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Human Development


Developmental psychologists study physical, mental, and social changes throughout the human life cycle (Myers).
Three issues research centers around (Myers):
  • Nature vs. Nurture: How much do genetic inheritance and experience influence our development?
    • The battle between whether our Genes (nature) or our Culture (nurture) affect the way we act, think and become.
  • Continuity/Stages: Is development a gradual,continuous process or does it proceed through a sequences of separate stages ?
  • Stability/Change :Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age ?
  • Temperament (a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity) is a more stable characteristic then social attitudes, but these too stabilize with age (Myers)
    • It is after adolescence that most of our personality traits settle down and become more stable


Genes: Our Biological Blueprint
  • Chromosomes- each one is a threadlike structure made up of DNA molecules that have genes in them. 23 of them are donated from the mother's egg and 23 donated from the father's sperm. Which in total should conclude into 46 chromosomes.
  • DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) - composed of genetic information and is formed by two strands that intertwine into a chain of molecules.
    • A sub field that studies the molecular structure and functions of genes is known as Molecular Genetics. (Myers 115)
  • Each gene can self replicate and is able to synthesize proteins or the "building blocks" of our physical development, these building blocks are so important that without them we cannot function properly (Meyers 100)
  • Genome- complete instructions on making an organism.
"Human genome researchers have discovered the common sequence of 3.1 billion letters within the human DNA." (Meyers)
  • Differences in each person's DNA can determine whether or not a person is predisposed to or more likely to have a disease, is tall or short, or is happy or depressed, it does not necessarily determine fully a person's traits. (Myers 101)
  • Genes are composed of nucleotides.(Myers)
  • the sequence of the four nucleotide letters are A, T, C, and G (Myers 100). Its in the variations of the sequencing of these nucleotides that distinct every organisms on earth.
  • genetically speaking, every human is close to being your identical twin [even the person you least like is your near clone, sharing about 99.9 of your DNA] (Myers 100)
  • Gene complexes - these are genes that collaborate together influencing our traits (Myers 101).
  • Example: the height of your face, the size of your vertebrae, the length of your leg bones, each of these examples is influenced by different genes, including complex human traits such as intelligence, happiness, and aggressiveness (Myers 101).
  • Our genetic predispositions help explain both our shared human nature and our individual differences. (Myers 101)



Prenatal Development and the Newborn
also known as antenatal development

  • The course of action starts when the ovary releases a mature egg, and then the 200 million or more sperm are deposited during intercourse start their race towards it. This is known as Conception. The woman was born with all the immature eggs she ever would have, although 1 in 5000 will ever mature and be release. (Myers)
  • As soon as one sperm begins to penetrate, the egg's surface blocks out the others while fingerlike projections sprout around the successful sperm and pulls it in. Before half a day elapses, the egg nucleus and the sperm fuse and become one. (Myers)
  • zygote: the fertilized egg; it enters a 2 week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo. (Myers). This is known as the 1st stage of development. Within the first week, when this cell division has produced a zygote of some 100 cells, the cells begin to differentiate-to specialize in structure and function. (Meyers 136)
    • Identical Twins: Twins that result from one fertilized egg (zygote) that splits into two embryos. Identical twins are identical in their genetic makeup and therefore exhibit many more similarities than fraternal twins
    • Fraternal Twins: Twins that result from the fertilization of two eggs. Fraternal twins have different genetic makeups and therefore do not exhibit as many similarities as identical twins
Most zygotes don’t survive to make it to a baby. Most die within the first ten days of occurring (Myers).
  • Embryo: the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month. (Myers) This is known as the 2nd stage of development
    • Within the six weeks after if becomes an embryo, the heart begins to beat and the liver begins to make red blood cells.
    • At 8 weeks after conception, babies are anatomically indistinguishable; 4/5th month different (Myers)
  • Fetus: the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth. (Myers) Last stage of development before birth.
    • At this point, the developing child looks clearly like a human.
    • By six months, the child has developed a fully functional stomach and is responsive to sound.
    • Teratogens: harmful agents such as particular viruses and drugs (Myers).
      • During prenatal development, chemicals and viruses can reach and cause harm to the embryo/ fetus and may result in variety of physical and cognitive disabilities in a growing child (Myers).
    • ex: If mother is a heroin addict, the new born will be as well (Myers).
    • ex: if the mother carries the AIDS virus, her baby may also.
    • A pregnant woman never smokes alone; she and her fetus both experience reduced blood oxygen and a shot of nicotine. If she is a heavy smoker, her fetus may receive fewer nutrients and be born underweight. (Meyers 137)
    • The placenta is responsible for keeping teratogens out but some can slip by and make it to the baby (Myers).
  • The placenta is an organ that connects the fetus to the uterine wall through which nourishment passes (Myers)
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) - physical and cognitive abnormalities caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking (Myers). Alcohol enters the mother's blood stream and it depresses activity into the nervous system of both, mother and baby. About 4 in 10 alcoholic mothers who drink during pregnancy have babies with FAS (Myers). Also the leading cause of mental retardation.
  • This is the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States and as a result alcohol is technically classified as a teratogen as it causes damage to a developing fetus during pregnancy
  • Maturation: an orderly sequence of genetically designed growth processes (Myers).
    • Maturation decreases many of our commonalities, from standing before walking, to using nouns before adjectives (Myers).
    • It sets the basic course of development, experience adjusts to it.

  • Rooting reflex: When babies are touched on their cheek they automatically open their mouth and seek for the nipple. This is an inborn tendency for a baby.
  • The rooting reflex is a "reflex for survival", a newborn has to eat to survive and this helps them do so.
  • perceptual abilities continue to develop during first month, can distinguish mother’s odor (Myers)
  • Palmar Reflex- the automatic grabbing elicited by something placed in one of the newborn baby's hands. (Princeton Review) Also when placing a thumb on a baby's cheek he will root for a nipple. (Myers)
  • Babinski reflex- stroking the bottom of the foot causes the toes to splay out (Princeton Review).
  • orienting reflex- when babies orient themselves to sudden changes in the environment (Talamo).
  • moro reflex- spreading out of limbs when a loud noise occurs (Talamo).
  • Newborns prefer human faces and voices, with in a few days, a newborns can recognize their mother's voice and odor (Myers).
    • Ex. Newborns become bored with a repeatedly presented visual stimulus (Myers).
  • The lack of connecting neurons in an infant's brain is why memories don't really have memories from before their third birthday
  • In order to understand how infants think, Janine Spencer, Paul Quinn, and their colleagues used a novelty reference procedure to ask four month year olds how they recognize cats and dogs. They found that when they were shown a picture where they put a dog's head on a cat's body, the infants identified it as a dog which showed that infants, like adults, focus first on the face, not the body. (Meyers 139).
  • As infants, we lost conscious memories of our experiences during about the first four years of our lives
  • Preferences: Human voices and faces and the smell of their mother.

Evolution- development or change in a gene pool over time through mutation, natural selection, or genetic drift.
Temperament

  • it includes inborn emotional excitability so whether or not a baby is reactive, intense, easy going, quiet, or placid (Meyers)
  • Psychologists have found that there is a strong correlation between the temperaments that people exhibit as infants and the their temperaments as adults which suggests that temperament is in part attributable to genetics

Motor Development
: refers to children developing control of their movements of small and large muscles from waving their palm to grasping object muscles learn certain movements and develop strength
  • With few exceptions, the sequence of physical development milestones are universal- e.g. babies roll before they sit, crawl before they walk - although babies reach these milestones at varying ages (Myers 142).
- In the U.S, 25 percent of all babies walk by age 11 months, 50 percent within after a week after their first birthday and 90 percent by age 15 months (Frankenburg & others, 1992).
  • Genes play a major role in motor development- biological maturation enables babies to perform new and more complicated skills
- For example, "Identical twins typically begin sitting up and walking on nearly the same day" (Wilson, 1979).
  • Perceptual and motor development depend on development of the nervous system, but the development of the nervous system depends on environmental interactions (Talamo)
  • Babies only 3 months old can learn that kicking moves a mobile- and can retain that learning for a month (From Rovee-Collier 1989,1997.)
  • Until the age of 1 our experience has a limited effect on our learning. Until we reach necessary muscular and neutral maturation; no amount of pleading harassment, or punishment will yield successful results. (Myers 142)
Natural selection
  • Natural Selection: The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction (appeal from the opposite sex to the traits) and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations (Myers).
  • Natural selection acts on an organism's phenotype, or physical characteristics. Phenotype is determined by an organism's genotype and the environment in which the organism lives. Often, natural selection acts on specific traits of an individual, and the terms phenotype and genotype are used narrowly to indicate these specific traits.(For schools selection 2008)
  • Charles Darwin coined this phrase and it has been morphed to fit society by calling it Social Darwinism, which says the most able will succeed
  • Mutation:a random error in gene replication that leads to a change in the sequence of nucleotides; the source of all genetic diversity. (variation of nucleotides, genes, or chromosomes of someone or something)
  • Gender: in psychology the characteristics, whether biologically or socially influenced by which people define male and female.
  • Genetic Drift- changes in genes in a population to avoid extinction.
  • Heritability - the extent to which variation among individuals can be attributed to their differing genes.(Myers)

Sexuality

Men are considered to have the stronger sex drive in that they generally desire, think about, initiate, and sacrifice more to gain sex. (Myers)
  • In a study done by Russell Clark and Elaine Hatfield in which participants would walk around the Florida State University campus and ask other students of the opposite sex if they would go to bed with them that night. It was determined that 75% of the men asked agreed while all of the women declined. This shows that men are more apt to sleep with a stranger, revealing a stronger sex drive (Myers).
  • Evolutionary psychologists have determined that men are attracted to women who appear youthful and fertile, while women tend to favor men who appear established and dependable. According to evolutionary psychologists, these respective attributes imply an ability to successfully reproduce and ensure the survival of offspring.
  • According to Myers, Evolutionary psychologists attribute Men’s stronger sex drive to the fact that “while a woman incubates and nurses one infant, a male can spread his genes through other females “ (Myers 105)

Cognitive Development:
: studies the developmental stages of children's brain concerning the way they process information and learn such things as language
  • Schema - A concept or framework that organizes and interprets information (Myers).
- For example, a general schema for a sheriff would be a man or woman, in brown with a yellow badge, usually on the right part of the chest from your point of view, a gun and cuffs hanging from his/her side.
  • Assimilation - Interpreting one's new experience in terms of ones existing schemas (Myers).
-Having a simple schema for a dog, for example, a toddler may call all four-legged animals doggies. (Meyers 143).
  • Accommodation - Adapting one's current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information (Myers).
-The child soon learns that the original doggie schema is too broad and accommodates by refining the category (focusing especially on the head. (Meyers 143)
  • Cognition - all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating, according to Myers.

About Piaget's Stages: "He believed that children experience spurts of change followed by greater stability as they move from one development plaeau to the next." (Myers, 144) Each of these will explain how a baby thinks in its development.
Forming an identity- Adolescents in western cultures usually try out different "selves" in different situations (Myers 167).


Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development:

Stage 1: Sensorimotor (Birth to nearly 2 years), experiencing the world through senses and actions. Including things like object permanence and stranger anxiety.
  • Object Permanence: the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
    • Example: Place a doll in front of a baby, put a towel over the doll and the baby does not comprehend that the doll is still there, remove the towel and the baby will act as if the doll really had disappeared Out of sight is not out of mind (Myers).
    • By 8 months, infants begin exhibiting memory for things no loner seen (Myers 144).
Stage 2: Preoperational (2 to 6 years), representing things with words and images but lacking logical reasoning. Includes things like pretend play, egocentrism and language development.
  • Conservation: the principle that quantity remains the same despite changes in shape. Children in the preoperational stage lack this concept (Myers).
  • an example: If you have two cups one skinny and tall, and the other is wide but short and you put the same amount of water in both the kid would say that the skinny one has more. since the water goes higher in the cup then it does to the wider cup.
  • In this stage, children will tend to project their views and desires onto others. If a young girl is asked what her mother would like as a present, the girl will likely say what she herself wishes for.
Stage 3: Concrete operational (7 to 11 years), thinking logically about concrete events grasping concrete analogies and performing arithmetical operations. Including conservation and mathematical transformations. In this stage, a person learns to think "reversibly," meaning that ideas can be formally understood and applied.
  • The child now knows that there's the same amount of milk in the tall, skinny glass as there is in the wide, short glass
Stage 4: Formal operational (12 years to adulthood), reasoning expands from purely concrete to encompass abstract thinking. Including abstract logic and potential for mature moral reasoning.
  • Stage 4 is where children begun to be able to solve hypothetical situations, and are able to perceive outcomes or consequences

Conservation - the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects, according to Myers.
Formal operational Stage- during which people being to think logically about abstract concepts, Systematic reasoning.
Egocentrism - In Piaget's theory, the inability of the preoperational child to take another's point of view, according to Myers.
  • ex. A little girl will recognize that she has a brother, but may not recognize that her brother has a sister.
  • "Do you have a brother?"
"Yes"
"What's his name?"
"Jim"
"Does Jim have a Sister?"
"No." (Phillips, 1969, [ Myers 146] )
Theory of mind- peoples idea about their own and other's mental states about their feelings, perceptions,and thoughts and the behavior these might predict.
  • ex. When Little Red Ridding Hood realizes "grandmothers" is really a wolf, she swiftly revises her ideas about the creatures intentions and races away. (Myers 147)
  • ex. Autism, a disorder characterized by deficient communication and social interaction, is marked by an impaired theory of mind. People with autism have difficulty inferring others' thoughts and feelings. (Myers 147)
    • In an experiment children are shown a doll named Sally placing her ball in a red cupboard; then Anne takes the ball from the red cupboard and places it in the blue cupboard. The children are then asked where Sally will look for the ball. Children with Autism have difficulty understanding that Sally's state of mind differs from theirs and don't expect her to look in the red cupboard. (Myers 147- 148)

Reflecting on Piaget's Theory
  • His theory is very controversial. Studies around the world, from aboriginal Australia to Algeria to North America, reveal that human cognition everywhere unfolds basically in the sequence he propose( Myers 149).
  • Children build their knowledge from the way they interact with the world. It is better to build on what children already know instead of trying to teach them with someone else's knowledge (Myers).
  • Children's lack of adult logic is nature's way of protecting them and giving them the time they need to adapt and learn. Their immaturity is something that will change as children grow and interact more with the world around them (Myers).
  • It is important to realize that the "stage" are not distinct and separated, but represents the highlights within the child's whole course of development and can overlap one another as they mature in a chronological way.

Social Development
According to Myers, from birth, babies are social creatures. They tend to develop an intense bond with their caregivers. Mary Ainsowrth designed this attachment studies. She noted the response of the babies when their parents left them in the new and unknown environment. The parents would then return after some time had passed.[1]
  • Stranger Anxiety - fear of strangers that infants commonly display (beginning at about 8 months of age) usually after object permanence(Myers)
    • Stranger Anxiety often causes distress for children because they have "schemas for familiar faces; when they cannot assimilate the new face into these remembered schemas, they become distressed" (Kagan, 1984).
  • Attachment- an emotional tie with another person (Myers)
Example; A child is emotionally attached to it's Mother.
  • When there isn't a secure attachment children are at a higher risk for various psychological and social pathologies. For example, parental deprivation resulting from non-marital childbearing, separation, or divorce. (Meyers 153).

Secure Attachment: shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver, feeling confident in exploring surrounding area, displaying distress upon separation, and seeking contact when the caregiver returns (Myers). Babies that were securely attached were more likely to take interest in examining the various aspects of the new environment while their parents were present, but they grew worried after the departure of their parents. When their parents returned they would go towards their parents. This tendency was noted in 66 percent of the babies. [2]
  • If there existed an avoidant attachment the baby would attempt to leave from the parent that was holding them. The would actively inspect the new environment, and they would not care when the parents left or returned. They would not go towards the parents, unlike the babies that had a secure attachment. This attachment existed for about 21 percent of the babies. [3]
  • Anxious/ambivalent attachments or resistant attachments: If this attachment existed the baby would grow afflicted and worried when the parents left, but would not go towards the parents for relief when the parents returned.[4]
  • Harry Harlow's experiment with the nourishing wire mother monkey and the nourishing cloth mother monkey showed that the monkey preferred the cloth mother. This shows attachment is stronger with soft, warm parents rather than with simply nourishment (Myers). Harlow also found that as the monkeys matured into adults, the monkeys "raised" by the wired mothers were more distressed when made to experience novel conditions and environments, as compared to the monkeys "raised" by the cloth mother.
  • According to Meyers, contact is one key towards attachment another is familiarity.[5]
  • Developmental Psychologists found Day Care due to maternal employment has no effect on the development of a child
  • Detaching is a process not an event (Myers 155).
  • Critical Period - a period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development (Myers)
  • ...research has uncovered no major impact of maternal employment on children s development (Myers 155)
    • But developmental psychologists now believe that there really is no exact critical period
  • Imprinting - the process by which certain animals form attachments during the critical period very early in life (Myers) ex: A man raised baby ducks since they first hatched. They considered him like a mother. For many years they follow him devotedly and even fly alongside him when he goes gliding. (Meyer).
  • Basic Trust- a sense that the world is predicable and trustworthy, it formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers.(Myers)
    • Erickson said that basic trust was due to early parenting and not due to inborn or environmental factors.
  • Self Concept- A sense of one's identity and personal worth (Myers). A child's behavior provides clues to the beginning of his or her self-awareness (Myers).
    • Example: Parent watching her daughter play on the playground playing with other kids and wonders if her daughter knows herself and that she is different from everyone else.
    • "Self-awareness comes when we are able to recognize ourselves in the mirror" (Myers). The way we perceive ourselves does affect the way we act. If we view ourselves positively, we will act in a more confident manner than if we view ourselves in a negative fashion.
  • Critical Period - an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism’s exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development
  • Intimacy - the ability to form close, loving relationships. According to Erikson, this can be achieved after people have a clear sense of who they are (Meyers 168).

  • Child- Rearing Practices external image arrow-10x10.png
  • Authoritarian parents impose strict rules and boundaries that are often given little explanation, and are expected to be followed without question. They are demanding, but not responsive. They show little warmth, love, or nurturing, and often utilize punishment as the only solution to a problem with their children.
  • Permissive parents submit to their children's desires, make few demands, and use little punishment (Myers).
  • Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. They exert control not only by setting rules and enforcing them but also by explaining the reasons and, especially with older children, encouraging op discussion and allowing exceptions when making rules (Myers).
  • The data from studies indicates that an authoritative style has the most positive effects. These children, in general, have better grades and are more functional in social situations. Children with permissive parents may have troubles in managing emotions and tend to exhibit more dependence. Children with authoritarian parents may have problems trusting others, have difficulty in forming strong social relationships, may be more likely to act aggressively, and have lower self-esteem.
    • There are many lurking variables/ confounding factors, and a causation can not be attributed solely to parenting style. There is a correlation though, between parenting styles and the behavior of the child. Parenting style may play a role in the development of a child, but it is not the only factor involved in the personality and behavior of a child as he or she matures.[6]

Physical Development
Infancy and Childhood
  • Most of the brain cells a person will ever have are present at birth. (Myers)
  • Maturation: biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively unifluenced by experience (Myers).
    • Example: standing before walking; using nouns before adjectives (Myers).
    • Before the age of three, most babies have not developed the neural connections necessary to retain memories.
    • There is no set time period to when anything will occur. Every child develops each of their skills at different times (Myers).
plasticity: brain ability to reorganize pathways to compensate damage; if laser damaged spot in cat’s eye, brain area receiving input from spot will start responding to stimulation from nearby areas in eye; brain hardware changes with time –can rewired with new synapses.

Adolescence
Is the life between childhood and adulthood. It starts with the physical beginning of sexual maturity and ends with the social achievement of independent adult status.(Myers)
  • In the Western world, this period now roughly corresponds to the teen years. (Myers)
  • With improved nutrition, sexual maturity began to occur earlier in many countries.(Myers)
  • Puberty: The time when one is maturing sexually, begins at about age 11 in girls and at about age 13 in boys. (Myers)
  • Girls start puberty with the development of breast, often at age 10, and boy start puberty with their first ejaculation around age 14
  • Menarche: The first menstrual period for girls, usually starts at about the age of 12 (Myers)
    • Physical changes in puberty: breast development, pubic hair, and height
    • "Some girls start their growth spurt at 9, some boys as late as 16" (Myers 162).
  • Primary Sex Characteristics: the reproductive organs (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) change to make sexual reproduction possible.
  • Secondary Sex Characteristics include: breasts and hips in a girl, and voice quality and facial hair in males. Pubic and underarm hair in both sexes. However, often males and females feel attraction for each other one or two years before puberty. (Myers)
  • "During the early teen years, reasoning tends to be self focused. Eventually, however, most adolescents attain Piaget's stage of formal operations and become capable of abstract logical thinking."(Myers)
  • Identity -One's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles.
    • During Adolescence young people experiment with hair styles and various ways of dressing to find out who they are or want to be. (Meyer).
    • However, in the more traditional societies, adolescents are given their identity instead of letting them decide for themselves (Meyers 167).
Adulthood
According to Myers, our physical abilities-muscular strength, reaction time, sensory keenness, and cardiac output-all crest by the mid-twenties.
For women, as aging occurs the chance of fertility gradually declines. When a women reaches the point where her menstrual cycle it beginning to end, this point is known as menopause. Menopause begins at around age 50 and involves a reduction in the hormone estrogen.(Myers)
Also our bodies, our minds, relationships undergo some changes in common with those of our childhood friends, who's friends seem very different either way we undergo some of the common changes (Myers 172).

Menopause - this occurs when a woman is no longer fertile and able to reproduce, typically around the age of 50 years. This marks the end of menstruation.
  • Menopause usually does not create psychological problems for women (Meyers 173).
  • According to Myers, woman's expectations and attitudes influence the emotional impact of menopause.
  • Menopause is the ending of the menstrual cycle. The physical symptoms accompany a reduction in the hormone estrogen.
  • For 4 or 5 in 10 Canadian and U.S. women, but only 1 in 7 Japanese women, these symptoms include occasional hot flashes (Goode, 1999; Lock, 1998) (Myers 173).

Men experience no equivalent to menopause. However they may have a decreased sperm count. (Myers)

Elders body's disease-fighting immune system makes them more susceptible to life threatening ailments such as cancer and [[#|pneumonia]]. Aging also slows neural processing and loss of brain cells.(Myers)

Neurocutaneous Syndromes- the growth of a tumor in a part of the body caused by abnormal development of cells as an embryo.
Autism
According to Myers, autism is a disorder characterized by deficient communication and social interactions and is marked by an impaired theory of mind.
  • Theory of Mind: According to the book, this refers to people's ideas about their own and other's mental states- about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict.
  • People with autism have difficulty inferring others' thoughts and feelings. (Myers)
  • They don't appreciate that playmates and parents might view things differently. (Myers)
  • Fail to understand social signals (Myers)
  • Most children learn that another child's pouting mouth signals sadness, and that twinkling eyes mean happiness or mischief. A child with autism (which is related to malfunctions of brain areas that enables attending to others) fails to understand these signals. (Myers 147)
  • Children with autism have difficulty reflecting on their own mental states and are less likely to use the personal pronouns "I" and "me" (Myers 148).
  • The book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell gives us agreat analogy when he discusses autism. Gladwell states: people with autism "have difficulty interpreting nonverbal cues, such as gestures and facial expressions or putting themselves inside someone else's head or drawing understanding from anything other than the literal meaning of words. Their first impression-apparatus is fundamentally disabled, and the way that people with autism see the world gives us a very good sense of what happens when our mind-reading faculties fail." As bystanders we use nonverbal cues to help us solve problems that may arise.(Smith)
  • Ex:Gladwell mention an experiment where an autistic adult and a normal adult watched a classic movie and had their eye movements monitored. It turns out that the autistic adult did not look too much at the facial cues that the actors were sending but merely the objects in the background and the items on their clothing. The autistic mind seems a bit distracted and detached from our social norms, which is why when a painting was mentioned in the movie he missed out because he did not follow his hand gesture but merely scanned the room for a painting and found three.

Developing Morality

  • As moral development progresses, the focus of concern moves from the self to the wider social world.
  • "Kohlberg argued that as we develop intellectualy we pass through as many as six stages of moral thinking, moving from the simplistic and concrete toward the more abstract and principled. He clustered these six stages into three basic levels preconventional, conventional, and post conventional."(Myers) Kohlberg's claim was that these levels form a moral ladder, from bottom rung of a young child's immature, preconventional morality, to the top rung of an adult's self defined ethical principles, which only some attain.
    • Example: Postconventional level- "I don't care if it is the law, it's not right and it's not fair!"
    • Conventional level- "we need to work together as a team."
    • Preconventional level- " I better share this today or mommy will get mad."(Myers)
    • Preconventional Morality - Children under the age of nine tend to have morals which reflect their own self interest. They obey only to avoid the punishment or to gain rewards. They act upon what is good or what is bad for themselves.
    • Conventional Morality - Children during the age of early adolescence base their morals on what society determines as right or wrong. Whether it is abiding by the rules or gaining social approval, they follow these rules simply because these are the rules.
    • Postconventional Morality - Moralities which abide by an individual's own self-defined ethical principles.Postconventional morality affirms people's agreed upon rights or follows what one personally perceives.
  • Moral feeling- Feelings come before reasoning. Therefore we can make some moral judgments rather quickly without thinking.
  • Moral action- Those who do learn to delay gratification become more socially responsible, academically successful, and productive.
  • Criticisms of Kohlberg's theory:
    • the theory is biased by worldview characteristic of educated males in individualistic cultures and, possibly, by too much emphasis on thinking over feeling. (Myers)

Social Development
  • Erik Erikson contended that every stage of life has its own "psychosocial" task. (Myers)
  • Erikson theorized that the main task of adolescence is solidifying one's sense of self/one's identity. (Myers)
  • According to Myers, in Erikson’s theory, intimacy is the ability to form emotionally close relationships. And is a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood.(Myers)
  • Intimacy -Forming close relationships
  • Generativity -Being productive and supporting future generations
  • Erikson's stages of psychosocial development include:
    • Infancy (to 1 year) Trust vs. mistrust: If needs are dependably met, infants develop a sense of basic trust. (Myers)
    • Toddlerhood (1 to 2 years) Autonomy vs. shame and doubt: Toddlers learn to exercise will and do things for themselves, or they doubt their abilities.(myers)
    • Preschooler (3 to 5 years) Initiative vs. guilt: preschoolers learn to initiate tasks and carry out plans, or they feel guilty about efforts to be independent. (Myers)
    • Elementary school (6 years to puberty) Competence vs. inferiority: Children learn the pleasure of applying themselves to tasks, or they feel inferior. (Myers)
    • Adolescence (teens-20’s) identity vs. role confusion :adolescents will often test different roles to refine their sense of self, then they’ll integrate them (the different roles) to form a single identity. Otherwise they become confused about who they are.(Myers)
    • Late Adulthood (60's and up) Integrity vs. Despair: When the elderly look back upon their life and either feel accomplished or like a failure.
Work: Jobs provide us with a sense of identity and accomplishment
  • Many of the differences between younger and older adults are created not by the physical and cognitive changes that accompany aging but life events associated with family relationships and work. (Myers 182)
Gender and Social Connectedness
  • According to Myers ,Gender roles are the expectations that our culture has about the way each gender behaves
  • Women tend to be more interdependent.
  • Men emphasize freedom and self-reliance.
  • Adulthood's Ages and Stages
    • The concept of a "midlife crisis" has been found to be disproven in areas such as suicide, divorce, and mental stability.
    • Social clock- the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement.
      • This varies from culture to culture.
    • Biological clock- internal mechanism in organisms that controls the periodicity of various functions or activities, such as metabolic rate and sleep cycles. How quickly people age depends in part on their health habits. To keep the biological clock running smoothly, one should exercise regularly. (Meyers 176)
  • Role- According: to Myers, a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.
  • Gender Role-a set of expected behaviors for males and for females according to Myers.
  • Men are expected to pay for dates, drive, and work outside of the house. Women are expected to do household chores, care for children, and be in the kitchen.
  • Gender identity -(according to Myers) our sense of being male or female
    • to a varying extent. we also become gender-typed (which is the acquisition of a traditional feminine or masculine gender role). (Myers)
  • Gender schema theory - when children acquire a cultural concept of what it means to be female or male and adjust their behavior accordingly. (Myers)
  • Social learning theory assumes children learn gender-linked behaviors by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished. (Myers)
  • Gender typing - the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role. (Myers)
Aging and Intelligence
  • As people enter their forties, they undergo a transition to middle adulthood, a time when they realize that life will soon be mostly behind them instead of ahead of them (Meyers 182).
  • Cross-sectional study - Where researchers test and compare people of various ages. (Myers) This study can reveal the average age at which a set or skills or abilities appear (The Princeton Review).
  • Longitudinal study - retesting the same people over a period of years. (Myers) These tests tend to be more expensive and harder to conduct, thus they are not performed as often as cross-sectional studies (The Princeton Review).
  • Crystallized intelligence - One's accumulated knowledge as reflected in vocabulary and analogies tests (increases throughout life up to old age). (Myers)
Example: When you get older it will be harder to learn a new way of math, or a language (and difficult time remembering)
  • Verbal Scores tend to increase with age while nonverbal scores decline with age.
  • Fluid intelligence- one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood. (Myers)
  • Alzheimer's disease: a progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and, finally, physical functioning. MRI scans and genetic tests help predict and determine if an individual has Alzheimer's (Myers)
  • According to Myers, dementia is mental erosion that results from a series of small strokes, a brain tumor or alcoholism.
  • Along memory an fluid intelligence, people have aging sense where sight, smell, and hearing become less acute around age 70 (Meyers 176)

Life Expectancy
  • The oldest women in history, died in 1998 at the age of 122 years old. Unbelievably she was active in physical activities such as riding a bike, etc. up to her death. (Meyer).
  • During the first year, male infants’ death rates exceed females’ by one-fourth (Myers).
  • Women outlive men by 4 years worldwide, and 5-6 years in Canada, Australia, and the United States. (Myers).
  • After age 30, the risk of dying doubles every 8 years (Myers175).
    • Ex. Hot weather, a fall, mild flu bugs (Myers).
    • The body's disease-fighting immune system weakens, making the elderly more susceptible to life-threatening ailments, such as common flu and cold viruses. (Myers 176)

Adulthood Ages and Stages

  • Social Clock: the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood and retirement
    The social clock changes with time and culture. For a simple example, in the US in the 1950s, it was not uncommon to find a couple just out of high school that were married and starting a family by the time they were in their early 20s. In the 2000s, however, such behavior would be seen as a little odd. There are not as many people who get married or start a family right out of high school, as the social timing (social clock) has increased with time. It is now the mid-20s to early 30s in which one often gets married and starts a family.
  • Midlife Transition is a crisis or a time of great struggle, of regret or even a feeling of struck down by life
  • Unhappiness, dissatisfaction, divorce, anxiety and suicide do not surge during the early forties; this is why skeptics question stages such as the mid-life crisis (Myres)
  • Couples are found to be happier in the martial after their children has come of age and leave their care.
Reflections on Major Developmental Issues
Some characteristics, such as temperament, are more stable than others , such as social attitudes (Moss&Susman, 1980). But attitudes, too, become more stable with age (Krosnick & Alwin, 1989). (Myers 190)
  1. ^ Barron's AP Psychology, McEntarffer and Weseley, pg. 191
  2. ^ Barron's AP Psychology, McEntarffer and Weseley, pg. 191
  3. ^ Barron's AP Psychology, McEntarffer and Weseley, pg. 191

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  4. ^ Barron's AP Psychology, McEntarffer and Weseley, pg. 191

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  5. ^ Barron's AP Psychology, McEntarffer and Weseley, pg. 191

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  6. ^ Barron's AP Psychology, McEntarffer and Weseley, pg. 192
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