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Human Development-Week 1

by: Adele

Human Development-Week 1 HDFS 005

Marketplace > University of Vermont > HDFS > HDFS 005 > Human Development Week 1
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About this Document

These notes cover the history and varies theories concerning human development/psychology.
Human Development
Deborah Curtis
Class Notes
Human Development, Theories/Schools of Psychology




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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Adele on Wednesday December 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HDFS 005 at University of Vermont taught by Deborah Curtis in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 131 views. For similar materials see Human Development in HDFS at University of Vermont.


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Date Created: 12/30/15
Human Development-Week 1 History, Theory and Research Strategies  Developmental science: field of study where the goal is to understanding constancy and change/transformation throughout the lifespan  Scientific interest/ applied importance and interdisciplinary as a whole  How people grow and change  Theory-“orderly, integrates set of statement that describes, explains and predicts behavior” o give framework for our observations o theories supported by research give good basis/foundation for practical action (know how to act/improve on something) o tested by scientific method  Three basic issues that theories tend to be basic around in Human Development o Course of development continuous or discontinuous?  Continuous-process of gradually augmenting the same types of skills that were there to begin with.  Infants and children respond to the world the same way that adults do. Difference is in amount/complexity.  Discontinuous-a process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times.  Infants and children have unique ways of thinking, feeling and behaving  Development takes place in stages-qualitative changes in thinking, feeling and behaving that characterize specific periods of development  Assumes change is rather sudden (jump from step to step) rather than gradual o One course of development applies to all people or are there multiple courses?  Contexts-unique combinations of personal and environmental circumstances that can results in different paths of change o Genetic or environmental factors more important?  Those who focus on environment tend to look at early experiences to establish life patterns.  Optimistic view=plasticity-open to change in response to influential experiences  Resilience-ability to adapt in the presence of threats to development. Main protective factors: personal characteristics, warm parental relationship, social support outside of immediate family and community resources and opportunities  Stability-that individuals who are high or low in a characteristic will remain so at later ages th  Tend to stress heredity  First ½ of 20 C most people thought development stopped at adolescence. As average life expectancy has lengthened so studies/theories have changed. Researches focus more on the idea of a development as a dynamic system-a continuous process o Leading dynamic systems approach-lifespan perspective  Four main assumptions: 1) life-long ; 2) multi- facetted/multi-directional (both growth and decline of certain skills in each period); 3) highly plastic; 4) affected by multiple, interacting forces  1) No single age period has biggest impact but events occurring during each period can have equally powerful effects. Three main domains: physical, cognitive, emotional/social  wisdom-expertise in practical matters  plasticity-depends on many factors-ex. capacity and opportunity for change  4) forces: biological, historical, social and cultural o age-graded influences: events that are strongly related to age and therefore fairly predictable in when they occur and how long they will last o history-graded influences-used to explain why people born around the dame time(called a cohort) tend to be alike in certain ways and set them apart from people in other cohorts o nonnormative influences-events that are irregular: that happen to one/a few persons and have no predictable timetable. Both age-grades and history- grades influences are normative (typical/average)  Darwin-theory of evolution o Natural selection o Survival of the fittest o Prenatal growth=similar between many species. Caused attempts to chart child growth V evolution-resulted in scientific child study.  Normative Period (early 1900s) o G. Stanley Hall and Arnold Gesell  Founder of child study movement  Based around evolutionary ideas.  Normative approach-measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals, and age-related averages are computed to represent typical development.  Collected info on infants/childrens motor achievements, social behaviors and personal achievements  Mental Testing Movement (early 1900s) o Alfred Binet-normative approach but to identify children with learning problems for placement in special classes o Theodore Simon=colleague o Constructed first successful intelligence test  Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test (English version of test; original was in French)  mid 20 Ch o human development expanded into legitimate discipline  Psychoanalytic Perspective (1930s/1940s) o People move through series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drives and social expectations. How conflicts=resolved determines person’s ability to learn, get along with others and cope with anxiety. o Freud-note: never actually studied children directly  Psychosexual theory-emphasizes how parents manage their child’s sexual and aggressive drives in first few years is crucial for healthy personality development  Three parts of personality which popped up at different stages of childhood:  Id-biological needs/desires. Biggest part of brain  Ego-rational part of personality  Superego-conscience o Erikson  Psychosocial theory-in addition to mediating between id and superego, ego makes positive contribution to development acquiring attitudes and skills that make the individual active contributing member of society  Noted that normal development must be understood in cultural context  Added three adult stages to Freud’s five stages of development o Overall strength: emphasis on understanding individual’s unique story  Accept clinical/ case-study method o Weaknesses: often theories were so vague that hard to test empirically  Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory o Behaviorism-directly observable events (stimuli/response) are appropriate focus of study  Began in US with John Watson –wanted to create objective study of psych. o Traditional Behavioralism  Ivan Pavlov-discovered classical conditioning (salivating dog in response to bell)  Watson  Child to fear rat through association with loud noise. He conclude environment=chief factor in development + is a continuous process  B. F. Skinner-operant conditioning theory-frequency of behavior can be increased by following it with reinforces and decreased through punishment o Social Learning Theory  Albert Bandura-emphasizes modeling-imitation or observational learning as powerful development  Stressed importance of cognition-thinking. Also social-cognitive –social learning approach  Children become more selective in what they imitate as go. o Develop personal standards for behavior and sense of self-efficacy(belief that own abilities characters will help them succeed) o Contributions/Limitations of Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory  Behavior modification-procedures that combine conditioning and modeling to eliminate undesirable behaviors and increase desirable responses.  Considered by some to have too narrow a view on important environmental factors + underestimating people’s contributions to own development  Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory o Did not believe children’s learning was depends on reinforcers o Cognitive-developmental theory-children construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore world o Focus on theory of adaptation o Children edit incorrect ideas as attempt to establish equilibrium between internal structure and information encountered o Four main stages o Adapted clinical method of psychoanalysis-conducted open-ended clinical interviews. Children response served as basis for next question o Contributions/limitations:  Insufficient attention to social and cultural influences on development  Also issue with idea that no major cognitive changes occur after adolescence  Recent Theoretical Perspectives  Information Processing o Information processing-idea that the human mind might be seen as symbol-manipulating system through which information flows o Regards people as active, sense-making beings but does not divide development into stages o Continuous change  Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience o Developmental cognitive neuroscience-brings together researchers from psych, bio, neuroscience and med to study connection between changes in brain and development in person’s cognitive processing and behavior patterns o First five years of life-brain is highly plastic but remains plastic throughout life to a different degree  Ethology and Evolutionary Developmental Psychology o Ethology-concerned with adaptive, survival, value of behavior and its evolutionary roots o Modern parents=Konrad Lorenz an Niko Tinbergen  Watched animals in natural habitat  Observed behavior patterns that promote survival  Imprinting  Concept led to idea of critical period in child development. Limited time span when individual is biologically prepared to acquire certain adaptive behaviors but needs support o Better term for humans=sensitive period- time that is optimal for certain capacities to emerge and in which the individual is especially responsive to environmental influences. Boundaries are less defined that critical period + development can occur later only=harder to induce  John Bowlby o Inspired by imprinting  Applied ethological theory to human infant-caregiver relationship. Ex. Baby cries to signal caregiver to interact with them. Eventually causes deep bond to form that has life-long consequences  Evolutionary developmental psychology o Seeks to understand the adaptive value of species-wide cognitive, emotional and social competencies as those competencies change with age  Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory o Cultural specific believes/practices and effects on development o Sociocultural theory-how culture is transmitted to the next generation. Social interaction is necessary for children to acquire the ways of thinking and the behavior of a culture. o Rec. that people in diff. cultures have unique strengths o Neglected biological side of development  Ecological System’s Theory o Urie Bronfenbrenner-bioecological model  Ecological system’s theory-people =developing within complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding development.  Microsystem-innermost level of environment- activities and interaction patterns in person’s immediate surroundings o Note that all relationships are bidirectional and third parties have influence on two people’s relationship  Mesosystem-encompasses connections between microsystems  Exosystem-social settings that do not contain the developing person but affect experiences in immediate settings  Macrosystem-cultural values, laws, customs and resources  Ecological transitions-shifts in context.  Temporal dimension of bioecological model- chronosystem  Research Methods o Naturalistic observation  Record behavior in field/natural environment  Main limitation: not all individuals have same opp. To display particular behavior in everyday life.  Handled using structured observations-set up lab situation that evokes behavior of interest so each participant has same opp. to display response.  Strength: can see directly the behaviors they are trying to explain  Shows behavior but not reason behind it o Self-reports  Clinical interview-researchers use flexible, conversation type to probe for person’s POV  Easy to personalize  Structured interviews-each participant is asked same set of questions in the same way  Not same depth of info but can be more accurate  Clinical/case-study method  Bring together wide range of info on one person-interviews, observations and test scores.  Want complete picture  Cannot assume generalization  Methods for studying culture  Ethnography-descriptive/qualitative way about things. Rather than being aimed at understanding single person is about understanding a culture of social group via participant observation  General Research Designs o Correlational  Gather info on individuals (generally natural life circumstances) without altering these experiences. Then look at relationships between participants’ characteristics and behavior/development  Cannot determine causality  Correlation coefficient-strength/direction of relationship o Experimental  Permits inference concerning causality-random assignment  Independent and dependent variables  Random assignment o Modified experimental designs: Field and Natural Experiments o Field experiments-participants assigned randomly to treatment conditions in natural settings o Natural/quasi-experimental-when cannot randomly assign treatment, use one already existing in the world  Cannot achieve same precision of pure experimental design  Designs for Studying Development o Longitudinal design-participants are studied repeatedly and changes are noted as they get older  Can identify common patterns  Examine relationships between early and later events/behaviors  Problems: people often drop out of research so turns into bias + people become more aware of study and can alter behavior. Performance may improve due to practice effects-better test-taking skills/familiarity with task-rather than actual development .  Cohort effect-traits of certain group of people born in same time period. Other cohorts may not show same trends. o Cross-Sectional Design  Groups of people differing in age are studied at same point in time  Don’t have to worry about drop out/practice effects  Problems:  Limited to age-group averages little info on individual level  Cohort effect o Sequential Designs-conduct several similar cross-sectional or longitudinal studies(called sequences)  Way of minimizing weaknesses of longitudinal/cross- sectional approaches  Ethics in Lifespan Research o Protection from harm o Informed consent o Privacy o Knowledge of results o Debriefing o Beneficial treatments o IRBs (institutional review boards)


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