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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9: Human Development Developmental psychology- the psychological specialty that documents the course of people’s social, emotional, moral, and intellectual development over the life-span Exploring Human Development o Arguments about how nature and nurture affect development can be traced through centuries of philosophy John Locke- table rasa Jean-Jacques Rousseau- argued that children are capable of discovering how the world operates and how they should behave without instruction from adults • Children should be allowed to grow as nature commands with little guidance from or pressure from parents Arnold Gesell • 1 st American psychologist to investigate systematically the role of nature in behavior o Found that motor skills develop in a fixed sequence of stages in all children Argued that the order of the stages and the age at which they appear are determined by nature and are relatively unaffected by nurture, except under extreme conditions Maturation- natural growth or change triggered by biological factors independent of the environment John B. Watson- disagreed with Gesell • Argued that the environment, not nature, molds and shapes development • Founded behaviorist psychology • From his experiments, he inferred that children learn everything, from skills to fears Jean Piaget • Swiss psychologist • First suggested that nature and nurture work together and that their influences are inseparable and interactive • His ideas influenced the field of developmental psychology o Understanding Genetic Influence Behavioral genetics- study of the effect of genes on our behavior Studies have demonstrated that nature and nurture operate jointly to contribute to development in 2 ways • Nature and nurture operate together to make all people similar in some respects • Nature and nurture operate together to make each person unique Behavioral geneticists are concerned with the differences between individuals or groups The results of behavioral genetics research allow us to draw conclusions about the influence of nature and nurture on certain characteristics, but does not necessarily apply to the origins of a particular person’s characteristics o Genes and the Environment The relative contributions of nature and nurture differ for specific aspects of development, but their influences on all human characteristics are forever intertwined Heredity creates predispositions that interact with the immediate environment, including family, teachers, books, and computers Beginnings o Prenatal Development Chromosomes- structures in ever biological cell that contain...
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- Summer '08