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Exam on Chapters 4-5: Study Guide

by: Hayley Seal

Exam on Chapters 4-5: Study Guide PSYC 1001

Marketplace > George Washington University > Psychlogy > PSYC 1001 > Exam on Chapters 4 5 Study Guide
Hayley Seal
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This guide give a general summary of the chapters, including important concepts and trends.
General Psychology
Ramezan Dowlati
Study Guide
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hayley Seal on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC 1001 at George Washington University taught by Ramezan Dowlati in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 57 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 02/07/16
PSYC 1001 Dr. Ramezan Dowlati Study Guide: Chapters 4-5 CHAPTER 4: NATURE, NURTURE, AND HUMAN DIVERSITY Summary BIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES PSYCHOLOGICAL INFLUENCES  Gene-environment interaction  Shared human genome  Neurological effect of early  Individual genetic variations experiences  Prenatal environment  Responses evoked by our own  Sex-related genes, hormones, temperament, gender, etc. and physiology  Beliefs, feelings, and expectations INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIAL-CULTURAL INFLUENCES  Parental influences  Peer influences  Cultural individualism or collectivism  Cultural gender norms Part I: Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences Behavior genetics studies the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior  Genes → DNA → chromosomes → genome  Only a tiny percent of gene variation causes differences between human individuals; humans are 96% genetically similar to chimpanzees Twin and adoption studies allow researchers to determine whether traits are genetically or environmentally influenced  Identical twins are genetically identical (same egg at conception) while fraternal twins are only as genetically similar as siblings (separate eggs at conception)  Identical twins are more behaviorally similar than fraternal twins even when separated at birth o They also have more similar temperaments than fraternal twins  The environment shared by a family’s children has virtually no impact on their personalities Heritability is a measure of variation that can be attributed to genes  More similar environment → increased heritability of a trait (environment has less of an effect on the variation)  Can explain differences within groups but not necessarily between them because the environmental and social contexts of the groups are different Genes and environment interact to produce variation among individuals  Molecular behavior genetics is the study of how the structure and function of genes interact with the environment to influence behavior  Genes work in teams; many genes may play a role in one outcome or behavior  Epigenetics refers to when genes react to environmental stimuli that “turn on” or “turn off” the expression of that gene Part II: Evolutionary Psychology: Understanding Human Nature “Second Darwinian revolution” was the application of evolutionary principles to psychology The principles of natural selection:  Offspring are varied and compete for survival  Certain biological and behavioral variations increase reproductive/survival chances in a particular environment  Offspring that survive pass on their genes  Population characteristics change over time Behavioral and biological similarities come from the shared human genome  Most genetic variation exists within populations, not between them Evolutionary explanations for human sexuality:  Males are more likely to initiate sexual activity and engage in casual sex  Men pair widely while women pair wisely (women are choosier because they have more potential cost to each sexual encounter) 3 main criticisms of evolutionary psychology:  It works backward, starting with an effect and then explaining its cause  Social learning may be a more immediate explanation for differences between the sexes; people may follow social scripts rather than only biology  Accepting evolutionary explanations for negative behavior excuses that behavior Part III: Culture, Gender, and Other Environmental Influences Nature and nurture interact to sculpt our synapses: experience activates and strengthens neural connections that exist due to genetics  Using neural networks in childhood preserves them from “use it or lose it”, but the brain also has plasticity to overcome lost neural networks at older ages  Children are not easily sculpted by parental nurture; environmental influences account for less than 10% of differences between them  Peers influence behavior, especially through the selection effect where kids seek out peers with similar attitudes and interests to themselves Humans are unique because of preservation of innovation and accumulation of culture  Cultures share basic moral ideas but develop different norms o Culture shock occurs when we don’t know what is expected or accepted in a cultural environment  Cultures vary and change much faster than can be explained by genetic changes (genetic change is slow and gradual)  Cultural definition or idea of “self” influences attitudes, values, and behavior o Individualist cultures give priority to one’s own goals over the group and define identity by personal attributes o Collectivist cultures give priority to group goals and define individual identity by that of the group o Western cultures are more individualist (especially the U.S.)  Cultural values of different times and places affect child-raising practices  Generally, cultural differences between groups are small compared to individual differences within groups  Everyone is subject to the same psychological forces that cause similar reasons for behaviors Gender (socially influenced characteristics by which people define men and women) is distinct from sex (biologically influenced characteristics by which people define males and females)  The sexes are actually very similar but prominent differences include o Men engage more in extreme physical violence and aggression while women engage more in relational aggression intended to harm a relationship or reputation o Men place more importance on social power and are more directive while women are more democratic o Men are more independent while women are more interdependent (men prefer working with things, women with people)  Biology influences gender genetically (sex chromosomes) and physiologically (sex hormones) o Prenatal sexual development is affected by X or Y chromosome received from dad and following testosterone production (or lack thereof) o Adolescence is marked by the beginning of puberty, during which development of primary sex characteristics (body structures involved in sexual reproduction) and secondary sex characteristics (non-reproductive sexual traits) takes place  Spermarche (1st ejaculation) and menarche (1st period) are landmarks of puberty for males and females respectively o Sexual development variations include disorders of sexual development and can create confusion or distress during/after puberty o Sex-related genes and physiology result in behavioral and cognitive differences between males and females  Gender roles vary by culture and change over time; can shape individual behavior  Development of gender identity: o Social learning theory – social behavior is learned by observed and imitating and being rewarded or punished o Gender typing – acquisition of a traditional male or female role influenced by gender schemas and cultural norms/expectations CHAPTER 5: DEVELOPING THROUGH THE LIFE SPAN Summary Prenatal Infancy and Adolescence Adulthood Development Childhood Physical  Zygote from BRAIN:  Begins at onset of MIDDLE ADULTHOOD: Development conception to 2  Extreme growth of puberty  Physical decline weeks → embryo neural networks  Frontal lobe of brain  Fertility decline from 2-9 weeks → after birth continues to  Sexual activity fetus from 9 weeks  Rapid growth of develop while decline to birth frontal lobe from emotional limbic LATE ADULTHOOD:  Teratogens can ages 3-6 system is more  Life expectancy has damage the embryo  Association areas developed, causing increased or fetus are last to develop inpulsiveness worldwide  Alcohol exposure MOTOR:  Males are more increases risk for  Guided by both prone to dying heavy genes and (earlier than drinking/alcohol use maturation females) disorder and has  Physical skills  Sensory abilities, epigenetic effects emerge as the brain strength, and  Exposure to stress and motor neural stamina decline hormones can cause networks develop  More susceptibility premature birth or  Sequence of sitting to life-threatening increase risk of → crawling → diseases and less stress-related walking → running susceptibility to health problems is the same for short-term ailments everyone  Slowing neural  Walking begins processing around 12-15 months MEMORY:  Conscious memories do not form until after 3 years of age  Unconscious memories and learning still take place before 3 years old Cognitive  Newborns have  Piaget: the mind  Development of the  “Reminiscence Development automatic reflexes grows through power to reason; bump” for early to avoid pain and interaction with the adolescents reach adulthood find food physical the formal  Decline in both  Researchers use environment (see operational stage of recall and repeated table of Piaget’s Piaget’s theory prospective stimulation to test theory)  Development of memory an infant’s  Vygotsky: the mind morality based on  Stroke, brain habituation to a grows through reasoning tumors, and alcohol stimulus and test interaction with the (Lawrence use disorder what they see, hear, social environment, Kohlberg), intuition increase risk of smell, think, and especially using (Jonathan Haidt), or neurocognitive remember language action disorder  Autism spectrum  Alzheimer’s disease disorder (ASD) is caused by the causes difficulty deterioration of inferring and remembering acetylcholine- others’ thoughts producing neurons and feelings; likely caused by poor communication among brain regions that usually promote theory of mind; influenced by biological factors  Newborns show  Formation of  Formation of  “Midlife crisis” Social preference for their attachment bonds identity by associated with Development mother’s voice and by body contact and synthesizing major life events language familiarity; can be different “selves” rather than middle  Newborns are secure or insecure from different social adulthood responsive to  Self-concept is situations  Social clock human voices, face- developed by age  Diminishing generally dictates like images, and 12 parental influence life stages their mother’s smell  Correlational and greater peer  Freud: the healthy relationship to influence adult is one that can parenting styles love and work  Enhanced positive feelings with less extreme and more enduring moods  Reduction of social- group size  Grief over death causes a wide range of reactions Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development Stage and Age Issue Description Infancy Trust vs. mistrust Basic trust is developed if needs (to 1 year) are met Toddlerhood Autonomy vs. shame and doubt Learn to do things for (1 to 3 years) themselves or doubt their abilities Preschool Initiative vs. guilt Learn to act for oneself or feel (3 to 6 years) guilty about efforts to be independent Elementary school Competence vs. inferiority Learn pleasure of applying (6 years to puberty) themselves to a task or feel inferior Adolescence Identity vs. role confusion Refining a sense of self into a (teens to 20s) single identity or becoming confused about that identity Young adulthood Intimacy vs. isolation Form close relationships and (20s to early 40s) gain capacity for intimacy or feel socially isolated Middle adulthood Generativity vs. stagnation Discovering a sense of (40s to 60s) contributing to the world or feeling a lack of purpose Late adulthood Integrity vs. despair Feeling a sense of satisfaction or (late 60s and up) failure about one’s life Part I: Developmental Issues, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn 3 major issues of developmental psychology: 1. Nature and nurture 2. Continuity and stages – experience and learning are generally seen as continuous while biological development is generally understood in stages 3. Stability and change – traits such as temperament exhibit stability over time while others such as social attitudes change over time Conception begins in your grandmother; females are born with all of the cells that will eventually become eggs ready for fertilization  Zygote from conception to 2 weeks → embryo from 2-9 weeks → fetus from 9 weeks to birth  Factors affecting the fetus: o Sounds – exposure to mother’s voice in utero causes preference for it, and the mother’s language, after birth o Teratogens – alcohol increases risk for heavy drinking/alcohol use disorder, maybe because of preference for its taste; alcohol also has an epigenetic effect (can turn genes abnormally on or off) o Stress – release of mother’s stress hormones can cause premature birth or increased risk of stress-related health problems Newborns have automatic reflexes to avoid pain and find food and social responsiveness to human voices, face-like images, and their mom’s smell Researchers use repeated stimulation to test an infant’s habituation to a stimulus and test what they see, hear, smell, think, and remember Part II: Infancy and Childhood Maturation (nature) sets the basic course of development; experience (nurture) adjusts it Physical development:  Brain: an infant possesses almost all of its brain cells at birth, but there is extreme growth of neural networks after birth o Rapid growth from ages 3-6 in frontal lobe (rational planning) o Association areas (thinking, memory, language) are the last to develop  Motor: guided by genes and maturation; physical skills emerge as the brain and motor neural networks develop o Sequence of sitting → crawling → walking → running is the same for everyone o Most children start walking between 12-15 months  Memory: conscious memories do not form until after 3 years of age (“infantile amnesia”), but unconscious memories and learning are taking place o Babies are capable of learning and remembering associations between objects and actions o Adults may recognize subtle sound contrasts between languages they spoke in infancy but do not consciously remember Cognitive development:  Modern understanding of cognitive development is that Piaget was correct about the sequence of development, but it is more continuous than he described  Piaget’s theory: children reason differently than adults as their mind develops through a series of 4 stages o The mind grows through interaction with the physical environment o The maturing brain builds schemas that are created and adjusted by both assimilating and accommodating information from new experiences o Focuses more on sequence of development rather than ages at which each stage occurs Stage Age Range Description Developmental Phenomena (milestones) Sensorimotor Birth – 2 years Experiencing the Object permanence world through Stranger anxiety senses & actions Preoperational 2 – 6 or 7 years Representing things Pretend play with words and Egocentrism images; inability to Theory of Mind perform mental operations Concrete operational 7 – 11 years Thinking logically Conservation about concrete Mathematical events; grasping transformations concrete analogies and performing arithmetical operations Formal operational 12 years and up Abstract and Abstract logic systematic reasoning Potential for mature reasoning  Lev Vygotsky proposed that the mind grows though interaction with the social environment instead of the physical o Language provides the building blocks for higher thinking  Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) causes difficulty inferring and remembering others’ thoughts and feelings o Likely caused by poor communication among brain regions that normally work together to promote theory of mind o Influenced by biological factors including genes, high prenatal testosterone exposure, mutations in sperm-producing cells of dads, and abnormal brain development or “underconnectivity” (fewer than normal connections between the front and back of the brain) Social development:  Children form attachment bonds, survival impulses that keep them close to their caregivers, that are facilitated by body contact and familiarity o Distinct from imprinting because the bonds are relatively flexible with no critical period o Stranger anxiety develops around 8 months of age o Separation anxiety peaks around 13 months of age; is independent of environment o Styles of attachment: secure or insecure  Affected by nurture (sensitivity and responsiveness of mother)  Involvement of father is equally as important as love of mother for a child’s future health and well-being  Attachment style can affect adult relationships and comfort with intimacy and affection  Erik Erikson theorized that securely attached children grow up to have an attitude of basic trust o Severe and prolonged child abuse, deprivation of attachment, or severed attachment bonds can leave epigenetic marks and alter normal gene expression and behavior  Most children who grew up facing adversity are resilient and bounce back  Early stress can permanently heighten reactions to later stress  Most abusive parents report being abused or neglected as children  Abuse increases risk of psychological disorders  Self-concept is developed by age 12 o Darwin proposed that self-awareness begins with recognition of oneself in a mirror  3 parenting styles: o Authoritarian (“too hard”) = coercive; imposition of rules and expected obedience o Permissive (“too soft”) = unrestraining; few demands and little punishment o Authoritative (“just right”) = confrontive; demanding but also responsive o The association between parenting styles and children’s social competence is correlational, not causational Part III: Adolescence Life-span perspective = development is lifelong; maturation and experience shape individuals not only in infancy and childhood but also in adolescence and adulthood Physical development:  Puberty: the sequence of physical changes is more predictable than age at which they occur  Brain: selective pruning of unused neurons and connections occurs while the frontal lobe continues to develop and growth of myelin sheath continues o The emotional limbic system is much more developed than the frontal lobe, causing impulsiveness Cognitive development:  Development of reasoning power (formal operational stage in Piaget’s theory)  Development of morality could be a product of reasoning, intuition, or action o Moral reasoning (Lawrence Kohlberg): Level and Age Focus Preconventional morality Self-interest; obey rules to avoid punishment or gain (before age 9) concrete rewards Conventional morality Uphold laws and rules to gain social approval or (early adolescence) maintain social order Postconventional morality Actions reflect belief in basic rights and self-defined (adolescence and beyond) ethical principles o Moral intuition (Jonathan Haidt) suggests that the mind makes moral judgements quickly and automatically based on an emotional response, which is then rationalized and explained by reasoning o Moral action, including the ability to delay gratification, facilitates moral attitudes and is correlated to future success Social development:  Erik Erikson theorizes that each stage of life has a task or crisis that needs resolution; the task in adolescence is to determine their identity  Teenagers form their identity by synthesizing different “selves” they behave as in different social situations; this sense of identity is clearest in late adolescence  Adolescent identity formation is followed by developing capacity for intimacy in young adulthood  Diminishing parental influence and greater peer influence; teens are “herd animals” Western trends of earlier onset puberty and later independence achievement have led to a new developmental period of emerging adulthood Part IV: Adulthood Early adulthood = 20s and 30s Middle adulthood = from 30s to age 65 Late adulthood = age 65+ Physical development:  In middle adulthood o Physical decline accelerates, but correlates more to health and exercise habits than age o Fertility gradually declines, especially for women o Sexual activity lessens, but satisfaction with sex life does not  In late adulthood: o Life expectancy has increased worldwide but among individuals, males are more prone to dying earlier; wear of telomeres (ends of chromosomes) inhibits reproduction of cells; and the death-deferral phenomenon shows more deaths after important holidays or milestones o Sensory abilities, strength, and stamina decline o Individuals are more susceptible to life-threatening diseases but less susceptible to short-term ailments o Neural processing slows down reaction time, memory, speech, inhibition, etc. but exercise can stimulate and enhance neural connections and slow aging of the brain Cognitive development:  Older adults have a “reminiscence bump” or better ability to remember events from early adulthood  Both recall memory and prospective memory decline in middle to late adulthood; memory of meaningful information is better than meaningless information  Proximity to death is a better predictor of memory and intelligence than age  Strokes, brain tumors, and alcohol use disorder increase the risk of neurocognitive disorder  Alzheimer’s disease is caused by deterioration of acetylcholine-producing neurons Social development:  The “midlife crisis” is more associated with major life events rather than middle adulthood  A social clock generally dictates (with varying rigidity) adult life stages  Sigmund Freud proposed that the healthy adult is one that can love and work o Marriage typically correlates with happiness and mental health  Older adults generally have enhanced positive feelings and pay less attention to negative emotions and information; moods are also less extreme and more enduring  Social-relationship group size but also problems decrease with age  Grief over the death of friends and relatives is highly variable and does not conform to widely believed patterns; it can be less bearable when the death occurs outside of the expectancy of the social clock


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