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Flashcards in Developmental Deck (49):

Developmental Psychology

is a scientific approach which aims to explain the growth, change and consistency through the lifespan (thinking, feeling and behaviour changes)


What are the four areas of developmental?

biological, social, emotional and cognitive


What are the three goals of developmental?

describe, explain and optimise


What is normative development?

typical patterns of change


What is idiographic/discontinuous development?

individual patterns of change


Piaget's theory

Explains how a child constructs a mental model of the world. Piaget regarded cognitive development as a process which occurs due to biological maturation and the environment.


What are the four stages of piaget's theory?

sensorimotor, pre operational, concrete operational, formal operational


Characteristics of the sensorimotor stage?

- know the world through movements and sensations - learn through basic actions

- learn things exist even if they are not seen (object permanence)

- separate beings from the people and objects around them

- actions can cause things to happen


Characteristics of the pre operational stage?

- being to think symbolically and learn to use words or images to represent things - tends to be egocentric and struggle to see other people’s points of view

- still think in very concrete terms

- more skilled at pretend play but still struggle with logic and understanding the idea of constancy


Characteristics of the concrete operational stage?

- Think logically about concrete events

- Understand the concept of conservation - thinking becomes more logical and organised but still very concrete

- begin using inductive reasoning

- less egocentric and more understanding of others


Characteristics of the formal operational stage?

- think abstractly and reason about hypothetical problems

- abstract thought emerges

- think about moral, philosophical, ethical, social and political issues

- begin to use deductive logic


What are schemas?

describes both the mental and physical actions involved in understanding and knowing. they are categories of knowledge that help us to interpret and understand.


What is assimilation?

the process of taking in new information into our already existing schemas


What is accommodation?

changing or altering our existing schemas in light of new information



acquired in Concrete Operational Stage (7-11), refers to the understanding that quantity, length or number of items is unrelated to the arrangement or appearance of the object.


Linear Progression

Understanding others perspective

children construct knowledge by actively exploring and experimenting

always happen in same order, one never skipped.


Sally Anne Test

- tested theory of mind

- Sally has a basket and Anne a box, Sally puts marble in her basket but when goes away Anne takes it and puts it in her box,

1) Where will Sally look? (belief)
2) Where is it actually (reality)
3) Where was it in the beginning (memory)

If point to basket they acknowledge that Sallys understanding of the world doesn't reflect reality.


Criticism of Piaget General + Key people

- didn't consider culture
- open to interpretation
- subjective
- underestimated children
- small sample size

Donaldson and Siegal


Criticism of Piaget Familiarity


underestimated lack of familiarity -> unable to see others perspective due to lack of familiarity with situation rather than lacking cognitive ability

Hughes found children 5 years could take another persons perspective when given familiar task (Policeman task ie hiding)


Criticism of Piaget Interaction/Language


Failure to distinguish understanding of language vs performance (lack of verbal skills mask competence)

Rules that govern moral convo different

Believes children unable to conserve in Piaget tasks due to adults breaking the convocational rules children hold

ie ask to repeat answer when already been given.


Criticism of Piaget Yotsky

- theory of Proximal development
- believed he placed too little emphasis on development via interaction
- Piaget believed that development must precede learning, whilst Yotsky said learning precedes development as it cant be understood without cultural context (varies culture) + and social factors (enviro)


Strengths of piaget's theory?

- changed how we study children
- huge amount of research
- been of practical use
- improved education


What was kohlberg's study about?

Sought to describe the development of moral reasoning. Posed moral dilemmas to children and adolescents and found stages of moral development.


Kohlbergs three areas of moral development?

pre conventional, conventional, post conventional


Stage 1

punishment and obedience
-based on consequence of actions rather than intentions


Stage 2

Individualism and Exchange
- right behaviour is one that is rewarded


Stage 3

Interpersonal relationships
- makes me look good/gain approval of others/ fulfilling social roles


Stage 4

authority and social order
- law/order highest social ideals, social obedience essential for functional society


Stage 5

social contract
- others have different values and law dependant on culture.
- difference between moral and legal laws


Stage 6

Universal principles
- develop internal moral principles which are obeyed over law.
- takes into account affect of everyone


Criticisms of Kohlberg

Developmental Sequence
Gender Bias
Culture Bias


Developmental Sequence

studies around world found stages didn't occur in order he suggested ie (Ann Colby longitudinal study of 20)


Gender Bias

developed only a western, male view on moral development

Gilligan suggested was due to difference in socialisation --> males socialise to be independent/achievement orientated (stage 4) and women responsible/nurturing (stage 3)


Culture Bias

Richard Shweder case study: Babaji (orthodox hindu teacher), presented with Indian version of Heinz dilemma --> however culture forbid stealing under any circumstance so placed stage 3/4.


what was erikson's theory?

psychosocial crisis - theory of identity
the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development
each stage is defined by crisis, and if not resolved they wont move on to the next stage.


what were the stages of erikson's theory + virtues?

- trust vs mistrust (hope)
- autonomy vs shame (will)
- initiative vs guilt (purpose)
- industry vs inferiority (competence)
- indentiy vs confusion (fidelity)
- intimacy vs isolation (love)
- generativity vs stagnation (care)
- integrity vs despair (wisdom)


Strengths of erikson's theory?

- strong face validity
- ties together important psychosocial development over the lifespan


Limitations of erikson's theory?

- vague about causes of development
- no universal mechanism for resolution
- doesn't explain how one crisis influences personality later
- no objective way of assessment


Bandura 'social learning' theory 2 components

learning and modelling


what is learning?

function of observing, retaining and replicating


what is modelling?

occurs when one observes the behaviour and consequence of another to influence himself


what are the four meditational processes?

attention, retention, reproduction, motivation


Bobo Doll Experiment

36 boys, 36 girls (3-6). First experimental group of 24 children exposed to aggressive behaviour whilst second exposed to non aggressive behaviour, Separated by sex and shown opposite sex models

Results: children exposed to aggressive model more likely to act in aggressive manner. Boys more aggression when exposed to male models.


strengths of bandura

- Easily handles inconsistencies in behaviour
- Accurate picture explaining how behaviour is learned
- Offers a way to integrate social and cognitive theories
- Allows and accounts for cognitive processes


limitations of bandura

- Too heavy of an emphasis on what happens instead of what the observer does with what happens -
- Does not take into account physical and mental changes
- Doesn’t explain all behaviour
- Doesn’t explain behavioural differences
- Doesn’t take in account that what one person views as punishment, another person may view as a reward BIASES


Object permanence Piaget

ability to know that objects continue to exist even though they can no longer be seen or heard (sensory motor)


Mountain Task Piaget

test whether a child’s thinking was egocentric, indicator of whether the child was in the preoperational stage or the concrete operational.

Method: Model of three mountains is presented in front. of child, doll is placed in different position relative to the child. The child is shown 10 photographs. The child is to select which best reflects the doll’s view.


Pendelum Task Piaget

- testing whether formal operational or concrete operation
- asks children to work out which factors affected the rate of how a pendulum swung
- children at concrete changed one or more of the factors
- children at formal systematically tested each of the factors (logical)


Piaget "little scientists"

Piaget's "constructivist theory" -> children construct mental models of the world, likening them to “little scientists” actively exploring/experimenting rather than soaking up information passively