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Eleanor Gibson, a Developmental Psychologist at Cornell

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kitty11118
Words 349
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1.Eleanor Gibson, a developmental psychologist at Cornell, showed that human babies do not have depth perception until the age they can crawl. She placed the babies on a visual cliff that simulated depth with a glass cover. Depth perception was indicated by the babies showing signs of fear/distress when “over the cliff”. Baby mountain goats, however, exhibited depth perception immediately at birth.

a. Relate these findings to biological and sociocultural evolution. Make sure you explain your answers.
➢ Biological: Mt. goats with depth perception at birth are more likely to survive in terrain and be able to reproduce, via natural selection over time; goats without this characteristic are selected out of population.
➢ Babies don’t need depth perception until they can crawl because they can't move on their own and parents would move them around. But once they learn how to crawl, those who have depth perception would survive and reproduce according to natural selection.
➢ Sociocultural: this is cognitive appraisal; depth perception is not influenced by the differences in culture, gender or personality. Nothing to do with sociocultural.
b. Why do these data tell us nothing about environmental determinism?
➢ Environmental determinism means the physical environment has a direct effect on human behavior, which in this case is to have depth perception. But we don’t know any information about the environment babies or goats grow up in, nothing about certain environmental exposures. c. Construct a hypothetical experiment and hypothetical results demonstrating that depth perception could be environmentally determined in humans but not mountain goats. Show that for a human, there is a critical period for environmental impacts on depth perception but not for mountain goats. Explain how/why your data…...

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