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Outline Chapter 4

Development psychologists- study physical, cognitive, and social changes

throughout the human life cycle, and find common patterns which are important.

Prenatal Development and the Newborn

Only 1 of 5000 of a womans eggs will be mature enough to be released
Men can produce over 1000 sperm in a second, this rate will decrease over age
The mating of the egg and sperm include
o Sperms going up to an egg which is 85000 times bigger than itself
o The sperm releases digestive enzymes to dissolve the eggs protective
o The egg will block other sperm out once one sperm penetrates the
protective layer
o Fingerlike projections will sprout around the sperm and full it in
o By the end of the day, they will fuse
Prenatal Development
Zygotes are fertilized eggs
In the first week, the cell divides to produce a zygote of about 100 cells
After the first week, the cell will differentiate and specialize in structure and
After ten days, the zygote will attach to the mothers uterine wall
The placenta and the embryo are then formed
After nine weeks, the embryo is known as the fetus
After six months, the organs like the stomach will be able to function and perform
The fetus starts to respond to noise during the sixth month
Both genetic and environmental factors can affect the prenatal development
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is usually seen with children born with mental as well as
physical deformities. Over 1 in 750 kids are born with this syndrome
FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation
Pregnant women who have been stressed during their pregnancy have children
who are less competent in motor skills, emotional as well as learning deficiency.
Increased proclivity of depression
The Competent Newborn
the rooting reflex is when newborns are prompted to open their mouth and turn
towards the nipple when touched on the cheek

William James presumed that newborns experiences were similar to that of

buzzing confusion
Research from the 1960s revealed that newborns were born preferring sights and
sounds which facilitate social responsiveness. They are more drawn into pictures
that are associated to humans(Mondlocks study)
Habituation is the decrease in responding with repeated stimulation
Janine Spencer and Paul Quinn did a study which revealed that 4 year olds like
adults focused on the faces of animals. (cat and dog experiment)
Alan Slater explained that in order to recognize a new stimulus as different, an
infant must remember the initial stimulus.

Infancy and Childhood

Brain Development
Over 23 billion neurons were produced in the child by birth
From age 3-6, the brains neural system starts to grow in the frontal lobes,
enabling rational planning
Maturation sets the basic course of development. It is the genetically designed
biological growth process.
Maturation is uninfluenced by experiences
While genetic growth tendencies are inborn
Motor Development
The order in which physical coordination occurs like crawling before walking is
due to the maturing of the nervous system and has nothing to do with imitation
Individual differences in timing occur
Genes play a role in the timing of each coordination. Identical twins would be
able to walk more or less on the same day
Biological maturation includes the rapid development of the cerebellum at the
back of the brain
Experiences will not have a major effect on the childs physical skills until after
age 1
Maturation and Infant Memory
Pillemers study concluded that the average age of earliest conscious memory was
3.5 years of age
Starting at 4 years old, a child can start to remember their experiences
From age 3-4 , the brain cortex matures , thus enabling toddlers to increase their
long-term storage
However , the childs memories during this time may not be interrupted properly
later on in life

Association can be remembered for the maximum time of a month for a 3 month
old child.
When the conscious mind does not know and cannot express in words, the
nervous system may remember through increased physiological responses like
through skin perspiration

Cognitive Development
Jean Piagets works revolved around the errors give by children by each age.
Before Piaget, people thought that children simply knew less, not differently than
Later it was discovered that children reason in wildly illogical ways about
problems whose solutions are self-evident to adults.
A childs mind also develops through many stages
Piaget revealed that schemas develop when the brain builds concepts. The
schemas are mental molds into which we pour our experiences.
There are two ways which we could adjust our schemas. By assimilating as well
as accommodating them.
When we assimilate new schemas, we interpret them into our current schemas
When we accommodate our schemas, we adjust our present schemas to fit the
particulars of new experiences. You refine the category.
Piagets theory and Current Thinking
Cognition refers to all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing ,
remembering and communicating.
The sensorimotor stage is from birth to age 2. This is when the babies will take in
the world through their sensory and motor interactions interacting with objects

Object Permanence is the awareness that objects continue to exist when

not perceived

Stranger Anxiety

Before 8 months, the child lacks object permanence

Many argue that Piaget underestimated the intelligence of a child. He claimed that
children did not have the ability to think. Todays researchers see development as
more continuous than Piaget. However, his views were contradicted when babies
seem to have a more intuitive grasp of objects, when it was found that toddlers
had a sense of numbers (Karen Wynns study).
The preoperational stage is Piagets theory that from age 2 to about age 7, a
child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations
of concrete logic.

Conservation is the principle that quantity remains the same despite changes in
shape. (Like when closed beakers seem to hold more volume as another open
beaker with the same volume.)
Judy DeLoache revealed that if the child was prompted to find a hidden
object in a room, they could easily find it, but they could not locate the
location on another map or painting. This was found for ages 2-3
From age 3, the child could locate the hidden location in a map. Thus
showing that they could use the symbols for the room. This went against
Piagets theory of children not being able to think
Piaget found that preschool children were egocentric. They had much difficulty
to perceive things from anothers point of view. Asking whether the childs brother
had a brother (which was the child being asked) the child would reply that he did
Parents often abuse their children since they do not understand their
egocentric thoughts.
The theory of mind is the ability to read intentions, formed starting when a child
is in pre-school.
From age 3, children start to realize the difference between false beliefs
Jennifer Jenkins and Janet Astington performed the band aid experiment in
which they would ask children what they thought was in the box, then
recorded what their reaction would be if found that the box was filled with
something else. From 4 years old, the children were able to respond to
theory of mind, claiming that their friends would probably think that the
box was filled with band aids instead of pencils. Before they responded
that they would think that the box was filled with pencils.
First children realize that sad events can cause sad feelings and then they realize
that thought can cause feelings. From age 5-8, children realize that spontaneous
self-produced thoughts can also create feelings.
Children with autism were found to have difficulty understanding someones state
of mind differs from their own. They also have difficulty reflecting on their own
mental states. They are less likely to use personal pronouns such as I and me.
Deaf children also have problems with such usage.
Lev Vygotsky revealed that children no longer thought aloud from age 7. They
start to rely on inner speech. Talking to themselves allows children to control their
behavior and emotions and master new skills.
Concrete Operational Stage was Piagets theory of cognitive development.
From 6-11 years of age. Children start to gain the mental operations what enables
them to think logically about concrete events. Children also start to comprehend
mathematical transformations and conservation.

Formal Operation stage is by age 12, when reasoning expands from concrete
experiences to abstract thinking. Children start to solve hypothetical propositions
and deduct consequences starting from adolescence.

Reflecting on Piagets Theory

Researchers start to see development more continuous than did Piaget.
Piaget identified significant cognitive milestones and stimulated interest on how
the mind develops.
Piagets major revelation was that children construct their understandings from
interactions with the world.
Social Development
Stranger Anxiety- fear of strangers, starting at around 8 months. They have
schemas for similar faces.
The intense mutual infant-parent bond develops by 12 months.
Orgins of Attachments
Harry Harlow and Margaret Harlow revealed in their monkey studies that
monkeys brought up in isolated cages with cheese clothes, became distressed
when the cheesecloth was taken away from them.
When they created two mothers , by inserting a wire cylinder with a wooden head
and another cylinder with terry cloth, they found that the monkeys they found that
the monkeys did not prefer the nourishing mother, but instead the comfy mother.
This revealed that much of the parent-infant attachment comes from touch
A safe haven as well as a secure base also strengthens attachment
Critical period is known as an optimal period shortly after birth when certain
events must take place to facilitate proper development.
Imprinting is the process by which certain animals form attachments during a
critical period very early in life.
Children do not imprint
Familiarity is more comfortable to children
Attachment Differences
Mary Ainsworth studied attachment differences by observing mother infant pairs
at home during their first six months.
Securely attached children play and explore comfortably when a mother is
present and then becomes distressed when she leaves.
Insecurely attached children meanwhile explore less in the mothers presence
and may cling to her, cry loudly when she leaves and remain upset until she
Sensitive responsive parents tend to have securely attached children

Genetically influenced temperament may evoke responsive parenting, but parental

sensitivity has been taught and does increase infant attachment security.
Both father and mother love is a predictor to a childs well-being.
Adult relationships tend to reflect the secure or insecure attachment styles of early

Erick Ericksons idea prompted that basic trust is formed in infancy through our
experiences with responsive caregivers.

Deprivation of Attachment
Children become withdrawn and frightened when they are deprived of attachment
and may not be able to develop speech properly
Childhood abuse can lead to physical, psychological as well as social problems, it
may alter the brains production of serotonin.
This effect can be minimal before 16 months of age, by age 2 problems start to
develop if abuse persists.
Extensive time spent in day care is linked to increased aggression and defiance
Self Concept
Self concept is the sense of their own identity and personal worth.
It emerges around 6 months
At 15-16 months, children start to recognize themselves in the mirror
When they start school, they can describe many of their own traits
By age 10, their self conception is rigid and stable
The childrens views of themselves affect their actions. Children who form a
positive self concept are more confident, independent and optimistic
Child Rearing Practices
Kids with the highest self esteem and reliance come from homes were their
parents are authoritative
Those with authoritarian parents tend to have less social skills, self esteem
Those with permissive parents are more likely to be aggressive and immature
The association between certain parenting styles and certain childhood outcomes
is co relational. There are many other explanations for a childs behavior other
than parenting styles.
Permissive parents submit to childrens demands ask little and punish rarely
Authoritarian parents impose rules and expect obedience.
Authoritative parents are demanding but responsive to their children
Sharing genes may lead to a temperament that is comfortable with an authoritative
parenting style and that manifests itself in agreeable easygoing social interactions.

Adolescence is the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from
puberty to independence

G.Stanley Hall described adolescence as the tension between biological maturity

and social dependence

Physical Development
Puberty paves way to a surge of hormones, creating mood swings.
The primary sex characteristics (reproductive organs) develop dramatically
Menarche- first menstrual period
Spermarche-first ejaculation
Early developing boys become stronger and more athletic, as well as more
popular and have a higher self esteem.
Hereditary and environmental interaction plays a major role of how both boys and
girls feel about puberty
During puberty, unused neural connections are weakened
Myelin also grows in the frontal lobe during puberty
The frontal lobe maturation slows down the emotional limbic system. This
explains why teenagers can be impulsive
Younger teens are more likely to smoke or do drugs since they are unable to plan
Cognitive Development
Adolescents are more likely to worry about what others think about themselves.
Since this is when they start to think about how others perceive them
During the early teenage years, reasoning is often self-focused. They feel that
their private experiences are unique. They think that others can not understand
their unique experiences
Formal operations is the shift from preadolescents thinking concretely to
adolescents becoming more capable of abstract logic. This is Piagets theory
The teenagers ability to reason hypothetically and deduce consequences allows
them to detect inconsistencies in others reasoning and to spot hypocrisy
Developing Morality
Kohlberg did studies in which he recorded the morality thoughts of people of
different ages. He found that there were 3 different stages
o Preconventional Morality- When children before 9 years old, have a
preconventional morality of self interest. These children obey either to
avoid punishment or to gain concrete awards

o Conventional Morality When young teenagers, use morality which

includes caring for others as well as upholding laws and social rules just
because they are rules and laws.
o Post conventional morality- When someone develops personally
perceived ethical principles, they confirm peoples agreed upon rights
Kohlberg constructed the moral ladder, which included the three stages
Once our thinking matures, our behavior becomes less selfish and more caring
Elevation- tingly, warm, glowing feeling in the chest, usually felt when
witnessing someone doing charity
Jonathan Haidt exclaimed in his book social intuitionist, that moral feelings
overpower moral reasoning. He revealed that moral reasoning aims to convince
others of what we feel
Joshua Greene found that when a person is faced with dilemmas, their neural
responses varied, based on how much their emotion areas lit up
Despite the identical logic, the personal dilemma allowed emotions that altered
mood judgment.
Morality is influenced by social influences, and is doing the right thing.
Children are taught to be empathetic to others.
Those who rely on delay gratification (restraining ones impulse and waiting for a
greater award) became more socially responsible as well as academically
successfully. Students are engaged in responsible action through service learning.

Social Development
Erik Erikson exclaimed that individuals go through eight stages in life, each with
a psychosocial task.
Till age 1, the issue was that of trust and mistrust
Till age 2, it becomes autonomy vs. shame and doubt
Till age 5, the issue is initiative and guilt
Till puberty, the child is given the issues of inferiority and competence
From adolescence till becoming a young adult, it becomes about finding ones
For young adults, the issue is between intimacy and isolation
From 50-60 years old, it becomes generativity vs. stagnation.
From 60s up, the issue becomes integrity vs. despair.
Forming an identity
Erikson revealed that some teenagers take their parents values and expectations
and use it as their identity.
Other teenagers tend to gain a negative identity by rejecting traditional values ant
conforming to a particular group

William Damon revealed that a main idea of teenagers is to try to make a

difference in the world
Daniel Hart discovered that younger teenagers were more likely to reflect the
values of a certain group while older teenagers were more likely to reflect their
own personal values.
Older teenagers were also more likely to have intimacy, the ability to form
emotionally close relationships. This is after these individuals get a better sense of
who they are

Parent and Peer Influence

Positive relations with parents support positive peer relations
Teenage years is a time of decreasing parental connection and a more peer
Parents have a bigger influence on religious faith, career, college and thinking
values. Most teenagers share their parents political views
Emerging Adulthood
Emerging adulthood are people who are no longer teenagers but are not ready to
take on adulthood responsibilities.
Due to this emerging adulthood, marriage has been delayed by several years.
Physical Changes in Middle Adulthood
Physical vigor has less to do with age; it has more to do with a persons health and
exercise habits.
In Eastern countries, respect is given to the aged. Power is seen to be derived over
In many western cultures, young people are more prized.
Menopause is the ending of the menstrual cycle beginning around when a woman
hits her 50th birthday. Estrogen is reduced during this period.
Menopause usually does not create psychological problems for women.
A womans attitudes reflect on how she will perceive and go through menopause
Bernice Neugarten went around and asked women who had their menopause how
they felt. The majority felt at the prime of their lives.
Men experience a more gradual decline of sperm production over age.
Testosterone levels, erection and ejaculation are also at a declining rate.
Physical Changes in later life
Life expectancy has increased from the average 49 years to 67 years
Women outlive men and after the stage of infancy, outnumber them
After age 70, hearing, distance perception, reaction time, stamina, muscle
strength, sense of smell all decrease
Neural process slow their rate
Around age 80, 5% of the brain shrinks.

Physical exercise however, can stimulate the development of some new brain
cells and connections.
The risk of dementia increases, doubling every five years from age 60. It is not a
normal part of the aging process.
Older adults who exercise regularly become smart thinkers due to the oxygen and
nutrient circulation.
Alzheimers disease affects over 3% of the worlds population by age 75. They
are not part of the normal aging process. It is the loss of brain cells and
deterioration of neurons that produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Memory
and thinking thus decrease.

Aging and Memory

Recalling new information declines during the early and middle adulthood years.
Older adults are able to recall meaningful information more easily than
meaningless information, they may however take longer to produce words to
describe these memories
Thomas Cook and Robin West discovered that younger adults were more likely to
recall names after one introduction, while older age groups had a poorer
When asked how they heard a certain event or news , many could recall
instantaneously upon a few moments, while asking after a couple of months
prompted variations in their recalls.
David Schonfield and Betty-Anne Robertson found that recognition memory is
better for older adults early in the day rather late.
Being able to recognize a set of words via multiple choices had a minimal decline
when compared to the results of each age. It was the recall of the words which
had a greater difficulty
Time based tasks as well as habitual tasks decline over age
Aging and Intelligence
Cross sectional studies are comparing people of different ages with one another.
These studies revealed that intelligence declined after early adulthood
They excluded the factors of generational differences of education as well as life
Longitudinal studies is the retesting the same people over a period of time, these
studies showed that intelligence may be stable through out the years. They
however, excluded the factors of people dropping out of studies, those who were
less intelligent and that in poor health.
The present day view is that fluid intelligence takes place by declining later in life
and that crystallized intelligence does not. (Paul Baltes)
Crystallized intelligence is the accumulation of knowledge and skills
Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason speedily and abstractly
Scientists and mathematicians are more likely to have their best outcomes in
earlier adulthood, while historians and writers experience success later in life.

Adulthoods Ages and Stages

Midlife transition takes place in the early forties and is associated with struggle,
regret, and feeling struck down. Usually triggered by illness, divorce or by job
The social clock is the cultural prescription of when the right time of each stage in
life must occur. For example, what time to leave home, college, get a job, family,
Romantic attraction is often influenced by chance encounters.
Not many identical twins would feel attracted to their twins partners.
The social clock varies from culture to culture

Adulthoods Commitments
Erik Erikson pinned two aspects of our live. Intimacy and Generativity.
Generativity is being productive and supporting future generations.
Love and work are two major themes of adulthood
The social expectation of families staying together, is explained by evolutionary
psychologists in having a better chance of passing down ones genes.
Due to the increased expectations of both women and men and womens increased
independence, divorce rates have doubled in the past 40 years
Those who tested out their marriage before getting married had a higher rate of
divorce and marital dysfunction.
The risk of poor martial outcomes appears greatest for those who cohabit prior to
engagement. Cohabiters tend to be less committed to the ideal of enduring marriage.
John Gottman discovered that stable marriages provide five times more instances of
smiling, touching, complimenting, laughing than of sarcasm, criticism and insults.
Work satisfaction reveals the roles of the woman, such as a paid worker or a wife did
not matter, but the quality of her experiences in these roles meant a lot.
Satisfying work correlates with life satisfaction

Well Being Across the Life Span

A persons feeling of satisfaction and well being are stable through out ones lifespan
Older adults may experience a higher rate of satisfactions since they had satisfied the
tasks of early adulthood. They are filled with a strong sense of satisfaction and
Older adults are less sensitive to negative facts. The amygalda show decreased
activity in response to negative events while maintain its responsiveness to positive
Mihalay Csikszentmihalyi and Reed Larson revealed that teenagers got over an
emotion within an hour while older people endured their emotions longer.
Death and Dying
Death of spouse is the hardest for a person
When death comes at an expected time, grieving may be short lived.

When death comes earlier, grief is more severe

Erikson believed that older people where filled with a sense of meaning and
identity when thinking about death

Continuity and Stages

Researchers who stress biological maturation see development as a series of
genetically predisposed steps.
Researchers who stress slow continuous development stress experience and learning.
Piagetss, Eriksons and Kohlbergs ideas have shown us the ways people differ at
various points in the life span.
Lifelong development also shows stability and change
Personality gradually stabilizes throughout age.
When we age, we may change our earlier personalities but sustaining characteristic
traits in comparison to our age mates.