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Notes for last third of course - Howell 1 Developmental...

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Howell 1 Developmental Psychology Cognitive Development - Important because… o It’s easy to understand psychological processes by looking at change as a function of age – observe children and how they develop - What sensory processes do newborn babies have? o Vision: babies/newborns have rudimentary visual processes 1 month old: sees in grey, very blurry, you can barely make out two people sitting in a field 2 month old: sees color, less blurry 3 month old: sees bright color, can perceive all colors because the circuitry for cones is intact 6 month old: good acuity, sharp image o Hearing: good acuity. Hearing gets better and better and is best at 6 months. By 6 months, they can localize sound in space. o Smell: they can smell as newborns. If you soak a cloth in a bad smell (e.g. rotten eggs), the newborn will turn its face away. If you saturate the cloth in mother’s breast milk, it will turn toward the cloth. o Taste: newborns enjoy sweet tastes early on. Mother’s milk is sweet, sweeter than formula (therefore, it is difficult to wean newborns off of breast milk to only use formula). o Touch: They do have a sense of touch. Rooting reflex: newborns know how to suck on a nipple. They’ll turn toward a touch on the cheek and start sucking on the finger because they think it’s a nipple. Pain receptors work in newborns, but people didn’t used to believe this. Male circumcision used to occur without anesthesia, but they’ve modified the practice. Method: Preferential Viewing - How do we learn about infant’s processes? They can’t push a button or fill out a questionnaire, so different research tactics are used. o Premise: Infants prefer novel stimulus over a familiar stimulus We believe this because infants look longer at a novel stimulus than at a familiar one They look at a stimulus intently at first and then, over the course of minutes, look at it less and less (habituation) Infants “pay attention” to novel stimuli. They turn toward new stimuli because they eventually habituate to the old stimuli. o This demonstrates that they can Distinguish between new and old, and Have memory of the old stimulus.
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Howell 2 - In the book (p. 410-411), the issue of control is discussed. It lists studies that have demonstrated that babies (even within a few weeks of their birth!) demonstrate their special interest in aspects of the environment that they themselves can control (such as a mobile). o We, more than any other species, survive by controlling our environment Exploring Objects Using Eyes and Hands Together (page 411) - Babies as young as 5 days will try to reach objects. - Once they’re two or three months old, they often succeed in grasping and typically bring the object into their mouth to explore it.
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