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Week 16Major Theories of Developmental PsychologyTheory: an idea or conceptual mode that is designed to explain existing facts and makepredictions about new facts that might be discovered•There are many ways to consider the process of human developmentClassic Conditioning in Developmental Psychology•John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner believed that conditioning is the primarymechanism through which children learn about the world (1920)••The experiment was conducted through baby Albert who was exposed to a varietyof stimuli, none of which he should a feared response to; he usually played withthe items•One of the stimuli was a white rat, and when Albert reached for it the researcherswould strike a steel bar to produce a loud noise.The researchers continued thisexposure until Albert began to display fear to the rat alone•His fear was generalized to other things similar to the ratB.F. Skinner – What motivates behaviour?•People tend to repeat behaviours that are rewarded (reinforcement) and avoidbehaviours with unfavourable outcomes (punishment)•Two important discoveries:-Receiving attention is a powerful reinforce for young children-More difficult to extinguish behaviour that has been intermittently reinforcedthan behaviour that has been consistently reinforced•We reinforce unwanted behaviour in children by giving into their demands-We want their undesirable behaviour to stop so we provide intermittentreinforcement of their demanding behaviour•Children’s behaviour is affected by their environment and by interactions withtheir environmentJean Piaget•Human develops through a series of four stages that roughly map onto key ages•The interaction between environmental and maturational factors in development•Cognitive abilities develop in stages and that children of similar ages have similarcognitive abilities•Children of similar ages make mistakes in problem-solving tasks, and that alltypically developing children go through the same sequence of developmentalstages•Must become proficient at each stage in order to progress to the next
-Progression through stages is marked by the building and rebuilding ofschemata through the cyclical process of assimilation, accommodation, andequilibrationSchema: mental framework through which we can organize, synthesize, and understandinformation about our surroundingsAssimilation: process by which new information about the world is processed into theexisting schemataAccommodation: process by which existing schemata are modified or changed by newexperiencesEquilibration: we accommodation information until the original schema no longer holdstrue, and we must form entirely new schemataStages•Sensorimotor (0-2years)-