Psych Study Guide

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Developmental Psychology

Prelim 1 review

Spring 2012

The exam will include material from lecture (including 2/20), the textbook (chapters 1 – 4, plus the section on gross motor skills in chapter 5, p. 171 – 174), video, and the supplemental readings. The questions will be a mix of multiple-choice, very-short answer (a few words or a sentence), not-so-short answer (a few sentences), and an essay question. The outline integrates material from the text, readings, videos, and lecture, and is intended only as an overview of the material to help you keep everything organized. Do not use this outline as an indication of the level of detail you will need to know, as it merely skims the surface.

I. Introduction to developmental science (chapters 1,2)

A. Examples of a psychobiological approach

B. Experimental design

1. Independent, dependent variables

2. Extraneous and confounding variables

3. counterbalancing

C. Criteria of scientific description

1. Objectivity, reliability, validity

D. Problems with the “cake” metaphor of development

1. Cloned kittens example

2. Bidirectional causality across levels of organization

E. Multicausality

1. “A not B error”

F. Three types of nested timescales

1. real time, developmental time, evolutionary time

2. examples: speech, birdsong

G. Continuous and discontinuous development

H. Proximate and ultimate causation

I. Levels of organization/levels of complexity

1. “levels of analysis chauvinism”

2. nominal fallacies (examples)

J. Braitenberg vehicles

1. Law of uphill analysis and downhill invention

2. Implications of the emergence of complex behavior from simple

mechanisms:

a) for human infant development

b) for embodied cognition

K. Nature, nurture, and levels of organization

1. Definition of innate, congenital, predetermined

2. Criteria for determining whether a system is predetermined

a) Chronotypy

b) Heritability

c) Coupling of sender and receiver (for recognition

systems)

3. Examples from species recognition

4. Range of reaction

5. Canalization (Waddington)

L. What is development?

1. Definitions of development

2. Developmental habitat, niche

M. Development according to Sapolsky3

1. integration of genes and experience (examples)

II. Prenatal development (chapter 3)

A. Epigenetic explanation of embryonic development

B. Stages of human embryological development

1. Germinal period (conception – implantation)

a) Probabilistic epigenesis of cell specialization

2. Embryonic period (implantation – 8 weeks)

3. Early fetal period (9 – 16 weeks)

4. First discontinuity/regression (17 – 22 weeks)

5. State reorganization (24 – 32 weeks)

6. Auditory system responsive (24 – 30 weeks)

7. Integrated expressions (32 – 36 weeks)

8. Birth (approx 40 weeks)

C. Effects of nutrition, teratogens (only generally) on prenatal

development

D. Examples of prenatal sensory function

1. Humans (DeCasper, others): prenatal learning of speech sounds

2. Chicks (Kuo): importance of spontaneous movements

3. Ducklings (Gottlieb): prenatal auditory experience influences

postnatal species recognition

E. Gottlieb’s roles of experience

1. Definition of experience

2. Induction

3. Facilitation (3 types)4

4. Maintenance

5. Experience as a developmental mechanism

F. Effects of microgravity on vestibular development of rat pups

III. Birth and early postnatal development (chapters 3, 4)

A. Continuity of sensory function across the birth transition

B. Three stages of labor

C. The birth transition

1. Stress responses

2. Definition of ontogenetic adaptation

D. Neonate morphology and characteristics of neoteny (info in

lecture, Gould article, text)

E. Reflexes

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