Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences

Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences

“Week 7 … Week 8”
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Summaries

  • Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 7 > Psych Report
  • Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 7 > Lesson
  • Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 8 > Psych Report
  • Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 8 > Lesson
  • Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 8 > Lesson

Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 7 > Psych Report

  • It is the scientific study of the mental and emotional changes that occur in people over the course of their lives, from prenatal and newborn to infancy and childhood to adolescence and beyond.
  • During our study, we’ll take a look at the biological and physiological changes that affect motor skills, memory, cognition, socialization, morals, and emotion.
  • People view this stage as disruptive and in some cases, dangerous.
  • Is adolescence inevitably a time of psychological turmoil? We’ve all seen and read stories about teenagers on emotional roller coasters.
  • Because of that, some negative behaviors may evidence themselves for the first time or perhaps become more pronounced.
  • Although in my case, well, it’s time for our mini lesson.
  • Piaget’s main premise was that a child’s mind develops through a series of stages, from a newborn’s simple reflexes to an adult’s abstract reasoning.
  • While we don’t have time to go into all the details of each stage right now, we will look at the general characteristics of each stage.
  • Later in the course, you’ll have plenty of time to delve deeper into Piaget’s work.
  • The first stage of Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory is the sensory motor stage.
  • This lasts from birth to two years and is characterized by babies organizing their physical action schemes, such as sucking, grasping, and hitting.
  • It is also during this time that babies develop stranger anxiety, a time when babies will cry when greeted by a stranger and search for a familiar caregiver.
  • The second stage, pre-operational thought, lasts from two to seven years old.
  • In this stage, children learn to think, use symbols and internal images.
  • Pre-operational thinking is characterized by egocentrism, animism, moral heteronomy, and a lack of classification and conservation- all important concepts that we will cover later.
  • Piaget’s third stage is concrete operations, spanning from 7 to 11 years.
  • It is during this time that children really develop the capacity to think systematically, but only when they can refer to concrete objects and activities.
  • Children also begin to grasp conservation and mathematical transformation during this time.
  • The final stage is formal operations, which lasts from 11 years until adulthood.
  • This stage also allows for more mature moral reasoning.
  • While Piaget did attach specific ages to each stage, he actually did not believe that children passed through the stages at the same rate.
  • He attached little importance to the ages but did believe that children do move through the stages in an invariant order.
  • In other words, regardless of age, children pass through the stages in the same order.
  • As you learn more about Piaget and his work, see if his stages fit with how you’ve seen your own child develop.

Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 7 > Lesson

  • Developmental psychology is the study of age-related changes in behavior and mental processes from birth until death.
  • A big question in this unit of study is how much of our development results from heredity and how much from our environment.
  • It’s also during these early stages in the first few years of life that we experience major landmarks in motor development.
  • Take a look at the following picture to see the changes that take place and the differences between males and females in adolescent growth.
  • We may experience some negative things, such as memory loss and just simply slowing down, and may experience some other changes, such as arthritis, poor eyesight, wrinkles, a loss of hair, and simply just losing our stamina.
  • First, we have Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages.
  • Rather, he came up with stages that related to social conflict and was one of the first that looked at development over the whole lifespan, starting with birth and going into old age.
  • Please make sure you refer back to the reading for this week to look at the specifics of each stage.
  • These stages show that children think in strikingly different ways than adults.
  • The cognitive stages show the changes over time, stemming from infancy into adulthood.
  • The first stage was sensory-motor, where children develop object permanence.
  • The second stage is preoperational, when children learn to use symbols, develop language, but also develop a very egocentric worldview.
  • Piaget’s main terms for thinking that he used in these stages were schema, assimilation, and accommodation.
  • Finally, we have Kohlberg’s five stages of moral reasoning.
  • In stage two, we bargain because of our self-interests.
  • In stage three, we are guided most by conforming to the standards of others we value.
  • Stage four, we are conforming to the laws of society.
  • In stage five, moral decisions are made after carefully thinking about the alternatives and striking a balance between human rights and the laws of society.
  • Please make sure you refer back to the reading for this week to read about the druggist dilemma, which further explores these stages.

Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 8 > Psych Report

  • Intelligence, defined as this analytic capability, has a rich history that all began in the mid 1800s.
  • Can you believe that? If you want to learn more about intelligence and why it is so hotly contested and has led us to behave in some pretty despicable ways, stay with us as we dive in more deeply this week.
  • By the end of the week you should know a lot more about what makes you an individual and how to measure that.
  • I’m Doctor Jeneen Graham, and for all of us here at Psych Report, goodbye, everyone, and good mental health.

Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 8 > Lesson

  • Intelligence is a better predictor of student achievement and life success than any other psychometric measure.
  • Today we’ll better understand intelligence and the recent attempts to broaden the definition of intelligence.
  • So what is intelligence? It’s defined as the mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
  • Is it one thing? Or is it many things? Spearman believed in one general intelligence called g. Thurstone identified seven clusters of mental abilities- word fluency, verbal comprehension, spatial ability, perceptual speed, numerical ability, inductive reasoning, and memory.
  • There is something called g. But there are also different clusters of abilities in the intelligence construct.
  • A more recent theory of intelligence by Howard Gardner indicates that there are multiple intelligences.
  • He believed that intelligence could be broken down into eight categories- linguistic, logical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical, visual/spatial, naturalistic, and kinesthetic.
  • The existence of Savant Syndrome reinforces the notion that intelligence is truly multi-dimensional.
  • Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory is another attempt to broaden the theory of intelligence.
  • He believed that intelligence could be broken down into three categories- creative intelligence; practical intelligence, also known as common sense; and analytical intelligence.
  • His concept of analytical intelligence is very similar to the original definition of intelligence.
  • Creativity is about divergent thinking, whereas intelligence is about convergent thinking.
  • We also must consider emotional intelligence, which is the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotion.
  • Emotional intelligence predicts job performance, ability to pursue long-range goals and delay gratification, and also success in marriage and parenting.
  • The history of intelligence testing started in the mid 1800s.
  • Sir Francis Galton believed that intelligence was related to visual acuity and reaction time and set up a laboratory for this purpose.
  • He greatly feared that his intelligence testing would be abused.
  • After Binet developed his original intelligence test, Terman revised the Binet scale, calling it the Stanford-Binet scale, and created the actual term IQ. IQ is determined by taking mental age and dividing it by chronological age and multiplying that by 100.
  • He also extended the test to assess IQ in adults and developed the normal distribution of intelligence scores.
  • One is fluid intelligence, that is innate inherited intelligence.
  • Thank you for joining me in this discussion of intelligence.

Module 4: Developmental Psychology, Personality, and Individual Differences > Week 8 > Lesson

  • When we consider individual differences, we need to discuss personality.
  • When you think about the people in your life, you can probably name many of their personality traits.
  • How do we explain the development of these behavioral traits? There are many people who have theorized how and why personality develops.
  • Freud’s theories, while not empirically based, have had a significant impact on how we view personality.
  • An example of this is the International Personality Item Pool, which uses the big five construct.
  • There are also projective tests which use ambiguous stimuli to assess personality.
  • The meaning that they make indicates something about their personality.
  • Psychologists watch interactions with others to see personality traits.
  • The id is the pleasure-seeking, instinctual part of personality, the instant gratification part.
  • Your ego is the reality-seeking part of your personality.
  • The superego is the element of your personality that serves as your conscience.
  • How they develop through these stages and whether they have fixations left over from childhood stages would affect childhood personality.
  • The first stage is the oral stage, characterized by sucking, biting, and chewing.
  • By the time the child has approached the latent and genital stages of development, the child’s personality has been solidly entrenched.
  • For Freud and the Neo-Freudians of the Psychodynamic Perspective, there is much criticism of their theories, mainly because of poor testability and unrepresentative samples.
  • He believed that healthy personality is when self-concept is consistent with your ideal self-concept.
  • Abraham Maslow suggested that personality is determined by a hierarchy of needs, that basic needs must be met before higher needs.
  • He believed that self-actualizing people have exceptionally healthy personalities.
  • In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the hierarchy begins with physiological needs, then goes to safety needs, to love and belonging, then esteem, and finally to self-actualization.
  • BF Skinner believed that personality and behavior are determined by past experience with reinforcement and punishment.
  • Remember operant conditioning? And social-cognitive theorists, such as Albert Bandura, believe that reciprocal determinism impacts personality, as well as self-efficacy, which is your belief about your ability to perform a task.
  • Julian Rotter proposed that the locus of control impacted personality.
  • Gordon Allport set out to compose a list of critical personality traits.
  • Raymond Cattell collapsed some data from a large number of personality measures and identified 16 personality traits.
  • Eysenick, perhaps one of the more famous theorists in the world of personality, identified three basic traits- extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism.
  • We also know that there are biological foundations of personality.
  • Studies of identical twins separated at birth indicate that personality is in some part inherited.
  • Current research indicates that there are five basic traits that provide the framework for the development of personality.
  • Thank you for joining me today as we discussed personality.

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