Biological Factors in Development

Being human means that many important and necessary factors keep us alive, such as biological factors. Because we are living organisms, biological factors affect our development. But how so?

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The brain develops as early as ___ weeks after conception and is only complete as late as early adulthood.

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___ are the chemical carriers that are produced but the endocrine glands. These travel through the bloodstream and affect other tissues. 

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The ____ uses chemicals to communicate. Glands and fat tissue release hormones into the bloodstream.

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True or False: The pituitary gland is the most influential in our development.

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There are different hormones released by the pituitary gland, including one particular hormone necessary for development -- the ___ hormone.

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__ __ system - Helps us differentiate between sensations on the skin. These sensations include pain, temperature, and pressure. An example is a child touching snow for the first time. The tactile touch system will send signals saying "this is really cold". 

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The ____ system is in charge of keeping us balanced as we walk. It allows us to interpret the sensation of gravity and movement. 


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The ___ system processes information from joints and muscles. This system allows us to understand our different body parts and how they move. It can make you aware of your body movement and body position


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The______ theory states that the structure and anatomy of the brain contribute to personality traits. 

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Eysenck proposed two dimensions of personality that were possible. What were they?

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True or False: Eysenck's theories state that our nervous system can directly affect our personality traits.


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  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

The brain develops as early as ___ weeks after conception and is only complete as late as early adulthood.

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

___ are the chemical carriers that are produced but the endocrine glands. These travel through the bloodstream and affect other tissues. 

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

The ____ uses chemicals to communicate. Glands and fat tissue release hormones into the bloodstream.

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

True or False: The pituitary gland is the most influential in our development.

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

There are different hormones released by the pituitary gland, including one particular hormone necessary for development -- the ___ hormone.

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

__ __ system - Helps us differentiate between sensations on the skin. These sensations include pain, temperature, and pressure. An example is a child touching snow for the first time. The tactile touch system will send signals saying "this is really cold". 

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

The ____ system is in charge of keeping us balanced as we walk. It allows us to interpret the sensation of gravity and movement. 


Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

The ___ system processes information from joints and muscles. This system allows us to understand our different body parts and how they move. It can make you aware of your body movement and body position


Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

The______ theory states that the structure and anatomy of the brain contribute to personality traits. 

Show Answer
  • + Add tag
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Mo

Eysenck proposed two dimensions of personality that were possible. What were they?

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  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
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True or False: Eysenck's theories state that our nervous system can directly affect our personality traits.


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Contents
Table of contents
    • What is the definition of biological factors in development?

    • What is meant by "biological factors in development" in psychology?

    • Next, what are the biological factors in the development of personality?

    • What are the biological factors that influence the development of a child?

    • Finally, what are some examples of biological factors in development?

    Definition of Biological Factors in Development

    What are these important factors that keep up humans moving about? Biological factors that affect our development are internal processes such as genetic conditions, neurological, chemical, physiological, and physical. This means that our parent's DNA, the development of our brain while in our mother's womb, and the hormones that produce chemicals influence development at the earliest stages of life (even at conception because of genetics!).

    How do we know if biological factors in development are progressing properly? Psychologists often pay a lot of attention to critical periods. There are specific biological factors in development that must be present during these critical periods to indicate that a person is developing normally.

    Critical period: a crucial time in development, particularly early development, in which certain biological factors are especially susceptible to environmental factors.

    Some biological factors psychologists may look for during critical periods may include the growth of our nervous system, language acquisition, or sensory abilities like depth perception.

    Developmental psychologists often focus a lot of research specifically on early development during these critical periods. It's also why we see so many toys and games being sold that claim they help early development.

    But what about later years of development? Do we stop developing as we age? While critical periods become less relevant as we age, there is constant development through brain plasticity.

    Critical periods are also referred to as sensitive periods. This term is also used because a critical period implies that something has to happen in a specific time period for normal development.

    Biological Factor Examples

    Biological factors include genetics and research from twin and adoption studies showing that biological factors influence traits such as weight, height, body mass index and puberty.

    Biological Factors in Development: Psychology

    Different factors affect the development of humans throughout their life, especially in the absolute beginnings of development. These major factors include genetic factors, brain functions, neurotransmitters, the endocrine system, and our physical health.

    Genetic Factors

    Perhaps you have heard that you look like your father. Or is it your mother? Or maybe your great uncle, that was twice removed on your mother's side of the family. In any case, there is some truth as we are a culmination of genetics from our parents. How does this affect development?

    Biological Factors in Development, an image of DNA, StudySmarter

    Fig. 1 Genetic factors are a major influencer of development

    --

    We have 46 chromosomes (generally speaking, as some may not have as many) -- 23 chromosomes of our father, and 23 chromosomes of our mother. You can think of these genes as codes of information being downloaded into you. Sometimes, some codes contain information about brown eyes, curly hair, or illnesses and diseases.

    What if the coded information, which is passed to us as we develop in our mother's belly, doesn't download in a "normal" manner? For example, Down Syndrome (or trisomy 21) is when a child develops with three chromosomes (at the 21st chromosome site) instead of the usual two. This is a biological factor in development within our genetic coding.

    Brain Functions

    Again, even as we are in the womb, we are experiencing fast-paced biological development! The brain develops as early as two weeks after conception and is only complete as late as early adulthood. During the prenatal period and early childhood, the brain's basic structure is created and formed. Neural networks are formed and refined throughout life.

    Basic sensation and perception systems are fully developed when children enter kindergarten. Systems involved in memory, decision-making, and emotion will continue to develop well into childhood. The foundations of these abilities are constructed during the early years.

    An example would be our language development, thanks to perceptual bias. An infant's brain is already tuned in on sounds and language. How is this possible?

    When infants are born, their brains are already prepared for basic cognitive processes and sensory-perceptual systems. One of these processes is perceptual bias, the basis for learning a language. Very early in life, our brains are already sensitive to the sounds of language but not to all possible sounds.

    In the first year of life, for example, infants can already decipher between sounds specific to the language used in their home.

    Endocrine System

    The endocrine system is the slower cousin to our neural transmission communication within the body. The endocrine system uses our hormones or chemical releases to get a message through areas of the body.

    The endocrine system uses chemicals to communicate. Glands and fat tissue release hormones into the bloodstream.

    Hormones are the chemical carriers that are produced but the endocrine glands. These travel through the bloodstream and affect other tissues.

    The pituitary gland is the most influential in our development. This tiny gland is located in the brain's center and is controlled by our hypothalamus. There are different hormones released by the pituitary gland, including one particular hormone necessary for development -- the growth hormone. This hormone is a stimulant for our physical development, especially during our teenage years.

    You may have heard of testosterone once before. Testosterone is important for sociability, affectivity, and aggressiveness.

    Physical Health and Development

    In development, the proper function of our primary senses is crucial in movement and sensation. How we balance ourselves, move our muscles and joints, and interpret touch are important biological factors in our development. There are three major systems for such functions -- the vestibular system, proprioceptive system, and tactile system. So what do each of these do during our development?

    1. Tactile touch system - Helps us differentiate between sensations on the skin. These sensations include pain, temperature, and pressure. An example is a child touching snow for the first time. The tactile touch system will send signals saying "this is really cold".

    2. The vestibular system is in charge of keeping us balanced as we walk. It allows us to interpret the sensation of gravity and movement.

    3. The proprioceptive system processes information from joints and muscles. This system allows us to understand our different body parts and how they move. It can make you aware of your body movement and body position

    Biological Factors in the Development of Personality

    Can personality have any connection to biological factors in development? Research shows that some areas of the brain can contribute to our personality traits.

    The biological basis of personality theory states that the structure and anatomy of the brain contribute to personality traits.

    Rewinding a bit in time, we find Hans Eysenck, who originally speculated that there are biological factors to consider when specifying someone's personality. The reason for the connection? Eysenck's theories state that our nervous system can directly affect our personality traits.

    Eysenck proposed two dimensions of personality that were possible: Introversion / Extroversion (E) and Neuroticism / Stability (N)

    Eysenck states that these are second-order personality traits and depend upon the balance between excitation and inhibition processes of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

    The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates involuntary physiologic processes -- heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and digestion.

    Biological Factors that Influence Development of a Child

    While the previously mentioned biological factors also affect children, more issues could directly affect a child.

    General Health

    During the gestational period of pregnancy, did the mother of the child receive proper prenatal care (health care given to a pregnant female to ensure a healthy baby)? For example, ingesting enough folic acid while pregnant three months before the conception of a baby can greatly reduce the possibility of defects in neural tubes. Was the child born of a healthy weight? For example, a baby born too small or large is significantly linked to chronic diseases or obesity.

    Nutrition

    A child's nutrition holds great importance. A balanced diet must have minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats that are sufficient enough for the development of the brain and body. If there are deficiencies in these essential nutrients or a child does not meet their required needs of these nutrients, there are possibilities of problematic growth and development.

    Biological Factors in Development, a child and their mother eating in the kitchen, StudySmarterFig. 2 A child's nutrition helps build a healthy body and mind

    Examples of Biological Factors in Development

    Biological processes produce changes in an individual's physical nature as we continue through life. Being a teenager, for example, can be a time of tough changes biologically. Such examples are:

    • Weight gain (thanks to getting taller or adding on more muscle)

    • Changes in motor skills (perhaps now you are learning to drive or a new sport)

    • Hormonal changes of puberty (acne emerges, body hair grows, etc.)

    • Cardiovascular decline

    Biological Factors in Development - Key takeaways

    • Biological factors that affect our development are internal processes such as genetic conditions, neurological, chemical, physiological, and physical.
    • Different factors affect the development of humans throughout their life, especially in the absolute beginnings of development. These major factors include genetic factors, brain functions, neurotransmitters, the endocrine system, and our physical health.
    • How we balance ourselves, move our muscles and joints, and interpret touch are important biological factors in our development. There are three major systems for such functions -- the vestibular system, proprioceptive system, and tactile system.
    • The biological basis of personality theory states that the structure and anatomy of the brain contribute to personality traits.
    • General health and nutrition can be biological factors that affect development.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Biological Factors in Development

    What are the biological factors in development?

    Different factors affect the development of humans throughout their life, especially in the absolute beginnings of development. These major factors include genetic factors, brain functions, neurotransmitters, the endocrine system, and our physical health.

    Which of the biological factors influence physical growth?

    In development, the proper function of our primary senses is crucial in movement and sensation. How we balance ourselves, move our muscles and joints, and interpret touch are important biological factors in our development. There are three major systems for such functions -- the vestibular system, proprioceptive system, and tactile system. 

    How do biological factors affect cognitive development?

    Basic sensation and perception systems are fully developed when children enter kindergarten. Systems involved in memory, decision-making, and emotion will continue to develop well into childhood. The foundations of these abilities are constructed during the early years.

    What are the biological factors that influence personality development?

    Rewinding a bit in time, we find Hans Eysenck, who originally speculated that there are biological factors to consider when specifying someone's personality. The reason for the connection? Eysenck's theories state that our nervous system can directly affect our personality traits.


    Eysenck proposed two dimensions of personality that were possible: Introversion / Extroversion (E) and Neuroticism / Stability (N)

    What are biological factor examples? 

    Biological factors include genetics and research from twin and adoption studies showing that biological factors influence traits such as weight, height, body mass index and puberty.

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