Life Span Development Spring 2010 Chapter 1 – Introduction to Life Span Development/ Introduction to Freud and Erikson’s Theories
Introduction to Life Span Development Basic terms: Development: The progressive and continuous change in an organism from birth to death Developmental Psychology: Studies of pre- and post-natal growth, maturation of behavior, stages of development, and the effects of experiences on our development Lifespan Development: The field of study that examines patterns of growth, change and stability in behaviors that occur throughout the entire life span.
Topical areas Throughout this course, as we discuss each of the phases of life, we will discuss the following topical areas for each stage Physical development: focuses on the physical make-up of the human body and emphasizes the brain, nervous system, muscles, sensory capabilities as well as our basic needs (food, drink, sleep). Cognitive development: emphasizes intellectual abilities, including learning, memory, problem-solving and intelligence. Personality and social development: emphasizes the characteristics that differentiate one person from another as well as interactions with one another and how social relationships change over the lifetime.
Age ranges Age ranges are typically divided into the following categories: Prenatal period (conception to birth), Infancy and toddlerhood (birth to age 3) The preschool period (ages 3 to 6) Middle childhood (ages 6 to 12) Adolescence (ages 12 to 20) Young adulthood (ages 20 to 40) Middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65) Late adulthood (age 65 to death)
Controversy: Continuity versus Discontinuity Do developmental changes occur gradually (continuous) or in major qualitative leaps? Some believe continuous: effects of learning are gradual Achievements at each level building on those of the previous level Maturational theorists point out that the environment helps us very little until we are ready Stage theorists (discontinuous change) Others believe number of rapid qualitative changes usher in new stages of development Discontinuous, biological changes provide potential or psychological changes (personality and cognitive development) Sequences are the same, but timing is different.
Nature vs. Nurture: The extent to which human behavior is result of heredity vs. environment Nature: internal processes that guide development according to genetic code Nurture: external processes that influence development Developmental Psychologists reject the idea that behavior is the result of solely one or the other
The Scientific Method How Do We Study Child Development? The Scientific method is a way of formulating and answering research questions. Allows scientists to test theories. Step 1: Formulating a research question Step 2: Developing a Hypothesis Specific statement about behavior that is tested by research An educated guess about research question Step 3: Testing the Hypothesis Test through carefully controlled information-gathering techniques and research methods Naturalistic observation, case study, correlation, experiment Step 4: Draw Conclusions about Hypothesis Draw conclusions of accuracy based on results of research findings When rejected, may modify their hypothesis and retest. Step 5: Publishing Findings Publish in professional journals and make available to public for scrutiny
Gathering Information Psychologists use various methods to gather information: Naturalistic Observation Method of observation which subjects are observed in their natural environment Field studies – observe kids at home, on playground, in classroom. Try not to interfere to reduce bias (one way mirror) Typically first type of study in new areas of investigation Gather an initial impression of what happens n certain situations. Case Study Carefully drawn biography of the life behavior of an individual. Parents who keep diaries of children’s activity. May include observation, surveys, standardized tests, and interviews
Gathering Information Correlations Math method to determine whether one behavior/trait is related to another. TV violence and aggression – assign numbers and obtain correlation coefficient Correlation Coefficient The strength and direction of the relationship between two factors is represented by the correlation coefficient Number ranges from +1.0 to -1.0. Positive Correlations Higher scores on one variable are matched by high scores on another Hours of violent TV and aggressive behavior Negative Correlations Higher scores on one variable are matched by low scores on another Hours of child-friendly TV and aggressive behavior Limitations Reveal relationships, but do not show cause and effect (Correlation does not equal causation!!) What if children to watch violent TV prefer it b/c they are aggressive? What if aggression and TV viewing are caused by poor parenting?
Gathering Information The Experiment Preferred method for testing cause and effect. Experiment: Group of participants receives a treatment & another does not. Participants are observed to determine whether the treatment affects behavior. Some children are exposed to TV violence and others are not. Independent Variables Condition that is manipulated for changed to observe its effects Violent TV Dependent Variables Measure of the assumed effect of the IV Aggressive behavior Experimental Group Participants who receive the treatment Control Group Participants who do not receive the treatment All other conditions are held constant Random Assignment Subjects assigned to groups on a chance or random basis.
Gathering Information Longitudinal Studies: Development over Time The processes of development occur over time. Longitudinal Research Taking repeated measures of the same group of children at various stages Gains in height, approaches to problem solving Some ambitious studies have followed people for 50 years Most studies span months or a few years Studies relationship between behavior at earlier and later ages Allows researchers to follow development over time Problems: volunteer rates, attrition, death Subjects who stay in are more motivated (systematic differences) Patience: to compare 3 & 6 year olds – wait 3 years Other options?
Gathering Information Cross-Sectional Research Measures of children of different age groups at the same time More common b/c of drawbacks of longitudinal studies Can be completed in a shorter period of time Problems: does not study development across time (differences at ages) Cohort Effect: group of people born at the same time experience cultural and other events unique to their age group.
The Psychoanalytic Perspective Freud’s theory that childhood sexuality and unconscious motivations influence personality and behavior Our thoughts and actions are due to unconscious motives and conflicts.
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Freud proposes that unconscious forces act to determine our personality and behavior. Freud believed that our wishes, desires, demands and needs were hidden from conscious awareness, due to their disturbing nature. He believed that the unconscious was responsible for most of our everyday behaviors. Freud’s theory divided our personalities into three aspects: the id, the ego and the superego.
Freud’s Structure of Personality Freud’s psychoanalytic theory Structure of personality Id: Pleasure principle Reservoir for all psychic energy Primitive, instinctive component of personality Raw, unorganized, inborn part of our personality and represents the primary drives of hunger, sex, aggression, and irrational impulses. Wants immediate gratification of urges - the goal is to maximize satisfaction and reduce tension Ego: Reality principle The mediator - buffer between the id and the real world Decision making component of personality Part of personality that is rationale and reasonable Seeks to delay gratification of urges to satisfy society’s norms Superego: Morality principle Moral component that internalizes social standards about right and wrong. Conscience The superego typically develops when we are about 5 or 6 years of age
Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development Both of Freud’s theories based on levels of awareness – emphasis on the unconscious Conceptualized 3 main structures of the mind (Levels of Awareness) 1. Conscious: Currently aware of 2. Preconscious: Near the surface; presently beyond awareness but can become conscious by paying attention to them What ate for breakfast; sad due to death 3. Unconscious: genetic instincts and urges (hunger, sex, aggression) that can only partly perceive.
Freud’s internal conflicts & defense mechanisms Internal conflict Behavior is the outcome of series of internal conflicts b/t id, ego, & superego Id wants immediate gratification, but norms of society dictate otherwise Conflicting personality structures lead to anxiety/tension Sex and aggression cause the most tension Conflicts lead to anxiety & guilt….
Defense Mechanisms Conflicts lead to anxiety & guilt, which cause ego to construct defense mechanisms Defense Mechanisms: Protect the Ego. Operate Unconsciously. Distort Reality. Defense Mechanisms Created by the ego to decrease internal tension Displacement Repression Rationalization Reaction Formation Projection Sublimation
Defense Mechanisms Repression Motivated forgetting – repress memories into unconscious Keeping distressful or anxiety-arousing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious. Repress desires that make them guilty; or painful memories Reaction Formation Unconsciously switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites. Behaving in ways that are the opposite of one’s true feelings. Rationalization Creating false, but plausible excuses to justify behavior “Everyone does it”
Defense Mechanisms Projection Own threatening impulses are attributed to others. Ex: An unfaithful husband suspects his wife of infidelity Displacement Diverting emotions from their original source onto another Ex: Aggressive impulses directed toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person Sublimation Rechanneling of unacceptable impulses into socially approved activities
Psychosexual Stages of Development The ways that children deal with immature sexual urges (physical pleasure) during different stages shape personality. Developmental periods with characteristics sexual focus that leave mark on adult personality. Focus shifts as progress from one stage to another. Process by which libidinal energy is expressed through different erogenous zones during different stages of development. Each stage named for focus of erotic energy during that period. Each stage has its own unique developmental challenge. The way these challenges are handed shapes personality.
Psychosexual Stages of Development 1. Oral Stage (birth to 12 to 18 months) Main source of stimulation from mouth (eating, sucking) Handling of feeding experiences is crucial to development. Fixation can lead to obsessive eating, smoking, talking, drinking, nail biting 2. Anal Stage (1 to 1 ½ to about 2 or 3) Pleasure from bowel movements; expulsion or retention of feces Crucial events: toilet training (societies first attempt to regulate biological urges) Excessive punishments leads to hostility toward trainer (mother, women) Association b/t genitals and anxiety; sexual dysfunction later Fixation: stubbornness; cleanliness; orderly; detail oriented Expulsive personality; messy; dirty; disorganized
Psychosexual Stages of Development 3. Phallic Stage (3 to 5 years) Genitals become focus for energy; largely through self stimulation Parental punishment for masturbation Oedipal complex: manifest desires for opposite sex parent; hostility toward same Oedipus: killed father and married mother Girls develop attachments to father; learn that boys have different genitals Penis Envy: mad at mother for anatomic deficiency Little boys view father as competitor for mothers attention/affection Castration Anxiety: fear retaliation from father Child must resolve dilemma and identify with same sex parent Crucial for development of superego; gender roles; sexual orientation 4. Latency (5 or 6 – puberty) Child’s sexuality is suppressed: becomes latent Expanding social contacts beyond immediate family; playing with same sex peers 5. Genital Stage (puberty +) Sexual urges reappear and focus on genitals Normally channeled to peers of the same sex (rather than oneself)
Evaluation of Freud’s Theory Major contribution to 20th century thought Rich theory explaining origins of behaviors and traits; stimulating research on attachment; gender roles; morality; and identification Implications for toilet training Defensive mechanisms based on guilt & anxiety (repression; displacement; rationalization) However, criticized on many grounds Developed based on individual contacts with female patients with emotional problems Based on recollections versus childhood observations Too much emphasis on sex, instincts, and unconscious motives People are not motivated only by sex & aggression but learning, social relationships, conscious desires. Cultural and prejudice stereotypes about women.
Stages are life crises that child experiences at certain stages. Positive resolution sets the stage for resolution of later life crises Early experiences exert a continued influence on future development. With proper parental support during early years, most resolve productively Bolsters sense of identity; who they are and what they stand for; expectation for future success. Stages of psychosocial development Each carries developmental task Successful completion depends on child’s social relationships at each stage Theory influenced child rearing; education; and child therapy.
Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust Trust vs. Mistrust Task: trust caregivers and environment; satisfaction; and contentment Infant depends on adults who take care of basic needs; must be able to trust them If needs are met: develop secure attachments; optimistic trusting attitude If needs are not met: distrusting, insecure personality
Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Task: develop desire to make choices and gain self control Begin to potty train; regulate child (walking, talking) Self control & confidence emerge Child takes responsibility for feeding, dressing, and bathing If parents are supportive & reassuring with mistakes: self-sufficiency, confidence needed to cope with future events. If parents are overprotective & never satisfied: personal shame & self-doubt
Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt Initiative vs. Guilt Task: gain initiative; become proactive Challenge to function socially within the family Children begin to exercise wills, develop independence and initiate activities. Balance between eagerness for adventure & responsibility and control If parents encouraging, consistent with discipline: learn to accept without guilt that some things are not allowed. If parents feel children are selfish: instill guilt about independence; uncertain of doing things for themselves.
Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority Industry vs. Inferiority School is important; child learned to be a worker & potential provider Challenge to learn to socially function beyond family Pleasure in intellectual stimulation; able to function outside nurturing environment: sense of competence If not: sense of inferiority
The Behavioral Perspective The Behavioral Perspective Suggests that the keys to understanding development are observable behavior and outside stimuli in the environment John B. Watson: argued that by effectively controlling the environment, it was possible to produce virtually any behavior. Theories of learning play an integral role in the study of human development Learning A relatively permanent change in behavior or knowledge that is due to experience.
Also referred to as Pavlovian Conditioning or Respondent Conditioning Form of associative learning first developed by Ivan Pavlov Pavlov’s great discovery was that, through experience, stimuli that previously had no relation to a specific reflex could come to trigger the reflex. Classical Conditioning
Pavlov’s dogs Pavlov’s studies of classical conditioning were an extension of his research of the process of digestion Discovered by accident. Dogs began to salivate when they saw the lab technician who normally fed them (psychic secretions) Pavlov predicted that, if a particular stimulus in the dog’s surroundings was present when the dog was presented with meat powder, then this stimulus would become associated with food and cause salivation on its own
The experiment Pavlov used bells to call the dogs to their food and, after a few repetitions, the dogs started to salivate in response to the bell. Thus, a neutral stimulus became a conditioned stimulus (CS) as a result of consistent pairing with the unconditioned stimulus (US). Pavlov referred to this learned relationship as a conditional reflex (now called Conditioned Response).
Classical Conditioning: Key Phrases Unconditioned Stimulus (US) – A stimulus which elicits a natural and automatic response (reflexively elicits a response) Unconditioned Response (UR) – A response naturally and reflexively elicited by an unconditioned stimulus. Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – A neutral stimulus (which does not elicit a natural and automatic response) which, after conditioning, is able to elicit a non-reflexive response. Conditioned Response (CR) – A response that, after conditioning, is elicited by a conditioned stimulus.
Operant Conditioning Operant Conditioning (B.F. Skinner) Learning by consequences Individuals tend to repeat behaviors followed by favorable consequences and not repeat behaviors followed by undesirable consequences Operant Conditioning Terminology Reinforcement – providing stimuli following a response to increase frequency Positive Reinforcer: increase behavior when applied Negative Reinforcer: increase behavior when removed Extinction – cessation of response performed in the absence of reinforcement Punishment – providing stimuli following a response to decrease frequency Often undesirable due to adverse side effects Shaping – procedure for teaching complex behavior by reinforcing small steps toward target behavior.