Tufts, Fall ’22
OOP for GUI
Intro to Psychology
Big Bang to Humankind
Grimms’ Fairy Tales
Children & Mass Media
Chapter 10: Development Over the Lifespan
Intro to Psychology
How did we get to where we are today?
Nurture vs. nature - it’s both!
Tabula rasa (blank slate) → extreme nurture perspective
Infants are startled by loud noises
Infants are surprised by physically improbable events (magic)
Infants can see (with very limited range)
At 4-8 weeks, male embryos’ rudimentary testes secrete testosterone. Otherwise, all embryos would be anatomically female.
Stressed mother → underweight babies with abnormal cortisol levels.
Father over 50 → higher risk of child with schizophrenia.
Teenage father → higher risk of premature babies or low birth weight.
The Infant’s World
Babies are born with
, such as searching for something to suck on.
How to study babies:
: show something over and over until it becomes a habit, then change the stimulus and see whether the baby can tell.
: present two things and see which the baby looks at.
From Conception Through the First Year
: strong, intimate, long-lasting bond (often first one is the mother).
: around 6-8 months, babies become wary or fearful of strangers.
Predictors of insecure attachment:
Abandonment and deprivation in the first year
Stressful family circumstanceS (parent is ill, etc)
is a strong emotional connection to others.
It begins at birth (if not earlier).
Attachment is important because it motivates infants and parents to stay in close contact.
It occurs across species.
It’s not just about securing access to food.
Animals, humans included, have a need for emotional bond and comfort.
: ducks attach to the first large moving thing that they see (usually mother duck).
Harlows’ Monkeys Experiment
Physical touch is important to social development.
Monkeys prefer cloth “mother” to wire “mother”.
Babies develop different models of bonding to others (and dealing with threats to bonds).
As long as family and life circumstances are consistent, attachment style is constant.
Tested with “Strange Situation”.
Child is brought in with caregiver, stranger enters, caregiver leaves.
Infant plays while caregiver present
Departure of caregiver leads to distress, searching
Infant reacts positively to caregiver
Prefers caregiver to stranger
Not upset when caregiver leaves
No preference for caregiver/stranger
Doesn’t seek comfort upon reunion
Insecure-ambivalent / insecure-anxious
Anxious even when caregiver present
Inconsolable even upon return
Seeks and resists contact with caregiver
Social Roles and Gender Roles
: societal expectations regarding behavior or tendencies of a particular “type of person.”
: characteristics society associates with different genders.
Children pick up on these gender expectations as they grow up.
How much of later gender differences are due to nature vs. nurture?
(make updates in response to new experiences) information.
Piaget’s Stage Model
Birth - 2 years
Month 1: all reflex
Months 2-4: accidents happen and get repeated
Months 4+: intentionally try to manipulate world
Year 2: trial and error
Takes until 15-18 months to differentiate self from others
Major skill: object permanence
Abstract thought (fantasy play)
Concrete Operational Stage
Theory of Mind (put yourself in others’ perspective)
Actions are reversible
Focused on concrete, not abstract/hypothetical
Logically test hypotheses instead of trial and error
Can do long-term planning
Criticisms of Piaget
Stage model assumes all children in stage are the same
Some argue Piaget underestimated kids’ cognitive abilities
Kids seem to have some object permanence very young
Children may have an innate mental module for language.
Deaf children invent sign languages that show similar sentence structures to actual languages.
morality, not doing things for fear of punishment is seen in young children.
morality, based on conformity and approval of others as well as law, is seen around age 10+.
morality, reasoned based on abstract principles and universal human rights, is seen in some adults.
Getting Children to be Good
(physical punishment, taking things away, “because I said so”) are not effective and can backfire (child becomes angry and resentful).
(appealing to child’s own empathy and sense of responsibility) is more effective.
The Physiology of Adolescence
: ages 6-12, children’s adrenal glands pump out hormones that affect brain development, particularly an androgen called DHEA.
Divert glucose to brain to mature brain regions important to interpreting social and emotional cues.
During puberty, synapses in the prefrontal cortex (impulse control and planning) are pruned.
Stages and Ages
Trust vs mistrust
Autonomy vs shame and doubt (young children learning to be autonomous without feeling too certain of their actions)
Initiative vs guilt
Competence vs inferiority (school age)
Identity vs role confusion (adolescence)
Intimacy vs isolation
Generativity vs stagnation (middle adulthood - do you sink into complacency and selfishness?)
Ego integrity vs dispair
Cognitive deficits are observed in older individuals
Decreased working memory
Short-term memory declines more than long-term
Good health and socially active predict positive cognitive abilities
Some things improve: