Chapter 11 - Development

Introduction to Psychology
 Development: change over time
 Developmental Psychology: the branch of psychology
concerned with the interaction between physical and
psychological processes over the lifespan
“cradle to grave”
Developmental Research Methods
 Normative investigation: research designed to
describe the normal developmental trajectories of
Developmental age: the chronological age at which most
children show a particular level of physical or mental
Developmental Research Methods
 Longitudinal design: the same participants are
observed repeatedly, sometimes over many years
Benefits of longitudinal designs
Can infer causal relationships and developmental trajectories
Problems with longitudinal designs
Events can occur in between time-points that can influence results
 Participants drop out (attrition) or die (mortality)
 Usually expensive and time consuming
Developmental Research Methods
 Cross-sectional design: groups of participants of
different chronological ages are observed and
compared at one time
Benefits of cross-sectional designs
Cost and time effective
 Can collect data in a relatively short period of time
Problems with cross-sectional designs
Social and political conditions can vary by cohort
 “Cohort Effects”
Prenatal Development
 Zygote: the single cell that results when a sperm fertilizes an
Contains 46 chromosomes
Chromosome: rod-shaped structures
that contain all basic hereditary
 Gene: the individual part of the
chromosome through which information is transmitted
Individual genetic expression is determined by
Epigenetic tags (Methyl groups and Histones)
Interactions between the embryo and the uterine/ovo environment
Prenatal Development
 Embryo: a developed zygote that has a heart, brain, and
other organs
 Fetus: a developing individual from 8 weeks after
conception [for humans]
Vestibular system begins functioning
Major organs begin to function
 Age of viability: the point at which a fetus can survive if
born prematurely
The age of viability is becoming earlier and earlier due to
advancements in medical technology
Prenatal Development
Prenatal Development
Which one is a human?
Vertebrate Embryos
Prenatal Development
 Teratogens: environmental agents or factors that can
produce a birth defect
Maternal nutrition
Maternal illness
Maternal stress
Maternal drug use
Maternal alcohol use
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Maternal nicotine use
Prenatal Sensory Development
 The order in which sensory systems develop is the
same across vertebrates:
1) vestibular (touch & motion)
2) chemoreception (taste & smell)
3) auditory
4) visual
 Learning does occur in-utero/ovo
 Human fetuses at 32 weeks can demonstrate a preference for a
familiar nursery rhyme.
 Newborns can identify and prefer their mother’s voice and
native language
Postnatal Development
 Precocial: the organism is born with all of it’s sensory
systems functioning and can “fend for its-self”.
Example: baby antelope, chicken chick
 Altricial: the organism is born with immature sensory
systems and cannot survive on it’s own
Example: puppy, kitten
 Humans are born with a unique mix of precocial and
altricial characteristics
This mix may make it easier for us to acquire language and other
social behaviors
Postnatal Development
 Motor Development: The
progression of muscular
coordination required for
physical activities
Cephalocaudal trend (A)
Head-to-foot direction of
motor development
Proximodistal trend (B)
direction of motor
Postnatal Development
 Eleanor Gibson
Infants are equipped to investigate the world and to detect
relationships between themselves and the environment
Can detect invariances, such as gravity
 Can detect functional relationships, such as contingencies
Affordances: opportunities to interact with and explore the
The Visual Cliff Experiment
Infancy & Attachment
 Attachment: emotional relationship between a child and their primary
This first attachment has implications for all future relationships
Depends on the interaction between the infant and their caregiver
 John Bowlby
Attachment theorist that believed that infants and adults are genetically
predisposed to form attachments; since attachment provides evolutionary
 Mary Ainsworth
Attachment style in childhood has implications for future relationships
 Skinner
Attachment is the result of mutual conditioning between infant and
Attachment Research
 Harlow’s Monkeys
 Ainsworth’s “Strange
Situation” task
Identified 3 attachment styles
Securely attached
Insecurely attached –Avoidant
Insecurely attached – Anxious
 Eastern European
 Temperament: characteristic mood, activity level,
and emotional reactivity
Easy children (40%)
Slow-to-warm children (15%)
Difficult children (10%)
Mixed (35%)
Parenting Styles
Parent Behavior
Child Behavior
Rigid, punitive, strict
Unsociable, withdrawn
Lax, inconsistent,
undemanding, but warm
Immature, moody, lowself-control, dependent
Firm, sets limits and
goals, encourages
Good social skills,
likeable, independent
Emotionally detached,
only provides basic needs
Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development
 All humans go through the
exact developmental stages
in the same order
The ages at which each stage
occurs may be different
depending on culture
 What is considered
successful resolution of the
crisis may be different
between cultures
 Focus on the development
of positive identity
Erikson: Identity Formation
 Identity formation occurs during adolescence and
emerging adulthood
Identity diffusion: has not gone through an identity crisis and has
not made any commitments
Foreclosure: has not gone through an identity crisis, but has made
Moratorium: actively involved in exploring different identities and
has yet to make a commitment
Identity achievement: an individual who has explored different
identities and has made a tentative commitment to one
Piaget: Cognitive Development
Piaget Cognitive Development
 Tests of cognitive
Object Permanence
Conservation tasks
Point-of-view tasks
Possible Combinations
(The Sandwich Task)
Gender Identity
 Puberty: the period at which maturation of the sexual organs occurs
 Typically 11-12 for females (menarche)
 13-14 males (spermarche)
 Gender identity development has been shown to begin in infancy
 Infants prefer the actions of a gender-matched model over those of the opposite
gender at 10 months
 Sex: the biological presentation of males and females
 Gender: a psychological phenomenon that refers to learned sex-
related behaviors and attitudes
Different cultures have different accepted gender classifications
Moral Development: Kohlberg’s Model
Assessing Moral Development
 Disengagement theory of aging
 Aging produces gradual withdrawal from the world on
physical, psychological, and social levels
 Activity theory of aging
 Suggests that elderly individuals that remain active in interests
and activities from middle age are the most successful in the
aging process
 The importance of personal control in old age
 Langer & Rodin conducted a longitudinal study of elderly
nursing home residents on the effect of personal choice on
happiness and health
Group 1: Standard nursing home care
 Group 2: Increased personal choice / responsibility
 Group 3: No personal choice / responsibility
Residents given more autonomy were subjectively happier and
had significantly better health measures compared to the other
Residents in the No Control group had increased learned
Aging and Death
 Life review: the process by which people examine
and evaluate their lives
Ego Integrity vs. Despair
 Coping with death
 Denial
 Anger
 Bargaining
 Depression
 Acceptance