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LECTURE 1 NOTES
Section 1: Human Development Today and Its Origins
Introduction to text
This text was written to emphasize the cultural approach in understanding the way people grow and change across the life span. That is in essence human development.
Culture is the total pattern of a group’s customs, beliefs, art and technology.
A biological perspective is also offered in this text, especially in terms of how biology interacts with cultural and social influences.
In the past, culture was largely ignored by social scientists in favor of universal principles of development.
More researchers are now embracing the influence of culture on development.
Example: Adolescence as a stage of development
Three features that made the years 1890-1920 the Age of Adolescence were: enactment of laws restricting child labor; new requirements for children to attend secondary school; and the development of the field of adolescence as an area of scholarly study.
By learning to think critically about culture, and to appreciate diversity, you will be better prepared to understand and evaluate human behavior.
A Demographic Profile of Humanity Today
Population Growth and Change
Historically, the human population hovered around 10 million. However, notable growth began to occur about 10,000 years ago.
Medical advances facilitated the population boom to what it was in 2011, about 7 billion.
Increases, of up to 10 billion, are expected to continue until about 2090, and then level off or decline.
The increase can be attributed to the current Total Fertility Rate, or number of live births per woman, which is 2.5 of live births per woman. This is higher than the replacement rate of just 2.1.
Most growth will occur in economically developing countries, while a decline is expected in wealthy, developed countries. Developed countries are the most affluent countries in the world as classified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
These countries likely include the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and most European countries.
They represent about 18 percent of the world’s population.
In contrast, developing countries have less wealth, but an increasing economic presence in the global economy.
They represent about 82 percent of the world’s population.
Most developed countries, except the United States, are expected to lose population by 2050.
The U.S. population is expected to have slight gains because the fertility rate is close to the replacement rate and they have generous immigration laws compared to other OECD countries.
Japan is expected to decline the most due to low fertility and lack of immigration.
Variations Across Countries
There are large income and education differences between developing and developed countries.
In developing countries, most families live on less than $6,000 per year with Africa remaining the poorest region in the world.
90 percent of individuals in developed countries are in the top 20 percent of the global income distribution.
There is also an educational divide between developing and developed countries.
Nearly 100 percent of children in developed countries are afforded a primary and secondary education and about half go on to college or vocational school.
In developing countries, 80 percent of children attend primary school, but only half advance to secondary school; college attendance is for the rich.
Cultural differences across developed and developing countries should be noted.
Developed countries tend to foster individualistic values, such as independence and self-expression, while developing countries prize collectivistic values, such as obedience and group harmony.
The rural and urban areas within developing countries resemble the differences between developing and developed countries.
Individuals in rural areas tend to have more traditional cultures. They have lower incomes, fewer educational opportunities, and inadequate medical care compared with urban areas.
Globalization refers to the increasing connections between different parts of the world in trade, travel, migration and communication.
Variations Within Countries
Human development varies not only between developing and developed countries, but within each as well.
Within each country, the majority culture sets most of the norms and standards and holds most of the positions of power.
There are additional influences from the minority culture.
The contexts in which human development occurs varies based on the environmental setting and circumstances that surround the individual.
Additional variations include socioeconomic status (SES), gender and ethnicity.
SES refers to social class and is based on educational level, income and occupational status. A high SES is associated with positive developmental outcomes and a low SES is associated with negative outcomes.
Gender role expectations vary within and between countries.
In developed countries, gender roles have become more integrated over time with less differentiation. This is not true in some other cultures.
Ethnicity, cultural origin and traditions, race, religion and language, also influence human development.
Ethnic minorities tend to be more collectivistic even within an individualistic majority culture.
Human Development Today and Its Origins: Human Origins and the Birth of Culture
Understanding human development, called ontogenetic development, we must first understand the development of the human species, called phylogenetic development.
Our Evolutionary Beginnings
According to evolutionary theory, species change through the process of natural selection.
Young are born with variations and those with the best adaptations are the most likely to survive.
Natural selection results in species change a little at a time over many generations. This can result in the development of new species.
Human evolution began about 6–8 million years ago when a common primate ancestor split into one of three paths: Human, chimpanzees or gorillas (See Figure 1.2).
The human evolutionary line is called the hominid line.
The hominid line further split resulting in our species of modern humans, Homo sapiens.
The early Homo sapiens had an increased brain size and wider female pelvis.
Infant dependency lasted longer requiring mothers to stay close to home and become gatherers.
With the development of the ability to make tools and control fire, they began cutting and cooking meat. This led to smaller teeth and jaws because the food was easier to eat.
A hunter-gatherer lifestyle developed whereby males traveled to hunt and scavenge and females remained at home and gathered edible plants and cared for the young.
The Origin of Cultures and Civilizations
Homo sapiens have remained physically similar for the last 200,000 years. During the Upper Paleolithic period (40,000–10,000 years ago), evidence of culture first appeared.
Burst of artistic production.
Burial of the dead began.
Cultural differences appeared between groups of people, such as art and tools.
Trade, industry, and migration across large bodies of water began after the invention of the boat.
The Neolithic period followed, about 10,000–5,000 years ago.
The hallmarks of the period included farming and animal domestication, a warmer climate, new tools and permanent dwellings.
Civilization as we know it began around 5,000 years ago.
Civilization is characterized by the development of cities, the ability to write, divisions of labor, SES, and central political systems known as a state.
Civilizations and states arose due to agricultural efficiency, which led to the opportunity to create and work in different fields. As people spread, the state tended to infrastructure and trade development.
Human Evolution and Human Development Today
Our human development is based in part on our evolutionary history.
Evolutionary psychology is an approach to the study of patterns of human functioning and behavior that has resulted from adaptions to evolutionary conditions.
Biologically, little evolutionary change has occurred since the origin of Homo sapiens, but much has changed in terms of culture.
Our cultures shape our raw biological material producing variations in development throughout the life span.
Culture is what makes us unique from nonhuman animals and it developed in part from our large brains and our ability to learn, create and adapt.
Section Two: Theories of Human Development
Theories of Human Development: Ancient Conceptions
The Life Course in Three Traditions
These conceptions were written by and for men, which reflected the value and place of women in the society.
Dharmashastras, the oldest known conception of a life course from the sacred law books of the Hindu religion was advanced about 3,000 years ago is comprised of 4 stages of a man’s life: apprentice, householder, forest dweller and renunciant.
Solon’s life stage conception, from birth to age 70 divided into 7 year increments, developed about 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece.
The third conception of life was drawn from the Jewish religion from the Talmud about 1,500 years ago and is comprised of 14 stages that goes up to age 100.
There are similarities among the three, traditional conceptions of life.
They share an idealistic view of human development.
Youth is a preparation for adulthood and a time of immaturity.
Adulthood is a time to develop skills and expertise and to take on great responsibilities.
Old age yields wisdom and peace and is a time to prepare for death.
The difference between the three, traditional conceptions of life is found in the way in which life span development is divided.
There are no distinct dividing lines in human development because our biology, culture, and social interactions all intertwine to make us who we are.
Theories of Human Development: Scientific Conceptions
Freud’s Psychosexual Theory
Freud was the first to devise a known scientific theory of human development. As a clinician, his theory was based on working with mentally ill patients who had experienced and repressed a traumatic childhood event.
He developed and used psychoanalysis to help patients uncover and heal from their traumatic pasts.
The basis of Freud’s psychosexual theory was that sexual desire is the driving force behind human development.
He divided the mind into three areas called the id (pleasure principle), superego (conscience), and ego (mediator; reality principle).
There are several stages of development: oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. The locus of the sexual drive shifts around the body during early development and the personality is complete at age 6.
There are limitations of Freud’s psychosexual theory.
No single motive can explain the complexity of human development.
The theory was not developed or tested with children; only a retrospective using troubled, adult women.
It was the dominant theory until the latter half of the 20th century; it is no longer considered accurate.
Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development was based on our drive to become integrated into our social and cultural environment throughout the life span.
Each of the 8 stages of development is characterized by a distinctive developmental challenge or crisis that a person must successfully resolve. His theory extends across the life span.
Trust versus Mistrust (Infancy): From birth to 12 months of age, infants must learn that adults can be trusted. This occurs when adults meet a child's basic needs for survival. Infants are dependent upon their caregivers, so caregivers who are responsive and sensitive to their infant’s needs help their baby to develop a sense of trust; their baby will see the world as a safe, predictable place. Unresponsive caregivers who do not meet their baby’s needs can engender feelings of
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/definition/anxiety/anxiety, fear and mistrust; their baby may see the world as unpredictable. If infants are treated cruelly or their needs are not met appropriately, they will likely grow up with a sense of mistrust for people in the world.
Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt (Toddlerhood): As toddlers (ages 1–3 years) begin to explore their world, they learn that they can control their actions and act on their environment to get results. They begin to show clear preferences for certain elements of the environment, such as food, toys and clothing. A toddler’s main task is to resolve the issue of autonomy versus shame and doubt by working to establish independence. This is the “me do it” stage. For example, we might observe a budding sense of autonomy in a 2-year-old child who wants to choose her clothes and dress herself. Although her outfits might not be appropriate for the situation, her input in such basic decisions has an effect on her sense of independence. If denied the opportunity to act on her environment, she may begin to doubt her abilities, which could lead to low
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/definition/self-esteem/self-esteem and feelings of shame.
Initiative versus Guilt (Early childhood): Once children reach the preschool stage (ages 3–6 years), they are capable of initiating activities and asserting control over their world through social interactions and play. According to Erikson, preschool children must resolve the task of initiative versus guilt. By learning to plan and achieve goals while interacting with others, preschool children can master this task. Initiative, a sense of ambition and responsibility, occurs when parents allow a child to explore within limits and then support the child's choice. These children will develop self-confidence and feel a sense of purpose. Those who are unsuccessful at this stage—with their initiative misfiring or stifled by overcontrolling parents—may develop feelings of guilt.
Industry versus Inferiority (Middle to late childhood): During the elementary school stage (ages 6–12), children face the task of industry versus inferiority. Children begin to compare themselves with their peers to see how they measure up. They either develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in their schoolwork, sports, social activities and family life, or they feel inferior and inadequate because they feel that they don’t measure up. If children do not learn to get along with others or have negative experiences at home or with peers, an inferiority complex might develop into
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/definition/adolescence/adolescence and adulthood.
Identity versus Identity Confusion (Adolescence): In adolescence (ages 12–18), children face the task of identity versus identity confusion. According to Erikson, an adolescent’s main task is developing a sense of self. Adolescents struggle with questions such as “Who am I?” and “What do I want to do with my life?” Along the way, most adolescents try on many different selves to see which ones fit; they explore various roles and ideas,
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/definition/set/set goals, and attempt to discover their "adult" selves. Adolescents who are successful at this stage have a strong sense of identity and are able to remain true to their beliefs and values in the face of
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/definition/problem/problems and other people’s perspectives. When adolescents are apathetic, do not make a conscious search for identity, or are pressured to conform to their parents’ ideas for the future, they may develop a weak sense of self and experience role confusion. They will be unsure of their identity and confused about the future. Teenagers who struggle to adopt a positive role will likely struggle to "find" themselves as adults.
Intimacy versus Isolation (Early adulthood): People in early adulthood (20s through early 40s) are concerned with intimacy versus isolation. After we have developed a sense of self in adolescence, we are ready to share our life with others. However, if other stages have not been successfully resolved, young adults may have trouble developing and maintaining successful relationships with others. Erikson said that we must have a strong sense of self before we can develop successful intimate relationships. Adults who do not develop a positive
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/definition/self-concept/self-concept in adolescence may experience feelings of loneliness and emotional isolation.
Generativity versus Stagnation (Middle adulthood): When people reach their 40s, they enter the time known as middle adulthood, which extends to the mid-60s. The social task of middle adulthood is generativity versus stagnation. Generativity involves finding your life’s work and contributing to the development of others through activities such as volunteering, mentoring and raising children. During this stage, middle-aged adults begin contributing to the next generation, often through childbirth and caring for others; they also engage in meaningful and productive work which contributes positively to society. Those who do not master this task may experience stagnation and feel as though they are not leaving a mark on the world in a meaningful way; they may have little connection with others and little interest in productivity and self-improvement.
Ego Integrity versus Despair (Late adulthood): From the mid-60s to the end of life, we are in the period of development known as late adulthood. Erikson’s task at this stage is called integrity versus despair. He said that people in late adulthood reflect on their lives and feel either a sense of satisfaction or a sense of failure. People who feel proud of their accomplishments feel a sense of integrity, and they can look back on their lives with few regrets. However, people who are not successful at this stage may feel as if their life has been wasted. They focus on what “would have,” “should have,” and “could have” been. They face the end of their lives with feelings of bitterness, depression and despair.
The psychosocial theory that we develop across the life span with cultural and social influences is still widely accepted, unlike Freud’s theory.
Of all of the stages he outlined, identity in adolescence and generativity in midlife have been most fully embraced.
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory
The ecological theory of development is a systems approach to development, not a stage theory. It focuses on five, interrelated social systems that influence development.
Microsystem (more common term is context): immediate environmental settings and relationships. Refers to the institutions and groups that most immediately and directly impact the child's development including: family, school, religious institutions, neighborhood and
Mesosystem: the network of the microsystems. Interconnections between the microsystems, Interactions between the family and teachers, Relationship between the child’s peers and the family.
Exosystem: societal institutions with an indirect influence. Involves links between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual's immediate context. For example, a parent's or child's experience at home may be influenced by the other parent's experiences at work. The parent might receive a promotion that requires more travel, which might increase conflict with the other parent and change patterns of interaction with the child.
Macrosystem: shared cultural beliefs and values to include the economy and government. Describes the culture in which individuals live. Cultural contexts include developing and industrialized countries, socioeconomic status, poverty and ethnicity. A child, his or her parent, his or her school, and his or her parent's workplace are all part of a large cultural context. Members of a cultural group share a common identity, heritage and values. The macrosystem evolves over time, because each successive generation may change the macrosystem, leading to their development in a unique macrosystem
Chronosystem: individual and historical changes in developmental circumstances. The patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life course, as well as sociohistorical circumstances. For example, divorces are one transition. Researchers have found that the negative effects of divorce on children often peak in the first year after the divorce. By two years after the divorce, family interaction is less chaotic and more stable. An example of sociohistorical circumstances is the increase in opportunities for women to pursue a career during the last 30 years
Differs from stage theories because of the cultural emphasis, recognition of historical contexts, and children as active participants in their development.
A Cultural-Developmental Model for This Book
Combination of elements from Erikson’s and Bronfenbrenner’s approaches, but adds an emphasis on culture in human development.
Framework for textbook is a cultural-developmental approach. The focus is on how culture and biology shapes development.
The stages are divided by the traditional periods with the addition of emerging adulthood between adolescence and young adulthood.
Emerging adulthood is a life stage, primarily seen in developed countries, that is a transition from parental dependence to independence, but lacks the hallmarks of adulthood.
Emerging adulthood usually occurs when tertiary education is pursued, thus delaying marriage and parenthood.
Age ranges are more specific for the early stages, but less defined in the latter stages.
Although this text uses a stage approach, be aware that development is a continuous and gradual process.
Section Three: How We Study Human Development
How We Study Human Development: The Scientific Method
The Five Steps of the Scientific Method
The scientific method is a process of scientific investigation involving a series of five steps.
Identify a question of scientific interest
Form a hypothesis
A hypothesis is the researcher’s idea about the possible answer to their question.
Choose a research method and design
The research method is the way the hypothesis is investigated.
The research design is the plan for when and how to collect data for a study.
Collect data to test the hypothesis
Data are collected from a sample, a subset of a population for which data are collected or the participants in a research study.
Participants should be representative of the population of interest or the entire category a sample represents.
Using a representative sample increases the generalizability of the findings so that conclusions may extend to the population.
The procedure details how the study is conducted and the data are collected, which should avoid bias.
Draw conclusions and form new questions and hypotheses
Conclusions are based on results that have been statistically analyzed.
The researcher determines whether the data support or refute the hypothesis and interpret them based on relevant theories and previous research.
The research is usually disseminated by writing a manuscript that is submitted to a peer reviewed journal so that the work can be assessed for accuracy and credibility by peer experts and then accepted by a journal editor if it is deemed worthwhile.
Research may lead to the development of modification of theories.
A theory is an original framework to explain a set of interconnected ideas that inspires further research.
Ethics in Human Development Research
The purpose of the Institutional Review Board is to prevent ethical violations in research. They usually require the following components as part of the research proposal:
Protection from physical and psychological harm.
Informed consent before participation. Informed consent is a procedure that entails informing potential participants of what their participation would involve, including any possible risks, and giving them the opportunity to agree to participate or not.
The consent form includes important information about the study, such as expectations, risks and benefits. It also lets the participant know that participation is voluntary, withdrawal at any time is permissible, and for minors, parents must consent.
Confidentiality. Information about research participants is not shared outside the immediate research group and they will not be identified by name.
Deception and debriefing. Deception is sometimes required to study phenomenon that subjects might want to hide. If deception is used, the researchers must debrief that participant afterward. That is, they must tell the participant the true purpose of the study.
How We Study Human Development: Methods and Designs in Research
Closed questions have specific responses, which makes it easy to collect and analyze the data; useful for large data sets.
Open-ended questions allow self-generated responses by the participant.
Limitations: Closed ended questions that use an existing response set may miss the depth, complexity and diversity of the participants.
Interviews capture a person’s individuality and complexity by allowing him or her to describe their lives in their own words.
Interviews provide qualitative data that are not readily quantifiable because it is not in numerical form. It is different from quantitative data, which is collected in numerical form.
Limitations of interviews: difficult and time consuming to code into useful categories.
Involve making systematic observations and recording that information.
Locations: Naturalistic and laboratory
Advantage: Better than self-report
Limitation: Possible change in participant behavior when he or she has knowledge of observation
In-depth observational research over time that occurs when the researcher lives and interacts with the participants.
The results of this research are usually published in a book called an ethnography.
Advantage: Naturalistic setting that more accurately captures daily life.
Limitations: Time consuming and expensive; may develop observer bias due to personal relationships with participants.
A case study is a detailed examination of the life of one person or a small number of persons.
Advantage: Detailed account of the whole person.
Limitation: Limited generalizability.
Human development includes biological changes.
Includes hormonal functioning, brain functioning, and the genetic basis of development.
Often combined with other methodology to present a more complete picture.
Advantage: Allows for precise measurements; investigation of the relationship between biological and other types of development.
Limitations: Expensive; relationships are correlational, not causal.
The experimental research method is one that entails comparing an experimental group that receives a treatment of some kind to a control group that receives no treatment.
In an experiment, participants are randomly assigned to an experimental or control group to measure the difference between the groups after the treatment or manipulation.
The experimental group gets the treatment or manipulation.
The control group gets no treatment or manipulation.
Random assignment assumes equality between the groups before the treatment or manipulation.
An independent variable is the variable that differs from the control group. It is the variable that is being manipulated.
A dependent variable is the measurable outcome.
Intervention programs intend to change the attitudes or behavior of participants and are often measured experimentally to determine their effectiveness.
Advantage of experiments: Allows control and gives the researcher the ability to make causal, rather than correlational, statements about the effectiveness of the experimental manipulation.
Disadvantage: lacks realism, which could compromise generalizability.
A natural experiment is a situation that exists naturally, but provides interesting scientific information. Researchers can examine naturally occurring groups for differences while yielding the control that a lab and random assignment afford.
Reliability and Validity
Reliability refers to the consistency of measurements. That is, getting the same measurements time and again.
Validity refers to the truthfulness or accuracy of a method. A valid measure is one that measures what it claims to measure.
Cross-sectional research is the most common type in this field.
Data are collected with a sample on a single occasion.
Advantage: Quick and inexpensive.
Limitation: Only yields correlational relationships between variables without the ability to determine cause.
A correlation is a statistical relationship between two variables, such that knowing one of the variables makes it possible to predict the other. The correlation can be positive or negative, but it does not imply causation.
A longitudinal research design uses the same participants with data collected over time, at least twice but often more frequently.
Usually lasts a year or less, but could last a lifetime.
Advantages: Ability to examine development over time; allows greater insight into possible causation.
A cohort effect is an explanation of group differences among people of different ages based on the fact that they grew up in different cohorts or historical periods.
Limitations: Costly and time consuming; requires more patience; attrition, or participants leaving the study, can be a problem.tematic observations and recording that information.