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Developmental Psychology
Chapter 4
I. Dev. Psychologists
a. What do they do?
Study physical, cognitive, and social changes
throughout the human life cycle.
b. How do they study?
1. Longitudinal: study same group over time
2. Cross sectional: study different ages at the
same time
3. Twin Studies: studying identical vs. fraternal
twins to find out if nature or nurture causes
various traits and behaviors.
c. Major Debates
1. Nature vs. Nurture: How do genetic
inheritance (nature) and experience
(nurture) influence our development?
separated at birth
2. Continuity vs. Stages: Gradual or
sequence of separate stages?
3. Stability vs. Change: Do our early
personality traits persist through life, or do
we become a different person as we age?
II. Childhood Development
a. Prenatal Development
1. Fertilization:
1) Sperm released, meet the egg, digestive
enzymes eat away the egg’s protective
2) Sperm penetrates the egg, egg blocks out all
other sperm and uses fingerlike projections to
pull sperm in.
3) Within 12 hours the sperm and egg fuse
becoming one.
2. Gender: XX= Female, XY= Male
3. Cell Growth
a) Zygote: Fertilized Egg
* Less than half of all zygotes survive
beyond 2 weeks
b) Embryo: developing human organism from about 3
weeks after fertilization through the 8th week
c) Fetus: developing human organism from 9 weeks after
conception to birth.
in the womb
d) Placenta: Nourishment passes through this from the
mother to the child
4. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Causes an
infant to have a small, misproportioned
head and lifelong brain abnormalities.
5. Autism: Developmental disorder
characterized by impaired language,
difficulty with socialization, and restricted
PKU-rare condition in which a baby is born
without the ability to properly break down
an amino acid called phenylalanine.
if untreated, causes mental retardation
Rooting/Head Turning Reflex
Rooting/Head turning: when their cheek is
touched, infants turn their head and open
their mouth to search for foodexample
Grasping/Palmer Reflex
A baby holds tightly when
pressure is applied to the palm
of the hand example
Startle/Moro Reflex
Babies throw their arms out when they are
scared example
7. Important terms
a) Maturation: biological growth over time
b) Critical Periods: Essential time periods
to develop certain skills
c) Infantile amnesia: Not being able to
remember life events before age 3
Motor Development
4 months
Turns from stomach to side
5 months
Turns from stomach to back
6-7 months
Turns from back to stomach
7-8 months
9 months
10-12 months
11-13 months
13 & up
Walks first steps
III. Cognitive Development
1. Terms
a) Cognitive- thinking
b) Schema: Child builds concepts
c) Assimilate: putting new experiences into
an already existing schema
d) Accommodate: adjusting a schema
based on a new fact that changes our
understanding of something.
*Ex.-realizing teachers do not live at school
Share with a Partner
Think of a time when you learned a new
fact that altered one of your schemas as a
young child. Share with a partner
Ex. learning that M&Ms don’t grow on
trees like you evil sister told you
2. Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive
a) Sensorimotor Stage-explore world
through senses and movement
1. Age: Birth to age 2
2.Object Permanence: realize that hidden
objects still exist (8 months old)
Stranger Anxiety-around 8 months
Preoperational Stage- use of
language and symbols
Ex. pretending that a broom is a
Role playing develops in play
1. Age: age 3 to about 6
2. Egocentric: Have difficulty
perceiving things from another’s point
of view
Concrete Operational Stage
1. Age: Around 7 to 11years old
2. Conservation: understand that change
in shape does not mean change in amount
Ex. Realizing that cutting pizza into more
slices does not yield more pizza
lack of conservation
Formal Operational Stage
1. Age: By age 12
2. Tasks: Understand concrete as well as
abstract thinking
Ex. analogies, hypothetical thought
IV. Moral Development
1. Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
a) Preconventional: Before 9- Children either
obey to avoid punishment or to gain concrete
b) Conventional: Early Adolescence: evolves to
caring for others and upholds laws and social
c) Postconventional: agreed –upon rights or
follows what one personally perceives as basic
ethical principles
V. Social Development
1. Terms
a) Attachment: powerful survival impulse
that keeps infants close to their caregivers
b) Stranger Anxiety: Fear of strangers
(unfamiliar faces) 8 months old
c) Separation Anxiety: Anxious when
attached caregiver isn’t around-12 months
Secure vs. insecure attachment
Mary Ainsworth and the strange situation
d) Contact Comfort
1. Harry Harlow: U of Wisconsin psychologist
2. Experiment and Results: Found that
attachment doesn’t necessarily derive from an
association with nourishment.
** Used Monkeys**clip part II
3. Skeels and Dye: found that children do better
when loved and cared for starting from birth to
age 3.
2. Erikson’s Stages of Social Development
Page 332
VI. Parenting Styles
1. Permissive: Parents submit to their
children’s desires, make few demands,
and use little punishment.
2. Authoritarian: parents impose rules and
expect obedience
3. Authoritative: parents are both
demanding and responsive, exert control
but explain reasons for rules
Adolescence and
I. Adolescence
. Early and Late Bloomers
1. Gender Issue:
Girls: Early= feel insecure
Boys: Early= feel more secure
Girls: Late= feel more secure
Boys: Late= feel insecure
II. Adulthood
a. Early (20-39)
b. Middle Adulthood (40-59)
Empty nest syndrome: sadness and lack
of direction when last child leaves home.
c. Late Adulthood (60+)
1. Alzheimer’s: Dementia, strikes 3% of the
world’s population by age 75
2. Fluid and crystallized intelligence:
a. Fluid: ability to reason speedily and abstractly,
as when solving problems. (puzzle-solving)
b. Crystallized: accumulated knowledge as
reflected in vocabulary and analogies test.
3. Kubler-Ross theory on death and dying
a. Denial
b. Anger
c. Bargaining
d. Depression
e. Acceptance