The developmental psychology

Other work demonstrates that infants of 14 months of age can also remember that behaviour patterns and reproduce them up to a week later (Meltzoff, 1988). Thus clearly showing some level of memory. However, this is extended by the work of Rovee-Collier (1993) which reveals that infants as young as 2 months can remember for a day, 3 month old infants for a week, and older infants for even longer. This conflicts with the notion of the infant as not having any ability to store and process information as expounded by James (1890).

Piaget stated in his stage theory that children go through stages of development, and the stage that newborns are at is called the Sensorimotor Period. Initially limited to motor reflexes these can develop to become far more complex, becoming generalised to a range of situations and combining to form more complex forms of behaviour. This behaviour is adaptive to the needs of the neonate and its interactions with the environment around it.

Mark Johnson (1988) demonstrated that young infants can differentiate between colours, sizes and shapes, while with Morton (1991) he showed infants prefer looking at faces, particularly moving ones. In 2000 he demonstrated how infants display recognition of individual faces at the age of 1-3 months. All this suggests an ability to make sense of images and use them in some kind of process.

Bowlby’s research (1958) suggests that infants enter the world already predisposed to form a social relationship. This is a means of ensuring parental care and protection, which from a survival standpoint would have been useful in times when human infants were under threat from predators. By engaging in rooting, grasping, sucking, etc babies are engaging in an active process of seeking out attachment and proximity, while with copying behaviour, smiling, crying, etc they are signalling to the caregiver that they require attention. This is a degree of complexity beyond Locke’s notion of the infant as tabula rasa.

There are also differing types of attachment demonstrated by Ainsworth et al (1978), which suggest infants have different relationships with their care giver(s). This in turn suggests some level of individuality is already present in the infant though there are presumably also some environmental impacts from the differing behaviour of care givers. William James had a notion of the confused, unthinking infant. Locke’s Tabula Rasa concept suggested that infants were empty vessels. However, modern psychology has shown (using new technology and skills acquired from new people entering the discipline) that this is not so.

Infants are aware of the world around them and have expectations about that world. They understand that objects will conform to the laws of physics, and be surprised when they do not. They are social creatures able to mimic behaviour so as to improve the parental bond, and improve their own survival chances by avoiding parental rejection. They are able to demonstrate memory by repeating previously shown behaviour. Piaget showed that infants have a somewhat limited view of the world centred around their own viewpoint, but the point here is that they do have a perception of the world around them, and a view of it. They are even able to differentiate between shapes, and to recognise individual faces, tasks which are beyond any so-called tabula rasa. To suggest that the newborn infant lacks basic tools for survival at the point of birth is entirely incorrect. Infants are far more able to understand the world, and equally importantly, through parental manipulation, alter their world.


Attachment System Throughout the Life Course, The: Review and Criticisms of Attachment Theory [web page]; [Accessed 16 Nov 2004] Brief history of views of Children and Childhood, A [web page]; [Accessed 17 Nov 2004] Demeris, Y., & Hayes, G., Imitation as a dual-route process featuring predictive and learning components: a biologically-plausible computational model [web page]; Flavell, J.H. (1963). The developmental psychology of Jean Piaget. New York: Litton

Discuss evidence which suggests cognitive development involves the child passing through a sequence of discrete developmental stages. An individual goes through many changes throughout their lives. They begin to mature and develop new skills as they grow older. One of the …

What reasons does contemporary psychology give for rejecting William James’s notion that the infant enters into a “blooming, buzzing confusion”? (1000 words) In the very earliest days of psychology it was thought that infants had no idea what was going on …

Describe how Piaget’s approach to children’s intellectual development has been extended to explain their development of social understanding. In what ways does the approach of Donaldson and her followers differ from that of Piaget? The work of Piaget provided the …

Discuss the theories that seek to explain why we don’t remember events from infancy. Use research evidence to reach conclusions as to which theories that you discuss offers the most accurate explanation for this phenomena. Charlotte Green Discuss the theories that seek …

David from Healtheappointments:

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out