Psychology Unit 6 - Human Development

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Human Development - Environmental Influences on Behavior


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Unit 6: Human Development -Environmental Influences on Behavior : 

Unit 6: Human Development -Environmental Influences on Behavior AP® Psychology from a Christian Worldview

Parents and Peers : 

Parents and Peers E.Q. “To what extent are our lives shaped by early stimulation, parental nurture, and peer influence?” Nurture via nature begins at conception. In the prenatal environment of the womb. Embryos receive differing levels and exposure to toxins. Continues outside the womb with early experiences foster brain development.

Experience and Brain Development : 

Experience and Brain Development Our genes dictate overall brain architecture. Our experience directs the details. Experience develops neural connections. Experience prepares the brain for thought, language, and later experiences. Living in an enriched environment stimulates natural development usually resulting in a heavier and thicker brain cortex. Remember the rat experiment

Joseph LeDoux : 

Joseph LeDoux “Genes and experiences are just two ways of doing the same thing – wiring synapses.”

Experience and Brain Development : 

Experience and Brain Development “Handled” infants develop faster neurologically and gain more weight rapidly. Both nature and nurture sculpt our synapses. Brain maturation provides us with an abundance of neural connections. Experience preserves our activated connections. Unused connections are allowed to degenerate. By puberty there is a massive pruning of unemployed neural connections.

Experience and Brain Development : 

Experience and Brain Development Optimum brain development requires normal stimulation during the early years. Brain is governed by this rule: Use it or lose it! Throughout our life our neural tissue is changing. We perform with increasing skill as our brain incorporates learning.

Parents vs. Peers : 

Parents vs. Peers Are children so easily wounded? The power of the family environment shows up in children’s political attitudes, religious beliefs, and personal manners. “Two children from the same family are as different as children selected randomly from the population.” “Parents should be given less credit for kids who turn out great and blamed less for kids who don’t.”

Proverbs : 

Proverbs “Men resemble the times more than they resemble their fathers.” ~ Ancient Arab proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.” ~ African proverb

Parents vs. Peers : 

Parents vs. Peers At all ages, we are subject to group influence. Selection effect, kids seek out peers with similar attitudes and interests. Parents influence education, discipline, responsibility, orderliness, charitableness, and ways of interacting with authority. Peers influence learning cooperation, finding popularity, inventing styles of interaction among peers. Parents can influence the culture that shapes a peer group.

Cultural Influences : 

Cultural Influences E.Q. “How do cultural norms affect our behavior?” Culture is behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a group of people. Culture is transmitted from one generation to the next. ?Video: Monkeys Potato Washing Culture is a better way of being social. Culture supports survival and reproduction. Culture enables an efficient division of labor.

Cultural Influences cont. : 

Cultural Influences cont. Our great similarity is our capacity for culture. Culture provides the shared and transmitted customs and beliefs that help us communicate. Human nature manifests human diversity.

Variations Across Culture : 

Variations Across Culture Deep in our own culture we hardly notice that it is there. Each cultural group has its own norms – rules of accepted and expected behavior. Norms free us from self-preoccupation. Culture vary in: Their expressiveness Pace of life Personal space Sense of punctuality

Variation Over Time : 

Variation Over Time Cultures can change rapidly over time. Not so great changes to our culture: More: Divorce Delinquency Depression Hours at work Fewer: Hours sleeping Hours with friends and family

Variation Over Time cont. : 

Variation Over Time cont. Cultures vary. Cultures change. Cultures shape our lives.

Culture and the Self : 

Culture and the Self E.Q. “How does the view of self differ in individualist and collectivist cultures?” Cultures vary in the priority given to nurturing and expression of one’s personal identity verses one’s group identity. Individualism vs. collectivism. Individualists give greater priority to: Personal goals Personal attributes Personal control Individual achievement

Culture and the Self cont. : 

Culture and the Self cont. Collectivists give greater priority to: Group identification (sense of belonging). A set of values. A network of caring individuals. Assurance of security.

Culture and the Self cont. : 

Culture and the Self cont. “One needs to cultivate the spirit of sacrificing the little me to achieve the benefits of the big me.” ~Chinese saying Individualist proverb: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Collectivist proverb: “The quaking duck gets shot.”

Value Contrasts : 

Value Contrasts

Culture and the Self cont. : 

Culture and the Self cont. Within individualist cultures, people with the strongest social ties express the greatest satisfaction with their lives. Individualism can come at a cost: More divorce More homicide More stress-related disease More self-focused; “narcissism”

Culture and Child-Rearing : 

Culture and Child-Rearing Child-rearing practices reflect cultural values. Vary from one time and place to another. Children across place and time have thrived under various child-rearing systems. Diversity in child-rearing cautions us against presuming that our culture’s way is the only way.

Developmental Similarities Across Groups : 

Developmental Similarities Across Groups Regardless of culture we share the same life cycle. We are subject to the same psychological forces. Regardless of language, we use universal principals of grammar. Our tastes vary, but they reflect common principles of hunger. Our social behaviors vary, but they reflect principles of human influence.

Gender Development : 

Gender Development E.Q. “How do nature and nurture interact to define us as male and female?” We organize the world into simple categories. At a birth, everyone wants to know: “Boy or girl?” Our biological sex helps to define our gender. Nature and nurture combine to create social diversity, such as gender.

Gender Similarities & Differences : 

Gender Similarities & Differences We are in most ways alike. Among our 46 chromosomes, 45 are unisex. Women: Enters puberty two years earlier than men. Outlive males by five years. 70% more fat. 40% less muscle. 5 inches shorter

Gender Similarities & Differences : 

Gender Similarities & Differences Women: More likely to dream equally of men and women. To smell faint odors. To express emotions freely. In some situations to be offered help. Doubly vulnerable to depression and anxiety. 10 times more risk for eating disorders.

Gender Similarities & Differences : 

Gender Similarities & Differences Men: Four times more likely to commit suicide or suffer from alcoholism. More often diagnosed with autism, color-blindness, hyperactivity, and antisocial personality disorder. Gender and Aggression: Men admit more physical aggression. Women commit verbal, relational aggression.

Gender Similarities & Differences : 

Gender Similarities & Differences Gender and Social Power: Men are more dominant, forceful, and independent. Women are more deferential, nurturing, and affinitive. In most societies men are socially dominant. Leadership tends to go to males. Enforces gender inequalities.

Gender Similarities & Differences : 

Gender Similarities & Differences Gender and Social Connectedness: Women are more concerned with making connections. Boys typically play in large groups, with activity focus, and little intimate discussions. Girls usually play in smaller groups, often with one friend; spend more time with friends and less time alone. Men enjoy doing activities side-by-side. Women enjoy doing activities face-to-face.

The Nature of Gender : 

The Nature of Gender What explains our gender diversity? Is biology destiny? Are we shaped by our cultures? A biopsychosocial view suggests both. Males and females are variations on a single form. You received an X chromosome from your mother. You received either an X chromosome (girl) or a Y chromosome (boy) from your father.

The Nature of Gender : 

The Nature of Gender Gender Roles: Role refers to a cluster of prescribed actions. One set of norms defines our culture’s gender roles – our expectations about the way men and women behave. Attitudes about gender roles vary over time. Gender ideas also vary across generations. What is the Christian worldview on gender roles?

The Nature of Gender : 

The Nature of Gender Gender and Child-Rearing: Gender identity is our sense of being male or female. We also become gender-typed. Social learning theory: children learn gender-linked behaviors by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished. Gender schema theory: combines social learning with cognition – one schema learned is gender. Social learning shapes gender schemas.

Gender-Typing Theories : 

Gender-Typing Theories Rewards and Punishments + Observation and imitation of models Social Learning Theory Gender-typed behavior Cultural learning of gender Gender schema (looking at self and world with a “lens”) Gender organized thinking + Gender-typed behavior Gender Schema Theory

Reflects on Nature and Nurture : 

Reflects on Nature and Nurture Genes form us. Experiences form us. Gender roles shape us. We are the product of nature and nurture, but we are also an open system. Genes, experiences, and our culture are all-pervasive, but not all-powerful. The future is shaped by present choices. Mind matters.

Biopsychosocial Development : 

Biopsychosocial Development Biological influences: Shared human genome Individual genetic variations Prenatal environment Sex-related genes, hormones, and physiology Psychological influences: Gene-environment interaction Neurological effect of early experiences Responses evoked by our own temperament, gender, etc. Beliefs, feelings, and expectations Individual Development Social-cultural influences: Parental Influences Peer Influences Cultural individualism or collectivism Cultural gender norms

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