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Chapter 11

by: Raquel Notetaker

Chapter 11 PSYC 1200

Raquel Notetaker
GPA 3.5

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Human development across the life span
General Psychology
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raquel Notetaker on Sunday May 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 1200 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute taught by Hubbell in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views.


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Date Created: 05/22/16
Chapter 11: Human Development across the Life Span Studying Development  Researchers collect normative, longitudinal, and cross-sectional data to document change. Physical Development Across the Life Span  Environmental factors can affect physical development while a child is still in the womb.  Newborns and infants possess a remarkable range of capabilities. They are prewired for survival.  Through puberty, adolescents achieve sexual maturity.  Some physical changes in late adulthood are consequences of disuse, not inevitable deterioration. Cognitive Development Across the Life Span  Piaget’s key ideas about cognitive development include development of schemes, assimilation, accommodation, and the four-stage theory of discontinuous development. The four stages are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational.  Many of Piaget’s theories are now being altered by ingenious research paradigms that reveal infants and young children to be more competent than Piaget had thought.  Children develop a theory of mind, which is the ability to explain and predict other people’s behavior based on an understanding of their mental states.  Cross-cultural research has questioned the universality of cognitive developmental theories.  Age-related declines in cognitive functioning are typically evident in only some abilities. Social Development Across the Life Span  Social development takes place in a particular context.  Erik Erikson conceptualized the life span as a series of crises with which individuals must cope.  Children begin the process of social development with different temperaments.  Socialization beings with an infant’s attachment to a caregiver.  Failure to make this attachment leads to numerous physical and psychological problems.  Adolescents must develop a personal identity by forming comfortable social relationships with parents and peers.  The central concerns of adulthood are organized around the needs of intimacy and generativity.  People become less socially active as they grow older because they selectively maintain only those relationships that matter most to them emotionally.  People assess their lives, in part, by their ability to contribute positively to the lives of others. Sex and Gender Differences  Research has revealed biologically based sex differences between the brains of men and women.  Children’s gender stereotypes are most rigid between ages 5 and 7.  Beginning at birth, parents and peers help bring about the socialization of gender roles. Moral Development  Kohlberg defined stages of moral development.  Subsequent research has evaluated gender cultural differences in moral reasoning. Learning to Age Successfully  Successful cognitive aging can be defined as people optimizing their functioning in select domains that are of highest priority to them and compensating for losses by using substitute behaviors.


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