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Dakota Doukas

AP Psych Outline: Chapter 5, pgs 173-224

Developing Through the Life Span

• Development psychologists- study physical, cognitive, and social

throughout the human life cycle, and find common patterns which are

Prenatal Development and the Newborn

• Only 1 of 5000 of a woman’s eggs will be mature enough to be
• Men can produce over 1000 sperm in a second, this rate will
decrease over age
• The mating of the egg and sperm include
o Sperms going up to an egg which is 85000 times bigger than
o The sperm releases digestive enzymes to dissolve the egg’s
o The egg will block other sperm out once one sperm penetrates
protective layer
o Fingerlike projections will sprout around the sperm and full it in
o By the end of the day, they will fuse

Prenatal Development
• Zygotes = fertilized eggs
• In the first week, the cell divides to produce a zygote of about 100
• After the first week, the cell will differentiate and specialize in
structure and
• After ten days, the zygote will attach to the mother’s uterine wall
• The placenta and the embryo are then formed
• After nine weeks, the embryo is known as the fetus
• After six months, the organs like the stomach will be able to function
and perform
• The fetus starts to respond to noise during the sixth month
• Both genetic and environmental factors can affect the prenatal
• Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is usually seen with children born with
mental as well as physical deformities. Over 1 in 750 kids are born with
this syndrome
• FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation
• Pregnant women who have been stressed during their pregnancy
have children
who are less competent in motor skills, emotional as well as learning
Increased proclivity of depression

The Competent Newborn

• the rooting reflex is when newborns are prompted to open their
mouth and turn
towards the nipple when touched on the cheek
• William James presumed that newborns experiences where similar to
that of
buzzing confusion
• Research from the 1960’s revealed that newborns were born
preferring sights and sounds which facilitate social responsiveness.
They are more drawn into pictures that are associated to humans
(Mondlock’s study)
• Habituation is the decrease in responding with repeated stimulation
• Janine Spencer and Paul Quinn did a study which revealed that 4 year
olds like
adults focused on the faces of animals
• Alan Slater explained that in order to recognize a new stimulus as
different, an
infant must remember the initial stimulus.

Brain Development
• Over 23 billion neurons were produced in the child by birth
• From age 3-6, the brain’s neural system starts to grow in the frontal
enabling rational planning
• Maturation sets the basic course of development. It is the genetically
biological growth process.
• Maturation is uninfluenced by experiences
• While genetic growth tendencies are inborn

Motor Development
• The order in which physical coordination occurs like crawling before
walking is
due to the maturing of the nervous system and has nothing to do with
• Individual differences in timing occur
• Genes play a role in the timing of each coordination. Identical twins
would be
able to walk more or less on the same day
• Biological maturation includes the rapid development of the
cerebellum at the
back of the brain
• Experiences will not have a major effect on the child’s physical skills
until after
age 1

Maturation and Infant Memory

• Pillemer’s study concluded that the average age of earliest conscious
memory was 3.5 years of age
• Starting at 4 years old, a child can start to remember their
• From age 3-4 , the brain cortex matures , thus enabling toddlers to
increase their long-term storage
• However , the child’s memories during this time may not be
interrupted properly later on in life
• Association can be remembered for the maximum time of a month
for a 3 month old child.
• When the conscious mind does not know and cannot express in
words, the
nervous system may remember through increased physiological
responses like
through skin perspiration

Cognitive Development
• Jean Piaget’s works revolved around the errors give by children by
each age.
• Before Piaget, people thought that children “simply knew less, not
than adults.”
• Later it was discovered that “children reason in wildly illogical ways
problems whose solutions are self-evident to adults.”
• A child’s mind also develops through many stages
• Piaget revealed that schemas develop when the brain builds
concepts. The
schemas are mental molds into which we pour our experiences.
• There are two ways which we could adjust our schemas. By
assimilating as well as accommodating them.
• When we assimilate new schemas, we interpret them into our current
• When we accommodate our schemas, we adjust our present
schemas to fit the
particulars of new experiences. You refine the category.

Piaget’s theory and Current Thinking

• Cognition refers to all the mental activities associated with thinking,
remembering and communicating.
• The sensorimotor stage is from birth to age 2. This is when the
babies will take in the world through their sensory and motor
interactions interacting with objects
• Object Permanence is the awareness that objects continue to exist
when not
• Before 8 months, the child lacks object permanence
• Many argue that Piaget underestimated the intelligence of a child. He
claimed that children did not have the ability to think. Today’s
researchers see development as more continuous than Piaget.
However, his views were contradicted when babies seem to have a
more intuitive grasp of objects, when it was found that toddlers had a
sense of numbers (Karen Wynn’s study).
• The preoperational stage is Piaget’s theory that from age 2 to about
age 7, a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the
mental operations of concrete logic.
• Conservation is the principle that quantity remains the same despite
changes in
shape. (Like when closed beakers seem to hold more volume as
another open
beaker with the same volume.)
• Judy DeLoache revealed that if the child was prompted to find a
hidden object in a room, they could easily find it, but they could not
locate the location on another map or painting. This was found for ages
• From age 3, the child could locate the hidden location in a map. Thus
that they could use the symbols for the room. This went against
Piaget’s theory of children not being able to think
• Piaget found that preschool children were egocentric. They had much
to perceive things from another’s point of view. Asking wether the
child’s brother
had a brother(which was the child being asked) the child would reply
that he did
• Parents often abuse their children since they do not understand their
• The theory of mind is the ability to read intentions, formed starting
when a child
is in pre-school.
• From age 3, children start to realize the difference between false
• Jennifer Jenkins and Janet Astington performed the band aid
experiment in which they would ask children what they thought was in
the box, then recorded what their reaction would be if found that the
box was filled with something else. From 4 years old, the children were
able to respond to theory of mind, claiming that their friends would
probably think that the box was filled with band aids instead of pencils.
Before they responded that they would think that the box was filled
with pencils.
• First children realize that sad events can cause sad feelings and then
they realize that thought can cause feelings. From age 5-8, children
realize that spontaneous self-produced thoughts can also create
• Children with autism were found to have difficulty understanding
someone’s state of mind differs from their own. They also have
difficulty reflecting on their own mental states. They are less likely to
use personal pronouns such as I and me. Deaf children also have
problems with such usage.
• Lev Vygotsky revealed that children no longer thought aloud from
age 7. They
start to rely on inner speech. Talking to themselves allows children to
control their behavior and emotions and master new skills.
• Concrete Operational Stage was Piaget’s theory of cognitive
development. From 6-11 years of age. Children start to gain the mental
operations what enables them to think logically about concrete events.
Children also start to comprehend mathematical transformations and
• Formal Operation stage is by age 12, when reasoning expands from
experiences to abstract thinking. Children start to solve hypothetical
and deduct consequences starting from adolescence.

Reflecting on Piaget’s Theory

• Researchers start to see development more continuous than did
• Piaget identified significant cognitive milestones and stimulated
interest on how
the mind develops.
• Piaget’s major revelation was that children construct their
understandings from
interactions with the world.

Social Development
• Stranger Anxiety- fear of strangers, starting at around 8 months.
They have
schemas for similar faces.
• The intense mutual infant-parent bond develops by 12 months.

Orgins of Attachments
• Harry Harlow and Margaret Harlow revealed in their monkey studies
monkeys brought up in isolated cages with cheese clothes, became
when the cheesecloth was taken away from them.
• When they created two mothers , by inserting a wire cylinder with a
wooden head and another cylinder with terry cloth, they found that the
monkeys they found that the monkeys did not prefer the nourishing
mother, but instead the comfy mother.
• This revealed that much of the parent-infant attachment comes from
• A safe haven as well as a secure base also strengthens attachment
• Critical period is known as an optimal period shortly after birth when
events must take place to facilitate proper development.
• Imprinting is the process by which certain animals form attachments
during a
critical period very early in life.
• Children do not imprint
• Familiarity is more comfortable to children

Attachment Differences
• Mary Ainsworth studied attachment differences by observing mother
infant pairs at home during their first six months.
• Securely attached children play and explore comfortably when a
mother is present and then becomes distressed when she leaves.
• Insecurely attached children meanwhile explore less in the mother’s
presence and may cling to her, cry loudly when she leaves and remain
upset until she returns.
• Sensitive responsive parents tend to have securely attached children
• Genetically influenced temperament may evoke responsive
parenting, but parental sensitivity has been taught and does increase
infant attachment security.
• Both father and mother love is a predictor to a child’s well-being.
• Adult relationships tend to reflect the secure or insecure attachment
styles of early childhood
• Erick Erickson’s idea prompted that basic trust is formed in infancy
through our
experiences with responsive caregivers.

Deprivation of Attachment
• Children become withdrawn and frightened when they are deprived
of attachment and may not be able to develop speech properly
• Childhood abuse can lead to physical, psychological as well as social
problems; it may alter the brain’s production of serotonin.
• This effect can be minimal before 16 months of age, by age 2
problems start to
develop if abuse persists.
• Extensive time spent in day care is linked to increased aggression
and defiance

Self Concept
• Self concept is the sense of their own identity and personal worth.
• It emerges around 6 months
• At 15-16 months, children start to recognize themselves in the mirror
• When they start school, they can describe many of their own traits
• By age 10, their self conception is rigid and stable
• The children’s views of themselves affect their actions. Children who
form a
positive self concept are more confident, independent and optimistic

Child Rearing Practices

• Kids with the highest self esteem and reliance come from homes
were their
parents are authoritative
• Those with authoritarian parents tend to have less social skills, self
• Those with permissive parents are more likely to be aggressive and
• The association between certain parenting styles and certain
childhood outcomes is co relational. There are many other
explanations for a child’s behavior other than parenting styles.
• Permissive parents submit to children’s demands ask little and
punish rarely
• Authoritarian parents impose rules and expect obedience.
• Authoritative parents are demanding but responsive to their children
• Sharing genes may lead to a temperament that is comfortable with
an authoritative parenting style and that manifests itself in agreeable
easygoing social interactions.

• Adolescence is the transition period from childhood to adulthood,
extending from puberty to independence
• G.Stanley Hall described adolescence as the tension between
biological maturity and social dependence

Physical Development
• Puberty paves way to a surge of hormones, creating mood swings.
• The primary sex characteristics (reproductive organs) develop
• Menarche- first menstrual period
• Spermarche-first ejaculation
• Early developing boys become stronger and more athletic, as well as
popular and have a higher self esteem.
• Hereditary and environmental interaction plays a major role of how
both boys and girls feel about puberty
• During puberty, unused neural connections are weakened
• Myelin also grows in the frontal lobe during puberty
• The frontal lobe maturation slows down the emotional limbic system.
explains why teenagers can be impulsive
• Younger teens are more likely to smoke or do drugs since they are
unable to plan ahead.

Cognitive Development
• Adolescents are more likely to worry about what others think about
Since this is when they start to think about how others perceive them
• During the early teenage years, reasoning is often self-focused. They
feel that
their private experiences are unique. They think that others can not
their unique experiences
• Formal operations is the shift from preadolescents thinking
concretely to
adolescents becoming more capable of abstract logic. This is Piaget’s
• The teenager’s ability to reason hypothetically and deduce
consequences allows them to detect inconsistencies in other’s
reasoning and to spot hypocrisy

Developing Morality
• Kohlberg did studies in which he recorded the morality thoughts of
people of
different ages. He found that there were 3 different stages
o Preconventional Morality- When children before 9 years old,
have a
preconventional morality of self interest. These children obey
either to avoid punishment or to gain concrete awards
o Conventional Morality – When young teenagers, use morality
includes caring for others as well as upholding laws and social
rules just because they are rules and laws.
o Post conventional morality- When someone develops
personally perceived ethical principles, they confirm people’s
agreed upon rights
• Kohlberg constructed the moral ladder, which included the three
• Once our thinking matures, our behavior becomes less selfish and
more caring
• Elevation- tingly, warm, glowing feeling in the chest, usually felt
when witnessing someone doing charity
• Jonathan Haidt exclaimed in his book social intuitionist, that moral
overpower moral reasoning. He revealed that moral reasoning aims to
others of what we feel
• Joshua Greene found that when a person is faced with dilemmas,
their neural
responses varied, based on how much their emotion areas lit up
• Despite the identical logic, the personal dilemma allowed emotions
that altered
mood judgment.
• Morality is influenced by social influences, and is doing the right
• Children are taught to be empathetic to others.
• Those who rely on delay gratification (restraining one’s impulse and
waiting for a greater award) became more socially responsible as well
as academically
successfully. Students are engaged in responsible action through
service learning.
Social Development
• Erik Erikson exclaimed that individuals go through eight stages in
life, each with
a psychosocial task.
• Till age 1, the issue was that of trust and mistrust
• Till age 2, it becomes autonomy vs. shame and doubt
• Till age 5, the issue is initiative and guilt
• Till puberty, the child is given the issues of inferiority and
• From adolescence till becoming a young adult, it becomes about
finding ones
• For young adults, the issue is between intimacy and isolation
• From 50-60 years old, it becomes generativity vs. stagnation.
• From 60s up, the issue becomes integrity vs. despair.

Forming an identity
• Erikson revealed that some teenagers take their parents values and
expectations and use it as their identity.
• Other teenagers tend to gain a negative identity by rejecting
traditional values and conforming to a particular group
• William Damon revealed that a main idea of teenagers is to try to
make a
difference in the world
• Daniel Hart discovered that younger teenagers were more likely to
reflect the
values of a certain group while older teenagers were more likely to
reflect their
own personal values.
• Older teenagers were also more likely to have intimacy, the ability to
emotionally close relationships. This is after these individuals get a
better sense of who they are

Parent and Peer Influence

• Positive relations with parents support positive peer relations
• Teenage years is a time of decreasing parental connection and a
more peer
• Parents have a bigger influence on religious faith, career, college and
values. Most teenagers share their parents political views
Emerging Adulthood
• Emerging adulthood are people who are no longer teenagers but are
not ready to take on adulthood responsibilities.
• Due to this emerging adulthood, marriage has been delayed by
several years.
Physical Changes in Middle Adulthood
• Physical vigor has less to do with age; it has more to do with a
person’s health and exercise habits.
• In Eastern countries, respect is given to the aged. Power is seen to
be derived over age
• In many western cultures, young people are more prized.
• Menopause is the ending of the menstrual cycle beginning around
when a woman hits her 50th birthday. Estrogen is reduced during this
• Menopause usually does not create psychological problems for
• A woman’s attitudes reflect on how she will perceive and go through
• Bernice Neugarten went around and asked women who had their
menopause how they felt. The majority felt at the prime of their lives.
• Men experience a more gradual decline of sperm production over
Testosterone levels, erection and ejaculation are also at a declining

Physical Changes in later life

• Life expectancy has increased from the average 49 years to 67 years
• Women outlive men and after the stage of infancy, outnumber them
• After age 70, hearing, distance perception, reaction time, stamina,
strength, sense of smell all decrease
• Neural process slow their rate
• Around age 80, 5% of the brain shrinks.
• Physical exercise however, can stimulate the development of some
new brain
cells and connections.
• The risk of dementia increases, doubling every five years from age
60. It is not a normal part of the aging process.
• Older adults who exercise regularly become smart thinkers due to
the oxygen and nutrient circulation.
• Alzheimer’s disease affects over 3% of the world’s population by age
75. They
are not part of the normal aging process. It is the loss of brain cells and
deterioration of neurons that produce the neurotransmitter
acetylcholine. Memory
and thinking thus decrease.

Aging and Memory

• Recalling new information declines during the early and middle
adulthood years.
• Older adults are able to recall meaningful information more easily
meaningless information, they may however take longer to produce
words to
describe these memories
• Thomas Cook and Robin West discovered that younger adults were
more likely to recall names after one introduction, while older age
groups had a poorer performance.
• When asked how they heard a certain event or news , many could
instantaneously upon a few moments, while asking after a couple of
prompted variations in their recalls.
• David Schonfield and Betty-Anne Robertson found that recognition
memory is
better for older adults early in the day rather late.
• Being able to recognize a set of words via multiple choices had a
minimal decline when compared to the results of each age. It was the
recall of the words which had a greater difficulty
• Time based tasks as well as habitual tasks decline over age

Aging and Intelligence

• Cross sectional studies are comparing people of different ages with
one another.
• These studies revealed that intelligence declined after early
• They excluded the factors of generational differences of education as
well as life experiences
• Longitudinal studies is the retesting the same people over a period of
time, these studies showed that intelligence may be stable through out
the years. They
however, excluded the factors of people dropping out of studies, those
who were
less intelligent and that in poor health.
• The present day view is that fluid intelligence takes place by
declining later in life and that crystallized intelligence does not. (Paul
• Crystallized intelligence is the accumulation of knowledge and skills
• Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason speedily and abstractly
• Scientists and mathematicians are more likely to have their best
outcomes in
earlier adulthood, while historians and writers experience success later
in life.

Adulthood’s Ages and Stages

• Midlife transition takes place in the early forties and is associated
with struggle,
regret, and feeling struck down. Usually triggered by illness, divorce or
by job loss.
• The social clock is the cultural prescription of when the right time of
each stage in life must occur. For example, what time to leave home,
college, get a job, family, etc.
• Romantic attraction is often influenced by chance encounters.
• Not many identical twins would feel attracted to their twin’s partners.
• The social clock varies from culture to culture

Adulthood’s Commitments
• Erik Erikson pinned two aspects of our live. Intimacy and
• Generativity is being productive and supporting future generations.
• Love and work are two major themes of adulthood
• The social expectation of families staying together, is explained by
psychologists in having a better chance of passing down one’s genes.
• Due to the increased expectations of both women and men and
women’s increased
independence, divorce rates have doubled in the past 40 years
• Those who tested out their marriage before getting married had a
higher rate of
divorce and marital dysfunction.
• The risk of poor martial outcomes appears greatest for those who
cohabit prior to engagement. Cohabiters tend to be less committed to
the ideal of enduring marriage.
• John Gottman discovered that stable marriages provide five times
more instances of smiling, touching, complimenting, laughing than of
sarcasm, criticism and insults.
• Work satisfaction reveals the roles of the woman, such as a paid
worker or a wife did not matter, but the quality of her experiences in
these roles meant a lot.
• Satisfying work correlates with life satisfaction

Well Being Across the Life Span

• A person’s feeling of satisfaction and well being are stable through
out one’s lifespan
• Older adults may experience a higher rate of satisfactions since they
had satisfied the tasks of early adulthood. They are filled with a strong
sense of satisfaction and identity
• Older adults are less sensitive to negative facts. The amygalda show
decreased activity in response to negative events while maintain its
responsiveness to positive events.
• Mihalay Csikszentmihalyi and Reed Larson revealed that teenagers
got over an
emotion within an hour while older people endured their emotions

Death and Dying

• Death of spouse is the hardest for a person
• When death comes at an expected time, grieving may be short lived.
• When death comes earlier, grief is more severe
• Erikson believed that older people where filled with a sense of
meaning and
identity when thinking about death

Continuity and Stages

• Researchers who stress biological maturation see development as a
series of
genetically predisposed steps.
• Researchers who stress slow continuous development stress
experience and learning.
• Piagets’s, Erikson’s and Kohlberg’s ideas have shown us the ways
people differ at various points in the life span.
• Lifelong development also shows stability and change
• Personality gradually stabilizes throughout age.
• When we age, we may change our earlier personalities but sustaining
characteristic traits in comparison to our age mates.