- List one contribution and one criticism of cognitive theories of development.
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development has been recognized for its contribution in developing scientific study in psychology. Its contribution is significant in linking cognitive changes with the aggregate neural and visceral changes in the body with the resulting emergence of the psychophysiological development approach in the study of psychology. However, the theory is also criticized owing to its lack of scientific approach to its theory development involving the issues on using small samples for its tests and the absence of using statistical figure analysis in its research approach.
- List three of the five systems in Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory, and give a brief definition of each.
The following are the systems included in the Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory:
- Microsystem – this is the system that is one closest to the child that encompasses the structures to which the child closely interacts with his surroundings.
- Mesosystem – this is the system where the structures that are involved in the child’s microsystem are connected.
- Exosystem – this is the system involving structures which the child does not directly function but may affect the child’s developmental process.
3. List three ways that maternal anxiety can influence the birth process and the newborn.
Maternal anxiety could possibly affect the newborn’s birth process through the following ways:
- Maternal anxiety could result to nutritional issues affecting the mother’s health which could adversely result to fetal defects due to malnutrition.
- Studies show that high level of maternal stress could result to delivering a child with emotional and cognitive problems.
- Pregnant women exposed to anxiety throughout her pregnancy is exposed to greater risks of preterm birth as well as a delayed prenatal growth rate.
4. List three environmental hazards that can endanger the fetus.
The following are environmental hazards that can endanger fetal health and development:
- Radiation (ex: exposure to computers and cell phone radiations, x-rays by the mother)
- Chemicals (pesticides, hair dye and perms, insect repellants, etc.)
- Smoke (from cigarette and air pollution)
5. List three correlations between exercise and the effects of aging
- Exercise can delay or reduce the risks for the development of dementia in the aging population thereby improving cognitive performance with age.
- Exercise can strengthen the skeletal or bone integrity with age (Sahar, 2009). It reduces the risks of osteoporosis as one ages.
- Exercise can improve the heart rate performance level among the aging population thereby reducing the occurrence of high blood pressure to an aged individual.
6. Explain two possible reasons for slower motor behavior in older adults
Slower motor behavior in older adults occurs owing to these two factors:
- Aging causes a physical decline owing to slow neurological function in the body resulting in a slow motor response to an older individual.
- Poor motor response in the older individual is common because the cognitive processing of information becomes slow.
7. Briefly define the concepts of schemes, assimilation, and accommodation
Schemes are structural forms of knowledge that are acquired during childhood that helps a child understand the world as he interacts with his environment. Assimilation involves the process of perceiving newly introduced events or occurrences by using cognitive structures to interpret the schemes confronted with in order to acquire new mental structures. Accomodation on the other hand involves the adaptation process which may include the alteration of schemes learned due to the newly acquired experiences.
8. What is metacognition and how does it develop?
A metacondition is the process by which a person becomes aware of his own mental or cognitive development and strategies. It usually develops through the application of cognitive strategies that involve asking questions, monitor, plan, revise and self testing. One’s exposure to a particular happening allows him to control and direct his own perception and thinking using the above mentioned strategies thereby helping him to develop his own metacondition processing of learned information.
9. Distinguish between crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence, and explain how they change in middle adulthood.
The distinctive features between crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence is that in crystallized intelligence, the knowledge is influenced by past experiences or previous learnings whereas the fluid intelligence involves the development of knowledge that is independent from past learning and experiences with the ability to solve abstract problems and reasoning. Crystallized intelligence is retained throughout the middle adulthood but the fluid intelligence begins to decline as one reaches the age of 30’s or 40’s with its peak at its highest during the adolescent stage.
10. Describe the three main types of intelligence in Sternberg’s Triarchic theory.
Analytical theory involves the processing of cognitive knowledge involved in the planning, reflecting, monitoring and the transfer of information. The creative theory involves the development of new ideas and applying them to create solutions. Practical theory involves the selection and shaping of real world experiences based on analytical skills.
11. Compare convergent and divergent thinking.
Convergent thinking is one involving a straightforward manner of solving issues by locating the central problem and to find a direct solution. Divergent thinking on the other hand involves a more creative way of finding solutions where one generates many other ideas to evaluate before coming up with a solution. Individuals with divergent thinking are known to have a more open personality and tends to have higher word fluency than those who exercise convergent thinking. However, divergent thinkers are known to have high levels of anxiety than the convergent thinkers.
12. Describe the three components in the definition of mental retardation.
The American Association on Mental Retardation defines mental retardation as a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills that occurs before age 18 (Hourcade, 2002). It can be gleaned from this definition that mental retardation has 3 important components namely it is a disability, it involves a limitation on intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior and it occurs during early childhood before one turns 18.
13. What can we safely say about the nature versus nurture debate regarding intelligence? It can safely be stated that both the nature and nurture theory regarding the development of intelligence play an important role in the cognitive learning process of an individual. Researches would support the fact that genes can affect one’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which supports the nature theory however one cannot discount the contribution of the environmental factor in nurturing the learning process of a person which is claimed by the nurture theory.
14. What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence involves an individual’s ability to control and manage their emotions. The process involves perceiving, reasoning, understanding and managing one’s emotional state.
15. Explain three ways that family environment is linked to children’s language and literacy development? A child’s language and literacy development may be influenced by family environment by means of:
1. Frequent communication with the child using their native language.
2. Engagement with reading activities such as reading a book to a child and using educational materials.
3. Playing and interacting with the child through activities that promote and encourage the development of communication skills from non-verbal to verbal communication.
16. What does "use it or lose it" means in regards to cognitive skills?
The “use it or lose it” principle when applied to cognitive skills involves the process of preventing cognitive decline in the aging population. When the brain is beginning its cognitive development in the early years, it opens a critical period by which one can optimize the function of neuronal pathways to receive transmission of information by using the synapses of brain cell networks sproduced in order to optimally improve one’s cognitive skills.
17. How does short-term memory differ from working memory? The difference of a short term memory from a working memory is that the former involves a temporary storage of data and information that one may eventually lose unless he consciously exert the effort of remembering them while the latter involves a broader function of retaining the perceived information, although with a limited capacity like short term memory, but with the ability of manipulating them or inhibit those information that are not relevant.
18. What is infantile amnesia? What explanation is given for this? An infantile amnesia is a condition where one has the difficulty in recalling childhood memories. The researchers support the conclusion that the memories of the past are not actually forgotten but only mislabeled although there is no accurate study that could explain the occurrence and exact causes of the condition. Some possible causes for infantile amnesia is attributed to the lack of language development resulting to an individual’s failure to rehearse facts thereby making them to completely forget about it.
19. Define childhood egocentrism.
Childhood egocentrism involves the child’s inability to distinguish between an objective and subjective perception and the child centrally focuses on their own perceptions. They usually regard different perceptions from theirs as nonexistent or not true.
20. List and describe two diseases that can impair the vision of older adults. 1. Cataract produces a clouding of the eye’s lens that is highly prevalent among the elderly.
2. Glaucoma is a visual problem that causes a damage to the optic nerve resulting in visual loss or blindness.
21. List the three main characteristics of anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa has the following characteristics:
1. Significant loss of weight that may occur with a taut skin and protruding bones.
2. Unreasonable restriction of foods.
3. Distorted body image.22. List two ways to increase the health and happiness of patients in nursing homes.
Psychologists always encourage nursing home patients to be motivated in exerting more control on their lives and surroundings. Asking them to perform simple activities such as deciding which TV channel to watch or whether they want the air conditioning on or off can make them feel happy and brings a better sense of self importance among them, making them more alert and participative. Another way of making them happy is to empower them to become productive by allowing them to participate in activities like exercise and making them decide which nutritional foods would be best for them. It will make them feel more involved in the decision making with respect to their health.
23. Explain the hormonal stress theory of aging. The hormonal stress theory of aging indicates that hormonal decline occurs with aging and as a subsequent result, the older population becomes susceptible to the development of diseases and are more subject to stress. The process occurs when the endocrine system, which is responsible for regulating hormone activities in the body, becomes less efficient which in turn predisposes one from the accelerated pace of the aging process.
24. Outline the possible explanations for Okinawa’s increased longevity.
The Okinawans are known to increase their life span and improves their rate of longevity to live a happier and longer life through caloric restriction that provides the following rationale for adopting a caloric restrictive approach for a long life:
- Caloric restriction ameliorates the decline in the diastolic heart function.
- Caloric restriction is effective in reducing atherosclerosis or hardening of the blood vessels that occur with aging.
- Caloric restriction also lowers the blood glucose in the body thereby reducing the risks to diabetes which is also prevalent with aging.
- Caloric restriction reduces the morbidity and mortality and improves the life span of among the elderly.
25. Describe the three ways in which the brain adapts as it ages. The brain is discovered to be capable of adapting to changes by generating more neurons, a condition called plasticity. There are 3 ways in which the brain adapts as it changes which includes the following:
1. Strengthening existing behavior.
2. Modifies the existing behavioral patterns.
3. Accommodation of new behaviors.26. Name and list one function of each of the four brain lobes1. Frontal lobe – it is responsible for motor skills, ability to reason, cognition, and language.
2. Parietal lobe – its main function is mainly to process sensory information such as the sense of touch, pain and pressure.
3. Temporal lobe – It is responsible for the function of memory and interpreting sounds.
4. Occipital lobe – It is responsible for the interpretation of visual stimulus and process visual information.
27. Identify five physical changes that take place during middle or late adulthood. 1. Changes in the skin elasticity.
2. Graying of the hair becomes apparent.
3. Menopause occurs in women owing to hormonal changes.
4. Visual problem is becoming a common problem
5. Delayed motor reaction occurs.
28. Explain three effects of nicotine on fetal development.
- Nicotine can cause abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy because it contains carboxyhemoglobin that inhibits the oxygenation of the fetal tissues.
- Nicotine is known to increase the maternal blood pressure which results in an increased heart rate in the fetus as well.
- Nicotine results in a reduced birth weight in the fetus.
29. Define fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), and list two possible abnormalities that can occur as a result.FASD is a condition that affects fetal development owing to a mother who drank alcohol while pregnant. The two possible abnormalities that can result from FASD are behavioral problems and learning deficit.
30. Describe shared and nonshared environmental experiences.
Shared environmental experiences are those shared by a child with their siblings such as the acquired personality and intellectual level of their parents and the social class of the family. Non-shared environmental experiences refers to the differences in behavior of a child with their siblings who live in the same household as them.
Hourcade, J. (2002). Mental Retardation. Eric EC Digest. Retrieved April 22, 2013 from http://clsf.info/Articles/mental_retardation_definition.htm
Sahar, N.D. (2009). Investigating the Effects of Age and Exercise on Bone Composition and the Impact of Composition on Mechanical Integrity. London: Pro Quest.