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Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Cognition 1 Sensation , Perception , Attention , & Memory

What is Cognition ?

Cognition simply means thinking , gaining knowledge and dealing with knowledge .

The Long Definition : Mental Processes that are involved in acquiring , storing , retrieving and using information. And
that includes Sensation , perception , memory , imagery , Concept formation , reasoning , decision making , problem
solving and language.

Acquiring Knowledge

How do we acquire knowledge ?

We Acquire knowledge through the experience of sensation and perception.

Sensation : It is the process of picking up information through our sensory

organs from the environment .

Sensory Transduction : Sensory Receptors detect stimulus and convert them

into Neural impulses.

Perception : Process of interpreting the Sensation we experience so that we can act upon them.

How Sensation and Perception work together

What is Selective attention ?

It is the Process of discriminating between what is important
and what is irrelevant .
This is usually influenced by mortivation.

For an Example : Imagine a class room with Students. The

Students inside the class room pays attention to what the
lecturer says, while the people walking by the class room will
pay attention to things like who the lecturer is or the number
of students present inside the classroom
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

What is Attention ?
Attention is the Tendency to focus on a single stimulus.

Determinants of attention are defined as the factors that govern you to pay attention to something or NOT
pay attention to something.
Divided into 2 parts :

External Determinants (External Factors)

Characteristics of the stimulus:

1. Intensity or strength of the stimulus.

Higher the Intensity , the more attention it gains

Imagine 2 patients A & B walk into a hospital. Patient A just

comes in with little intense saying that he has pain in his
chest region while Patient B comes in with a higher intense
of pain crying and shouting saying he has pain in the chest
Which patient is more likely to gain more attention? It is
Obviously Patient B

2. Size of the Stimulus Object

Bigger the object , the more attention it gains.

Imagine the Moon and Shining stars. Which is more likely to gain attention? The Moon because it is much
bigger than the small shining stars !

3. Direction of the Stimulus.

Sound that appears only for a moment Does not catch attention.
If Sound persists for sometime Catches attention.

Imagine 2 Patients X and Y on a hospital bed. X Cries in pain for sometime and stops while Patient Y
Continues to cry and make more sound for a long time.
Patient Y would get more attention since he cries in pain continuously over a certain period of time.

4. A Moving Object
A Moving object catches your attention more quickly than an object that does NOT move.

Imagine 2 Lecturers A & B. Lecturer A gives Lectures by standing or sitting in the same position through out
the lecture muttering out a few words while Lecturer B Actively moves around giving the lecture. You are
more likely to fall asleep on lecturer As class than B since Lecturer B will gain more attention than Lecturer A.

5. Change and Variety

Imagine 2 Poster advertisements. Poster A Shows the long term health effects due to alcohol and it is
designed in such a way which is black and white , complicated and only a person with a health care
background would understand. Poster B shows the opposite which is promoting alcohol and it is designed in
such a way where you see a couple making out and having fun. Which is more likely to gain attention ? It is of
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

course with out any doubts Poster B since it attracts the more powerful primitive Brain while poster B targets
the more evolved brain.

Internal Determinants ( Internal Factors)

1. Interests
Imagine 2 Newspaper articles side by side one on the Right and one on the Left. The article on the right side is
about something you are really keen about and which you find very interesting while the article on the left
side is about a very boring topic. Which article would you read first. The Article on the Right or the Left ? It
will be the Article on the right due to the high interest which is an internal factor

2. Needs
Does this serve a good purpose such as to achieve a goal.
You have to pass your Bar Exams whether you like it or not to enter the Para-Clinicals. And that is a Need to
achieve a goal and hence gains attention so you study your ass off !


3 processes :
- Encoding
- Storage
- Retrieval

Short Term Memory is most commonly known as the working memory and can handle up to 7 (plus or Minus 2)
items at once. You can get these items into your long term memory by rehearsing. Failure to rehearse might result in
the loss of that particular data forever (Simply you forget it) It is more like the RAM of the Computer.
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Long Term Memory

Long Term Memory

Explicit Memory Implicit Memory

(Declarative) (Non-Declarative)

Procedural Memory
Episodic Memory Semantic Memory (Eg: Habbits , Skills
(Biographical Events) (Words , Concepts) that are typically

Explicit Memory (Things you remember)

Divided into 2 Parts : Episodic Memory and Semantic Memory .

Episodic Memory : Biographical Events

For an Example - You remember the first day you walked into your University , You remember your first Lecture , You
remember how you fell in love with her etc..

Semantic Memory : Words , Concepts

For an Example You remember your the definition of cognition , You remember concepts if the shoulder joint , You
remember the concepts of knee joint and so on !

Implicit Memory (Things I Know)

Also known as Procedural Memory . These First come as I remember stuff and later becomes I know stuff.
For an Example : Driving- First time you get behind the wheel you remember how to do it , but with time it becomes
a skill.
Taking the pressure : First time you remember the sequence of steps on how to get the pressure but with time it
becomes a skill , then it becomes an I know thing
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Cognition 2 Intelligence , Learning & Thinking.

What is Intelligence?

Ability to perceive , learn & retain knowledge and apply. It is also known as the ability to understand and react to
emotions of self & others.
The multiple intelligence theory (1985) speaks of nine modalities of intelligence on :
1. Musical Rhythmic
Some people are capable of composing music without even studying the subject.(Examples : Yanni ,
Mozart. That is rhythmic intelligence.
2. Visual Spatial
Some people like architects can simply look at a certain area of space and think of something in
which you can get the maximum out of that particular space.
3. Verbal Linguistic
Some people are very good in writing such as Shakespeare
4. Logical Mathematical
People who are very good in maths and logic such as Archimedes
5. Bodily Kinesthetic
People with strength in Physical Movement.( People who are good in dancing and sports or even
creating things using their hands, Surgeons should also be kinesthetically intelligent to perform
delicate surgeries )
6. Interpersonal
People who are good at talking and have a very good talent in social interactions. (eg: Marketing
7. Intrapersonal
How much you understand about yourself , about your feelings and so on. For an example if you feel
that your temper is rising during a conversation you can simply walk away and put an end to the
conversation if you are intelligent in understanding your self.
8. Naturalistic
Ability to understand the world around us. For an example there are some divers who can simply dive
into the sea observe the currents , the temperature of the water and simply predict the weather as to
whether its gonna rain now or not.
9. Moral Intelligence
It is actually the capacity to understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is
believed to be right. People like Mahatma Ghandi , Mother Theresa , Bill Gates are examples of
people who has the ability to boost up the Moral intelligence in other people as well.

What is Learning ?
Acquiring new knowledge or modifying existing knowledge , behavior , skills , values and preferences.
It is just not knowledge but many other things that change with learning , for an example Boys and girls in grades 5-7
might actually hate each other , but with time they learn to accompany each other and eventually become friends
even best friends !
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

How do we learn ?
We learn from our experiences.

Learning Conditioning

What is Observational Learning ?

It is basically the learning that occurs through observing the behaviors of others.
A Very important skill that medical Students and doctors should have is breaking bad news to the relatives of the
A relative needed to be informed that his loved one has died. The Medical Student observes the doctor giving
the relative this information offering time and support.
The student notices how the caring behavior of the doctor helps the relative and in the future the student attempts to
imitate that behavior .
Kids imitate their parents daughters try to imitate their mothers by playing with lipsticks and sons might
imitate their fathers by pretending to ride bikes or drive the car.
Teachers try to motivate the others by admiring a hard work student so that other people would tend to
imitate that student and study like him or her.
Kids also tend to imitate stuff in cartoons. If they see Violence , Smoking or Drinking in cartoons and movies
they will also want to imitate.

Once you get to the understanding age we only tend to imitate if that particular thing is relevant and useful to us.
Key to observation and learning is we need to see the behavior, find that its useful, pay attention to it and be able
remember and replicate it.

What is associative Learning ?

Learning through associations. Two types
Operant Conditioning
Classical Conditioning
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning theory involves learning a new behavior via the process of association. Basically what happens
is two stimuli are linked together to produce a new learned response in a person or animal.

Unconditioned Stimulus - Natural Stimulus

Unconditioned Response - Natural Response
Conditioned Stimulus - A previously neutral stimulus that, after repeated association with an unconditioned
stimulus, provides the response produced by the unconditioned stimulus itself.
Conditioned response An automatic response established by training to an ordinarily neutral stimulus.

Another Example :
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Operant Conditioning
Explains associations between behaviors and consequences.
Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior.

For example, when a lab rat presses a blue button, he receives a food pellet as a reward, but when he presses the red
button he receives a mild electric shock. As a result, he learns to press the blue button but avoid the red button.

Behavior Consequences Effect on behavior

Hardworking in Study Good Grades at college Effort Increases
Missing a class Punishment Tendency to miss the class decreases

Thinking and Types of thinking

The Mental manipulation of words and images

Rational Thinking Helps us to find the

(Based on evidence , best way of problem
logic) Solving
Types of thinking
Emotional Thinking May lead to wrong
(By feelings) conclusions.

Process of creation of objects and events without the support of our sensory data.

Functions of Imaginations:
i. To have the mental representation of the environmental world through images
ii. The regulation of emotional stress
iii. The voluntary regulation of cognitive processes (Imagining how you feel during an exam)
iv. The creation of internal plan of further actions and behavior (eg: Planning your day/week)

Thinking also involves in other mental processes

Problem Solving
Decision Making

Problem Solving
The though process that enables is to overcome obstacles to reach a goal
Different strategies :
a) Trial & Error
b) Insight (aha)
c) Algorithms
d) Heuristics
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Barriers to problem solving

1.Emotional Barriers
Fear of making mistakes , inability to tolerate self criticism.

2.Cultural Barriers
Playfulness is for children only

3.Learning Barriers

4.Perceptual Barriers
Habits leading to a failure in identifying important elements of a problem.

Decision Making
A Form of problem solving
Trying to make the best choice among alternative judgments.
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Emotion & Motivation

Objectives :

1. The importance of emotion

2. What is emotion
3. Emotion and physiologic changes
4. Various dimensions of emotional expressions
5. Usefulness of emotions
6. The relevance of emotion related information as a medical officer

Understand the importance of Emotions

How are you feeling ?
How you feel when you are in a particular situation (e.g. after a sports event)
Eg: The emotional feelings you get before an exam , once the exam ends and just the day before results.
How other people feel (Others feelings in a wide range of situations)
Eg: If a Person is in a sad mood and you sense it , then you should know what to say and what not to say to
the person.
Emotions are signals to us which makes us easy to understand ourselves and the people around us

As a Doctor

How other people feel?

(Understanding others feelings in a wide range of situations)
Doctor patient Communications
(When diagnosed with critical illnesses such as heart disease and cancer)
When the patients have to take important decisions
(Cancer Chemotherapy)
Breaking bad news

You are walking along a street and you sense someone following you. You start walking faster and now you start
sweating and your heart rate increases. After sometime you look back and you see no One.
What is the emotion ?
What is the response ?
Walking faster
What are the bodily Changes ?
Sweating and High Heart Beat
What is the intensity of the emotion
A High intensity emotion
Was it a pleasant emotion or an Unpleasant emotion?
It was an unpleasant emotion

What is emotion ?
A Motivated state marked by physiological arousal , expressive behavior and mental Experience, which varies in its
intensity and pleasantness Unpleasantness

Each emotion has a specific Purpose

Happiness Reinforces action an recognizes positive outcomes.
Sadness Recognize a loss makes us easy to create meaning from life events
Fear Helps to identify a threat and avoid danger and seek safety.

Understanding the physiology and the chemistry of emotions

(About the divisions of the Nervous system)
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Chemistry of emotions
Emotional reactions depends on hormones and neurotransmitters

Understand various dimensions of emotional experiences

Expression of emotions
Emotional Intelligence
Expression of emotions
Behavioral components of emotions :
1. Vocal Qualities :- Words , Features of speech(Loudness , Pitch)
2. Body Movements
3. Facial Expressions

Emotional Intelligence
The ability to perceive , imagine and understand emotions and to use that information in making decisions.
How well a person understands and uses their emotions for healthy living.
An emotionally intelligent person that emotions can be :
A Signal to oneself
A motive for action
A relationship monitor and
A Signal to others

Measuring Emotions
1. Self Reports
2. Physiologic Measurements
3. Behaviors

Usefulness of Emotions

The impact of (+) Positive and (-) Negative emotions on ones well being.
Experience of positive emotions + Experience of negative emotions = Life Experiences

(+) Positive Emotions

Important to achieving personal growth and improve well being over time.

(-) Negative Emotions

Are more differentiated and more noticeable than (+) emotions
The risks of functioning inappropriately to negative reactions are greater than the risks of functioning
inappropriately to (+) emotions
Example : Failure to respond to a Life threat may result in death

Usefulness of emotions
A Happy mood increases individuals readiness to explore new ideas and opportunities

How this knowledge would be useful as a medical officer

To understand the Patients
1. Their feelings and emotions
2. Their behavior and reactions
3. Their Problems such as the severity of the illnesses etc.

Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Example :
A Medical student is studying anatomy in the library. She begins to feel hungry and cant Concentrate.
She grows restless and decides to eat a pastry. She goes down to the cafeteria only to find it being closed.
So she drives back to her hostel, cooks a meal and eats it. Her hunger is satisfied and she resumes her
What is Motivation ?
Motivation can be described as internal processes that
1. Initiate
2. Sustain &
3. Direct activities.

Motivation : Forces that Push and Pull.

An internal process that pushes or pulls the individual to some external extent.



Goal Response

Differences between Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic Motivation
Motivation that is driven by an interst.
Exist within the individual taking pleasure.

Extrinsic Motivation
Comes from outside the individual.
Example : Good Grades at class , Money
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Social Behavior

Understanding important aspects of social behavior :

1. Social Interaction
The way we develop Social Interaction
The development of self-concept
Self concept and cultural differences.
2. Social Influence
3. Social Cognition
Changing attitudes.
- How to apply this knowledge

Social Psychology
The Scientific study of how a persons behavior , thought and feelings are influenced by the Real , Imagined or
Implied presence of others.
Implied Suggested but not directly expressed.

Social Interactions

Bronfenbrennertheory of Social development

Developing Self Concept :
Who am I ?
1. I am ___
2. I am ___
3. I am ___
4. I am ___
5. I am ___

Understanding the Response of the above Categorizing Who am I ?

1. Physical Attributes
Category A
Examples :
i. 18 Years old
ii. Height is 5.9
2. Social Attributes
Category B
i. I am a Srilankan
ii. I am a Muslim
iii. I am a Doctor
3. Psychological Attributes
Category C
Examples :
i. Humble
ii. I am Friendly
iii. I am Wicked
4. Global Attributes
Category D
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

What determines our Self Concept

1. Self Schema :
Perceiving ourselves (Eg: Medical Student , Srilankan , Smart)

Self-schema refers to the beliefs and ideas people have about themselves. These beliefs are used to guide and
organize information processing, especially when the information is significant to themselves

2. Possible Selves :
Who we might become (Eg : Doctor , Scientist , Engineer)
Possible Selves, refers to various components of the cognitive sense of self; the ideal self (who a
person would like to be), who they can become even perhaps who they might be afraid of becoming.

3. Self Esteem :
Used to describe a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem is often seen
as a personality trait, which means that it tends to be stable and enduring. Self-esteem can involve a
variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one's own appearance, beliefs, emotions,
and behaviors.

High Self Esteem Low Self Esteem

Confidence in our own abilities Lack of confidence
Self acceptance Want to be or look like someone else
Not worrying about what others think Always worrying about what others might think
Optimism : hopefulness and confidence about the Pessimism : a tendency to see the worst aspect of
future or the success of something. things or believe that the worst will happen.

Reasons for lack of self-esteem

1. Influence of parents and family
2. Negligence in childhood
3. Child abuse
4. Excessive criticism
5. Physical appearance
6. Negative experience
7. Lack of success

Developing Social Self

1. Roles we Play
2. Social Identity
Is the portion of an individual's self-concept
Comes from our Group Memberships
Example : Saitm Medical Students
3. Social Comparison
Evaluating our abilities and opinions by comparing ourselves with others.
Example : As medical Students
4. Experience
Daily experience influence self concept
Example : Surgery was successful , more confident and happiness
5. Others Judgment
When others label us as hardworking ad efficient We tend to do more
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Cultural differences and Self Concept


Individualistic Collectivist
Culture Culture

- Tend to define - Define Self

- Giving Priorities - Givig priority to
themselves in inters of
to ones own goals the goals of One's
terms of personal Connectiveness
over group Goals groups
Attributes with others

Social Influence

The ways in which a persons behavior can be affected by other people

Example :
Conformity Changing ones own behavior to match that of other people.

Social Cognition

The ways in which people think about other people.

Example :
i. Persuasion : Changing attributes
Target Audience

Social cognition is a sub-topic of social psychology that focuses on how people process, store, and apply information
about other people and social situations. It focuses on the role that cognitive processes play in our social interactions.
The way we think about others plays a major role in how we think, feel, and interact with the world around us.

For example, imagine that you are getting ready to go on a blind date. Not only do you worry about the impression
and signals that you are sending to the other person, you are also concerned with interpreting the signals given by
the other individual. How do you form an impression of this person? What meaning do you read into the other
person's behavior?
This is just one example of how social cognition influences a single social interaction, but you can probably
think of many more examples from your daily life. We spend a considerable portion of every day interacting with
others, which is why an entire branch of psychology formed to help understand how we feel, think, and behave in
social situations.
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

How to Apply ?

Understanding your Self (Personal & Social Self)

Specific elements of social relations that doctors will face in their practice
i. Gender
ii. Ethnicity
iii. Caste
iv. Class
Looking at own values and power relationships with patients
The way you behave is affected by others
Changing the way people think
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Pro-Social Behavior
Any action that benefits another regardless of the benefits or self sacrifice of the actor

- The desire or the action of helping someone even if it involves a cost to the helper.
- The helper does not expect an internal or an external reward

Understand why people engage in pro-social behavior ?

( Basic Motives underlying Pro-social behavior )

Empathy and empathetic arousal.

Empathy : A Capacity for taking another persons point of View , the ability to feel what another is feeling.

Empathetic Arousal:
- Emotional arousal that occurs when you feel someone elses Pain , fear or anguish.
- Empathetic Arousal Motivates helping

A Feeling of connection to the victim another important factor in helping

Other reason8s why people help : The Evolutionary theory and the social exchange theory

Evolutionary Theory: Instincts and Genes

Attempts to explain social behavior in terms of genetic factors that evolved over time
The idea of KIN SELECTION meaning that the genetic relatives are favored by natural selection.
Example :
i. You are more likely to save a Blood relation than an unknown stranger if both encounters the same
danger simultaneously.

Social Exchange
- The costs and the rewards of helping.
- Argues that much of what we do comes from the desire to maximize our outcomes and minimize our Costs.

Individual differences: The Altruistic personality

Aspects of a persona makeup that lead the person to help others in a wide variety of situations define the
altruistic personality
It appears that different types of people are likely to help in different types of situations.

Is there a gender difference in helping?

Women are universally perceived as kinder, more soft-hearted & more helpful.
But over 90% of Hero-awards go to Men, because men are more likely to help strangers in emergency
situations (Eg. Men are more likely to help someone with a flat tire or in another dangerous situation)
Women in then other hand are more likely to help those they already know (Eg. Taking care of a neighbor or
an elderly relative etc)

Cultural differences in Pro-social behavior

People across cultures are more likely to help their in-group than out-group.

Effects of mood on pro-social behavior

People are more likely to help when they are in a good mood
People are also more likely to help when they are in a bad mood
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Situational determinants of Pro-Social behavior

The Number of Bystanders The by-stander effect

Greater the number of bystanders who witness an emergency , it is less likely that anyone of them will help

The Bystander effect decision tree

Does Not see

Start Not an
Event Emergency
Dont know
how to help
Knows how to
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Research Methods
Why need it?
1. Examine causes
2. Test Treatment
3. Examine the rates of occurrence

How to do it?
Gather Evidence through careful observation

Use Scientific Method

1. Identify problem / Research Question
2. Conducting a Literature review (What other people have done)
3. Formulating hypothesis
4. Designing the study
5. Results & interpretation
6. Conclusion & Dissemination

1. What is Research Question?

What the researcher is interested in
i. Example: Effects of health beliefs on life satisfaction of patients?
Valuing General Health Engaging in activities that promote health Satisfaction with life

2. Conducting a Literature Review

A Process of finding the facts bout what other people have done related to our research field.

3. Formulating Hypothesis
Prediction regarding the results of a study

4.Designing & Conducting the study

Methods :-
i. Participants
Age Range
ii. Measures
iii. Procedure
Explain the Purpose of Study
Explain instructions to complete the Questionnaire

5. Results & Interpretation

Some interpretations which will help readers / audience to understand your results.
Easiest way for them to understand.
Example : Using graphs , charts & Tables

6. Conclusion & dissemination

We should always give a conclusion of our study to the audience so other people can get to know
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives


Methods to test

Results Support Results oppose

Hypothesis hypothesis

Confidence in
Cofidence in
Hypothesis enhanced
Hypothesis Modified
or discarded

Other Search designs

A. Naturalistic Observation
Examine individuals behavior under more or less natural conditions
B. Case Histories
Obtain a thorough description of an individual
I. Medical Condition
II. Life History
III. Any Information which seems relevant
C. Surveys
Examine the prevalence of certain attitudes , beliefs , behavior based on individual
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Understanding Maladaptive patterns of Behavior

Understanding Fields in mental health and dealing with Psychological Problems

Counselling Psychology
Clinical Psychology
Psychiatry ( A Field of Medicine)
Understand psychological abnormality
Identify causes for psychological abnormality

Counselling Psychology

The application of mental health, Psychological or human development principles, through cognitive, affective,
behavioral or systemic intervention strategies, that address wellness, personal growth or career development as well
as pathology.

Clinical Psychology
A discipline concerned with
The study
Of abnormal behavior.

A Field of medicine.
Closely related to Clinical Psychology

Psychiatrists : Identify Psychological abnormalities , diagnose psychological disorders and treatment (Bio
psychosocial approach)

Objective 02 : Understand Psychological Abnormality

Define Abnormality
Common Features :-
1. Distress (Suffering)
2. Dysfunction (impairment)
3. Danger (Risk to self or other people)
4. Deviance (Socially and culturally unacceptable behavior)

1. Distress
The Experience of emotional or physical pain
The level of pain becomes so great that the individual finds it so difficult to function
Psychological pain made so great some people cannot do daily activities

2. Dysfunction
Intense distress Reduce an individuals ability to function
A Reduction in a persons ability to function at an optimal or even an average level.

3.Danger (Risk to self and other people )

Risk refers to a danger / threat to the well-being of a person
Damage to your future / well being
Risk to self
Risk to Others (Persons behavior and thoughts are a threat to the psychological and well-being of others )
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

4. Deviance (Socially and Culturally unacceptable behavior)

Behavior that is outside the Norms of the social and cultural context.
Some behavior that is regarded as odd within a given culture / society may be quite normal in another social

Objective 03:- Identify causes for Psychological Abnormality

What causes abnormality?

1. The Biological Causes
2. The psychological Causes
3. The socio-Cultural Causes

1. Biological Causes
Biological structures and processes involved in abnormal behavior
Genetic Factors
Neuro-transmitter and hormonal imbalances
Brain abnormalities or defects / Brain damage
Medical Conditions

2. Psychological Causes
a. Traumatic life experience
Disturbances that arise from troubling life experiences can cause dramatic changes in feelings and
A Disappointment in an Interment relationship
A Trauma that happened recently or many years ago

b. Early Deprivation
Parental Deprivation :From food and shelter to love and affection

c. Inadequate Parenting
Parenting styles Neglectful
Parents with various psychological problems (Examples : Schizophrenia , Depression , alcohol abuse)
tend to have children who are at risk of developmental difficulties

d. Marital discard and divorce

Frustrating , hurtful , affect both adult and children

e. Learned associations
Certain life experiences cause the person to form negative associations to certain stimuli
Example : Being trapped in an elevator may cause an irrational fear of small spaces

f. Distorted Perception
Intra psychic experiences that take place within thoughts and feelings
Emotional disturbances arise from distorted perceptions

g. Faulty ways of thinking

A Person thinks that his friend is angry with him because he failed to return his phone calls
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

3. Socio Cultural Causes Refers to the various circles of social influence

a. Political or Social unrest
Can cause emotional disturbances
Example : JVP disturbances

b. Discrimination towards ones social group

Prejudice and discrimination in
Discrimination Can influence a person who belongs to a minority group

c. Low socio economic status and unemployment

Status High mental disorder
Low income Live in high stress

d. Social change in uncertainty

Social Change :
Our Education , job , families , finances , beliefs & Values.
Try to keep up with adjustment , live with increased worry and uncertainty

e. Urban Stressors : Violence & Homelessness

People in cities are directly or indirectly

Bio psychosocial Perspective :


People can go to an abnormal behavior when these are affected

If you can change psychological (therapy) or biological you can bring a person normal
Socio-cultural patterns are hard to change
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

The role of Primary care Physician in understanding Psychological

aspects of physical Symptoms
Doctor-Patient Relationship
Self introduction
Welcome : (Respect) Patient and family members
Understand Verbal & and Non-Verbal communication

Understand the person in his or her context

Person in the patient
Gender aspect (Doctor-Patient relationship)
Gender relevant information

Use all relevant information

Knowledge about the clients history and background
Material Collected from inter?
Results from any tests

Additional information , family members and friends

The patient consent for medical procedure

Understand the patients reported or observable symptoms

Listen for a keyword or a phrase

Example : Sad , Not worthy to Live
Observe how the patient acts
Observe emotional expressions
Understand their way of thinking

Identify the useful aspects in managing the problem Situation

Different psychological assessments used in understanding psychological problems

i. Behavioural assessments
ii. Neurological assessments
iii. Enviromental assessments
iv. Psychological testing
Important consideration in designing a treatment plan
i. What are the treatment goals
ii. What would be the best treatment setting
iii. Who should treat the patient
iv. What kind of treatment should be given
The Important stages

1. Immediate management
2. Short term goals
3. Long term goals

Immediate management
Focus on the most urgent needs at the moment
IM? Needed in situations involving intense distress or risk to the person/others
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Short term goals

Changes in : What we
Thinking Think

Not involve a major

personality restructing
What we do What we
(Behaviour) feel

Long term Goals

Include more fundamental changes in

The Personality
The Relationships
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Psychology of Health
Understanding psychological aspects of health and illness

Health Psychology
The biopsychosocail approach to health

Major concerns in health psychology

1. Psychological adjustments to serious illnesses and other negative life events
2. Health beliefs and their influence on behaviours intended to prevent or detect illness
3. Mind body connections in the causes and treatment of serious illness
4. Psychosocial factors related to health and illness

How do people psychologically adjust to serious illnesses and negative life events

Adjusting our emotional reactions

- Adaptation to a new comparison standard
- Example :
A Disabled Patient
Non Disabled past Present ,
But if his future is judged with reference to his present.

Adjusting beliefs
- Illnesses affect our beliefs about our selves and the world
- Example :
Bad things happen to bad people
But bad things also happen to good people

How to adjust
1. Change ones beleifs

2. Reinterpret the negative experiences to match with existing beleifs.

Example : Bad things happen to good people
i. Taking responsibility (Its my fault) and thinking that I can do better next time / take
additional precautions.

3. Searching for meaning

Finding meaning in a negative event
Example :
i. I have much more enjoyment in each day , each moment
ii. I was very happy to find out that I am a very strong person .. I have become a different
4. Regaining a sense of mastery
Attempt to gain control over ones health
Example :
i. Positive thinking
ii. Dietary changes : why I cant I maintain a healthy life style
iii. Obtaining information about illness and treatment.
5. Enhancing the sense of self
Selective evaluation
You compare yourself on the basis of one particular characteristics that makes you seem better off
than others
Example :
i. I am married , I have a family
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

How do health beliefs influence on prevention and illness detection behaviour.

1. Perceived barriers to taking action

Example :
i. Barriers to obtaining a mammogram with the fear that cancer might be detected.
Barriers can be :
i. Psychological
ii. Physical (A Disabled person might find it hard to make it to the hospital without the help of
someone else)
iii. Financial (Some people might be financially down and wouldnt be able to bear the cost of
the tests and the doctors charges)

2. Perceived susceptibility to illness

People who perceive themselves to be at greatest risk are more and more likely to act to reduce
their risk.
But people might be unrealistically optimistic (Optimistic : hopeful and confident about the future.)

3. Perceived severity of illness

Example :
i. If the illness is perceived to be mild People not be motivated enough to protect
Two Beliefs
Self Efficacy :
- Belief about ones personal ability to carry out a recommended action.
Treatment / Response Efficacy :
- Belief about the effectiveness of the recommended action

What is the relationship between mind body in the causes and treatment of serious illness?

Patients with chronic illnesses (Medical conditions) also suffer from psychological disorders.
What comes first ?
Identify and treat psychological distress in patients by paying more attention to mind-body connections.
- Establish good reports through clear communications
- Encouraging patients to ask more and more questions

What are some psychological factors related to health and illness

1. Hardiness
People who are psychologically hardy to believe that they can control events in their lives.
Hardiness + other factors (eg: Social Support) Good Physical and mental health.
2. Explanatory style
Tendency to explain events in certain ways
2 Styles :
i. Pessimistic Explanatory style
Eg: Bad Luck
ii. Optimistic Explanatory style
Eg : I did not follow the instructions , next time work hard to regain my health
Todays Failure does not predict future failures.
3. Psychological inhibition
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Conceal problems and negative emotions

Harmful to ones psychological and physical health because :
i. It takes energy to keep secrets and support negative emotions
ii. One can use that energy to promote health and healing
4. Social Support
Practical Support (Eg:Go to clinic)
Emotional Support (Eg: Comfort and Hope)
Appraisal Support ( Eg: Helps to figure out what is happening and how to cope with it)
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Stress and Health

Stop Stressing , Start Living

1. Define Stress and Stressor

2. Identify various factors that influence stress
3. Identify different reactions to stress
4. Understand the influence of cognition and personality on stress
5. Learn how to cope

What is Stress ?
What people feel when they are under mental , physical ,& emotional pressure
Physical , emotional , cognitive , behavioral responses to events that are counted as threatening or

These are events that cause a Stress reaction
Divided into 2 Types :
1. Environmental Stressor
2. Psychological Stressor

What are Environmental Stressors?

1. Catastrophes : An Unpredictable event that happens on a large scale.
2. Major Life events :
a. Daily Hassles
Delays . Frustration , Irritations , Minor Disagreements

What are Psychological Stressors?

1. Pressure
1. The Psychological Experience produced by urgent demands or expectations for a persons behavior
that comes from an outside source.
2. Example : 3 Semesters workload in 2 weeks

2. Uncontrollability
1. The degree of control a person has over particular event / Situation

3. Frustration
1. Psychological Experience produced by the blocking of a desired goal or fulfillment of a perceived
2. Example : You fail the exam when your goal was to pass
3. Reactions to Frustrations :
1. Aggression : Being Aggressive
2. Displacement :
Emotional Reactions and behavioral responses are shifted to targets tgat are more
available/less threatening
3. Escape or Withdrawal
Leaving the Presence of Stressor (Either Literally or Psychological withdrawal )

4. Conflicts
1. Approach Approach Conflicts
Example : Choosing a Place for a Vacation (Hawai or Maldives)

2. Avoidance-Avoidance Conflicts
A Person has to choose between two Undesirable goals
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Example : Laundry or Homework

3. Approach-Avoidance Conflicts
A Person must choose or not choose a goal that has both positive and negative aspects.

Stressful situations may vary in :

1. Duration
Job Interview Short Time
Marital Issues Long time

2. Severity
Minor Injury Easier to Cope
Rape Difficult to cope

3. Predictability
High We know whats going to happen

4. Degree of loss of control

Feeling that one is unable to control / Influence

5. Level of self confidence

6. Sadness onset ( Unexpected)

Identify the different reactions to Stress

Described using 4 Factors:

1. Emotional Psychological Responses
2. Cognitive Psychological Responses
3. Physiological Responses
4. Behavioral Responses

Psychological Responses: Emotional

Feeling Upset

Psychological Responses: Cognition

Inability to concentrate
Difficulty in making Decisions
Negative ?
Loss of Self Confidence

Physiological Responses:
Rapid Pulse
Pounding Heart
Tense..? Of arm and leg Muscles
Increased sweating & Shortness of breath
Upset Stomach
Shortness of breath
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Behavioral Responses :
Deterioration(Decline) in performance
Smoking and use of alcohol
Accident Proneness (Tendency to experience more accidents)
Nervous Mannerism (a habitual gesture or way of speaking or behaving.)
Increased or decreased eating
Gritting of teeth

Understand the influence of Cognition and Personality on stress

1. Influence of Cognition on Stress

A. Cognitive appraisal approach The way people think about and appraise a stressor is a major factor
1. Primary Appraisal :
The severity of the stressor and classifying it as a threat.
2. Secondary Appraisal :
People who have identified a threat must estimate the resources available for coping with it

B. Explanatory Style : Optimistic or Pessimistic

1. Optimistic : People who always expect Positive outcomes
2. Pessimistic : People who expect Negative outcomes

2. How DO personality types impact on a persons Response to stress ?

Type A , B , C ,D

Learn how to Cope with Stress

Styles of Coping with stress.

1. Emotional Focused Coping :
Attempts to reduce emotional responsiveness rather than deal with the stressor directly
2. Problem focused Coping :
Attempt to Confront the stressor directly
Example : Examine the stressor and do what the person can do to change them or modify their

Managing Self : Maintaining a good Physical Health

and a Psychological Health Managing

Physical Health : Sleep , Diet , Exercise , etc

Mental Health :
Ways you can relax yourself
Developing an emotional balance ( Songs ,
Hobbies , Medication) Managing Managing
Self People
Managing Work :
career , Money , Time

Managing People :
Managing Relationships
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Objectives :
i. To Understand what is counselling
ii. What is Counselling in Srilankan Context
iii. How it is relevant to doctors.
iv. Who needs counselling.

Obj 01 : What is Counselling ?

The application of mental health, Psychological or human development principles, through cognitive,
affective, behavioral or systemic intervention strategies, that address wellness, personal growth or career
development as well as pathology.

Steps in professional Counselling

1. Step 01 : Relationship Building

2. Step 02 : Problem assessment
3. Step 03 : Goal Setting
4. Step 04 : Counselling Interventions
5. Step 05 : Evaluation , Termination or Referral

At 1st Contact a doctor should have :

Observational skills ( Non-Verbal Communication)
Listening skills
Empathetic Understanding

1. Profession :
Course of a study (Theory and Practical)
Professional and ethical standards.

2. Counselling deals with :

Personal Growth
Pathological Concerns

3. Counselling conducted with people who :

Function well
And people with more serious Problems
4. Counselling is theory based The Theoretical approaches :
i. Cognitive
ii. Behavioral
iii. Affective
iv. Systemic
These theories are applied for :
i. Individuals
ii. Families
iii. Groups
5. Counselling includes various Specialties :
School or collage Counselling
Marriage and Family, Psychotherapy
Gerontological counselling , Rehabilitation Counselling, Career Counselling
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

6. Counselling is NOT :
Giving advice
Pretend to be interested
Making choice for a person
Talking about yourself

Obj 02 : What is Counseling in Srilankan Context ?

Counselling Services & use of counseling skills in Srilanka

Social Counselling &

Psychiatrists Counselors
Workers Clinical

Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Human Development
Objectives :
What is human development
Importance of the development processes
The field of human development
Developmental psychology
Development on continuous and discontinuous process
Stages of Development

1. What is human Development?

The process of human becoming biologically mature

Changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life

2. Importance of understanding the process of human development

Patient in different developmental stages
Their behavior , needs & Concerns

3. The Field of Human Development

A Field of study devoted to understanding constancy & Change throughout the life span

Human Development : As a scientific , Applied & Inter-Disciplinary field

A study of human development
Medical Profession
Example :
i. Improving Peoples health
ii. Understanding of Physical Growth , Nutrition & Disease
Inter-disciplinary Field
Field of human development.
Combined efforts of people from various fields
i. Psychology
ii. Sociology
iii. Biology
iv. Neuro-Science

4. Understanding Psychological changes : Developmental Psychology

Understand changes in psychological processes from conception to old age
Changes in :
i. Cognitive
ii. Emotional
iii. Personality
iv. Social

5. Development on Continuous & Discontinuous Process

A Process of gradually increasing the same types of skills that were there to begin with.
A Process of new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times.
Development takes place in stages
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6. Understand the stages of Human Development

Period Approximate age Range

Prenatal Conception to birth

Infancy and Toddler hood Birth to 2 Years
Early Childhood 2-6 Years
Middle Childhood 6-11 Years
Adolescence 11-18 Years
Early Adulthood 18-40 Years
Middle Adulthood 40-65 Years
Late Adulthood 65 till death

Psychological Development
( Erik Eriksons Theory )

Infancy 1st Year

Early Childhood 1 3 Years
Preschool age 4-5 Years
School age 6-11 Years
Adolescence 12 20 Years
Young adulthood 20-24 Years
Adulthood 25-64 Years
Old age 65 Death

Infancy ( 1st Year)

Develops basic trust vs Mistrust

During this stage the infant is uncertain about the world in which they live. To resolve these feelings of
uncertainty the infant looks towards their primary caregiver for stability and consistency of care.

If the care the infant receives is consistent, predictable and reliable they will develop a sense of trust which
will carry with them to other relationships, and they will be able to feel secure even when threatened.

If the care has been harsh or inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable then the infant will develop a sense
of mistrust and will not have confidence in the world around them or in their abilities to influence events.
This infant will carry the basic sense of mistrust with them to other relationships. It may result in anxiety,
heightened insecurities, and an over feeling of mistrust in the world around them.

Early Childhood ( 1 to 3 Years)

Develops Autonomy Vs Shame & Guilt
Definition of Autonomy : Self-Governed , Trying to be independent
Develops various skills such as : Learning to Walk , Talk , Climb , Push & Pull

The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile. Children in this stage begin to assert their
independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about
what they like to wear, to eat, etc.

The child is discovering that he or she has many skills and abilities, such as putting on clothes and shoes,
playing with toys etc. Such skills illustrate the child's growing sense of independence and autonomy. It is
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

critical that parents allow their children to explore the limits of their abilities within an encouraging
environment which is tolerant of failure.
For example, rather than put on a child's clothes a supportive parent should have the patience to allow the
child to try until they succeed or ask for assistance. So, the parents need to encourage the child to becoming
more independent whilst at the same time protecting the child so that constant failure is avoided.

A delicate balance is required from the parent.... they must try not to do everything for the child but if the
child fails at a particular task they must not criticize the child for failures and If children in this stage are
encouraged and supported in their increased independence, they become more confident and secure in
their own ability to survive in the world.

If children are criticized, overly controlled, or not given the opportunity to assert themselves, they begin to
feel inadequate in their ability to survive, and may then become overly dependent upon others, lack self-
esteem, and feel a sense of shame or doubt in their own abilities.

Pre- School age ( 4-5 Years )

Develops Initiative Vs Guilt
Play Years
i. Motor Skills are refined
ii. Thought & Language expand
iii. Vivid use of imagination
iv. Begins to establish Ties to Peers

These are particularly lively, rapid-developing years in a childs life. It is also a time of action and behaviors
that the parents may see as aggressive".

During this period the primary feature involves the child regularly interacting with other children at school.
Central to this stage is play, as it provides children with the opportunity to explore their interpersonal skills
through initiating activities. Children begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with
others. If given this opportunity, children develop a sense of initiative, and feel secure in their ability to lead
others and make decisions.

Conversely, if this tendency is forcefully supressed, either through criticism or control, children develop a
sense of guilt. They may feel like a nuisance to others and will therefore remain followers, lacking in self-
A Good example of this tendency getting suppressed forcefully via Control is that If a child takes
initiatives the parents will often try to stop in order to protect the child. Eventually the child will often
overstep the mark in his forcefulness which will result in the parents punishing the child and
restricting his initiatives. This will lead to a child with Lack of Self Initiative.

It is at this stage that the child will begin to ask many questions as his thirst for knowledge grows. If the
parents treat the childs questions as insignificant, a nuisance or embarrassing or other aspects of their
behavior as threatening then the child may have feelings of guilt for being a nuisance. Too much guilt can
make the child slow to interact with others and may inhibit their creativity. Some guilt is, of course,
necessary otherwise the child would not know how to exercise self control or have a conscience. Therefore A
healthy balance between initiative and guilt is important.

School age ( 6 11 Years)

Develops Industry Vs Inferiority
Attend school and lean the skills necessary for economic Survival
Basic Literacy Skills
Marked by advances in athletic abilities
Understanding of self, morality, & Friendship.
Peer-group Membership (A group of people of approximately the same age, status, and interests)
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Children are at the stage where they will be learning to read and write, to do sums, to make things on their
own. Teachers begin to take an important role in the childs life as they teach the child specific skills. It is at
this stage that the childs peer group will gain greater significance and will become a major source of the
childs self esteem. The child now feels the need to win approval by demonstrating specific competencies
that are valued by society, and begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments.

If children are encouraged and reinforced for their initiative, they begin to feel industrious and feel confident
in their ability to achieve goals. If this initiative is not encouraged, if it is restricted by parents or teacher,
then the child begins to feel inferior, doubting his own abilities and therefore may not reach his or her

Adolescence ( 12- 20 Years )

Develops identity Vs role Confusion
Transition period between childhood and adulthood
Gaining a personal identity at the end of this stage.

During adolescence , the transition from childhood to adulthood is most important. Children are becoming
more independent, and begin to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, families, housing, etc.
The individual wants to belong to a society and fit in.

This is a major stage in development where the child has to learn the roles he will occupy as an adult. It is
during this stage that the adolescent will re-examine his identity and try to find out exactly who he or she is.
Erikson suggests that two identities are involved: the sexual and the occupational.

What should happen at the end of this stage is a reintegrated sense of self, of what one wants to do or be,
and of ones appropriate sex role. During this stage the body image of the adolescent changes.Erikson
claims that the adolescent may feel uncomfortable about their body for a while until they can adapt and
grow into the changes.

During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome
of their explorations. Failure to establish a sense of identity within society ("I dont know what I want to be
when I grow up") can lead to role confusion. Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about
themselves or their place in society.

In response to role confusion or identity crisis an adolescent may begin to experiment with different
lifestyles (e.g. work, education or political activities). Also pressuring someone into an identity can result in
rebellion in the form of establishing a negative identity, and in addition to this feelings of unhappiness.

Young Adulthood ( 20 24 Years)

Intimacy Vs Isolation
Being able to love and wok effectively

In this stage we begin to share ourselves more intimately with others. We explore relationships leading
toward longer term commitments with someone other than a family member. ( A Girlfriend or a Boyfriend
*wink* )
Successful completion of this stage can lead to comfortable relationships and a sense of commitment, safety,
and care within a relationship.
Avoiding intimacy, fearing commitment and relationships can lead to isolation, loneliness, and sometimes
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Adult Hood (25 64 Years)

Generativity Vs Stagnation
Develops a Possitive identity and lives a productive , happy life.

During middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs), we establish our careers, settle down within a relationship,
begin our own families and develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture.
We give back to society through raising our children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in
community activities and organizations.
By failing to achieve these objectives, we become stagnant and feel unproductive. Success in this stage will
lead to the virtue of care.

Old age ( 65 to Death )

A Feeling of completion and Fulfillment (Ego Integrity vs. Despair)
People adjust :
i. To Retirement
ii. To Decreased physical strength and health
iii. To the death of a spouse
Reflect on the meaning of their lives.

As we grow older (65+ yrs) and become senior citizens, we tend to slow down our productivity, and explore
life as a retired person. It is during this time that we look thoughtfully at our accomplishments and are able
to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life.
Erik Erikson believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our past, or feel that we did not
accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression
and hopelessness.
Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of wisdom. Wisdom enables a person to look back on their life
with a sense of closure and completeness, and also accept death without fear.

The Life Span Perspective

The life-span perspective examines how a person grows, develops, and declines by taking multiple aspects and
placing them in different frameworks( Multidimensional , Multidirectional , Plastic , Historical) for understanding.

i. Multidimensional
By multidimensional, we mean that development affects every aspect of a human being, and those
aspects even affect each other. By understanding development as multidimensional, we understand
that our minds, bodies, emotions, and even relationships are always changing and affecting each
other as they change. We also understand that development change occurs biologically, cognitively,
and even emotionally
ii. Multidirectional
More specifically, "development involves [both] growth and decline". For example, as we mature
from infancy to childhood, both our size and our verbal skills will increase; however, as children
continue to develop at some point, the rate of increase of verbal skills will start to slow down while
their sizes continue to grow, until of course adulthood is reached, and then growth in size will stop.
As adulthood progresses into old age, muscle and bone mass will be lost resulting in a decrease in
size, and verbal skills may even decrease as well.
iii. Plastic
By plastic, we mean that human beings aren't made of plastic; we have the ability to change. No one
human being is destined from birth to have a certain personality type, a certain IQ, or even a certain
height. Instead, growth and development allows for change.
iv. Historical, or Contextual.
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

By either historical or contextual, we mean that humans are all born in certain places, at certain
times, and under certain circumstances, and those places, times, and circumstances also directly
affect development
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Understanding Major Developmental Processes

To Understand major developmental Processes
i. Cognitive Development
ii. Emotional Development
iii. Personality development
iv. Social Development

1. Cognitive Development

What is Cognition?
What is Cognitive Processes?

3 Basic components to Jean Piagets Cognitive theory (Basically describes about how infants gets knowledge and
develops into an individual who can reason and think using hypotheses) :
i. Schemas Building blocks of knowledge
ii. Processes that enable the transition from one stage to another : Assimilation , accommodation , &
iii. Stages of cognitive development

i. What is a Schema?
A Way of organizing knowledge
Schemas : - Units of knowledge

ii. Processes that enable the transition from one stage to another. (Assimilation, accommodation & Equilibrium)
Adaptation Ones ability to adjust to the environment & interact with it.
Adaptation occurs through 2 Processes :

1. Assimilation :
Using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation.
You are your knowledge to deal with situations
2. Accommodation :
This occurs when the existing schema (Knowledge) does not work and needs to be changed
to deal with a new object or situation.

3. Equilibrium : A state of cognitive balance

When a childs existing schema are capable of explaining
what it can perceive around it.

iv. Stages of Cognitive Development : 4 Stages

a. Sensory motor Stage ( Birth 2 years)
Child begins to interact with the environment
b. Stage of Pre-operational thought ( 2- 7 Years)
The child begins to represent the world symbolically
c. Stage of concrete operations ( 7 11 Years)
Child learns rules such as conservation
d. Stage of formal operations ( 11 end of adolescence)
The adolescent can transcend the concrete situation &
think about the future.
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2. Emotional Development
Erik Eriksons theory of Psychosocial development.
Infancy (1st Year)
Early Childhood ( 1 3 Years)

Infancy (1st Year) Basic Trust Vs Mistrust

Parent-Infant Relationship during feeding is important
Quality of Care-giving
i. Holding the infant gently
ii. Waiting patiently until the baby has had enough milk.

Early Childhood Autonomy Vs Shame & Guilt

Self Confidence
Child wants to decide for themselves
Develops the sense of autonomy
Development of basic emotions

What are the Basic Emotions?

Babies earliest emotional life consist of 2 arousal states :
a. Attraction to pleasant stimulation
b. Withdraw from unpleasant stimulation

Infants smile and laugh when achieving new skills
Laughter occurs 3-4 months later

Newborn babies respond to various unpleasant experiences
Example : Hunger , Painful medical procedures , Changes in body temperature
From 4- 6 Months ;Anger Expressions increase in intensity & frequency
Older infants react with anger in various situations
Example: When an object is taken away or when their mother leaves for a shorter period.

Occurs in response to pain, removal of an object and brief separation.
But less frequently than anger
When the caregiver infant Communication I disrupted the infant feels sad
Occurs during the 2nd Half of the 1st year.
Example: Older infants hesitate to play with a new toy.
Newly crawling infants show a fear of heights
Stranger anxiety : More frequent expression of fear

P.S. Personally Development and Social Development is not on this note

Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Family Psychology
A Childs world : Childs Health , the role of the family

Harry Harlows Study

( The Attachment theory )

Harlow wanted to study the mechanisms by which newborn rhesus monkeys bond to their mothers.

The behavioral theory of attachment would suggest that an infant would form an attachment with a carer that
provides food. In contrast Harlows explanation was that attachment develops as a result of the mother providing
tactile comfort, suggesting that infants have an innate (biological) need to touch and cling to something for
emotional comfort.

Infant monkeys reared with surrogate mothers 8 monkeys were separated from their mothers immediately after
birth and placed in cages with assess to two surrogate mothers, one made of wire and one covered in soft terry
toweling cloth. Four of the monkeys could get milk from the wire mother and four from the cloth mother. The
animals were studied for 165 days.

Both groups of monkeys spent more time with the cloth mother (even if she had no milk). The infant would only go
to the wire mother when hungry. Once fed it would return to the cloth mother for most of the day. If a frightening
object was placed in the cage the infant took refuge with the cloth mother (its safe base).
This surrogate was more effective in decreasing the youngsters fear. The infant would explore more when the cloth
mother was present. This supports the evolutionary theory of attachment, in that it is the sensitive response and
security of the caregiver that is important (as apposed to the provision of food).

What does it mean ?

Food is not the most important way to a babys heart
Mothering includes the comfort of close bodily contact

The Mothers Role

Love and Care
Human infants also have needs
These needs must be satisfied if they are to grow up normally

Loss of a mother
Child care
SOS Villages

The Fathers Role

Mothers are the primary caregivers
The fathers role varies greatly in most cultures

Responsible fathering
A Fathers involvement depends on :
1. His Motivation
2. His confidence & His parenting
3. His success as a breadwinner (a person who earns money to support their family)
4. His relationship with mother and the extent to which she encourages his involvement.
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives

Cultural Difference
U.S.Fathers :
Take-care of preschoolers while mothers work
Play with their babies

Swedish and German Fathers

Usually do not play with babies like US fathers

Fathers tend to play
Gently with small children

What research says about the Fathers role

Fathers showing sensitivity
(Let the child to control the choice of activities Helps their development)
Strictness & Obedience Less advanced Cognitive & Social development

How parents Shape our gender differences

Being male or female affect :
i. How they move their babies
ii. How they look
iii. How they work , dress & Play
iv. The way they think about themselves
Gender what it means to be male or female ?
- Measurable differences between baby girls and baby boys are very few.

Gender Typing
Socializing processes by which children learn appropriate gender roles

Role of parents important for Physical and Psychological development.

Effects of parental employment

Stimulating interactions with responsive adults are important to
i. Cognitive
ii. Linguistic
iii. Psychological Development
Research Says :
Quality of Care

A 4 Year old who had formed secure attachment to child care providers tends to be :
More sociable
Than those who were insecurely attached.
A Mothers effect is greater in Sensitivity Development

Role of a Doctor
Understanding Childs Health
Issue related to Childrens Physical & Psychological growth
Role as an Educator , a leader , & a Counselor
Identify support system
Ministry , Unicef & Local organization
Network with them
Know where to direct the person for necessary help and support
Psychology Notes : Ashan Bopitiya 209 ~ It's a beautiful day to save lives