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Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Chapter 1: Introduction to Human Development Chapter 1 provides the history, progress, and scientific basis for the study of human development. Highlighted are the theoretical perspectives that have influenced much of the science of human development. I. Objectives What is the Field of Human Development? ? Define the field of Human Development (pgs. 4-8). ? Identify and describe the two approaches to the study of human development (pg. 8). ? Discuss the normative approach to development, and explain disparities among individuals that are indicated by quantitative and qualitative differences (pgs. 9- 10). Research Methods ? Enumerate and define the scientific process/methods as well as identify its benefit and pitfalls to the study of human development (pgs. 10-24). ? Being a good researcher: identifying the professional responsibilities of research (pgs. 24-26). Theoretical Perspectives ? Describe the theoretical perspectives to the study of human development. Indicate the supporting evidence and criticisms of each perspective (pgs. 28-51). ? Identify the role of neuroscience by discussing how behavioral research and neuroscience merge to create a new picture of human development (pgs. 51-53). Four Principles of Development ? Discuss the four principles of human development (pgs. 53-57). 1 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development II. Featured Class Lecture The difficulty with the scientific method is that often undergraduates do not see the value in understanding it especially in a human development course. Although the research and evidence point in one direction, their experiences and more accurately their beliefs may point to another direction. First, a question to your students: Do you ever engage in the scientific method in your daily life? Their answers will vary. I utilize the following narrative as a means to convey the scientific method to the students: You may have an idea of who you would like to date? You might create a theory of the perfect person for yourself. This theory is likely based on observation and data you have collected over time. Then you meet someone new. At this point you create a hypothesis about this person. Now you need to test this hypothesis. How do you do that? Dating, observing, seeing them at social functions, etc. After a little while you realize that this person does not necessarily fit your theory of the perfect person, but you like them and want to continue to date them. So what do you do? Throw out the theory? Or do you modify it to accommodate the new information and new observations? The Science of Human Development 1. Human development is an interdisciplinary field. a. Biologist b. Psychologist c. Anthropologist d. Including integrative fields such as family studies. 2. There are two approaches to the study of human development. a. Traditional approach i. Change is most rapid during infancy and declines as people approach adulthood. b. Lifespan approach to development i. Change exists throughout the life. ii. For an example of this approach see: Current Directions in Developmental Psychology, Kolb et al., “Brain Plasticity and Behavior”. In this article Kolb et al. describes the changes that occur within the nervous system due to experience, drugs and other factors, as well as describes limits of plasticity. Also highlighted is the limits of our understanding. This article provides evidence for lifespan development. In addition, it can be utilized to support the role of neuroscience in the study of human development (which is discussed later in the chapter). 2 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development 3. Knowing what is typical/atypical a. The normative approach or developmental norms provides a useful guide, but misunderstandings may occur because traits are distributed as a bell- shaped curve (see Figure 1.1). b. Note the importance of quantitative vs. qualitative differences in the developmental process i. Quantitative differences are differences in the amount of some characteristics. ii. Qualitative differences place people in different categories. Qualitative differences may provide information for a potential developmental problem as it distinguishes one child from that of their peers. 4. In addition to the text to demonstrate qualitative differences is to ask students the following question: “When is walking onset? Or when do you think at least 50% of children begin to walk?” Fifty percent of children begin walking at 12 months of age with a range of 8-18 months. Then you may ask students to consider : What does walking early accomplish? or What is the effect of late walking? When should a parent be concerned? To explore qualitative differences ask students to reflect on Dale Ulrich’s (Ulrich, Ulrich, Angulo-Kinzler, & Yun, 2001) work on improving walking onset for children with Down syndrome (DS). DS children generally walk 1 year later than typical children. In their study, thirty families of infants with DS were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. The intervention group was provided small treadmills for the DS children to utilize 5 days per week for 8 minutes per day. Overall, their results indicated a walking onset on average 101 days sooner for their treatment group compared to their control. 5. Research methods a. Naturalistic observation : researchers watch behavior in the natural setting. i. Some of the pitfalls are observer bias and observer effects. Observer bias occurs when the researcher reads more into the situation than is actually there. Observer effects occurs when the participants or the observed change their behavior because they are aware of being observed. b. Participant observation : the researcher takes an active role in the group’s activities. Participant observation has an advantage in that the participants often will forget the researcher is there as they become 3 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development ingrained in the activity. However, the limitation is once again bias of the observer. i. Ethnography : an in-depth description of a group’s daily life as in the example from the text: Cathy Small’s My Freshman Year in which she took a leave of absence and attended college as a freshman to provide an in-depth view of how students live today (See pg. 11). c. Structured observations can provide more useful information than naturalistic observation as it allows researchers to create a specific situation and record the participants’ reactions. Often times, researchers will create a checklist of behaviors and simply mark the number of occurrences. This requires specific behaviors to be explicitly defined. It also allows for easier data collection. d. Self-reports: i. Diary studies are nice in that they provide a wealth of information that is often hard to obtain. Nutrition studies, behavioral studies of daily activities, studies on personal habits have recently utilized this approach. ii. Interviews : the advantage is that it can be a flexible method to gather data; however, it is difficult to analyze the data; subject to the personal style of the interviewer; and may also be influenced by the participant. iii. Questionnaires usually are designed to measure a limited number of items or characteristics, are subject to interpretation by the participant, and can be limited in the findings. The advantages are: large sample sizes are possible, formatted questions allow for easy data analysis, and the participant may feel a sense of anonymity. e. Archival data : school files, medical records and police reports. There are often ethical concerns related to archival data. While some require formal permission some data does not. In addition, archival data is often subject to interpretation and definition. 6. Research design a. Case studies are in-depth studies of a particular person or circumstance. The advantage is that there can be a detailed examination of one version of an unusual circumstance, but it may not be generalized to even other cases of similar circumstances. b. A discussion of correlational studies is an excellent place to introduce the influence of media on our understanding of research (also see Transparency 1.12). As correlation studies define naturally occurring relationships, they do not tell us why they are related. However this does not prevent media outlets in utilizing this information in their stories with the assumption of cause and effect. One example is to examine the positive correlation between childhood obesity and television viewing habits (Robinson, 1998). The problem arises in determining the causative factors for childhood obesity for which television viewing may or may not be a causative factor. Possible discussion questions: 4 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development i. Should we outlaw televisions to prevent children from becoming obese? (Although this question is facetious, it may stir up some interesting discussion). ii. Why can’t we state that television causes obesity? Even the predictability of increased television viewing to cause weight gain is not well supported (Robinson, 1998). iii. What are the other factors to consider? 1. Lower activity. 2. Increased dietary intake while watching TV. 3. Watching more television due to being overweight. c. The true experiment i. Important concepts: 1. Allows cause and effect to be determined through controlled studies. 2. Independent Variable – manipulated or controlled during an experiment. 3. Dependent variable is what is being measured. 4. Replicate the findings. 5. Determine the role of confounding variables which may have influenced the outcome. 6. Communicate the findings. d. Research design for development i. Cross-sectional study occurs when a researcher measures participants from different age groups at one particular time. Its advantages are that it is more economical than a longitudinal study and generally has lower participant attrition. Cross-sectional design assumes a linear change in development and it ignores many culture and technological differences which may impact a particular generation compared to another. ii. In a Longitudinal study , researchers follow participants and measure them at specific points in time. Longitudinal studies have an advantage as a researcher can assess changes within a single cohort and examine change over time. However, the disadvantages are also many: participant attrition, historical, social, economic, and political events, potential changing research personnel, and high cost. iii. For a cross-sequential study , the benefits are that researchers can examine not only age changes, but also cohort effects and normative history. Cross-sequential designs are limited to the cohorts studied in which the results are not easily generalized to other cohorts. e. Standards for conducting research i. See Table 1.2, pg. 19 ii. Potential discussion questions: 1. What are potential coercive incentives? What would be considered an excessive incentive for a child? 5 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development 2. What are some of the ethical issues when reporting results? iii. Understanding the IRB process 1. Research on human subjects must be reviewed and approved by a governing body such as the university institutional review board (IRB) 2. According to the Belmont Report (1979), there should be: a. Respect for persons: The participation is voluntary, and the participant is provided an informed consent. b. Beneficence: The participants benefit is maximized and harm is minimized. c. Justice: The risk and benefits are equally distributed and the selection of participants is not because of availability, comprised position, or just because of social status, economic status, race, gender or culture. Inclusion should be based on a sound research question. 6 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Utilizing the Virtual Child in the Classroom The Virtual Child program ( ) is a self-contained learning activity which can be integrated into your developmental psychology course. It provides an excellent method to integrate textbook and lecture information into a real world type application. Full details are found in the Virtual Child Instructor Manual. Ideally students should begin the Virtual Child with the first or second chapter. The Virtual Child is relatively self-explanatory and contains four writing assignments (which are also found in the Virtual Child instructor manual). Observations in Lifespan Development CD-ROM None corresponding to Chapter 1. 7 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development III. Classroom Activity Getting to Know the Theoretical Perspectives The following in-class activity will involve creating small groups of 4-5 students. It has two advantages: it allows the students to get to know each other and demonstrate their knowledge of the theoretical perspectives. Let students know that theories are utilized to organize and explain processes in human development. Theories also stimulate and guide research and practice. Ask students to bring to class anything in which media or the news industry is trying to persuade or have influence over us. Examples include advertisements from newspapers or magazines, internet or song lyrics, opinion pieces from major publications, etc. Assign the groups to a particular theoretical perspective and then have the groups prepare a presentation on how the media’s influence could be explained from that theoretical perspective. Following are examples of leading questions for each perspective which you may want to include: General questions What examples could you find to support your particular theoretical perspective? How does this advertisement conform to your theoretical perspective? Psychodynamic perspective For Freud and Erikson development occurs in a series of stages, each involving psychological conflicts which the person must resolve. 1. Is the advertisement trying to persuade us through our inner conflicts, memories, or unconscious desires? 2. What psychosocial crisis is the advertisement/media attempting to employ or resolve? Learning perspective Learning perspective emphasizes learning through processes of conditioning (Pavlov), reinforcement and punishment (Skinner) or observational learning, modeling and vicarious reinforcement (Bandura). 1. Are they attempting to take advantage of emotional reactions that have been paired through environmental events? Are they utilizing imaged or real reinforces to change behavior? 2. Are they utilizing modeling? If so how? Through success? Avoiding failure? Through social norms? Are they also including reinforcement? 8 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Evolutionary perspective Evolution perspective examines how species adapt and modify their patterns of growth and behavior due to changes in the environment 1. Are the advertisers utilizing adaptations for survival; behaviors which lead to reproductive success; or some other genetically determined function? 2. Are they promoting protection of relatives, family relationships, etc.? Are they assuming a genetic basis for behavior? Cognitive perspective Cognitive perspective explains thinking in the development of a series of increasingly complex stages (Piaget) or through the increases in information processing. 1. Are they tapping into some elements of a cognitive stage of development? 2. Are they creating a convincing “argument” which will cause a person to assimilate the new information/idea and potential to accommodate their current understanding of the world? 3. How are they manipulating our attention, memory, or decision making processes? Contextual perspective Contextual perspective examines development through the mutual influence of children and their environment. 1. Are they attempting to create a social context for the desired behavior? 2. Does it contain issues surrounding biological differences, family contexts, neighborhoods, or generational influences? In addition, you may want to provide Transparencies 1.5-1.8 as handouts to help the students focus on the particular theoretical perspective. 9 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development IV. List of Resources Section Resources: What is the Field of Human Development? ? Units of the American Psychological Association: o APA Division 7: Developmental Psychology is comprised of Developmental Psychologist and researchers with an interest in human development ( ). o APA Division 16: School Psychology addresses issues relating to child and adolescent development in schools or other applied settings ( ). o APA Division 20: Adult Development and Aging is a very good resource for aging related topics such as Alzheimer’s and applied gerontology research ( ). ? National Association for the Education of Young Children focuses primarily on educational and developmental assistance for children from birth through age 8 ( ). ? Society for Research on Adolescence is an organization which provides research and dissemination on adolescence from a multidisciplinary perspective ( ). ? The Gerontological Society of America’s purpose is to provide information, research, and education on aging to researchers, educators, policy makers, and practitioners ( ). ? Transparencies o 1.1 The Periods of Human Development: illustrates the life cycle from birth to death. o 1.2 Topical Areas: identifies the four primary areas of human development: physical, cognitive, social, and personality development. o 1.3 Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems: represents the Brofenbrenner’s environmental “layers” and the impact on the developing child. o 1.4 Key Issues: displays the key issues in each of the dimensions. Section Resources: Research Methods ? LivePsych animations contain several modules to help students understand research methods. There are four simulations: Experimental Methods, Correlational studies, Observational Studies, and a general discussion of statistics. These simulations contain explanation, quizzes, and examples. As an example, the experimental method simulation contains detailed discussion of independent and dependent variables, representative samples, experimental and control group, and random assignments. It also describes Banduras classic Bobo Doll Study to demonstrate the properties of the experimental method. 10 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development ? APS: Current Directions in Developmental Psychology: Kolb, B., Gibb, R., & Robinson, T. E.: Brain Plasticity and Behavior , pgs. 11-17. ? Transparencies o 1.12 Correlation Coefficients: illustrates positive, negative, and zero correlations. o 1.13 Research Design: compares cross-sectional, longitudinal and time- lag research designs. ? An excellent website on statistics is HyperStat Online ( ). It provides a general review of basic statistics and includes a glossary, instructional demos, and statistical exercises. Section Resources: Theoretical Perspectives ? The LivePsych animations describes generally Piaget’s approach to cognitive development with examples of conservation including volume and mass. It may be utilized within this chapter to introduce Piaget or Chapter 4 to discuss conservation. ? Transparencies o 1.5 Freud and Erikson’s Theories: provides an illustrative comparison of Freud and Erickons’s theories. o 1.6 Behavioral Perspective: provides basic information on the theorists John Watson, B.F. Skinner, and Albert Bandura. o 1.7 Cognitive Perspective: a general account of the theories proposed by Piaget and Vygotsky as well as a description of information processing approach. o 1.11 Comparison of the five major approaches: displays the key issues in each of the five theoretical perspectives. ? Jean Piaget Society ( ) named for the famous developmental psychologist is an interdisciplinary society for researchers interested in the development of human knowledge and cognition. ? Center for Bio-ethics ( ) provides information and resources in health care and life sciences. This center is held within the University of Minnesota. 11 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Additional References Ulrich, D. A., Ulrich, B. D., Angulo-Kinzler, R., & Yun, J. (2001). Treadmill training of infants with Down Syndrome: Evidence-based developmental outcomes. Pediatrics, 108 . 1-5. Robinson, T. (1998). Does television cause childhood obesity? Journal of American Medical Association, 279 , 938-942. 12 Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Chapter 2: Heredity and Environment Chapter 2 introduces genetics, defines the uniqueness of human life, and describes the interaction of genes and the environment. Emphasized are the influences of the environment and genetics on development. I. Objectives What Is a Human Being? ? Identify what is unique about human life (pgs. 45-47). ? Describe how human beings are distinguished from other primates (pgs. 47-48). The Genetic Blueprint ? Describe the foundations of heredity including Mendel’s discovery (pgs. 48-50). ? Identify the elements of genetics (pgs. 51-53). ? Describe various patterns of hereditary transmission including partial dominance, codominance, polygenic inheritance, X-linked and sex influence inheritance, autosomal traits, mutations, and extranuclear inheritance (pgs. 53-55). ? Describe the importance and the pitfalls of the Human Genome Project (pgs. 55- 56). How Genes and the Environment Interact ? Describe how study of monozygotic and dizygotic twins contributes to our understanding of gene and environment interactions (pg. 56-58). ? Explain the environment and its role in gene expression (pgs. 59-63). ? Discuss the construction of the brain through genes and the environment interaction (pgs. 63-66). Genetic and Environmental Diversity ? Describe the importance of understanding genetic diversity and race (pgs. 53-57). ? Identify culture and how it may affect genetic diversity (pgs. 68-73). Measuring Genetic and Environmental Influences ? Describe behavioral genetics and how scientists study the degree nature and nurture contribute to individual differences (pgs. 73-79). Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development II. Featured Class Lecture Many students who have taken a biology or related course may have some knowledge of genetics, heredity, chromosomes, etc., such that it could provide an excellent opportunity for the students to be involved in the discussion of this chapter and the featured lecture. In addition, the ‘Stories of Our Lives/See Double’ provides an opportunity to discuss nature and nurture. A portion of this story is available on the CBS website (for web address see List of Resources). You may want to have students read Behavior Genetics: What’s New? What’s Next? (Dick & Rose, 2004) found in Current Directions in Developmental Psychology. Gene-Environment Relationships For this lecture you may want to begin by asking the students: their thoughts and impressions about the role of genetics and the environment. I like to begin with the following example to demonstrate the interaction of the environment and genetics. Temperament (the emotional reactivity to a situation) is believed to be largely genetically determined. Parents often notice differences in the temperament of their children even when they are just newborns. [Ask the students to provide examples if they can]. Then have students consider: What would be the effects of fraternal twins (known as dizygotic twins) if they differed in temperament? For example one twin may have a very mild temperament and be generally content while the other may be fussy, spirited and loud. What effects would this have on the parents? How might they treat one child differently? How might this influence their development? 1. First defining the environment (from the text, pg. 59) “as all the influences that affect us in our homes and communities”. a. The environment consists of a vast array of nongenetic influences such as: i. Diet, exposure to disease, nutrition ii. Being poor, lack of educational opportunities iii. Lack of medicine, lack of safety, lack of a stable and predictable home life iv. Being held, read to as a child, etc. b. Epigenomes are chemical substances that alter genes by increasing or decreasing their activity levels. Recent research has shown epigenomes can influence developmental disorders, cancer, and changes due to environmental variables including changes that may affect twins. i. For example, an article by Hilakivi-Clarke & de Assis (2006) describes the alterations within the fetal hormonal environment caused by maternal diet or environmental factors which may alter Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development epigenomes in their daughters and increase the risk of breast cancer. c. Reaction range i. The unknown upper and lower limits of a trait in which the environment determines where a person will fall within this range. ii. Examples 1. Down syndrome children often will test in the mild to moderate range depending largely on their environments and early intervention. Originally, most Down syndrome children were institutionalized with low expectations for development. 2. Second generation Japanese-Americans tend to be taller than their predicted height then if they were reared in Japan. 3. Intelligence will vary depending on a restricted environment, a natural habitat, or an enriched environment. For example, if three infants start with different genotypes for intelligence – low, median, and high, their actual level intelligence will depend on the phenotype , as determined through an IQ test. The phenotype will depend on how well each child’s intelligence is nurtured through experiences, environmental conditions, family and school situations. iii. In addition to reaction range, certain traits are highly canalized (which are generally insensitive to environmental factors or genetic mutations). Some examples would be walking and survival behaviors which occur irrespective of the environmental conditions. d. The changing relationship between genetics and environment. i. Passive gene-environment correlation reflects that the parent and child share genes and environment. The parent promotes their talents and avoids their weaknesses. For example a parent who has above average intelligence or cognitive ability is likely going to provide an enriched stimulating environment for their child to enhance the perceived or actual genetic traits of the child. ii. Secondly, reactive gene-environment correlation (also known as evocative gene-environment correlation) describes how genotypes evoke different responses from the environment. Consider the example provided above in which one fraternal twin’s temperament might influence his interaction with a parent. iii. Active-environment correlation occurs when children actively seek environments that match their genetic composition, called niche- picking. To demonstrate niche-picking, ask students what reasons do children give when they drop-out or quit organized sports? Likely responses: 1. It is not fun 2. Can’t do it or its too hard 3. Lack of friendship or social support Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Many times children quit because they lack the ability to compete well or view their skill as lower than their peers. A lack of fun can be code for “I am not as good as other players on the team”. While pointing out why children may quit, it is also important to note [to students] why drop-out or discontinuing involvement in a particular sport may not be a negative (of course this idea may be difficult for some parents to handle). iv. Finally, ask students to consider the combination of passive, reactive, and active gene-environment correlations that may influence behavior. Quickly, they realize the difficulty in separating the role of genetics from the environment in development. (See the example on the bottom of page 62 and the top of page 63). v. Currently there is a project underway to create a HapMap. The HapMap is a catalog of common genetic variants that occur in humans. It describes these variants, where they occur and how they are distributed among populations. Clearly, this can provide potentially vital information of differences in human disease and their genetic link. However, it may also perpetuate ethnic and racial stereotypes (See Resource Section for more information). 2. Building a brain through genes and the environment. Following are important facts and issues to consider when describing the development of the brain. a. Glial cells have supportive roles in the development of the brain. Their job is to provide the necessary nutrients, insulation and removal of cellular waste to the developing neurons. The CNS contains 10 times more glial cells than neurons. From neural tube closure (called neurulation ) until after birth, neurons are developing through neurogenesis (the forming of new neurons) at an amazing rate – averaging hundreds of thousands per minute until there are over 100 billion cells. In addition to neurogenesis, neural migration occurs when the neural tube is divided into distinct regions that form the different areas of the nervous system. b. Synaptogenesis follows neural migration and neurogenesis in which the brain produces excess neurons and synapses to ensure flexibility. This process continues until about 1 to 3 years of age. c. The last stages in brain development include neuronal death, synaptic pruning, and myelination . Interestingly, the formation of new synapses leads to the death of some surrounding neurons (called neuronal death). In addition the synaptic pruning results in the disposal of a neuron’s axons and dendrites if the neuron is not often stimulated. This is trade-off as it reduces neural plasticity but increases speed and efficiency of the brain. Finally, myelin sheaths develop from about the ninth month after conception into adulthood (See Figure 2.8 on pg. 65). The continuation of myelination into adulthood represents the structural maturation of the brain. Anything that interferes with myelination can have significant consequences for the individual as is evident in multiple sclerosis, which is caused by the loss of myelin on axons in the brain. Chapter 1 Introduction to Human Development Utilizing the Virtual Child in the Classroom In the first stage of the Virtual Child, students are required to name their baby and choose from one of three racial groups following which the child’s birth is described. As a discussion, you might ask the students to describe some of their expectations for the birth of this child. Discussion questions: 1. Is child male or female? What are some of the sex-influenced inheritance you might find? 2. What family traits might you expect your virtual child to exhibit? Which might you not? 3. What are some of the genetic abnormalities that may be a concern? Why? Observations in Lifespan Development CD-ROM None corresponding to Chapter 2.

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