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001 - PSY205 - Chapter 1 -0001

001 - PSY205 - Chapter 1 -0001

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Published by Joseph Eulo

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Published by: Joseph Eulo on Feb 09, 2009
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09/29/2012

 
 Perspectives on
Development
Nature versus NurtureStages and SequencesInternal and External Influences on DevelopmentThe Ecological PerspectiveVulnerability and Resilience
Theories of 
Development
Psychoanalytic TheoriesCognitive-Developmental andInformation-Processing TheoriesLearning TheoriesComparing Theories
 Finding the Answers:
Research
Designs
and Methods
Relating Goals to MethodsStudying Age-Related ChangesIdentifying Relationships between VariablesCross-Cultural (or Cross-Context) Research Research Ethics
CHAPTER
Summary 
Key Terms
12
 rowse the shelves of 
1/ 
lJ
- ,Olll-/.
OCil/6 
OU
will
find no shortage of 
oo~
Y
ii
v
i' o
IC
;,.(>
b
oks for
parents.
il'let 
<1~
o
s.~
q
e~
(>~
 
Titles such as
Toilet Tra.ining in a.Day
and
How to Talk to Your Teenaser aboun. Typically, the authors of such books
are
psychologists, counselors ,social workers ,
edu-
cators, or 
pediatricians.
Many
are
also
parents and support
their 
advice
with
anec-
dotes from their own
parenting experience. Ingeneral,
though, todays
parents regard
 formal training
as a
more reliable indicator of 
expertise
on
parenting
issues thanhands-on
experience
with children (/tulbert, 2003). /tow
did
this
trend-a fairly re-
cent one, by the way-begin? According to many observers,
parental
preoccupation with
"expert"
child-rearing
advice began
in the
early
 years of the 20th century, when
popular
magazines
started
 pubLishing
articles
on child-rearing that 
referred
to the theories of Sigmund 
Freudand
other psychologists (Torrey ,
1992).
Soon, child-rearing books authored by
expertsbecame
best-sellers. These
articles and
book srecommended scientific" approaches to child-rearing.
No
longer 
were grandparents
or other older adults to
be viewed as au-
thorities on bringing
up
children.
Instead,
 young
parents were encouraged
to turn to
pediatricians and
psychologists.One of the first such child-rearing
experts was
 John Watson
(1878-1958).
/te ad-vocated
rigid feeding schedules for infants
and an
orderly
approach
to child-rearing.Watson beLieved that 
American parenting
traditions
caused
children to grow
up
to
be
emotionally
weak.
Accordingly, he
advised parents:Never
hug
and
kiss them, never let them sit in you
lap. If 
 you must  ,kiss themonce on the
forehead
when they say good night .shake hands with them in themorning.
~ive
them
a pat
on the head 
i
they have
made an extraordinarily
good  job of 
a
difficult 
task.
(1928,
pp.
81-82)
Watson's
popularity ebbed as
the
radically
different 
ideas
of 
Dr.Beryamin spock 
(1903-1990), author of the classic book Baby and Child Care,
became predominant
inthe 1950s.
Spock 
urged 
parents
to
openly
display affection
toward
children.
Influenced
by
Freud's ideas about
the
impact
of early childhood emotional
trauma
on
later per-
sonaLity,
spock warned parents against
engaging in too much conflict with childrenover weaning or toilet-training.
/te
emphasized the need to
wait
until children
wereready
to
take
on such challenges.Today, Watsons
ideasare vkwed as
emotionally cold 
and
excessively rigid by
pedia-
tricians, psychologists,
and parents alike.
Similarly ,many
view
spocks recommendations
as
overly indulgent .
Yetparents
continue to look to
experts
for help with
parenting
issues ,often turning to the
rapidly
growing number of Internet sites devoted to child-rearing is-sues. In one survey,
71
%
of mothers
reported
that they had 
searched
the Internet for helpwith
a parenting
issue (Allen
&
Rainie,
2002). Child-rearing recommendations
repre-
senting diverse philosophical orientations abound on the Worl
Wide
Web. Conse-
quently,
there is no single
expert"voice"
that 
predominates.
/tealth-oriented sites ,such
as
kidshealth.org
and
askdrsears.com,
are
very
popular.Lik ewise,
sites sponsored by child  psychologists
receive
millions of hits each day.
But parents
also search for 
advice
on their children's spiritual
development
or for nontraditional
treatments
for conditions such
asattention-deficit
hyperactivity disorder (Bussing, Zima, ~ary,
&
~arvan,
2002).One reason for the diversity
and quantity
of information
available
is that, thank sto more than
a
century of research ,
we
now know
agreat deal
more
about
the
vari-
 
ables that contribute to
human development.
Identirying
variables
that 
influence de-velopment and explaining
how they work together to shape
an
individuals life iswhat 
developmental
science is
all about.Developmental
scientists
develop
theories
and conduct
research
aimed at
describing,
explaining, and
predicting
age-related
changes
in
behavior,
thinking,
emotions,
and
social relationships. :istorically ,
develop-mental
science has
been associated
with the field of psychology ,
and
most of the
de-
velopmentalists whose work you will
read about in
this text were or 
are
 psychologists.
But developmental
science also
draws
from other fiels ,
including
biol-ogy,
neuroscience,
anthropology, sociology,
and education.In addition,
most 
developmental
scientists
want
to
find
ways to help
parents,
teachers, therapists,
and
others who work with children to do so effectively.
In pursuit
of these goals,
developmental
researchers often focus
on
highly specific issues, such
as
how
many
items children of different 
ages can
remember.
H:owever,a
few
ideas arecentral
to every theory
and
esearch
study in developmental
psychology.
We
willbegin our discussion with
a
brief overview of these
ideas.
 Perspectives
on
 Development
C
enturies before researchers began to use scientific methods to study age-relatedchanges, philosophers proposed explanations of development based on everydayobservations. Many of their questions and assertions about the nature of human devel-opment continue to be central to modern-day
developmental
science.Theargument about nature versus nurture, also referred to as heredityversus environ- ment or
nativism
versus
empir icism,
is one of the oldest and most central theoretical is-sueswithin both psychology and philosophy.For example, haveyou ever heard someone say that "baby talk" will interfere with a child's language development? If so,then you have heard an argument for the nurture side of the debate.Such a statementassumes that language development is mostly a matter of imitation: The child must hear language that is properly pronounced and grammatically correct in order to de-velop linguistic fluency. The nature side would counter that children possess some kindof internal mechanism to ensure that they develop fluent language, no matter how many "goo-goo-ga-gas"they hear from those around them. "Which side is right?"stu- dents invariably ask .If there were a simple answer to that question, the debate wouldhave ceased long ago. Instead,the controversy continues today with regard to many de- velopmental processes, including language development. Philosophically, the nature side of the controversy was represented by the
idealists
and
rationalists ,
principally Plato and Rene Descartes, both of whom believed that atleastsome knowledge is inborn. On the other side of the argument were a group of  British philosophers called
empiricists,
including John Locke, who insisted that at birththe mind is a blank slate-in Latin, a
tabula rasa.
All knowledge, the empiricists ar-gued, is created by experience.From this perspective, developmental change is the re-sult of external, environmental factors acting on a child whose only relevant internal characteristic is the capacity to respond.In contrast to both rationalists and empiricists, other philosophers believedthat development involved an interaction between internal and external forces. For example, the Christian notion of 
original sin
teaches that children are born with a
developmental science The study of age-related changes in behav- ior,thinking, emotions, and social relationships.

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