Thursday, August 6, 2009

Human Development (Psych 101 ... dusting off the cobwebs)

Development (how we grow)

2 types of development

  • Learning (nurture) -- environmental influences

  • Maturation (nature) -- genetic/biological influences

Critical Periods: early development periods during which particular experiences are essential.

Stages: organization of behaviors/thoughts during particular early periods of development defined by relatively abrupt change.

Physical Development

  1. Infant stage: baby born with reflexes (automatic behavior: startle, sucking). Vision nearsighted, interested in novelty. Smiles at 4-6 weeks in response to faces. Rhythmic "conversations".
  2. Adolescence: more myelination of the frontal lobes may allow for improved self control. Biological development - increased hormones, sex organs develop, growth spurt. Intellectual - formal operational (abstract reasoning), independence, questioning.
  3. Aging: older adults experience decline in short-term memory and attention. Transition theories - unanticipated, anticipated, non event, chronic hassle. Major Milestones - starting out, marriage or living alone, parenthood, empty nest, midlife crisis, retirement widowhood.

Social Development: Developing how we relate to others

Attachment: emotional connection between infant and caregiver

  1. Harlow's monkey studies: showed the fear of unknown fosters attachment. Monkeys preferred soft, cuddly surrogates even if they did not have food. Monkeys raised w/o mothers were socially incompetent, aggressive and unable to raise their own babies.

3 styles of Attachment (Ainsworth)

  1. Secure - warm relationship, baby does not fear abandonment
  2. Resistant - close relationship, but baby fears abandonment
  3. Avoidant - distant relationship, baby/child indifferent to whether mother is present

Socialization: process by which one acquires the patterns of behavior of their society.

Parenting Styles: (parents are one source of socialization)

  1. Autocratic: parents strict, rigid, require obedience and conformity
  2. Authoritative: reciprocal (most effective): parents are firm but fair, make & enforce rules, allow questions and encouraged appropriate independence
  3. Permissive: parents do not make rules or enforce them

More to come!

Adapted from Bar Charts Quick Study Academic: Psychology and Sparkcharts Psychology.

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