Developmental Psychology

Posted on November 1, 2010 by

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Developmental Psychology I
I. Basic Issues in Developmental Psychology 
     developmental psychology- Study of physical. cognitive, and psychosocial changes throughout the life span, from conception until death
     A. Nature and Nurture 
          nature- theory that holds that physical and congitive development is genetically determined 
          nurture- theory that holds that physical and cognitive development is determined by environmental factors 
          behavior genetics- a new field, combining psychology and biology, that studies the influences of herdity and environment on behavior
     B. Research Methods
          Longitudinal versus cross-sectional studies 
                longitudinal study- research technique in which the same participants are tested or observed repeatedly over a period of time 
                cross-sectional study- research technique in which participants, often of different ages, are tested or observed during a limited time span or only once 
                cohort- group of individuals born in the same period
IIl. Development from conception to birth 
     zygote- one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and ovum 
     mitosis- process of cell division in which each cell contains the same genetic information as other cells 
     embryo- a developing organism during the stage when the major organ systems are formed 
     A. Heredity 
          chromosomes- segments of genetic material located in the nucleus of each cell; human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes (numbered according to size), one of each pair being inherited from each parent 
          genes- units of herediatry material that line the chromosomes and provide information concerning the form and function of each cell 
         deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)- Chemical name for the genetic material located in the nucleus of each cell
         1. Polygenic Heredity 
               polygenic inheritance- principle of heredity whereby complex traits, such as intelligence and personality, are determined by many genes 
               meiosis- type of cell division that results in a reduction of the amount of genetic material in each of the resulting cells
         2. Determination of Sex 
         3. Sex-linked Traits
     B. Prenatal development 
          placenta- organ that developes in the uterus drung pregnancy; it produces hormanes that maintain pregnancy, tansmits nourishment to the fetus, and filters out certain harmful substances 
          fetus- the developing baby from about the ninth week after conception until birth
          1. Barriers to Prenatal Development

                a.  teratogen- any biological, chemical, or physical agent capable of causing birth defects 
                            critical period- a specific time during development when damage may occur or certain processes should take place 
                b. Drugs 
                c. Smoking
                d. Alcohol 
                           fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)- condition found in some children born to mothers who drank during pregnancy, characterized by low birth weight, small head circumference, and mental retardation 
          2. Checking the Health of the Fetus 
                a. Ultrasound 
                         ultrasound procedure- projection of sound waves onton the fetus, uterus, and placenta to construct a sonogram 
                         sonogram- outline picture constructed through use of the ultrasound procedure
          3. Amniocentesis
                        amniocentesis- withdrawal and analysis of amniotic fluid to detect genetic abnomalities in the fetus
     C. Birth 
          Anoxia- reduction or lack of oxygen 
          cesarean section- procedure in which a babis surgically removed from the uterus
III. Development in Infancy
rooting reflex- reflex in which the infant turns its head in the direction of a touch on its face
palmar or graspy reflex- reflex consisting of a very strong hold on any object placed in the palm
Moro reflex- startle reflex in response to a loud noise or the sensation of being dropped
Babinski reflex- reflex in which the infant’s toes fan upward when the bottom of the foot is stroked
     A. Sensory Abilities
          Voice Recognition
          Vision
          Taste and Smell
     B. How Newborns Learn
          Classical Conditioning
          Operant Conditioning
          Imitating Others
     C. Maturation 
          maturation- biological unfolding of the genetic plan for an individual’s development
          Development of the Brain
          Physical Development 
               precocious- developing motor and cognitive abilities at an early age
IV. Psychosocial Development in Childhood
     A. Temperament
     B. Personality Development 
          Sigmund Freud 
          Erik Erikson 
               psychosocial crisis- developmental problem or obstacle that is created when a psychlogical need conflicts with the demands of society 
               basic trust versus basic mistrust- Erikson’s first psychosocial crisis (birth to 1.5 years), in which children learn through contact with their primary caregiver whether their environment can be trusted 
              autonomy versus shame and doubt- Erikson’s second psychosocial crisis (1.5 to 3 years), in which children develop a sense of whether their behavior is under their own control or under the control of external forces 
              autonomy- the feeling of being able to cat independently and having personal control over one’s actions 
              initiative versus guilt- Erikson’s third psychosocial crisis (3-7 years), in which children being to evaluate the consequences of their behavior 
              industry versus inferiority- Erikson’s fourth psychosocial crisi (7-10 years), in which children begin to acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to becom productive members of society
     C. Attachment 
          attachment- intense, reciprocal relationsip formed by two people, usually a child and an adult 
         contact comfort- preference for holding or clinging to objects, such as lankets or teddy bears, that yield physical comfort and warmth
          1. Ethological Theory 
                  ethological theory of attachment- theory stating the attachment evolved because of its adaptive value to the infant
          2.The strange situation Test
     D. The Father’s Role
          Culture and Fatherhood
     E. Day Care
           Latchkey Children 
     F. Parenting Styles 
     G. Other Influences
           The Peer Group 
                   peer group- group of neighborhood children, classmates, or selected friends of the same age 
           Television

V. Cognitive Development in Childhood 
     cognitive development- changes that occur in our thought processes throughout life 
     A. Piaget’s Theory 
          assimilation- Piaget’s term for the process incorporating information into existing schemas 
          accomodation- alteration of existing schemas to understand new information
          1. The Sensorimotor Stage 
                 sensorimotor stage- Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development, in which children learn about their environment through direct sensory contact and motor activities 
                 object permanence- recognition that objects continue to exist even though they cannot be directly sense 
                 mental representation- an internal representation of an object or event that is not present 
         2. The Preoperational Stage 
                preoperational stage- Piaget’s second stage of cognitive development, in which the child begins to think about objects that are not physically present 
                symbolic representation- using a mental thought or activity as a substitute for an actual object 
               egocentrism- inability to see a situation or event from another person’s point of view 
         3. The concrete Operational Stage 
               concrete operational stage- Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development, in which the child is able to use mental representations to think about current objects and events but is not yet capable of abstract thought 
               conservation- recognition that a physical change in a substance does not change the amount of that substance 

VI. Language
     A. Language Development 
          phonemes- the smallest units of sound understood as part of a language 
          morpheme- in a language, the smallest unit of sound that conveys meaning 
          syntax- the organization of words into phrases and sentences
     B. Moral Development 
          Preconventional Level- Kohlberg’s first stage of moral development (ages 4 tp 10), in which standards set by others are observed in order to receive reinforcement or avoid punishment 
          conventional role conformity- Kohlberg’s second stage of moral development (ages 10 to 13), in which rules and standards are internalized and behaviors are performed in order to please others 
          autonomous moral principles- Kohlberg’s third stage of moral development (age 13 or later, if at all), in which control over moral conduct is completely internalized

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