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Child Dev. Ch. 3

Vocabulary, Theories of Child Development

Theory A systems of beliefs about something. A child development theory is a collection of beliefs about why children behave, think, and feel.
Maturationist Theory A theory that holds that most of what humans become is predetermined by genetics and that traits inherited from ancestors simply unfold as children mature.
Developmental Milestones Specific characteristics that are expected to emerge in children at various age levels.
Difficult Temperament A disposition that is characterized by harsh and negative reactions to new or frustrating situations, irregular patterns of sleeping or eating, and numerous adjustment problems.
Heritability Ratio A mathematical estimate of the relative role of genetics in determining intelligence.
Behaviorist Theory A theory that holds that most of what humans become is shaped by the environment.
Classical Conditioning A strategy for shaping behavior in which a neutral stimulus is paired with a pleasurable one. Eventually, the subject responds in the same way to the neutral stimulus as to the pleasurable one, even when the pleasurable stimulus is no longer present.
Operant Conditioning A form of training in which a desired behavior is immediately rewarded. When this occurs, that behavior is performed more frequently.
Social Learning Theory A theory that holds that humans learn new behaviors by imitating the people around them. When they are rewarded for this imitation, they will perform these behaviors more frequently.
Psychoanalytic Theory A theory that holds that emotional development is influenced by tensions between internal desires and impulses and the demands of the outside world. The resolution of these tensions is needed to become a healthy adult.
Id Freud's term for the part of the mind that contains instinctual urges and strives fro immediate gratification but is kept in check by the ego and the superego.
Ego Freud's term for the part of the mind that is rational and regulates and redirects the instinctual impulses of the Id.
Superego Freud's term for the part of the mind that comprises the conscience, including the values and mores of one's culture.
Trust Erikson's term for an emotiaonl state, often acquired in infancy, in which children feel secure and know that basic needs will be met by caregivers. Such experiences as the child abuse or neglect will lead infants to an opposite state-Msitrust
Autonomy Erikson's term for an emotional state, often acquired in toddler-hood, in which children strive to be independent and separate from parents. Children who are overly restricted will feel shame and doubt.
Initiative Erikson's term fro an emotional state, often acquired in preschool years, in which children assert themselves, make creative and attempts, take risks, and reach out to peers. Opposite is Guilt.
Industry Erikson's term for an emotional state, often acquired in elementary years, in which children feel competent because of successes in and out of school. Repeated failure will result in an opposite emotional state: inferiority.
Cognitive-Developmental Theory A theory of human development holding that knowledge is actively constructed by the child and that active problem solving, social interaction, and language are necessary for learning.
Assimilation Piaget's term fro a learning process in which humans integrate new ideas or information into what they already know about.
Accommodation Piaget's term for a learning process in which humans modify what they already know to make room for new ideas or information.
Cognitive Development Mental development including problem solving and the acquisition of knowledge.
Sensorimotor Stage Piaget's stage of cognitive development that encompasses infancy, in which thinking is limited to using physical action and the senses to know about things.
Preoperational Stage Piaget's stage of cognitive development that encompasses early childhood, in which children use internal thought, including symbols, but still rely on perception and physical cues in the environment for learning.
Concrete Operational Stage Piaget's stage of cognitive development that encompasses the elementary years, in which thinking becomes more internal and abstract but in which children still need the support of concrete objects to learn.
Formal Operational Stage Piaget's most advanced stage of cognitive development that encompasses adolescence and adulthood, in which thinking is purely abstract and not tied to the immediate, physical world.
Social Cognition The ability to understand social situations, including skill at recognizing the outcomes of ones' own behaviors and actions and motives of others.
Sociocultural Theory A theory that holds that thinking and learning are highly influenced by social interaction, language, and culture.
Nonverbal Thought An early form of mental activity in which children observe objects or events or perform actions without using language.
Nonconceptual Speech An early form of language in which children utter words or phrases without thinking fully about what they mean.
Verbal Thought A kind of thought in whcih language and thinking are integrated and mutually supportive. In verbal thought, children use language--such as verbal labels and self-directed speech--to guide learning.
Self-Directed Speech A verbal behavior in which children talk to themselves, naming objects or narrating their actions--particularly as they solve problems.
Scaffold To use language and social interaction to guide children's thinking. When scaffolding adults solutions to problems indirectly guide them with hints or questions or allow them to think completely independently depending on what they need to learn
Zone of Proximal Development A situation in which a problem or task is only slightly above a child's ability level. In this zone, adults can ask questions or give hints that allow the child to solve the problem independently.
Ecological Systems Theory A theory of development that emphasizes the influence of the many institutions and settings withing which children live. This theory holds that individual development does not occur in a psychological vacuum but is affected by larger society.
Ecology The many differenet settings or institutions that affect human development
Microsystem The layer of environmental influences on development that includes all institutions and experiences within the child's immediate environment. The family, the school, and social services agencies are examples.
Mesosystem The layer of environmental influences on development that is comprised of the interconnections among the persons or organizations within the microsystem.
Exosystem The layer of environmetnal influences on development that is comprised of institutions or persons that do not actually touch children's lives but indirectly affect their experiences. The legal service system or the public assistance office are examples.
Macrosystem The layer of environmental influences on development that contains the overarching values, ideologies, laws, worldviews, and customs of a particular culture or society. A society's respect for caring for children is an example.
Risk Factors Conditions in a child's life that can lead to poor development, including poverty, community violence, and child abuse.
Protective Factors Conditions that might insulate children from the negative effects of risk factors. Attachment to parents and positive preschool experiences are examples.
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