbeat sounds Preference of mother’s voice over other women’s voices Preference of familiar stories over unfamiliar stories
The entire package of early sensation seems organized for two goals: 1. Social Interaction: to respond to familiar caregivers 2. Comfort: to be soothed amid the disturbance of infant life. The most important experiences are perceived with all the senses at once (e.g., breast milk).
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