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Developmental Psychology 1

Developmental Psychology 1

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Published by tbolanz

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Published by: tbolanz on Sep 24, 2012
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CHAPTER TWO: THEORY AND RESEARCHTheory
- coherent set of related concepts that seeks to organize and explain data gathered through research.- theories are dynamic; they change to incorporate new findings;- they aren't universal; they can't explain all;- they may give more weight to one perspective over another (nature vs. nurture; stages vs. continuous)- they emphasize methodological approaches (quantitative or qualitative)- they serve as a continuing source of hypotheses to be tested by research
Hypotheses
– possible explanations for phenomena, used to predict the outcome of research.
Which is more important: heredity or environment?
both
Is development
active
or
passive
?
Mechanistic model - views humans as passive, merely reacting to the environmentOrganismic model - views humans as active, setting their own development in motion
Is development continuous or does it occur in stages?
Mechanistic theorists view development as continuous,
quantitative 
changeOrganismic theorists view development as
qualitative 
change in a series of distinct stages
Five Theoretical Perspectives:
Psychoanalytic; Learning; Cognitive; Evolutionary/Sociobiological; ContextualSee overview of comparisons: Table 2-1; pp. 30-31
1. Psychoanalytic Perspective
- concerned with unconscious forces that motivate human behavior
-
Seeks to describe qualitative change, through clinical observation
-
Originated with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Viennese physician
-
Further developed by Erik Erikson (1902-1994), German-born, moved to U.S. in 1933
Freud
was interested in medical research, especially interested in studying somatic disorders.
-
He was able to relieve symptoms by asking questions designed to uncover long-buried memories.
-
He concluded that emotional disturbances are the result of traumatic experiences in early childhood and innatefactors.
-
He viewed humans as passive in their own development.
-
He believe that personality is formed in the first few years of life -- through a series of psychosexualdevelopmental stages.
Psychosexual Stages
- Freud focused on the sources of gratification at each stage of life.The first three stages are the most important. He suggested that if children received too little or too muchgratification in any stage, they are at risk of 
fixation 
(an arrest in development) and may need help to movebeyond that stage.
Oral Stage
(birth to 12-18 months) Infants chief source of pleasure involves oral activities (sucking and eating).- If a child's needs are not met, s/he may grow up to become nail-biting or develop pica (eat/chew inediblesubstances)
 
- If a child gets too much oral gratification, s/he may become a smoker, compulsive eater or develop a criticalpersonality -- becoming sarcastic and verbally abusive.
2
 
Anal Stage
(12-18 months to 3 years) Child derives pleasure from withholding and expelling feces.- A person who had too strict toilet training may be fixed at this stage. Such a person may have a "constipated"personality (obsessively clean and neat, rigidly tied to schedules and routines).- A person who got no training might become messy, disorganized, too spontaneous.
Phallic Stage
(3-6 years) The site of pleasure shifts to the genitals.- Boys develop sexual attachment to their mothers and girls to their fathers, and they regard the same-sexparent as a rival.- Boys learn that girls don't have a penis, assumes that they were cut off, and worries that his father willcastrate him too.- Girls experience
penis envy 
.- Children eventually resolve their anxiety by identifying with the same-sex parent and move into a relativelycalm latency stage.
Latency Stage
(6 years - puberty) Middle childhoodChildren become socialized, develop skills, learn about themselves and society.
Genital Stage
(puberty - adulthood) Time of mature sexual development.The physical changes of puberty "reawakens the
libido 
" (the energy that fuels the sex drive).(Sexual urges that were repressed during latency now resurface.)
Three Parts of Personality: Id, Ego and SuperegoId
- seeks immediate satisfaction under the
pleasure principle 
, present at birth,.- When gratification is delayed, children see themselves as separate from the outside world.
Ego
- represents reason or common sense under the
reality principle 
, develops after the first year.- The egos' aim is to find realistic ways to satisfy the id.
Superego
- serves as a moral guide of "shoulds" and "should nots" and emerges at about 5-6 years.- Initially, the superego develops out of guilt; with maturity, it becomes more realistic and flexible undercontrol of the ego.
Strengths of Freud's Theory
- focus on unconscious thoughts and emotions;- initiated a public discourse around sex -- which was taboo during Victorian times;- discusses the ambivalence of early parent-child relationships;- influenced modern-day psychotherapy.
Criticism of Freud's Theory
- demeans women, prioritizes the male-dominated social system of a Victorian-era European culture;- based his theories about 'normal' development on a population of average upper-middle-class adults in therapy;- too focused on biological maturation and sex;- doesn't take into account later experiences in life and potential for more personality development;
-
theories are hard to test scientifically.
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