Chapter 1

PSYCH 212 / Developmental Psychology
Chapter 1
I. Objectives/Terms:
a. Understand the contributions of Victor’s story (and other ‘wild children’
we went over in class) to the field of human development.
b. Victor: The Wild Boy of Averyron
i. In 1800, found “wild” in the outskirts of French village (~12 years
of age)
1. Naked, climbing trees, & wild foraging
2. Uncomfortable in clothes
ii. Psychiatrist Itard (was recording this) “tamed” Victor
1. Used conditioning to mold social behaviors
2. Taught him words and recorded progress (he became a
functioning 3 year old in terms of language—tenses wrong
“me watch tv”—no abstract quality, no meaning, no
hypothetical or metaphorical)
c. Victors Story (this started the field)
i. First systematic attempt to study human development
1. First in how to educate the developmentally delayed
ii. Introduced fundamental questions:
1. Nature versus Nurture
iii. Personal Advances that Victor made:
1. Showed affection/ attachment and desire to please (he
wanted to please these people but there were limitations to
what he could do)
iv. Delayed:
1. Never learned to speak and social life was difficult
(socially awkward)
a. Looked like modern autistic features
2. Persistent language problems
d. Other Wild Children
i. Genie, found 1970, 13 years old
1. When she was found there were limits to the progress she
could make
2. Unfortunately, psychologically she never fully recovered
ii. John, the Ugandan Monkey Boy, mid 1980s, found at 4 years old
1. You couldn’t really tell that he had that experience
2. He has recovered
iii. Oxana, Ukrainian Dog Girl, found in 1991, age 8
1. Parents were extreme alcoholics and neglected her so she
went out and lived with the dogs
2. She has recovered you cant really tell that this has
happened to her in interviews and videos
II. Know the formal questions posed by developmental psychologists.
a. Main Questions:
i. How do people change from conception up through adolescence?
ii. What characteristics remain stable?
PSYCH 212 / Developmental Psychology
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III. What are the 2 types of developmental change? Be able to recognize examples.
a. Qualitative; difficult to quantify/ measure, difficult to anticipate (i.e.,
changing from nonverbal (giggling, crying) to verbal communication)
b. Quantitative; number or amount (i.e., on a scale of 1-10, how happy are
you today?, height or weight of a 2 year old, size of vocabulary)
IV. What have been the contributions of Tiedemann, Darwin, and Hall to this field?
a. Early approaches: baby biographies
b. Biographers= observed own children
c. 1787: Tiedemann
i. Observed sensory, motor, language, and cognitive behavior
ii. “Pre-linguistic knowledge”
iii. Erroneously though sucking was learned, no reflexive.
d. 1877: Darwin
i. Developmental similarities = common ancestors
ii. Introduced questions of Nature versus Nurture
e. Stanley Hall (late 1800s): Father of Child Psychology
i. First academic journal of developmental psychology
ii. Wanted to study children’s ‘minds’
iii. First to use questionnaires
iv. Grouped development based on types of answers… correct and
“not” correct
v. i.e., have you ever seen a cow? (yes), where? (in my bed)
V. What other 19th Century trends affected the child development field?
a. Medicine & Science
i. Survival rates increased
ii. Immunizations
b. Child Protective Laws
i. Mandatory schooling= more time in school but also more
c. Agriculture Education (like PSU)
i. Extension services helping farmer.. and then the farmers wife
(birth of hdfs program)
d. Psychology
i. A better understanding of childhood influencers
ii. A change from ‘needing’ to ‘wanting’ a child
VI. What are the 4 goals of child development? Be able to recognize examples.
a. i.e., language and sex development
b. Describe:
i. When do children say their first words? (around their first
ii. What are typical first sexual experiences? (holding hands/ kissing)
c. Explain Influences:
i. How do children learn to use language? (listening to others)
ii. What causes precious sexual behavior? (family context= disorder /
unwanted contact)
d. Predict:
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i. Will delayed language developmental affect speech? (yes)
ii. Does precocious sex leads to more STDs? (yes)
e. Modify:
i. Can therapy help speech delays? (yes)
ii. Is sex education for pre-teens related to lower STDs? (yes)
VII. What are the 4 interactive (they affect each other) domains of development? Be
able to recognize examples.
a. Physical: includes growth of the body, brain, sensory capacities, and
motor skills
i. i.e., a stickly child, tall-for-their size children
b. Cognitive: thoughts, feelings, emotions
i. Mental abilities: learning, attention, language
ii. i.e., inability to express self = frustration / increases cortisol levels
and evoked negative reactions in others
c. Psychosocial: primarily deals with personality and social relationships
i. i.e., anxiety about friendships at school can cause bed-wetting
(leads to worry about sleepovers)
d. Normative versus Non-Normative:
i. Normative are influences that affect many or most people. They
are normal or typical. They are specific for people of that age. An
event or influences that is experienced similarity by most people.
1. i.e., most kids hit puberty between 10-14 years
ii. Non-Normative are influences that only occur to a small number of
people. Not typical. Unusual events that have a major impact.
1. 2 Types
a. A typical event that happens at an atypical time
(i.e., pituitary gland problem that activates puberty
early; 6 years)
b. An atypical event (i.e., being born with a birth
defect or having a rare condition)
VIII. What is meant by the term ‘social construction?’ Be able to recognize examples
of socially constructed terms.
a. Periods of Lifespan: Social Construction
i. Social construction are periods that are based on subjective
perceptions or assumptions but are generally widely accepted as a
1. Childhood? (depends on the community you grew up in:
Amish versus more westernized?)
2. Adolescence?
3. Adulthood? (Are you adults or teenagers or somewhere in
between? Some societies don’t have limbo period between
childhood and adulthood.)
a. I.e., When do you become an adult? When the law
i. Legal Voting Age = 18
ii. Legal Drinking Age = 21
PSYCH 212 / Developmental Psychology
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iii. First kiss = marriage?
Prenatal Period: Conception—birth
Infancy and toddlerhood: birth—3 years
Early childhood: 3—6 years
Middle Childhood: 6—11 years
Adolescence: 11—20 years
Young adulthood: 20—40 years
Middle Adulthood: 40—65 years
Late Adulthood: 65 years and over
IX. Understand The 4 Contexts of Development
a. Family: What is family?
i. Depends, there have been great changes over time and place
ii. Nuclear Family (2 generations; bio parents and children):
1. History in farming (change from need to want; extend to
2. Not as common today (more single parents, blended
families, foster/adopt, more gay/lesbian homes, ‘no kids’)
3. Still dominant in western societies
iii. Today, Family is more defines as:
1. Economic unit
2. Cognitive and Psychosocial measures: Who do you
consider to be your family?
iv. Extended Family: a multi-generational kinship
1. Includes grandparents, cousins, aunts/ uncles etc.
2. Social roles are flexible (i.e., egalitarian)
3. Historically common in Asian, African, and Latin
American cultures
4. Becoming less typical
v. Birth Order: What is your role in the family?
1. Baby
a. Mascot—the ‘baby’
b. Brat
c. Personality—not as ambitious/ independent
2. Oldest
a. 3rd parents
b. Responsible, independent
c. Guinea pig for parents
3. Middle Child
a. ‘Lost child’
b. Trying to stand out (clown, drug addict)
c. Babysitter versus babysat
4. Only
a. Eggs all in the basket (parents have goals for their
PSYCH 212 / Developmental Psychology
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b. Babies, but responsibility as well
c. Sort of a mix of oldest and baby
b. Socioeconomic Status (SES)
i. Includes income (amount of money coming in the family),
education (highest level that you have reached or your parents
have reached), occupation (if you on your own or your parents)
ii. Poor children (low SES) are more likely to:
1. Have emotional and behavior problems
2. Have poorer school performance
3. Poverty Hurts Children
c. Culture & Ethnicity
i. Culture—a way of life
1. Customs, traditions & artwork
2. Learned behavior passed on
3. Can have geo-boundaries
4. i.e., same neighborhood/ school
ii. Ethnic Group: Shared identity/ attitude/ belief
1. United by ancestry, religion, language, or origin
2. i.e., African-American, Mexican-American
d. Historical Context
i. Unique time in which people live and grow up
ii. Experiences tied to time and place
1. What is it like to be a child/ adult of these times?
2. =Generational Cohort: a group of people your bound to
because you both experienced a certain thing. Events that
bind you. (Where were you September 11?)
iii. “Cohort Effects”: similarity due to being of the same cohort
1. i.e., WWII, The Depression, ‘The 60’s’, tattoos
X. Know the various terms associated with influences of timing. (on own from text)
Imprinting (Konrad Lorenz), critical periods vs. plasticity, sensitive period