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Nason Ch 4

Development Through the Life Span Vocab

Vocab WordDefinition
Developmental Psychology a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life span
Zygote the fertilized egg; it enters a two week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
Embryo the developing human organism from about two weeks after fertilization through the second month
Fetus the developing human organism from nine weeks after conception to birth
Teratogen agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
Rooting Reflex a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn towards the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple
Hibituation decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
Maturation biological growth processes that enables orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experiments
Schema a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
Assimilation interpreting one's new experience in terms of one's existing schemas
Accomodation adapting one's current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
Cognition all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
Sensorimotor Stage in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about two years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities
Object Permanence the awareness that things continue to exist even when not percieved
Preoperational Stage in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic
Conservation the principle (which Piaget believed to be part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
Egocentrism the Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking other's points of view
Theory of Mind people's ideas about their own and others' mental states- about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behaviors these may predict
Autism a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind
Concrete Operational Stage in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enables them to think logically about concrete events
Formal Operational Stage in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
Stranger Anxiety the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age
Attatchment an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on seperation
Critical Period an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development
Imprinting the process by which certain animals form attatchments during a critical period very early in life
Basic Trust according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
Self-Concept a sense of one's identity and personal worth
Adolescence the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independance
Puberty the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
Primary Sex Characteristics the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genetalia) that make sexual reproduction possible
Secondary Sex Characteristics nonreproductive sexual chacteristics, such as female breasts and hips or male voice quality and body hair
Menarche the first menstral period
Identity one's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
Intimacy in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships, a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early childhood
Menopause the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines
Alzheimer's Disease a progressive and irreverable brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and, finally, physical functioning
Cross-Sectional Study a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another
Longitudinal Study research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period
Crystallized Intelligence one's accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age
Fluid Intelligence one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood
Social Clock the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement
Created by: cookie_luv