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FAU / Human Development / HDFS 3053 / What refers to the detection of information in the environment and tra

What refers to the detection of information in the environment and tra

What refers to the detection of information in the environment and tra


School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Human Development
Course: Psych of Human Development
Professor: Alan kersten
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: Psychology, Human, and development
Cost: 50
Name: EXAM 2 Study Guide - Psych of Human Dev
Description: This study guide covers chapter 6 to 9 for Exam 2, and include all the professor's comments and examples absent in his lecture slides.
Uploaded: 03/19/2017
12 Pages 30 Views 4 Unlocks

Psychology of Human Development

What refers to the detection of information in the environment and transmission of it to the brain?

Study Guide – EXAM 2

Chapter 6: Perceptual Development

. SENSATION = detection of information in environment and transmission of it to the brain . PERCEPTION = interpretation of sensory information  

Two Theories of Human Perception (do new borns perceive things as we do?)


. Perceptual abilities are learned through experience (figure out things)

 - Example: figure out that same colored/oriented things may be part of a single object .Babies perceive the world differently from the way we do


. Perceptual abilities are innate (brain is wired up in ways so that we interpret automatically) . Babies and adults perceive the world the same way

What are the two main theories of human perception?

 - Example: recognize danger (connect two parts of lion behind a tree and understand it as one)  and survive, passing on the genes for this type of interpretation (rather than an  empiricist who would go check behind the tree, get eaten, and not pass genes)

Methods to test infant perception 

. HABITUATION = loss of interest in repetitive stimulation (get bored) Don't forget about the age old question of What is reinforcing successive approximations of a target behavior?

 - Dishabituation = renewed interest in NEW stimuli (tells if baby perceived something differently)  - Measure interest of baby by using amount of time of fixation on something

 - Example: habituate them to red and yellow blocks and then show to stimulus for dishabituation 1) connected yellow line = if this is what they saw they should be habituated

2) disconnected yellow line = should be surprised if they perceive the world as we do

What are the methods to test infant perception?

. Result = looked equally long at both stimulus so they don’t see the world as we do . Recognized the stimulus faster if they were moving as a single object (shows common  fate principle developed)

.PREFRONTAL LOOKING = present two stimuli side by side

 - Preference for one stimulus over the other indicates that the infant can discriminate them  - Example: newborns look the same at blurry image and image in focus (older babies look longer at the   one in focus)

. BRAIN EVOKED POTENTIALS = electrodes in a cap worn by infant measure electrical activity in the brain  (previous two methods were behavioral methods)

. OPERANT CONDITIONING = change probability of a behavior through reinforcement  - Two ways to test perception:

 1) Use 2 different stimuli as reinforcers (see which the infant prefers = he can tell the difference  between them)

 . Example: measure how quickly a baby sucks on pacifier and see if it sucks faster/slower than his  base rate when he hears mother’s voice than any stranger’s voice. Don't forget about the age old question of Does volume affect speed of gas particle?

 2) Use change in stimuli to indicate when reinforcement will follow behavior  . Discriminative stimuli = predict behavior (like traffic lights predict acceleration)  . See if baby can distinguish speech sounds by training him to turn his head when they hear a   difference in speech sound with a reinforcement of an interesting image.  . Result: baby turns head in anticipation of toy when he hears sound change in Indian language

Visual Development 

. Three limiting factors in visual acuity in infants

1) Muscles of the lens: baby has limited control in shape of lens (flatten/curve lens to focus far  away/close objects)

2) Density of neurons in the retina: farther apart so they can make up less details (less rods/ cones  average gray spots)

3) Pathways in brain: underdeveloped (information lost on the way)

.Newborns have a visual acuity of 20/600 (legally blind)

 - Tested using a preferential looking task: checker board with smaller boxes is a shade of gray so they  prefer bigger boxes.

. Limited visual accommodation (changes in the shape of the lens bring objects into focus)

Early Visual Abilities  

. By 6 months = vision almost as good an adult

1) COLOR VISION: changing colors of disks in a habituation task show they could perceive them  because they got dishabituated (good with primary color discriminations but not with pastels) 2) SIZE AND SHAPE CONSISTENCY: still perceive door as door when it is opened or closed (even  We also discuss several other topics like What did the treaty of versailles in 1919 do?

though one looks like a rectangle and other like a trapezoid, they don’t show dishabituation) 3) DEPTH PERCEPTION: in cliff experiment, 8 months old and above won’t cross it (develop fear of  heights with crawling experience and depth perception)

- 2 months = heart rate decelerates (don’t crawl yet so have depth perception but no fear) - 8 months = heart rate accelerates (afraid of heights and depth perception)

4) KNOWLEDGE OF PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES (in order of development)

 - An object can’t pass through another object: babies dishabituated with changes inconsistent with  physical principles We also discuss several other topics like How many babies go unadopted in the us?

 - Gravity: 4 month olds not surprised at ball in “midair” but 6 month olds do perceive it.  - Inertia: expect object to be in corner where ball was thrown to (8 month olds surprised when ball  didn’t continue in the same path)

Auditory development 

. Fetus can already hear during the 3rd trimester

 - Newborns prefer sounds heard in uterus (eg = baby sucked pacifier faster to story that mom had read  read every day in 3rd trimester) We also discuss several other topics like What are phytochemicals and how do they benefit plants and humans?

.Newborns can localize sounds

 - Turns heads to soft sounds

 - Turn heads away from loud sounds (protective reflex, then replaced by voluntary) . Speech perception  

 - PHONEME = category of speech (like different p sounds, for example)

 - Infants discriminate phonemes from all languages (plasticity)  

 - 1 year olds can no longer discriminate phonemes not present in the language spoken around them

Development of taste 

. Reactions to different tastes:

 - SWEET = newborn will relax face, smile, lick lips

 - SOUR = purse lips (dislike)

 - BITTER = grimace (preparatory reaction to vomiting, from times when poison had to be avoided)  - SALT = no reaction until 4 months (they used to live in a salty environment)

Development of smell 

. BANANA = relax face, smile

. ROTTEN EGGS = frown, grimace, turn away

. BREAST MILK (sweet) = newborn will turn head toward smell (recognize mother’s)

Development of touch 

. Three related types of stimulation involving the skin: If you want to learn more check out What are the dsm

1) TACTILE STIMULATION = sensation of pressure

- Just as sensitive as adults when you touch fingers/tongue

- Need more pressure to feel touch in back


-Don’t respond as much to increases in temp. (used to live in 98 degrees environment) 3) PAIN  

-Recognized with “pain cry” (big breath of air followed by loud cry)

Aging and Perception 

. Vision Problems:

 - CATARACTS = yellowing of the lens (what focuses stimuli) from UV exposure, so blurry/darker images  - PRESBYPSIA (old eyes) = difficulty focusing on near objects

 - GLAUCOMA = fluid pressure leads to nerve damage (severe if untreated)

 - MACULAR DEGENERATION = loss of neurons in retina (impacts most central visual field than periphery)

.Hearing problems:

 - Loss of high frequencies from exposure to noise

 - Difficulty attending to speech in noisy setting (can’t focus on one single source)   - Problems NOT universal = appear to reflect your experience

Chapter 7: Cognitive Development

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development 

. Three core ideas:

1) Child plays active role in own development (create own environment)

- Child build psychological structures (schemes) to interpret and interact with the environment - Behavioral responses are also INTERPRETATIONS of the environment (not just responses to it) 2) Children go through an invariant series of stages

- Thought progresses from concrete to abstract

- Discontinuity Spectrum: children reorganizing ways of thinking

3) Schemes change as a result of two processes:

- ADAPTATION = schemes change to fit the environment (changing individual scheme)  Balance of two processes:

.ASSIMILATION = interpret environment in terms of existing schemes (example: classify  new experience of cow as the existing scheme of dog)

. ACCOMODATION = change in schemes to make them more consistent with environment   (change cow scheme after parents say it’s not a dog)

- ORGANIZATION = change in relation among schemes (example: two schemes dog/cat   represented in a more general scheme of house pet)

Piaget’s Stages of Development 

1) SENSORIMOTOR (0-2) = thinking only in terms of here and now; action-based 2) PREOPERATIONAL (2-7) = can think about past and future events, but often illogically 3) CONCRETE OPERATIONAL (7-11) = logical thinking about concrete objects but no abstraction  4) FORMAL OPERATIONAL (11-adult) = abstract, scientific thinking

Substages of SENSORIMOTOR STAGE (period of most rapid changes)

1) REFLEX ACTIVITY (birth-1 month)

- Indiscriminative performance of reflex actions

- Sensorimotor Egocentrism = children don’t even know the world exists apart from their senses  2) PRIMARY CIRCULAR REACTION (1-4 months)

- Repetition of behaviors involving baby’s body that lead to interesting results (learned/voluntary) 3) SECONDARY CIRCULAR REACTIONS (4-8 months)

- Repetition of behaviors involving external objects


- Object Permanence = figure out objects continue to exist even when they can’t perceive them   (fragile and error prone: still make A not B error)

- A not B task = show object, hide it, and show child you’re doing it

. They find it every time after hiding it in location A but after hiding it in B they’ll   look in A  

. They know object still exists but they don’t understand where (just reach where  they’ve always found it even when they saw it hidden in B)


- Creative exploration of external objects (try stuff out)

6) BEGINNING OF THOUGHT (18-24 months) transitional substage

- Internal images of absent objects and events (evident when they begin to be conversational) - Deferred Imitation = witness some event and then act it out (different from immediate imitation:   imitate something currently in the environment, no mental representation)

Recent evidence of Sensorimotor substage 

. Circular Reactions = newborns will suck to produce interesting event (sucking is a reflex but regulating  its rate to hear mom’s voice is a circular reaction)

. Object Permanence = 3 ½ month olds are surprised when an out of sight object disappears . A not B error seems to reflect a difficulty in inhibiting a dominant response (learned behavior built by  habit)

. Infants remember absent objects but lack the coordinated action abilities necessary to show it

Preoperational Stage 

. OPERATION = mental representation of an action that obeys logical rules  

- Reversibility = transform something and mentally reverse it

. CONSERVATION = understanding that physical properties of an object remain the same despite changes   in appearance (reversibility)

. Children don’t understand conservation at this stage

 - Conservation of liquid problem Failure of conservation due to:

 - Conservation of number problem 1) CENTRATION = focus only on one object of a situation   - Conservation of mass problem (focus on height, ignore changes in width) 2) IRREVERSIBILTY = focus on states, not transformations


.Children have no HIERARCHICAL CLASSIFICATION = only see aspect from one perspective (egocentric)  - Flower problem: are there more yellow flowers or flowers? (already classified them as “yellow  flowers”, so can’t go back and classify them into a general category of “flowers”) . PREOPERATIONAL THINKING = inability to distinguish perspective of another from own (knows there are  other perspectives in world but can’t take them and imagine how it looks)  - Three Mountains problem: ask to take perspective of doll on a scene but answer with what they see  - ANIMISTIC THINKING: think inanimate objects have thoughts and feelings (attribute them their own)

Recent evidence regarding Preoperational stage 

. Children NOT as egocentric as Piaget thought

- Can determine viewpoint of another person if tested in simpler ways

 - Animistic thinking is limited to objects that seem to move on their own

. 3 year old exhibit hierarchical classification if tested in the right way (ask yes/no questions about  categories)  

 - Memory perspective is hard: children have some perspective but not as good as us)

Concrete Operational Stage  

. Succeed at conservation and hierarchical classification

 - TRANSITIVE INFERENCE = if A>B and B>C, then A>C (given 2 pieces of info you can infer something  about something else)

. Less egocentric: can give directions from locations they don’t currently occupy (take other perspectives) . Only succeed when they’re reasoning (doing mental operations) about physical objects - Can’t do hypothetical version of Transitive Inference (would need to hold up objects and compare) - HORIZONTAL DECALAGE = (changes within same stage) children master different conservation tasks at   different ages

Formal Operational Stage 

. PROPOSITION THOUGHT = can think logically about hypothetical ideas

. HYPOTHETICAL-DEDUCTIVE reasoning = think of hypotheses that could explain and event, test each while holding other hypothesized factors constant (scientific thinking)

 - Pendulum problem: compare to pendulums that vary only in ONE factor to see which factor makes  it differ in swinging speeds (concrete kids would compare them randomly w/o   holding other factors constant)

. ADOLESCENT EGOCENTRISM = can’t distinguish abstract perspectives of others from their own (their ideologies, feelings, etc.)

 - Imaginary Audience Phenomenon: assume everybody else is giving you the same attention you’re  giving yourself

 - Personal Fable Phenomenon: belief own story is more important/unique; take risks since what   happens to other’s can ‘t happen to them (main characters of story)

Evidence regarding Concrete/Formal operations 

. Success at conservation depend upon skills/experiences  

 - Materialistic cultures have more experiences of dividing equally so they reach this milestone earlier)  - Adults may also be unable to succeed: think buying larger is buying more (beer video) . Western schooling promotes the development of transitive inference

. Formal reasoning doesn’t appear in non-literate societies

 - May be a result of formal schooling (practice) rather than a universal tendency

Evaluation of Piaget

.Underestimated children’s abilities

. Failed to distinguish between competence and performance (other aspects of task that cause children   to fail rather than lack of competence)

. Piaget’s claim of broad stages of development may have been overstated

. Didn’t explain development so much as describe it

. Underestimated social influences (you learn many things because you are TAUGHT them, not just by   acting as exploring world on your own)

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory 

. The social environment facilitates children’s learning

. Language allows children to learn through instruction (facilitates transmission of knowledge) - Piaget viewed language as an indicator of the stage children are on rather than a driver that’s causing   them to develop

. PRIVATE SPEECH = internalized instruction for self-guidance (repeating back instructions someone gave   you beforehand and that you internalized)

. Two social contributions to cognitive development

1) INTERSUBJECTIVITY = two people with different views move towards a common understanding  - Helpful to adult/child: adult also identifies gaps in his understanding as he   explains and rethinks concepts

2) SCAFFOLDING = adjustments in social support w/changes in abilities (adults do this for child) - Example: different levels of help provided by adults in building a puzzle depending on child’s age - Zone of Proximal Development: set of skills a child can perform with assistance but not alone yet

Evaluation of Vygotsky

. His suggestion that environment influences cognitive development seems intuitively correct . Theory isn’t well defined as Piaget’s

. Hard to identify a child’s zone of proximal development

Chapter 8: Information Processing

Information Processing Approach 

. Likens a person to a computer (approach developed hand in hand with development of technology) . Three steps to information processing

1) Receive input from environment

2) Perform some processing on that input (interpret info)

3) Produce a behavioral output

Multi-Store Model of Info Processing 

. Three major memory systems

1) SENSORY REGISTER = brief representation of presented sights/sounds

2) SHORT-TERM/WORKING MEMORY = conscious, limited capacity component of memory (last 30s) - Old items are displaced when new items are added

- Chunking allows more info to be remembered

- Working Memory: holding onto info for a reason

3) LONG-TERM MEMORY = limitless, permanent store of memories

. Evidence for systems:

 -List of words task = you recall best first and last words

a. FIRST WORDS “Recency Effect” in short memory (what’s most recent)

b. LAST WORDS “Primacy effect” in LTM (more time and mental energy spent on them)

Types of retrieval 

. RECALL = memory for info that is no longer present

 - Requires one to actively search memory for the relevant info

 - Slowest one to develop, earliest one to decay with aging

. CUED RECALL = recall aided by the provision of a retrieval cue

. RECOGNITION = decide whether something has been seen before

 - First to develop

Implicit vs. Explicit Memory 

. EXPLICIT = deliberate attempts to remember an earlier event  

 - Typically tested using recall or recognition tests

. IMPLICIT = facilitated processing of a stimulus as a result of prior exposure to that stimulus  - Often occurs in the absence of awareness

 - May influence performance in recognition tests

 - Example: you process brand names and songs differently each time with increasing familiarity (also  used in exams when a choice sounds familiar)

Memory Development in Children 

. Four reasons memory improves:

1) Speed of processing increases (hardware improves)

- Can keep more info activated at the same time (things stay in working memory as long as you   keep processing it)

- 7 is generally the limit amount of info we can keep at the same time

2) Use of memory strategies improves (software improves)

- REHEARSAL = repeat info over and over (don’t do it spontaneously until about 5-6 years old) - ORGANIZATION = group similar info together (young kids don’t do this, they’re remembering in   isolation until 8 years old)

3) Increases in Metamemory

- Greater understanding in how your memory works

4) Increasing knowledge of the world  

- Knowledge base to attach new pieces of info which gives you routes to retrieve these new pieces   of information later on

Development of Retrieval Strategies 


 - Habituation seen in newborn infants (get bored because they recognize something, it’s not new)  - May reflect either explicit/implicit memory


 - Kick in presence of mobile at around 2 months (measure baseline kicking rate to see if they kick more  than usual when put back in the crib after a couple of days to see if they remember) 1) 6 months = baby shows elevated kicking rate up to two weeks after

2) Older babies = remember for a longer time


 - Deferred imitation of model actions at 6 months

 - Later they describe events in words

Development of Autobiographical Memory 

. Very difficult to remember anything that happened to you prior to age 3  

 - CHILDHOOD (infantile) AMNESIA = for explicit memory  

 - Example: test college students about small details of the event of the birth of a younger sibling and no  memories before 3 years old

. Occasional recollection of early childhood experiences may reflect memory for later retellings of those  experiences (not the memory itself)

Eyewitness Memory 

. Young children are increasingly being asked to testify in court

. Their memory is poorer than that of adults, particularly at long retention intervals, but do just as well  if asked shortly after event

. Young children are most susceptible to suggestive questioning

Memory and Aging 

. Memory tends to decline during adulthood  

. Particularly for 3 kinds of tasks:

1) Tasks that require speeded processing (example: driving)

2) Tasks that are unfamiliar (older adults are experienced thinkers, not speeded ones) 3) Tasks that require effortful processing

- Recall declines more than recognition

- Explicit memory declines more than implicit (unaware so less effort)

Explaining memory decline 

. Knowledge base doesn’t explain decline

 - Older adults have more knowledge than young (more routs for retrieval)

. Metamemory

 - Negative beliefs contribute to memory declines (assumptions that they won’t be able to remember  makes them use other strategies, like writing down to not forget)

. Memory strategies

 - Less complex strategy use in older adults (save effort)

. Basic processing capacities  

 - Processing speed and working memory decline

Evaluation of the Info Processing Approach 

. MAIN ADVANTAGE = specificity in the processes proposed to underlie different tasks . MAIN DRAWBACK = lack of global perspective on how different tasks relate to one another (Piaget and  Vygotsky provided a more global scope)

Chapter 9: Intelligence

Intelligence Tests 


- IQ = (mental age/actual age) x 100

- Nowadays based on performance relative to age-mates

- IQ of 100 reflects AVERAGE performance at all ages


- Separate verbal and performance tasks (Binet and Simon Test was only verbal)


- Sensorimotor tasks do not predict future IQ

- Habituation moderately predicts IQ (kids that habituate quickly are fast at encoding and  recognizing)

Reliability of IQ scores 

. RELIABILITY = stability of test scores over repeated administrations  

. More stable (similar results) when tests are administered close together in time . More stable in older children and adults

 - Correlations between IQ scores at different ages: 1.0 means total predictability (you’ll score similar) . IQ fluctuates during childhood and adolescence

. Schooling increases IQ

Validity of IQ scores 

. VALIDITY = ability of the test to predict performance in tasks presumed to be dependent upon tested  ability or traits

. IQ predicts performance in school

. Also predicts occupational attainment

. Doesn’t predict psychological well-being

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence 

. GENETICS = people genetically similar tend to be similar in intelligence

. ENVIRONMENT = deprivation is associated with lower IQs

 - Cumulative Deficit Hypothesis: children’s IQ’s continue to fall as they remain in impoverished  environments (not getting lest smart, but less smart relative to

 children in better environments)

 - Older kids in impoverished environment have lower IQs than their younger siblings (exposed to  environment for longer)

Sources of Cultural Bias 

. Tests of “general knowledge” typically involve information prominent in middle-class culture (some  people are not exposed to such info so can’t answer)

. Answers to some questions vary in different cultures

. Language of testing is more familiar to some groups than others (“standard English” used in test common  some states but there are different dialects around the country)

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