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  1. 1. PSYC 50 Developmental Psychology Section 1 Chapter 2: The Science of Life-Span Development THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT: 1. Psychoanalytic theory: describes development as primarily unconscious and heavily colored by emotion. Behavior is merely a surface characteristic, and the symbolic workings of the mind have to be analyzed to understand behavior. Early experiences with parents are emphasized. Personality Structures  Freud’s Psychosexual Theory o Oral Stage – birth to 1 ½ years; infant’s pleasure centers on the mouth. o Anal Stage – 1 ½ to 3 years; child’s pleasure focuses on the anus. o Phallic Stage – 3 to 6 years; child’s pleasure focuses on the genitals. o Latency Stage – 6 years to Puberty; child represses sexual interest and develops social and intellectual skills. o Genital Stage – Puberty onward; a time of sexual reawakening; source of sexual pleasure becomes someone outside the family.  Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory: includes 8 stages of human development. Each stage consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis that must be resolved. o Infancy (first year) – Trust vs. Mistrust o Infancy (1 to 3 years) – Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt o Early Childhood (preschool years, 3 to 5 years) – Initiative vs. Guilt o Middle and Late Childhood (elementary school years, 6 years to puberty) – Industry vs. Inferiority o Adolescence (10 to 20 years) – Identity vs. Identity Confusion o Early Adulthood (20s, 30s) - Intimacy vs. Isolation o Middle Adulthood (40s, 50s) – Generativity vs. Stagnation o Late Adulthood (60s onward) – Integrity vs. Despair 2. Cognitive theories: emphasize conscious thoughts.  Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory: states that children actively construct their understanding of the world and go through four stages of cognitive development. o Sensorimotor Stage (birth to 2 years of age) – the infant constructs an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences with physical actions. An infant progresses from reflexive, instinctual action at birth to the beginning of symbolic thought toward the end of the stage. o Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 years) – the child begins to represent the world with words and images. These words and images reflect increased symbolic thinking and go beyond the connection of sensory information and physical action. o Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 11 years) – the child can now reason logically about concrete events and classify objects into different sets. o Formal Operational Stage (11 years through adulthood) – the adolescent reasons in more abstract, idealistic, and logical ways.
  2. 2. ASSIMILATION: occurs when individuals incorporate new information into their existing knowledge. ACCOMMODATION: occurs when individuals adjust to new information.  Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Cognitive Theory: a sociocultural cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development.  The Information-Processing Theory: emphasizes that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it. Central to this theory are the processes of memory and thinking. 3. Behavioral and Social Cognitive theories: the view of psychologists who emphasize behavior, environment, and cognition as the key factors in development. a. Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning: a neutral stimulus acquires the ability to produce a response originally produced by another stimulus. b. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning: the consequences of a behavior produce changes in the probability of the behavior’s occurrence. c. Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory: stress that people acquire a wide range of such behaviors, thoughts, and feelings through observing others’ behavior and that these observations form an important part of life-span development.
  3. 3. 4. Ethology: stresses that behavior is strongly influenced by biology, is tied to evolution, and is characterized by critical or sensitive periods. a. Konrad Lorenz – a European zoologist, studied a behavior pattern that was considered to be programmed within the bird’s genes. b. John Bowlby – theory of attachment: attachment to a caregiver over the first year of life has important consequences throughout the life span. 5. Ecological theory: Bronfenbrenner’s environmental systems theory that focuses on five environmental systems: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem.  Urie Bronfenbrenner – his theory emphasizes the importance of both micro and macro dimensions of the environment in which the child lives. 6. Eclectic theoretical orientation: an orientation that does not follow any one theoretical approach, but rather selects from each theory whatever is considered the best in it. RESEARCH IN LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Types of Research:  Descriptive Research – has the purpose of observing and recording behavior. o Observation  Laboratory – a controlled setting in which many of the complex factors of the “real world” are removed.  Naturalistic observation – observing behavior in real-world settings. o Survey and Interview o Standardized Test – a test with uniform procedures for administration and scoring. o Case Study – an in-depth look at a single individual. o Life-History Record – a record of information about a lifetime chronology of events and activities that often involve a combination of data records on education, work, family, and residence. o Physiological Measures  Correlational Research – the goal is to describe the strength of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics.  Experimental Research o Experiment - a carefully regulated procedure in which one or more of the factors believed to influence the behavior being studied are manipulated while all other factors are held constant. Time Span of Research:  Cross-Sectional Approach – a research strategy in which individuals of different ages are compared at one time.  Longitudinal Approach – a research strategy in which the same individuals are studied over a period of time, usually several years or more.  Sequential Approach – a combined cross-sectional, longitudinal design  Cohort Effects – effects due to a person’s time of birth, era, or generation but not to actual age. o Cohort – is a group of people who are born at a similar point in history and share similar experiences. ETHICS GUIDELINES:  Informed Consent  Confidentiality  Debriefing  Deception MINIMIZING BIAS:  Gender Bias  Cultural and Ethnic Bias o Ethnic Gloss – using an ethnic label such as African American or Latino in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as being more homogenous than it really is. REFLECTION: 1. Which of the life-span theories do you think best explains your own development? Why? 2. You have learned that correlation does not equal causation. Develop an example of two variables (two sets of observation) that are correlated but that you believe almost certainly have no causal relationships. 3. Imagine that you are conducting a research study on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of adolescents. What ethical safeguards should you use in conducting the study? Reference: Santrock, J.W. (2006). Life-Span Perspective.10th Edition. McGraw-Hill. New York. Prepared by: Mrs. Maria Angela L. Diopol Instructor