Developmental Psychology

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  • Created on: 02-01-18 18:56
what is developmental psychology?
the study of how psychological process change over a life span. (Schacter et al)
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life span development stages
prenatal (conception to birth), infancy/toddler (birth to 3 years) early childhood (3 years to 6 years) middle childhood (6 to 11 years) adolescence (11 to 20) early adulthood (20 to 40) middle adulthood (40 to 65) late adulthood (65+)
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what is the history of researching children
Aries (1960) researched middle ages (5th to 15th century) and found that they were "mini adults" . enlightenment (18th century) thinking changed in the west. industrial revolution (18th -19th century) primary education for children.
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what is studied and why?
development - change over time. change occurs that can be positive and negative. development change is progress from less to more mature thinking.
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what is physical developmenr
growth, motor development (gross, fine and oral), brain continues to grow and make new connections
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what is social development?
interaction with others : family, peers, society, self-concept/self-identity and skills needed: listening, emphathy, expression and non-verbal communication,co-operation and dealing with conflict.
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cognitive development
thinking, remembering, learning, understanding, reasoning, decision making, problem solving , language.
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emotional development
emotional reaction and regulation, self-concept/self-identity, personality character, temperament
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what are the aims of studying development
1) observe and describe developmental changes, 2) explain how and why we develop and behave the way we do 3) predict later outcomes 4) modify behaviour
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what is a theory
organised system og ideas, hypothesised to explain a part or all of a given phenomenon
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where did it all begin?
nativism/ empiricism. plato (428-347 bc) natvism -certain skills and abilities are innate . Aristotle (384-322 BC) empiricism. knowledge aquired by the environment
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the enlightenment (age of reasoning) 1600s-1800s
epistomology- acquisition of knowledge became of great interest. debate between nativism and empiricism
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Descartes-dualism- mind and body separate existant. Hobbes- the mind is what the brain does. Broca-studied damaged brain regions and impact on characteristics and abilities- denied dualism. Gall-phrenology- all mental abilities housed in locations
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Darwin : evolution
those with characteristics are better adapted to their environment, are more likely to survive, reporduce and pass on their traits.
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freud: psychodynamic theory
unconscious mental processes, shapes, feelings, thoughts and behaviours
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strengths of the psychoanalytic theory
nature/nurture. unconscious proessing, defence mechanisms, basic origins of talking therapies.
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weaknesses of the psychoanalytic theory
little logic for theories. much is scientifically untestable, little effort to study systematically, humans passively controlled by motivations.
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focused on behaviour. grand theory, explained human behaviour and cement psychology as a science, behaviour acquired from the environment, back to aristotles roots, 1920 theory
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strengths of behaviourism
scientific, values of behaviour adaptation/control for positive changes, learning principles universal across animal kingdom, objectively tested, recognised environmental influences
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weaknesses of behaviourism
too reductionist, passitivity to the environment, poor explanation of certain areas of dev, disregards innate skills and abilities. ignores mind and cognition.over-emphasis on environment , ignores genetics
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darwin inspired further study of animal behaviour, tinbergen(1907-1988) lorenz(1903-1989) animals didnt learn to bond to caregiver
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piaget cognitive development : process of adaptation
assimilation-apply an old schema to a new situation. accomodation- revive schema based on new info
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piaget stage theory
sensorimotor -0-18 months, preoperational - 18 months to 7 years, concrete operational-8-11 years, formal operational stage- 12 years
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strengths of the stage theory
change the thought process of child thinking, recognised active role of an individual, first to focus on cognitive development, emphasis shared human characteristics, observations highly replicable
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weaknesses of stage theory
overly rigid milestones-universally not supported. underestimates-innate skills and behavioural patterns. social environment (lone scientist) domain general theory, overlooks strengths and weaknesses. limited explanations of differences,
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what happens in sensorimotor stage
learn by doing. object permanence . basic cause/effect. own influence on objects.
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what happens in preoperational stage
ego-centric thinking, objects with words and images can recognise them, thinking tied to doing, language, get better at imagining , pretend play
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what happens in concrete operation
thinking logically, grasps concrete events, mental arithmetic, greater understanding of cause and effect, more complex organisation, conservation
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what happens in formal operational
abstract thought, consider future scenarios
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vygotsky : sociocultural theory
children pass qualitatively through stages. joint endeavour between children and facilitator (parent)
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there are three types of learning for children?
A) skills performed alone at a certain level. B) skills that can be performed with assistance C) skills not yet possible.
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vgotsky : sociocultural theory
achievable with assistance = zone of proximal development (ZPD) "Joint collaboration" then "tranfer of responsibility
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according to vgyotsky the language is central to all cognitive development
1) follow instructions of others 2) self-talk 3) eventually internalised into "inter-speech"
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vygotsky theory: strengths
recognised social environment of learning, emphasised interactions with people not objects , interest in potential not just current ability, children interact with the environment, recognised cultural impact with and influence environment,
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vygotsky : weaknesses
unfinished theory, not a complete theory, stressed theory to education but never applied (smith and dockrell & tomlinson 1997) , cant assess ZPD via achievements
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bandura : social learning theory
developed widely recognised social learning theory. built on behavioural principles , behaviour still central concept, several concepts 1960s;children observing behaviour , reward punishments.
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brofenbrenner :ecological systems theory
sees them as an active participant, argued for studying in natural environment ,advocated closer link between developmental research and policy (Slee and Slater 2003) heavily focused on social and cultural environment of development, complex environ
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5 environment systems
microsystems- direct environment (family, friends etc.) mesosystems -connections between different microsystems. exosystem- link between direct and indirect environment (home and parents workplace) macrosystem - ethnicity. chromosystem- change
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what is the meaning of nature vs nurture debate
nature- heredity and not the environment is the chief maker of man (wiggam 1923) nurture-give me a dozen infants and ill guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of professional i might select" (Watson 1925)
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John Locke (1632-1704)
empiricist philospher,
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life span development stages


prenatal (conception to birth), infancy/toddler (birth to 3 years) early childhood (3 years to 6 years) middle childhood (6 to 11 years) adolescence (11 to 20) early adulthood (20 to 40) middle adulthood (40 to 65) late adulthood (65+)

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what is the history of researching children


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what is studied and why?


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what is physical developmenr


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