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Dev. PSY 3337 Ch. 1-4 Study notes


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PSY 3337 Chapter 1
Scientific study of human development
The science that seeks to understand the ways in which people change and remain the same as they grow older.
Life –span perspective
A view of human development that takes into account all phases of life, not just childhood or adulthood.
A characteristic of development, referring to its nonlinear progression- gains and losses, compensations and deficits, predictable and unexpected change.
Dynamic systems
A process of continual change within a person or group, in which each change is connected systematically to every other development in each individual and every society.
Butterfly effect
The idea that a small action or event (such as the breeze created by the flap of a butterfly’s wings) may set off a series of changes that culminate in a major event (such as a hurricane.)
A characteristic of development, referring to the fact that each human life takes place within a number of contexts: historical, cultural, and socioeconomic.
A group of people whose shared birth year, or decade, means that they travel through the life together, experiencing the same major historical changes.
Social construction
An idea that is built more on shared perceptions of social order than on objective reality.
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
An indicator of a person’s social and economic standing, measured through a combination of family income, education level, place a residence, occupation, and other variables.
The specific manifestations of a social group’s design for living, developed over the years to provide a social structure for the group member’s life together.
A characteristic of development, which takes place within many cultural settings worldwide, and thus reflects a multitude of values, traditions, and tools for living.
Ethnic group
A collection of people who share certain attributes, almost always including ancestral heritage and often including national origin, religion, customs, and language.
A social construction by which biological traits (such as hair, skin color, facial features, and body (type), are used to differentiate people whose ancestors come from various regions of the world.
A characteristic of development encompassing the idea that dozens of academic disciplines contribute data and insight to the science of development.
A characteristic of development that indicates that individuals, including their personalities as well s their bodies and minds, change throughout their life span.
Scientific method
An approach to the systematic pursuit of knowledge, that when applied to the study of development, involves five basic steps: Formulate a research questions, develop a hypothesis, draw conclusions, and make the findings available.
A specific prediction that is stated in such a way that it can be tested and either confirmed or refuted.
The repetition of scientific study, using the same procedures on another group of participants, to verify or refute the original study’s conclusions.
Developmental Study As A Science
Scientific observation
A method of testing hypothesis by unobtrusively watching and recording participants’ behavior either in a laboratory or in a natural setting.
A number indicating the degree of relationship between two variables, expressed in terms of the likelihood tat one variable will (or will not ) occur when the other variable does (or does not). A correlation is not an indication that one variable causes the other.
A research method in which the researcher tries to determine the cause and effect relationship between two variables by manipulating one variable (called the independent variable) and then observing and recording the resulting changes in the other variable (called the dependent variable.)
Independent variable
In an experiment, the variable that is introduced or changed to see what effect it has on the dependent variable.
Dependent variable
In an experiment, the variable that may change as a result of the introduction or changes made in the independent variable.
Experimental group
In an experiment, the participants who are given a particular treatment.
Comparison group
In an experiment, the participants who are not given special treatment but who are similar to the experimental group in other relevant ways. (Also called the control group.)
A research method in which information is collected from a large number of people by personal interview, written questionnaire, or some other means.
Case study
A research method in which one individual is studied intensively. The man purpose is to understand a particular individual very well and to provide a provocative starting point for other research.
Studying Changes over time
For research to be truly developmental, it must be able to deal with things that change and continue over time.
Cross-Sectional Research
A research method in which groups of people who differ in age but share other important characteristics re compared.
Longitudinal Research
A research method in which the same individuals are studied over a long period of time.
Cross-Sequential Research
A hybrid research method in which researchers first study several groups of people of different ages (a cross-sectional approach) and then follow those groups over the year ( a longitudinal approach). Also called cohort-sequential or time-sequential research.
Ecological-Systems Approach
Research that takes into consideration the relationship between the individual and the environment.
Types of systems
Microsystems, exosystems, macrosystems, chronosystems, and mesosystems
Elements of the person’s immediate surroundings, such as family and peer group.
Local institutions as school and church.
The larger social setting, including cultural values, economic polices, and political processes.
The historical conditions.
Involves the connections between Microsystems; for example, the communication process between a child’s parents and teachers form a mesosystem.
Ethics and Science
Researchers should also choose to investigate topics that are major concern for the human family.
Code of ethics
A set of moral principles that is formally adopted by a group or organization.
Implication of research
In reporting results the investigator should be mindful of the social, political, and human implications of his or her research.
What should we study?
Are scientists dong enough to study the issues that are crucial to human development?
Chapter Two
Theories of Development
Developmental Theory
A systematic statement of principle that generalizations that provides a coherent framework for studying and explaining development.
Grand theories
Comprehensive theories that have traditionally inspired and directed thinking about development. Psychoanalytic theory, behaviorism, and cognitive theory are all grand theories.
Theories that focus on some specific area of development and thus are less general and comprehensive than the grand theories.
Emergent theories
Theories that bring together information from many disciplines but hat have not yet cohered into theories that are comprehensive and systematic.
Psychoanalytic Theory
A grand theory of human development that hold that irrational, unconscious drives and motives, many of which originate in childhood, underlie human behavior.
Sigmund Freud
Development in the first six year occurs in three stages. Oral stage, anal stage and phallic stage.
Erik Erikson
Psychosocial contexts, wherein individuals are shaped by the interaction of personal characteristics and social forces.
Erikson’s psychosocial model
Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair
A grand theory of human development that focuses on the sequences and processes by which behavior is learned. Also known as learning theory. Developed by John Watson.
Laws of behavior
Through conditioning.
According to behaviorism, any process in which a behavior is learned. Two types, classical and operant conditioning.
Classical conditioning
The process by which a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus, so that the organism responds to the former stimulus as if it were the latter. AKA respondent conditioning. Associated with Ivan Pavlov
Operant conditioning
The process by which a response is gradually learned via reinforcement or punishment. AKA instrumental conditioning. Associated with B. F. Skinner
The process in which a behavior is followed by results that make it more likely that the behavior will be repeated.
Harry Harlow’s monkey studies
All theories lead to research that tests various hypotheses. Harlow’s studies of mother love among baby monkeys revealed that comforting contact was more important than food in establishing the mother-infant bond.
Social Learning Theory
An application of behaviorism that emphasizes that many human behaviors are learned through observation and imitation of other people.
In social learning theory, the process in which people observe and then copy the behavior of others.
In social learning theory, the belief that one is effective; self-efficacy motivates people to change themselves and their contexts.
Cognitive Theory
A grand theory of human development that focuses on the structure and development of thinking, which shapes people’s attitudes, belief, and behaviors. Associated with Jean Piaget
Four stages of cognitive development
Sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, and formal operational
Cognitive equilibrium
In cognitive theory, a state of mental balance in which a person is able to reconcile new experiences with existing understanding.
Infants use senses and motor abilities to understand the world. Learning is active; there is no conceptual or reflective thought.
Children use symbolic thinking, including language, to understand the world. Thinking is egocentric, causing children to understand the world from their own perspective.
Concrete operational
Children understand and apply logical operations, or principles, to interpret experiences objectively and rationally.
Formal operational
Adolescents and adults think about abstractions and hypothetical concepts and reason analytically, not just emotionally.
Major focuses of the three grand theories
Cognitive theory: Ideas, beliefs, assumptions. Psychoanalytic theory: Emotions (love, hate, fear, etc.). Behaviorism: Actions (what the person does).
Sociocultural theory
An emergent theory that holds that human development results form the dynamic interaction between each person and the surrounding social and cultural forces. Associated with Lev Vygotsky
Guided Participation
In sociocultural theory, the process by which a skilled person helps a novice learn by providing not only instruction but also a direct, shared involvement in the learning process.
Apprenticeship in thinking
In sociocultural theory, the process by which novices develop cognitive competencies through interaction with more skilled members of the society, often parents or teachers, who act as tutors or mentors.
Zone of proximal development
In sociocultural theory, the range of skills that a learner can exercise and master with assistance but cannot yet perform independently. According to Vygotsky, learning can occur within this zone.
Epigenetic theory
An emergent theory of development that emphasizes the interaction of genes and the environment-that is, both the genetic origins of behavior (within each person and within each species) and the direct, systematic influence that environmental forces have, over time, on genes.
The belief that every aspect of development is set in advance by gens and then is gradually manifested in the course of maturation.
Genetic or selective adaptation
The idea that humans and other animals gradually adjust to their environment; specifically, the process by which the frequency of particular genetic traits in a population increases or decreases over generations, depending on whether the traits contribute to the survival of the species.
The study of patterns of animal behavior, particularly as that behavior relates to evolutionary origins and species survival.
What theories can contribute: Part 1
Psychoanalytic, learning, cognitive, sociocultural, and epigenetic theories have each contributed to the understanding of human development, yet no one theory is broad enough to describe the full complexity of diversity of human experience.
What theories can contribute: Part 2
Each theory provides a useful perspective; none are complete in themselves. Most developmentalists are eclectic, adopting aspects of various theories rather then following any single theory.
What theories can contribute: Part 3
Every theory can shed some light on issues such as the nature-nurture controversy, which centers on how much influence heredity and the environment each have on human development. All researchers agree, however, both factors influence all aspects of development.
Eclectic perspective
The approach taken by most developmentalists, in which they apply aspects of each of the various theories of development rather than adhering exclusively to one theory.
Nature-nurture controversy
The dispute that has echoed through every decade of developmental study.
A general term for the traits, capacities, and limitations that each individual inherits genetically form his or her parents at the moment of conception.
A general term for all the environmental influences that affect development after an individual is conceived.
Chapter 3
Heredity and Environment
The genetic code
Development that is dynamic, ongoing, interactional, and unique; just four chemicals that are the basic building blocks of the genetic code.
What genes are
Genes are made up of DNA-the complex protein code of genetic information. DNA directs the form and function of each body cell as it develops. Each molecule of DNA is called a chromosome
What genes are, cont.
Chromosomes contain instructions to make all the proteins a living being needs. The complete packet of instructions is called a genome. Each person has 23 sets of chromosomes, or 46 chromosomes. The human genome contains 30,000 genes.
The beginnings of human life
Gamete- reproductive cell that directs process by which genetic information combined and transmitted. Father gametes-sperm. Mother gametes-ovum.
Zygote and Genotype
Male and female gametes fuse and become a zygote. Zygote begins process of duplication and division. Sperm & ovum fuse nuclei, 1 cell. Genotype- the genetic information from the 46 chromosomes (23F 23M) Set at human conception and endures through life.
Sex determination and sex ratio
Of 22 out of 23 pairs of human chromosomes, the 2 parts are very closely matched. But not identical, some genes come in slight, normal variations called alleles. The 23rd pair is different. In females, it is designated XX, in males XY
Sex determination and sex ratio, cont.
Other factors include: rarely, males sperm may be all X or Y. Sometimes a woman’s uterus is unusually alkaline or acid, giving either X or Y sperm an advantage. In a stressful pregnancy, XY embryos are more likely to be expelled than are XX embryos in a spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage. Current sex ratio in US is 52 male sot 48 females.
Multiple Zygotes
Monozygotic twins- identical twins (or quadruplets) originate from one zygote. Share identical instructions. Possibility of cloning, 1/3 of twins monozygotic.
Multiple Zygotes, cont.
Dizygotic twins. Women in late 30’s are three times more likely to have dizygotic twins. As menopause approaches, ovulation become irregular with some cycles producing multiple ovas. Share no more genes than other offspring. (about 50%) 50% of time one twin is male.
Duplication, division, and differentiation
The zygote contains a complete set of instructions to create a person. Complex instructions on duplication, cell division, and differentiation.
Duplication and division.
Zygote begins duplication and division within hours after conception. The 23 pairs of chromosomes duplicate, forming the two complete sets of the genetic doe for tat person. No more crossing over!! (exact copying). These two pair sets move toward the opposite sides of the zygote and the singe cell in the zygote spits down the middle. 2 Cells now. The zygote’s outer membrane surrounds two cells, each containing a complete set of the original genetic code. These two cells then duplicate and divide to become four, then eight, and so on.
Duplication and division, cont.
By birth, your original zygote has duplicated and divided into 10 trillion cells.. by adulthood, it’s 100 trillion cells. Every cell carries an exact copy of the complete genetic instruction inherited by the one-celled zygote.
Not just any cell found in the zygote can become a finder or a brain cell. At the 8-cell stage a third process, differentiation, occurs. Cells begin to specialize. They take different forms. They reproduce at different rates, depending on where in the growing mass they are located.
Differentiation cont.
Certain genes affect differentiation by: Switching other genes on and others off. So that the other genes produce the right proteins at the right times. Called on-off switching mechanisms. Genotype- the genetic potential for a person (not really a “blueprint”). Phenotype- the actual result (from a combination of genes and environment)
Gene – Gene Instructions
Multifactoral traits- inherited traits produced by interaction of genes and environment. Polygenic traits- inherited traits produced by gene interaction. These are affected by: on-off switching mechanisms, additive genes, dominant-recessive genes, combination of the above, other mechanisms.
Additive Genes
Additive genes- one of a number of genes affecting a specific trait. Each additive gene contributes to the trait. Skin color and height are determined by them. Every additive gene has some impact on a person’s phenotype. When genes interact this way, all the involved genes contribute fairly equally.
Dominant and recessive genes
Nonadditive genes- phenotype shows one gene more influential than other genes. This is also referred to as the dominant-recessive pattern. Gene showing the most influence is referred to a dominant. Gene showing the least influence is referred to as recessive.
Special Dominant / Recessive Pattern
X-linked genes: located on X chromosome. If recessive gene is X-linked, then the fact that it is on the X chromosome is critical. Males have one X chromosome; females have 2 X chromosomes. Whatever recessive genes a male inherits on his X chromosome cannot be counterbalanced or dominated by alleles on a second X. All recessive X genes will be expressed in males. Explains why males have more X-linked disorders (ex. Color blindness, many allergies, several diseases, some learning disabilities)
More complications
Genes direct the creation of 20 amino acids that produce thousands of proteins forming the body’s structure and directing biochemical functions. Proteins of each body cell are continually affected by other proteins, nutrients, and toxins that influence the cell functioning.
More complications cont.
Genetic imprinting- tendency of certain genes to be expressed differently when inherited from mother than from father (tagging). Some of the genes which influence height, insulin production, and several forms of mental retardation affect a child differently depending on which parent they came from.
Genetic diversity
Every person is unique. This is not an accident. This is a very good thing, usually. We have evolved specialized ways of making sure each person is unique.
Mechanisms of genetic diversity
Since each gamete contains only 23 chromosomes, why is every conception genetically unique? 1. Wide genetic variety of sperm and ova (about 8 million combinations of each) 2. 8 million possibilities (mother) times 8 million (father) = 64 trillion different possibilities of children from each couple. 3. During the formation of the zygote, we have crossing over, where the sperm and ovum randomly exchange pieces of their genetic code with each other. 4. Mutations.
Healthy benefits of genetic diversity
Genetic diversity safeguards human health. Minute differences can affect the ability to starve off certain diseases. Genetic diversity maintains the species. (at a great cost.)
From genotype to phenotype
Every psychological characteristic is genetically influenced. Every psychological characteristic and personal trait is affected by the environment.
From genotype to phenotype, cont.
Genotype- genetic potential. Phenotype- the actual appearance of an individual, combination of genetic potential and expression. We are all carries of many unexpressed genes. We can pass them along through the sperm or ova.
Behavior genetics
The study of effects of genes on behavior. Personality patterns, psychological disorders, and intellectual abilities.
Senility Caused by Alzheimer’s disease
Most common and feared type of sanity is Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid B protein accumulates in the brain, leading to dysfunction and destruction of brain cells and disruption of the mind. Can be strong genetic, but only when early-onset. If late-onset, may be a combination f genes and environment. Other predictor may include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, diet, exercise, not smoking, weight control, mental alertness, and physical health.
Other examples
New Zealand family study. Participant: men with genetic risk (family history) for impulse control, alcoholism, aggression, etc. Longitudinal. Some members of both groups experienced trauma, abuse, et. Only those with genetic risk and experience of trauma had elevated levels of being abusive adults.
Read up:
Make sure you understand the textbook’s discussion of multiple determinants of alcoholism & schizophrenia.
Chromosomal and genetic abnormalities
We not give attention to these because we can recognize Disruptions of normal development, origins of genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, and misinformation and prejudice add to problems of people with these abnormalities.
Chromosomal Abnormalities
A gamete with more than or less than 23 chromosomes creates a zygote with chromosomal abnormalities. Most common variable that creates chromosomal abnormalities is mother’s age (over 35 = strongly increased risk). Father’s age (over 40) also a variable. Most zygotes with chromosomal abnormalities never come to term. Spontaneous abortion occurs in about one-half of all fetus with chromosomal abnormalities.
Down syndrome
Three chromosomes at gene #21 (trisomy-21) Syndrome- a cluster of distinct characteristics that occur together in a given disorder.
Abnoramlites of the 23rd Pair (remember 23 = sex)
Location of sex chromosome. Kleinfelters syndrome- XXY. Seemingly normal child has delayed puberty. Fragile X syndrome. Hanging on by a thread (mutated gene). Intensifies from generation to generation. Usually worse in men (no buffer?)
Genetic testing and genetic counseling: who needs it?
Individuals with parent, sibling, or child with a serous genetic condition know to be dominate or recessive. Couples with history of early spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, or infertility. Couples from the same ethnic group or subgroup, especially if closely related. Women over 35 and men over 40.
The process of geneitic counseling
Counselor constructs couples’ family history. Chars patterns of health and illness over generations. Some tests provide information before conception. Other tests are prenatal: alpha-fetoprotein assay. Ultrasound (AKA sonogram), amniocentesis, chorionic villi sampling, pre-implantation testing (used in in-vitro fertilization), gamete selection; ova/and or sperm are screened to select ones free of particular problems.
Basis for decision
Many want to know ahead of time. Some do not. There is a possibility of gaining a better idea of what is to come- or not. Often, the outcome of tests includes further uncertainty.
If both partners are carriers of a serous condition or are at high risk because of age or family characteristics, they may turn to: in-vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIF), artificial insemination donor (AID), postponement of pregnancy until promising treatments are further developed.
Portrays a person’s chromosomes. a
Chapter 4
From Zygote to Newborn
Course of prenatal development
Pregnancy about 266 days. Approx. 9 months, 38-40 weeks. 1-3: 1st trimester, 4-6: 2nd trimester, 7-9: 3rd trimester. Cephalocaudal development. Principle that development proceeds from the head downward. Proximodistal development. Principle that development proceeds form the center of the body outward.
3 Periods of Prenatal Development
A. Germinal period: conception to week two. 1. Zygote, tiny cluster of cells. Union of the sperm and the ovum. In fallopian tubes. 2. Cell division. Blastocyst- inner layer of cells that later develop into embryo. Trophoblast- outer layer cells that provides nutrition and support for the embryo. 3. Implantation- attachment of a zygote to uterine wall.
B. Embryonic period Weeks 2-8
1. Cell differentiation. a. Endodermis- cells become internal organs (stomach, liver, lungs, etc.) b. Mesoderm- cells become muscles, skeleton and blood. c. Ectoderm- cells form central nervous system, sensory organs & skin. d. Embryonic induction- chemical interaction between cells of different tissues, triggers developmental changes. 2. Support systems: a. placenta, umbilical cord, and amnion. 3. Organogenesis- organ formation (1st 2 months)
C. Fetal Period: 9 weeks to birth
1. Time of rapid growth, average size of newborn 7.5 lbs. & 20 inches. 2. Neurogenesis- generation of neurons. 3. Synaptogenesis- connections between neurons. 4. Age of viability- age at which fetus can survive outside of mother’s uterus: 22 weeks. 5. Hearing at 28 weeks.
Agents and conditions that can impair prenatal development & results in birth defects or death. 1. Viruses, drugs and chemicals. 2. Behavioral teratogens: harmful agents that affect child’s intellectual & emotional functioning.
Time of exposure
1. Critical period of development when particular organ is most susceptible to damage. 2. Structural damage most likely during organogenesis.
Amount of exposure determined by the does
1. Threshold effect- teratogen harmless in small doses, but at certain level (threshold) become damaging. 2. Vitamin A, caffeine 3. Interaction effect: substances combine to intensify effect.
Genetic Susceptibility
1. Alcohol- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS/FAE – facial deformities and defective limbs, face, and heart. Usually below average intelligence or mentally retarded. 2. Nicotine- Increase risk for fetal and neonatal death. Prematurity and low birth weight. Respiratory problems, SIDS, Poor language and cognitive skills as age 4. 3. Cocaine: low birth weight, impaired info processing 4. Marijuana- increased tremors, startles among newborn, poor verbal and memory development at age 4. 5. Heroin- show withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, irritability, abnormal crying, disturbed sleep and impaired motor control.
Environmental Hazards
1. Radiation: microencephaly, mental retardation 2. Pollutants and toxic waste: brain damage.
Maternal factors
1. Diseases / conditions : Rubella, syphilis, genital herpes, AIDS. 2. Nutrition: folic acid before conception, prenatal vitamins. 3. Emotional state and stress: Extra rest. 4. Maternal age
Paternal factors
Lead exposure, radiation, pesticide, petrochemicals, vitamin C deficiency, cocaine use, paternal age, smoking.
Prenatal Testing
1. Sonogram (ultrasound): sound waves create a picture of a fetus. 2. Chorionic villi sampling: 10 weeks, sample of placenta analyzed. 3. Amniocentesis: ; placental fluid analyzed.
Birth Process
1. Three stages: labor, pushing, and afterbirth. 2. Transition being born is stressful. 3. Childbirth strategies (e.g. hospital, midwife, doula) Medicated (e.g. epidural block), pitocin. Natural and prepared, (breathing, relaxation), Cesarean.
Infants: age and weight
1. Low birth weight- full term newborns less than 5.5 pounds. 2. Preterm- born at less than 35 weeks after conception. 3. Small for date infants- weigh less than normal for the length of the pregnancy. 4. Long-term outcomes. 5. Stimulation of preterm infant.
Measures of neonatal health / responsiveness
1. APGAR Scale- evaluates heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, body color, & reflexes. Low score (3 or below) baby needs help. 2. Brazelton Neonatal Behavior- measures newborn’s neurological development, reflexes and social responsiveness.
Postpartum Period
A time when a woman adjusts physically and psychologically to the process of child bearing (about six weeks.)
Physical Adjustments
1. Learning to breast feed. 2. Breastfeeding speeds involution.
Emotional Adjustments (hormones)
Postpartum depression- severe “baby blues” and Long-term depression- affects the child.
Forming a close emotional attachment
Parental Alliance
Cooperation between parents in support for each other.

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