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1

Why are theories important? (3)

1. Organize what we know into coherent set of principles
2. Form testable hypotheses about children’s behavior
3. Interpret findings

2

Continuous development

Change is gradual and smooth, each experience builds on earlier experiences

3

Discontinuous development

Change occurs in discrete steps with qualitative differences at each step

4

Overlapping waves for development

Variability in social behavior at a given point in time, change happens as children adopt new strategies

5

Current view of development (continuous or discontinuous)

Continuous but interspersed with transitional periods

6

Case study: Genie

Nature vs nurture, locked in basement, after certain amount of years passed she couldn’t learn how to talk

7

Current view of nature vs nuture

Both are important and interact, expression of biological characteristics is shaped by environmental circumstances

8

Current view of whether social development is universal across cultures

Some universal aspects but need to understand cultural variation

9

Rogoff’s research

Culture, Mayan vs US children, Mayan children better at attention and learning

10

Equifinality

Pathway, convergence, two children follow different paths to reach same outcome

11

Multifinality

Pathway, divergence, two children start out similarly but end up at different points

12

Early view on what role children play in their own development

Passive role, children shaped by external forces

13

Current view on what role children play in their own development

Active role, children explore and seek out info about world, participate in exchanges with others, shape own development

14

What makes for a “good” theory? (3)

1. Parsimonious- simple
2. Falsifiable- testable
3. Applicable-practical relevance

15

Psychodynamic Perspectives: Freud

Development driven by unconscious instincts: sex, aggression, hunger

Shaped by relationships with others (mostly parents)

16

Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

Oral —> anal —> phallic (learns differences between males and females) —> latency (little or no sexual motivation) —> genital

17

Erikson’s psychosocial theory

Extended stages through adulthood, emphasized social environment over biology, specified tasks that must be accomplished at each stage, risks of failing to accomplish

18

Erikson’s stages

1. Trust vs mistrust (0-1 years)
2. Autonomy vs shame and doubt (1-3 years)- assert independence
3. Initiative vs guilt (3-6 years)-responsibility and ambition
4. Industry vs inferiority (6-12 years)-master tasks
5. Identity vs confusion (12-20 years)
6. Intimacy vs isolation (20-30 years)
7. Generatively vs stagnation (30-65 years)-raise children, generative career, give back to community
8. Integrity vs Despair (65+ years)

19

Strengths of Freud and Erikson

Emphasis on effects of early experience and social interactions on development, introduced concepts (attachment, gender roles, morality, identity)

20

Weaknesses of Freud and Erikson

Difficult to test empirically

Just Freud: not based directly on work with children

Just Erikson: mechanisms for transitioning across stages not identified

21

Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory

Transactional focus: children as agents in exploring and making sense of their environment

22

2 important processes for Piaget’s theory

1. Assimilation- fit new info into existing schema
2. Accommodation- modify existing schema in response to new info

23

Piaget’s theory stages (4)

1. Sensorimotor
2. Preoperational
3. Concrete operational
4. Formal operational

24

Piaget’s sensorimotor period

0-2 years, differentiates self from objects and other people, imitate and engage in imaginative play, basic understanding of causality, develops object permanence

25

Piaget’s preoperational period

2-7 years, begins to use language and symbols, perspective is egocentric (can’t see perspective of others), irreversible, centered

26

Piaget’s concrete operations period

7-12 years, reasons logically about present objects, organizes objects into classes and series, grasps concept of conservation (ex: liquid in glass), can take another’s perspective

27

Piaget’s formal operations period

12+ years, thinking is flexible and complex, can consider abstract ideas and hypotheses

28

Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory

Development is best understood as a product of social interactions, especially with more skilled people

29

Zone of proximal development

Things the learner can do with help

30

Strengths of Piaget and Vygotsky

Based on direct work with children, links between cognition and social relations

31

Weaknesses of Piaget and Vygotsky

Piaget: series of universal, invariant, stages is contextually and culturally limited

Vygotsky: measurement of ZPD is difficult

32

Classical conditioning

Pavlov and Watson, new stimulus is paired with familiar stimulus until individual responds to new in the same way as familiar

33

Operant conditioning

Skinner, reinforcement learning: rewards increase the likelihood that behavior will recur, punishment decreases likelihood

34

Strengths/weaknesses of traditional learning theories (conditioning)

Strength: useful for explaining certain aspects of development

Weaknesses: overemphasis on behavior with neglect of individual differences

35

Bandura’s cognitive social learning theory

Importance of observational learning, demonstrated that children who watched another person behaving aggressively were likely to imitate that person

36

Bandura’s observations

Children do not imitate automatically, cognition is part of process, children must pay attention and be able to remember and reproduce it

37

Reciprocal determinism

Bandura, children reciprocally influence the model

38

Bandura’s strengths

Considerable empirical evidence, many practical applications

39

Bandura’s weaknesses

Not very developmental in scope, minimal attention to individual differences

40

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory

Child’s world is organized as a set of nested systems or contexts, development is affected by interactions between and within systems, processes are culture-specific

41

Bronfenbrenner’s Systems

Microsystem —> mesosystem —> exosystem—> macrosystem

42

Microsystem

Context in which children live and interact with the people and institutions closest to them

43

Mesosystem

Interrelations among components of microsystem

44

Exosystem

Settings that influence development but in which the child does not play a direct role

45

Macrosystem

Values, ideologies, and laws of society and culture

46

Chronosystem

Overarching changes within the child or in one of the systems

47

Bronfenbrenner’s strengths/weaknesses

Strengths: attention to broad range of influential social contexts

Weaknesses: describes, but does not explain, development, too broad to test

48

Ethological theory

To understand behavior, must view in a particular setting, times when we are most sensitive to particular types of stimuli, must study in relation to organism’s biology

49

Evolutionary development theory

Ancestors developed complex skills to ensure survival

50

Method: correlation, involves determining (2 things)

1. Direction 2. Magnitude of systematic relations between variables

51

Strengths of correlation

Useful for describing patterns in development as they naturally occur, starting place for unexplored areas of research

52

Strengths/weaknesses for lab experiment

Strength: able to make claims about cause and effect relations (because of independent value manipulation and random assignment)

Weakness: can lack ecological validity

53

Strengths/ weaknesses of field experiment

Strength: able to make claims about cause and effect relations, can be more ecologically valid

Weakness: some things cannot ethically be manipulated

54

Method: intervention

Takes knowledge from correlational, lab, and field research and attempts to make a positive impact on an aspect of development

55

Method: natural experiment

Aka quasi-experiment, researchers monitor the impact of changes that occur without their intervention

56

Strengths/weaknesses of reports

Strengths: wide-scale implantation at low cost, ask private questions in surveys, tailor interviews to individual

Weaknesses: social desirability

57

Gathering data: structures observation

Create a situation in which the behavior of interest is likely to occur, ex: “still face” design (baby cries when mother didn’t respond)

58

Gathering data: coding observations

Event sampling: only when a specific event occurs

Time sampling: any of a set of behaviors that occurs within a specific time frame

59

Observations strengths/weaknesses

Strengths: generalizability and external validity are high

Weaknesses: influence of being observed, observer bias (can use blind coders), less control for isolating causes

60

Gathering data: psychophysiological techniques

Examine physical and psychological processes that occur when children encounter social stimuli (heart rate, respiration, EEG, fMRI, hormone levels)

61

Cross sectional design

Multiple groups compared at same time

62

Longitudinal design

Studies same group of children over period of time

63

Sequential design

Combination of cross sectional and longitudinal designs, following several differently aged cohorts over time

64

Infant directed speech

Auditory preparation, “baby talk”

65

Contingent interactions

Infants learn that they can be an initiator and a responder

66

Visual cortex development

3 months: preference for faces

67

Auditory cortex development

18-24 months: language development

68

Prefrontal cortex development

5-7 years: executive processes

69

Synaptic pruning

Eliminates under-stimulated connections

70

Experiment-expectant processes

Rely on the experiences that are expected in children’s normal environments (ex: learning native language)

71

Experiment-dependent processes

Rely on experiences that are unique to individuals (ex: learning how to juggle)

72

Passive gene-environment associations

Parents provide genes and environments for children, environments match and encourage genetic predispositions

73

Evocative gene-environment association

Child’s genetic tendencies elicit reactions from their environments

74

Active gene-environment association

Children seek out experiences compatible with their inherited tendencies

75

Gene environment interactions

Occur when the environment has an impact on the degree to which genetic influences are expressed

76

Gene environment interactions

Mothers with DRD2 gene became harsh parents during hard times

77

Temperament

Individual differences in reactivity (affect, emotion) and self-regulation (attention, self-soothing)

78

Thomas and Chess temperament categories (3)

1. Easy (40%)- flexible, friendly, happy, adaptable
2. Difficult (10%)- feisty, irregular, moody
3. Slow to warm up (15%)- fearful, low in activity level, high in withdraw but adapt with exposure

79

Rothbart temperament dimensions (3)

1. Effortful control- ex: marshmallow test
2. Negative affectivity-frustration, fear, discomfort, sadness, soothability
3. Surgency- low shyness, impulsivity

80

Measuring temperament

Parental report, researcher observations, physiological measures, molecular genetics

81

Ages when different aspects of temperament can be observed

-Newborns: distress, avoidance
-1-2 months: smile, approach
-2-3 months: anger, frustration
-7-10 months: fear
-2+ years: effortful control

82

Big Five Personality Factors

Extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness

83

Goodness of fit

Match between child’s temperament and environment

84

Attachment

Strong emotional bond that forms between infant and caregiver within first year

85

Psychoanalytic theory of attachment

Oral stage, mothers satisfy need for sucking (Freud)

86

Psychosocial theory of attachment

Task of developing trust (Erikson)

87

Learning theory of attachment

Attachment because of feeding (ex: Harlow's money experiment)

88

Cognitive development theory of attachment

Requirement of object permanence (Piaget)

89

Ethological theory of attachment

Bowlby proposed that attachment is result of biologically programmed responses from infant and mother, adapted idea of imprinting, emphasized secure base

90

Strange Situation

Used to gauge exploration, reactions, stranger anxiety

91

Ainsworth's attachment classification from strange situation

1. Secure (~65%)
2. Insecure-avoidant (~20%)
3. Insecure-ambivalent (~10%)
4. Insecure-disorganized (~5%)

92

Insecure-avoidant

Little concern for parent's absence, active avoidance at reunion, ignoring parent

93

Insecure-ambivalent

Unable to use parent as secure base, distressed by parent's absence, but show anger/resentment upon reunion, seek contact then reject

94

Insecure-disorganized

Greatest insecurity, contradictory patterns of behavior

95

Assessing attachment

Attachment Q-sets, mother sorts 90 statements into sets ranging from "describes very well" to "least descriptive", score reflects how securely attached a child is

96

Attachment in different cultures

Infants in different cultures have different amounts of experiment being left alone by mother

More insecure-ambivalent in Kenya, PR, Japan, and Uganda

More insecure-avoidant in Germany, Sweden, and UK

97

Hazan and Shaver (1987)-stability in attachment

How adults approach intimate relationships
-Secure (50%)
-Avoidant (30%)
-Ambivalent (20%)

98

Emotions

Subjective reaction to something in the environment, accompanied by some form of physiological arousal, communicated to others through expression or action

99

3 components of emotion

Emotional expression, understanding, regulation

100

Biological perspective of emotion

Emotional expressions are innate, universal

101

Learning perspective of emotion

Differences in emotional expression based on environment

102

Functional perspective of emotion

Emotions are relational, guides others' behavior, memories of past emotions shape responding

103

Primary emotions

Sadness, surprise, joy, interest, anger, fear, disgust, distress

104

Duchenne smile

Real smile, seen in eyes, hard to fake

105

What makes infants vs toddlers laugh

7-9 months: tactile stimuli
12-24 months: visual and social stimuli

106

Secondary Emotions

Embarrassment, jealousy, guilt, shame, pride, empathy

107

Guilt vs shame

Guilt- other focused
Shame- self focused

108

Age of recognizing emotions in others

-3-6 months: recognize positive emotions
-3-4 years: recognize happiness, sadness, anger, fear

109

Emotional scripts

Enables children to identity others' likely emotional reactions to events (pre-expectation for predicting others' emotions)

110

Emotional display

Culturally acceptable ("boys don't cry")

111

Emotion regulation

Involves monitoring and modifying emotional displays

112

Infants' and toddlers' tactics for emotion regulation

Turn away, rely on caregiver

113

Preschoolers' tactics for emotion regulation

Distraction, attention shift, approach/retreat, using emotional display rules, Cookie Monster video

114

Older childrens' tactics for emotion regulation

Mask emotions, ex: disappointing gift

115

Denham: 3 ways to teach emotional skills

1. Modeling
2. Reactions
3. Coaching

116

Gottman: steps to emotion coaching

1. Be aware of the child’s emotions
2. Recognize emotional expression as
an opportunity for intimacy and
teaching
3. Listen empathetically and validate
the child’s feelings
4. Label emotions in words that
children can understand
5. Help children come up with an
appropriate way to solve a problem
or deal with an upsetting situation