3 - DEVELOPMENT - DEVELOPMENT - - Developmental Psychology...

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DEVELOPMENT - Developmental Psychology o System changes that occur over the lifespan. Reflect both maturation (changes unfolding because of biology) and learning. o Cognitive o Social o Moral - Newborns born with reflexes and ability to learn environmental contingencies o Grasping, sucking (for eating), orienting attention to novelty - Brain triples in size between birth and 4 years old o Brain development constrains behavior o Developmental plasticity: environmental input impacts brain development Synaptic Overproduction/Synaptic Pruning – in the first few months of life, brain goes through rapid overproduction of synapses, followed by “pruning away” of unused synapses “Use it or lose it” – explains certain critical periods for certain types of learning (e.g., why early exposure for phonemes of foreign languages is needed to hear them later) - Brain development continues into adolescence; continues to constrain aspects of cognitive and social development o Frontal lobes slowest to develop – develop into late adolescence or early adulthood - Life span development – even through adulthood, life transitions continue to affect our psychology Piaget’s stages of cognitive development - Jean Piaget – first to scientifically study the cognitive development of children. Began with intelligence testing, and realized kids don’t just have less knowledge about the world – but also think DIFFERENTLY from adults o Observed his own children’s development o Stage model – children’s thinking develops through identifiable and orderly stages; each stage depends upon knowledge and representations acquired in previous stage o Stages reflect child’s representation of the world - Four stages of knowledge acquisition and representation Sensorimotor (0-2): kids don’t have representations yet, just sensory experiences - Responds to world primarily through senses and actions, non-representational. Eventually learn associations between actions and consequences and behave more intentionally (e.g., suck on bottle reflexively, learn to associate with food, suck on bottle intentionally to get food) - Until 3-6 months (Piaget said 9 months), babies don’t have object permanence: “out of sight, out of mind” - 12 months, become “little scientists” – experiment with the world, expresses agency, learns about cause and effect
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- 18-24 months: symbolic representation – can think about objects not present, can use one object to represent another – once this is achieved, move onto next stage. . Preoperational (2-7): kids have representations but are still firmly tied to senses - Able to represent things symbolically, but still heavily swayed by sensory info/appearance - Engages in centration or centering or focus on sensory information (e.g., don’t understand conservation of volume – still tied to visual representations) o Juice, pennies, graham crackers - Extremely egocentric processing o Cannot take another person’s visual perspective (for example, young child may
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course PSYCH 110 taught by Professor Finkel during the Spring '08 term at Northwestern.

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3 - DEVELOPMENT - DEVELOPMENT - - Developmental Psychology...

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