Counseling/Human Development

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Please read my comments in the Scientific Method section; I am worried by what I read in this text that I am following. I am not much happier with the neruropsychology material either, but it is not distressing me like this life-span material is. Rather than create annotated bibliographies from these texts, I will reconstruct the material from perspectives that concern me: the interrelations between intelligence, emotion, and communications. And from the perspective given by the instructor.--JohnBessatalk 19:47, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Human Development Introduction[edit | edit source]

Orderly, planned, enduring; it's all growth

Systematic changes and continuities from fertilization to death: physical, cognitive, psychosocial. Developmental change during any period involves both gain and loss; children gain cognitive abilities as they become adults, but lose self-esteem and are more prone to depression: aging results in wisdom. Changes are not better or worse, but result in a different person:

  • Gain
  • Loss
  • Continuities

Physical development[edit | edit source]


  • Body
  • Organs
  • Function of physiological system
  • Aging, physical aspects
  • Motor abilities, growth and decline

Cognitive development[edit | edit source]

Changes and continuities:

  • Perception
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Problem solving

Psychosocial[edit | edit source]

Changes and carryover in personal and interpersonal development:

  • Motives
  • Emotions
  • Personality traits
  • Interpersonal and relationship skills
  • Roles in society and family

Growth strata[edit | edit source]

  1. Prenatal
  2. Infancy
  3. Preschool
  4. Middle childhood
  5. Adolescence
  6. Early adulthood
  7. Middle adulthood
  8. Late adulthood

Age Norms[edit | edit source]

Age groupings for life's milestones are different for different types of societies, cultures, subcultures, and income levels:

  • Marrying
  • Children
  • Work
  • Retirement

Biological VS environmental growth influences[edit | edit source]

Nature VS nurture


Differences are differences in genes

  • heredity
  • maturation with respect to gene influence
  • predispositions from evolution
  • hormone influence
  • brain growth spurts


Learning and environmental stimuli, people should be alike or different according to environmental conditions

  • external physical
  • social conditions
  • stimuli
  • crowded living conditions
  • pollution, noise, chemical
  • other people's behaviors
  • family members
  • peers
  • teachers
  • education

Growth[edit | edit source]

Development is a product of the relationship between the two, where the two affect each other: bio-ecological.


  • genetic endowment
  • biological influences
  • maturation


  • effects of the surrounding environment
  • learning

Interrelationship: Brain, and organ, allows us to experience the surrounding environment, a major component of understanding growth.

(Examples needed here)

Layered environmental systems[edit | edit source]


  • Micro Immediate physical and social environment
  • Meso Interrelationships or linkages between microsystems
  • Exo Indirect social influences by distant linkages through meso links
  • Macro Societal and cultural "bigger picture" influences

Key assumptions of lifelong development[edit | edit source]

  1. Lifelong process
  2. Multidirectional
  3. Gain and loss
  4. Life-long plasticity Ability to change with environmental influences
  5. Historical-cultural context
  6. Multiply influenced
  7. Development is multidisciplinary

Development study strategies[edit | edit source]

Scientific Method[edit | edit source]

The authors state in the first sentence that "there is nothing mysterious about the scientific method," which implies that she hasn't attempted these complex new research strategies that are still being developed.

This chapter seems weak in that it is missing key developments:

  • Scientific modeling
  • Whole systems approaches (especially to culture and community)
  • Action Research (which eliminates a primary weakness of research by concurrently applying learning, especially the evaluation of participant responses, in-place as solutions to problems being researched)

Missing also are concerns about bias and preconception. Bias tends to victimize those who are unaware of it, or helps them victimize others. Preconception can be described as assumed hypothesis; the prevention being community involvement at the design criteria stages. Do they have design criteria stages?

With more reading, my question becomes "what of the missing bias concern in theory, or model development?" Concepts such as empathy and love are barely mentioned. Love is replaced with attachment, and morality is related to punishment in places.
The empathy model is partly a resource model; humans as higher organisms collaborate to create beneficial resources, or, if they cannot collaborate, they cooperate to take them. The natural tendency is towards collaboration, but a break in evolution, what Darwin called natural affection, has allowed some to create an environment of exploitation that has been refined in many places by oligarchs, such as the Socratics, to become exploitation structures such as the Roman capital system. Capital has been preserved for us through the ages in many ways, especially human capital, in which eduction is the biggest player-- universal extensions of institutions such as Plato's Lyceum. Bias certainly plays in human capital exploitation into recent time: the persistence of American slavery. If it is human capital, irrespective of reason, that this discipline, and hence this text, promotes through emotionally-blinded research strategies, then it will be evident in the text.

Many, smaller, components of the Scientific method are missing that I describe in middle school teaching such as the need for community in design and peer review, and the dangers of preconception and bias. If the author's research stratgies are deliberately self-limited, then does it follow that her ideas and the ideas she presents would likewise be limited, and the data possibly tainted? Also see here.

Theory, hypothesis, and proof[edit | edit source]
  • Describing a single phenomena
  • Generating ideas to create theories by making generalized observations
  • Theory that is a set of ideas that describe a phenomena
  • Data from systematic observation supports ideas
  • Discount or abandon flawed a idea if the data disproves it
  • Test ideas with disciplined observation and data collection
  • Trust the results of the data

General theories and ideas gathered from observation guide research design, which is the creation of hypotheses and tests to prove the hypotheses.

Theory is an explanation for phenomena leading to a hypothesis that creates a scenario that attempts to predict behaviors. The hypothesis is tested by observing behavior, and, depending on the results, the theory is accepted, revised, or rejected.

Sample[edit | edit source]

Group of individuals studied whose behaviors can be generalized to the larger population Random samples are best Samples are from local communities, and there is an attempt to apply the data widely Data cannot be applied to differing types of communities

Data collection[edit | edit source]

Self-report measures/verbal report[edit | edit source]

Interviews, questionnaires, tests

  • May not be useful for people who have impaired communication
  • There may be a desire to report in a socially favorable way
  • Computers help bypass aging issues and focus responses
Behavioral observations[edit | edit source]


  • Observing in natural environment
  • When self-reporting cannot be used
  • Only method for everyday life
  • Cannot pinpoint causes
    • Presence of observer may alter behaviors
    • Too many simultaneous events
    • Causes may be historical

Structured behavioral observation

  • Create environmental conditions to elicit response
Physiological measurements[edit | edit source]

Physical changes in the body linked to emotional changes that can be reliably measured

  • Electrical
  • Hormonal
  • Heart rate
  • Brain scan

Experimental method[edit | edit source]

Alters an aspect of the environment to see how behaviors change

  • Independent variable alters the environment
  • Dependent variable is measured

Manipulation of the independent variable

  • Different groups are given different experiences
  • Random assignment to assure that a wide variety of types of participants and that the groups are homogeneous so that data can be generalized
  • Control, all other factors have to be the same to assure that only the independent variable is different
  • Easily establish causal effects

Ethics may prevent an experiment

The controlled environment may make the experiment irrelevant if it is too different from the real world

Correlational method[edit | edit source]

If two or more variables in a natural environment are related in a systematic, or causal, way:

  • Experiences
  • Characteristics
  • Developmental outcomes

Does a certain event or condition causes a specific behavior?

Correlational coefficient is the measurement of the relationship between the two values that are being compared. It can range from +1 to -1, where +1 shows complete relationship, and a negative number shows a reversal of the relationship.

Correlational can only suggest causal relationships

  • Participants have already had different experiences
  • Environmental factors that may affect variables are too diverse in natural environments to be controlled or compensated for, and if past information is used, control is impossible.

Multiple influences can be studied simultaneously with the help of information technology. Computer networking can assist by increasing data-set sizes and data diversity and algorithms can show relationships that are otherwise invisible in the big data-sets.

Because the experiences have already happened, ethical issues are unlikely.

Developmental research designs[edit | edit source]

Cross-sectional: Factors about different age groups, or cohorts, are compared. Cultural differences may produce different results.

Longitudinal: A single cohort is assessed repeatedly over time

Sequential: Combine longitudinal and cross-sectional to show how each cohort is affected by the passage of time (age effects) and the environment during specific times, or cohort effects.

Rights and cultural in research[edit | edit source]

Protecting the rights of participants

Culture[edit | edit source]

Research needs to be widespread to help us understand how diverse environments affect development, and how interrelations between cultures affect it; the measurements and methods need to reflect this in ways that relate to individual cultures, sub-cultures, and socioeconomic groupings, or SES--developmental differences between middle class, poverty-stricken, and wealthy economic levels.

Middle class or wealthy families are better able than poor families to provide supportive homes that stimulate developmental success.

Self-reporting materials and interview questions have to be meaningful within the scope of a group, especially with respect to translations.

Ethnocentrism as a belief of cultural self-superiority, or cultural bias, affect research design, and all social strata, especially minority cultures, are defined in terms of majority cultures, such as the White upper-middle-class.

Personal protection[edit | edit source]

Researchers may not hurt participants. They have to be aware that emotionally negative responses may cause distress, and have to carefully rationalize risks with respect to benefits.

If harm is likely, researchers must develop another strategy. Federal regulations state that research risks should not exceed any other type of examination, and that the researcher is held responsible for damage.

Research information is confidential, and likewise protected by federal laws such as HIPAA.

Theories[edit | edit source]


  1. stage theories
  2. learning theories
  3. complex system theories

May be the work of theoretical eclectics

Developmental theories[edit | edit source]

  • internally consistent
  • falsifiable
  • supported by data

Major issues[edit | edit source]

  1. nature and nurture (biological and environmental)
  2. goodness and badness of human nature
  3. activity and passivity
  4. continuity and discontinuity
  5. universality and context specificity

Psychoanalytic Theory[edit | edit source]

  • Influential
  • Difficult to test and support
  • Not easily falsifiable
  • Better at describing than explaining

Freud[edit | edit source]


  • irrational
  • biological instincts that are inborn and unconscious

Personality partitions that emerge in order:

  • id
  • ego
  • superego

Libido is channeled across psychosexual stages that involve psychic conflicts that create the need for defense mechanisms:

  1. oral
  2. anal
  3. phallic
  4. latent
  5. genital


  • Biological needs drive development
  • Parents affect a child's ability to deal with conflict
  • Parental restriction can lead to emotional problems

Erikson[edit | edit source]

Neo-Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory

Psychological development stages:

  • trust
  • autonomy
  • initiative
  • industry
  • identity
  • intimacy
  • generativity
  • integrity

Conflicts are resolved:

  • parents
  • peers
  • culture

Differences with Freud:

  • social influences over biological
  • ego over id
  • more optimistic about human nature
  • human ability to overcome early problems
  • whole life-span

Learning theories[edit | edit source]

  • well-supported and applicable
  • do not explain changes
  • biological influences underemphisized
  • growth is gradual change
  • environmental influences cause development in many directions

Watson[edit | edit source]

  • "classical" conditioning

Skinner[edit | edit source]

  • operant conditioning
    • reinforcement strengthens behavior
    • punishment weakens behavior

Bandura[edit | edit source]

  • social-cognitive
  • cognitive processes in (from?) observational learning
  • human agency
  • self-efficacy
  • reciprocal determinism
    • person
    • behavior
    • environment

Cognitive developmental theory[edit | edit source]

Piaget[edit | edit source]

Constructivist, absolute universality

  • intelligence is adaptive
  • understandings from interactions
  • growth in distinct stages
  1. sensorimotor
  2. preoperational
  3. concrete operational
  4. formal operational

Systems theories[edit | edit source]

Focus on systems and not the entirety of growth Individual and environment:

  • ongoing transactions
  • mutual influence

Ethology[edit | edit source]

Evolution of species-specific behaviors

Epigentic psychological systems (Gottlieb)[edit | edit source]

Mutual influences among genes in terms of evolution and growth, or epigenetic process:

  • neural activity
  • behavior
  • environment

Genes, Environment, and Development[edit | edit source]

Evolution and species heredity[edit | edit source]

Human similarity:

  • Species heredity, which is a product of evolution
  • Cultural heredity through the evolution of culture

Darwin: Genetic variation within a species that gives some species members an advantage in adapting to the environment, those members will reproduce more spreading those genetic variations.

Individual heredity[edit | edit source]

  • Egg and sperm each contributes 23 chromosomes
  • Meiosis joins each contribution to form single-cell zygote with 46 chromosomes
  • Parent and child share 50%
  • Siblings share 50% on average
  • chromosomes have 20,000-25,000 genes
  • differences and similarities
    • groups
    • species

Environmental factors

  • genotype -- genes
  • phenotype -- traits

Regulator DNA -- controls gene expression, or phenotype

  • genetic code
  • environmental factors

Inheritance mechanisms:

  • single gene-pair
  • sex-linked
  • polygenic, or multiple, gene

Non-inheritance mechanisms:

  • mutations (cancer?)
  • choromosome error syndromes
    • Down
    • Turner
    • Klinefelter
    • fragile X

Genetic counseling tests:

  • amniocentesis
  • chroionic villus sampling
  • ultrasound
  • preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • maternal blood sampling

Strong genetic and environmental influences[edit | edit source]

Behavioral geneticists do studies between pairs of people:

  • selective breeding
  • twin adoption

They use statitiscal techniques to estimate the hereditability of traits with shared sibling influences or non-shared environmental influneces:

  • concordance rates
  • correlation coeeficients

Molecular genetic studies compare identifiable gene variants:

  • people who have them
  • people who do not have them

Individual differences[edit | edit source]

Genotype: physical physiological


  • intellectual abilities
  • personality traits
  • social attitudes


  • creativity
  • parent-child attachment


  • intelligence rates are inherited
  • infant mental growth is influenced by species-wide maturation plan
  • childhood and adolescence mental growth influences:
    • individual genotype
    • non-shared, or individual, environmental influences
    • less-so with shared environmental influences with growth

Personality and temperament[edit | edit source]


  • genotype
  • non-shared, or individual, environmental influences
  • less-so shared environmental influences with growth

Psychological disorders[edit | edit source]

May require interaction of genotype with environmental stresses:

  • schizophrenia

Hereditary and environmental conspiring[edit | edit source]

Life-span influences:

  • genes
  • non-shared environmental

Childhood influences:

  • shared environmental

Gene-environment interactions:

  • environment influences how genes are expressed
  • genes influence how people react to the environment

Genetic predispositions determine what experiences and environments people seek:

  • passive
  • evocative
  • active

Prenatal, Perinatal, and Neonatal Development[edit | edit source]

Prenatal development[edit | edit source]


1. conception
2. germinal
  • single-cell zygote multiplies and implants in the uterus
  • two weeks
3. embryonic
  • organogeneisis: major organs take shape
  • placenta forms and connects child to mother with umbilical cord
  • heart formation and starting
  • sexual differentiation
  • ends with eighth week
4. fetal
  • body and brain become viable at 23-24 weeks
  • neural multiplication and differentiation

Prenatal environment[edit | edit source]

Quality influences:

  • age
    • women in 20s have lowest complication rates
  • emotional state
    • stressed mothers have smaller babies
  • nutrition
  • father's characteristics (biological or behavioral?)

Teratogens harm organs:

  • diseases
    • rubella
    • syphilis
    • AIDS
  • drugs
    • prescription
    • street
    • over-the-counter
    • alcohol
  • environmental agent
    • radiation
    • pollution

Teratogens do most damage:

  • organ is growing fastest
  • exposure
  • strength

Teratogen effects:

  • genotypes of mother and child
  • environments
    • prenatal
    • postnatal

Perinatal environment[edit | edit source]

Birth is a three stage process:

  1. regular contractions of uterus, and dialation of cervix
  2. emergence of baby
  3. delivery of placenta

Delivery assistance:

  • vacuum extraction
  • forceps
  • cesarean section, or other surgical removal
  • medications
    • pain reduction with spinal blocks or epidurals
    • promote contractions with oxytocin


  • Anoxia, or oxygen deprivation, can result in brain or neurological damage in minutes

Neonatal environment[edit | edit source]

One month after delivery Breastfeeding:

  • common to all cultures
  • some mothers start with bottle feeding or switch to it

At-risk babies out-grow problems if they have personal resources:

  • sociability
  • intelligence
  • supportive environment
  • love

Problems for at-risk infants:

  • short-term
  • long-term

Health and Physical Development[edit | edit source]

Influenced by genotype, life-style choices, sociohistorical context

Building blocks[edit | edit source]

Endocrine glands regulate behavior by putting hormones in the blood system:

  • pituitary
  • thyroid
  • testes
  • ovaries

Brain development:

  • greatest during late prenatal and infancy with plasticity
  • occurs through life span

Integrated and differentiated growth principles:

  • cephalocaudal, or head-to-tail
  • proximodistal, or center outward
  • orthegenetic, or global

Infant[edit | edit source]

  • reflexes
  • sensory capabilities
  • organized states
  • ability to learn from experiences

Motor milestones[edit | edit source]

Dynamic systems model:

  • crawling
  • walking
  • reaching
  • grasping

Child[edit | edit source]

Physical changes less than infancy or adolescence.

Physical activity is an important component of health.

Car accidents are leading cause of child death.

Health is influenced by parents:

  • socioeconomic status
  • lifestyle choices

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

  • growth spurts and sexual maturation
  • emotionally affected by maturation, especially girls
  • worry about appearance and abilities


  • boys have advantage when early
  • girls want to mature with peers

Choices by adolescents can have short-term and long-term effects; most adolescents are healthy, sendentary adolescents can be obese

Adult[edit | edit source]

Declines are noticable in older adults:

  • menopause
  • andropause
  • neural response decline
  • physical activity extends life span and health

Symptoms of aging are variable:

  • disuse
  • abuse
  • disease
    • osteoporosis
    • osteoarthritis

Perception[edit | edit source]

  • sensation: sensory stimulation
  • perception: interpretation of sensed stimulation
  • innate: nativist
  • sensed: constructivist

Infancy[edit | edit source]

Sensory and perceptual abilities are innate but need experiences to develop the abilities into skills during sensitive periods. Infants provide themselves with sensory stimulus by exploring their environments.

Visual system works well at birth and improves during 6 - 12 months. They perceive depth during first year but must learn to use the information.

Auditory and other senses also well developed at birth; parents can be recognized by voice and infants can distinguish some sounds better that adults.

Cross-modal perception, or the ability to recognize through one sense what was learned through another sense, develops during 3-6 months and matures during childhood.

Visual pattern preferences:

  • contour
  • movement
  • moderate complexity

Infant perception study methods:

  • habituation evoked potentials
  • preferential looking
  • operant conditioning

Childhood[edit | edit source]

Children learn to use information from senses:

  • they can sustain attention for longer periods
  • direct perception by filtering out distracting information
  • plan and implement perceptual inquiry

Adolescence[edit | edit source]

Sensation and perception are at peak levels, and attention control improves.

They are sensitive may lack ability to act responsibility; the often ignore the possibility of hearing loss from loud noise.

Adulthood[edit | edit source]

Sensory abilities decline:

  • thresholds increase
  • perceptual processing of senses may decline


  • cataracts
  • pupil response
  • presbyopia -- thickening of the lense
  • retinal changes
    • macular degeneration
    • retinitis pigmentosa
  • glaucoma

Hearing, or presbycusis:

  • high-pitched sounds
  • speech perception
    • noisy conditions

Taste and smell:

  • slight declines

Other senses:

  • touch
  • temperature
  • pain

Cognition[edit | edit source]

Constructivist approach[edit | edit source]

Jean Piaget

Children use active exploration of the environment to create cognitive structures, or schemes, in four stages.

Organisms adapt to their environments using intelligence.

Children organize their understanding of the world by constructing a perception in which they insert new information, or adapt existing structure to accommodate new information.

Infant[edit | edit source]

Sensorimotor stage consists of motor reaction to sensed information.

Object permanence: objects exist outside of the context of immediate experience

Symbolic capacity: one thing can represent something else; a picture can relate to an object. This skill allows for pretend play and language.

Child[edit | edit source]

Helped structurt growth concepts but underestimated the abilities of children

  • stages do not relate (coherent)
  • vague explanations
  • underestimating role of language and social interaction

Preoperational stage (pre-school):

  • Perceptionally salient features of a task or object (no logical reasoning)
  • egocentric, cannot see others' points of view

Concrete operational stage of growth during childhood enables logical reasoning about concrete information:

  • logic
  • conservation (resource?)
  • classification
  • decentrate
  • reverse thought (reversibility of thought)
  • transform ideas (transformational thought)

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

Formal-operational thought:

  • hypothetical reasoning
  • simultaneously consider multiple task components
  • special forms of egocentrism (??misuse of term)
    • imaginary audience
    • personal fable

Adult[edit | edit source]

Formal-operational thought

  • education
  • culture
  • area of expertise

Sociocultural influences[edit | edit source]

Vygotsky (1930s)

  • Believe that how we develop, particularly how we learn to think, is primarily a function of the social and cultural environment in which we are reared. It emphasizes what makes people different thinkers rather than what we all have in common as people.

Four different levels of development that should be studied:
1. Ontogentic Development:

Development of the individual over his or her lifetime.

2. Microgenetic Development:

Individual across very short/small periods of time. Focuses on teaching someone something and seeing how strategy can play a role in remembering something.

3. Phylogenetic Development:

Changes across evolutionary times.

4. Sociohistorical Development:

Change across history that's occurred in the culture (ie computers).

  • Elementary Mental Functions
    • Cognitive abilities that children are born with, like attention, sensation and perception, vision, and memory abilities. These abilities are the same across cultures.

  • General Genetic Law of Cultural Development
    • Higher level of mental functions first appear in a child's social interactions. Then, the child begins top internalize them. Largely a function of a caregiver helping a child to grow, it's not something that just happens because of the neural pathways become more diverse and numerous.

  • Zone of Proximal Development
    • For every skill and every ability. A zone that is determined by what a child can do alone at one end, the bottom end, and what a child can do in that area with adult guidance. Ex: 4 year old comes and says "I sure would like to have some cookies, I wish we could make some cookies." 4 year old can't make cookies, so they make them together. As a caregiver, there are some aspects of the task that the 4 year old can do as long as you're there guiding them.

  • Scaffolding
    • Occurs anytime the caregiver modifies the interactions with the child so they can perform at their highest level of their ability. Doesn't believe in homogeneity. Learning is very task specific.


  • passes:
    • culturally valued thinking
    • problem solving
  • shapes:
    • thought

evolution path:

  • social speech
  • private speech
  • inner speech

Memory Information Processing[edit | edit source]

Memory[edit | edit source]

Definition of Memory:

  • The means by which we retain and draw on our past experience to use that information in the present.
  • The dynamic mechanisms associated with encoding, storing, and retrieving information about past experiences.
    • Encoding - transforming data (perceptual, preesxisting in memory, or inferred) into representations.
    • Storing - maintaining representations across time.
    • Retrieval - accessing stored representations.

Explicit Memory vs. Implicit Memory

  • Explicit Memory
    • Conscious access to stored data & experiences.
    • What the layperson typically considers memory
    • Measured with commonly known tasks of recall (e.g., essay questions) and recognition (e.g., multiple choice).
  • Implicit Memory
    • Unconscious access to stored data & experiences.
    • Measured with tasks that "prime" or "activate" representations.
    • Typical measure is increased speed of "primed" condition as compared to "unprimed" condition.
    • Another typical measure is bias, (ie the tendency to choice a particular "primed" option more often than an "unprimed" option.

Explicit Memory Tasks

Types of Recall:

  • Free Recall -
    • Recall all the words from a list, in any order.
  • Cued Recall -
    • Subjects are given a cue to facilitate recall.
    • Recall as much as possible about "Civil War".
    • Subjects learn pair items (e.g., words, pictures) and then are given one of the pair and asked to recall the other.
  • Serial Recall -
    • Need to recall order as well as items.
    • Recall the names of all American presidents in the order they were elected (or impeached).
  • Recognition -
    • Select from a list of previously presented items.
    • Circle all the previously studied words.
    • Indicate which pictures were presented yesterday.
    • Chose the correct answer from 5 alternatives.


  1. long-term memory
  2. storage


  • recognition
  • cued recall
  • recall memory

Use recalled information

  • problem solving

Infant[edit | edit source]

Memory with birth

  • recognition


  • 2-3 months with cues
  • 1 year without cues

Deliberate conscious recall

  • 2 years

Child[edit | edit source]

Fundamental process become automated to free memory space

Memory strategies develop to process information in areas of expertise through an overlapping natural selection process rather than steps from one way to thinking to the next:

  • rehersal
  • organization
  • elaboration
  • systematic rules (Siegler)
  • replacement of faulty rules with relevant rules

Adolesent[edit | edit source]

Advanced learning strategies:

  • elaboration
  • note taking
  • underlining
  • deliberate and selective use
    • strategies
    • metacognitive abilities to guide learning

Adult[edit | edit source]

  • domain expertise
  • bases are organized and large
  • retrieval and use is specialized and automated

In real-life problem-solving skills improve early to middle adulthood and remain through old age.

Age differences:

  • basic processing capacity
  • difficulty with strategies
  • contextual factors
    • cohort differences
  • laboratory problem solving tests

Older adults out-performed by younger:

  • speed memory tasks
  • unfamiliar or meaningless material
  • unexercised abilities
  • recall (facts?) over recognition (constructed?) memory
  • explicit over implicit memory

Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Psychometric: Traits that can be measured and compared with age mates

  • Stanford-Binet
  • Wechsler

Global increase in scores (Flynn effect):

  • nutrition
  • living conditions
  • education


  • genotype
  • home
    • intellectual stimulation
    • parental involvement
    • responsive stimulation
  • social class
    • increased IQ for children who move from low to high income homes
  • racial differences
    • stereotype threat
    • genetic factors

Mentally retarded functioning is deterimed by IQ determines depending on causes of retardation:

  • organic
  • cultural-familial

High IQ scores:

  • above-average success in life

Cognitive development approaches:

  • qualitatively different stages (Piaget)
  • sociocultrually transmitted modes of thought (Vygotsky)
  • information processing (memory and problem solving)
  • psychometric measurement


  • novel
  • socially valued
  • divergent and not convergent
  • independent of IQ intelligence

Infant[edit | edit source]

DQ scores do not predict IQ well

  • Bayley scale

Information processing speed measures:

  • rapid habituation
  • preference for novelty

Child[edit | edit source]

Creativity decreases

IQ scores are predictive of future scores Variation in growth:

  • major gains in favorable environments
  • cumulative deficit for disadvantaged

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

  • stable through adolescence
  • IQ scores predict school achievement and years of education

Creativity rises:

  • thrives in homes where independence is valued

Adult[edit | edit source]

IQ stable throughout adulthood Correlations:

  • occupational status
  • heath during adulthood

Age declines:

  • fluid more so
  • crystallized less so


  • high for young adults in areas of expertise
  • declines with old age
  • survives for elders in some fields

Language and Education[edit | edit source]

Mastering language[edit | edit source]

Acquired easily:

  • inborn readiness
  • environment

First few years and refined through adolescence:

  • phonology
  • semantics
  • morphology
  • syntax
  • pragmatics

Infant[edit | edit source]

Opportunities for success are necessary because a desire to master environment predicts achievement motivation.

Learned helplessness orientation results from lack of opportunities.

Child[edit | edit source]

Reading requires effort as children have to create phonologial interpretation of the alphabet. Success is variable.

Schools succeed when they provide a good fit between academics and students. Fit should extend to students at the individual level.

Success is not correlated by:

  • spending
  • class size
  • ability grouping
  • length of school
    • day
    • year

Students from motivating, comfortable, task-oriented environments that integrate parents into learning are more successful. Students from advantaged homes have highest performance.

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

Achievement motivation drops:

  • cognitive growth
  • family characteristics
  • peer pressure
  • poor fit by school

Asian students outperform US students:

  • more hours of study
  • Asian parents value academics

Adult[edit | edit source]

Adults inherit achievement motivation.

Women who raise children may lose achievement motivation. Mothers with higher education can recover achievement motivation when children get older.

Adults who struggle with literacy may have achievement motivation to return to school.

Self and Personality[edit | edit source]

Conceptualizing the self and personality[edit | edit source]

Personality is the organized attributes of the individual:

  • self-concept is perception of attributes
  • self-esteem is evaluation of self-worth
  • identity is a coherent self-definition

Big Five personality dimensions, or traits, of personality (McAdams and Pals):

  1. similar as a result of evolution
  2. different because of dispositional traits
  3. differ in changeable attributes
  4. construct unique narrative identities
  5. shaped by cultural and situational factors

Psychoanalytic (Erikson):

  • personality changes in stages at similar ages

Trait theory:

  • dimensions are enduring

Social learning:

  • people adapt to social environments in anyway at any time

Infant[edit | edit source]

First year:

  • seperate from surrounding environments
  • affect them

18-24 months:

  • display self-recognition
  • age and sex categorical self-base

Temperaments are different and influenced by genotype and fit to environment and only moderately predicts later personality

Thomas and Chess:

  1. easy
  2. difficult
  3. slow to warm up


  • behavioral inhibition


  1. surgency/extraversion
  2. negative affectivity
  3. effortful control

Child[edit | edit source]

Personality traits become consistant showing correlations between early temperaments and Big Five.

Preschool self-concepts:

  • physical characteristics
  • activities

8-year-old self-concepts:

  • inner psychological traits
  • use social comparison to evaluate competencies

Self-esteem reaches high levels with:

  • competence
  • rate well in social comparisons
  • warm and democratic parents

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

Self-awareness increases, and self-esteem usually rises but may decline.


  • psychological
  • abstract
  • integrated

Conflict of identity (Erikson) as identity VS role confusion of college-agers at different rates in different domains:

  1. diffusion
  2. foreclosure
  3. moratorium
  4. identity achievement status

Narrative identity, or life story, is an approach to identity study.

Adult[edit | edit source]

Older adults maintain self-esteem:

  • converge their ideal and real selves
  • change standards of self-evaluation
  • compare themselves with other older adults

Rise with age:

  • Big Five dimensions self-ranking stabilize with age
  • emotional stability and conscientiousness rise with age

Decline with age:

  • openness to experience
  • activity level

Stability VS change


  • genotypes
  • early experiences
  • stable environments
  • gene-environment relationships (phenotype dynamics)


  • biological or environmental changes
  • poor-person-environmental fit

Psychosocial theory is supported by successful maturity through conflict resolution. Foundation:

  • trust
  • autonomy
  • industy

Results: All ages:

  • integrity


  • identity

Young adult:

  • intimacy


  • generativity


  • life review

Young adults:

  • explore and question early
  • 30s, selttle down
  • 40s, achieve peak success

Older workers:

  • maintain productive levels
  • higher satisfaction
    • selective optimization
    • compensation to cope
  • stability in physical and psychological health after retirement

Retirement negative changes:

  • pre-retirement
  • honeymoon
  • disenchantment
  • reorientation
  • drop in income

Activity and disengagement theory in retirement do not emphasize:

  • person-environment fit
  • selective optimization with compensation

Gender Roles and Sexuality[edit | edit source]

Gender roles:

  • interaction of biological influences and socialization


  • learning of gender-role norms and stereotypes


  • psychologically more similar than different


  • physical
  • psychological
  • social

Differences are small and becoming smaller:


  • aggressive
  • ative
  • assertive
  • developmentally vulnerable

Problem solving:

  • spatial
  • mathematical


  • less aggressive
  • compliant with adults
  • tactful
  • nurturant
  • anxious

Problem solving:

  • verbal tasks

Infant[edit | edit source]

Boys and girls are similar despite being treated differently by adults.

Age 2:

  • know their gender
  • play with gender-appropriate preferences

Child[edit | edit source]

2-3 year olds know gender sterotypes.

Typing most rapid:

  • toddler
  • preschool

Rigid in gender norms during childhood school years and genders segregate themselves into groups:

  • strongest early on
  • relaxes later on

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

Intolerance in gender-role divisions and concern with conformance to gender norms (problems for same-sex youth?).

Gender-role development theories make useful contributions but none are complete:

  • biosocial theory (Money and Ehrhardt)
  • psychoanalytic approach (Freud)
  • social learning theory
  • cognitive development theory (Kholberg)
  • gender schema theory

Adult[edit | edit source]

Marriage and child-raising increases distinctions. Distinctions decrease as children get older.

Androgyny is beneficial for most, but not all, age groups or situations.

Sexuality[edit | edit source]

Infants and children are curious and experiment with their bodies.

Adolescent behavior is increasingly sexual.

Declines in sexual capacity with age does not fully explain sexual declines :

  • poor health, mental or physical
  • loss of partner
  • negative societal attitudes
  • abstinence

Social Cognition and Moral Development[edit | edit source]

Social cognition[edit | edit source]

Thinking about self and others:

  • social behavior
  • moral behavior



  • joint attention
  • pretend play

2 years:

  • theory of mind (simulation)
ability to infer another person's beliefs and desires from experiences or behavior
  • desire psychology

4 years:

  • belief desire

Theory of mind requires a normal brain and environment:

  • mirror neuron systems
  • beneficial social and environmental experience


  • physical features
  • activities

8 years:

  • inner traits


  • personality profiles created from interchanging trait profiles
  • role-taking adeptness

Social cognitive skills improve and are maintained through adulthood; they may decline late in life because of social isolation.

Perspectives on moral development[edit | edit source]

Moral development:

  • moral reasoning
  • moral affect
  • behavior


  • cognitive
  • affective
  • behavioral


  • superego
  • moral emotions

Cognitive development (Piaget):

  • premoral
  • heteronomous
  • autonomous

Kohlberg, each includes two stages:

  1. preconventional
  2. conventional
  3. postconventional

Social cognition (Bandura):

  • past learning
  • situational forces
  • self-regulatory processes
  • moral disengagement

Evolutionary theorists show adaptive benefits:

  • morality
  • pro social behavior

Infant[edit | edit source]

Moral growth is a*mutually responsive orientation between parent and child (Kochanska)

  • amoral
  • disciplinary encounters
    • right
    • wrong
  • internalize rules

Age 2:

  • empathy
  • prosocial behavior

Child[edit | edit source]

Preconventional moral reasoning

Children have moral sophistication (underestimated by Kohlberg and Piaget):

  • consider intentions
  • distinguish between types of rules
    • moral
    • social conventional
  • question authority
  • preconventional moral thinking

Moral growth:

  • reinforcement modeling
  • disciplinary approach of induction


  • interacts with moral training

Moral inconsistency:

  • situational influences

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

Conventional moral reasoning emerges with many incorporating moral values into their senses of identity.

Antisocial behavior:

  • biopsychological interaction model
    • genetic predisposition
    • social-environment values
  • social information-processing (Dodge)
  • coercive family environments (Patterson)
    • negative peer influences


  • moral discussion groups (Kohlberg)
  • social information-processing skills (Dodge)
  • altering coercive family environments (Patterson)

Adult[edit | edit source]


  • moral thinking is maintained
  • minority progress from conventional to postconventional

Some elders:

  • advanced moral reasoning
  • spirituality
  • wisdom

Morality of justice (moral reasoning stages, Kholberg):

  • cognitive growth
  • social experiences
  • others' perspectives

Morality of care (Gilligan):

  • non-Western
  • conservative
  • women

Attachment and Social Relationships[edit | edit source]

Attachment theory (Bowlby-Ainsworth):

  • built into humans
  • develop through interaction of biological and environmental influences during a sensitive period
  • affect later development by shaping internal working models of self and other

Peer world of childhood:

  • reciprocal nature of peer relations (Piaget)
  • children are more socialized by peers than parents (Harris)

Infant[edit | edit source]

First year

Shortly after Birth, an infant's eyesight is 6-10 inches; which is actually the distance from the baby held in his mother's arms to her eyes. Amazing how this is set up to help nurture the parent-child relationship! An infant can also recognize the difference between human and non-human faces.

Biologically-based emotions:

  • fear
  • anger

Progress through phases:

  • undiscriminating social responsiveness
  • discriminating social responsiveness
  • active proximity seeking
  • goal-corrected partnership

First attachment at 6-7 months includes exploration from a secure base and anxiety:

  • separation
  • stranger

Second year, self-concision emotions:

Attachment figures:

  • arouse strong emotions
  • socialize emotions
  • help regulate emotions until infants can regulate their own emotions

Parental attachment:

  • before or shortly after birth
  • quickly establish synchronized routines

Strange situation parent-infant attachment(Mary Ainsworth):

  • secure
  • resistant
  • avoidant
  • disorganized-disoriented

Contact comfort is more important for attachment than feeding (Harlow).

Secure attachments in parenting:

  • sensitive
  • responsive

Infant characteristics:

  • temperment
  • achievement of person permanence

Difficulty forming normal relationships where recovery is possible:

  • long-term separation
  • social deprivation

Beneficial day-care does not disrupt parental attachment.

Secure attachment benefits later growth:

  • cognitive
  • social competence

Children can recover from insecurely attached infancy.

18 months:

  • complementary interactive exchanges (coordinated activity)
  • form friendships

Child[edit | edit source]

2-12 years:

  • parental goal-corrected partnerships
  • peer time increases with same-sex
  • play becomes more social and imaginative
    • social pretend play
    • organized games
    • hobbies

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

  • emotional intimacy
  • self-disclosure

Transition to different friends and groups:

  1. same-sex
  2. mixed-sex
  3. larger crowds
  4. dating relationships
a) fulfill needs:
  • self-esteem
  • status
b) genuine affection

Peers are usually positive.

14-15 years: Increased susceptibility to negative peers.

Poor parent relationships result in anti-social peers.

Adults[edit | edit source]

Internal working models from early attachment experiences:

  • secure
  • preoccupied
  • dismissing
  • fearful

Model affects:

  • romantic relationships
  • work
  • parenting
  • adjustment

Life satisfaction:

  • confidants
  • physical heath
  • cognitive functioning

Spouse relationships do not take away from long-lasting and equitable friendships.

Family[edit | edit source]

Changing social systems within changing societal systems:

  • single adults
  • fewer children
  • working women
  • divorce
  • fewer care givers for the aging

Infant[edit | edit source]

Benefit from mutually affective parental relationships.


  • less involved
  • challenging play

Positively influencing relationships between parents indirectly create positive outcomes for infants.

Child[edit | edit source]

Parenting dimensions:

  • acceptance
  • responsiveness
  • demandingness

Parenting style influences:

  • genes
  • socioeconomic status
  • economic hardship
  • culture

Children are more competent when parents are authoritarian.

Children's problems are not solely caused by parental effects:

  • parent and child effects
  • transactional models of family influence

Sibling relationships:

  • affection
  • rivalry
  • emotional support
  • care giving
  • teaching
  • social experience

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

  • parents remain close
  • initial conflict
  • become equal with negotiation

Adult[edit | edit source]

Sibling relationships continue in affection and rivalry with less contact.

Young adults and parents establish mutual relationships.


  • marital satisfaction declines with parenthood


  • empty nest transition
  • grandparenthood companionship

Middle-aged adults are mutually supportive of elder parents unless:

  • burden of care-giving
  • middle age squeeze

Diversity in family life: Traditional family life-cycle does not describe:

  • single or cohabitating adults
  • childless marriages
  • dual-career families
  • gays and lesbians, and same-sex marriages

Family violence[edit | edit source]

Contributing factors:

  • parent characteristics
  • child characteristics
  • contextual factors

Developmental Psychopathology[edit | edit source]

Origins and course of maladaptive behavior. Diathesis-stress model helps understand nature/nurture contributions.

Abnormal development[edit | edit source]

Diagnosing disorders:

  • statistical evidence
  • maladaptiveness
  • personal distress
  • DSM-IV

Infant[edit | edit source]

Autism responds to early behavior training:

  • deviant social responses
  • language and communication deficits
  • repetitive behavior
  • genotype
  • social cognition
  • mirror neuron

Depression-like symptoms from:

  • maltreatment
  • attachment separation
  • depression in parents
  • failure to thrive

Child[edit | edit source]

ADHD is an externalizing disorder:

  • inattention
  • impulsivity
  • hyperactivity
  • stimulant drugs and behavior training
  • may continue through life

Adolescent[edit | edit source]

Most do not experience storm and stress.

More vulnerable than children, but not more than adults.

Risk of depression rises especially among females.


  • cry for attention
  • attempts
  • less likely to succeed than adults

Adult[edit | edit source]

Young adults:

  • more life stress
  • more disorders
  • depression

Dementia increases with age:

  • neural deterioration
  • cognitive decline

Correctable conditions:

  • reversible dementias
  • delirium
  • depression