Child Psychology seeks to answer two basic questions

Child Psychology seeks to answer two basic questions -...

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Unformatted text preview: Child Psychology seeks to answer two basic questions (1) Developmental changes: Describing the changes that children go through at different ages. BASIC DESCRIPTION AND OBSERVATION; E.G., CHANGES IN CHILDREN'S PLAY FROM SOLITARY PLAY TO PARALLEL PLAY TO PLAYING GAMES WITH RULES (2) What are the underlying processes that result in change? For example, what strategies do children use to achieve new skills and behaviors? Cooperation is a social strategy that facilitates interaction with peers. At a deeper level, developmental psychologists want to know how important genes and environments are: THE NATURE/NURTURE CONTROVERSY SCIENCE AND HUMAN INTERESTS Scientists see children through the lenses of their theories. Scientists are often not disinterested observers of children; they are often influenced by: a.) Political beliefs e.g., a leftist egalitarian bias that everyone is born with the same potential; or a conservative bias toward saying that science supports the rationality of traditional sex roles. b.) Ethnic agendas: e.g., some scientific issues, such as whether there are racial differences in intelligence, have political implications. This is why books like The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray are so controversial. SCIENCE AND HUMAN INTERESTS c.) Career goals: doing research that is likely to be funded by government grants; doing research that is likely to lead to tenure. It's a bad idea for an assistant professor to begin focus his or her research on politically incorrect research. d.) Moral agendas: many developmental psychologists want to help children; these people are meliorists: they want to make the world a better place, but this often makes them subscribe to theories that people can be easily changed by the environment. ARE SCIENTISTS BIASED??? Scientist Child See: L. A. Times article Bias in Social Science EXAMPLES OF INTENSELY CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES DEALT WITH IN THIS COURSE: (1) RACE AND IQ (CH. 10) (2) GENETIC INFLUENCES ON INTELLIGENCE (CH. 2 AND CH. 10) (2) SEX DIFFERENCES (CH. 13) (3) EFFECTS OF DAY CARE (CH. 11) ISSUES in the HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD (1) THE STATE VERSUS THE FAMILY AS AGENT OF SOCIALIZATION: SOCIALIZATION BY THE STATE: SPARTA: CHILDREN TAKEN AWAY FROM PARENTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD; SOCIALIZATION FOR CONFORMITY, SOCIAL COHESION, ALTRUISM, MILITARY PROWESS NAZI GERMANY: NAZIFICATION OF SCHOOLS, HITLER YOUTH; SOCIALIZATION AS IN SPARTA SOVIET UNION: COMMUNIST CONTROL OF SCHOOLS; SOCIALIZATION FOR CONFORMITY. UNITED STATES: ASSUME PARENTAL SOCIALIZATION; HOME SCHOOLING. BUT PUBLIC EDUCATION STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES. MANDATED CURRICULA ISSUES in the HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD (2) CHANGES IN THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE TOWARD CHILDREN AND BETWEEN SPOUSES PURITANISM: ORIGINAL SIN AND AUTHORITARIAN PARENTING LOVE AS THE BASIS OF MARRIAGE BEGINNING IN THE MIDDLE AGES; THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT CONTEMPORARY EMPHASIS ON LOVE...
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Child Psychology seeks to answer two basic questions -...

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