PSY-101 Principles of Psychology

PSY-101: Principles of Psychology
Chapter 9
Chapter 9: Lifespan Development
DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ● Study of the patterns of growth and change that occur
throughout the lifespan ○ Physical, Cognitive, and Psychosocial Changes
● The Nature vs. Nurture debate ○ Psychologists typically take an interactionist
perspective ■ Both nature and nurture interact
PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT ● “Before birth” Development
● Environmental influences ○ Mother’s nutrition ○ Mother’s illness ○ Mother’s emotional state ○ Mother’s drug use
● Reflexes ○ Unlearned (i.e., innate) automatic responses to stimuli
■ Rooting ■ Sucking ■ Gagging ■ Grasping
○ Most disappear within 4 to 5 months
ATTACHMENT ● The positive emotional bond that develops between a
child and a particular individual ● Feelings of comfort and security are the critical
components in building a positive attachment ○ See Harlow’s monkey studies

BAUMRIND’S PARENTING PRACTICES ● Authoritative is the ideal style in many cultures
○ High responsiveness: There is love, care, and affection ○ High control: There are rules, limits, and structure
● Other styles lack either control, responsiveness, or both ○ Lack of control (e.g., permissive parenting) can lead to
risky adolescent behavior ○ Lack of responsiveness (e.g., authoritarian parenting)
can produce anxious and unhappy children
ERIKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ● Humans enter a “crisis” at each developmental period
○ Resolution of the crisis is mostly dependent on environmental factors (e.g., interactions with parents, teachers, peers)
● Resolution of a crisis does NOT predict the resolution of following crises ○ One exception!
■ A resolution of the identity crisis in adolescence predicts the resolution of the intimacy crisis
ADOLESCENCE ● The socially constructed stage between childhood and
adulthood ● Not as “bad” as once thought
○ Research does not support the idea of a typical “adolescent rebellion”
● Frontal lobes of brain have not finished developing ○ Responsible for judgement, impulse control, planning
● Peer groups tend to become more important than family
Sensorimotor Stage (0 to 2 years) ● “Thinking” is sensory experience (e.g., seeing, hearing, touching, tasting) ● These infants lack object permanence
Preoperational Stage (2 to 6 years) ● One-way thinking through words and symbols; no logical reasoning ● These children are egocentric and lack conservation
Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 11 years) ● Logical thinking with tangible events and analogies ● These children aren’t able to think abstractly
Formal Operational Stage (12 years) ● Thinking abstractly ● These people can engage in hypothetical reasoning



PIAGET’S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT ● There are some major criticisms of Piaget’s theory
○ Many think development is continuous and therefore this discontinuous stage-like model isn’t accurate
○ Many have observed children reaching cognitive milestones long before Piaget would have argued
○ Argument for a fifth stage beyond Formal Operations ■ Postformal thought
● Emotions become more integrated with logic over time
● Argues that cognitive development is continuous, not stage-like
● If we receive scaffolding (i.e., support) from more capable individuals within our zone of proximal development, we’re able to cognitively progress at astonishing rates
KOHLBERG’S MORAL DEVELOPMENT ● People go through three broad levels of moral reasoning
as they age ○ Preconventional Morality (before age 9)
■ Something is wrong if there’s a punishment ○ Conventional Morality (early adolescence)
■ Something is wrong if it’s against the rules ○ Postconventional Morality (adolescence and beyond)
■ Something is wrong if it is against the “greater good”
ADULTHOOD ● For most, early adulthood is the peak of physical health
○ After 25, the body becomes slightly less efficient and more susceptible to disease
● Cognitive ability can remain strong throughout life ○ Maintain a balanced diet ○ Exercise regularly ○ Engage in social interaction
WHY DO WE “GROW OLD”? ● Genetic Preprogramming Theory of Aging
○ Human cells have a built-in time limit to their reproduction ○ The “nature” side of aging
● Wear-and-Tear Theory of Aging ○ The mechanical functions of the body work more or less
efficiently depending on how it’s treated over time ○ The “nurture” side of aging
DEATH AND DYING Kübler-Ross’s five-stage model of grief:
● Denial ● Anger ● Bargaining ● Depression ● Acceptance
● Not necessarily experienced in this order (or at all for some) ● Reaching acceptance allows one to die with dignity


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