What are the three major issues in developmental psychology?
- nature vs. nurture
- continuity vs. stages
- stability vs change
- fertilized eggs
- enters a 2 week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
differentiation (in prenatal development)
during the zygote stage cells begin to specialize in structure and function
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
- physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking
- in severe cases, symptoms include noticable facial misproportions
a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple
What have baby studies revealed about the newborn experience?
- babies prefer signts and sounds that facilitate social responsiveness
- they turn their head toward human voices
- they gaze longer at drawings of facelike images (vs. bull's-eye)
- they gaze longer at bull's-eyes that have eye-like features rather than a solid disc
- they prefer to look at objects 8-12 inches away (the distance from a nursing baby's eyes to it's mom's)
- within days, knows the smell of their mother
- withing 3 weeks, prefers the sound of their mother's voice (over a strange female)
- a decrease in responding with repeated stimulation
- as an infant gains familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
What has research using habituation shown us about infant preferences and memory?
- infants (like adults) focus first on the face, not the body
- infants can discriminate colors, shapes, sounds
- infants can understand some basic concepts of numbers and physics
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
Describe the developmental changes in a child's brain.
- the developing brain cortex overproduces neurons which are pruned after puberty
- you are born with most of the brain cells you will ever have
- from age 3-6 the brain's neural network is growing mostly in the frontal lobes (rational planning) - this continues through adolescence and beyond
- the last area to develop are the association areas (thinking, memory, language)
- fiber pathways supporting language and agility develop into puberty
What is the relationship between maturation (genetically determined) and experience in the development of a child?
- maturation sets the basic course for development but environment adjusts this course
- For example: severe deprivation or abuse can retard development and experience with parents who talk and read to a child will help strengthen neural connections.
What are the four events in the motor development sequence from birth to toddlerhood?
What are the effects on maturation and experience in relation to the sequence of motor developments from birth to toddlerhood?
- given these skills involve the maturation of the nervous system, environment does nothing to change the aquisition of these skills
- the rapid development of the cerebellum around age 1 accounts for the development of walking at about this age
What is the average age for people's earliest conscious memory?
3.5 years old
Why do we have few memories of experiences in our lives from birth to about 3?
- infants pre-verbal memories do not translate into their later language
- we organize our memories differently after age 3 or 4
- we do have unconscious memories of some things, but cannot consciouly recall them
- developmental psychologist
- initially worked to develop questions for children's intelligence tests
- studied cognitive development
- developed/described the four main stages of cognitive development
- believed the driving force bethond our intellectual progression is our unceasing struggle to make sense of our experiences
- 18 to 30 month old children may fail to take into account the size of an object when trying to perform actions with it
- for example, a child who sits in a doll house size chair or tries to get into a toy car
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
an object for which there is no schema, therefore we can't recall it exactly (like the devil's tuning fork)