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Development: Psych

Developmental Psychology a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
Nature/Nurture Issue How do genetic inheritance (our nature) and experience (the nurture we receive) influence our development?
Continuity/Stages Is development a gradual, continuous process or a sequence of separate stages?
Stability/Change Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age?
Zygote the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
Embryo the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
Fetus the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
Teratogens (literally, "monster maker") agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
Habituation* 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 enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
Pruning Process process in the brain that shuts down excess neural connections and strengthens others
Cognition all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
Schema a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
Assimilation interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas
Accommadation adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
Sensorimotor Stage in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 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 perceived
Preoperational Stage in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to about 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 
Egocentrism in Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view
Symbolic Play imaginative play; pretend play
Animism contributing human-like qualities to inanimate objects (e.g. a bear is sad when we leave him alone)
Centration children focus on one aspect of a bigger picture; in Piaget's conservation tasks, children focus on the height of the water but ignore the width of the glass
Conservation the principle and understanding (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects; preoperataional stage
Theory of mind people's ideas about their own and others' mental states—about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict
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 enable 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
Autism Spectrum Disorder* a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind
Stranger Anxiety the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age
Attachment an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
Critical Period* an optimal period early in the life of an organism when exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces normal development
Imprinting* the process by which certain animals form attachments 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 our understanding and evaluation of who we are, "Who am I?"
Adolescence the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
Puberty the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
Primary Sex Characteristics the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible
Secondary Sex Characteristics nonreproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair
Menarche the first menstrual period (let's have a Moon Party!)
Identity our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
Social Identity* the "we" aspect of our self-concept; the part of our answer to "Who am I?" that comes from our group memberships
Intimacy in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood
Emerging Adulthood for some people in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to mid-twenties, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood
Strange Situation experiment Mary Ainsworth experiment; observed children and mother during first six months and later observed the 1 year old infants in strange situation
secure attachment in infant's mother's presence they play comfortably and explore new environment, but when she leaves they become distressed; when she returns they seek contact with her (Ainsworth experiment)
insecure attachment Ainsworth experiment; avoid attachment, marked by anxiety or avoidance of trusting relationships ; less likely to explore strange situation and cling to mother or cry when mother leaves
temperament person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity
Authoritarian parenting style parents impose rules and expect obedience; "why because i said so"
permissive parenting style parents submit to their children's desires. they make few demands and use little punishment
authoritative parenting style parents are both demanding and responsive. They exert control by setting rules and enforcing them, but they also explain the reasons for rules; with older children they encourage open discussion when making the rules and allowing exceptions
preconventional morality Kohlberg, before age 9; self-interest, obey only rules to avoid punishment or gain concrete rewards
conventional morality kohlberg, early adolescence; uphold laws and rules to gain social approval or maintain social order
postconventional morality kohlberg, adolescence and beyond; actions reflect belief in basic rights and self-defined ethical principles
menopause time of natural cessation (stopping) of menstruation
cross-sectional study a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another at the same time period
longitudinal study research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period
crystallized intelligence our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age
fluid intelligence our 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
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