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Developmental Psychology Unit 9. Why is Developmental Psychology? Developmental Psychology  a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive,

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  • Developmental Psychology Unit 9
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  • Why is Developmental Psychology? Developmental Psychology a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span. People are continually developing over their lifetimes. Infant development vs. adult development.
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  • 3 Areas of Research 1) Nature and Nurture You should know this one by now 2) Continuity and Stages Gradual, continual changes or separate sequence of stages. (ex. Think of an escalator vs. rungs of a ladder). 3) Stability and Change Do personality traits continue throughout life, or change as we get older?
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  • Conception sperm meets egg in the fallopian tube of the female. 1 in 200 million raced to meet the egg.
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  • 3 Stages of Prenatal Development Zygote the fertilized egg, it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo. In fallopian tube. Embryo the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month. Embedded in uterus Fetus the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth. Bone cells have developed.
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  • Prenatal Brain Development: conception to birth
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  • Fetal Development Placenta is the connection between mother and child. Ideally only healthy compounds will pass. Teratogens agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm. Ex. Drugs, smoking, alcohol. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant womans heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions.
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  • Homework Tonight Watch the Secret Life of the Brain: Episode 1: The Babys Brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfCffnjfo 3w https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfCffnjfo 3w Or youtube title.
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  • The Competent Newborn Reflexes, such as rooting help us to survive as infants. Also includes sucking, tonguing, swallowing, breathing and crying. Habituation decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
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  • Reflexes in the Newborn
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  • Testing Competency in the Newborn (APGAR)
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  • Infancy and Childhood Brain Development Brain development in the womb is at million nerve cells per minute. Stabilizes at about 23 billion by the time you are born. Brain then goes through a growth spurt with more connections being made everyday. By puberty, a pruning process takes place that shuts down excess connections and strengthens others. Maturation biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience. Maturation sets the basic course of development; experience adjusts it.
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  • Physical Development Motor Development Motor development Learning to walk
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  • Physical Development Maturation and Infant Memory Infantile amnesia Before the age of 3, no memories are retained. Average age for earliest conscious memory is 3.5 years.
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  • Bodypart Counting System
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  • Cognitive Development Cognition all mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. Psychologists, most notably, Jean Piaget, are interested in the timing in when you became conscious and how the infant mind unfolds from there. Piagets best research was from the wrong answers children gave in his tests, as they were similar. This led him to understand that childrens brains are not miniatures of adults.
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  • Piaget's Stages Piaget understood that the childhood brain developed in stages. What an 8 year old understands, a toddler does not. As the brain matures, it builds schemas a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information. By adulthood we have built millions of schemas. Ex. Cat, dog, love.
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  • How We Use and Adjust Schemas Assimilate interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas. Ex. Cow 4 legged animal call any 4 legged animal cow. Accommodate adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information. Ex. Not all 4 legged animals are cows, able to discern between types.
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  • Overcoming Attentional Inertia
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  • Piagets 4 Stages of Cognitive Development 1) Sensorimotor Stage in Piagets theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities. Infants live in the present. If an object is covered, it ceases to exist. Lack object permanence the awareness that things continue to exist when not perceived.
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  • Object Permanence
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  • 2) Preoperational Stage in Piagets theory, the stage (from 2 to about 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic.. Too young to perform mental operations. Lack conservation the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.
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  • Conservation Experiments Only show 1
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  • Egocentrism in Piagets theory, the preoperational childs difficulty taking anothers point of view. A part of stage 2 Ex. Make themselves invisible by covering own eyes. Pg. 422 Brother
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  • Theory of Mind peoples ideas about their own and others mental states about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict. Part of stage 2. Children understand how to take anothers perspective. Tease, empathize and persuade. Vygotskys language of social interaction why kids talk to themselves, read to themselves.
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  • Pg. 422-423
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  • Theory of Mind
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  • 3) Concrete Operational Stage in Piagets theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events. Comprehension of mathematical transformations and conversation. Ex. 8+4 = 12, but also understanding that 12-8 =4.
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  • 4) Formal Operational Stage in Piagets theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts. Imagined realities and symbols. Deducing consequences if this then that.
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  • Cognitive Development Piagets Theory and Current Thinking
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  • Piagets theory is kind of a big deal! Modern ideas include that the stages are more a continuous process, they blur together. Allowed psychologists to understand the large influence of social factors on development. Tied to Vygotskys Zone of Proximal Development zone in which a child can learn with and without help.
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  • Piagets theory has also allowed us to understand and make new inferences on Autism a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others states of mind. Autism APA Article.
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  • Childhood Disorder: Undertanding Autism
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  • Social Development Infants come to prefer familiar faces and caregivers. Around 8 months, stranger anxiety ( the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age.) develops. At this age, children have schemas for familiar faces and when they cannot assimilate a new face into these remembered schemas, they become distressed.
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  • Stranger Anxiety
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  • Origins of Attachment By 12 months, if scared or separated, a child will seek out a parent. Attachment an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation. For a long time we thought that infants only sought out those who could fill their need for nourishment WRONG!
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  • Body Contact Harlow Monkey Studies Raised monkeys in individual cages with blankets. When blankets were being laundered, monkeys were in distress. Lead to the creation of 2 artificial mothers. 1) comfy, cloth mother 2) bare wire cylinder with food source. Monkeys preferred cloth mothers. Lead to the understanding of why babies prefer rocking, feeding and patting.
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  • Harlows Studies on Dependency in Monkeys
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  • Familiarity Contact is one thing familiarity is just as important. Attachments based on familiarity form during the critical period an op

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