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a one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and an egg

germinal stage

the first phase of prenatal development, encompassing the first two weeks after conception - cells still not implanted in uterine walls

fetal stage

the third stage of prenatal development, lasting from two months through birth - rapid growth & movement (brain cells develop in last 3 months)

age of viability

the age at which a baby can survive in the event of a premature birth (22-26 wks)
22-23 wks - 14%-26%
26 wks - 80%-83% (lungs)

fetal alcohol syndrome

a collection of congenital (inborn) problems associated with excessive alcohol use during pregnancy


a close, emotional bond of affection between infants and their caregivers


a developmental period during which characteristic patterns of behavior are exhibited and certain capacities become established

cognitive development

transitions in youngsters' patterns of thinking, including reasoning, remembering, and problem solving

Piaget's stages

developmental cognitive abilities
1)sensorimotor (birth-2 yrs) - object permanence; when a child recognizes that objects continue to exist even when not in sight
2)preoperational (2-7 yrs) - conservation; awareness that physical quanities remain constant in spite of change in shape or appearance. - preoperational; - centration; tendency to focus on only one feature of a problem, neglecting other important features. - irreversibility; inability to envision reversing an action. - egocentrism; limited ability to share others' viewpoints. - animism; belief that all things are living
3)concrete operational stage (7-11 yrs) - mastery of skills; child masters skills but is limited to tangible objects & actual events
4) formal operational period (11+ yrs) - increasing ability to use abstract thinking, develop thoughts systematically, use logic, and reflect on thoughts


emphasis of cognitive development on interaction with parents, teachers, & older children
media - results in cognitive growth based on sociocultural characteristics of the people the child is in contact with

Kohlberg's theories

moral reasoning - interested in why behavior is done rhater than the behavior itself
1)punishment orientation - right & wrong is determined by what is punished
2)naive reward orientation - right & wrong is determined by what is rewarded
3)good boy/girl orientation - right & wrong is determined by close others' approval or disapproval
4)authority orientation - right & wrong is determined by society's rules & laws which should be rigidly obeyed
5) social-contract orientation - right & wrong is determined by society's rules which are viewed as fallible rather than absolute
6)individual principles & conscience orientation - right & wrong is determined by abstract ethical principles that emphasize equality & justice


an abnormal condition marked by multiple cognitive defects that include memory impairment


a form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.


an individual's unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits

personality trait

a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations

Freud's theories



according to Freud, the primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle


according to Freud, the decision-making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle


according to Freud, the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong


whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time


according to Freud, the level of awareness that contains material just beneath the surface of conscious awareness that can easily be retrieved


according to Freud, thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior

defense mechanisms

largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt

psychosexual stages

according to Freud, developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality


a person whose behavior is observed by another

observational learning

a type of learning that occurs when an organism's responding is influenced by the observation of others, who are called models


a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth


a collection of beliefs about one's own nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior


the degree of disparity between one's self-concept and one's actual experience

hierarchy of needs

Maslow's systematic arrangement of needs according to priority, which assumes that basic needs must be met before less basic needs are aroused


people with exceptionally healthy personalities, marked by continued personal growth

projective personality test

psychological tests that ask subjects to respond to vague, ambiguous stimuli in ways that may reveal the subjects' needs, feelings, and personality traits

self-report inventories

personality tests that ask individuals to answer a series of questions about their characteristic behavior


a model of illness that holds that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors

health psychology

the subfield of psychology concerned with how psychosocial factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness


any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one's well-being and that thereby tax one's coping abilities


expectations or demands that one behave in a certain way


active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the demands created by stress


the release of emotional tension


a state that occurs when two or more incompatible motivations or behavioral impulses compete for expression

personality types

type A personality:
1)strong, competitive orientation
2)impatience & time urgency
3)anger & hostility

type B personality:

PTSD - posttraumatic stress disorder

disturbed behavior that is attributed to a major stressful event but that emerges after the stress is over

embryonic stage

the second stage of prenatal development, lasting from two weeks until the end of the second month - vital organs & bodily systems begin to form

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