Powerpoint slides

General Psychology
PSYC 200
Prenatal Development
The Competent Newborn
Physical Development
Cognitive Development
Social Development
Developmental Psychology
• continuity and change across the lifespan
• physical
• cognitive
• social
I Prenatal Development
• conception to birth
• sperm fertilizes the egg → zygote
• attaches to uterine wall at 14 days
• if zygote attaches to uterine wall → embryo
• weeks 3-8
• grows from a dot to an inch
• has a beating heart, limbs, fingers, and all major
4 weeks
8 weeks
• weeks 9-40
• time of rapid growth and development
• all structures and systems
• skeleton
• organs and muscles
• viable at 25 weeks
Genetic Influences
• inherit set of 23 chromosomes from each parent
• genes
• some traits are determined simply by one gene
• eye color
• most involve more complex patterns of genes
Environmental Influences
• How can the environment influence development
before a child is even born?
• mother’s nutrition, stress, illness
• illegal drugs, legal drugs, x-rays
• terotogens
• environmental agents that may harm prenatal development
• Would any decent parent give their newborn a
bottle full of beer?
• what is safe for Mom isn’t necessarily safe for her baby
• cumulative impact
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
• leading, known, preventable cause of mental
• lifelong and permanent condition
• growth deficiencies
• small; underweight; poorly coordinated
• mental and learning disabilities
• problems with learning, memory, attention span, speech,
language; difficulties in school; poor reasoning and judgment;
• social difficulties
• communicating; getting along with others
II The Competent Newborn
• impressive range and extent of abilities
instinctual, not learned
swallowing, coughing, blinking
rooting and sucking
• important for nursing
• startle reflex
How do we know?
• Better techniques led us to discover what babies
• preference technique
• habituation technique
Partial List of Newborn Abilities
can see, hear, smell, touch, taste
can recognize new from old stimuli
can imitate facial expressions
can recognize their own mother’s face
can distinguish Mom’s odor and voice from that
of other new Moms
• newborns prefer face-like images
• evolutionarily adaptive
III Physical Development
Discussion Questions
• Provide several examples of how egocentrism leads to false
beliefs in young children. Then describe how passing the false
belief test illustrates the acquisition of a theory of mind.
• The bonding experience between an infant and her mother
during breast-feeding is an important component to the
development of a secure attachment. Fathers of newborns often
are worried that their babies will not form an emotional bond
with them because they cannot participate in this experience.
Using the results from Harry Harlow's studies on socially
deprived rhesus monkeys as a rationale, explain why this worry is
Brain Development
• brain and nervous system are only partially
developed at birth
• 25%
• neural networks are still forming
Developmental Landmarks
• Estimate the age at which about 50% of children
begin to:
pedal a tricycle
sit without support
feel ashamed
walk unassisted
stand on one foot for 10 seconds
recognize and smile at mother or father
think about things that cannot be seen
• sit, crawl, walk, run sequence is universal
IV Cognitive Development
• a child’s mind is not a miniature version of an
adult’s mind
• fundamentally different way of thinking
Jean Piaget
• spent 50 years studying children’s cognitive
• babies begin with basic schemas
simple cognitive structures
sucking, grasping
cat, dog
babysitter; what happens at mealtimes, etc.
Note: Many children progress to next stage earlier than Piaget originally thought
Sensorimotor Stage
• babies understand the world through their
senses and movements
• limited to what can be perceived directly
• initially lack object permanence
• objects continue to exist when taken away or hidden
• stranger anxiety
• develops suddenly, usually around 8 months
• adaptive
Object Permanence
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjBh9ld
• infants show a limited sense of object permanence
as early as 4 months
• even at 3 ½ months!
possible event
impossible event
• 5 month-old infants may even be able to do math!
Preoperational Stage
• beginnings of logical thought
• develop language skills
• have representational thought
• leads to more imaginary play
• yet highly egocentric
• unable to take another person’s point of view
• No, my mommy!
• I’m 3 years old!
• animistic thinking
• believe inanimate objects are alive
• no theory of mind
• can’t grasp idea of mental representations
• difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is
• easily fooled by appearances
• difficulty processing negatively phrased
• “hold the guinea pig gently” vs “don’t squeeze the guinea pig
• have not yet mastered conservation
• notion that quantity does not change despite changes in
• have trouble mentally undoing something
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYcAjC_
Concrete Operational Stage
• realize that others may see, think, and feel
• thought is more logical and complex
• acquire conservation of number, substance,
length, area, weight, and volume
• but still limited to concrete problems
• can not think abstractly or hypothetically
Formal Operational Stage
• can think abstractly
• about the world of ideas
• philosophy, politics, etc.
• can think hypothetically
• more self-reflective
V Social Development
• How do infants establish emotional bonds with
their primary caregivers?
• Konrad Lorenz
• zoologist
Harry Harlow
• baby rhesus monkeys
• no social contact for first 6 months
• artificial “mothers”
• comfort, not nourishment formed the basis of the
• terror-stricken when placed in strange situations
without their surrogate mothers
• http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=231038
Bowlby’s Attachment Theory
• infants are predisposed to attach with primary
• innate
• use primary caregiver as a secure base
Mary Ainsworth
• “strange situation”
• procedure for assessing a child’s attachment to its mother
• classified according to their response
Attachment Styles
• Secure (60%)
• shows distress when caregiver leaves
• glad to see caregiver at reunion, but not clingy
• Ambivalent/Anxious (15%)
• panics when caregiver leaves
• reestablishes contact, but resists caregiver’s efforts at comfort
• Avoidant (20%)
not upset when caregiver leaves; does not greet caregiver
upon return
• Disorganized (5%)
• no consistent way of coping
And the winner is ….
• securely attached children
• play more cooperatively when interacting with friendly
• engage in more frequent and more mature forms of
interaction with peers
• more socially competent and independent in preschool; show
fewer behavior problems
• show better cognitive performance through at least