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Child Psychology Ch.1-4


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the study of the changes in behavior and abilities over the course of development.
Developmental Psychology
to identify children’s behavior at each point in their development.
determining the causes and processes that produce changes in behavior from one point to the next.
Description and Explaination
Main Goals of Child Psych
1. Period of Rapid Development
2. Long-term Influences
3. Real-world Application
4. Processes
5. Interesting
Why We Study Children
Greek and Roman- Infanticide; Severe Punishment
Medieval- No Marriage until 12; Fed but not Nurtured; Worked at age 7/8
Renaissance- Schools, More Nurture
Industrialization- Children had more free time; not part of the labor force.
The Way Children Were Treated
a. Most famous of early English philosophers.
b. Environmentalist View
c. Tabula rasa (blank slate) - all children are created (born) equal and the mind of a newborn infant is like a piece of white paper.
d. All knowledge comes to the chil
John Locke
a. Considered the father of French romanticism, a movement that emphasized themes of sentimentality, naturalness, and innocence.
b. Nativist View
c. Believed that children are born with knowledge and ideas, which unfold naturally with age.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
a. Ideas have had some influence on almost every major theory of development.
b. Principle of Recapitulation- only the strong survive; one of the first developmental studies.
c. Baby Biography- intensive study of a child.
d. Natural Select
Charles Darwin
a. 1st major psychologist to adopt Locke’s belief that human behavior can be understood principally in terms of experiences and learning.
b. New approach: Behaviorism- that human development results primarily from conditioning and learning process
John B. Watson
a. Pioneered new ways of studying children
1. One way viewing screen
2. Photographic Dome
3. Statistical Norms- time table of “normal” development
Arnold Gesell
a. Interactionist
b. 1st person to believe in nature and nurture
c. Theory of Psychosexual Development
1. Oral
2. Anal
3. Phallic
4. Latency
5. Genital
Sigmund Freud
a. Interactionist
b. Psychosocial Stages- 8 total stages
c. Based off of Freud
Erik Erikson
interview children to see how they answer questions
Clinical Method
the study of children’s knowledge and how it changes with development
Genetic Epstiemology
1. Intelligence is a process- not something that a child has but something that a child does
2. Schemes
3. Change repeatedly
Cognitive Structures
consist of a set of skilled, flexible action patterns through which the child understands the world.
human development can be described in terms of functions and cognitive structures.
Cognitivie Developmental Approach- Piaget
inborn processes that guide development
tendency to integrate knowledge into interrelated cognitive structures
Development occurs within a social, cultural and historical perspective
Sociocultural Approach
belief that children actively create knowledge rather than passively receive it from the environment.
changing existing cognitive structures to fit with new experiences.
interpreting new experiences in terms of existing cognitive structures.
tendency to fit with the environment in ways that promote survival.
The individual’s development is a product of his/her culture.
Sociocultural Approach- Vygotsky
children internalize many things based on their culture.
an approach to studying development that focuses on individuals within their environmental contexts.
Ecological Perspective
a bidirectional, or reciprocal, relationship in which individuals influence one another’s behaviors.
Transactional Influence
a. Center: Child
b. 1st (Innermost) Layer: Microsystem- environmental system closest to the child, such as the family or school.
c. 2nd Layer: Mesosystem: interrelationships among the child’s microsystem.
d. 3rd Layer: Exosystem- social
Sociocultural Approach- Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model
term for the passage of time as a context for studying human development
a neutral stimulus elicits a reflex after association with unconditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning
a form of learning in which the likelihood of an operant behavior changes as a result of its reinforcing or punishing consequences.
Operant Conditioning
a form of environmental/ learning theory that adds observational learning to classical and operant learning as a process through which children’s behavior changes.
Social Learning Theory
study of development from an evolutionary perspective
Innate Behavior ex Reflexes
Evolutionary Approach
a time of development during which behaviors are more easily learned; different experiences
Sensitive Period
time during learning in which a child is close to someone/ something.
same individuals are studied repeatedly over time.
a. Stability/ persistence of behaviors
b. Effect of early experience on later experiences.
c. Disadvantages:
1. Attrition- loss of participants
2. Repeated Testing- practice effe
Longitudinal Design
people of different ages are studied simultaneously to examine the effects of age on some aspect of behavior.
a. Advantages:
1. Less time-consuming
2. Low attrition rate (if any)
3. Methods do not become outdated
4. Less exp
Cross Sectional Design
combined longitudinal and cross sectional designs
a. Allows for the comparisons of different age groups and allows for the study of stability
b. Have some of the advantages and disadvantages of both types of designs
c. Often used with agin
Cross Sequential Design
small numbers of individuals are observed repeatedly in order to study an expected change in a developmental process
a. Testing is done over a matter of days/weeks not years like in a longitudinal design
b. Cognitive Design
c. Disadvantage
Microgenetic Studies
used to determine the influence of culture on some aspect of development
a. Ex: Children in US vs. Children in China
b. Disadvantage: Hard to design studies that measure the same behavior in different cultures.
Cross Cultural Design
a. Informed Consent
b. Peer Review
c. Debriefing
d. Confidentiality
Ethical Issues in Conducting Research with Children
what is the possibility of injury (physical or psychological) to the child.
Potential Risk
- Australian monk; 1st person to describe the principles of genetic transmission; Did study using pea plants and how the plant passed on specific characteristics
Gregor Mendel
specific segment of DNA that codes for the production of proteins
chemical strands in the cell nucleus that contain the genes
stair-like double helix molecular structure that carries genetic information
alternative forms of a specific gene
the exchange of genetic material between pairs of chromosomes during meiosis.
Crossing Over
arrangement of genes underlying specific traits
characteristic of a trait that is expressed or visible.
alleles of a trait are not equal and one usually dominates over another
Principle of Dominance
relatively powerful allele whose characteristics are expressed in the phenotype regardless of allele paired with which it is paired.
Dominant Gene
relatively weak allele whose characteristics are expressed in the phenotype only when it is pair with another recessive gene.
Recessive Gene
genetic variations/ imperfections in which most end up being maladaptive.
(30-40 yrs) rapid deterioration of nervous system
Huntington's Disease
only has one x sex chromosome
Turner's Syndrome
(XXY or XYY)- extra sex chromosome
Klinefelter's Syndrome
a device that produces soundlike waves of energy projects an image of the fetus
procedure for collecting cells that lie in the amniotic fluid; risks infection, miscarriage
procedure for gathering fetal cells earlier in pregnancy than is possible through amniocentesis; detects smaller disorders; more likely to miscarry
Chronic Villus Sampling
know who biological parents and adoptive parents; biological-genes; adoptive-environment
Adoption Studies
monozygotic (100% genetically identical); dizygotic (50% genetically identical); identical twins more alike than fraternal; proves genetic influence.
Twin Studies
twins up for adoption and raised in separate homes; still very similar to one another
Combined Adopted and Twin Studies
genes interact with environment by setting upper and lower limits of our development
Gottesman's Limit Setting Model
the range of ability that is set by genes.
Reaction Range
play an active role.
Scarr's Niche-Picking Model
explains differences in siblings
Plomin's Model
combination of genetic material from male sex cell and female sex cell
a. Conception- 2nd week
b. Cells rapidly reproduce
c. Travels from tubes to the uterus= Implantation
Period of Zygote
a. 3rd-8th week
b. Most delicate time during pregnancy
c. All internal and external organs begin to form
d. Heart beating by 3rd week
e. Human features by 8th week
f. Form: Amniotic Sac (surrounds and protects like embryo, fluid
Period of the Embryo
a. 9th-38th week
b. The period of the fetus begins
c. Fetal growth begins to slow around the 8th month
d. Fetus appearance changes dramatically
e. Development of the organ system furthers
f. Behavior begins in the 3rd month
Period of Fetus
the study of the effects of teratogens on development
an agent that can cause abnormal development in the fetus
i. Ranks 3rd
ii. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)- a set of features in the infant and child caused by the mother’s use of alcohol during pregnancy; typically includes facial malformations and other physical and mental disabilities
iii. Leads to-
Effects of Alcohol
i. Known to impair the functioning of the placenta, especially oxygen exchanges
ii. Babies are smaller
iii. Likelihood of premature delivery and complications increase with the number of cigarettes they smoke per day
iv. Babies are 25% to
Effects of Smoking

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