You are on page 1of 85

The Study of Human Development

Chapter 1

Recurring Issues in Human Development

1.) Nature vs Nurture 2.) Continuity vs Discontinuity 3.) Universal vs Context-Specific Development

Nature vs Nurture
Nature =
biology & genes have a greater effect on development

Nurture =
environment has a greater influence on development

What do we know? What are researchers concerned with now?

Continuity vs Discontinuity
Continuity =
change occurs gradually & smoothly

Discontinuity =
Change occurs suddenly & abruptly

Universal vs Context Specific

Universal: One path of development for all people Context Specific: Development involves an interaction of environment

Biopsychosocial Framework
Combination of 4 interactive forces
1.) Biological Forces
Genetic, Health related

2.) Psychological Forces

Cognitive/perceptual, emotional, personality

3.) Sociocultural Forces

Societal, cultural, ethnic, interpersonal

4.) Life-Cycle Forces

Identical events, different age groups

Pregnant Married 30 yr Pregnant Teen old Biological: lack of Biological: Healthy diet, nutrition in diet vitamins Psychological: worried, Psychological: Excited, anxious, depressed Nervous Sociocultural: perceived as Sociocultural: Supported negative, outcast at school by family and friends

Life Cycle Forces Example

Biopsychosocial Framework Summary

Mutually interactive Development cannot be understood by examining in isolation Encompasses life span yet appreciates unique aspects of each phase of life

Developmental Theories
Ch. 1

What is a theory?
An organized set of ideas designed to explain behavior & development Essential for developing predictions about behavior Predictions result in research that helps to support or clarify the theory

Major Theoretical Perspectives on Human Development

Freud, Erikson

Ecological & systems

Bronfenbrenner, Lawton & Nahemow

Watson, Skinner, Bandura

Life span

Piaget, Vygotsky

Psychodynamic Theories
Development is largely determined by how well people resolve conflicts at different ages

Sigmund Freud
Founder of psychoanalysis Believed the mind is organized into 2 main parts
1. Conscious 2. Unconscious

Emphasized unconscious mind on


Contributions of Freuds Theory

Highlighted value of considering unconscious wishes and feelings First to show early experiences have profound impact on development Stressed the influence of early parentchild relationship on development

Erik Erikson
Student of Freud Psychosocial theory - lifelong theory (stages from infancy to late-late life)

Stages of Psychosocial Theory

Basic Trust vs Mistrust Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt Initiative vs Guilt

0-1 yr 1-3 yrs 3-6 yrs

Industry vs Inferiority
Identity vs Identity Confusion Intimacy vs Isolation Generativity vs Stagnation Integrity vs Despair

Adolescence Young Adulthood Middle Adulthood Late Life

Learning Theory

What is Learning Theory?

Concentrates on how learning influences behavior Emphasizes the role of experience Stresses the influence of consequences on behavior Recognizes that people learn from watching others

Environment shapes behavior Useless to consider internal mental states Theorists:
Ivan Pavlov John Watson B.F. Skinner

Ivan Pavlov
Classical conditioning -learning occurs through associations between environmental stimulus & naturally occurring stimulus Example: Pavlovs Dog

John Watson
infants minds =blank slates (tabula rasa) Classical conditioning able to explain all aspects of human psychology Little Albert 0ucxOrPQE&feature=player_embedd ed

John Watson
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select - doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and the race of his ancestors. (Watson, 1924, p. 104)

B.F. Skinner
Behavior depends on what happens after the response Operant Conditioning
The consequences of a behavior determine whether the behavior is repeated in the future

Operant Conditioning: Reinforcement

Strengthens the behavior

Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement

Operant Conditioning: Punishment

Punishment =
decreases the likelihood of the behavior

Positive punishment Negative reinforcement

Operant Conditioning

Social Learning Theory

Observational learning, or imitation People learn by watching others Imitation is more likely when the subject of observation is seen as smart, popular, or talented Imitation is more likely when the subject of observation is rewarded for the behavior

Albert Banduras Social Cognitive Theory

Cognition emphasizes thinking Based on cognition and experience; we understand our abilities, developing differing degrees of self-efficacy Consequences are insufficient to cause us to repeat behaviors or imitate them High self-efficacy is also needed

Basic Social Learning concepts:

Bobo Doll experiment:

Observational Learning NU&feature=related

3 basic models of observational learning:

1.A live model 2.Verbal instruction 3.Symbolic model

Basic Social Learning concepts:

Mental states important to learning Intrinsic reinforcement - form of internal

Intrinsic Reinforcement

reward Emphasis on internal thoughts & cognitions helps connect learning theories to cognitive developmental theories

Basic Social Learning concepts:

Learning does not necessarily lead to a

The Modeling Process

change in behavior Steps involved in observational learning & modeling process:

1. Attention 2.Retention 3.Reproduction 4.Motivation

Cognitive Developmental Theory

Cognitive Development Theory

Stresses development of thought
processes Three approaches

Piaget: we develop in discrete stages Vygotsky: societal expectations of what we should know at different ages and apprenticeship experiences shape development Information-processing theory: like computers, we become more efficient at processing information as we mature

Jean Piaget
Most influential developmental psychologist of the 20th century Revolutionized how we think about child development Believed early cognitive development based upon actions and later progresses into changes in mental operations

Piagets Theory
Children gradually learn more about how the world works by little experiments in which they test their understanding Cognitive development consists of stages in which childrens understanding of their surroundings becomes increasingly complex and accurate

Piagets Theory
4 distinct stages in development
1. Sensorimotor Birth to 2 yrs
The Child interacts with the world through sensation and movement Develops the ability to hold a mental representation of objects

2. Preoperational Thoughts 2 to 6 yrs

Develops the ability to use symbols Egocentric: understands the world only from his/her own perspective

Piagets Theory
3.) Concrete Operational Thought (7 years to early adolescence)
Can use logic and reasoning Cannot accurately consider the hypothetical

4.) Formal Operational Thought (Adolescence

and beyond)
Thinks abstractly Deals with the hypothetical concepts

Support for Piagets Theory

Piagets Impact on Education
Many educational programs based that children should be taught at level they are developmentally prepared Instructional strategies have been created from Piagets work (i.e. providing supportive environment, utilizing social interactions & peer teaching)

Criticism for Piagets Theory

Problems with research methods Problems with formal operations Underestimates childrens ability

Information-Processing Theory
Views humans as information processing systems Believes humans process the info they receive rather than merely responding to stimuli Compares the mind to a computer

Information-Processing Theory
Uses the computer as a model of how thinking develops Mental hardware: psychological structures, such as memory capacity Mental software: cognitive abilities that process information and help us to interact with the world Both improve with development

Information-Processing Theory

Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory

Emphasizes sociocultural influences on child development Focuses on how adults convey aspects of their culture to children Potential for cognitive development depends upon zone of proximal development

Ecological & Systems Approach

Ecological Theory
All aspects of human development are interconnected No single aspect can adequately explain development Need to consider all factors: environmental, family, political, social, etc., and how they interact

Ecological Theory:

Bronfenbrenners Theory
Urie Bronfenbrenner developing person is embedded in a series of complex & interactive systems Divided the environment into 4 levels
1. 2. 3. 4.

Microsystem Mesosystem Exosystem Macrosystem

Adaptation, or development, depends upon:

Lawton & Nahemows Competence-Environmental Press Theory

A persons abilities or competencies Demands the environment (presses) places on the person Emphasis is on how these factors interact

Life-Span Perspective, Selective Optimization with Compensation, and LifeCourse Perspective

Current Perspectives
Life-Span Perspective
Many factors influence development; no one factor adequately explains itall must be considered

Selective Optimization with Compensation

Describes choices that determine and regulate development and aging

Current Perspectives

The Life-Course Perspective

Examines how different generations experience and adjust to biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces within the historical time-period of their lives

Emphasizes the need to view the entire life-span to understand a persons development The social, environmental, and historical aspects of ones life must be considered Learning about patterns of development influences society

Matilda Rileys Life-Span Perspective

Four Features of the Life-span Approach

Development involves both growth & decline

Ones capacity is not predetermined or carved in stone

Four Features of the Life-span Approach


Historical Context
Historical time periods must be considered in examining development

Multiple Causation
Biological, psychological, sociocultural, and life-cycle changes must be considered

Baltes: Selective Optimization With Compensation (SOC)

Elective Selection
Making choices to reduce involvement in order to concentrate on another

Loss-based Selection
Reducing involvement because of lack of resources or abilities

Finding alternate ways of meeting goals due to loss of ability or diminished skills

The Life Course Perspective

Emphasizes how
personal life-events interact with historical influences individual issues integrate with family issues earlier life events and the period of history in which they occurred shaped subsequent events and issues

Developmental Research

4 Approaches
1. 2. 3. 4.

Systematic Observation Sampling Behavior with Tasks Self-Reports Physiological Measures

Systematic Observation
Naturalistic Observation
Observed as they behave spontaneously in real life Strength: Captures behavior in natural setting Weakness: Difficult to use with behaviors that are rare or typically occur in private settings

Systematic Observation
Structured Observation
Observed in a created setting that elicits behavior of interest Strength: Can be used to study behaviors that are rare or typically occur in private settings Weakness: May be invalid if structured setting distorts the behavior

Sampling Behavior with Tasks

Created tasks that sample the behavior of interest Strength: Convenient (can be used to study most behaviors) Weakness: May be invalid if task does not sample behavior as it naturally occurs

Peoples answers to questions about the topic of interest Written form = questionnaire; oral = interview Strength: Convenient Weakness: May be invalid because of incorrect answers

Physiological Measures
Measuring peoples physiological responses Strength: Provide a more direct measure of underlying behavior Weakness: Highly specific in what they measure and cannot be applied broadly

Evaluating Research Methods

Does this method consistently measure what is being studied?

Does this measure provide a true picture of what is being studied?

Representational Sampling
Broad groups of people in which researchers may be interested

A subset of the population chosen to represent the population

Designs for Research

Research Designs: Correlational Studies

Measures relationship between variables as they are observed naturally in the world Provides an index called the correlation coefficient (r) which indicates the strength of the relationship between variables

Research Designs: Correlational Studies

Correlation Coefficient
Ranges from -1.0 to 1.0 Sign indicates direction of the relationship Size indicates the strength of the relationship

Correlation does not prove causation

Research Designs: Correlational Studies

Strengths: Behavior is measured as it occurs naturally Weaknesses: Cannot determine cause & effect

Research Designs: Experimental Studies

Studies the effect of one variable on another Studies possible cause and effect relationship Usually conducted in laboratory-like settings

Research Designs: Experimental Studies

Factors Variables:
An object, event, idea, feeling, time period, or any other type of category you are trying to measure 2 Types 1. Independent variable
The factor being manipulated (i.e. listening to music vs no music)

2.Dependent variable
The behavior that is studied for possible change (i.e. test scores)

Research Designs: Experimental Studies

Random Assignment Each person has an equal chance of being assigned to each condition Conditions 1. Experimental Condition - independent variable present 2.Control condition - independent variable absent

Research Designs: Experimental Studies

Strengths: Control of variables; can conclude cause and effects Weaknesses: Work is often lab based- can be artificial

Qualitative vs. Quantitative

Include focus groups, indepth interviews, & reviews Surveys

More subjective
Text based

More objective
Number based

More in depth info on few Less in depth but across cases large number of cases Less generalizable More generalizable

Designs for Studying Development

Longitudinal Studies
Observes or tests one group of individuals over a long period Microgenetic study

Charts individuals development over time

Expensive High drop out rate Become Test-wise

Designs for Studying Development

Cross-Sectional Studies
Observes or tests groups of different ages

Cohort effects Example: Ability to use web based information

Designs for Studying Development

Ability to use web based information Year studied: 2005 Age of subjects:
1985 - 20 yrs 1965 - 40 yrs 1945 - 60 yrs 1925 - 80 yrs

Cohort effect or development effect?

Designs for Studying Development

Designs for Studying Development:

Cross Sectional Studies

Convenient Solves problems with longitudinal studies

Cant study stability of behavior Cohort effects complicate interpretation of differences between groups

Designs for Studying Development

Sequential Studies
Combination of cross-sectional & longitudinal designs

Allows for flexibility to collect info in several ways Avoid cohort effects

Very expensive & time consuming

Integrating Findings from Different Studies

Analysis of many studies to estimate relations between variables Allows scientists to verify findings across many studies

Conducting Research Ethically

Minimize and warn of any risks to participants Informed Consent Avoid deception Individual results or data must be kept anonymous or confidential Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Communicating Research Results

Research results are published in scientific journals To be published in journals, research results must be useful, well-done, & original

Applying Research Results Social Policy

Driving age Stem cell research Adoption policies