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