Human development the mechanistic overview (part ii)

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Human development the mechanistic overview (part ii)

  1. 1. Theories of Human Development Integrative PerspectivesTHE MECAHNISTIC PERSPECTIVE – PART II Dale Goldhaer
  2. 2. Four Theories 1. Learning Theory 2. Social Learning Theory 3. Information Processing Theory 4. Developmental Behavior Generic Theorypp. 2
  3. 3. LEARNING THEORY (Stimulus-response theory, Behavior theory, conditioning theory)John Watson, Clark Hull, Edward Tolman, B.F. Skinner
  4. 4. The Origins of Learning Theory1. Russian Psychologist Ivan Pavlov (1849- 1936)  Pavlovian conditioning: What makes a conditioning stimulus is not some property inherent in that stimulus, but its association with a stimulus already possessing response-eliciting power1. American Psychologist John Watson (1878- 1958)  Founder of modern behaviorism  Little Albert experiments to demonstrate classical conditioning of emotional responses  Stimulus-response theory
  5. 5. Modern Learning TheoryResearchers were interested in investigating the variables that influence theformation of associations (i.e. learning)1.Methodological Learning Theory  Clark Hull, Kenneth Spence, Charles Spike, Tracy Kendler  Reversal – non reversal shift studies1.Radical Behaviorism  B.F. Skinner, Donald Baer, Sidney Bijou  Operant conditioning / response – stimulus  4 response consequences: positive and negative reinforcer, punishment & extinction  Single subject design – each subject serves as own control group
  6. 6. SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Albert Bandura
  7. 7. Adolescent Aggression (1959) Study consisted of a comparison between two sets of families – those having an adolescent with a history of aggressive antisocial behavior and those that did not The aggressive adolescents were like small children whose impulses are held in check by internal rather than external restraints Parents of the nonaggressive adolescents were much more effective in fostering an internalized sense of social control. They established and maintained a close, emotionally supportive relationship with their son by using discipline techniques that focused on the quality of the parent-child relationship rather than ridicule, physical punishment, and loss of privileges
  8. 8. Social Learning & Personality Development (1963) Introduced the concept of vicarious reinforcement: Modeling of new behaviors is more dependent on the child’s observation of the response consequences to a model rather than on the direct experience of those consequences “Bobo” experiments are probably most famous of this series of observational learning studies
  9. 9. Social Learning Theory (1977) The introduction of reciprocal determinism. The person becomes the generator of specific behaviors and the interpreter of the environment to which those behaviors are directed Response consequences are seen as having 3 functions: (1) imparting information, (2) serving as motivators, and (3) regulating behavior. Elements of social or observational learning process: (1) attention processes (various factors increase or decrease the amount of attention paid), retention processes (remembering what you paid attention to), motor reproduction processes (reproducing the image), and motivational processes (having a good reason to imitate)
  10. 10. Social Cognitive Theory (1986) The causes of our behavior has shifted from a focus on how we react to the past and present to how we cognitively represent the future Five basic capabilities regulate the process through which individuals regulate the reciprocal relations between person, behavior and environment: 1. Symbolizing capability 2. Vicarious capability (ability to learn through observing actions of others) 3. Forethought capability (symbolically represent the future in the present. We learn from our experiences) 4. Self-regulatory capability (internal control mechanisms). Degree of self- efficacy is the interaction of 2 internal regulatory mechanisms-our belief that we are or are one capable of a particular act and our beliefs about the desirability of that act. 5. Self-reflective capability: capability to make judgment as to our ability to exercise control over the events that affect our lives
  11. 11. INFORMATION PROCESSING THEORYRobert Siegler, Katherine Nelson, Robert Sternberg
  12. 12. The Origins of Information Processing Perspective1. Decline of learning theory in the 1950s and 1960s1. Examination of the mechanistic psychologists in the 1960s and 1070s of Piaget’s theoretical arguments  “training studies” in the 1960s and 1970s to test Piaget’s theory of cognitive development1. Growing interest in computers  Information processing theorists began to consider the implications of conceptualizing the human mind as an information processing mechanism in the same sense that the computer was conceptualized as doing so
  13. 13. Commonly Held Assumptions of theInformation Processing Perspective 1. Cognitive activity as the processing of symbols (“thinking is information processing”) 2. Cognitive activity as the functioning of a few basic elements (complex cognitive activity can be best understood as reflecting the actions of a number of more specific sub processes) 3. Higher order cognition as a coordinated process (cognitive processes relevant to a particular type of information operate in concert with one another) 4. Cognitive change through self-modification (outcomes generated by the child’s own activities change the way the child processes information in the future)
  14. 14. Basic Elements of an Information Processing System 1. The hardware is the cognitive structure(s) that stores the information 2. The software are the cognitive processes that act on the information 3. Three levels of processing structures: sensory registers through which data enters the system through one of the senses, short-term working memory where information is actively processed, and long-term memory structure where information is stored.Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968
  15. 15. Siegler’s Information ProcessingApproach to Children’s Problem Solving 1. The Distributions of Associations Model hypothesizes that two factors influence the retrieval effort: (a) a confidence criterion, and (b) a search length 2. The model predicts that the child will first attempt to use the most efficient strategy possible.  1st strategy: retrieve answer stored in long term memory  2nd strategy: elaboration of the representation (use of prompt that might aid in retrieving the correct answer)  3rd strategy: a problem solving strategy or algorithm 3. The probabliltiy of an answer being retrieved on any one occurrence is a function of that answer’s association strength 4. One key element in children’s acquiring new problem solving strategies is their ability to form a “goal sketch” of the problem (a general sense of what an appropriate problem solving strategy needs to look like)Distributions of Associations Model
  16. 16. Nelson’s Information Processing Approach for Children’s Event Knowledge 1. Nelson’s work focused on the cognitive representations of ordered sequences of action that are held in the long term memory (or scripts) 2. Scripts make it possible to both predict and plan for future encounters, to guide actions within a familiar setting 3. Scripts are also important in the subsequent development of the ability to process truly abstract representation 4. Parents serve to scaffold or help support their young children’s experiences through the types of questions they ask, the degree to which they talk about past, present, and future events, etc.
  17. 17. Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory  Robert Sternberg’s theory offers an explanation of the cognitive mechanisms that individuals use to adapt to the everyday demands of life, and in turn, the way these events further define the structure and operation of these cognitive structures and operations.  Intelligence reflects the operation of 3 elements or subtheories: 1. Componential 2. Experiential 3. Contextual  Intelligence is not random – it is an activity purposefully directed toward 3 global goals (1) adaptation to the environment, (2) shaping of an environment, and (3) selection of an environment
  18. 18. DEVELOPMENTAL BEHAVIOR GENETIC PERSPECTIVE Plomin, Scarr
  19. 19. Basic Assumptions of a Developmental Behavior Genetic Perspective1. Focus on evolutionary perspective  Emphasis on 2 concepts: genetic variation and natural selection1. A focus on polygenetic inheritance  These behavior geneticists are interested in those behavior phenotypes that are polygenetic in origin – caused by the combined influence of many different genes1. A focus on differentiating genetic and environmental influence  Emphasis on how this intergenerational, polygenetic process is reflected in the behavioral phenotypes of individuals
  20. 20. Methods of Data Collection & Analysis1. Animal research methods  Selective breeding experiments1. Human research methods • Comparisons between genetically different individuals in normally existing environment1. Kinship studies  Comparing MZ (genetically identical) and DZ (similar genetically as non twin sibling) twins1. Adoption studies  Correlations between “child-adopted parent’ and “child-biological parent” as a test of relative influence of heredity and environment
  21. 21. Scarr & McCartney (1983)12 01 00 Passive Gene-Environment Effects (early in the lifespan) 8 0 Active Gene –Environment Effects (niche picking – picking out environments in which one feels comfortable) 6 0 4 0 2 0 Evocative Gene – Environment Effects (Occurs because different genotypes elicit or evoke different responses from others in that child’s environment) 0 Age
  22. 22. Plomin’s Theoretical Perspective 1. Heredity is a significant determinant of the variability in behavioral phenotypes at all ages 2. When hereditability estimates change over the life span, they increase (environments become more diverse because individuals become more diverse) 3. Genetics plays an increasingly significant role in individual variability because most environmental influences are of the non- shared versus the shared variety 4. Specific genes will be found that affect experience

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