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Questions in my Psychology Class (Part 4)

Updated on February 3, 2016

Questions and Answers

  • Describe the two main types of research methods that developmental psychologists use to study how humans develop over the life span. Describe how you would use each method to measure happiness over the course of a lifetime.

The two main research methods are longitudinal and cross-sectional design. Longitudinal deals with the longevity or the lifetime of a single or select group of people, for example following a group of 20 people from age 20-65 and reporting how they change or evolve over the years. Whereas cross-sectional deals with a specific area that’s studied such as memory retention or experiences someone has, which is then compared with someone else’s information that is gathered. I would use Longitudinal primarily to analyze how happy they are married or happy in general, where once every five or so years I would check back with the individuals and see how they were doing, or if I’m not around my colleges will. Cross-sectional would be more about what memories in particular over there course of their lives made them feel the happiest.

  • Your 10 year old nephew hears you talking about genes and says, ‘My favorite jeans are Levi’s”. Explain genes to him in a way he could understand.

Genes are much like multiple pairs of pants. Levi’s, Dickies, Lee, pm, and Monkee Genes. Now all of these types of jeans are in a big store. When you go and buy some jeans you pick some over others right? So your Levi’s for example you have a lot of them, but you also have other pairs of jeans as well. In your wardrobe you keep all your jeans and they’re organized by brands. Now as you wear different pairs of jeans each day you’re showing your dominant traits, or what make you you. The jeans you don’t wear as much are traits that were passed down to you from your family, like your grandfather always wears Dickies and your Mom wears Lee, even though you don’t wear those jeans as often, they’re still a part of you. What makes you unique are the jeans you wear, they symbolize who you are.

  • What opportunity do identical twins offer developmental psychologists in their research?

Identical twins offer developmental psychologists a chance to see if by testing one twin, will the other respond in the same way, or will they deviate by going on their own. A naturalistic observation would be an interesting approach to consider. Imagine you have both twins sitting in a room, where you have the twins right a story about a dog and a cat roaming through the meadows. After giving the twins 30 minutes to come up with a short story you compare them side by side and note any similarities and differences in the story. Another interesting method would be to involve both of the twins in a case study. Meet with each twin separately and discover their life experiences both good and bad, after they have told their stories as you did with the naturalistic observation, compare them and note any differences and similarities with childhood experiences. Both of these methods provide developmental psychologists with more options when working with identical twins.

  • What is epigenetics? Why is it so important?

Epigenetics helps decide what genes are dominate features of what make you who are as an individual, which molds your personality and attribute to your experiences in life. As our decisions in life may not seem like a foreseeable impact on our children’s lives, certain traits such as diets and personal interests can be passed down to your children and grandchildren through your DNA. The positives of epigenetics is we can determine if say cancer will be prevalent in your family tree, which with that in mind as the video explained, scientists have developed drugs that silence the genes that should have been turned off in the first place, meaning that that particular strain of cancer can be prevented from passing down even further through the gene pool of your family tree.

  • What are teratogens? Based on what you know about teratogens, what advice would you give to pregnant women and the people who live and work around them?

Teratogens are abnormal developments or more commonly known as birth defects. The best advice I would give to pregnant women would be avoid alcohol, drugs, and keep yourself in a healthy state both in body and in mind. Your baby is growing each day, so the best thing to do is don’t do anything that could potential hurt the baby, or become careless and divulge into drink or drugs because that will have an effect on your baby.

Congratulations on having a baby! As you enter into motherhood you’ll see your baby grow both mentally and physically. What you’ll notice in the first few months is your baby’s brain, motor, and memory development. Your baby’s brain will instinctively search for you voice and face as often as possible, as well as focus more on human faces rather than other objects. If you gently put your finger in the baby’s palms they’ll squeeze your finger as tight as possible, also if you stroke the bottom of their foot their toes will fan out and curl, these are called the sucking and babinski reflex’s. Over time you’ll start to notice your baby will begin to memorize or learn a wide variety of things. As you and your husband begin talking with your baby, your infant will be delighted when you say, “night-night” and “go bye-bye” or the classic “peekaboo!” your baby will love this and quickly learn what that means since its mor3e at their level of understanding.

  • What is attachment? Explain how Mary Ainsworth studied it and what she observed.

Attachment is an emotional dependence on something or someone. Mary Ainsworth studied this with introducing a stranger in a room where the baby’s mother is, as the baby sees their mother it actively returns to the mother as they feel secure, though when the mother leaves than the baby becomes agitated and frightened by the stranger that’s in the room with them. The infant generally seeks attention and wishes their needs are met, if the child is exposed to a care giver or relatives on a regular basis, the infant will get used to them and subsequently start to form an attachment to them as well as keeping the already developed attachments.

  • How do researchers think that attachment style affects romantic relationships later in life? Do you agree with your test results? Why?

Researchers have found that individuals who are confident and assertive personality will have no trouble in engaging with other people, where they can not only make sure their needs are met but also their partner’s needs are met as well as their partners. If we look at the other range of the spectrum though we see that those of us who identify as being more avoidant or reserved have a difficulty forming friendships with others. Relationship speaking if we decide to get into a relationship who’s like us the relationship won’t last long.

I agree with my test results of anxious/avoidant attachment pattern I don’t have a whole lot of self-confidence when it comes to a relationship. I’ve started to find myself again, and am on the road to my old dorky self. Though I always have a tendency to doubt myself when it comes to a relationship. Dating someone who is the exact carbon copy of me was honestly one of my biggest mistakes, after reading the aforementioned article it literally blew my mind. To realize that what I did was never going to work out, it just made it that more difficult to know I put all that effort to appease her, when she knew she had control. I’ll try not to go into too much detail but sufficient to say I was being controlled and manipulated by her to do what she wanted, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Again the questions spoke volumes as I started to realize that my answers reflected how I acted in my previous relationships, and to be honest it was hard to get through them at times as the realization hit hard. I try very hard to not self-diagnose myself, however when the questionnaire finished I could sense that I needed to change things. No doubt this will take some time, despite that I want to change for the better. That starts we reevaluating myself and how I am in relationships, this just proves that the right girl is out there for me I just have to find her.

  • Explain how Jean Piaget believed that children advance in thinking and remembering? In which ways did Lev Vygotsky disagree with Piaget?

Piaget viewed that children learn by their environment and internalize the way the world, whereas Vygotsky argues children are influenced by their cultural background and by social interaction with others. Vygotsky disagreed with Piaget’s level of cognitive development, where he believed that this only happens by social interaction. Piaget in turn believed this to be based on a gradual increase that continues until they reach maturity, causing the development to stop.

  • Explain autism in your own words. What puts a person ‘at risk’ for autism? What kinds of interventions are out there for kids?

Autism is a debilitating disorder that can impact the individual and their family for a lifetime, with a range of high functioning autism such as Asperger’s to lesser functioning autism. Overall boys have a higher risk of acquiring Autism than girls. An enlarged or rapidly expanding head can be a main indicator for autism, which coupled with the development of the brain can cause abnormalities to present themselves. There are many programs out there to help children with autism, for starters schools allow kids with disabilities to stay until they are 22 for high school. Colleges also help those with disabilities for example, Highline’s ACHIEVE program which gives the students the tools they need to succeed in the real world and in the workforce. Once the child has reached full adulthood the parents can choose to have their child: live on their own, remain at home, live with a group of other adults just like them (group home), as well as long term housing like a retirement home for those with more severe autism.

  • What determines sexual development (i.e. puberty) in adolescents?

Genetics typically play a large role in sexual development in adolescents, especially if their parents started their puberty at an early or late stage of their developmental life. A body’s change in physical appearance is also present, for women the most obvious is breast development and broadening of their hips, for boys it’s the appearance of facial/body hair as well as a deeper voice. As the body continues to change, the brain also undergoes some maintenance, as emotions become more present such as making decisions either by impulse or rational thinking. The rate of which this happens those depends on their cultural upbringing, as some cultures mature faster than others, e.g. Africa versus America.

  • How do boys and girls differ in the effects of late vs early sexual development?

Boys during the early stages of maturation or sexual development typically are better athletes and tend to be the center of attention around their peers, although this leads to getting involved with peer-pressure to do drugs, take steroids, or participate in other risky activates. During the late development for boys aren’t as popular in school, not as athletic, and are not as affected by peer-pressure to engage in reckless behavior.

Girls during the early stages of sexual development tend to have a negative outlook on their body changing, as well as the unwanted attention from older males who are now seeking to date and possibly get them pregnant. Typically they receive less information either by media, friends, or their parents/relatives about their changing body in the early stages of puberty. As well as with boys, there is a greater athletic ability, although at a higher risk of drug use and pressures to try risky behaviors including pregnancy. During late development girls aren’t as athletic, more information concerning puberty, have less negative feelings about their bodies change throughout puberty, and don’t necessarily feel pressured by other girls to try and engage in dangerous behaviors since they are more self-aware.

  • Describe Erikson’s psychosocial theory in your own words; not stage-by-stage, but rather try to convey the logic of the theory.

Erikson’s psychosocial theory helps us deal with conflicts either in a good or bad way. We can choose to focus on the positives of any given situation such as receiving a low score on a test, or we can instead focus on the negatives and stew over our low grade as it clouds our judgment making us unable to complete anything else for that day. As we continue through life we continue to have these same discussions amongst ourselves; whether to have a positive or negative outlook on the world around us.

  • What type of parents do/did you have? Authoritarian, authoritative, or permissive? Explain your choice.

My parents are authoritative. They give both me and my sister rules on how we should behave in general, although they give us leeway if we do things for them like chores. If we have a stressful situation or want to discuss something that is personal, we have the opportunity to do that, no matter the time of day. Whenever I get a grade I’m not particularly pleased about, my Mom or Dad will talk with me about it, while reassuring me I have many more exams to go and that getting one mediocre grade isn’t going to make me flunk the class.

  • Consider a situation where someone you know has experienced the death of a close friend or relative. What information would you share with them?

If someone I knew had lost a family member or close friend, I would do all I can to comfort them. I would suggest that instead of mourning your lost indefinitely, you should partake in other activities that you enjoy. Hobbies and sports, things that you enjoyed doing before can help calm you down, and allow you to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past. They’re still a part of you, their memories live on in you and you have to share them with others to help spread what they have taught you to others, so that they can learn and teach their children the lessons you were taught.

Final Thoughts:

A baby’s various reflexes was difficult for me to understand. This could possibly be because I myself don’t have children (least not yet). Though I hope to one day experience this, especially since I now have a better understanding of what my baby’s doing as they develop and grow.

YouTube Videos with My Explanations

  • Find YouTube videos that illustrate at least one concept from Piaget’s sensorimotor stage and at least one concept from the preoperational stage. Provide a link to those videos, and briefly summarize how what happens in the videos illustrates the concepts you've chosen.

First video demonstrating Piaget’s sensorimotor stage:

In this video we see that the girl (now age 2) has begun to sing, and wash the dishes. While she’s washing the dishes she repeats the words of the song, even though she’s saying, “Peas and Toast” she’s demonstrating Piaget’s sensorimotor stage as she is clearly cleaning the dishes.

Second video demonstrates Piaget’s preoperational stage:

Over the course of this video the researcher tests to see if the child understands the concept of conservation. The first part starts with two glasses with the same amount of liquid in each glass, however when the researcher pours one of the glasses into a taller beaker, the child immediately assumes the taller glass has more juice, since the object is taller. The next part deals with amount of coins, both rows have exactly five rows, although when the researcher spaces out the coins in the top row the child assumes the top row has more coins since there is more space between coins. Finally, the researcher shares crackers with the child, when one of them has more crackers than the other though the child suggests to break the crackers in half, so that both the researcher and the child have the same amount of crackers making it fair.

First video demonstrating Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage

Second video demonstrating Piaget's Preoperational Stage

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