Child Development 138 (03) - Hembree
Social and Emotional Development
California State University, Sacramento
Spring, 2011 


Study Guide Exam #1

See the exam handout for more information about exams.


Methods/ Intro to theory (Ch.1)
Common sense vs. science
scientific method
role of theory in the study of development
goals of research
criteria for "good" theory
Basic controversies in theories (nature/nurture, inherently good/bad, passive/active, continuity/discontinuity)
correlational vs. experimental design
cohort and cohort effect
independent/dependent variables
parts of a research article (intro, method, results, disc)
reliability/validity of measures and problem of bias
methods for child study (observation, interview, report) + advantages/disadvantages
correlation coefficient (& problems with correlation)
limitations of lab vs. field studies
internal vs. external validity
cross-sectional/longitudinal designs (advantages and disadvantages of each)

Classic Theories (Ch. 2):
Note:  You should be able to describe and evaluate each theory/theoretical approach and compare/contrast with other approaches

theoretical world views (organismic, mechanistic, contextual)
Freud (psychoanalytic, psychosexual):
  - position on developmental issues
  - id, ego, superego
  - unconscious motivations/ role of sexual energy, internal conflict
  - role of early experience
  - oral, anal, phallic, genital stages
  - Oedipus (Electra) complex and development of superego and sex roles
  - contributions/criticisms of theory
Erikson (psychoanalytic, psychosocial):
  - position on developmental issues
  - focus on social world/ ego development
  - differences between Freud and Erikson
  - contributions/criticisms of theory
  - stages (trust vs. mistrust through identity vs. identity diffusion)
Strict behaviorist approach/Learning Theory:
  - Watson and environmental determinism
  - classical conditioning
  - importance of observable behavior
   - how learning occurs (exposure, classical conditioning, operant conditioning)
  - Skinner (operant conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, behavior
  - contributions/criticisms of theory
Social  Learning Theory (Bandura) 
  - importance of observational learning
  - method/results of classic 1965 (bobo doll) experiment ( box 2.1)
  - role of self-reinforcement/self-standards
   - role of cognitive abilities
  - processes which guide observational learning (e.g., cognitive factors, deferred imitation, verbal mediators)
  - reciprocal determinism (be able to apply) vs. environmental determinism
  - evaluation (contributions/criticisms) of theory and compare with behaviorist approach
Cognitive-developmental approach (Piaget)  (see
discussion questions on Piaget)

Recent Perspectives (Ch.3):
Note: you should be able to compare/contrast and evaluate these theories (see table 3-3)

Ethological approach
  - assumptions (e.g., adaptation and survival value of particular behaviors)
- examples: dominance hierarchies + attachment
  - methodology (e.g., naturalistic observation/ethogram and deprivation studies)
  - critical/sensitive periods
  - comparison with other approaches
  - genotype/phenotype
  - family studies (adoption/twin studies) and what designed to demonstrate
  - heritability estimates, concordance rates
  - contributions of, and problems with, approach (box 3.2)
  - types of gene/environment interactions (passive, evocative, active)
Bronfenbrenner (bioecological systems theory)
  - interactions between person, process, context
  - micro-, meso-, exo-, macrosystems, chronosystem (be able to give and identify examples)
  - role of family in development
  - proximal processes
  - contributions/criticisms of theory
Vygotsky (sociocultural/cognitive):
  - role of culture and social interaction in development
  - collaborative learning
  - differences between Piaget and Vygotsky
  - intersubjectivity, zone of proximal development
   - relation between social and cognitive development
  - contributions/criticisms of theory
Social information processing theory:
  - assumptions of theory
   - Attribution/interpretations influencing behavior
   - social problem solving
  -  Guerra & Slaby study as example of SIP
  - contributions/criticisms of theory

Emotional Development Ch. 4
Life's First Feelings Video guiding questions
definition of emotion/role of emotion
emotional and social competence (define and give examples)
functions of early emotions
developmental progression of appearance of discrete emotions
discrete emotions theory vs. functionalist approach
basic (primary) emotions vs. secondary (self-conscious) emotions
cognitive milestones associated with the development of secondary emotions
emotion regulation (strategies and individual differences and role of parents)
cognitive component of emotions (secondary/social emotions, emotion display rules, emotion understanding, social referencing)
early fears and how they might develop (Campos and fear of heights studies)
separation anxiety and stranger anxiety and theoretical explanations for them
emotional competence (factors included in this construct)
emotion understanding, developmental changes in emotion understanding.
  - components of temperament (e.g., activity level)
  - stability/heritability of temperament
  - Thomas and Chess model (easy etc.)
- temperament and developmental outcome
  - goodness of fit and role of environment, parenting (Belsky study)
  - problems with measurement of temperament (e.g., bias)
  - temperament as a predictor of later adjustment
  - Kochanska - temperament and moral development


One of the following essay questions will be on the exam.

1. Compare and contrast TWO of the following broad theories covered in class:

  • Psychoanalytic (Freud OR Erikson)

  • Ethological

  • Behaviorist  (Watson, Skinner)

  • Social Learning Theory (Bandura)

  • Social Information Processing

  • Cognitive-developmental (Piaget)

  • BioEcological (Bronfenbrenner)

Discuss the theories in terms of:

  • general assumptions about social-emotional development, including each theory's position on the basic controversies of development (nature/nurture, passive/active, continuity/discontinuity)

  • how each theory would be translated into teaching or parenting practice. 

  • the contributions and criticisms of each theory (at least one of each)

2. Consider three different theoretical views of the environment: a (strict) behaviorist approach (Watson/Skinner), Social Learning Theory (Bandura), and an ecological approach (Bronfenbrenner). Contrast these three theories in terms of ( a) how environment is defined and (b) how environment influences development. Which do you think best describes the role that environment plays in children's development - and why (support your answer!)?

3. Discuss the role that cognition plays in emotional development. Specifically, what role does the achievement of certain cognitive milestones mean for the expression of emotion? Provide additional examples that illustrate the contribution of cognition and socialization in early emotional development?

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California State University, Sacramento
College of Education
Department of Child Development

Updated: January, 2011

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