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Flashcards in 1 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology Deck (53):

Basic Science vs Applied Psychology



Erikson's Psychosocial Theory



What is the aim and importance of Developmental Psychology?

- to understand what babies are born with and what do they learn
> this allows us to understand the origins of skills and knowledge

- understanding and preventing development disorders
> autism, depression, future criminality
> environmental and biological underpinnings

- knowing more about children's development helps to inform social policy
- understand what kinds of experiences are important to healthy development
- prevention


Define Developmental Nativism

Patterns of thought and ability emerge from genetics


Define Developmental Empiricism

Environment is what shapes development


Name the 6 Developmental Periods

- conception->birth

- 0-18 months

- 18m-4y

School age (young and old)
- young = 5-7y
- old = 8-12y

- 13-20y

- young = 21-30y
- middle = 31-60y
- late = 60y+


Describe the Prenatal Developmental Period

conception -> birth


Describe the Infancy Developmental Period

0-18 months
- preverbal


Describe the Preschool Developmental Period

18 months - 4 years
- rapid development of language and social skills
- memory and reasoning


Describe the School Age Developmental Period

Young (5-7y) and Old (8-12y)
- complex ideas, abstract reasoning
- more experience with non-family members
- (preschool show higher aggression)


Describe the Adolescence Developmental Period

- puberty
- social and sexual development
- complex reasoning
- impulse control


Describe the Adulthood Developmental Period

Young (21-30y), Middle (31-60y), Late (60y-death)
- role in life develops
- career peaking, child rearing
- declining physical and mental skills, some improvement of old age tasks


In which developmental stage is the peak of life happiness?

Mid-late adulthood


Define Developmental Continuity

Development is continuous
- each new event is built on previous experiences
- developmental cascade


Define Developmental Discontinuity

Development occurs via abrupt changes in ability


Define Critical Periods

- periods (ages) during which certain experiences are required for normal development to occur


Define Sensitive Periods

- age range where specific experiences are optimal for development to occur in a typical way


Describe the Domain-General approach to Development

- the development of new skills requires the development of previous skills
- tend to have different, complimentary systems


Describe the Domain-Specific approach to Development

- skillsets that are separate, and aren't needed to compliment each other
- mathematical reasoning and moral judgement


What are Individual Contextual Influences?

- the idea that contexts may influence the way we behave
- as apposed to the idea that we behave the same way across different contexts


Cultural Context in Development

- children across cultures develop differently


Define the Ecological Context of Development and the 4 systems an individual interacts with

- different levels of contextual influence that effect the child, that differ in exposure in relation to developmental age

An individual is influenced by:
- family, sibling, peers

- interrelationships between the microsystem

- extended family, neighbourhoods, mass media, parent's work environment

- economic system, culture


What is the Lifespan Perspective

- different environments due to generation (cohort effect)
- causing people within cohorts to share trends


Describe the role of Theories

2 roles of theories:
- organise and integrate existing information into coherent and plausible ideas in regard to child development
- generate testable hypotheses

> need to be empirically tested for validity, but can also change and evolve


John Locke's view on development

- children are born into the world tabula rasa (blank slate)
> empiricism


Descartes' view on development

contradicts Locke, stating the mind imposes order on the environment, based on inherited features
> nativism


William James on development

- children are born into the world without any knowledge and learn to understand it



(Watson, Thorndike, Pavlov, Skinner)

Learning based on experience
- focus on behaviour and learning
- principles on learning theory observed in adults could be used to model learning theory within children

Uses the model of Operant Conditioning
> behaviour is learned by reinforcement
+ positive or negative

Uses the model of Classical Conditioning
> behaviour is learned by association

Pavlov's Dog example:
- NS (footsteps) paired with an UCS (food), which causes salivation (UCR)
- NS becomes a CS when paired with the UCS, and the salivation due to the CS is the CR

Watson's Little Albert example:
- NS -> CS = rat
- UCS = loud noise
- UCR -> CR = crying/distress


Maturational Theory

Opposition to behaviourism
- inspired by Darwin's evolutionary theory

- the emergence of children's skills are largely determined by inheritance
- (nativism)

- based on the observation that certain skills tend to develop in a certain order (twin study)
- stating that there are biological timetables, set in advance by out genetics and evolution


Psychodynamic Theory and the 3 parts of personality

Freud and later Erikson
- Believed the developing personality had 3 parts:
id -> ego -> superego
(developing in that order)

id (0-1)
- instinctual drives
(present in infants)

ego (1-3)
- gratifying our needs through socially acceptable means
(late childhood -> adolescents)

superego (3-6)
- internalising societal values and morals, developing a conscience


Psychodynamic Theory and the 5 stages of Psychosexual Development

Freud theorised that within these stages of development, if these psychosexual milestones needs weren't satisfied, then it would lead to fixation within that stage


Oral Stage (0-1) {id}
- fixation on putting things in the mouth i.e breast
+ provides good self esteem
- becomes orally fixated, mistrust of others, fear

Anal Stage (1-3) {ego}
- potty trained
+ learns independence and personal power
- becomes codependent on others

Phallic Stage (3-6) {superego}
- discovers sexual desires, unconscious desire to the opposite sex parent (oedipus / electra complex)

Latency Stage (6-12)
- from sexual desires to focussing on social desires

Genital Stage (12+)
- child likely forms their sexual identity


Ethological Theory and the Oxytocin system

Ethology - the idea that behaviours observed in other species can be taken as comparisons or those in humans

Lorenz (imprinting) found that baby ducks will follow the adults of any species, they are imprinted to follow adults

John Bowlby (attachment theory) studied the bond between child and caregiver

Oxytocin system
- a hormone that enhances social bonding and interaction (love hormone)
- found that humans and dogs oxytocin systems both act similarly and are stimulated when they look in each other's eyes


Theories of Cognitive Development (6)

Social Learning Theory (Vygotsky)

Constructionism (Piaget)

Evolutionary Theories

Information-Processing Theories

Connectionist Model

Developmental Neuroscience


Social Learning Theory and the 6 stages of learning

Proposed by Vygotsky
- put emphasis on the social and cultural context in development
- stated cognitive process are socially mediated
- importance of the Zone of Proximal Development

- children learn behaviour from their environment through 6 stages
> stage completion is dependent on certain factors

Modelled Behaviour

- experience / relationship with the model / context

- rehearsal / recall the experience

- concept matching / use of feedback

- external incentives / self-evaluation / social comparison

Matched Behaviour


What is the Zone of Proximal Development?

The idea that the best way to learn a skill is to gain proximity to someone that is proficient in that skill (i.e. caregiver and child)


What did Bandura's test involving the Bobo doll show?

- the children exposed to the adults using violent behaviour on the doll, replicated it
- showed that children can model behaviours


Constructionism and the 4 stages

Developed by Piaget
- children progress through stages in the same way
- children of similar ages tend to get the same things wrong (or right)
- thinking changes qualitatively with age


Sensorimotor (0-2)
- aware of what's immediately in front of them
- no object permanence

Pre-operational (2-7)
- object permanence
- engage in creativity

Concrete Operational (7-12)
- develop logical concrete reasoning

Formal Operational (12+)
- symbols and abstract concepts (maths and science)


What is Object Permanence

The ability to know something still exists when you can not directly see or interact with it


Evolutionary Theory of Development and it's limitation

- critical components of human evolutionary change are in areas of the brain

- specific Modules within the brain are responsible for many cognitive functions
> these are developed to process those specific types of information
> these modules are Computationally Encapsulated (many are independent of one another)
> an individual's modules could be affected by personal inheritance
> the modules come online as the brain and boy mature

Noam Chomsky's Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
- the modules
- nativistic

- the theory can't be reliably tested, since the exact boundaries of modules can't be specified


Information-Processing Theories

- the idea of internal mental processes
- looks at a flow of information through the cognitive system
- beginning with the input, ending with response


Connectionist Model

- large sets of interconnected nodes that influence each other:

Input units
- have weighted connections to
Hidden units
- have weighted connections to
Output units

- brain acts like a computer


Developmental Neuroscience

The use of brain scanning to look at neural development


Data collection in Developmental Psychology

- often uses questionnaires (impossible for children)
- for children often it is direct observation

Methods of data collection:
- Children's self-reports
- Reports by family / teachers / peers
- Observation
- Interviews
- Biological and physiological
- Measures of the PNS


Evaluate Observational Studies

- ecologically valid
- can't prove causation since it's a correlational method (allows researchers to relate certain experiences to each other and assess the strength of these relations)


Evaluate Experimental Designs

- Field Experiments rely on natural observation, ecological validity but risk observer bias
- Natural experiments are quasi-experimental, no random assignment
- Lab experiment is a research design allowing investigators to determine cause and effect by controlling variables and treatments
- Experimental Group
- Control Group
- Random Assignment

- Often difficult to ensure ecological validity (natural behaviour)


Evaluate the Correlational Method

- low control over IV
- low control over DV
- medium generalisability of findings


Evaluate the Lab Experiment

- high control over IV and DV
- low generalisability of findings


Evaluate the Field Experiment

- low control over DV
- medium control over IV
- high generalisability of findings
> ecological validity


Evaluate the Natural Experiment

- low control over DV
- low control over IV
- high generalisability of findings
> ecological validity


Describe the Cross-Sectional Method

Comparing different age levels at the same point in time


Describe the Longitudinal Method

Study the same subjects over various time points


Describe the Sequential Method

Combines both cross-sectional and longitudinal methods
> compares people of different age levels, at different points in time


Important considerations in research methods (3)

- validity (internal)
- replicability
- generalisability (external validity)