Infancy and Childhood
Development begins before
infant is even born.
Born with reflexes:
Know the stimulation,behavior, and age at which
each are dropped!
Maturation: internally programmed growth.
As long as the child is not underfed, severely
restricted, or deprived of human contact they
will develop at their own biological pace.
Pushing children into mastering new skills is
impossible unless they are physiologically
Imprinting: a process that occurs at a
preset time in development, when the
brain is ready to receive and respond to
a specific stimulus.
Imprinting occurs during a critical period.
Critical Period: a specific time of
development that is the only time when a
particular skill can begin to develop or an
association can occur.
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Piaget said the impetus behind human intellectual
development is an urge to make sense out of our
Our maturing brains form mental schemas which
assimilate and organize processed info.
Assimilation is the process by which we interpret
new information in accordance with our existing
knowledge or schemas.
Accommodation is when we adjust or restructure
what we already know so that new information
can fit in better.
Four Stages of Cognitive
Sensorimotor Stage (birth
to about 2yrs.)
Learn about their world
through senses and
Build action schemas
Fail in conservation of
Judge according to the
to perceive from any
other perspective than
Concrete Operational (7-12)
Can think logically
hypothetically; “what if”
questions are not possible.
Formal Operational 12+
Can think abstractly.
No longer any
their thought process
and those of older
teens or adults.
Further advances are
Morality is a system of personal
values and judgments about right
Lawrence Kohlberg was interested
in how thinking about right and
wrong change from age to age.
Kohlberg believed we have a choice regarding
moral development. The following is his moral
Preconventional Level (younger than 6): morality is
dictated by higher authorities.
stage 1: avoid punishments
stage 2: gain rewards
Conventional (7 to 11)
stage 3: help others and gain
stage 4: maintain social order
Postconventional (11 years on):
25% of adults progress to this
level. Personal ethics and human
rights come into account.
Stage 5: internalize values agreed
on by society, including individual
Stage 6: Do what we think is
right, based on our conscience,
even if it conflicts with societies