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Post Super Notes of Psychology By Sarfraz Mayo


The branch of psychology that studies how growth and physiological/ psychological/ social changes take place over the life span also called Life-span Psychology; it is concerned with the changes in cognitive, motivational, and psycho physiological, and social functioning that occur throughout the human life span. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, developmental psychologists were concerned primarily with child psychology.
DEVELOPMENT“The process of growth and differentiation”
Development refers to the progressive changes in size, shape, and function during the life of an organism by which its genetic potentials (genotype) are translated into functioning mature systems (phenotype). Most modern philosophical outlooks would consider that development of some kind or other characterizes all things, in both the physical and biological worlds.
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT• Biological sense: progressive change in size, shape, and function, of the body during the life span; the genetic potentials are translated into functioning adult systems
• Psychological sense: the ways by which physical, cognitive and psychosocial characteristics change over life span; such development is complex, systematic, and age- related
• Developmental changes can be quantitative and easy to measure such as height and weight and the expansion of vocabulary
• Developmental changes can be qualitative i.e., changes in kinds that are more complex and involve “leaps” in functioning. these distinguish a crawling baby from a walking child, a nonverbal child from a talking child, self- absorbed adolescent from a mature adult Psychological changes include the growth of:
• Learning
• Cognition
• Intelligence
• Emotional maturity
• Creativity
• Sociability
• Morality…and much more
These small leaps are based upon small series of steps that we continue to take throughout our life span
Issues of Interest to Developmental Psychologists
Is development continuous or discontinuous?
Some psychologists believed that human functioning does not undergo fundamental changes but instead changes gradually in its efficiency and working capacity; initially a child spoke a few words but gradually these words become longer and more complicated, increasing the child’s ability to remember and use them in sentences.
Other psychologists maintain that changes in development reflect psychological processes that mediate human functioning. These are qualitatively unique stages, in which the evolution of one stage may depend on the traits of the preceding stages. e.g. Roger Brown, psychologist, maintains that in the process of language acquisition, a child progresses systematically in five steps or stages. Each stage has its own set of rules and skills from which a higher level of language acquisition takes place. Jean Piaget maintained that cognitive development occurs in a series of steps in which the child acquires and uses unique sets of cognitive processes that allow the child to think in identifiable ways.
Is development general or specific?
• Many aspects of functioning show simultaneous changes; a co-occurrence of change in different situations.
• Changes occur in specific areas of functioning that do not occur in other level of functioning.
• Development may remain isolated in specific domains. e.g. Video game mastery in young boys
Is development stable or changing?
In some respects development is stable and stays there for very long, whereas in some ways it keeps moving.
Temporal aspect: degree of stability or change across the lifespan
Situational aspect: degree of stability or change across a wide variety of experiences. e.g. Aggressive behavior in children
Human’s active or passive beings?
Psychologists maintain that humans are active recipients as well as participants in their course of development. Man seeks to understand the strategies that he can adopt in order to influence development Jean Piaget emphasized the active participation of the child in acquiring cognitive skills__ acquisition of knowledge and ability to use it effectively. Some philosophers believed that humans are passive beings whose development is entirely dependent on the environmental stimuli/ forces. These conditions may be internal i.e. food, water, companionship etc or external i.e. previously experienced reward or punishment. These psychologists tend to view differences in the patterns of development in which an individual is exposed to different environmental situations

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE• Nature means hereditary influences.
• Nurture refers to environmental influences, in child development.
• Once, it was assumed that these were significant forces that operated independently of each other.
• In the 17th century the French philosopher René Descartes set out views which held that people possess certain inborn ideas that are long lasting and color people's approach to the world.
• The British philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, on the other hand, took a more empirical approach and emphasized the role of experience as fully contributing to behavioral development.
• Since the days of Descates, Hobbes, and Locke, the empirical "nature" approach has led to a lot of debate; many followers and many opponents.
• Mid to late 1800's, through to the early 1900's the nature approach was the sole standpoint; consistent with the scientific discoveries of the role of inheritance and natural selection by
Mendel and Darwin
• The psychological argument developed later; Francis Galton "Hereditary Genius” (1869); “gifted individuals” tended to come from families, which had other gifted individuals. He went on to analyze biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, and became convinced that talent in science, professions, and the arts, ran in families.
• Galton went even further arguing that it would be "quite practicable to produce a high gifted race of men by judicious marriages during several consecutive generations".
• Eugenics: "the study of the agencies under social control that may improve or repair the racial qualities of future generations, either physically or mentally."
Studies to Determine the Relative Importance of Nature or Nurture
i. Twin Studies
• Studies making use of twins, identical or fraternal…reared apart and reared together
• The case of Gerald Levey and Mark Newman, twins reared apart, who had not seen each other before: When method, both were bald, 6 and a half feet tall, volunteer fire fighters, 250 pounds in weight, had droopy moustaches, wearing key rings on right side of their belts, liked to wear aviator style dark glasses; both had interest in similar subjects, had jobs in the supermarket, and liked tall, slender women with long hair; had similar hobbies, liked Chinese food and same drinks; showed similar mannerism, laugh similarly, and loved to fight fire
Research on Nature- Nurture, Focusing on Environmental Issues
• Research looking for possible environmental causes for certain traits/ behaviors
• These include prenatal studies, and studies involving manipulation of the environmental factors e.g. nutrition, exercise, drugs, pollution etc
• These involve comparing actual history: surveys etc.
Limitations of Nature-Nurture Research
o Ethical considerations in research with humans
o Not all animal research can be applied to humans

Researchers believe that although environment exerts an important influence on human development, physical traits are the ones more evidently influenced by heredity. Personality and intellectual characteristics are also affected by it
Mechanism of Heredity: Transmission of Genetic Characteristics
The process begins from the moment of conception; a sperm from the father unites with the ovum/egg of the mother to form zygote, a single-cell/one-celled product, containing the complete genetic package for the one to be born much later.
The zygote contains 23 pairs of chromosomes

• Each sperm and ovum contains 23 chromosomes that are tiny rod- shaped particles containing genetic/ heredity information.
• Genetic/ heredity information is packed in the genes.
• Genes: parts of chromosome that are the transmitters of inheritance.
• Genes produce particular characteristics of the new being, either individually or in combination
Genes may be dominant or recessive;
A dominant gene means that its characteristics will dominate those of the recessive one e.g. if father has brown eyes and mother has black eyes, and if the father’s genes dominate then the baby will have brown eyes.
o Each zygote’s 46 chromosomes contain about 30,000 segments strung along its beads i.e., “genes”
Genes, made up of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA,) determine all our heredity
Prenatal Stages
EMBRYO: A developed zygote with a heart, a brain and other organs.
Fetus: A developing child; 9 weeks after conception till birth.
Determination of the Sex of the Embryo
• A combination of chromosomes from the parents determines sex.
• An XX pair means a female will be born An XY pair means a male will be born.
• The mother’s sex chromosome is always and ‘X’ but the father may be either ‘X’ or ‘Y’. If X chromosome is being contributed by the father’s side then the new being has to be a female; and if the father is contributing a ‘Y’ chromosome then the new being is going to be a male
Genotype and Phenotype
• Genotype: genetic composition of a person.
• Phenotype: observable characteristics.
• The characteristics that can be observed and seen, make up our “phenotype”. They may not always be the same e.g. person may have brown eyes (phenotype) but carry genes for both brown and blue eyes (genotype) __ dominant gene is brown
This difference in color is due to the fact that genes come in alternative forms called “Alleles” (alternative forms of a gene). When alleles are identical, a person is homozygous for a trait; when alleles are dissimilar the person is heterozygous
Patterns of Transmission of Characteristics
i. Homozygous and Heterozygous
When the person inherits identical alleles he is said to be “homozygous” (possessing two identical alleles for a trait). When he inherits two different alleles then the person is “heterozygous” (possessing two different alleles for a trait).
Example: when a person is homozygous for brown eyes then he will transmit only genes for brown eyes to his offspring and if heterozygous for blue and brown eyes then although dominant one is brown, but he will transfer his both alleles to his offspring.
a. Autosomal Dominant Inheritance
• Patterns of inheritance in which a specific gene is dominant; if it is inherited; it manifests itself in the person.
b. Autosomal Recessive Inheritance
• Patterns of inheritance in which trait appears only if a person inherits two genes for it, one from each parent. If the person inherits only one gene for a trait, it will not appear in a person but may be passed on to his children.
ii. Multi- Factorial Inheritance
• Patterns of inheritance in which a trait is expressed either by a combination of several genes or through the interaction of genes with environmental factors.
• More complicated combination of genes or an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors that bring them out.
• Some characteristics follows one of these patterns, other genes another.
Hair type (curly or straight) is either autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive, baldness is sex-linked; height and weight are probably multi- factorial.
Some diseases and birth defect are inherited according to these patterns. Most prominent examples are:
Achondroplasia: a kind of dwarfism that is inherited by autosomal dominance.
Tay- Sachs disease: body’s inability to break down fat; results into death by 3-4 years of age
Huntington’s disease: 99.9% correlation between having the identified gene and the disease.
The blood- clotting disorder hemophilia is a sex- linked condition.
Spina bifida: a defect in the closure of the vertebral canal, that is believed to be the condition transmitted by sex- linked inheritance
The process of development continues throughout the life span
While considering aspects of development, individuality and interactions are the key terms in understanding it. All beings bring their unique genetic package into this world and have unique sets of experiences too. An individual’s strengths, abilities, and predispositions are affected by the influence of environment. These influences make a person act in ways that elicit new experiences

Cognitive development is the process of the development of children understanding of the world as a function of age and experience.
Development of Cognition and Cognitive Ability
Cognition is the process of knowing as well as what is known. It includes "knowledge" which is innate/ inborn and present in the form of brain structures and functions. We ‘remember’ the physical environment in which we were brought up and develop perceptual constructs or knowledge accordingly (seeing, hearing, sounds etc
Disciplines Interested in the Study and Use of Cognition
The interest in human cognition and its development has been developed and applied in a variety of scientific disciplines:
• Anthropologists focus on, and measure, how cognition develops in different cultures.
• Sociologists study how cognitions are acquired and used in various groups and institutional settings.
• Computer scientists target to create ‘artificial intelligence’.
Psychologists are interested in a better understanding of the human cognitive ability and potentials, how it is utilized in different situations and at different stages.
Nature of Cognition
The very word cognitive refers to the process of knowing as well as the known. Cognition thus, has at least two main aspects/ features i.e.,
i. Cognition means ‘mental processes’ that people use to gather/ acquire knowledge, and
ii. Cognition refers to the knowledge that has been gathered/ acquired subsequently used in mental processes
Cognition and Knowledge
• There is probably no aspect of human life and behavior that is void of all sorts of cognition…not even sleep
• All human intellectual activities and potentials, i.e. thinking, communicating, problem solving, and learning require mental processes and knowledge
Factors Influencing the Cognitive Development
• Long term memory and information processing or working memory are traits of the human infant which exist and operate much earlier than when one is aware of it; these are intact even before birth but these contents of memory are unknown to consciousness.
• The ability to control ‘mental processes’ and ‘innate/ inborn knowledge’ develops after birth and this may occur largely due to the interaction of the child with the physical environment
• The child’s interaction and bonding with the people around has a deep impact. Most often parents especially the mother, also including the caregivers/caretakers, are the most significant connections for the development of cognition.
Significant Influences on Cognition
Socio- Cultural Factor
• Given and debated in the early 1900s socio-cultural approach has now regained interest among cognitive scientists
• It states that cognitive ability does not start with the anatomy/ biology of the individual or only with the environment: the culture and society into which the individual is born provide the most important resources/ clues for human cognitive development.
• They provide the context into which the individual begins his experience of the world.
• Social groups help in person's cognitive development by placing value/ importance on learning certain skills, thereby providing all important motivation that the person needs and requires in order to learn and exhibit those skills or behaviors. This results in cognitive development
• One perspective about cognitive ability suggest that there is some sort of innate potential existing within an individual
Another suggests that there is potential within the socio- cultural context for development of the individual.
The individual is born into a society of potential intellect. Knowledge will develop largely based on the evolution of intellect within the society and culture.
Social Nature of Mind• Beside other psychological functions, the most important and influential is the interaction between individuals.
• In the beginning, the child has no means of understanding/ expressing or communicating his experiences. But as time passes, the teachings of parents and other family members enable a child to understand the world in which he lives. Knowledge is considered to be the experiences and the values that parents/ caregivers pass on to their off springs. It reflects their particular social and cultural norms and standards, which are incorporated in their understanding of their culture.
Language and Cognitive Ability
• The main and most important tool in acquiring cognitions in any culture is its language through which an organized body of knowledge is transmitted as “cognitive abilities”. By learning the language, the child is able to share knowledge and experiences with the people he interacts with.
• Early learning takes place through internalizing and interpreting the world.
• Afterwards, the child is able to use those internalized skills such as language that have been taught to him by his parents, culture, or society. It further on helps him to think and function independently
• Language, including its written form, is the unifying tool for any culture. As language starts to develops, so do the social norms, cultural beliefs, and values
Motivation, Cognition and Learning• It is believed that cognitive ability alone cannot account for achievement; motivation is also important in acquiring/ attaining cognitive skills and abilities.
• People learn information that corresponds to, and is in accordance with, their view of the world. They learn skills that are meaningful to them. e.g. children who are born in a poor family may not give any attention or importance to the formal education and as adults, they may pass on similar beliefs and attitudes to their off springs.
• Motivation determines whether or not one is capable of learning. Whether one learns well or not, depends on one’s own view and that affects the ability to learn. The motivational condition largely depends on the way the culture responds to achievements and failures. There are culturally developed attitudes about the probability of learning successfully after one has initially failed to learn. These attitudes can greatly affect future learning.
The Individual and the Group
• These factors also influence the extent or direction of development.
• The culture of the individual, the community, the neighborhood, social organizations, and the family, all influence the experience of the individual. But these experiences have a certain uniqueness of their own and they may be perceived and viewed differently by different people.
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT• Cognitive development is the development of the ‘thinking’ and ‘organizing systems’ of the brain. It involves
• Language,
• Mental imagery,
• Thinking,
• Reasoning,
• Problem solving and
• Memory development
Jean Piaget’s (1896-1980) Theory of Cognitive Development
• Piaget was a Swiss psychologist. He was a very keen observer from the very beginning; got published his first research paper at age 15.
• As a result of his study of philosophy and logic, he became interested in epistemology i.e., knowledge and knowing; the interest in observation and epistemology made a foundation of his theory of cognitive development.
• Piaget was influenced by Henri Bergson’s Creative Evolution, unlike most of the other psychologists who were impressed by Darwin’s theory of evolution. Bergson believed in divine agency instead of chance as the force behind evolution: life possesses an inherent creative impulse.
• Piaget did his doctorate in Biological Science, but later became interested in psychology especially abnormal psychology.
• He secured a position in Alfred Binet’s laboratory In Paris where he got a chance to observe children’s performance, their right and wrong answers.
• Piaget’s work and observation generated an interest in children’s mental processes.
• The real shift took place when he started observing his own children from birth onwards. He kept records of their behavior and used them to trace the origins of children’s thoughts to their behavior as babies; later on he became interested in the thought of adolescents as well
Piagetian Method of Investigation
• Known as the Clinical Approach; a form of a structured observation.
• Piaget used to present problems/tasks to children of different ages, asked them to explain their answers. Their explanations were further probed through carefully phrased question.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
• Sensorimotor stage
• Preoperational stage
• Concrete operational stage
• Formal operational stage
Sensorimotor stage
Age: Infancy; Birth-2 years
Major Characteristic:
• Thought confined to action schemes.
• Development of object permanence.
• Development of motor skills.
• Little or no capacity for symbolic representation.
Preoperational Stage
Age: Preschool; 2-7 years
Major characteristics:• Representational thought.
• Thought is intuitive not logical.
• Development of language and symbolic thinking takes place.
• Thinking is egocentric.
Concrete Operational Stage
Age: Childhood; 7-11 years
Major Characteristics
• Thought is systematic and logical, but only with regard to concrete objects.
• Development of conservation, and mastery of concept of reversibility.
Formal Operational Stage
Age: Adolescence and adulthood; 11 years onward
Major Characteristics:
• Abstract and logical thought develops.
• The person can deal with the abstract and the absent.

• Left his native land, Germany, in 1930's and immigrated to America, where he studied Native
American traditions of human development, and continued his work as a psychoanalyst.
• Broke with his teacher over the fundamental view about what motivates/ drives human behavior. For Freud, it was ‘biology’ or more specifically the biological instincts of life and aggression (Eros and Thanatos). For Erikson, the most important force that drives human behavior and which helps in the development of personality was “social interaction”.
• His developmental theory of the "Eight Stages of Man" (Erikson, 1950) was unique and different in the sense that it covered the entire lifespan rather than ‘childhood’ and ‘adolescent development’.
• He believed that social environment combined with biological maturation results in a set of "crises" that must be resolved.
• The individual passes through the "sensitive period” and crisis at different stages, which has to be resolved successfully before a new crisis is presented. The results of the resolution, whether successful or not, are passed on to the next crisis and provide the foundation for its resolution
Erickson’s Psychosocial Developmental Stages
1-Trust vs. Mistrust (Oral-Sensory Stage): Birth –18months: Infancy
• The infant develops a sense of who and when to trust.
• He learns when to protect oneself and be cautious.
2-Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt: 18 months to 3 years: Early Childhood
• The child develops a sense of independence and is able to understand and recognize his limitations. If independence is encouraged, he develops a sense of autonomy.
• If the child is overly restricted, over-protected, or criticized it may result into self-doubt and shame. Shame occurs when child is overly self-conscious when negatively exposed. Self-doubt occurs when parents overly shame the child, e.g. about elimination.
3-Initiative vs. Guilt: 3 to 6 years: late Childhood
• The child is able to tryout and explore various things.
• Indulges in various activities, both motor and intellectual.
• Guilt arises after doing the negative acts e.g. aggression.
4-Industry vs. Inferiority: 6 to 11 years: School Age
o Child is busy in
• Building,
• Creating, and
• Accomplishing
o Receives systematic instruction as well as fundamentals of technology.
o Learns norms and standards of the society in which he lives.
o Socially decisive age. The child gains self- esteem.
5-Identity vs. Role confusion: Adolescence
• The person has a coherent sense of self.
• Plans to actualize one’s abilities or becomes confused when unable to accomplish task.
• Problems may result in impulsive attitude or extended immaturity.
• Indecisiveness may occur.
• In extreme cases there can be a possibility of antisocial behavior.
6-Intimacy vs. Isolation: 18 to 25 years:
Young adulthood (beginning in the early 20s and may extend to the 40s)
Young adults focus on
• Maintaining one’s individuality
• Making friends
• Relationships and intimacy
7-Adulthood Generativity vs. Stagnation: Middle adulthood (40-60 years)
o Age of;
• Creativity
• Productivity
• Concern about guiding and helping the next generation
• Concern for others or self-indulgence
• Impoverishment of self
8-Ego Integrity vs. despair: Old age
• The person develops a sense of acceptance of life as it was lived.
• Importance of the people and relationships that individual developed over the lifespan
• Comes to terms with approaching death.
• Some sort of despair is inevitable.

LAWRENCE KOHLBERG’S THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT• A psychologist __ born in Bronxville New York.
• Served as a professor at Harvard University.
• Started as a developmental psychologist in the early 1970s and became famous for his later ork in moral education and moral reasoning.
• His theory emphasizes on how moral reasoning develops in stages___ similar with the theory of piaget's cognitive development.
• Like Piaget, Kohlberg believed that development is flourished by social interaction.
• Moral education can be taught in formal education by confronting people with moral dilemmas that evoke/ arise cognitive conflicts.
• According to Kohlberg, discussion over these dilemmas promotes development, which further helps in higher stages of moral reasoning __ showing benefits of the higher stages of reasoning.
He and others formulated dilemmas for this purpose.
Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
Moral reasoning, which Kohlberg thought is the basis for ethical behavior, has developmental stages. There are six identifiable stages of moral development. These stages can be classified into three levels.
Stages of Moral Development
Level 1
i. Obedience and Punishment Orientation
ii. Self- interest orientation
Level 2
i. Interpersonal accords
ii. Conformity (good boy/Good girl attitude)
iii. Authority
iv. Social order orientation (law and order morality)
Level 3
i. Social contract orientation
ii. Universal ethical principles (principled conscience)
Levels of Moral Development
a. Pre-Conventional
o Common in children, although adults can also exhibit this level of reasoning.
o Judging the morality of an action by its direct consequences.
o Pre-conventional level is divided into two stages:
• Stage One: Obedience and punishment orientation
• Stage two: self-interest orientation
o In stage one, individuals focus on the direct consequences that their actions will result into. They see and analyze as to what actions are morally wrong and, if the person commits them, gets punishment for it.
o In stage two, right behavior is what is defined as, ‘what is in one's own best interest’. Limited or little interest is shown about other’s needs.
o Concern for others is not based on loyalty or intrinsic respect.
b. Conventional
o Can easily be seen in adults and older children.
o Persons, who reason in a conventional way, judge the morality of actions by comparing these actions to social rules norms, standards, and expectations.
o The conventional level is divided into two further stages:
• Stage three: conformity orientation
• Stage four: law-and-order morality
o Individual, whose moral reasoning is in stage three, seeks approval from others. Tries to be a ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’, having learned that there is inherent value in doing so.
o Judging the morality of an action by evaluating its consequences.
o In stage four, individual thinks that it is important to obey the laws and social conventions because it is important in maintaining society and thus does not require approval which is important in stage three.
c. Post-Conventional
o The post-conventional level is divided into two stages;
• Stage five: social contract orientation
• Stage six: principled conscience
o In stage five, people have certain principles or beliefs to which they may attach more value than laws e.g. human rights or social justice.
o In the sixth and final stage, moral reasoning is based on the use of ‘abstract reasoning’ using ‘universal ethical principles’.
o Although Kohlberg insisted that sixth stage exists but he had difficulty finding people who used it. It appears that people rarely use it, if, ever they reach this sixth stage of Kohlberg's model.
Sarfraz Mayo
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