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Unformatted text preview: The Study of Human Development
Psychology 313 The Wild Boy of Aveyron Victor "a stranger to social needs...close to the state of wild animals" Doctors cited mental retardation JeanMarc Itard social isolation precluded normal development The Wild Boy of Aveyron Itard believed he could transform Victor Threshold of learning/ abandoning of experiment Highlights the importance of the interaction between biology and environment Central Questions of Developmental Science Continuity/ Discontinuity Similarity to other species Quantitative vs Qualitative Gradual emergence of change (quantitative) Emergence of wholly new strategies, qualities, or skills (qualitative change) Stage theories (qualitative) Central Questions of Developmental Science Sources of Development Nature versus Nurture Nature = inborn traits from genetics Nurture = learned traits from the environment Central Questions of Developmental Science
Picture of John Watson early behaviorist that exemplifies the nurture arguments. As Watson put it, Give me a dozen healthy infants, wellformed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select--doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief, and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, abilities, vocations, and the race of his ancestors. (1930, p. 104) Central Questions of Developmental Science Plasticity Critical periods Time period during which specific biological/environmental events must occur for normal development to take place Particular experience (or lack thereof) has more profound effect on organism at specific time Sensitive periods Central Questions of Developmental Science Individual Differences Each person is psychologically and physically unique What makes individuals different from one another? To what extent are individual characteristics stable over time? Criteria of Scientific Description Testing ideas according to specific criteria Maintaining objectivity Reliability Replicability Validity Methods of Data Collection Naturalistic observation Ethology bio/evolutionary foundations of behavior Strayer & Santos (1996) Ethnography study of cultural organization of behavior Pitfalls: potential bias/ limited generalizability/ cost Methods of Data Collection Experiment A research method for testing a causal hypothesis Random assignment Experimental group Control group Quasi experiments Research Designs CrossSectional Designs Crosssectional research is very useful because it is relatively quick to do. It can give indications of possible age differences or age changes. Cohort agerelated differences due to grouping by age not manipulation (e.g., education) Research Designs Longitudinal Designs Follow the same individuals over a period of time Observe individual consistencies and inconsistencies Pitfallls One problem practice effects on testing (e.g., SAT) Attrition healthiest and educated stay (biased results) Cost Still have potential cohort problems Research Designs Cohort Sequential Designs Allow for comparison of cohorts while incorporating some degree of individual differences A Sequential Study of Memory Function Role of Theory Theories Sets of statements that propose general principles of development Hypothesis An educated guess that is testable by data collection Four Major Frameworks No single broad theoretical framework Frameworks based on answers they provide to the four central questions of development
1. 2. 3. 4. BiologicalMaturation EnvironmentLearning Constructivist CulturalContext Four Major Frameworks BiologicalMaturation Development arises as a result of biological heritage Maturation changes result from genetic inheritance Environment is secondary Four Major Frameworks EnvironmentLearning Major cause of development is environment Adults exert influential role Children in isolation Four Major Frameworks Constructivist Both nature/nurture exert equal influence Importance on children's active role in shaping their own development Four Major Frameworks CulturalContext NatureNurture do not interact directly...but rather indirectly through culture Similar to constructivism, but two key differences:
Stages not focus Culturalhistorical forces ...
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