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Child Development Exam 1


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what is a researchable question?
a question you can make a hypothesis about!
Naturalistic observation =
the data is collected in an everyday setting rather than in a lab which increases the external validity of the findings/ systematic obseration of infividuals in their natural environment. It is highly descriptive
example of Naturalistic observation =
observing children at a playground, possibly through the use of cameras that the children can't see
an example of a cultural construct =
gender roles
1st important insight gained from research on children and families in other cultures:
Regards regularities in how parts of a culture work together as a SYSTEM: "The ways children are reared, tend to follow certain aspects of culture"
example of how parts of a culture work as a system that effects child development:
Children in traditionally agriculturally based societies usually have many household chores
2nd important insight gained from research on children and families in other cultures:
ALL parents and children everywhere face some of the same problems, experiences and needs.
examples of what all parents and children everywhere deal with:
All children must learn to walk, to interact with others, to leave their mothers, etc. They must all learn gender roles in their culture
Developmental Niche- definition
-describes the combo of features of an environment a particular animal or species of animal inhabits and the particular way they fit into and exploit their environment is different. Thus they create their own niche.
- NOT a Theory
- just provides a framework
-bio ecology term
Example of Developmental Niche from book:
pigeons and robbins: They might live in the same area but where they build nests and from what materials, the food they seek and their vulnerability to various predators all are distinct
My example of developmental niche:
Skunks, Squirrels, and raccoons on Trinity's campus
Tricky example of developmental niche:
Members of the same family can be parts of different developmental niches
3 major aspects of culture ***
1) Physical and social settings
2) Customs of child care and rearing
3) Care taker psychology
Examples of aspects of physical and social setting:
1) sleep schedule
2) food available
3) Geography
4) family size
5) school attended
6) house size and architecture
my example of how physical and social setting can effect child development
In the Victorian Era, the new architecture of houses allowed for more privacy. Each individual had their own bedroom for the first time. This contributed to the emergence of the concept of "I"
2 examples of customs of child care and rearing
1) In rural Kenya, older siblings are caretakers

2) Use of playpens is customary in Holland
Examples of caretaker psychology:
1) What do you do when a baby is crying in the middle of the night? Go to it or ignore it?

2) Smoking/drinking when you are raising a baby
is development a normative process? explain why or why not?
No! There's variability across different cultures. Timing and progression are not the same everywhere
Is the development of independence in children normative?
No. In some cultures, independence is said to never emerge. Instead, interdependence emerges over time
Explain how the notion of the "family" is culturally variable?
In some families in some cultures, children are expected to work or marry as soon as they can. In the US children serve as a psychological social function! Professor was very into this phrase
how do we account for cultural variability?
the developmental niche
what is the unit of analysis for the developmental niche?
the child
what's an example of a custom that effects child development?
Toilet training standards

How long are you supposed to breast feed
Parent's individual psychology examples
1) Gender roles: boys and girls are different since birth

2) don't talk to infants until they talk to you
direct effects v. indirect effects
??? LOOK UP ???

How does the overall human ecology effect child development?
The needs of every child?

??? LOOK UP ???
2 descriptions of the family Prof. gave =
1) a marker for social change

2) a catalyst for social change
example of a naturalistic experiment:
Question: Are girls or boys more aggressive in play?
1) Define what you mean by "aggressive"
2) Define MEASURE for example, the measure could be the number of physical aggressions
3) find an environment to do the study in (for example, a playroom with doublesided mirrors)
4) choose which children to observe and how: video tape? Multiple observers? etc.
Sigmund Freud's basic view of children:
Born with instincts and temperments. Giving a child too much gratification is bad. You have to give a child the appropriate amount of control. LOOK UP MORE ON THIS
what were Watson's basic views of Child Development?
He was the father of CONDITIONING.

He did an experiment with a boy named Albert and a white rabbit in which he exposed Albert to the rabbit and a frightening noise at the same time so that Albert eventually was conditioned to be scared everytime he saw a white rabbit. Unfortunately, Albert generalized his fear to everything white and furry.
generalization in the Albert experiment =
id =
animal instinct
ego =
deconditioning =
desentization - also called "extinction" the child is eventually desensitized to the stimulus
she could totally ask this as an essay! LOOK UP
the third variable problem:
the correlation between two variables may be the result of some 3rd UNSPECIFIED variable
example 3rd variable problem
in reading example for instance, perhaps the children who read more and had a higher reading ability lived in intellectual home environments
5 stages of Freud's development
1) oral
2) anal
3) PHALLIC- I always forget this one
4) latent
logic of experimental designs * confusing
If groups are comparable at the outset and then are exposed to different experiences, then these different experiences are the cause of any diffs in behavior in the two groups
random ASSIGNMENT of participants: *
Assignment of participants to one group or another BY CHANCE, by flipping a coin for example, so that THE GROUPS ARE COMPARABLE at the outset
example random ASSIGNMENT: *
Test to see if Curriculum A or Curriculum B is better. Test subjects = students at two different schools. By giving Curriculum A to students through RANDOM ASSIGNMENT, experimenters can ensure that the diffs in the say reading abilities of each experimental group are DUE TO THE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES and not due to environmental diffs in each school system. The test would not work without random assignment
Why is the use of random ASSIGNMENT important in the experimental method? *
Because this COMPARIBILITY is crucial for being able to INFER that it was the VARYING EXPERIENCE that cause the later differences in the groups

OTHERWISE the diffs might have arisen from some pre-existing diffs btwn the people in the groups
2nd example of Random ASSIGNMENT with regard to testing of personality qualities: *
If 40 children are divided RANDOMLY between 2 groups, each group is likely to have a few children with very introverted personalities and a few extroverted and many inbetween. Through RANDOM ASSIGNMENT, the groups are COMPARABLE AT THE OUTSET!
2nd essential characteristic of the experimental design:
experimental control:
Refers to the ABILITY of the researcher to determine the specific experiences that children in each group encounter during the study
Simplest experimental design:
1) Experimental group
2) Control group
experimental group
the group that is presented the EXPERIENCE OF INTEREST
control group
the group that does not receive the experience of interest. Otherwise treated identically
Independent Variable
the experience that the children in the experimental group receive that children in the control group do not
Dependent variable *
the behavior that is HYPOTHESIZED to be affected by EXPOSURE TO the independent variable
example of experimental design:
what are the groups and what is the independent variable being looked at?
children in control group don't watch an anti-bullying film. Experimental group is exposed to an anti-bullying film
dependent variable = amount of bullying children subsequently engage in
example 2 experimental method
Experimental group of children were read stories in which characters solved problems in a certain way and then were presented with problems that could be solved in a similar but not identical manner. Question = do these stories improve children's analogical reasoning skills over time?

Control group was not read the stories.

The experimental group had 6 training sessions and in a comparison of the pretest of their analogical skills and a post test, the experimental group improved while the control group who did not have the sessions did not improve
limitations of experimental designs:
the controlled circumstances of the labratory are often quite different from the conditions of the everyday world
classic naturalistic experiment
1) focussed on whether watching violent tv made children more aggressive
2) preschoolers were randomly divided into the experimental and control groups
3) examinations of the children in the 2 groups indicated that their initial levels of aggression were comparable at the outset
4) over a period of several weeks, children in the experimental group hit, kicked and choked their classmates more often during play than the control group
a way to study changes and continuities W/ AGE. This method compares children of different ages on a GIVEN BEHAVIOR, ABILITY OR CHARACTERISTIC.
example cross sectional approach:
Study of friendship:
1) Asked 6th to 12th graders to NAME BEST FRIENDS. and up to 10 of their other friends in their school
3) The research indicated that some aspects of friendship change with age.
-Older children named fewer friends, but those they named were more likely to name them as friends as well.
-Other aspects of friendship did not change during the age span examined: At all ages, children who were part of the ethnic majority at their school were more likely to have their designation of friends RECIPROCATED than were children who were in the minority.
drawback of cross sectional approach:
They don't yield info about the STABILITYof individual differences OVER TIME or about the PATTERNS OF CHANGE shown by individual children
How do children's own actions contribute to their own development? *
1) Their attentional patterns
2) Their use of language
3) Their play
summary of drawbacks and pros of cross sectional studies:
drawbacks: doesn't look at individual changes over time
pros: tells about the general characteristics of groups of people over time
An example of how a child can contribute to their own development?
A socially precocious child evokes a certain response from adults. Adults may be more likely to treat such a child like an adult as well.
What are some problems with NATURALISTIC experiments?

particularly in aggression experiment
-observer biases
-open to interpretation
-you need to know what elicited the aggressive response
observer conflicts/biases:
when two experimental observers have conflicting opinions/interpretations of an event
Give an example of an experimental question that is problematic and explain why/
"What is the effect of divorce on children?"

It's problematic because how do you measure this effect? Do you measure it in terms of
a) grades
b) relationships- with parents, with peers
c) in terms of emotional problems children experience
The observer doesn't know what hypothesis is being tested
both the experimental observer and the experimental paricipants don't know what hypothesis is being tested
Why is naturalistic observation problematic?
because when children know they're being observed and especially when they know they're being videotaped, they will change their behavior
subject reactivity: ???
what is the most serious limitation of naturalistic OBSERVATION:
the results are mostly DESCRIPTIVE. You CAN'T deduce RELATIONSHIPS.
scale of correlations
between -1.0 and + 1

0 = no correlation
-1.0 = neg. correlation
1.0 = pos. correlation
positive correlation:
As one variable increases, so does the other
negative correlation:
As one variable increases, the other decreases
What could be the 3rd variable effecting a study of the correlation btwn. the watching of violent tv shows and acts of violence?
Perhaps children who are naturally violent are drawn to violent tv shows
What could be the 3rd (or C Factor) variable in the correlation btwn smoking and heart disease?
Perhaps anxious people are both more likely to smoke and more likely to have heart disease. This is what the cigarette companies used to argue.
Path analysis: *
Tracing the links and correlations
C factor
a third variable which effects the two variables examined in a correlational study
an example of the experimental method regarding sharing behavior:
1) Manipulate a variable like put children in a high stress environment
-manipulated variable = experimental variable
-the experimental group is exposed to the manipulated variable: i.e. the high stress environment

-the control group is not exposed to the "high stress" environment
How would you create an experiment to answer the question: How many hours of studying is OPTIMAL?
1) have groups that each study for different amounts of time
group a) study 0 hours
b) study 2 hrs
c) study 4 hrs
d) control group: not told how long to study

3) comparison to the control group could show that differences in the dependent variable (test grades) = substantial
random SAMPLING:
The best way to avoid BIAS

goal: to get a sense of the wide breadth of opinions etc.
Random assignment let's us show:
subject variables:
a characteristic of a subject that you can't and don't MANIPULATE

example: MALE/FEMALE

you can't control for it through random assignment *** difficult concept
reliability of a study:
repeatability: you can repeat the study and get the same results

consistency of measures
the idea that the test MEASURES WHAT YOU SAY IT MEASURES

the research answers your question
internal validity ****
the results of the dependent variable came about because of the manipulation of the independent variable
external validity
the results can generalize to the larger population.
An example of a question of EXTERNAL validity:
Medical research studies of a drug on adults. Can the results generalize to children? example: anti-depressants

the answer is they cannot generalize to children b/c their brains are very different from adults
generalizing subjects:
most research is done on white upper class individuals of European ancestry. Can these experiments' results generalize to individuals from different socioeconomic situations?
Most experiments are high in THIS type of validity. Because __________
Internal, because the experimenters exert a great deal of CONTROL OVER the experiment's critical VARIABLES
controlling too much in an experiment can decrease ________________
the external validity of the experiment. It can make the results not applicable to others. The results cannot be generalized
when a COHORT of children are studied over an extended period of time
a group of individuals who go through a similar experience/situation:

1) freshman class
2) more specific: 1 freshman seminar
an example of a question which could be examined through a LONGITUDINAL STUDY
How do children's cognitive abilities CHANGE OVERTIME?
How could you test "how children's cognitive abilities change over time" through a longitudinal study?
1) look at IQ scores age 2, 4, 6, etc.
problems with longitudinal studies?
-people drop out of study or move
-it's expensive
-external variables effect the subjects
cohort effect = ???
pre/post sesame street generation in experiments with cognitive abilities
selective attrition=
cross-sectional design =
look at children of different ages at the same point in time
an example of a cross sectional design:
how long do these studies usually last?
How well do 2 year olds, 4 yr. olds and 6 yr olds remember things?

they last over a month or so usually
advantages of the cross sectional design:
1) you can COMPARE age groups
2) relatively LOW COST
3) you can find out if a cohort is operating
what are some of the ethical dilemas in the research of children?
1) they can't give consent
2) children are impressionable and are suceptive to negative outcomes
3) we don't know enough about development to know what might harm children: example- antidepressants
most genes are:
a description of genes which contribute to multiple behaviors, aptitudes, etc.
Explain why genes do not determine our destinies?
because the environment plays a role as well. Also, genes make horomones which effect neurons, so it is not only the genes that are determining our chemical responses to the world around us. (this is kind of my b.s. answer but I think its accurate)
Genes are never _____
First sequence causes

i.e. they effect hormones and neurons which then cause changes.
the sum total of your genetic makeup
what is OBSERVABLY expressed based on genetic make up
Why does geneotype not = phenotype?
Because sometimes the genes do not code for a trait or they are blocked by some other influence such as a mutation or hormonal imbalence (as in hermaphrodites?)

Example from prof: Your phenotype can be "brown eyes" but your geneotype does not necessarily code for this ???

another example: albinos ?
range of reaction/norm of reaction:
-all phenotypes that are related to all the geneotypes
-genetically based variations of an individuals responsiveness to the environment
niche-picking ****
You take the characteristics you have and put yourself in circumstance that amplify your characteristics.

For example a shy person may be a librarian instead of being a Professor so that they don't have to talk much
3 kinds of Niche Picking: **
1) passive
2) evocative
3) active
passive niche picking:
parents set up environment for you
evocative niche picking:
others set up an environment for you based on your qualities which evoke certain responses from the people around you. For example, a teacher may notice that a student is particularly shy and then pair that student with a verbally precocious child in order to try to give the shy child a companion who is suited to his/her needs
active niche picking:
child chooses which friends to hang out with, sometimes regardless of what his/her parents say
Example of passive niche picking in relation to friendships:
Parents choose their daughter's playmates based on their views of the children
example of evocative niche picking in friendship example:
Parents set up playdates with children who they think will play best with their child. They may see/hear who their child like and then invite that friend over
plasticity: ???
Canalization: *** discussed often
notion of tendency of an organism to follow 1 SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENTAL PATH as opposed to a range of them
An example of a canalized behavior and why?
Language aqcuisition. The environment you're in determines the language you speak but almost all humans will develop language in a certain way.
what is the name of the girl who never developed lanugage because she was exposed to dire circumstances?
WHat did Horowitz believe about Child Development?

1) Universal form of development
2) Universal Ones are CANALIZED BEHAVIORS i.e. it takes dire circumstances for development to move in an opposite direction
phenotypic expressions:
walking on the moon

I don't get what she meant :(

= the capacity of the brain to be influenced by experience
Universal Ones according to Horowitz:
Canalized behaviors. It takes dire circumstances to move development in an opposite direction.
without plasticity we wouldn't be able to:
non-universals: ***
high degree of variation
critical/sensitive period:
optimal time for certain developments to occur due to circumstances in the environment

ex: language development
the sensitive period for language development:
18 months to puberty
Shared environment:
same family and environment. Same set of experiences. Shared by same family
non-shared environment:
-same family
-different environment
experiences not shared by same family
behavioral genetics:
a research field or approach to studying behavior by SEPERATING GENETIC from environmental effects
classic examples of things that have been examined through behavioral genetics:
1) I.Q. scores
2) psychopathology -- ex. from book: Schizophrenia
twin studies:
all the same genetic material

often compared with non-indentical siblings and with parents
adoption studies:
measure biological parents and adoptive parents (in relation to children???)
2 flaws in family studies:
1) when you study peple in a family, they share the same basic environment

2) We don't have a good measure of the environmental conditions
Gottlieb's model of child development ***
- Developmental systmes model
-environment and behavioral influence on gene activity
-looks at SYSTEMS
ex: a) language

-explain biological and behavioral systems
Species typial development is part of whose view of development?
species typical development:
-a trait that is picked up from a normal developmental pathway
what leads to species typical development?
What is Gottlieb's view of prenatal development?

give an example:
It effects development over life times

For ex. Songbirds are exposed to mothers sounds and to their own sounds which leads them to engage in species specific development
central dogma of development
genes --> hormones--> synapses--> behavior
probablistic ***
contrast the central dogma- its predetermined- means certain things are more likely to happen then others
idea that there's always the EMERGENCE of new developmental systems
-Development's emergence is hierarchical
-It's co-actional
-Increasing complexity of organisms behavioral and psychological systems

-doesn't have to do with genes!
horizontal: within a level i.e. behavioral activity influences another behavioral activity
Vertical coaction:
interaction btwn two levels

environment can influence neural activty and genetic activity
can influence developing fetus's genes
example of vertical coaction
genetic influences neural activity, which influences behavior
radiation in hiroshima = example of
a teratogen
horrowitz's basic model
an interactional model
what does horowitz's model take into account:
1) environment

a) fascilitative
b) non-fascilitative

2) organism:
a) vulnerable
b) invulnerable

universals are:
species typical ?don't get this
if an individual is highly resilient and they are exposed to a non-fascilitative environment, what is the outcome?
they are okay
If someone is vulnerable and in a fascilitative environment what's the outcome?
they're okay
characteristics of resilient children:
1) verbally precocious
2) able to evoke mentoring from adults/others
3) attractive
4) talented
Scarr's model:
-a correlational model

UNLIKE HOROWITZ AND GOTTLIEB: which are interactional models
Definition of Scarr's model:
environment and geneotype both play a role in developmental outcomes. They DON'T INTERACT! They are correlated but they act independently.
In scarr's model, how do individuals effect their own development?
the individuals shape their environment through niche picking
What evidence does Scarr use to support her argument:
behavioral genetics studies

especially adoption studies
what is a counterintuitive aspect of Scarr's model?
Genetic differences become more important as a child develops.

This model says that your geneptype is more important when you're older
tricky main point of Scarr's model in relation to differences in families:
As we get older, b/c we control the environment we live in much more, the genetic differences in families especially, emerge when members go to non-shared environments
cascading effect:
what is a teratogen?
-an environmental AGENT that hurts baby
examples of teratogens:
maternal diseases:

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