Developmental Psychology Notes
Examines how people are continually developing- physically, cognitively, and socially – from infancy through old age. Nature and Nurture: how do genetic inheritance and experience influence our development? Should always be in the back of your head during this unit. Are you who you are because of the way you were born or because of the way you were raised? Continuity and stages: is development a gradual, continuous process like riding an escalator, or does it proceed through a sequence of separate stages, like climbing rungs on a ladder? Stability and change: do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age? Prenatal Development and the Newborn
The process starts when a woman produces a mature egg.
Women are born with all the immature eggs they will ever have, while men develop sperm at puberty. One sperm penetrates the protective layer of the egg and the nuclei fuse into one. Fertilized eggs are called zygotes.
10 days after conception, the zygote attaches to the mother’s uterus, the zygote’s inner cells become the embryo, organs begin to form and function, and the heart starts beating. By 9 weeks after conception, the embryo looks unmistakably human. It is now called a fetus. It is responsive to sound and will prefer its mother’s voice to another’s. The placenta is a protective “sac” to nourish and keep the fetus safe. Some substances can slip by, like teratogens, which are harmful agents like drugs or viruses. Whatever a pregnant mother does, many times their child will do the same. (drugs) If a mother smokes, the baby could be born with medical issues. Alcohol consumption leads to fetal alcohol syndrome. First period is called menarche.
The Competent Newborn
When a baby is born, they are born with some innate tendencies. Habituation: decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. The dog-cat test sowed that infants along with humans looked at the faces more rather than the bodies. Infancy and Childhood
A baby grows from a newborn to a toddler during infancy, and then grows from a toddler to a teenager during childhood. Newborns turn their head towards voices.
See 8-12 inches from their face
Gaze longer at human like objects right from birth.
Inborn automatic responses
In the womb, your developing brain formed nerve cells at ¼ million per minute. On the day you were born, you had most of the brain cells you would ever have. Maturation: biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior. The developing brain enables physical coordination.
Genes play a major role in motor development. Identical twins typically begin sitting up and walking on the same day. Infantile amnesia – many people can remember what has happened to them from the ages of 4 and 5 + but before the age of three is completely forgotten. Cognition: all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. Schemas: a concept that organizes and interprets information. Assimilation: interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas. Accommodation: adapting our current understandings to incorporate new information. Sensorimotor stage: (birth to two years) the stage during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities. Object permanence: the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived. Preoperational stage: (2 to 6 or 7 years) a child learns to use their language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic. Concrete operational stage: (7 to 11 years) children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events. Formal operational stage: (12 through life) where people begin to think logically about abstract concepts. Conservation: idea that mass,...
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