Ap Psychology Notes- Human Development

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Human Development

Identical twins: show remarkable similarities, but only in characteristics your would expect: intelligence, temperament, gestures, posture and pace of speech.

-however, environment plays a big role too
-increase in age=greater difference

problems w/ twin studies:
-expectancy biases has proven to be a big challenge for these studies

developmental psychology: psychology of growth, change and consistency through the lifespan
-> looks at how thinking, feeling and behaviour change throughout a person's life

nature vs. nurture issue:
-developmental psychology seeks to answer 2 big questions about heredity and environment:
1) how much weight does each wield?
2) how do they interact?

-nature refers to the effects of heredity and nurture to the influence of environment

How to study the Nature-Nurture Interaction:
-there are 2 easy ways to study nature-nurture
-twin studies: identical twins have same genotype and fraternal twins have an average of 50% of their genes in common

-adoption studies: similarities with the biological family support nature, while similarities with the adoptive family support nurture

Gradual vs. Abrupt Change
-think about how children become adults. is there a predictable pattern they follow regarding thought and language and social development?

-do children go through gradual changes or are they abrupt changes?

Continuity View:
-says that change is gradual
-children become more skillful in thinking, talking or acting much the same way as they get taller

Discontinuity View:
-sees development as more abrupt- a succession of changes that produce different behaviours in different age-specific life periods called stages -this is evident in beginning readers who suddenly discover the connection between the letters and sounds -we often hear ppl talking about children going through "stages" in life (i.e. terrible twos) -there are called developmental stages: periods of life initiated by distinct transition in physical or psychological functioning -psychologists of the discontinuity view believe that ppl go through the same stages, in the same order, but not necessarily the same rate -however, if a person misses a stage, it can have lasting consequences

Capabilities of Newborns:
-ppl used to think that nerborns began life as a "blank slate": an empty brain and no abilities -studies shown newborns have innate abilities to find nourishment, interact with others and avoid harmful situations

Developmental Periods to Know:
-Prenatal period: developmental period before birth (9 developmental period before birth)
-during this time, the genetic plan determines how all of the organs that will be formed later being to form
-here we get differentiation (cells forming specific organs). before we differentiation, cells are "stem cells" and are capable of forming into any organ in the body
-1 concern during this time are teratogens, or substances from the environmental that can damage the developing baby (i.e. alcohol, nicotine)

-Neonatal period: birth to 1 month
-during this stages babies are capable of responding to stimulation from all of their senses -Infancy: 1 month to 24 months
-this is a period of rapid development, but is still heavily reliant on reflexive behaviour
-part of the reason we remember very little between birth and age 3.5 is that our brain circuits are not full developed

-prenatal stages of development:
zygote: a fertilized egg
-enters a 2 week period of rapid cell division
-develops into an embryo

embryo: developing human organism from2 weeks through 2nd month

fetus: developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth

Learning in Development:
-during infancy, youngsters begin to exploit their abilities for learning
-crying, cooing, smiling
-classical conditioning in stimulus

social abilities:
-during infancy we also see babies engage in a lot of...
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