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Why are children and adults so different?

Why are children and adults so different?


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In many animal species, juveniles aren't just smaller versions of adults. In mammals, the contrast is not as spectacular as in species that undergo metamorphosis, but still quite noticeable.

For example, puppies have shorter limbs and flatter faces than adult dogs. Fawns are coloured differently than adult deer, and males do not start growing antlers until they reach sexual maturity. There are behavioural differences as well: habituation is much stronger and faster in juveniles. In humans, children have different proportions than adults and lack secondary sexual characteristics. But why? Wouldn't it be simpler to form a small version of the adult and grow linearly?

  • Why delay sexual maturity in the first place?
  • Why tie sexual maturity to a host of other changes? For example, why aren't babies born with adult hair patterns? (Yes, because hair growth responds to sexual hormones, but the response could be different.)
  • Why the different body proportions?
  • Why lose play behaviour and learning ability as adults?

I'm interested in mammals in general and humans in particular.


GREAT QUESTIONS!!! Why delay sexual maturity in the first place? -I believe it is also related to "the best-used" of resources. Firstly, it is unnecessary and impossible for children to have sex (biologically and evolutionarily), they don't have the physicality to sustain sexual intercourse or the ability to bear a children inside their body. Secondly, it is to focus resources on growth. Children uses lots of energy on growth. Human body does amazing jobs on allocating body resources or material so that we are in the best shape possible. If they don't do sex, they can focus more on growth.

Why tie sexual maturity to a host of other changes? For example, why aren't babies born with adult hair patterns? (Yes, because hair growth responds to sexual hormones, but the response could be different.) - This one is a hard one. I believe it is just how biologists categorize human growth. We can study how human bodies develop in each stage, which is I believe it's really important on morphology.

Why the different body proportions? -Evolutionary advantages!!! It is believed that baby has a greater head portion than adult. That's why people say children learn better than adults. Human values their brains more than other organs of the body, developing intellectual capacity as early as possible allows them to win in natural selection.

Why lose play behaviour and learning ability as adults? If I understand you correctly, you are asking why adults lose their play behaviour and learning ability as they grow up. For learning ability, I believe it is caused by degeneration, just like the other organs of the heart. We have a mortal body and so once the body hits its maximum growth capacity, it will start going downhill unfortunately. For play behaviour, I believe it is a human behavioural changes due to life experience, social expectation and peer interaction. We lose interest of 'games' as we grow up because they are considered to be childish, silly and not useful.


9 Theories That Prove Children See the World Differently Than Adults Do

It has been proven that a child's worldview settles by the time they turn 11 years old, and they become capable of evaluating the world as an adult, solve problems and even make plans for future. Before this age, children perceive the world differently than adults do. Kids still don't have enough experience and knowledge to understand how this world operates, which is why they see things in a different light. Scientists have found out what the true difference is between the worldview of children and adults.

To help you better understand this theory, Bright Side wants to help you to see the world through a child's eyes.

1. Children's fantasies

Until a certain age, little kids can't see the difference between a fantasy and reality. That's why they are sure that the events they have made up in their minds exist in reality. Though, it's worth mentioning that if a child made something up on their own, then they wouldn't doubt it in their fantasy. However, if a child hears something remotely possible from another person, then they wouldn't believe it as much as adults don't. A number of tests showed that there is a very fine line between fiction and reality in a little kid's perception because they still don't understand which knowledge is true and which is false.

2. Lack of abstract thinking

It is a proven fact that children younger than 11 years old can think only about present reality, and can't think abstractly.

The psychologist, Rudolph Schaffer, conducted an experiment where he asked two groups of children to find a place on their body to place a third eye on. All the children of the first group aged 9 years old pointed at their foreheads because they had their two eyes there. The second group consisted of 11-year-old children who were able to think abstractly, so they began to offer different options like placing the eye on their palms because this way they could see from behind.

3. Learning languages

Children can learn languages quite easily while it's a bit harder for adults. Linguist Noam Chomsky, explains this with the fact that there is a certain common toolbox built into a human's brain that connects all syntax rules of all existing languages. In addition to that, millions of brain cells are responsible for a child's perception and reproduction of speech which build complicated conducting systems. Such systems finish their development by the time a person is 10 years old. That is why the older you are, the harder it is for you to learn a new language.

4. Permanence of objects

Children under the age of one year old are sure that an object they can't see disappears forever. A psychologist, Jean Piaget developed a theory about the permanence of objects further and proved that knowledge of an object's existence beyond our field of vision comes with age. A small child is too inexperienced to comprehend that the object they can't see any longer continues to exist.

5. Identification

Scientists claim that new-born babies can't distinguish faces due to lack of experience. Additionally, their vision is not focused and they see objects blurred.

A certain experiment proved that babies under 6 months old are incapable of distinguishing the faces of different people, but by the age of 9 months, they are able to adapt and begin to distinguish the faces of those they know from the ones they don't. By the age of one year, their sight becomes focused and they can see objects crisply and colorfully.

6. Reversibility

Children lack a sense of reversibility. That is why if you place two glasses of different sizes in front of a child and pour water from a tall glass into a wide one, a child will be sure that the amount of water became bigger. Until the age of seven, children believe that if the shape of a glass has changed, then its contents have also changed. It is also believed that children can't combine two dimensions of height and width until a certain age, focusing their attention only on one of the two dimensions.

7. Drawing

It is a well-known fact that a child's motor functions are not yet fully developed, thus they draw worse than adults because they can't keep a pencil in their hand steadily.

However, there is another very interesting fact that was discovered during an experiment. Children from ages 5 to 9 years old were given the task of drawing a cup which was placed in a way that they could see its handle. Despite the fact that the handle was out of their sight, all the children under 7 years old added it into their drawings. Conversely, the children older than 7 years old drew the cup without a handle.

Psychologists concluded that this was the main difference between a child and an adult. If an adult is given a task to draw an object they see, they will draw it exactly this way, while children add elements that they can't see but know should be there.

8. Understanding of morals

The understanding of morals by children is different from that of adults. Adults know which action is good and which is bad, and are also well-versed in the universally accepted norms that they may break from time to time.

When it comes to morals, everything is much easier for children. Initially, the behavior of small children is based on the intention of avoiding punishment for wrongdoing. More senior children understand morals as a type of behavior which can be awarded. Each stage of growing up forms internal moral arguments which the majority of adults adhere to.

The results of this research confirm this fact. The children participating in the research study were asked, "What is worse: to break a pair of glasses on purpose, or two pairs by accident?" The majority of children replied that a person who broke more glasses is worse because they did more harm than the one who broke just one pair.


Temperament: Why Children Can Be So Different

AMES, Iowa – Imagine two children from the same family: One child is loud, outgoing and always on the run, while the other is content to sit and read a book, likes to stick to a schedule and is usually quiet. If these two kids grow up in the same environment, how can they be so different?

In most cases, the answer is temperament, said Mackenzie DeJong, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Temperament is the genetic, inborn trait that we receive and show from birth – and sometimes, with active babies, in pregnancy. We can tell the intensity of a child from their cries in the nursery. Temperament comes before personality, before environment, before life experiences. Temperament is our genetic ‘set point’ that we will work from for the rest of our lives,” said DeJong, who specializes in family life issues.

Although there have been many studies of temperament, researchers Stella Chess and Alexander Thomas, who conducted the New York Longitudinal Study of childhood personality and temperament development, originally studied temperament based on nine traits, DeJong said.

  • Activity: What is your natural energy level? Are you content to sit around or are you always needing to go for a run?
  • Adaptability: How quickly can you adjust from one activity to the next or one idea to the next? Does it take some time to process a decision, or do you say “yes” right away?
  • Approaching/Withdrawing: Do you jump feet first into a new situation or stand back and observe first?
  • Distractibility: Distractible people tend to notice more around them, like the deer in the field, while less distractible people can focus on the task at hand without noticing little things are happening around them.
  • Intensity: How do you feel emotions? Are your feelings big and loud or soft and quiet?
  • Mood: Is your emotional “set point” typically negative or positive?
  • Persistence: How likely are you to keep to a task or come back to it if it isn’t finished? The highly persistent person will sit for hours upon hours to complete a task, while a less persistent person may leave the task, decide it is unimportant and never return.
  • Regularity: Does your body clock align with the hands of a clock, or are your basic body functions (eat, sleep, eliminate) less predictable?
  • Sensitivity: How deeply do you feel the five senses? A highly sensitive person may be extra aware of the smell of something burning, the itch of a fabric or the heat of a room.

Through observation, temperament experts have started to put these nine traits into three patterns, DeJong said. These patterns are called different things by different experts, but all fall together as follows:


RACE: Are We So Different?

/>Purchase the new book, Race: Are We So Different? by Alan H. Goodman, Yolanda T. Moses and Joseph L. Jones.

Illustrated in full color with images from the popular US national public education project and museum exhibition of the American Anthropological Association, RACE: Are We So Different? offers a primer on the complex science of human variation and the history and lived experiences of race and racism.

"This book brings together compelling evidence from many disciplines to show that . the biology of race is a powerful myth. It is important, absorbing, educational, and masterful in its telling." - Daryl G. Smith

New and engaging essays by prominent social scientists and scientists provide examples from their personal experiences and individual research projects, revealing the different ways that the idea and realities of race and racism are experienced.

The RACE Project

Race is a small but powerful word. Race shapes how one sees and is seen by others. Yet, many people poorly understand what race is and isn't.

To help promote a broad understanding of race and human variation, the American Anthropological Association has undertaken the RACE Project. The RACE Project has produced to date an award-winning public education program entitled RACE Are We So Different? The program includes a traveling museum exhibit, an interactive website, and educational materials. The program is geared for middle school-aged children through adults.

RACE Are We So Different? looks at race in the United States through the eyes of history, science and lived experience. The program explains how human variation differs from race, when and why the idea of race was invented, and how race and racism affects everyday life.

The program conveys three overall messages:

  • Race is a recent human invention
  • Race is about culture, not biology
  • Race and racism are embedded in institutions and everyday life.

The Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation have provided generous funding to develop and produce RACE: Are We So Different?

An Interactive Website and Exhibit

Did you know over one million visitors have seen the RACE website and exhibit? Discover the project everyone is talking about.

To visit the RACE website, go to www.understandingRACE.org.

View a clip from the RACE DVD.

A Project of American Anthropological Association


Are kids' taste buds different from adults'?

Recent studies are changing the way science looks at the sense of taste in a number of significant ways. For over a generation, school children have been taught that the tongue could distinguish four tastes: salty, sweet, bitter and sour. Recently, a new taste has been added, the flavor-enhancing taste associated with MSG, and others may follow. We used to think that variations in taste conformed to a specific geographical pattern across the tongue too, with sweet and salty tastes registering on the tip of the tongue, and sour taking over along the sides. Now, we know that many areas of the mouth can record multiple tastes, although some taste receptors are better at distinguishing certain tastes, like sweet, than others [source: Berry].

These revelations in the way we experience one of our most important senses opens the door to other questions about the ways taste is experienced by different people and by all people at different times in their lives.

The average adult has about 10,000 taste buds. Taste buds, or taste receptors, are grouped inside papillae, the small bumps you see on your tongue. The taste buds themselves are composed of lots of small receptor cells, between 50 and 150, which actually process tastes [source: University of Washington].

Some people have dense concentrations of certain types of papillae, making them sensitive to strong flavors. People who like bland foods may actually taste more of the flavor in what they eat than the rest of us. What we would consider just enough sweetness or saltiness might seem overwhelming to them. These super-sensitive people are called super tasters and exist on one end of the taste spectrum. On the other end are older people who've lost some of their sense of taste, or people with medical conditions whose sense of taste is limited or absent. As we age, we can lose up to half of our taste buds, which is one of the reasons food can taste less flavorful to us as we get older [source: Gavin].

Taste is one way in which infants and young children experience the world, and as their bodies develop, so do their taste buds. Folk wisdom suggests that children are more sensitive to certain tastes than adults, but because taste can be subjective, the mechanism that causes taste sensitivity in youngsters can be difficult to analyze. Taste is a composite sense that's partly determined by the taste buds, but also affected by a food's aroma, its appearance and even previous experiences with that or similar foods.

A study conducted by the University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, comparing young male subjects between the ages of eight and 10 to adult males found that the adolescents had a higher anterior papillae density than the adults, making them more sensitive to sucrose or sweet flavors [source: Segovia].

Another study conducted at the University of Copenhagen involving 8,900 Danish schoolchildren discovered that there's a noticeable change in taste perception as a child develops into a teenager. Teenagers show an increased ability to distinguish flavors, together with a decreased preference for sweet flavors [source: University of Copenhagen].

Because smell, appearance and our expectations have a lot to do with the way we perceive taste, children who are tasting things, perhaps for the first time, are probably relying on their sensitive taste buds as well as their sense of smell and other visual cues to decide if a food tastes good or not. Our taste buds introduce us to a particular flavor, but the experience of eating is a packaged deal. If we think we'll like a food, there's a much better chance that we actually will.

In a study conducted by Stanford University, two identical meals, one in a plain wrapper and one in a package from a popular fast food chain were offered to a group of children. Even young children associated a better taste experience with the name-brand selection, suggesting that marketing and expectation have an impact on perceived taste, even in children [source: Center for Health Study].


Isolation and Development

Social isolation refers to a complete or near-complete lack of contact with society, which can affect all aspects of a person’s life.

Learning Objectives

Interpret why social isolation can be problematic for a person in society and the importance of social connections

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • True social isolation is not the same as loneliness. It is often a chronic condition that persists for years and affects all aspects of a person’s existence.
  • Emotional isolation is a term used to describe a state of isolation where the individual is emotionally isolated, but may have a well functioning social network.
  • Social networks promote good health by providing direct support, encouraging healthy behaviors, and linking people with diffuse social networks that facilitate access to a wide range of resources supportive of health.
  • Sociologists debate whether new technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones, exacerbate social isolation or encourage it.
  • A widely-held hypothesis is that social ties link people with diffuse social networks that facilitate access to a wide range of resources supportive of health.

Key Terms

  • emotional isolation: Emotional isolation is a term used to describe a state of isolation where the individual is emotionally isolated, but may have a well functioning social network.
  • social network: The web of a person’s social, family, and business contacts, who provide material and social resources and opportunities.
  • social isolation: Social isolation refers to a complete or near-complete lack of contact with society. It is usually involuntary, making it distinct from isolating tendencies or actions taken by an individual who is seeking to distance himself from society.

Social isolation occurs when members of a social species (like humans) have complete or near-complete lack of contact with society. Social isolation is usually imposed involuntary, not chosen. Social isolation is not the same as loneliness rooted in temporary lack of contact with other humans, nor is it the same as isolating actions that might be consciously undertaken by an individual. A related phenomenon, emotional isolation may occur when individuals are emotionally isolated, even though they may have well-functioning social networks.

While loneliness is often fleeting, true social isolation often lasts for years or decades and tends to be a chronic condition that affects all aspects of a person’s existence and can have serious consequences for health and well being. Socially isolated people have no one to turn to in personal emergencies, no one to confide in during a crisis, and no one against whom to measure their own behavior against or from whom to learn etiquette or socially acceptable behavior. Social isolation can be problematic at any age, although it has different effects for different age groups (that is, social isolation for children may have different effects than social isolation for adults, although both age groups may experience it).

Social isolation can be dangerous because the vitality of individuals’ social relationships affect their health. Social contacts influence individuals’ behavior by encouraging health-promoting behaviors, such as adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and compliance with medical regimens or by discouraging health-damaging behaviors, such as smoking, excessive eating, alcohol consumption, or drug abuse. Socially isolated individuals lack these beneficial influences, as well as lacking a social support network that can provide help and comfort in times of stress and distress. Social relationships can also connect people with diffuse social networks that facilitate access to a wide range of resources supportive of health, such as medical referral networks, access to others dealing with similar problems, or opportunities to acquire needed resources via jobs, shopping, or financial institutions. These effects are different from receiving direct support from a friend instead, they are based on the ties that close social ties provide to more distant connections.

Sociologists debate whether new technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones exacerbate social isolation or could help overcome it. With the advent of online social networking communities, people have increasing options for engaging in social activities that do not require real-world physical interaction. Chat rooms, message boards, and other types of communities are now meeting social needs for those who would rather stay home alone, yet still develop communities of online friends.

Social Isolation: Older adults are particularly susceptible to social isolation.


5. What if you do not get on with your child’s significant other?

Not getting along with your child’s chosen partner, is a challenging situation.

Getting on with a difficult daughter or son-in-law can make life extremely difficult and harrowing, especially if you feel like you are always walking on eggshells.

However, you must NEVER criticize your child’s partner.

Criticism will only lead to estrangement. Your adult child will MOST likely tell their partner what you said. This is not going to help the situation.

  • Respectthe fact that your child has chosen this person. Always speak respectfully to them, even if they do not speak the same way back.
  • Stay cordial and polite. Again, even if they do not. Pretend they are someone you have to work with and get on within your working life. You would not swear at them or shut the door in their face. Extend the same courtesy.
  • If grandchildren are involved, remember that they can control your access to your grandchildren. There is usually absolutely nothing you can do about this. You need to decide, for the sake of building a relationship with your grandchildren, what you are prepared to put up with or tolerate.
  • Accept the reality of the situation and that this person is the “in-law” that you have, not the one you may wish you had. You need to be able to work with this person, if at all possible. NEVER try and put a wedge between your adult child and their partner, or their children and your in-law.
  • Try and be laid back and not take things too personally. Often getting to know someone can help with misconceptions, misunderstandings, and difficulties. Often over time, being on hand to offer practical assistance and smoothing the way, can do wonders to break down barriers.

Look at what you can do in your behavior to improve the situation.

You can never alter another’s behavior ONLY your own.

Ask yourself these questions, and honestly answer them.

  • Have you ever spoken unkindly about them?
  • Do you ever complain about them to your son or daughter?
  • Have you criticized them?
  • Do you need to apologize to them? Would that make a difference? Do not make the apology conditional on them also apologizing to you. This is about you taking responsibility and trying to heal a wound. You cannot put a plaster on an injury and then rip it straight off again before the wound has had a chance to recover.
  • Does this person know they are important to you, and why?
  • Has this person got abilities, gifts, and strengths? Have you acknowledged these?
  • What is this person doing right?
  • Have you ever tried to do anything special just for them, with no expectation of thanks or anything in return? If you do this, you will know you are doing what you can to heal and build a relationship?
  • Have you asked them why they do not like you if their unkindness is very direct? Listen. Do not pass judgment. Do not justify. Thank them for telling you (not in a condescending way). Let them know you will need to think about the situation before replying (if you need time, especially if you are angry). Maybe there has been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. This could be an opportunity to clear it up.
  • Are you always trying to advise them and is it driving a wedge between you? Can you decide to STOP doing this unless you are asked for an opinion?
  • Can you offer help without being critical?

Antiplatelet Therapy in Children: Why So Different from Adults’?

Author(s): Pier Paolo Bassareo, Department of Cardiovascular and Neurological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Policlinico Universitario, S.S. 554, bivio di Sestu -09042 Monserrato (Cagliari). Vassilios Fanos, Nicoletta Iacovidou, Giuseppe Mercuro

Affiliation:

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 18 , Issue 21 , 2012




Abstract:

Antiplatelet agents are administered in the treatment of a large number of adult diseases: coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, arrhythmias with their thromboembolic complications, primary and secondary prevention.

In childhood however, the situation is substantially different. The lack of large interventional trials on the use of antiplatelet drugs in children, has led to greater uncertainty, and a less extensive use of these drugs, limited to fewer indications.

The purpose of this article was to review the studies conducted to date on the use of antiplatelet agents in children. A concerted effort has been made to identify which are the shared therapeutic indications of this class of compounds, the recommended dose, the contraindications and the possible side effects. In brief, an attempt has been made to ascertain the interesting potential of these drugs which are so often neglected in children.

Current Pharmaceutical Design

Title:Antiplatelet Therapy in Children: Why So Different from Adults’?

VOLUME: 18 ISSUE: 21

Author(s):Pier Paolo Bassareo, Vassilios Fanos, Nicoletta Iacovidou and Giuseppe Mercuro

Affiliation:Department of Cardiovascular and Neurological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Policlinico Universitario, S.S. 554, bivio di Sestu -09042 Monserrato (Cagliari).

Abstract:Antiplatelet agents are administered in the treatment of a large number of adult diseases: coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, arrhythmias with their thromboembolic complications, primary and secondary prevention.

In childhood however, the situation is substantially different. The lack of large interventional trials on the use of antiplatelet drugs in children, has led to greater uncertainty, and a less extensive use of these drugs, limited to fewer indications.

The purpose of this article was to review the studies conducted to date on the use of antiplatelet agents in children. A concerted effort has been made to identify which are the shared therapeutic indications of this class of compounds, the recommended dose, the contraindications and the possible side effects. In brief, an attempt has been made to ascertain the interesting potential of these drugs which are so often neglected in children.


The inflexible adults

There is a lot of past research to indicate that adults would come into our experiment expecting the machine to operate according to a single-cause rule. The question was how this expectation might affect adults’ ability to learn and generalise a combined-cause rule, and whether children have different expectations and so behave differently.

We found that most children and adults who were shown the single-cause pattern successfully learned it and assumed it applied in the ambiguous situation.

But most of the adults who were trained on the combined-cause pattern did not assume it could be applied to the ambiguous situation in the same way. Instead, they concluded that only one blicket was present (more consistent with the single-cause rule). On the other hand, the young children shown the same training pattern were more likely to conclude that at least two objects were blickets.

In short, pre-schoolers were more sensitive to the evidence they observed than college undergraduates. But how can young children be better than adults at solving this problem?

We proposed in our conclusions that adults had stronger convictions about how the machine would work that biased their interpretation of what they observed. Adults appear to view the evidence through the lens of their past experience, perhaps leading them to write off certain events as flukes and draw conclusions more consistent with their expectations than with their observations.


Antiplatelet therapy in children: why so different from adults'?

Antiplatelet agents are administered in the treatment of a large number of adult diseases: coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, arrhythmias with their thromboembolic complications, primary and secondary prevention. In childhood however, the situation is substantially different. The lack of large interventional trials on the use of antiplatelet drugs in children, has led to greater uncertainty, and a less extensive use of these drugs, limited to fewer indications. The purpose of this article was to review the studies conducted to date on the use of antiplatelet agents in children. A concerted effort has been made to identify which are the shared therapeutic indications of this class of compounds, the recommended dose, the contraindications and the possible side effects. In brief, an attempt has been made to ascertain the interesting potential of these drugs which are so often neglected in children.


Watch the video: Are children really more creative than adults? Elisabeth McClure. TEDxAarhus (June 2022).


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