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Final Exam Study Guide for Psychology

This part of the Study Guide includes topics from Child Development.

This part of the Study Guide includes topics from Child Development.



Set of flashcards Details

Flashcards 30
Language English
Category Psychology
Level University
Created / Updated 07.12.2013 / 21.04.2016
Licencing No Copyright (CC0)
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What is developmental psychology?

A branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span.

Discuss the development of the brain.

  • On the day you were born, you had the most brain cells you would ever have (28 billion in uterus). But, neurons were not well connected (the synaptic connections grow)
  • More neural connections as we age (adults: 300 trillion synaptic connections). Partially by genes, but also experience.
  • Puberty: pruning process- unused neural conections lost and used connections strengthened.

What areas of the brain are the last areas to develop neural connections?

Association Areas: parietal, occipital, temporal, and frontal lobes (planning, judgement)

  • The frontal lobes don't fully develop connections to other areas of brain (ex: amygdala) until early mid-twenties.
  • Why?: They lack myelinated connections
  • The amygdala is part of the limbic system, so if it's not connected to the amygdala then fear and aggression will take over. (Moms say teens act the way they do because the frontal lobe is not fully processed.)

Biological/Evolutionary Approach

  • As youngsters we're completely dependent on our caregivers.
  • It was advantageous for infants and youngsters in our evolutionary past to form strong emotional bonds with caregivers. This should aid survival and reproduction.
  • Ex: John Bowlby

Who is John Bowlby and explain his theory.

John Bowlby

  • British Psychologist
  • Influenced by Psychoanalysis
  • Institutionalized children "Failed to thrive" (kids in orphanages, kids not loved, and failed to thrive, got into trouble)

Attachment Theory

  • Basic Point 1: The attachment system is an evolved behavioral system in humans and primates.
  • Basic Point 2: The primary goal of the attachment system is to maintain proximity between infants and their attachment figures.
  • Basic Point 3: The attachment figure offers both a haven of safety (when an infant gets scared, they can go to their security figure) and a secure base (having attachment figure present so they can explore)

Who is Harry Harlow and explain his study.

Harry Harlow

  • American Psychologist
  • Noticed that when infant monkeys were separated from their parentsthey would get attached to their blanket.

The Harlow Monkey Study

  • Harlow created single cages with both cloth surrogate (soft and warm cloth) and wire-mesh mothers.
  • Independent Variable: 4 newborn monkeys in cage with cloth mother who provided food vs. 4 in cage where wire-mesh mother provided food.
  • Dependent Variable 1: How much time on cloth mother?
  • Dependent Variable 2: How much time on wire-mesh mother?

- The attachment system is driven by physical contact, and becomes activated when they're scared.

What happens if we completely remove physical contact?

One of two things:

  1. Extremely fearful
  2. Aggressive

Human Infants and Attachment

Human infants differ in patterns of attachment. Attachment researchers believe that early parent-child interactions shape the attachment patterns in the child.

  • How consistently does the infant receive comfort from parents?