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Child Psychology

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Child Psychology
Exam 3 – Study Guide
What will Exam 3 Cover?
Exam 3 will cover all lectures and assigned textbook material from Chapters 7 (p257-260), 8, 9, 10 (p 366-367), 11, and 12. There may be some overlap between the concepts from the first parts of this course, as many of the ideas we discussed during infancy are also important during early and middle childhood, but the exam will focus on early and middle childhood.

• What are some of the main advances in children’s thinking during early childhood? o Growth of representational skills- one objects stands/represents another ex. Banana as phone

• Be able to describe the findings of the various conservation tasks. What do they tell us? o Conservation of number: young children (4-5 yo) don’t understand # of chips is still same b/c now occupy more space; older children understand concept of conservation o Conservation of length; area; mass; displaced liquid: all results are same as number task 4-5 yo unable to understand conservation concept; they think more now when still is same

• What does the Judy Deloache model-room study examine? How do children do on this task at different time points in development? o 2 ½ - 3 ½ y.o watched as she hid toy in model room; Results: 2 y.o didn’t know tasks were related and searched larger room at random; 3 y.o searched in same location as model room o Study examines child’s representational skills: ability to recognize that one object stands for another ie. Small model room represented larger room

• What are some of the tasks that examine egocentrism and theory of mind? What are the results for children at different ages? o Egocentrism- preschoolers cannot decenterLack of perspective taking task o 3 mountain experiment: task invented by Piaget and Inhelder, in which 4 y.o. children asked to look at model of landscape marked by hills and mountains and tell how it looks from perspective different than their own. Results: Age 4 child picked own perspective, rather than doll’s; about age 8 or 9 could select doll’s perspective o Theory of mind: inability to engage in mental perspective taking; think others will not have false belief b/c they no longer do
• M&Ms in crayon box video- 3 y.o thinks mother will know there are M&Ms in crayon box b/c he discovers that; 6 y.o. knows mother won’t know contains M&Ms b/c is crayon box

• Be able to describe two main types of memory that were discussed. What are some of the factors that influence recall memory ability? o Types of memory: recognition and recall o Recall memory ability influenced by: o attention to and encoding of relevant info o strategies for grouping/incorporating info o knowledge about info as background o metamemory- knowledge about memory itself
• What is eyewitness testimony and why should be careful when relying on kids as witnesses? o Eyewitness testimony: report factual details of events in court o Mistakes in recall: children often incorporate fictitious elements into accounts of real events o Children’s memories influence by experiencesdif’s due to maternal factors, culture

• What are the two main components of cognitive control/executive function? o Working memory (excitation): ability to hold info in mind and manipulate it o Inhibition: ability to ignore distraction and stay focused

• What is the A-not-B error? What does this error help us study? o –Piaget’s object retrieval task o -Infant continues to reach for object in A (first location) even though now switched to B o 6 yo trouble w/ waiting
• What do we mean by conflict? And what role does this play in control processes? • Which aspects of language development are changing during early and late childhood?

o A long period of relative immaturity (and plasticity) o Experience shapes brain structures and circuits o Caretakers who shape and reward useful language o Including protection from mistakes during experimentation o More brain areas biased to code auditory information o Including phonological loop to reactivate information o A sensorimotor system capable of complex imitation o Language as complex actions and interactions o A powerful drive for task mastery o Success can be inherently rewarding
• What are some biases that facilitate language? What is the pragmatics of language? o Mutual exclusivity bias: expectation that objects only have 1 label words refer to separate, non-overlapping categories o Fast mapping: attribute new word to new object o Syntactic bootstrapping: use grammatical info to work out most likely meaning of new words o Semantic bootstrapping: use semantic info to work out most likely grammatical structure of new utterances o Pragmatics of language: use of language for variety of goals, incl persuasion, in dif circumstances

• What memory strategies will children employ during childhood? How do these strategies influence memory abilities and task performance? o Size of memory span: o Memory span: # of items can hold in short-term memory; 5 y.o. 4 digits; 10 y.o. 6; adults 7 o Retrieval speed: retrieve info faster as age increases o Expanded knowledge base: retention improves b/c children have prior info to relate new info to; younger kids w/ rich knowledge base in give area remember more ex. Chess w/ adults o Use of memory strategies: o Rehearsal: repeating to oneself info trying to memorize o Memory organization: group in meaningful clusters ex. Sound, associations, categories o Elaboration: create relationships b/w 2 or more things to remember association b/w them o Development of metamemory: o Metamemory: knowledge about memory itself, awareness of one’s own memory skills o 8 y.o have better understanding of own memory’s limitations than 5 y.o. o 8 y.o. able to construct and apply effective strategies for memorization tasks

• How is an IQ score calculated? What individual and cultural factors influence these scores? o IQ: divide mental age by chronological age and multiply by 100 o Blacks perform worse, Hispanics a little higher, Whites and Asians about the same o Favorable family environments improve; English as second language worsens scores o Tests may be biases themselves vocab doesn’t favor blacks o Scores risen over last 50-100 yrs kids getting smarter?

• What is the evidence to suggest a genetic component to intelligence? o Nature: genetic heritability; familial studies: genetically similar indiv’s also similar in IQ; mostly evident in white, middle-class homes (not black, low-income homes) o Nurture: supportive environments help children score higher on IQ tests

• What are the primary differences between Sternberg’s and Gardner’s theories of intelligence? o Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory: 3 components to intelligence: practical, creative, analytical o Believed children learn best if curricula emphasized these 3 components o Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences: collection of many dif kinds of abilities, such as music, math, linguistic, scientific o Advocates intelligence assessments that test broad range of abilities

• What are the main characteristics of brain development during early & middle childhood? o Pruning (growth) of synapses, esp in frontal cortex (attention, higher cognitive thinking) o Myelination- neural axons become coated w/ fatty sheet of myelin; in frontal lobes of cerebral cortex o Lateralization- left hemisphere complete by age 6; language o right hemisphere continues until ages 8-10; spatial skills develop o growth of corpus callosum, which connects 2 hemispheres; cognitive abilities

• What can you tell us about the sequence of regional brain development during this period? o Sensorimotor cortex go through cortical maturation earlier than frontal cortex o Low frequency fluctuations across regions o EEG coherence high in frontal regions of cerebral cortex & connections w/ temporal lobes

• What are children’s self concepts like during early childhood? How do parental interactions help shape self-concepts? How about cultural differences? o Ages 3-5: focus on external appearances and external objects o Age 6: identify emotional states, relationships in social groups, and skills in relation to others o Sense of self influenced by parents: o warm, positive parentinghigher self-esteem o Critical, negative parentingchild has shame, less pride o Culture: American motherspositive, individual; Japanese mothers: o more social connections

• How is gender identity important in shaping self concepts during early childhood? o Gender identity: one’s sense of self as male or female; accurate ID by age 2 ½ o Gender permanence: notion that one’s gender remains same over timeknow by age 6/7 o Gender constancy: understanding that superficial physical transformations don’t affect genderunderstood by end of preschool period

• What are gender stereotypes and are they equal across the sexes? o Gender stereotypes: preconceived expectations about preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of males and femalesdevelop by age 3 o Boys more likely than girls to avoid stereotypical activities/toys thought to be appropriate for opposite sex ex. Boys avoid playing with dolls more than girls avoid trucks o Children become more flexible as encounter more variations and grow older o Gender schema theory: (Bem) children’s understanding of gender develops as acquire mental representations of male/female activities, roles, and preferences

• What are the observed gender differences in play mates and play styles? o Boys: more group play, active, aggressive, more positive emotion o Girls: more pair-play, social pretend play, closer proximity to adults
• Can you identify and characterize the 4 different types of parenting styles? o Permissive: little control, high level of warmth and nurturance o Authoritarian: high standards, low levels of warmth and communication o Authoritative: provide control, high levels of warmth o Disengaged: low levels of control and warmth

• What are some of the important characteristics of quality child care settings? o Trained caregivers, small group size leading to sensitivity for individual needs
• What can you tell us about the development of selective attention during childhood? o Selective attention: ability to concentrate on specific stimuli w/out being distracted by competing stimuli (can ignore) ex. Talking w/ someone at noisy party

• Describe the two main approaches to teaching reading skills. Is either one more effective? o Whole Language approach: o An approach to reading instruction that involves exposure to complex texts from the beginning and encourages children to develop automatic recognition of whole words o Basic Skills approach: o An approach to reading instruction that involves heavy emphasis on connections between sounds, letters, and words o It is possible that one approach works better for other children or at some points in development, while another works better for other children or at other points in development.

• What is dyslexia and how might this learning disability be treated in young children?

o Dyslexia: learning disabilities that involve unusual difficulty in reading o Treated w/ remedial reading instruction, access to resource rooms, and Special Ed classes all available w/in regular school setting

• What are some of the ways that children’s self-concepts change during middle childhood? o Development of psychological self o Compare self to others; more focus on internal life; describe psychological characteristics o Differentiation of self concepts o Global self-esteem, scholastic ability, social acceptance, physical looks, athletic, behavior o Begin to integrate race and ethnicity- identification, preferences, feelings, knowledge o Development of romantic and sexual interests o Development of ideas about morality: o Increasing focus on intentions rather than outcomes o Increasing differentiation among different domains o Increasingly give different judgments across different issues and contexts o Highly developed ideas about right and wrong

• What are the principle ways that families influence social and emotional development? o Stability and change in parent-child relationships o Secure parental attachments more likely to behave in socially approved ways; bonds formed early continue to exist, usually o Quantities of parent-child relationships remain stable parenting styles remain consistent o Sensitive parents use coregulation (joint planning and regulation) w/ children; inclusion of child in planning encourages independent thinking w/in structured arrangement o Sibling relationships and only children o Most US children have at least 1 sibling; but only children develop normally o Functions: positivecaregiving to younger sib; negativeolder sib involved in drug use o Problems arise if sibling perceives other is receiving preferential treatment o Diversity of family environments o Single parent families/ grandparents involved o Lesbian and gay parents no dif in child’s development o Adoption/foster care o Divorce or death, leading to reconstituted families o More children being raised in diverse environments o If household resources drop below level that can nurture children’s needs (poverty level)—difficulties in development are likely

• How does gender and gender stereotypes influence formation of peer groups? o Gender segregation: tendency of boys to want to play exclusively w/ other boys and girls only w/ other girls o Two cultures theory: gender segregation is complete during middle childhood so as if two separate gender cultures existchildren have dif experiences based on gender ex. # of friends, groups playing together, mixed support

• What are the main status categories of peer groups during middle childhood? o -Sociometric methods: quantitative methods for evaluating qualities of peer status w/in group o Popular: 2 groups w/ distinctive profilesboth well accepted among peers o Controversial: not very stable or months or years; tend to move to other categories over time o Rejected: tend to be disruptive, inattentive, aggressive; predicts later depression, drug abuse o Neglected: often overlooked by peers; least stable category ex. Shy b/c new but adjust later o Average: most children are in middle, fairly stable over years; equal pos & neg votes
• What are some of the main environments and their influences during middle childhood? o School environments: o Children form positive relationships w/ teacherspredicts school success o Classroom personality degree of structure, happy vs threatening place o Interaction w/ children in other grades older student mentors younger etc o Extracurricular activities participation has positive effect on school success o Neighborhood environments: o Contain many variables ex. Crime, violence, role models, institutional resources o Greater impact for low income, inner city neighborhoods (usually neg); effects can change o Role of media: o Large variability in terms of usage low income families watch more TV; computer/Internet usage higher in middle- and upper-income families o Watching violence on TV are more aggressive; neurological effects for responses to violence

Sample Exam Questions
These questions are to give you a general idea as to the type you should expect on the exam. These will not be actual exam questions. You can find additional practice questions on the Textbook’s website.

1) Younger children’s self-concepts are most likely to include:
A) psychological traits.
B) scholastic abilities.
C) physical appearance.
D) internal life aspects.

2) Neurological research has found the following regarding the cerebral cortex:
A) Maturation of the frontal lobes is extremely rapid during early childhood.
B) The frontal lobes are involves in higher cognitive functions.
C) The frontal lobes are involved in tasks that use working memory.
D) All of these are findings of research into maturation of the cerebral cortex.

3) Elementary school-age children are in which of Piaget’s cognitive developmental stages?
A) preoperational stage
B) concrete operational stage
C) formal operational stage D) postoperational stage 4) Research on developmental changes in memory span suggests that
A) developmental increases in memory span result from enhancements in the ability to employ memory strategies.
B) developmental increases in memory span result from the child’s discovery of reversibility. C) the short-term storage capacity, or “hardware,” of memory increases with age.
D) the short-term storage capacity of memory decreases with age to allow for increases in long-term storage. 5) Who is most likely to show overlapping regions of activation in Broca’s area for expression in two languages?
A) Charles, a native French speaker who learned English after the age of fifteen
B) Rick, a native English speaker who learned Japanese after the age of sixteen
C) Jean-Paul, a native French speaker who learned Russian in the first grade
D) Marc, a native English speaker who learned Italian in the ninth grade

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