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by: Caroline Smith

Theory #3377 Human Development 101

Caroline Smith
GPA 3.0

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These notes cover and discuss theory.
Human Development through the Lifespan
Dr. Scofield
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caroline Smith on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to #3377 Human Development 101 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Scofield in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views.


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Date Created: 08/31/16
THEORY  Definition: a set of propositions that describe, explain, and predict a  phenomenon. o Broad explanations for why something happens. o The world is full of theory.  How was the universe created?  What's wrong with the economy? o Development is full of theory.  Personality, home­schooling, parenting, morality  o Theories lead to testable hypothesis.  Tough love reduces crime.   Self­esteem improves grades.  The "Mozart effect" (This theory has been disproved.)  Developmental Theories o Nature / Nurture  Nature (genetics, biology)  Nurture (environment)  Are genes to blame? o Genes threaten the "blank slate", environments mean everything  default belief.   Genes don't affect behavior directly.   It's hard to isolate genes with a large behavioral effect.  Just because genes don’t matter doesn't mean other things  don't.   DISCUSSION o Would the following examples be explained by either nature or  nurture:  A 5­year­old punches a classmate.  An 8­month­old says her first word.  A 7­year­old is diagnosed with ADHD.  A toddler cries when mommy leaves for work.  A six­year­old gets a D on his math test. o Personal question: How can this really be tested if most families  are two biological parents and a biological child? Typically, to  solve this issue, identical twins raised in separate environments are  studied as well as adoptees.   Developmental Theories o Continuous / Discontinuous  Continuous (Quantitative change) [Think of a smooth arc;  quality such as vocabulary growth]  Discontinuous (qualitative change) [Think of a stair case;  quality such as height]  Think of different developments in humans that resemble  these graphs.  o One course / Many courses  One course (universal path)  Many courses (unique paths) o Active / Passive  Active (actively produce development)  Passive (passively receive development) o Global / Culturally specific o Stability / Change  Why have theories? o Organize things we observe o Predict the future o Apply ideas to real situations o Theories describe, explain, and predict changes over time.   Evaluating Theories o A theory is better if:   reflects the real world (of children)  is understandable (at least to someone)  explain the past and predicts the future  offers practical guidelines for research  logically consistent  is economical (parsimonious: that all things being equal, you  will choose the simple one. For example, if you are on  campus and are trying to go to McDonald's, you will choose  the one that is closer and easier to access.)  is falsifiable (can be proven wrong)  is fertile (stimulates discovery of knowledge)  self­satisfying (makes sense) o But.... Not all theories are good ones.   Stuttering "Monster" study ­ Stuttering is caused by  childhood trauma.  Taking two groups of children and giving positive and  negative feedback based on their speech. It was  disproven.  o Example of a Bad Theory:  Why do mosquito bites itch?  When a mosquito bites, it mixes in the blood of  previous victims. Sheep DNA makes our blood  unusually wooly, which causes the bites to itch. 


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