PSYC4684DevelopmentalPsychology

- PSYC4684 Developmental Psychology Four Questions are central to the contemporary study of development 1 Is development continuous or

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PSYC4684: Developmental Psychology 19:52 Four Questions are central to the contemporary study of development: 1. Is development continuous or discontinuous? o Continuous: gradual advancement of similar skills/capabilities Differences between immaturity and maturity is time Differences between preschoolers and adults is  quantitative : Not fundamental Difference is simply amount of exposure to the world The course of development is  comparable to a straight line: o Discontinuous: development occurs in distinct stages New and different ways of interpreting and responding to the world emerge at specific  times Difference between preschoolers and adults is  qualitative : Rapid and fundamental transformations occur as we shift from one stage to  another Change is pervasive as evidenced by major shifts in cognition and behavior There is a distinct, coherent pattern to how we move through stages The course of development  is comparable to ascending  a staircase:
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2. What are the sources (or mechanisms) of development? o Nature: “inborn biological givens” Heredity: genetic inheritance from parents Phylogeny: the development of humans as different from other species Ontogeny: the development of an individual over the course of a lifetime Endogenous: development occurs as a result of inborn capacities Unique to humans Unique to our own genetic inheritance Nurture: Social/cultural influences Role of primary experiences in later development Environmental antecedents of behavior and cognition Exogenous: development occurs as a result of external influences 3. To what extent and under what conditions is it possible to change the ‘normal’  course of development? o Plasticity: degree to which development is open to change and intervention Critical periods: time during which specific events must take place for normal  development to occur Lorenz: “imprinting in birds” Noticed that baby geese would imprint on the first moving thing they see as  their mother Sensitive periods: for humans Less of an all-or-nothing phenomenon Optimal times for exposure: some events have a more pronounced effect during  specific periods of development
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Language: being exposed to more than one language early on is optimal Secure attachment: having one right away is more optimal than waiting until  age 16 Cultural sensitive periods Yasuko Minoura (1992) Optimal time for developing cultural identity Study of Japanese children raised in U.S. for middle school years Subjects 9-13 year-olds </=11 years old: able to reintegrate into Japanese society after living in U.S. 
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2009 for the course PSYC 4684 taught by Professor Wadestein during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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- PSYC4684 Developmental Psychology Four Questions are central to the contemporary study of development 1 Is development continuous or

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