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Chapter 1 Development Across the Lifespan


Chapter 1 Development Across the Lifespan An Introduction to Lifespan Development What is lifespan development?? The field of study that examines the patterns of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 1 Development Across the Lifespan

Chapter 1 Development Across the Lifespan
  • An Introduction to Lifespan Development

What is lifespan development??
  • The field of study that examines the patterns of
    growth, change, and stability in behavior that
    occur throughout the entire human life span!
  • Overall, lifespan developmentalists believe
    several things

  • That the study of lifespan development should
    focus on human development
  • Principals that are universal to development
  • Cultural, racial, ethnic differences in
  • The development of individual traits and
  • That development is a lifelong, continuing
  • That development occurs through change and growth
    in addition to stability, consistency, and

Developmentalists often focus on different topics
  • Physical Development
  • The bodys physical makeup, including the brain,
    nervous system, muscles, and senses, and the need
    for food, drink, and sleep
  • Malnutrition, reaction time
  • Does the amount of sleep a college student gets
    each night affect stress?
  • How does dealing with a chronic illness affect a
    mothers behavior?

(topical areas studied by developmentalists--conti
  • Cognitive Development
  • Involves the ways that growth and change in
    intellectual capabilities influence a persons
  • Learning, memory, problem solving skills, and
    intelligence across the lifespan
  • Does excessive television viewing effect
  • Can teenagers remember things that happened when
    they were toddlers?

(topical areas studied by developmentalists--conti
  • Personality Development
  • Involves the ways that the enduring
    characteristics that differentiate one person
    from another change over the life span
  • Interactions with others, social relationships,
    individual qualities
  • When does a sense of gender develop and does it
    change across the lifespan?

(topical areas studied by developmentalists--conti
  • Social Development
  • Involves the way in which an individuals
    interactions and social relationships grow,
    change, and remain stable over the course of life
  • Do people become more isolated in late

The lifespan is usually divided into broad
(albeit arbitrary) age ranges
(No Transcript)
An important thing to remember about these age
ranges is that individual differences exist!
  • People mature at different rates and reach
    developmental milestones at different points
  • Environmental factors, including culture, play a
    role in determining when events occur
  • Age ranges are only averages, and some people
    will be above or below

The context of development takes a broad
  • The ecological approach (Bronfenbrenner)
  • Suggests that different environmental levels
    simultaneously influence individuals
  • Four major levels
  • Microsystem (everyday immediate
    environment)home, caregiver/parent, friends,
  • Mesosystem (connects parts of the
    microsystem)parents linked to kids, students to
    teachers, friends to friends, bosses to employees

(Bronfenbrenners ecological approach continued)
  • 3) Exosystem (represents broad influences)local
    government, the community, schools, places of
    worship, local media
  • 4) Macrosystem (represents larger cultural
    influences)society in general, federal
    government, religious systems, political thought

Other influences on development include
  • Each persons COHORT
  • The group of people born at around the same time
    and same place
  • Normative History-Graded Influences
  • Biological and environmental influences
    associated with a particular historical movement
  • The Great Depression, The Oklahoma bombing

(Other influences on development continued)
  • Normative Age-Graded Influences
  • Biological and environmental influences that are
    similar for individuals in a specific age group,
    regardless of when or where they were raised
  • Puberty, menopause, entry into formal education
  • Normative Sociocultural-Graded Influences
  • The impact of social and cultural factors present
    at a specific time for a specific individual,
    depending on unique variables such as ethnicity,
    social class, subcultural membership
  • Affluent childhood vs. living in poverty

(Other influences on development continued)
  • Non-normative Life Events
  • Specific, atypical events that occur in a
    particular persons life at a time when they do
    not happen to most people
  • Cancer as a teen, auto accident

Key Issues in Lifespan Development
  • Continuous vs. Discontinuous Change
  • Continuous change
  • Gradual development in which achievements at one
    level build on those of previous levels
  • Changes achieved are a matter of degree, not kind
  • Discontinuous change
  • Development that occurs in distinct steps or
  • Changes achieved are qualitatively different that
    behavior at earlier stages

What do most developmental psychologists believe
on this issue????
  • Some development is continuous, and some is

(Key Issues in Lifespan Development continued)
  • The importance of critical periods
  • A critical period is a specific time during
    development when an event has its greatest
    consequences (interference with critical periods
    thought to interfere with development, often
  • Language development, exposure to disease
  • NOW
  • The concept of a sensitive period is favored
  • --A sensitive period is a point in development
    when an individual is especially susceptible to
    certain stimuli BUT the absence of those stimuli
    does not always produce irreversible consequences

(Key Issues in Lifespan Development continued)
  • A focus on particular periods vs. lifespan
  • Early developmentalists focused on infancy
  • Today the entire lifespan is seen as important
    for several reasons
  • -growth and change are continuous throughout
  • -each age has reciprocal influences on other

(Key Issues in Lifespan Development continued)
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Nature refers to inherited traits, abilities, and
  • Includes maturation
  • Nurture refers to the environmental influences
    that shape behavior
  • What do developmentalists believe today?
  • That behavior is the result of nature and nurture

Theoretical Perspectives
  • Theories are explanations and predictions that
    provide a framework for understanding
  • We will consider 5 major theoretical perspectives
    used in lifespan development
  • psychodynamic behavioral cognitive
    humanistic evolutionary

Psychodynamic Perspective (Freud, Erikson)
  • Based on the view that behavior is motivated by
    unconscious/inner forces, memories, and conflicts
    (over which a person has little control or
  • Most closely associated with Freud
  • Freuds (1856-1839) Psychoanalytic Theory
    suggests that unconscious forces act to determine
    personality and behavior

(Psychodynamic Perspective continued)
  • According to Freud
  • Unconscious is the part of the personality about
    which a person is unaware it is responsible for
    much of our everyday behavior
  • A persons personality has 3 components
  • The ID, the EGO, and the SUPEREGO

(Psychoanalytic theory continued)
  • ID
  • raw, unorganized, inborn part of personality
    present at birth
  • represents primitive drives related to hunger,
    sex, aggression, irrational impulses
  • EGO
  • rational and reasonable part of the personality
  • acts as a buffer between the world and the
    primitive id
  • operates on the reality principal
  • (instinctual energy is restrained to maintain
    individual safety and integration into society

(Psychoanalytic theory continued)
  • Superego
  • The aspect of personality that represents a
    persons conscience
  • Evaluates right from wrong
  • Develops about age 5 or 6
  • Learned from parents, teachers, other significant

Freud also explored ways in which personality
developed during childhood
  • Psychosexual development theory
  • --series of stages that children pass through
  • --pleasure or gratification is focused particular
    biological function or body part on a
  • 5 main stages
  • 1) oral (birth to 12-18 months)
  • 2) anal (12-18 months to 3 years)
  • 3) Phallic (3 to 5-6 years)
  • 4) Latency (5-6 years to adolescence)
  • 5) Genital (adolescence to adulthood)

In Eriksons Psychosocial theory
  • Each stage emerges as a fixed pattern that is
    similar for all people
  • Each stage presents a crisis or conflict that
    each individual must address sufficiently at a
    particular stage
  • No crisis is ever fully resolved, making life
  • UNLIKE FREUD, Erickson believed that development
    continued throughout the lifespan

Assessing the psychodynamic perspective
  • Pros
  • Contemporary psychology research supports the
    idea that unconscious memories have an influence
    on our behavior
  • Ericksons view that development continues
    throughout the lifespan is highly important and
    supported by research

Assessing the psychodynamic perspective, continued
  • Cons
  • Idea that people pass through stages in childhood
    that determine their adult personality has little
    research support
  • Freuds research based on small sample of upper
    middle class Austrians
  • Freuds theory male focused/sexist
  • Both too vague to test.

Behavioral Perspective (Skinner, Watson, Bandura)
  • Based on the idea that the keys to understanding
    development are observable behavior and outside
    environmental stimuli
  • Behaviorists reject the idea that people
    universally pass through a series of stages
  • They view development as occurring because of
    continuous exposure to specific factors in the

The behavioral perspective believes that 2 main
types of learning contribute to development
  • Classical Conditioning (Watson)
  • (stimulus substitution organism responds to a
    previously neutral stimulus in an atypical way)
  • Pavlov (dog/bell), Watson/rabbit

(2 main types of learning, behavioral perspective
  • 2) Operant Conditioning (Skinner)
  • (instrumental conditioning a voluntary response
    is strengthened or weakened based on its
    association with positive or negative
    consequences used in behavior modification)
  • birds/pecking reinforcement, punishment

(Behavioral Perspectives Continued)
  • Social-Cognitive Learning Theory (Bandura)
  • Emphasizes learning by observation of another
    person (a model)
  • bobo doll, fearless peer
  • Social-cognitive theory DIFERS from classical
    and operant conditioning by taking mental
    activity into consideration (thoughts,
    motivations, expectations)

Assessing the behavioral perspective
  • Classical operant conditioning consider people
    and organisms as black boxes in which nothing
    is understood, cared about (pessimistic!)
  • Social-cognitive theory argues that people are
    different from rats and pigeons (mental activity
    occursmore optimistic for people and favored
    view now)

Cognitive Perspective (Piaget, Vygotsky,
information-processing approaches)
  • Focuses on the processes that allow people to
    know, understand, and think about the world
  • --Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development
  • people pass in a fixed sequence through a
    series of universal stages of cognitive
  • in each stage, the quantity of information
    increases the quality of knowledge and
    understanding increases too

Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory
  • Emphasizes how development proceeds as a result
    of social interactions between members of a
  • (culture a societys beliefs, values, customs
    and interests shapes development)
  • Vygotsky argued that children's understanding of
    the world is acquired through their
    problem-solving interactions with adults and
    other children.
  • He also argued that to understand the course of
    development we must consider what is meaningful
    to members of a given culture.

The Humanistic Perspective
  • --contends that people have a natural capacity to
    make decisions about their lives and control
    their behavior.
  • Assessing the Humanistic Perspective
  • -The humanistic perspective has not had a major
    impact on the field of lifespan development.
  • -It has not identified any sort of broad
    developmental change that is the result of age or
  • -Some criticize the theory's assumption that
    people are basically "good", which is
  • -Self-actualization is also difficult to measure

  • -seeks to identify behavior in today's humans
    that is the result of our genetic inheritance
    from our ancestors.
  • argues that our genetic inheritance
    determines not only such physical traits as skin
    and eye color, but certain personality traits and
    social behaviors

Evolutionary Perspective
  • The evolutionary perspective draws on the field
    of ethnology (Konrad Lorenz 1903 - 1989), which
    examines the ways in which our biological makeup
    influences our behavior.
  • The evolutionary perspective encompasses one of
    the fastest growing areas within the field of
    lifespan development behavioral genetics, which
    studies the effects of heredity on behavior.

Which Approach is Right?
  • -Each emphasizes different aspects of
  • -Psychodynamic approach emphasizes emotions,
    motivational conflicts, and unconscious
    determinants of behavior.
  • -Behavioral approaches emphasize overt behavior.
  • -Cognitive and humanist approaches look more at
    what people think than what they do.
  • -The evolutionary perspective focuses on how
    inherited biological factors underlie

Research Methods
  • The SCIENTIFIC METHOD is the process of posing
    and answering questions using careful, controlled
    techniques that include systematic, orderly
    observation and the collection of data.
  • The scientific method involves the formulation
    of theories, broad explanations, and predictions
    about phenomena.

(Research methods, continued)
  • Theories allow developmentalists to summarize
    and organize prior observations and allow them to
    go beyond existing observations to draw
  • Theories are used to develop HYPOTHESES,
    predictions stated in a way that permits testing.

Research Strategies
  • 1) Correlational Research
  • -seeks to identify whether an association or
    relationship between two factors exists.
  • The strength and direction of a relationship
    between two factors is represented by a
    mathematical score, called a correlational

Types of Correlational Studies
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Case Studies
  • Survey Research
  • (Make sure you understand what each of these are!)

(Research Strategies continued)
  • 2) Experimental Research
  • research designed to discover causal
    relationships between various factors.
  • An EXPERIMENT is a process in which an
    investigator, called an experimenter, devises two
    different experiences for subjects or
  • These two different experiences are called
  • The group receiving the treatment is known as the
  • The CONTROL GROUP is the group that receives
    either no treatment or alternative treatment

Experimental Research Settings
  • FIELD STUDY is a research investigation carried
    out in a naturally occurring setting.
  • LABORATORY STUDY is a research investigation
    conducted in a controlled setting explicitly
    designed to hold events constant.

Theoretical and Applied Research
  • THEORETICAL RESEARCH is research designed
    specifically to test some developmental
    explanation and expand scientific knowledge.
  • APPLIED RESEARCH is research meant to provide
    practical solutions to immediate problems.

Measuring developmental change
  • In LONGITUDINAL RESEARCH, the behavior of one or
    more individuals is measured as the subjects age.
  • -requires a tremendous investment of time
  • -there is the possibility of participant
    attrition, or loss
  • -participants may become "test-wise"

(Measuring developmental change continued)
  • In CROSS-SECTIONAL RESEARCH, people of different
    ages are compared at the same point in time.
  • -differences may be due to cohort effects
  • -selective dropout, where participants in some
    age groups are more likely to quit participating
    in the study than others.
  • -unable to explain changes in individuals or

(Measuring developmental change continued)
  • In CROSS-SEQUENTIAL STUDIES, researchers examine
    a number of different ages groups over several
    points in time.
  • -combines longitudinal and cross-sectional

Ethics and Research
  • Society for Research in Child Development and the
    American Psychological Association have developed
    ethical guidelines for researchers.
  • -Freedom from harm
  • -Informed consent
  • -Use of deception
  • -Maintenance of privacy