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Development
Through the Lifespan
Chapter 1
History, Theory, and
Research Strategies
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Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007
Human Development
Studying
 Change
 Constancy
throughout the lifespan
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The Field of
Human Development
 Scientific
 Applied
 Interdisciplinary
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Theory
An orderly, integrated set
of statements that
 Describes
 Explains
 Predicts
Behavior
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Basic Issues in Development
1. Continuous or discontinuous?
2. One course of development or
many?
3. Nature or nurture?
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Basic Issues:
Continuous or Discontinuous
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Contexts of Development
 Unique combinations of:
 Genetics
 Environment
 Can result in different
paths of development
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Basic Issues:
Nature and Nurture
Nature
Nurture
 Inborn, biological  Physical and social
givens
world
 Based on genetic  Influence
inheritance
biological and
psychological
development
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Stability and Plasticity
Stability
Plasticity
 Individuals high or  Change is possible,
low in a
based on
characteristic
experiences
remain so at later
ages
 Early experience
may have lifelong
impact
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Development as a
Dynamic System
 Perpetually ongoing process
 Conception to Death
 Influences on development
 Biological
 Psychological
 Social
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Lifespan Perspective
Development as
 Lifelong
 Multidimensional and
multidirectional
 Highly plastic
 Influenced by multiple
forces
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Periods of Development
Prenatal
Conception to birth
Infancy and
Toddlerhood
Birth to 2 years
Early Childhood
2 to 6 years
Middle Childhood
6 to 11 years
Adolescence
11 to 18 years
Early Adulthood
18 to 40 years
Middle Adulthood
40 to 65 years
Late Adulthood
65 years to death
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Influences on Development
 Age-Graded
 History-Graded
 Nonnormative
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Lifespan View
of Development
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Resilience
 The ability to adapt effectively in the face
of threats to development
 Factors in resilience
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Personal characteristics
Warm parental relationship
Social support outside family
Community resources and
opportunities
Philosophies of Childhood
 Medieval: Contradictory beliefs
about children’s basic nature
 Puritan: Children as inherently evil
and stubborn
 punitive approach to child-rearing
 Locke: Tabula rasa
 children as blank slates shaped by experience
 Rousseau: Noble savages
 children as naturally healthy and moral
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Philosophies of
Adulthood and Aging
 Tetens
 Origin and extent of individual differences
 Change during adulthood - compensation for declines
 Impact of historical era on life course
 Carus
Identified four periods of life
 Childhood
 Youth
 Adulthood
 Senescence
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Key Principles of Darwin’s
Theory of Evolution
Natural Selection
Survival of the Fittest
 Species have
 Individuals best adapted
characteristics that
to their environments
are adapted—or fit—
survive to reproduce.
to their
 Their genes are passed to
environments.
later generations.
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Early Scientific Study
of Development
•Hall, Gesell
Normative •Measured large numbers
of people
Approach
•Age-related averages
•Binet & Simon
Mental
•Intelligence tests
Testing
Movement
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Freud’s Three Parts
of the Personality
Id
Ego
Superego
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•Largest portion of the mind
•Unconscious, present at birth
•Source of biological needs &
desires
•Conscious, rational part of mind
•Emerges in early infancy
•Redirects id impulses acceptably
•The conscience
•Develops from ages 3 to 6 from
interactions with caregivers
Freud’s Psychosexual Stages
 Oral
 Anal
 Phallic
 Latency
 Genital
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Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages
Basic trust v. mistrust
Birth to 1 year
Autonomy v. shame and doubt 1–3 years
Initiative v. guilt
3–6 years
Industry v. inferiority
6–11 years
Identity v. role confusion
Intimacy v. isolation
Generativity v. stagnation
Ego integrity v. despair
Adolescence
Early adulthood
Middle adulthood
Late adulthood
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Behaviorism & Social Learning
Classical
Conditioning
Stimulus –
Response
Operant
Conditioning
Reinforcers and
Punishments
Social Learning
Modeling
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Piaget’s Stages
 Sensorimotor
 Preoperational
 Concrete
Operational
 Formal Operational
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Information-Processing Flowchart
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Developmental
Cognitive Neuroscience
 Study of relationships between
 Changes in the brain
 Development of cognition, behavior
 Brings together researchers from




Psychology
Biology
Neuroscience
Medicine
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Ethology
 Study of adaptive value of behavior and
its evolutionary history
 Critical Period
 Sensitive Period
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Critical Period
 Individual is
 Biologically prepared to acquire adaptive
behaviors during limited time span
 Needs support of an appropriately
stimulating environment
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Sensitive Period
 An optimal time for certain capacities to
emerge
 Individual is especially responsive to
environment
 Later development is
hard to induce
 Boundaries less defined
than a critical period
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Evolutionary
Developmental Psychology
 Seeks to understand adaptive value of
human competencies
 Studies cognitive, emotional and social
competencies and change with age
 Expands upon ethology
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Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
 Transmission of culture to a new generation
 Values, beliefs, customs, skills
 Social interaction
necessary
 Cooperative dialogues
with more knowledgeable
members of society
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Ecological Systems Theory
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Choosing a
Research Strategy
Research Methods
 Basic approach to
gathering information

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Systematic observations
Self-reports
Clinical or case studies
Ethnographies
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Research Design
 Overall plan for the
study
 Permits the best test of
the research question
Systematic Observation
Naturalistic
Observation
 In the “field” or
natural environment
where behavior
happens
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Structured
Observations
 Laboratory situation
set up to evoke
behavior of interest
 All participants have
equal chance to
display behavior
Interviews
Clinical
Interview
 Flexible,
conversational style
 Probes for
participant’s point of
view
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Structured
Interview
 Each participant is
asked same questions in
same way
 May use questionnaires,
get answers from groups
Clinical/Case Study Method
 Brings together a wide range of
information on one person
 Interviews
 Observations
 Test scores
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Ethnography
 Descriptive, qualitative technique
 Goal is to understand a culture or social
group
 Participant Observation
 Researcher lives in community
for months or years
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General Research Designs
Correlational
 Reveals relationships
between variables
 Does NOT reveal
cause-and-effect
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Experimental
 Allows cause-andeffect statements
 Lab experiments
may not apply in the
real world.
Correlation Coefficients
Magnitude
 Size of the number
between 0 and 1
 Closer to 1 (positive
or negative) is a
stronger relationship
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Direction
 Indicated by + or - sign
 Positive (+): as one
variable increases, so
does the other
 Negative (-): as one
variable increase, the
other decreases
Correlations
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Examples of
Correlation Coefficients
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Independent and Dependent
Variables
Independent
 Experimenter
changes, or
manipulates
 Expected to cause
changes in another
variable.
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Dependent
 Experimenter
measures, but does not
manipulate
 Expected to be
influenced by the
independent variable
Random Assignment
 Researchers use unbiased
procedure to assign participants to
treatment conditions
 Increases chances that
characteristics will be equally
distributed across conditions
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Modified Experiments
Field
Experiment
 Capitalize on
opportunities for
random assignment
in natural settings
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Natural or QuasiExperiment
 Compare differences in
treatment that already
exist
 Match groups as much
as possible
Developmental
Research Designs
Same group studied
Longitudinal
at different times
CrossSectional
Differing groups studied at the
same time
Sequential
Several similar cross-sectional
or longitudinal studies at
varying times
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Problems in Conducting
Longitudinal Research
 Participants drop out,
move away
 Practice effects
 Cohort effects
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Rights of Research Participants
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Protection From Harm
Informed Consent
Privacy
Knowledge of Results
Beneficial Treatments
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