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University Degree: Developmental Psychology

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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast Piaget's and Vygotsky's views of cognitive development.

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    There is some dispute as to whether Vygotsky's theory is indeed a stage theory along with Piaget's. It is thought by Butterworth & Harris (1994) that both men's theories "share the assumption that development occurs in stages, although they differ in their main focus. Piaget's theory is most concerned with the mechanisms of intellectual development and the acquisition of knowledge. Whereas Vygotsky's main contribution was to our understanding of the way in which culture influences development, through language and the social and material structure of society".

    • Word count: 2405
  2. Compare and contrast the approach to studying childrens friendships taken in the Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) study with that taken by William Corsaro

    Although the subject of each study is the same the research and investigations involved in each are very different as different areas and ideas of children's friendships were to be approached. It seems that Corsaro's study is more individually based than Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) required there's to be. As mentioned previously the two studies took very different approaches. This is also true when in correlation with the research methods that were used. Bigelow and La Gaipa's approach was to ask children to think about a best friend of the same sex and with this the children were then asked to produce an essay consisting of what they sought after and expected from a best friend.

    • Word count: 1575

    The reasons why they are referred to as 'grand theories' are many fold, mainly, they provide explanations of child development as a whole, instead of just focusing on partial aspects, and they are vastly influential. These 'grand theories' have inspired great amounts of research, both past and present, and their applications continue to be used to assist children to overcome their personal developmental challenges. Behaviourism stemmed from a desire to approach psychology as an objective science by studying observable measurable events, that is to say, by studying behaviour.

    • Word count: 2139
  4. To what extent do the grand theories discussed in Book 1, Chapter 2 take account of the role of social experiences in child development?

    These theories explain child development in a general sense as opposed to concentrating on one particular area. These are not the only theories around but they are the bedrock for the more contemporary theory and research. Paragraph two: Behaviourism summary: Psychologists: Pavlov (Russian, 1849-1936), Watson (American, 1878-1958), Skinner (American, 1905-1990) Behaviourism is referred to as the learning theory. Behaviourists believe that a child develops its behaviour by learning from the environment it grows up in therefore by examining and changing the environment you can alter a child's behaviour. In this case the child is considered to be a passive learner.

    • Word count: 1845
  5. A qualitative study exploring how adult perceptions of significant others in their lives have affected their development using thematic analysis.

    As such, the infant behaves in ways consistent with expectations creating stability. The established working model thus unconsciously endures to be projected in adult social relations. To this effect, how adults describe childhood experiences with parents mirrors their attachment style (Main, Kaplan and Cassidy; as cited in Wood et al., 2002, p.26). Furthermore, evidence suggests adults emotional reactions, similar to experiences in childhood may be triggered if new acquaintances are similar to parents (Chen and Andersen; Andersen and Miranda; as cited in Stevens, 2002, p.184).

    • Word count: 5221
  6. With reference to the empirical literature, critically evaluate whether Kurt Fischers skill theory provides evidence for a stage theory of development

    This speaks against stage/phase styles of development which do not take into account variances between individuals and different environments. Beginning from a behaviourist approach, Fischer (1980) discusses how all cognition begins with an action that an organism is capable of doing either physical or mentally. Following this, actions are grouped into sets. This is firstly because to complete a task, it usually requires actions to work in sequence to each other and the action must also be reapplied each time it is used.

    • Word count: 2270
  7. An investigation into the Early Development of Identity. This investigation is based on Rosenberg's studies and involves semi structured interviews with two children, aged eight and sixteen.

    The second two elements: an awareness of continuity and the element of reflexiveness represent the 'self-as-object' or 'categorical self'. The categorical self is an awareness of the physical characteristics of the self, and the ability to place themselves into categories according to increasing social roles (Lewis 1990). In addition, Cooley (1902) suggested people come to see themselves as they are reflected in others, the 'looking glass self'. Mead (1932) further developed the concept and was a founder of 'symbolic interactionism' emphasising the importance of language and interaction suggesting that self is essentially a social structure.

    • Word count: 3128
  8. Why is play with siblings and peers important for childrens development

    Dunn (2004) illustrates the nature and features of peer and sibling interactions. She acknowledged that children do not grow up in isolated nuclear families and that friendships offer an important context for children's development and their growing understanding of the social world. These friendships are a key concept and signify a new independence from caregivers. The interaction with a caregiver is predominately controlled, complementing and extending the child's contributions to the interaction. Interaction between children involves developing skills for initiating, engaging and sustaining interaction together. Schaffer (2003) emphasised the underlying pressure on children to acquire skills for joint interaction; playing together involves sensitivity to different perspectives, negotiation, and the ability to resolve conflicts.

    • Word count: 3176
  9. Report on Language Development. The participant is a male toddler seventeen months old. Of particular interest is the fact that he is the older of a pair of twins. The reason why I decided to observe this participant is the fact that this toddler was bor

    What may make communication even more problematic is the fact that many people suffer from language acquisition disabilities. One particular issue in relation to language acquisition is what is referred to as language reception disorder, which is linked to a problem in central auditory processing. These types of problems usually involve the inability of an individual to understand what is being said to him/her (Better Health Channel, 2011). Participants For this research paper, I decided to opt for one participant.

    • Word count: 1555
  10. Summarise the major key points in each of the four perspectives (biological, ecological, psychodynamic and the social-cognitive) on child development. How each of these views may help to account for the barriers to your own personal growth.

    (Duffy, K. G, 2010) Thus, it mainly focuses on several aspects to explain human development. First, genetics and the possibility that certain behavioral tendencies are inherited. Second, the nervous system and the way certain behaviors are linked to the functioning of particular parts of the brain. Third, chemical influence and the way that substances such as neurotransmitters and hormones can alter the functioning of the brain. (Aidan Samsons) There has been much controversy on the issue of behavioral influences due to nature vs.

    • Word count: 2372
  11. Compare, contrast and evaluate the Biological perspective and the Behavioral perspective of psychology.

    A brief example could posit that someone operating within the emphasis of the biological perspective would look at brain function and the role of the central nervous system in order to find how they affect a subject in terms of their emotional response to stimuli whilst one who adheres to the Behavioural perspective would examine environmental factors or use observation to determine the answer. Both of these perspectives are important theoretical methods in the realm of psychology and often form the basis of combined approaches. The Biological perspective focuses on the underpinnings of behaviour on a physical and biological level.

    • Word count: 1088
  12. In this Psychology reflection paper, I am going to discuss the movie The curious case of Benjamin button released in 2007 and apply three psychology theories on the selected scenes.

    In Benjamin's last days, Daisy moved in with him until he passed away as baby. Although Benjamin has an old face when he was young, and grew younger and younger physically every day, he had a psychological development like normal people. There are three psychology theories can be applied in scenes in this movie. They are Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, and long term memory. First, in the first twenty minutes, there is a scene showing old (little) Benjamin was sitting in the dining room which was full of old people, he narrated that he didn't realize he was a child at that time, he thought he was like everyone

    • Word count: 1602
  13. Free essay

    Discuss, with reference to appropriate experimental studies, the development of gross motor skills in infancy

    At birth a human infant is limited in terms of the innate reflexes they are capable of producing. These include sucking, turning the head, rooting, grasping and stepping. It would be assumed then that these reflexes, due to their innate nature must have some evolutionary basis to aid the Childs survival. This goes without saying for reflexes such as sucking and rooting but for behaviours such as stepping it cannot be so as the child is not currently capable of the strength required to walk.

    • Word count: 1874
  14. A qualitative study showing how development is affected by significant others, using thematic analysis. The material I was given to analyse was a dvd of a semi structured interview with Assan (DVD programme 4 : Interviewing and Thematic Analysis. Section

    of a social constructivist point of view. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data, this was done in three stages. Transcription, familiarising yourself with the data and coding. When doing this, two main themes were identified - cultural influences and influence of Father. The lines of dialogue relating to these themes were highlighted using a different colour for each theme. Analysis From the research question 'How do adults perceive that significant others in their lives have effected their development' and thematic analysis, three main themes have been identified.

    • Word count: 2979
  15. To what extent does a nativist perspective successfully explain childrens early language development?

    According to Chomsky (1965) the development of language is very different from the development of any other human behaviour. He regarded language ability as a uniquely human biological predisposition and accordingly the ability to comprehend and produce language as innate. Plunkett and Marchman developed a connectionist model that matched labels to images. The model's learning showed the typical spurt seen in children's vocabulary learning which is slow progress for the first 20-30 words, then a dramatic increase in success. While there are significant differences in the way a computer vs. a child learns, it does seem to indicate that it is the learning process itself that leads to the rate of increase in success.

    • Word count: 1981
  16. This paper will look deeper at life span development, including its definition, characteristics, the nature of development, the domains and periods, and two contemporary concerns associated with it.

    Lifespan development covers all stages of development and progress from the birth of a person to their death (Herron, 2010). These changes are not only physical, but they are cognitive as well. Characteristics of Lifespan Development There are three primary characteristics that surround lifespan development; which are Plasticity, Interdisciplinary Research, and multi-contextual nature of development. Plasticity essentially means that individuals of all ages posses the capacity for positive change in response to environmental demands (Scarr, 1992). In other words, past experiences may lead to permanent change.

    • Word count: 1127
  17. This essay will look at the Cognitive explanation of gender and its theories and evaluate it in detail. Cognitive theory on gender emphasises the role of thinking process.

    Gender identity- this takes place at about 2 years of age and its where the child recognises they are male and female and that others are as well. 2. Gender stability- this occurs at about 4 years, and the child realizes and understands that their gender is fixed and it will remain throughout adulthood. 3. Gender constancy- this happens between 5 and 7 years old and is the stage at which the child understands that cosmetic changes will not alter sex.

    • Word count: 2286
  18. Which approaches can be best account for attachment

    In clear cut attachment, infants from 8 months to 2 years possess a very strong attachment to their caregivers and fear of stranger and separation anxiety. During the final stage, goal corrected partnership, children have ability to represent and memorize which allow them to interact with environment in an active way. They no longer require the constant attention from their parents. They can separate from their parents in a short periods in this stage. Bowlby thought that if a child was deprived of their mother between 6 months and five years of age then this would lead to difficulties in later life.

    • Word count: 1986
  19. Discuss evidence which suggests cognitive development involves the child passing through a sequence of discrete developmental stages.

    male health professional of their problem and try to arrange an appointment with a female health professional to communicate this sensitive issue. The difference between hearing and listening in the communication cycle Hearing is the ability to distinguish sound by the ear whilst listening is something that is one consciously decides to do. Hearing comes naturally to individuals who are not death or have a hearing impairment. Hearing is preformed mainly by the auditory system, where the ear perceives sound as it is changed into nerve impulses and processed as sound by the brain.

    • Word count: 1928
  20. Personality Characteristics. Psychodynamic theory, made popular by Sigmund Freud, makes personality a completely biological construct. Freud believed that the building blocks of personality existed in the individuals drives and within the unconscious

    These criteria, the Big Five proposed as being consistent traits shared by all people. Although the measure is relatively simple to use and allows ease of comparison among individuals, trait theory does have some limitations in predicting a person's future behavior (AllPsych Online, 2004a, pars. 16-17). Psychodynamic theory Sigmund Freud argued that every individual progresses along certain stages of psychosocial development based on the structure of the mind and the functions of that mind (Pervin, 2005, pp. 76-77). Biology is the most important factor within this progress in that the psyche is involved in the control of the drives on a basic level (Pervin, 2005, p.

    • Word count: 1386
  21. Learning theories

    "the change in a subject's behavior or behavior potential to a given situation brought about by the subject's repeated experiences in that situation, provided that the behavior change cannot be explained on the basis of the subject's native response tendencies, maturation or temporary states" (Bower & Hilgard, 1981, p. 11); "learning is a process of change as a result of experience" (Miell et al., 2002, pp.180); and "an experiential process resulting in a relatively permanent change in behavior that cannot be explained by temporary states, maturation, or innate response tendencies" (Klein, 1996, p.

    • Word count: 1782
  22. Free essay

    It is often thought that language provides the concepts that we use to organise our thinking and knowledge. If that is the case, then it would seem to follow that young infants, before they learn language, cannot think or have knowledge. How has recent ev

    He based his theories firmly on observations. In this observations he found that children behaved quite differently from adults. According to him, children have to go through a series of subsequent stages in cognitive development, e.g. the sensorimotor stage, in order to develop cognitive abilities. Infants are born with the belief that that they are the centre and moving force of the world. Piaget thought that language could only come about if the child had developed what he called symbolic function - an inner constructed capacity - and that this becomes evident as children talk to themselves about what they are doing.

    • Word count: 1847
  23. This study examines the view that self-awareness gradually develops with a shift from physical to psychological characteristics whilst the locus of self-knowledge progressively transfers from others to the self. Previous research implementing semi-struct

    INTRODUCTION Identity is multidimensional and may include physical and sexual identity, occupational goals, ethnic background and religious beliefs. The process of developing an identity begins with the awareness of children that they are separate and unique individuals (James, 1892 as cited in: Miell and Ding, 2005, pp.131-132). James (1892 as cited in: Miell and Ding, 2005, pp.131-132) theorised that this self-concept is not achieved in a single step; it's repeatedly revised during childhood in light of both cognitive development and social experience. As children get older, they become more competent at self-awareness and more realistically involved in perception and responses of others in their lives.

    • Word count: 3316
  24. A qualitative study concerning the effects of attachment on development as perceived by adults.

    Central to this is the investigation in to how vertical relationships (child-parent) are likely to shape the patterns of latter horizontal relationships (adult-adult). Harris (1999 as cited in: Wood, Littleton & Oates J., 2007, p. 20) argues that peer relationships during development are more influential than relationships with primary caretakers. Attachment theorists, such as Bowlby (1969/82 as cited in: Wood et al, 2007, pp. 28-29), contradicts this in claiming that vertical relationships during childhood are of equal importance in that "significant others" in the lives of individuals become part of their mental life therefore contributing to their psychological well-being.

    • Word count: 3164
  25. Using examples of childrens everyday experiences, consider the role of social influences in the different forms of childrens learning that psychological research has identified.

    The second form of conditioning is called operant conditioning in which the frequency of a certain behaviour is regulated by the behaviour´┐Żs consequences, e.g. reinforcement and punishment. The scientist mostly associated with this theory is B. F. Skinner. Both, Pavlov and Skinner claimed that children are passive in their own learning processes and are shaped by social and environmental influences in their behaviour and development, i.e. all behaviour is learned and maintained by its consequences (Oates, Sheehy and Wood, 2009, p.

    • Word count: 2273

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • "Cross cultural research has demonstrated many similarities in infant attachment styles across different cultures" - To what extent are there cross cultural variations in attachment?

    "In conclusion it is relatively easy to say that to a large extent there are cross-cultural variations in attachment as shown by the three examples from Van IJzendoorn and Kroonenberg's study. But the greater variation found within cultures undermines the cross-cultural research as it shows that it is wrong to think of one culture as a whole, and so cross-cultural comparisons based on this assumption lack validity. It is over-simplistic to view Britain or America as one single culture, as within each country there are many sub-cultures that may differ in the nature of attachment types. This means that the findings may not be representative of the culture. Huckleberry Briscoe Psychology 08/05/2007 8:07 AM"

  • Discuss the development of nonverbal communication in humans.

    "In conclusion, it is evident that nonverbal communication is an important aspect of development. Facial expressions and body movements are important in the communication of meanings and emotions. Many argue that nonverbal communication is an innate phenomenon that develops into more complex actions as we age. However others argue that this is not the case and that we learn to use nonverbal communication as we interact with others. It is difficult to ascertain which of these two views are more plausible. While there is a lot of evidence, from experience and research, to suggest that our nonverbal communicative abilities are innate, the fact that we do seem to learn some behaviours cannot be discounted. It is more plausible that while we are born with the basic nonverbal expressions, the more complex expressions are learnt through social interaction. 1"

  • Critically assess the value of behaviourism as a psychological approach?

    "I think that Skinner is probably the most over rated psychologists of all time. Because, it is true that animal behaviour can be influenced in predictable ways by operant conditioning. However language and learning, human thinking and long-term planning and so on are fundamental to human psychology but they depend on very little on conditioning principles. Which is why I found Skinners approach very limited. However the overall research that I investigated, I found very interesting and felt that I could relate this to present situations."

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