1_Theories and Theorists.pdf - Developmental theory A model...

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Unformatted text preview: Developmental theory - A model of development based on observations that allows us to make predictions Neuropsychology - The study of the interaction of the brain and behavior Behavioral genetics - Research to determine the degree of genetic basis for a be‐ havior, a trait, or an ability Gene–environment interaction (GxE) - refers to genetic differences in sensitivity to particular environmental effects GxE explains why heavy drug use is most likely to lead to psychosis only among individuals with a particular genotype Genetic (or genotype)-environment correlations Genetic (or genotype)–environment correlations explain why individuals who have a genetic propensity to engage in sensation-seeking behaviors affiliate with drug-abusing peers Passive genetic-environmental correlation - refers to the association be‐ tween the genotype a child inherits from his or her parents and the environment in which the child is raised EXAMPLE: Because parents who have histories of antisocial behavior (which is moderately heritable) are at increased risk of abusing their children, maltreat‐ ment may be a marker for genetic risk that parents transmit to children rather than a causal risk factor for children’s conduct problems Evocative (or reactive) genetic–environment correlation - refers to the asso‐ ciation between an individual’s genetically influenced behavior and others’ reac‐ tions to that behavior EXAMPLE: Although arguing with a spouse may result in someone becoming depressed, it is equally plausible that individuals who are prone to depression tend to provoke arguments with significant others, calling into question the di‐ rection of the effect Active (or selective) genetic–environment correlation - refers to the associa‐ tion between an individual’s genetic propensities and the environmental niches that individual selects EXAMPLE: Individuals who are characteristically extroverted may seek out very different social environments than those who are shy and withdrawn. The brain’s development, to some extent, depends on an individual’s experiences The development of connections between nerve cells, the coating of the nervous system, and the neurochemistry of the brain are all shaped in part by what a person does EXAMPLE: when you intensely study a foreign language, you increase the amount of grey matter in your brain. It appears that the cognitive control you use to switch from one language to another is reflected in changes in particular parts of the brain Using new brain imaging technology and research methods, researchers are able to see the structure and functioning of our brains as they never have before, and whole genome sequencing can be used to identify specific genes The earliest approaches to studying both genes and the brain assumed that biology determined behavior; however, the more we learn about the functioning of both the brain and genes, the clearer it becomes that the effects go in both directions Contexts of development Family They are responsible for the socialization of their children. They instill the norms, val‐ ues, attitudes, and beliefs of their culture so that children grow up to be positive, contributing members of their society Socialization - The process of instilling the norms, attitudes, and beliefs of a cul‐ ture in its children Culture - The system of behaviors, norms, beliefs, and traditions that form to pro‐ mote the survival of a group that lives in a particular environmental niche School Children learn academic skills in school; older children and adolescents are prepared for higher education or entry into the workforce Schools also play a role in socializing children to become good citizens Community Economic adversity, quality of the schools, whether or not the neighborhood is safe Culture Culture forms to promote the survival of the group in its niche by improving the ability of the group to meet the demands of an environment Collectivism - The cultural value that emphasizes obligations to others within your group Individualism - The cultural value that emphasizes the importance of the individual with emphasis on independence and reliance on one’s own abilities How development happens Domains of development Physical development - Biological changes that occur in the body and brain, in‐ cluding changes in size and strength, integration of sensory and motor activities, and development of fine and gross motor skills Cognitive development - Changes in the way children think, understand, and reason as they grow older Social-emotional development - Changes in the ways we connect to other indi‐ viduals and express and understand emotions. Stages and ages Infancy (the first year of life) - children are totally dependent on their caregivers for their physical care, but they already can use all of their senses to begin exploring their world Toddlers (ages 1-3) - continue developing their motor skills and can explore their physical world more actively Early childhood (ages 3-6) - children are learning about the physical and social world through play Middle childhood (ages 6-12) - children develop the intellectual ability to think in a more ordered and structured way and school becomes a major context for develop‐ ment Adolescence (ages 12-18) - The transition from childhood marked by the physical changes associated with puberty Nature vs. nurture Nature - The influence of genetic inheritance on development Nurture - The influence of learning and the environment on children’s development Individual differences - Characteristics of individual children, such as age, gender, or ethnic background, can affect the developmental process, so outcomes that apply to one child will not necessarily apply to another Equifinality - The principle by which different developmental pathways may result in the same outcome Multifinality - The principle by which the same pathways may lead to different developmental outcomes Developmental psychopathology - An approach that sees mental and behav‐ ioral problems as distortions of normal developmental processes rather than as illnesses Niche-picking - The process by which people express their genetic tendencies by finding environments that match and enhance those tendencies Continuous vs stage-like Stage theories - Theories of development in which each stage in life is seen as qualitatively different from the ones that come before and after Qualitative changes - Changes in the overall nature of what you are examining Incremental theories - Theories in which development is a result of continuous quantitative changes Quantitative changes - Changes in the amount or quantity of what you are mea‐ suring Being a smart info-consumer Know your sources Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) PsycINFO You can have confidence in the information you find in professional journals is that many of them use a peer review Peer review - A process by which professional peers critique research and make suggestions for improvement prior to its publication or dissemination Become a critical thinker Keep an open mind and don’t stop asking questions and learning Your experiences may not represent the average or typical experience of other peo‐ ple; trying to generalize from one particular experience to general statements is al‐ ways dangerous Avoid biases Perceptual bias - The tendency to see and understand something in the way you expect it to be Testing your knowledge about the topics in the chapter before you begin reading will make you more aware of information in the chapter that will challenge your initial ideas Reasons to study child development Experiences in childhood shape who we become as adults Information can be used to improve the lives of children and adolescents Parents’ understanding of their children’s needs and abilities at each stage of devel‐ opment helps them provide the appropriate amount and type of support the child needs Knowledge about child development is essential to people working in many different careers (pediatricians, teachers, social workers, counselors, therapists, lawyers, nurses, etc.) Social policy - Policies that are intended to promote the welfare of individuals in a society Programs like the The Family Nurturing Program helps parents maintain a re‐ lationship with their children while they are physically separated from them and also help the parents learn how to promote positive development in their children The Women, Infants and Children Program - provides supplemental food and nutrition education for low-income, nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and chil‐ dren Positive youth development - An approach to finding ways to help all young peo‐ ple reach their full potential Functions of theories in science Help us organize the knowledge that we already have Help us to make predictions that we can investigate and rest Theories are shaped by the culture in which they exist A focus on individual identity as well as individual needs and achievements is largely a Western value If we assume all societies must conform to Western values, we forget that different ideas and behaviors may be more adaptive for children growing up in different con‐ texts and environments To understand the diversity of development, we must take into account the indigenous theories, or ethnotheories, of child development that guide the way children are raised in a variety of cultures Intelligence and cognitive development are seen as valuable in their own right in Western cultures In many African cultures, responsibility is a higher goal, and intelligence is interpreted within the context of an individual’s ability to carry out responsibilities in the house‐ hold Development has to do with stability and change over time; allows us to predict how children will behave in the future Each theory must address the how and why change happens, and why some be‐ havior stays the same Change happens through qualitative (stage) theories, and quantitative (incre‐ mental) theories Theories are often not a clear yes or no; instead, they point the way to further ques‐ tions; most theories cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt i.e. St. James Roberts test of parenting styles Structured parenting - Standard bedtime and routines were put in place and some crying was acceptable Demand parenting - babies were reliably picked up with they cried Learning Theories Albert Bandura (1925) Bandura proposed that, in addition to classical and operant conditioning, we learn through imitation, and imitation involves cognitive processes Social cognitive theory - The theory that individuals learn by observing others and imitating their behavior 1. Attention to a model 2. Retention or coding into memory of that model’s behavior or actions Metacognitive awareness - children lack this in regards to being able to ob‐ serve and asses their own cognitive skills Stimulus continuity - associations among stimuli that occur together 3. Motoric response to reproduce the action 4. Reinforcement (motivation) to imitate the action Acquisition vs performance Bandura believed that although one may have the skills to acquire new knowledge, that does not mean one has the skills to perform the responses Performances are governed by reinforcement and motivational variables; di‐ rect reinforcements are strongest Observational learning No-trial learning - when new behavior is acquired all at once, entirely through observation (appears to be cognitive learning) Vicarious reinforcement - a cognitive process where one formulates expecta‐ tions about the outcomes of our own behavior without any direct action on one’s part Socialization studies; target behaviors in the socialization process (Bobo doll studies) Agression A study conducted with a child began with the child watching 1 of 3 versions of a film of a model with a Bobo doll Aggression-rewarded - the model was praised and rewarded at end of film Aggression-punished - the model was called a “big bully”, swatted, and forced to cower away at end of film No-consequences - the model received neither rewards nor punishments at the end of the film Next, the child put into a room with a Bobo doll The researcher would then watch behind a one-way mirror to see if they act‐ ed aggressively Those who had seen the model be punished for his aggression exhibited lit‐ tle to no imitation of aggression--much less than the other two groups; vicar‐ ious punishment seemed to reduce the imitation or aggressive responses Then, the experimenter came back into the room and told the child that he or she would get juice and another small reward for each additional response he or she could reproduce This incentive completed eliminated the differences among the three groups of children; all children exhibited aggression Vicarious punishment had only blocked the performance of new responses, not their acquisition Children can apply previously learned behaviors to a general class; i.e. a boy watches a violent movie and acts roughly toward his sister--not in the way shown in the move, but he feels freer to engage in previously learned behavior of some kind Gender roles During socialization, children are taught to behave in gender-appropriate ways In the learning of gender roles, acquisition and performance is especially im‐ portant Children frequently learn, through observation, the behavior of both gen‐ ders However, they usually only perform the behavior appropriate to their own gender because this is what they have been reinforced to do Prosocial behavior The act of sharing, helping, cooperating, and altruism Can be readily influence by exposure to the appropriate models Socializing agents teach children not only by behavioral example but also by preaching virtue and telling children how to behave Preaching seems ineffective unless strong/forceful Commands, however, are coercive and may backfire EXAMPLE: G.M. White experiment One group of children was told to share by an adult; while they shared more, there was a sharper decrease in sharing after, and some even dis‐ played incidence of stealing, perhaps reflecting their resentment against the coercive technique Another group of children was allowed to share freely Self-regulation As people become socialized, they depend less on external reward and pun‐ ishments and increasingly regulate their own behavior They establish their own internal standards, and reward and punish them‐ selves in accordance with them Self-evaluative standards are acquired, Bandura believes, as a product of di‐ rect rewards and punishments, and rewards and punishments adopted from observing models Modern applications of social cognitive theory Self-efficacy - A belief in our ability to influence our own functioning and life cir‐ cumstances These beliefs play a crucial role in understanding motivation because they are powerful predictors of which goals we will pursue Most important application of the idea of self-efficacy has been in the area of education. Students with a sense of self-efficacy work harder and longer at academic tasks, tackle more difficult tasks, and have a greater sense of opti‐ mism that they will succeed Bandura thinks competitive ranking and grading makes children feel inade‐ quate Sources of self-efficacy appraisals Actual performance If we repeatedly succeed at our tasks, our self-efficacy increases If we repeatedly fail, our self-efficacy decreases Vicarious experiences If we see others succeed in a task, we believe we can succeed too Verbal persuasion “Pep talks”; when someone convinces us we can do a task, we generally do it better Physiological cues EXAMPLE: we might interpret fatigue or exhaustion as a cue that a task is too difficult for us Self-efficacy found to be valuable to pediatricians in treating children with asth‐ ma Give the parents positive feedback on how to help their children when the par‐ ents are feeling helpless Abstract modeling When children induce the general rules or principles underlying particular be‐ haviors, then they use those general rules to generate entirely new behavior on their own By observing a model, a child might induce a new moral rule or principle of conservation Bandura and Piaget Stages Piaget believed children’s thinking undergoes various stages; those stage, in turn, highlight the problems children find most interesting Bandura, in contrast, believed children’s minds are structured by the environ‐ ment Believed we must motivate children to learn Did acknowledge intrinsic interest exists, but only after we meet our achieve‐ ment standards and develop feelings of self-efficacy Questioned the validity of Piaget’s sequences of stages and their absolute‐ ness Believed the stage concept implied that thinking becomes organized and reorganized across a wide range of tasks; Bandura said thinking consists of numerous discreet skills that vary by cognitive domain Moral reasoning Piaget = consequences vs intentions Young children judge in terms of consequences Older children/adults tend to judge in terms of intentions Bandura conducted an experiment and concluded the “so-called develop‐ mental stages were altered by the provision of adult models” Developmentalists believe Bandura’s results are not representative; that any influence should be small Conservation Believed conservation can be altered through modeling Noam Chomsky (1928) Nativism - a theory of language development that hypothesizes that human brains are innately wired to learn language and that hearing spoken language trig‐ gers the activation of a universal grammar. Basic concepts The importance of rules Prior to Chomsky, most people probably believed what Roger Brown called the “storage bin” theory of language learning “Storage Bin” theory - Children imitate others and acquire a large num‐ ber of sentences they store in their heads Chomsky believed that we do not simply learn a set number of sentences, for we routinely create new ones The child’s remarkable grasp of rules Chomsky has focused on rules for making transformations, as when we transform a statement into a question EXAMPLE: “The dog bit the lady” would be transformed into “Did the dog bite the lady?” Chomsky observed children informally master transformations Tags are little questions at the end of a sentence EXMAPLE: “I made a mistake, didn’t I?” Children master complex linguistic rules and procedures in a very shot pe‐ riod of time Chomsky acknowledges that everyone’s speech, including that of adult, contains errors, slips, false starts and interrupted fragments; these mis‐ takes are caused by such factors as carelessness, fatigue, and memory lapses These deficits in performance, however, are far outweighed by an un‐ derlying competence, which is best revealed by an ability to distinguish between poorly formed and well-formed sentences The innateness hypothesis Children do not build grammars primarily from the evidence they hear, but according to an inner design--a genetic program. When children master grammar, they are guided by an innate knowledge of Universal Grammar; they automatically know the general form any lan‐ guage must take But UG has holes in it--it leaves certain parameters open--children need information from the environment to set the parameter of context to deter‐ mine which rule their particular language follows Overregularization - a type of grammatical error in which children apply a language rule to words that don’t follow that rule or pattern (for exam‐ ple, adding an s to make the plural of an irregular noun like foot). Universal grammar - A hypothesized set of grammatical rules and con‐ straints proposed by Chomsky that is thought to underlie all languages and that is hardwired in the human brain. Innate constraints Chomsky argues that our minds posses built-in constraints that limit the rules we will even consider All transformational rules must be structure dependent Surface and deep structure The deep structure is the basic structure on which we perform various opera‐ tions to create new sentences L...
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