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83 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

developmental psychology

the psychological specialty that studies how

organisms grow and change over time as

the result of biological and environmental


nature-nurture issue

the long-standing discussion over the

relative importance of nature (heredity) and

nurture (environment) in their influence on

behavior and mental processes.

twin study

a means of separating the effect of nature

and nurture by which investigators compare characteristics of adopted children with those

of individuals in their biological and adoptive families.

innate ability

Capability of an infant that is inborn or

biologically based.

prenatal period

the developmental period before birth


a fertilized egg


in humans, the name for developing

organism during the first 8 weeks after



the organ interface between the embryo

or fetus and the mother. The placenta

separates the bloodstreams, but it allows

the exchange of nutrients and waste products.


substances from the environment, including

viruses, drugs, and other chemicals, that

can damage the dwelling organism during

the prenatal period.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

a set of physical and mental problems seen

in children whose mothers drink excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.

neonatal period

in humans, the neonatal (newborn) period

extends through the first month after birth.


The imitation of other people's behaviors


the close coordination between the gazing,

vocalist, touching, and smiling of infants

and caregivers

innate reflex

reflexive response present at birth


in humans, infancy spans the time between

the end of the neonatal period and the

establishment of language- usually at about

18 months to 2 years.

sensitive period

a span of time during which the organism

is especially responsive to stimuli of a

particle sort. Organisms may have sensitive

periods for exposure to certain hormones

or chemicals; similarly, they may have sensitive periods for learning language or receiving

the visual stimulation necessary for normal

development of vision

synaptic pruning

the process of trimming unused brain

connections, making neurons available

for future development.


the process by which the genetic program

manifests itself over time

genetic leash

Edward Wilson's term for the constraints

placed on development by heredity

contact comfort

stimulation and reassurance derived from

the physical touch of a caregiver


the enduring socio-emotional relationship

between a child and a parent or other

regular caregiver.


a primitive form of learning in which some

young animals follow and form an attachment

to the first moving object they see and hear

secure attachment

the attachment style of children who are

related and comfortable with their caregivers

and tolerant of stranger and new experiences

- as contrasted with children who are insecurely attached.

seperation anxiety

a common pattern of distress seen in young

children when separated from their caregivers.

anxious-ambivalent attachment

one of two primary response patterns seen

in insecurely attached children in which a

child want contact with the caregiver, shows

excessive distress when serparated from

the caregiver, and proves difficult to console

even when reunited.

avoidant attachment

one of two primary response patterns seen in

insecurely attached children in which a child shows no interest in contract with the

caregiver and displays neither distress when

separated from the caregivers nor happiness when reunited.

psychosocial stage

in Erikson's theory, the developmental stages

refer to eight major challenges that appear

successively across the lifespan, which require

an individual to rethink his or her foals, as well

as relationships with others.


the major developmental goal during the

first 18 months of life. According to Erikson's

theory, the child must choose between

trusting or not trusting others.


the ability to delay instant gratification

in pursuit of longer-range positive outcomes.

executive function

cognitive abilities in the frontal lobes

necessary for couples thinking, planning,

and goal-directed behavior.

language acquisition device (LAD)

A biologically organized mental structure

in the brain that facilities the learning of

language because (according to Chomsky) it

is innately programmed with some of the

fundamental rules of grammar.


the production of repetitive syllables,

characteristic of the early stages of

language acquisition.


the rules of a language, specifying how to

use the elements of language and word order

to produce understandable sentences.

Telegraphic speech

short, simple sequences of nouns and

verbs without plurals, tenses, or function

words like "the" and "of"- somewhat like the

language once used in telegrams.


a meaningful unit of language that makes up words. Some whole words are morphemes.

(example:word); other morphemes include grammatical components that alter a word's meaning (examples: -ed, -ing, and un-)

cognitive development

the global term for the development of

thought processes from childhood through


stage theory

an explanation of development that

emphasized distinctive or rather abrupt

changes. A stage theory of cognitive

development, then, emphasizes revolutionary changes in thought processes.


in Piaget's theory, a mental structure or program that guides a developing child's thought.


a mental process that incorporates new

information into existing schemas


a mental process that modifies schemas in

order to include (or accommodate) new


sensorimotor stage

the first stage in Piaget's theory, during

which the child relies heavily on innate motor

responses to stimuli.

sensorimotor intelligence

Piaget's term for the infant's approach to

the world, relying on relatively physical

(motor) repsonses to sensory experience.

object permanence

the knowledge that objects exist independently of one's own actions or awareness.

goal-directed behavior

an ability that emerges during the

sensorimotor period by which infants

develop the ability to keep a simple goal in

mind as they pursue it.

mental representation

the ability to form internal images of objects and events.

preoperational stage

the second stage in Piaget's theory, marked by well-developed mental representation and the use of language.


the Piaget's theory, the inability to realize

that there are other viewpoints beside

one's own.

animistic thinking

a pre operational mode of thought in

which inanimate objects are imagined to

have life and mental processes.


the inability, in the preoperational child, to think through a series of event or mental operations and then mentally reverse the steps.


a pre operational thought pattern involving

the inability to take into account more than

one factor at a time


the understanding the the physical properties

of an object or substance do not change

when appearances change but nothing is

added or taken away.

concrete operational stage

the third of Piaget's stages, when a child

understands conservation but still is incapable

of abstract thought

concrete operational stage

the third of Piaget's stages, when child

understands conservation but still is

incapable of abstract thought.

mental operation

solving a problem by manipulating images in one's mind.

theory of mind

an awareness that other people's behavior

may nbc influences by beliefs, desires, and

emotions that differ from one's own.

wave metaphor

a way of conceptualizing cognitive

development as occurring more gradually-

in "waves"- rather than abruptly, as the stage

theory suggest.


An individual's characteristic manner of

behavior or reaction- assumed to have a

strong genetic basis.


the lifelong process of shaping an individual's

behavior patterns. values, standards, skills,

attitudes, and motives to conform to those

regarded as desirable in a particular society.

authoritarian parent

one of the four parenting styles, characterized by demands for conformity and obedience, with little tolerance for discussion of rules, which the parent enforces with punishment or threats of punishment .

authoritative parent

one of the four parenting styles, characterized

by high expectations of the children, which

the parent enforces with consequences rather than punitive actions. Authoritative parents

combine high standards with warmth and

respect for the child's.

permissive parent

one of the four parenting styles, characterized

by setting few rules and allowing children to make their own decisions. While they may be

caring and communicative, permissive parents give most decision-making responsibility to

their children

uninvolved parent

one of the four parenting styles, characterized

by indifference or rejection, sometimes to the point of neglect or abuse.


in Erikson's theory, autonomy is the major

developmental task of the second stage in

childhood. Achieving autonomy involves

developing a sense of independence, as

opposed to being plagued by self-doubt.


in Erikson's theory, initiative is the major

developmental task in the third state of

childhood. Initiative is characterized by the

ability to initiate activities oneself, rather

than merely responding to others or feeling

guilt at not measuring up to other's expectations.


Erikson's term for a sense of confidence

that characterized the main goal of the fourth

developmental stave in childhood. Children

who do not develop industry (confidence) will slip into a self-perception of inferiority.

attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder


A psychological disorder involving poor

impulse control, difficulty concentrating on a

task for a sustained period of time, high

distractibility, and excessive activity.


in industrial societies, a developmental

period beginning at puberty and ending

(less clearly) at adulthood.

rite of passage

social ritual that marks the tradition between

developmental stages, especially between

childhood and adulthood.


the onset of serial maturity


the onset of menstruation

body image

an individual's perception of and feeling

about their physical appearance

formal operational stage

the last of Piaget's stages, during which

abstract thought appears.

stage of moral reasoning

distinctive way of thinking bout ethical and

moral problems. According to Kohlberg,

moral reasoning progresses through a series

of developmental stages that are similar to

Piaget's stages of cognitive development.


in Erikson's theory, identity is a sense of who

one is- a coherent self. Developing a sense

of identity is the main goal of adolescence.

revolution in aging

a change in the way people think about aging

in modern industrialized nations. This new

perspective grows expedited of increased longevity,

better heath care, and more lifestyle choices available to older adults. It has also simulated

the psychological study of adult development.

Emerging adulthood

a transition period between adolescence

and adulthood.

peer marriage

marriage in which the couple see each other

as partners and friends, as contrasted

with the other stereotypic roles of

"husband" and "wife"


the process of making a commitment beyond oneself to family, work, society, or future generations. In Erikson's theory, generativity is the developmental challenge of midlife.


a period of time during which an individual

redefines or transforms a life role, goal, value,

or lifestyle.


in Erikson's theory, the developmental task

of late adulthood- involving the ability to

look back on life without regret and to enjoy

a sense of wholeness

Alzheimers Disease

a degenerative brain disease, usually notice

first by its debilitating effects on memory.

selective social interaction

Choosing to restrict the number of one's

social contacts to those who are the most


Adoption Study

a method of separating the effect of nature and nurture by which investigators compare characteristics of adopted children with those of individuals in their biological and adoptive families.