Psych 230 (Developmental Psychology) Exam 1

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Explain the Life Span Theory and it's parts

this theory is centrally focused on the fact that development is a lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional (development moves forward some and back some), plastic (always the potential for change or for things to get better), multidisciplinary and contextual processes (i.e. the environment around you). Additionally, development is also influenced through our biological, socio-cultural and individual factors working together. This theory covers the entire lifespan and is not a stage theory.

Explain Erikson's Theory

this theory of psychosocial development is a stage theory that also holds true to the life-span theory. This theory consists of 8 stages that follow a person from infancy till late adulthood. In each stage, a person is confronted with a crisis and is forced to resolve or face the consequences of a setback. Stages are in chronological order of age and are as follows: trust versus mistrust (1 year), autonomy versus shame and doubt (1 to 3 years), initiative versus guilt (3 to 5 years), industry versus inferiority ( 6 to puberty), identity versus identity confusion (10 to 20 years), intimacy versus isolation (20s to 30s), generativity versus stagnation (40s to 50s), and lastly integrity versus despair (60s to death). Strengths of this theory include an emphasis on a developmental framework, family relationships, and unconscious aspects of the mind. Weaknesses include a lack of scientific support.

Explain Piaget's Theory

this theory is a cognitive theory that emphasizes 4 stages that children go through in their cognitive development. Throughout these stages, children actively construct their understanding of the world. The first stage called the sensorimotor encompasses children from birth to 2 and involves an infant constructing its understanding of the world by learning how physical actions connect with sensory experiences. The second stage called the preoperational involves the child beginning to represent the world with images and words. This stage last from age 2 to 7 years of age. The third stage is called the concrete operational stage. It involves the child being able to reason logically about events and grouping things into different sets. The last stage called the formal operational stage involves an adolescent learning how to thing more abstractly, idealistically, and logical ways. This stage lasts from age 11 through adulthood. This is a stage theory and not a lifespan theory.

Explain Pavlov's Theory

this behavioral and social cognitive theory is a form of associative learning that focuses on classical conditioning. Basically what this is the association of a behavior with an event and is considered to be automatic or almost like a reflex. A prime example is the founders dog which was trained to salivate when it heard a bell sound (normally for food). The bell was a conditioned stimulus and the dog's salivating was a conditioned response. The theories strengths include it's influence on the modern field of behavioral psychology, while critics of his theory argue that although he discovered classical conditioning, he failed to identify its true mechanism.this theory is not a stage theory, but can be considered a lifespan theory.

Explain Ethological Theory

this theory is strongly influenced by time periods called critical or "sensitive periods". These periods are important in the development of a child and if a child is not exposed to certain experiences, that child might be influenced negatively by this later in life. An example of this is Lorenz's geese which first saw him and began to follow him around like a mother. His explanation is a term called imprinting, which he believed was responsible for the geese's behavior. The strengths of this theory are in its focus on biological and evolutionary development, while its weaknesses might be its rigidity of the "critical periods". The ethological theory is neither a stage theory nor lifespan theory.

Explain the Ecological Theory

Founded by Urie Bronfrenner, this thory focuses on an environmental system that is divided into 5 systems that are influential to an individuals environment. These systems are the individual, microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and the macrosystem. At the individual level, a person's genetics, physiology, etc are at the level of individual concern. The next system up is the microsystem. This system consists of those people and places that we encounter face-to-face every day. The next system up is the mesosystem which links people from the micro to the exo systems. The next system is the exosystem which consists of those people or places that you encounter weekly or every so often. Examples include your family, friends, doctor, etc. Lastly the final system is the macrosystem. This system consists of the media, policy, social norms, etc that influence our thoughts and actions. Overall, at every level a person is affected by their environment in some way shape or form and each of these systems plays a part in an individual's life. Additionally, the ecological theory follows the life span theory model, but at the same time does not follow the stage theory model.

Why is chronological age not necessarily the best way to conceptualize age?

this term speaks of the number of years that have elapsed since birth. But time is a crude index of experience, and it does not cause anything. Chronological age is not the only way of measuring age. Age has been conceptualized not just as chronological age but also as biological, psychological age and social age. The 28 year old mayor, 35 year old grandmother, 65 year old father of a preschooler, the 55 year old widow who starts a business illustrate that life events no longer govern our lives. Chronological age has become less accurate predictor of life events in society and should be apart of an age profile along with biological, psychological and social age.

What are some different ways of conceptualizing age beyond chronological age?

Biological, psychological, and social age.

Cross-sectional

this research method is used to compare people that are varying in some specific variable at a single point in time. An example would be a study that is contrasting 20 year olds to 40 year olds in the year 1980. Basically you are comparing a variable between two age groups and coming up with a conclusion based on these age differences. Strengths of this method are that they take a relatively short period of time and they are relatively inexpensive. The weaknesses of this method are that it can't control for cohort differences and also it doesn't really look at development as a whole.

Longitudinal

this research method involves a single cohort or group being followed over a period of time. This is relevant because you can analyze a person's development over a period of time in a specific area of study. An example of this research method would be to follow a person from the age of 20 till the age of 40 and taking measurements of data every so often. Strengths of this method are that you can look at development of a person or a group and it controls for age changes. Weaknesses of this research method are that it is expensive, out dated, and there is the potential for death or dropping out of cohort members.

Time-Lag

this research method involves the comparison of people that are the same age, but from different cohorts. An example of this would be to analyze differences from 20 year olds that lived in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Strengths of this method are that it controls for cohort differences. Weaknesses are that this method is very expensive and you cannot control for age change effects or age differences.

Sequential

this research method is considered the best one of the 4 methods available and involves a combination of the cross-sectional, longitudinal, and time-lag methods. An example of this would be the simultaneous cross- sectional and longitudinal study of birth cohorts from the 60s, 80s and 2000s. Strengths of this method involve a researcher being able to look at age differences, age change, and cohort differences at the same time. Weaknesses of this method are minimal because every variable is accounted for by the complexity of each individual study.

What do twin and adoption studies contribute to our knowledge of genetic traits such as intelligence?

By comparing groups of identical and fraternal twins, behavior geneticists capitalize on the basic knowledge that identical twins are more similar genetically that fraternal twins. One study found that conduct problems were more prevalent in identical twins that in fraternal twins; the researchers concluded that the study demonstrated an important role for heredity in conduct problems. Adoption studies seek to discover whether, in behavior and psychological characteristics, adopted children are more like their adoptive parents, who provided a home environment, or more like their biological parents, who contributed their heredity.

What is the major downfall of heritability estimates and, in general, research conducted by behavior geneticists?

Poorly measured environment and basically only looking at monozygotic twins.

Reaction Range

Individuals may differ greatly in their reaction to environment. Difference in reaction might be based on their genetics. Most acknowledge that nature and nurture work together.

Canalization

cannot go left or right, but stays course, after 30 most people are canalized. Some traits may be strongly or weakly canalized thus limiting or broadening the extent to which the influence development.

Genetic Environment Correlation

Infants at mercy of environment, kids will by and large naturally select themselves into a category they like.

Passive correlation

parents have control over infant/toddler environment

Evocative correlation

children gain some control by evoking responses from environment. Can follow genetics, sports, arts, etc.

Active correlation

actively seek environment that fit biology or genetics. Niche picking

What is epigenesis?

Bidirectional influences of nature and nuture. Ex: over lifespan, environment effects behavior can effect environment.

Down's Syndrome

an extra chromosome causes mild to severe retardation and physical abnormalities.

Klinefelter syndrome

an extra X chromosome causes physical abnormalities.

Fragile X syndrome

an abnormally in the X chromosome can cause mental retardation, learning disabilities, or short attention span.

Turner syndrome

a missing X chromosome in females can cause mental retardation and sexual underdevelopment.

XYY syndrome

an extra Y chromosome can cause above average height.

List the different stages of prenatal development?

Zygote- 2 weeks fertilization ,implantation and start of placenta
Embryo- 6 weeks Arms, legs, face, organs, muscles all develop. Heart begins to beat.
Fetus- 30 weeks growth and finisishing

What time of prenatal development signifies a sensitive period and why?

organogenisis because of organ formations sensitivity to environmental changes

Teratogen

any agent that can potentially cause a birth defect or negatively alter cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

Life expectancy

How long we can expect to live given our birth cohort and additional genetic and environmental factors

Longevity

how long a person will live

Life span

how long humans can live

Lifelong

ex. Biological, socio-emotional, and cognitive factors all do not stop after development. We continue to learn, grow and develop throughout our lifespan

Multidimensional

ex. At every age, your body, mind, emotions, and relationships change and affect each other. Attention, memory abstract thinking, speed of processing info and social intelligence are just a few of the components of the cognitive dimension.

Multidirectional

throughout life, some dimensions or components of a dimension expand and others shrink. Ex. When one language is acquired early in development, the capacity for acquiring second and third languages decreases later in development, especially after childhood. Ex. During adolescence, as individuals develop romantic relationships, their time spent with friends may decrease. Older people gain wiseness, but lose physical ability.

Plasticity

Always potential for change or to get better. Capacity for change. Ex. Can you still improve your intellectual abilities when you are in your upper 70s or even 80s? Capability may decrease with age, but there is still the ability.

Contextual

there are many aspects and environments that have to be taken into account when studying humans. We are embedded in a constantly changing culture. All development occurs within a context or setting. Ex. Family, neighborhood, school, etc. Each setting is influenced by historical, economic, social and cultural factors.
Normative age graded influences- influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group. (the norm, all children walk by age 3).
Normative history graded influences- influences that are common to people of a particular generation because of historical circumstances. Ex. 9/11, kennedy assassination, challenger explosion.
Nonnormative life events- unusual occurrences that have major impact on an individual's life. Ex. Death of parent, hurricane Katrina, foster child. Not the usual event.

Multidisciplinary

nobody knows everything so we must work together to find solutions and answers to life's problems. Ex. How do families and schools influence intellectual development? Do intelligence and social relationships change with age around the world the same way? These research questions cut across several disciplines.

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