Invitation to the Life Span (Chapter 1-2)

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science of human development

The science that seeks to understand
how and why people of all ages and
circumstances change or remain the
same over time.

scientific method

A way to answer questions that
requires empirical research and
data-based conclusions

replication

The repetition of a study, using different
participants.

nature

A general term for the traits, capacities,
and limitations that each individual
inherits genetically from his or her
parents at the moment of conception

nurture

A general term for all the environmental
influences that affect development
after an individual is conceived.

critical period

A time when a particular type of
developmental growth (in body or
behavior) must happen if it is ever
going to happen.

sensitive period

A time when a certain type of development
is most likely to happen or
happens most easily, although it may
still happen later with more difficulty.
For example, early childhood is considered
a _____ ______ for language
learning.

difference-equals-deficit
error

The mistaken belief that a deviation
from some norm is necessarily inferior
to behavior or characteristics that
meet the standard.

life-span perspective

An approach to the study of human
development that takes into account
all phases of life, not just childhood or
adulthood.

cohort

A group defined by the shared age of
its members, who, because they were
born at about the same time, move
through life together, experiencing the
same historical events and cultural
shifts.

socioeconomic status

A person's position in society as determined
by income, wealth, occupation,
education, and place of residence.
(Sometimes called social class.)

ethnic group

People whose ancestors were born in
the same region and who often share
a language, culture, and religion

social construction

An idea that is based on shared perceptions,
not on objective reality. Many
age-related terms, such as childhood,
adolescence, yuppie, and senior citizen,
are ______ _______.

epigenetic

Referring to the effects of environmental
forces on the expression of an
individual's, or a species', genetic
inheritance.

mirror neurons

Cells in an observer's brain that
respond to an action performed by
someone else in the same way they
would if the observer had actually
performed that action.

developmental theory

A group of ideas, assumptions, and
generalizations that interpret and illuminate
the thousands of observations
that have been made about human
growth. A _______ ________ provides
a framework for explaining the
patterns and problems of development.

psychoanalytic theory

A theory of human development that
holds that irrational, unconscious
drives and motives, often originating in
childhood, underlie human behavior.

behaviorism

A theory of human development that
studies observable behavior. ______
is also called learning theory,
because it describes the laws and
processes by which behavior is learned.

conditioning

According to behaviorism, the
processes by which responses become
linked to particular stimuli and learning
takes place. The word _____ is
used to emphasize the importance of
repeated practice, as when an athlete
______ his or her body to perform
well by training for a long time.

classical conditioning

A learning process in which a meaningful
stimulus (such as the smell of
food to a hungry animal) gradually
comes to be connected with a neutral
stimulus (such as a particular sound)
that had no special meaning before
the learning process began. (Also
called respondent conditioning.)

operant conditioning

The learning process in which a particular
action is followed either by something
desired (which makes the person
or animal more likely to repeat the
action) or by something unwanted
(which makes the action less likely to
be repeated). (Also called instrumental
conditioning.)

reinforcement

A technique for conditioning behavior
in which that behavior is followed by
something desired, such as food for a
hungry animal or a welcoming smile
for a lonely person.

social learning theory

An extension of behaviorism that
emphasizes the influence that other
people have over a person's behavior.
The theory's basic principle is that
even without specific reinforcement,
every individual learns many things
through observation and imitation of
other people.

cognitive theory

A theory of human development that
focuses on changes in how people
think over time. According to this
theory, our thoughts shape our
attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

ecological-systems approach

The view that in the study of human
development, the person should be
considered in all the contexts and
interactions that constitute a life.
(Later renamed bioecological theory.)

dynamic-systems theory

A view of human development as an
ongoing, ever-changing interaction
between the physical and emotional
being and between the person and
every aspect of his or her environment,
including the family and society.

scientific observation

A method of testing a hypothesis by
unobtrusively watching and recording
participants' behavior in a systematic
and objective manner—in a natural
setting, in a laboratory, or in searches
of archival data.

experiment

A research method in which the researcher
tries to determine the causeand-
effect relationship between two
variables by manipulating one (called
the independent variable) and then
observing and recording the ensuing
changes in the other (called the
dependent variable).

independent variable

In an experiment, the variable that is
introduced to see what effect it has on
the _______ variable. (Also called
experimental variable.)

dependent variable

In an experiment, the variable that may
change as a result of whatever new
condition or situation the experimenter
adds.

survey

A research method in which information
is collected from a large number
of people by interviews, written questionnaires,
or some other means

cross-sectional research

A research design that compares
groups of people who differ in age but
are similar in other important characteristics.

longitudinal research

A research design in which the same
individuals are followed over time and
their development is repeatedly
assessed.

cross-sequential research

A hybrid research design in which
researchers first study several groups
of people of different ages (a crosssectional
approach) and then follow
those groups over the years (a longitudinal
approach). (Also called cohortsequential
research or time-sequential
research.)

correlation

A number that indicates the degree of
relationship between two variables,
expressed in terms of the likelihood
that one variable will (or will not) occur
when the other variable does (or does
not). A _______ indicates only that
two variables are related, not that one
variable causes the other to occur.

quantitative research

Research that provides data that can
be expressed with numbers, such as
ranks or scales.

qualitative research

Research that considers qualities
instead of quantities. Descriptions of
particular conditions and participants'
expressed ideas are often part of
______ studies.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

The molecule that contains the chemical
instructions for cells to manufacture
various proteins.

chromosome

One of the 46 molecules of DNA (in 23
pairs) that each cell of the human body
contains and that, together, contain all
the genes. Other species have more
or fewer _______.

gamete

A reproductive cell; that is, a sperm
or an ovum that can produce a new
individual if it combines with a _____
from the other sex to form a zygote

zygote

The single cell that is formed from the
fusing of two gametes, a sperm and
an ovum.

gene

A section of a chromosome and the
basic unit for the transmission of
heredity, consisting of a string of
chemicals that are instructions for the
cell to manufacture certain proteins.

genotype

An organism's entire genetic inheritance,
or genetic potential.

phenotype

The observable characteristics of a person,
including appearance, personality,
intelligence, and all other traits.

allele

Any of the possible forms in which a
gene for a particular trait can occur.

genome

The full set of genes that are the instructions
to make an individual member
of a certain species.

monozygotic twins

Twins who originate from one zygote
that splits apart very early in development.
(Also called identical twins.)

dizygotic twins

Twins who are formed when two separate
ova are fertilized by two separate
sperm at roughly the same time. (Also
called fraternal twins.)

XX

A 23rd chromosome pair that consists
of two X-shaped chromosomes, one
each from the mother and the father.
X_ zygotes become females.

XY

A 23rd chromosome pair that consists
of an X-shaped chromosome from the
mother and a Y-shaped chromosome
from the father. X_ zygotes become
males.

polygenic

Referring to a trait that is influenced by
many genes.

multifactorial

Referring to a trait that is affected by
many factors, both genetic and environmental

regulator gene

A gene that directs the interactions of
other genes, controlling their expression,
duplication, and transcription

additive gene

A gene that adds something to some
aspect of the phenotype. Its contribution
depends on additions from the
other genes, which may come from
either the same or the other parent

dominant-recessive pattern

The interaction of a pair of alleles in
such a way that the phenotype reveals
the influence of one allele (the ____
gene) more than that of the other
(the _____ gene).

carrier

A person whose genotype includes
a gene that is not expressed in the
phenotype. Such an unexpressed gene
occurs in half the _____ gametes
and thus is passed on to half the
_____ children, who will most likely
be _____, too. Generally, the characteristic
appears in the phenotype only
when such a gene is inherited from
both parents.

heritability

A statistic that indicates what percentage
of the variation in a particular trait
within a particular population, in a particular
context and era, can be traced
to genes.

Down syndrome

A condition in which a person has 47
chromosomes instead of the usual 46,
with three rather than two chromosomes
at the 21st position. People
with _____ _____ typically have
distinctive characteristics, including
unusual facial features (thick tongue,
round face, slanted eyes), heart abnormalities,
and language difficulties.
(Also called trisomy-21.)

fragile X syndrome

A genetic disorder in which part of the
X chromosome seems to be attached
to the rest of it by a very thin string of
molecules. The cause is a single gene
that has more than 200 repetitions of
one triplet.

genetic counseling

Consultation and testing by trained
experts that enable individuals to learn
about their genetic heritage, including
harmful conditions that they might
pass along to any children they
conceive.

phenylketonuria (PKU)

A genetic disorder in which a child's
body is unable to metabolize an amino
acid called phenylalanine. The resulting
buildup of phenylalanine in body fluids
causes brain damage, progressive mental
retardation, and other symptoms.

germinal period

The first two weeks of prenatal development
after conception, characterized
by rapid cell division and the beginning
of cell differentiation.

embryonic period

The stage of prenatal development
from approximately the third through
the eighth week after conception, during
which the basic forms of all body
structures, including internal organs,
develop.

fetal period

The stage of prenatal development
from the ninth week after conception
until birth, during which the fetus grows
in size and matures in functioning.

placenta

The organ that surrounds the developing
embryo and fetus, sustaining life
via the umbilical cord. The ______ is
attached to the wall of the pregnant
woman's uterus.

implantation

The process, beginning about 10 days
after conception, in which the developing
organism burrows into the placenta
that lines the uterus, where it
can be nourished and protected as it
continues to develop.

embryo

The name for a developing human
organism from about the third through
the eighth week after conception.

fetus

The name for a developing human
organism from the start of the ninth
week after conception until birth.

sonogram

An image of an unborn fetus (or an
internal organ) produced by scanning
it with high-frequency sound waves.
(Also called ultrasound.)

age of viability

The age (about 22 weeks after conception)
at which a fetus may survive outside
the mother's uterus if specialized
medical care is available.

Apgar scale

A quick assessment of a newborn's
body functioning. The baby's heart
rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone,
color, and reflexes are given a score of
0, 1, or 2 twice—at one minute and
five minutes after birth—and each time
the total of all five scores is compared
with the ideal score of 10 (which is
rarely attained).

doula

A woman who helps with the birth
process. ____ are trained to offer
support to new mothers, including
massage and suggestions for breastfeeding
positions.

cesarean section (c-section)

A surgical birth, in which incisions
through the mother's abdomen and
uterus allow the fetus to be removed
quickly, instead of being delivered
through the vagina.

low birthweight (LBW)

A body weight at birth of less than 51⁄2
pounds (2,500 grams).

very low birthweight (VLBW)

A body weight at birth of less than 3
pounds, 5 ounces (1,500 grams).

extremely low birthweight (ELBW)

A body weight at birth of less than 2
pounds, 3 ounces (1,000 grams).

preterm birth

A birth that occurs 3 or more weeks
before the full 38 weeks of the typical
pregnancy have elapsed—that is, at 35
or fewer weeks after conception.

small for gestational age (SGA)

Having a body weight at birth that is
significantly lower than expected,
given the time since conception. For
example, a 5-pound (2,265-gram) newborn
is considered ____ if born on time
but not _____ if born two months early.
(Also called small-for-dates.)

kangaroo care

A child-care technique in which the
mother of a low-birthweight infant
holds the baby between her breasts,
like a ______ that carries her immature
newborn in a pouch on her
abdomen.

postpartum depression

The sadness and inadequacy felt by
some new mothers in the days and
weeks after giving birth.

parent-infant bond

The strong, loving connection that
forms as parents hold, examine, and
feed their newborn.

fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

A cluster of birth defects, including
abnormal facial characteristics, slow
physical growth, and retarded mental
development, that may occur in the
child of a woman who drinks alcohol
while pregnant.

teratogens

Agents and conditions, including
viruses, drugs, and chemicals, that can
impair prenatal development and result
in birth defects or even death.

threshold effect

A situation in which a certain teratogen
is relatively harmless in small doses
but becomes harmful once exposure
reaches a certain level.

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