UNIT VII STUDY GUIDE
Development Over the
Lifespan and Personality
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VII
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
7. Identify contributors to human action, motivation, and drive.
7.1 Explain how physical, motor, cognitive, moral, social, personality, and sex-role development
influence human actions.
7.2 Identify cultural influences that impact motivation and drive.
Development over the Lifespan
Theories of Personality
Chapter 13: Development over the Lifespan
Have you ever wanted to be an octopus? Could you benefit from having eight arms?
Although this might sound outlandish to some, this scenario would probably be quite beneficial for mom
Nayda Suleman, who gained worldwide attention in 2009 after giving birth to eight babies via in vitro
fertilization assistance. However, are multiple births such as this truly safe? Should she have been concerned
about possible risks for various developmental complications? Would you be concerned that you could
possibly endanger your child’s cognitive development?
In Unit VII, you will learn about the development of one’s life from conception until death. Pay close attention
to the section related to prenatal development. According to Wade and Tavris (2017), there are multiple
factors that can harm the baby. For instance, research has shown that cigarette smoking can be harmful to
both the mom and fetus; however, is it feasible to think that we can stop all pregnant women from smoking?
What could be done to improve this issue? Additionally, maternal stress is another factor that can negatively
impact the baby. Can you begin to formulate ways in which you could help pregnant moms to decrease their
levels of stress? You will learn that it is important to avoid these known dangers to prevent avoidable
What does your baby do in his or her spare time? Does he or she enjoy watching a favorite television show
while you warm the bottle? Can certain marketed DVDs actually increase a baby’s brain development and
intelligence quotient (IQ)?
According to Christakis (2009), if one introduces a baby to television too soon, this could actually delay the
baby’s development, particularly language acquisition. It has also been shown that children who were
exposed to large amounts of television as babies have a greater propensity to experience attention issues in
childhood. Think about this research the next time you turn the television to Nick Jr.
Did your baby attend a daycare center while you worked? Were you concerned that this would have a
negative impact on his or her development?
PSY 1010, General Psychology
Margaret and Harry (pictured) Harlow performed groundbreaking
experiments on contact comfort.
Wade and Tavris (2017) provide insight on
research from two foundational researchers
within the field of attachment theory,
Margaret and Harry Harlow. These scholars
actually examined the issue of contact
comfort by observing the interactions of
young rhesus monkeys with simulated
mothers, one made from wire and the other
from foam rubber and cloth. Both artificial
moms had a bottle of milk attached to her.
They sought to see if a baby became
attached to the mother simply because she
provided food. What are your predictions
about their experiment? Do you think the
monkeys preferred one mother over the other
when they were frightened? What could their
research reveal about human babies? How
important is it for an infant to be held and
comforted when he or she is fearful or upset?
As you continue your exploration of this chapter, notice the information related to language and social
development. Clarke-Stewart (1991) purported that children actually do better outside of the home. Her
research examined the intellectual and social development of 150 children between the ages of 2 and 4. The
children that attended daycare centers had higher levels of cognitive development than those who stayed at
home with their mothers or caregivers. Therefore, do not feel guilty if you cannot stay at home like your
neighbor. Your child just might be better off in the long run.
As a teen, did you want to please your parents or your peers? What about teenagers today? Are they truly
responsible for their actions?
This chapter further discusses the cognitive, moral, and gender development of individuals. As you read the
section on adolescence, be sure to reflect upon the moral dilemmas that you experienced as a teenager.
Closely review Lawrence Kohlberg’s work in this area. He purported that our ability to learn right from wrong
evolves over time along with our cognitive processing skills. For instance, when you were younger, did you
primarily obey your parents due to fear of punishment? As you aged, did you begin to embrace conformity
because you valued loyalty and acceptance? What about now? As an adult, are your daily behaviors
influenced by moral standards that you have embraced over the years? Do you agree with Kohlberg’s views
of moral development?
Research has revealed that human brains are not fully mature until the age of 20. In fact, the frontal lobes, the
area in which most of our reasoning takes place, are usually one of the last areas to mature. It has also been
shown that teenagers have a difficult time controlling their impulses. So, should a 16 year old be punished if
he or she commits a horrific crime even though his or her brain is not fully mature? Ponder your thoughts as
you review this section.
PSY 1010, General Psychology
Got breast milk?
Much research today indicates that
consuming breast milk has more
benefits than infant formula. According
to McCartney (2007), many studies have
uncovered a correlation between
breastfeeding and increased IQ scores.
Several studies have revealed IQ scores
as much as 6 or 7 points higher in
children who were breastfed; however,
some researchers question this
correlation. They argue that more
variables are present that affect the
future intelligence of a child. These
individuals posit that the mother’s IQ,
socioeconomic standing, and ethnicity
must be examined as well. What do you
think? Is breastmilk the best milk?
Think about the hopes and dreams you
have for the future. Does your beginning
in life directly correlate with your ending?
Do you think you will have a mid-life
crisis? What physical changes will your
body endure as you age? Is there
something that you can do to remain
proactive in seeking to prevent
depression, memory loss, and senility?
In essence, will the ending of your story
be as good as the beginning?
Chapter 14: Theories of Personality
Are you just like your father? What
makes you unique?
Kohlberg’s Model of Moral Development
In this chapter, Wade and Tavris (2017) confront the issue of personality. Everyone has one, but some are
more pleasant than others. What accounts for these differences? Is there a way to predict the personality
traits of another individual? As you examine this chapter, pay close attention to the theories related to
personality. Which theory most closely aligns with your point of view?
Freud, Skinner, and Rogers all performed extensive research on human nature. Each scholar took a different
approach in examining human nature. Freud’s works were often described as pessimistic and sexually driven.
He theorized that we have internal drives that cause major conflicts in order to seek sexual satisfaction and
gratification. This is in stark contrast to Rogers’ theory. He purported that humans are innately good, and that
we are in a constant quest to make ourselves better. Meanwhile, Skinner is positioned somewhere in the
middle. He argued that one’s environment has a strong influence on behavior. Keeping these three differing
viewpoints in mind, which scholar receives your vote?
PSY 1010, General Psychology
As you continue your examination of this
chapter, you will be introduced to other
theorists and their works related to personality:
Carl Jung, Clara Thompson, and Karen
Horney, just to name a few. For example, Jung
argued that people are motivated by past
challenges and future aspirations. He also
contributed to work that centers upon
introversion and extroversion. How would
others describe your personality? Do most
people think that you are outgoing and witty, or
would your friends state that you are shy and
reserved? Additionally, Thompson and Horney
vocalized their displeasure with Freud’s theory
on penis envy and argued that more issues
were present that could scientifically explain
the disadvantages that many women
experience. Notice the similarities and
differences of each one’s approach. What
would dinner talk consist of if you were
fortunate enough to have all of these scholars
around your dining table?
Are you Type A or B?
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test is a popular personality inventory
based on the work of Carl Jung.
According to Pedersen and Denollet (2006) in
the 1950s, Friedman and Rosenman
introduced these personality types to the world.
Much interest and fascination were piqued as humans began to examine their personality tendencies against
the described characteristics. A person with Type A was predicted to have an increased probability for
developing heart disease. This was later dispelled, but a new prediction emerged. Individuals with Type D
were later identified as possessing a higher propensity for cardiovascular disease. People with Type D
personalities are described as having gloomy and worried dispositions. They are very introverted and
standoffish. Recent studies have also discovered that these individuals have a greater risk for sudden cardiac
arrest and hypertension. What is the connection? If you tend to keep your emotions bottled up inside, are you
truly helping others or hurting yourself?
While reading this section, be mindful of the various influences on one’s personality. Wade and Tavris (2017)
discuss the various roles that genetics, environment, and culture play on shaping one’s personality. For
example, some cultures value independence over the needs of the group. On the other hand, group harmony
takes precedence in many Asian cultures. These cultures value security, group norms, and obligations. This
reinforces the importance of remaining cognizant of cultural influences. For instance, what is viewed as
independent and self-reliant in America could be construed as egotistical and selfish in other nations. So the
next time you contemplate dating someone from another country, just remember that you may have differing
value systems. Will you be up to the challenge?
As you conclude your examination of Unit VII, begin to examine your inner experiences. We must carefully
balance all of the elements that influence our personalities. Maslow, Rogers, and May argued that we have a
unique human capacity to influence our own actions and future consequences. Consequently, the narrative
approach posits that we influence our personalities by the stories that we tell others about our lives. What is
shaping your personality?
Achen1997. (2016). Harry-harlow [Image]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harryharlow.jpg
PSY 1010, General Psychology
Algreen52. (2012). Kohlberg model of moral development [Image]. Retrieved from
Christakis, D. (2009). The effects of infant media usage: What do we know and what should we learn? Acta
Pædiatrica, 98, 8-16.
Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1991). A home is not a school: The effects of child care on children’s development. In
S. L. Hofferth & D.A. Phillips (Eds.), Child Care Policy Research. Journal of Social Issues, 47(2), 105124.
McCartney, M. (2007). Mixed messages over breast milk and brainy babies. British Medical Journal, 335,
Offnfopt. (2016, November 22). Cognitive functions [Image]. Retrieved from
Pedersen, S. & Denollet, J. (2006). Is type D personality here to stay? Emerging evidence across
cardiovascular disease patient groups. Current Cardiology Reviews, 2(3), 205-213.
Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2017). Psychology (12th ed.)[VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
The links below will direct you to both a PowerPoint and PDF view of the Chapter 13 and 14 Presentations,
which will summarize and reinforce the information from these chapters in your textbook.
Click here to access the Chapter 13 PowerPoint Presentation. (Click here to access a PDF version of the
Click here to access the Chapter 14 PowerPoint Presentation. (Click here to access a PDF version of the
In order to access the following resources, click the links below:
Does your personality type affect what television shows you enjoy? This research study below looks at this
Shim, J. W., & Bryant, P. (2007). Effects of personality types on the use of television genre. Journal of
Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 51(2), 287-304. Retrieved from
Can your personality affect how successful you are in school? Read the study below to find out.
Lufi, D., Parish-Plass, J., & Cohen, A. (2003). Persistence in higher education and its relationship to other
personality variables. College Student Journal, 37(1), 50-59. Retrieved from
PSY 1010, General Psychology
Learning Activities (Non-Graded)
Non-graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to
submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.
The short quizzes below are a great way to self-test your knowledge of the concepts learned in this unit. Take
a few minutes to complete these quizzes to check your understanding. They are located in the textbook on
the page(s) given. The answers are provided in the document below the quizzes, but try to answer the
questions before checking the answers.
Quiz for Module 13.1 (page 465)
Quiz for Module 13.2 (page 474)
Quiz for Module 13.3 (pages 477-478)
Quiz for Module 13.4 (pages 482-483)
Quiz for Module 13.5 (page 487)
Quiz for Module 13.6 (pages 493-494)
Chapter 13 Quiz (pages 497-498)
Quiz for Module 14.1 (page 507)
Quiz for Module 14.2 (page 511)
Quiz for Module 14.3 (page 515)
Quiz for Module 14.4 (page 520)
Quiz for Module 14.5 (page 526)
Quiz for Module 14.6 (page 530)
Chapter 14 Quiz (pages 534-536)
Click here for the Chapter 13 answer keys.
Click here for the Chapter 14 answer keys.
PSY 1010, General Psychology
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