PSY 220.docx - i ii PSY 220 Why Study Child Development a...

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PSY 220 i. Why Study Child Development? a. Raising children i. Knowledge of child development can help parents and teachers meet the challenges or rearing and educating children 1. Helping children control their anger 2. In the U.S, most parents of kindergarten children reported spanking 3. Research provides effective alternatives a. Offers sympathy b. Finding positive alternatives to expressing b. Choosing Social Policies i. Knowledge of child development permits informed decisions about social- policy questions that affect children 1. Psychological research on children’s responses to leading interview questions can help courts obtain more accurate testimonies from preschool children c. Understanding Human Nature i. Child-development research provides important insights into some of the most intriguing questions regarding human nature 1. E.G, Romanian orphanages & critical periods ii. Historical foundation of the Study of Child Development a. Early Philosophers’ Views of Children’s Development i. Provided enduring insights about critical issues in childrearing, even through their methods were unscientific ii. Plato vs Aristotle 1. Plato: emphasized self-control and discipline & believed that children are born with innate knowledge 2. Aristotle: was concerned with fitting childrearing to the needs of the individual child & believed that knowledge comes from experience iii. Late Philosophers 1. John Locke, like Aristotle, saw the child as a tabula rasa and advocated first instilling discipline, then gradually increasing the child’s freedom 2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that parents and society should give the child maximum freedom from the beginning b. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution i. Developed baby biography as one of first methods for studying children ii. Proposed theory of evolution that still influences research in modern child development c. The Emergence of Child Development as a Discipline i. Child development emerged as a formal field of inquiry in the late nineteenth ii. iii. Freud and Watson
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1. Freud concluded that biological drives exerted a crucial influence on development 2. Watson argued that children’s behavior arises largely from the reward and punishments that follow particular behaviors iii. Enduring Themes in Child Development 1. Nature v Nurture a. The single most basic question about child development is how nature and nurture interact to shape the developmental process i. Nature: biological endowment, especially genes ii. Nurture: environment, both physical and social b. Every characteristic we possess is created through the joint workings of nature and nurture c. So how do they work together to shape development? i. Research Evidence: Bio-directional interaction of nature and nurture 1. Schizophrenia: Family and twin studies a. (The closer the biological relation, the stronger the probability that relatives of a person with schizophrenia will have the same mental illness) 2. Adopted children research 3. Epigenetic studies 2. The Active Child a.
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