PSY_214_Chapter_4_notes - PSY 214 Adolescent Psychology...

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PSY 214 – Adolescent Psychology Chapter 4 Notes The topic of chapter 4, cultural beliefs, brings back into focus the idea that behavior in general, and adolescent behavior in particular, is strongly influenced by cultural variables. We have taken a little bit of a break from that idea with chapter 2 and chapter 3, both of which emphasize biological factors (puberty; brain maturation and growth) more than cultural factors. From here on out though, for the rest of the semester, the focus will be strongly on cultural variables. A culture’s beliefs about what behaviors are right, wrong, appropriate and inappropriate are transmitted to its members through the process of “socialization”. It’s easy to confuse this term with “socializing” but they’re 2 completely different things. Socialization (which is defined on page 104) begins at birth as parents immediately begin reinforcing behaviors that are considered appropriate within their culture and ignoring or punishing behaviors that are considered inappropriate. At adolescence, the process kicks into high gear because it’s imperative that adolescents accept and follow the norms of appropriate behavior as they move into adulthood if the culture is to survive. This is one of the reasons adults tend to freak out when they see teenagers engaging in behaviors that are, literally, counter-cultural. Ideas about morality are central to a culture’s belief system, and no culture can exist if its members don’t develop a conscience that allows them to regulate their own behavior. This is why the text devotes a lot of space to examining moral reasoning and how it changes with age. Lawrence Kohlberg’s research is by far the most widely known. The stages of moral reasoning that he describes are useful for understanding what motivates people to do the right thing. This is a good thing to know if you are a teacher or parent or boss or basically anyone
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2009 for the course PSY 214 taught by Professor Dr.judyleach during the Spring '07 term at St. Louis CC.

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PSY_214_Chapter_4_notes - PSY 214 Adolescent Psychology...

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