Psychology- Ch12

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What is developmental psychology?
Evaluation of the biological, physical, psychological and behavioural changes that occur as we grow older
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What are the 4 key factors considered in developmental psychology?
• Stability vs Change • Continuity vs. Discontinuity • Critical vs. Sensitive periods • Nature vs. Nurture
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Discuss the meaning of each. (stability vs change on this card)
1) There is a tendency to consider most developmental changes to happen in the first years of life, with long periods of stability in adulthood. However, there are a great number of developmental changes that continue into adulthood and old age.
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Continuity vs discontinuity
Early developmental psychologists considered development to unfold gradually. Jean Piaget proposed it was a progression of qualitatively distinct stages.
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Critical vs sensitive periods
Critical period: experiences must occur during this period for normal development Sensitive Period: optimal time for certain experiences, but later exposure still may lead to normal development (e.g. language)
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nature vs nurture
Most will argue that both typical and atypical development are products of an interaction between both nature and nurture, but the hard task is to determine how nature and nurture interact.
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What are the two types of developmental research design?
Longitudinal and Cross-sectional
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What is a cross-sectional design? Key drawback?
compares people of different ages at the same point in time. − Key drawback = different age groups grew up in different historical periods.
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What is a longitudinal design?
repeatedly tests the same cohort as it grows older. Key drawback= time consuming, and over time sample may shrink as people move, drop out of the study or die. Are results actually due to developmental experiences unique to cohort?
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Key advantage of longitudinal design?
allows us to examine differences between individuals in terms of the ways in which they develop (see microgenetic design)
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What is sequential design?
Combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional design. Most expensive and time consuming.
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What is microgenetic design?
Considers individual’s trajectories of development on a smaller scale than more traditional logarithmic methods (measures change across days and hours rather than years and months).
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What does the 'genetic' in 'microgenetic' refer to?
is not related to genes or inheritance. “Genetic” here refers to “Genesis” (i.e. development itself).
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What is a teratogen?
harmful chemicals, diseases or maternal characteristics that can change pre-natal development
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Between which weeks are the arms and legs developing? when will their a)structure and b)function be defected by teratogens?
4-9 weeks, a)4-8 b)8-9
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Between which weeks is the CNS developing? when will their a)structure and b)function be defected by teratogens?
3-birth. a)3-6 b)6-birth
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What can feotal alcohol syndrome cause?
– Facial, heart and limb defects – Severe cognitive deficits – Excessively irritable – due to dependence on alcohol?
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What indicates learning within the womb?
recognition of familiar music, voices and sounds. They have also habituated to alarming sounds already
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What is the disadvantage of visual preference technique? Which technique can we use instead?
If the newborn has no preference between stimuli, we cannot tell if they are able to discriminate. Therefore we can use the visual habituation technique
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What is perceptual narrowing?
process in which infants lose the ability to make discriminations which they do not need across the first year of life.
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What else is perceptual narrowing known as? What does it occur with and when?
“general perceptuo-cognitive tuning apparatus”, and occurs with both phonemes and faces between 6-10 months.
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What is cognitive development?
The acquisition of new schemas and development of existing schemas into more complex schemas.
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What is object permanence?
when an object continues to exist in a particular place even when it is no longer visible
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What is symbolic thought? What does this allow?
The use of mental images and concepts to represent people, objects and events. The child can engage in pretend play (but this usually occurs above the age of 2)
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What is deterred imitation?
imitating an action some time after observing it
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What is egocentrism?
difficulty viewing the world from someone else’s perspective
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What is irreversibility?
difficulty to reverse an action mentally
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What is centration?
focusing on only one aspect of a situation e.g. thinking a glass of equal volume has more juice in than another because it is taller
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What is animism?
they attribute lifelike qualities to physical objects (e.g. when it rains, the sky is crying)
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What is conservation?
the principle that basic properties of objects- such as their volume, mass or quantity- stay the same even though their outward appearance may change.
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What did Piaget advocate?
what has become known as ‘child-centred’ approach to education, in which children are provided with a rich classroom environment in which to learn for themselves- rather than one in which children are taught in a unilateral way.
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What was Vgotsky's view on cognitive development?
Considered social context to be at the core of development. Argued that cognitive Development is driven by the interplay between biological development and sociocultural input.
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What is the zone of proximal development?
difference between what a child can do alone and what they can do with assistance from adults or more advanced peers
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What is scaffolding?
When teacher adjusts the amount and type of support to fit within the child’s learning needs.
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What is community of learners?
When Children work together on a long term project with the teacher being an expert guide and facilitator
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How did vgotsky view the development of language?
progression towards using language to structure their thought, and regulate the way they were doing the task, was in children talking to themselves when undertaking a task.
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At what age do these 'monologues' tend to stop?
At 7 years old- but argues they don't actually stop, are just internalised.
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How did Piaget view language?
As an underlying cognitive ability
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How does the information processing approach view cognitive development?
as a continuous, gradual process in which the same set of information processing abilities become more efficient over time.
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What is metacognition?
an ability to reflect on cognitive processes such as memory Children’s improved ability to remember information as they grow older
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What is theory of mind?
a person’s beliefs about the ‘mind’ and the ability to understand mental states and reflect on other’s perspectives.
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How is understanding of other people's dispositions tested in young infants?
3-4yr olds: shown 2 people label items correctly and incorrectly, then later more likely to trust those who labelled correctly. 6-10month olds: use shapes helping/hindering eachother, then which shape child likely to pick up (again trusts helper)
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What is the difference between puberty and adolescence?
puberty is a biologically defined period- whilst adolescence is a socially defined period.
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What is puberty?
- a period of rapid maturation in which the person becomes capable of sexual reproduction.
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What is adolescence?
12-18yr olds.
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What is young adulthood?
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What is middle adulthood?
40-early 60s
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What is late adulthood?
Approx 65+
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What is egocentrism?
a self-absorbed and distorted view of one’s uniqueness and importance.
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Egocentrism is divided into two parts. What is personal fable?
How adolescents often overestimate the uniqueness of their feelings and experiences
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What is imaginary audience?
oversensitivity to social evaluation- feel that they are always on stage and everyone will notice how they look or what they do
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Why are adolescents more likely to engage in risky behaviour?
Due to a sense of invulnerability.
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What is fluid intelligence?
reflects the ability to perform mental operations
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What is crystallised intelligence?
reflects the accumulation of verbal skills and factual knowledge
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What is wisdom?
includes knowledge about human nature and social relationships, strategies for making decisions and handling conflict, and an ability to manage uncertainty.
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How can we study wisdom?
, psychologists present people of different ages with hypothetical social problems or situations and ask them to provide solutions. Experts (who do not know the participants ages) are then asked to use specific criteria to judge the wisdom of the ans
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What is dimentia?
= the gradual loss of cognitive abilities that accompanies abnormal brain deterioration and interferes with daily functioning.
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What is senile dementia?
= dementia that begins after the age of 65.
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What proportion of dementia cases does Alzheimer's account for? What are the other causes?
2/3rds. Parkinson's, huntingdon's, stroke, creutzfeld-jakobs disease.
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Card 2


What are the 4 key factors considered in developmental psychology?


• Stability vs Change • Continuity vs. Discontinuity • Critical vs. Sensitive periods • Nature vs. Nurture

Card 3


Discuss the meaning of each. (stability vs change on this card)


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Card 4


Continuity vs discontinuity


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Critical vs sensitive periods


Preview of the front of card 5
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