9.8 & 9.10

9.8 & 9.10 - Unit 4: Developing Throughout the...

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Unit 4: Developing Throughout the Lifespan Developmental Psychology: Issues: Nature/Nurture : how do genetic inheritance (our nature) and experience (the nurture we receive) influence our behavior? Continuity/Stage : Is development a gradual, continuous process or sequence of separate stages? Stability/ Change : Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age? Conception: A single sperm cell (male) penetrates the outer coating of the egg (female) and fuse to form one fertilized cell. Prenatal Development: A zygote (fertilized egg) is a fertilized cell with 100 cells, which become increasingly diverse. At about 14 days the zygote turns into an embryo. At 9 weeks an embryo turns into a fetus. Teratogens are chemicals or viruses that can enter the placenta and harm the developing fetus. Teratogens can be drugs, alcohol, medicine, viruses, etc. The Complete Newborn: Infants are born with reflexes that aid survival, including the rooting reflex that helps them locate food Ex: touch side of face, and they orient in that direction. Offspring cries are important signals for parents to provide nourishment. In animals and in humans such cries are quickly attended to and relieved. Cognitive Development in the Newborn: Investigators study infants getting habituated (decrease in responding at the repeated presentation of a stimulation) to objects over some duration of time. New objects are paid more attention that habituated ones, showing learning. Infancy and childhood span from birth to teenage years. During these years the individual grows physically, cognitively, and socially. Infancy: Newborn to toddler Childhood: Toddler to teenager Developing Brain: The developing brain overproduces neurons. Peaking around 28 billion at 7 months in uterus, these neurons are pruned to 23 billion at birth. The greatest neuronal spurt is in the frontal lobe enabling the individual for rational thought.
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Maturation: The development of the brain unfolds based on genetic instructions, leading various bodily and mental functions to occur in sequence- standing before walking, babbling before talking, etc. Maturation sets the basic course of development, experience adjusts it Motor Development: Infants begin to roll over first followed by sitting unsupported, crawling and then finally walking. Experience has little effect on this sequence. Maturation and Infant Memory: Earliest age of conscious memory is around 3½ years (Bauer, 2002). A 5-year-old has a sense of self and an increased long-term memory, thus organization of memory is different from 3-4 years. Schemas: Schemas are mental molds into which we pour our experiences. (The framework that we use to organize and interpret our experiences) Ex: Gabriella and the cow/moose.
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9.8 & 9.10 - Unit 4: Developing Throughout the...

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