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Chapter 4 The Developing Person
Developmental Psychology ---a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive and social
change throughout the life span
Basic question: What shapes the way we change over time?
Focus on psychological changes across the entire life span
can be looked at from this perspective:
biological development
social development
cognitive / perceptual development
personality development
Major issues in study of development
Nature vs. Nurture
What is role of heredity vs. environment in determining psychological makeup
Gradual or sequences
Stay same as grow up or become different persons
Prenatal Development and the Newborn
Physical development begins at conception
Prenatal environment can have lifetime influence on health and intellectual ability
Zygote---the fertilized egg; enters a 2 week period of rapid cell division
develops into an embryo
Embryo--the developing human organism from 2 weeks through 2nd month
Fetus--the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
Teratogens---agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during
prenatal development and cause harm
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy
symptoms include facial misproportions
Competent Newbors
human voices and faces
face like images over geometric designs
smell and sound of mother preferred
Infant Reflexes
Rooting - turning the head and opening the mouth in the direction of a touch on the cheek
Sucking - sucking rhythmically in response to oral stimulation
Babinski - fanning and curling toes when foot is stroked
Moro - throwing the arms out, arching the back and bringing the arms together as if to hold onto
something (in response to loud noise or sudden change in position of the head)
Grasping - curling the fingers around an object
Infancy and Childhood: Physical Development
Maturation--biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior
relatively uninfluenced by experience
Babies only 3 months old can learn that kicking moves a mobile- and can retain that learning for a
Infancy and Childhood: Cognitive Development
Cognition--- all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Concrete Operational
Formal Operational
Terms to describe overall learning according to Piaget
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
interpreting one’s new experience in terms of one’s existing schemas
adapting one’s current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Infancy and Childhood—Sensorimotor development
Infant learns through sensory and motor interactions, actively touching objects for esample
Hallmark of stages
Object Permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
the inability of the preoperational child to take another’s point of view
the principle that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite
changes in the forms of objects
Theory of Mind
people’s ideas about their own and others’ mental states - about their feelings, perceptions, and
thoughts and the behavior these might predict
a disorder that appears in childhood
Marked by deficient communication, social interaction and understanding of others’ states of
Social Development
Stranger Anxiety: fear of strangers that infants commonly display; beginning by about 8 months
of age
an emotional tie with another person
shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on
Harlow’s Study of Attachment -- Surrogate Mother Experiments
Infant rhesus monkeys were placed with two surrogate mothers, one made of wire and one covered
with soft cloth
Body contact and Familiarity
Milk-producing nipple was attached to either the wire or the cloth mother
Attachment was based on “contact comfort” rather than feeding: monkeys preferred contact with
the comfortable cloth mother, even while feeding from the nourishing wire mother
Critical Period---an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism’s exposure to certain
stimuli or experiences produces proper development
Imprinting--- the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very
early in life
Monkeys raised by artificial mothers were terror-stricken when placed in strange situations
without their surrogate mothers
Attachment Differences
Mary Ainsworth’s study of Attachment: Strange Situation
Groups of infants left by their mothers in a unfamiliar room
Mother-child dyads were observed in a playroom under four conditions:
initial mother-child interaction
mother leaves infant alone in playroom
friendly stranger enters playroom
mother returns and greets child
Forms of Attachment
Securely attached - explores the room when mother is present, becomes upset and explores less
when mother is not present, shows pleasure when mother returns
Avoidantly attached - a form of insecure attachment in which child avoids mother and act coldly to
Anxious resistant attachment - a form of insecure attachment where the child remains close to
mother and remains distressed despite her attempts to comfort
Basic Trust (Erik Erikson)
a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by
appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
Deprivation of Attachment
Child-Rearing Practices
Styles of Parenting
control and demands placed on child, along with responsivenss and warmth
Diana Baumrind’s Parenting Styles
Authoritarian - value obedience and use a high degree of power assertion parents impose rules and
expect obedience
“Don’t interrupt.” “Why? Because I said so.”
Authoritative - less concerned with obedience, greater use of induction
both demanding and responsive; set rules, but explain reasons and encourage open discussion
Permissive - most tolerant, least likely to use discipline submit to children’s desires, make few
demands, use little punishment
Neglectful - completely uninvolved
the transition period from childhood to adulthood
extending from puberty to independence
Puberty--the period of sexual maturation. when a person becomes capable of reproduction
Primary Sex Characteristics
Secondary Sex Characteristics
Menarche (meh-NAR-key)---first menstrual period
Body Changes at Puberty
Throughout childhood, boys and girls are similar in height. At puberty, girls surge ahead briefly,
but then boys overtake them at about age 14.
Cognitive development
Adolescents’ reasoning abilities: Piaget’s theory---Formal Operations: ability to think abstractly,
hypothetically and to think like a scientist
Moral development: Kohlberg theory
Adolescence- Social Development
Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
Identity: one’s sense of self
the adolescent’s task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
Intimacy: the ability to form close, loving relationships----a primary developmental task in late
adolescence and early adulthood
Parental and peer influences during adolescence
The changing parent-child relationship
In the 1890’s the average interval between a woman’s menarche and marriage was about 7 years;
now it is over 12 years.
The characteristics of emerging adulthood.
In the 1890’s the average interval between a woman’s menarche and marriage was about 7 years;
now it is over 12 years.
Adulthood- Physical Development
Menopause---the time of natural cessation of menstruation
also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines
The Aging Senses
Slowing reactions contribute to increased accident risks among those 75 and older
Adulthood- Cognitive Development
Recalling new names introduced once, twice or three times is easier for younger adults than for
older ones
The ability to recall new information declined during early and middle adulthood, but the ability to
recognize new information did not
Crystallized Intelligence---one’s accumulated knowledge and verbal skills
tends to increase with age
Fluid Intelligence--- ability to reason speedily and abstractly
tends to decrease during late adulthood
Verbal intelligence scores hold steady with age, while nonverbal intelligence scores decline
Adulthood- Social Development
Early-forties midlife crisis?
The path of adult development not tightly linked to chronological age, and discuss
Social Clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events
The importance of love, marriage, children, and work in adulthood.
Trends in people’s life satisfaction across the life span
Multinational surveys show that age differences in life satisfaction are trivial
Death and Dying
the range of reactions to the death of a love one.
Reflection on two major issue
Continuity and stages
Stability and change