In Chapter 3, you looked at how parents and their children pass on their hereditary tendencies.
How our genes influence our development is investigated by many psychologists.
In order to determine which traits are most influenced by genetic factors, researchers might look at identical twins.
Our genes help determine what skills we are born with, such as reflexes and motor skills.
Nature is the most important influence on our development.
The environment can affect us before we are born.
Teratogens can cause harm if they are eaten by the mother.
Teratogens can affect the fetus in profound ways if they pass through the placenta.
Alcohol is one of the most common teratogens.
Fetal brain development can be affected by small amounts of alcohol.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) can be a problem for children of alcoholic mothers.
Children with FAS have small skulls.
Fetal alcohol effect is a less severe effect of moderate drinking during pregnancy.
These children don't show all the symptoms of FAS, but they may have problems later in life such as learning disabilities or behavioral problems.
Alcohol is one of the teratogens.
Babies can share their parent's drug addiction with other drugs like cocaine and heroin.
Babies can die from the withdrawal symptoms associated with these addictions.
There are chemicals in the environment that can cause abnormal infant development.
The fetus may be exposed to certain germs that aren't screened by the placenta.
Some philosophers and early psychologists believed that humans are born without skills or reflexes.
They believed that a lack of reflexes was one of the factors that separated humans from animals.
Humans are far from blank slates when we are born.
Babies have a set of specific reflexes, which are specific, inborn, and automatic responses to certain stimuli.
We are born with these reflexes and lose them later in life.
Humans have other reflexes that remain with them throughout their lives, such as eye blinking in response to air in the eye.
As our brain grows, we lose reflexes listed in the table.
Humans have inborn reflexes and also have a sensory apparatus.
Some of the ways that babies sense the world are the same as the way you do.
Babies can hear even before birth.
A baby will try to turn his or her head to listen to the mother's voice.
Babies have the same preferences in taste and smell as we do.
Babies love the taste of sugar.
Babies are born with the basic preferences in place, even though we might learn to like the smell of fish or hate it.
Babies' vision is different than ours.
Hearing is the dominant sense when a baby is born because of their poor vision.
Babies are almost legally blind.
They can see up to 12 inches in front of them, but everything beyond that range is blurry.
As they get older, their vision improves to normal vision by the time they are about 12 months old.
Babies are born with certain visual preferences.
Babies like to look at faces and facelike objects more than any other object.
Babies are able to see their mother as soon as they are born because of their preference and their ability to focus about 12 inches in front of them.
All humans develop the same basic motor skills in the same sequence, although the age we develop them may differ from person to person.
Our motor control develops as our brain's myelinated cells connect with one another.
Research shows that most babies can roll over when they are about 5 months old, stand about 9 months, and walk on their own after 15 months.
The ages apply to babies all over the world.
The effect on motor skills is slight.
In this chapter, most of the influences have been genetic or prenatal.
Environmental influences affect how we develop.
Konrad Lorenz, a Biologist, established that some species respond in predictable ways to environmental stimuli, such as attaching themselves to individuals or objects they see during a critical period after birth.
The relationship between parent and child is one of the most important aspects of babies' early environment.
Some researchers look at how attachment affects development.
Some of the basic findings regarding attachment are shown by two researchers.
Harry Harlow raised baby monkeys with wire frame figures that looked like mother monkeys.
One of the mother figures was wrapped in soft material and the other was fitted with a bottle for the baby.
The baby monkeys preferred the soft mother figure over the figure that they fed from.
Babies fled to their mother for protection when they were surprised or stressed.
Harlow's studies show the importance of physical comfort in the formation of attachment with parents.
The monkeys raised by wire frame mothers became more stressed and frightened than the monkeys raised with real mothers when put into new situations.
These monkeys' behavior was affected by the deprivation of an attachment with a real mother.
The idea of attachment was researched by Mary Ainsworth.
When infants were placed into a strange situation, their parents left them alone for a short period of time and then returned.
Babies with secure Attachments are more likely to explore the novel environment while the parents are present, are more distressed when they leave, and come to the parents when they return.
Babies with avoidant Attachments may resist being held by their parents and explore a novel environment.
When they return after an absence, they don't go to their parents for comfort.
About 12 percent of the participants have resistant attachment to their children.
When the parents leave, they may show extreme stress but resist being comforted by them.
The research focuses on the behaviors of children.
The way we develop is influenced by the way parents interact with their children.
Diana Baumrind described three categories of parenting styles.
The authoritarian parents set strict standards for their children's behavior.
Obedient attitudes are valued more than the rationale behind the standards.
Reinforcement for desired behavior is more often used than punishment.
If you came in 15 minutes after your curfew, your parents might stop you from going out for the rest of the month.
Permissive parents don't set clear guidelines for their children.
The family's rules are not always enforced.
Family members may think they can get away with anything.
Your parents' reaction would be unpredictable if you came in 15 minutes after curfew.
They may not notice or threaten you with a punishment that they never follow through on.
The standards for children's behavior set by parents are reasonable and explained.
The rationale for family rules is discussed with children who are old enough to understand them.
The point of violating rules is not encouraged byitative parents.
The rules are reasonable and consistent in an authoritative house.
If you came in 15 minutes after your curfew, you would know the consequences of your actions.
Some students don't understand the terms authoritative and authoritarian.
The authoritarian style involves strict rules without much explanation, while authoritative parents set strict rules but make sure they are reasonable and explained.
Studies show that the authoritative style is beneficial to the home.
Children from authoritative homes perform better academically.
The children of permissive parents are more dependent.
Children of authoritarian parents are more withdrawn from peers.
Our upbringing influences our development according to these studies.
According to researchers, parenting style is not the final answer to why we develop the way we do.
It is a key influence along with genetic makeup, peer relationships, and other environmental influences on thought and behavior.
The argument about continuity versus discontinuity is one of the major controversies in developmental psychology.
We know that our development is not constant.
During our adolescent growth spurt, we grow more as an infant than at other times in our lives.
One answer to the question of continuity versus discontinuity is Lev Vygotsky's concept of a child's zone of proximal development, which is the range of tasks the child can perform independently and those tasks the child needs assistance with.
"scaffolds" can be provided for students to help them accomplish tasks at the upper end of their zone of proximal development.
Several theorists concluded that we go through certain stages in the development of certain psychological traits, and their theories attempt to explain these stages.
Stage theories are theories of development.
The first two stage theorists, Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson, base their stages on psychoanalytic theories, which is less reliable than the other stage theories.
They are included because their stages are still used to describe how we develop in specific areas.
Stage theories describe how different aspects of thought and behavior develop.
One stage theory may say different things about a child of the same age.
When you are contrasting stage theories, be careful.
It's like comparing apples with oranges.
Freud was the first to theorize that there are different stages in childhood.
Freud said we develop through psychosexual stages.
Sexual to Freud was not the act of intercourse but how we get pleasure from the world.
Freud said that if we fail to resolve a significant conflict in our lives during one of these stages, we could become fixated on the behaviors associated with that stage.
The neo-Freudian, who believed in the basics of Freud's theory, adapted it to fit his own observations.
Through his own life experiences of identity formation and his study in psychoanalysis with Anna Freud, he developed his own stage theory of development.
The psychosocial stage theory was created because he thought that our personality was influenced by our experiences with others.
The stages are centered on a specific social conflict.
You are not alone if Freud's psychosexual stages sound out of date to you.
Freud's stage theory is not likely to be used in scientific research according to many developmental psychologists.
The intellectual development of the children is a priority for parents.
Intelligence is a difficult trait to assess.
Researchers try to describe how children think about the world.
The most famous theory of this type is Jean Piaget's cognitive-development theory.
Some researchers are now questioning parts of his theory.
The first intelligence test was created by Alfred Binet and Jean Piaget noticed interesting behaviors in the children he was interviewing.
Even if the answers to the intelligence test were wrong, children of the same age almost always gave the same answers.
He thought that this was because they were all thinking in similar ways and the different ways adults think was different.
The hypothesis led to the theory of cognitive development.
The cognitive rules we use to interpret the world were described by Piaget.
In the process of assimilation, we usually incorporate our experiences.
Sometimes, information doesn't fit into our system and we have to change it.
A four-year-old boy named Daniel gets a pair of cowboy boots from his parents for his birthday.
He does not see anyone else wearing cowboy boots.
Only little boys wear cowboy boots.
Most of his experiences do not violate this.
He sees other little boys wearing boots.
Daniel's family goes to Arizona.
He sees a man in cowboy boots when he disembarks from the plane.
The man is laughing at Daniel.
His description has been violated.
After he stops laughing, Daniel will have to accommodate the fact that adults can wear cowboy boots as well.
As we develop our cognitive skills, we go through this process of creation, assimilation, and accommodation, according to Piaget.
Babies begin to explore the world through their senses.
At the beginning of life, Piaget said that behavior is governed by reflexes we are born with.
Soon, we will begin to develop our first cognitive schemata that explains the world we experience through our senses.
The object permanence is one of the major challenges of this stage.
Babies don't realize that objects still exist even when they are out of range.
Babies have object permanence when they start to look for things they can't see.
A child learns to use symbols to represent real-world objects after acquiring the scheme of object permanence.
The most important cognitive development of this stage is this ability.
We begin speaking our first words and begin to represent the world through language.
During the preoperational stage, we can refer to the world through symbols, but we are limited in how we think about the relationships between objects.
Children in this stage are egocentric since they can't see the world from anyone's perspective.
Children learn to think logically about relationships between objects during the concrete-operations stage.
The realization that the properties of objects remain the same even when their shapes change was one of the things that was categorized by Piaget in the concrete-operations stage.
The different aspects of objects are conserved even when their arrangment changes.
Table 9.1 has examples of the concepts.
Adult reasoning is described in the final stage of Piaget.
Not all of us reach formal operations in all areas of thought according to Piaget.
abstract reasoning is formal operational reasoning.
We can use objects and ideas in our mind without having to see them.
hypothesis testing is an example of abstract reasoning.
A child in the preoperational or concrete-operational stage wouldn't be able to answer the question because there isn't a real-world model to fall back on.
Someone in the formal-operations stage would be able to deduce from this hypothesis that the beings on that planet might not have eyes, would have no words for color, and might rely on other senses.
In the formal-operations stage, we gain the ability to think about how we think.
We can evaluate how we solved a problem by tracing our thought processes.
Most developmental psychologists agree that Piaget underestimated children, but they still value his insights about the order in which our cognitive skills develop.
Many children enter the stages earlier than predicted.
The way he tested children may be to blame for Piaget's error.
Some psychologists wonder if some of his tests relied too heavily on language use, thus biasing the results in favor of older children with more language skills.
Some theorists are wondering if development doesn't occur more continuously than Piaget said.
Our cognitive skills don't develop in stages.
The information-processing model is an alternative to the stage theory.
Information processing shows that our abilities to memorize, interpret, and perceive gradually develop as we age.
As we get older, research shows that our attention span increases.
There are apparent cognitive differences attributed to different cognitive stages.
Children's ability to focus for long periods of time may be the reason why they can't understand the number concept.
No one has a perfect model for describing cognitive development.
Future research will help us understand how our thinking changes as we get older.
The stage theory studied morality in a completely different way.
The ability to reason about ethical situations changed over time.
He asked a group of children to think about moral situations.
One situation that was used was the "Hein dilemma", in which a man named "Hein" was forced to make a decision about whether to steal a drug in order to save his wife's life.
The youngest children in the sample focus on avoiding punishment.
Their moral reasoning is limited to how the choice affects them.
Children in the preconventional level might say that he shouldn't steal the drug because he might get caught and put into prison.
Children are able to move past personal gain or loss and look at the moral choice of others during the next level of moral reasoning.
Children make a moral choice based on how others view them.
Children are taught what is right and wrong by their parents, peers, media and so on.
They might try to follow these standards so that other people will see them as good.
People would think of him as a hero if he stole the drug because he could save his wife.
The last level is what we usually mean by moral reasoning.
A person evaluating a moral choice looks at the rights and values involved in the choice.
Self-defined ethical principles, such as a personal conviction to uphold justice, might be involved in the reasoning in this stage.
The merit of altruism or limiting certain rights for the good of the group might be weighed by those doing the reasoning.
The morality of societal rules are being examined for the first time.
People in the postconventional stage might say that he should steal the drug because his wife's right to life outweighs the store owner's right to personal property.
Some psychologists disagree with the conclusions.
Carol Gilligan pointed out that the model was based on the responses of boys.
She said that when the girls were tested, they were put into lower categories.
The assumption that boys and girls come to moral conclusions in the same way is incorrect, according to Gilligan.
There may be a gender-based difference in how we develop our morals and ethics.
Girls pay more attention to situational factors than boys, according to Gilligan's research.
Girls might want to know more about the situation and relationships of the people involved before making a moral decision, while boys might have moral rules that apply in every context.
The importance of studying possible gender differences and how they might change as we develop is demonstrated by Gilligan's insights.
Gilligan's theory of gender differences in moral development was not supported by recent research.
There is research on gender issues.
Researchers are interested in how we develop our ideas about what it means to be male and female.
The behaviors that a culture associates with a gender are encouraged by different cultures.
There are different gender roles in different cultures.
Holding hands with a friend is considered feminine in one culture but not in another.
Different psychological perspectives try to explain gender roles.
The nature/nurture combination that produces our gender role is the focus of biopsychological psychologists.
More subtle biological gender differences are looked for by biopsychologists.
The purpose of the book is not to go into detail about the differences between male and female brains.
Studies show that there are differences for the AP test.
The difference between the right and left hemispheres may affect how they communicate.
Freud's psychodynamic ideas are difficult to verify with research, as noted in the chapter about psychological perspectives.
His ideas are often used in popular media, so they are worth being familiar with.
Freud thought that boys and girls develop their gender identities because they realize that they can't compete with their same-sex parent for the affections of the opposite sex parent.
The idea is compelling and has been used in many movies and novels, but they are impossible to study.
Freud's ideas aren't likely to be used by modern clinical psychologists.
Social and cognitive psychologists look at the effects society has on role development.
Social psychologists look at how boys and girls react to each other.
Boys are encouraged more in rough physical play than girls.
The gender message we get from our environment is what cognitive psychologists focus on.
According to the gender-schema theory, we internalize messages about gender into rules about how each gender should act.
A rule governing how boys and girls should play is created if a girl sees her little brother wrestle with their father.
Five suggested answers or completions are followed by each of the questions or incomplete statements.
Pick the one that is the best.
Humans are born with the ability to learn, even if they don't have reflexes or instincts.
Humans are born with no instincts or other mechanisms in place to help them survive.
Humans are born with a certain number of cells.
Humans have a set of reflexes that help them survive.
You have a cousin who flunked out of three expensive private schools and was arrested for wandering the streets of New York using his parents' credit card.