Development over the life span

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Developmental Psychology powerpoint

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Development over the life span

  1. 2. <ul><li>Previously, advancing in your job, getting married, settling down were all done in a sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic changes, an unpredictable economy, high divorce rates and advances in reproductive technology have allowed people to change the order of things </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Developmental Psychologists study universal aspects of life=span development as well as cultural and individual variations </li></ul><ul><li>They can help us think about the question of “natural” life stages </li></ul><ul><li>They primarily focus on physiological and cognitive changes across the life span and on socialization </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Socialization – the process by which children learn the attitudes and behaviors expected of them by society </li></ul><ul><li>Ex). Many women are socialized to think pink is for girls and blue is for boys when we have simply been taught to believe this as a fact </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Begin life with motor reflexes - automatic behaviors that are necessary for survival </li></ul><ul><li>Ex). They will grasp tightly a finger pressed on their palms. They will turn their heads toward a touch on the cheek </li></ul><ul><li>Many reflexes disappear (such as always opening their mouths for a bottle of milk) but others remain such as an eye-blink and sneeze reflexes </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Babies are equipped with a set of inborn perceptual abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Ex). They can see, hear, touch, smell and taste (rotten eggs don’t taste appealing even at this age) </li></ul><ul><li>A newborn baby can only see 8 inches ahead of him/herself – so only the face in front of them holding them but visual ability develops rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>They can also distinguish their mother or primary caregiver smell, sight or sound immediately </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>An infants’ maturation depends on cultural customs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex). How parents hold, touch, feed and talk to child </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most North American babies are expected to sleep for 8 uninterrupted hours by 4 or 5 months </li></ul><ul><li>Among Mayan Indians, rural Italians, African villagers and the Japanese, there is little nightly interruption because the infant sleeps with the mother the first year or two of life and is fed about every four hours. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Mothers in close-knit agricultural communities believe it is important to sleep with the baby in order to create a close bond </li></ul><ul><li>Many white North American parents believe it is important to encourage independence as soon as possible, thus encouraging the child to sleep alone at 4-5 months </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Emotional attachment is important for health and survival throughout life </li></ul><ul><li>By becoming attached to a caregiver, children can explore the environment and feel the safety of someone to return to if they are afraid </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Attachment begins with physical touching and cuddling between infant and parent </li></ul><ul><li>Contact comfort study – Margaret and Harry Harlow (1996) – raised infant rhesus monkeys with two kinds of artificial mothers to demonstrate the importance of touching </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>First fake mother was made out of wires and had a robotic face with a milk bottle connected to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Second fake mother was made out of wire too but covered in foam rubber and cuddly towel like material </li></ul><ul><li>At this point psychologists used to believe that we are attached to our mothers only because they provide us a major basic for survival – FOOD </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>BUT, this experiment was the first of many to explain that we seek contact comfort when in an unfamiliar situation, are scared or hurt </li></ul><ul><li>The experiment showed consitently that the baby monkeys ran to the towel cloth mother when scared or startled and cuddled it to calm down. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Once emotionally attached to mother, separation from caregiver can be a wrenching experience </li></ul><ul><li>6-8 months of life – babies become fearful or aware of strangers </li></ul><ul><li>At this point they will cry if at an unfamiliar setting or left with unfamiliar person – they show separation anxiety if caregiver leaves them – this continues until the middle of second years but can continue until age 3 </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>All children go through this phase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultures where babies are raised with lots of adults or children – separation is not as intense or long lasting </li></ul></ul>

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