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mental process of modifying existing schemes and creating new ones in order to incorporate new objects, events, experiences, and info


the mental process by which new objects, events, experiences, and info are incorporated into existing schemes


The early, close relationship formed between infant and caregiver

Authoritarian Parents

parents who make arbitrary rules, expect unquestioned obedience from their children, punish misbehavior, and value obedience to authority

Authoritative Parents

parents who set high but realistic and reasonable standards, enforce limits, and encourage open communication and independence


Vocalization of the basic units of sound (phonemes)


A preoperational child's tendency to focus on only one dimension of a stimulus

Concrete Operations Stage

Piaget's third stage of cognitive development (ages 6-11 or 12), during which a child acquires the concepts of reversibility and conservation and is able to attend to 2 or more dimensions of a stimulus at the same time


The understanding that a given quantity of matter remains the same if it is rearranged or changed in its appearance, as long as nothing is added or taken away

Contexts of Development

Bronfenbrenner's term for the interrelated and layered settings (family, neighborhood, culture) in which a child grows up

Cross-Sectional Study

a type of developmental study in which researchers compare groups of participants of diff ages on various characteristics to determine age related diff.

Developmental Psychology

The study of how humans grow, develop, and change throughout the life span.


The mental process that motivates humans to keep schemes in balance with the real environment

Formal Operations Stage

Piaget's fourth and final stage of cognitive development (ages 11 or 12 and beyond), which is characterized by the ability to apply logical thinking to abstract problems and hypothetical situations

Longitudinal Study

A type of developmental study in which the same group of participants is followed and measured at different ages

Neglecting Parents

parents who are permissive and are not involved in their children's lives

Object Permanence

The realization that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight


Piaget's term for a mental process that uses specific experiences to make inferences that can be generalized to new experiences


The application of a word, on the basis of some shared feature, to a broader range of objects than is appropriate


act of inappropriately applying the grammatical rules for forming plurals and past tenses to irregular nouns and verbs

Permissive Parents

parents who make few rules or demands and usually do not enforce those that are made; they allow children to make their own decisions and control their own behavior

Phonological Awareness

sensitivity to the sound patterns of a language and how they are represented as letters

Preoperational Stage

Piage's second stage of cognitive develpment (ages 2-6) which is characterized by the development and refinement of schemes for symbolic representation


Inborn, unlearned, automatic responses to certain environmental stimuli


The fact that when only the appearance of a substance has been changed, it can be returned to its original state


A plan of action, based on previous experiences, to be used in similar circumstances

Sensorimotor Stage

Piaget's first stage of cognitive development (ages birth to 2) in which infants gain an understanding of their world through their senses and their motor activities; culminates with the development of object permanence and the beginning of representational thought

Separation Anxiety

The fear and distress shown by infants and toddlers when the parent leaves, occurring from 8-24 mos and reaching a peak between 12 & 18 mos


process of learning socially acceptable behaviors, attitudes, and values

Stranger Anxiety

fear of strangers commmon in infants at about 6 & 7 mos of age, which increases in intensity until about 12 1/2 mos and then declines

Telegraphic Speech

short sentences that follow a rigid word order and contain only 3 or so essential content words


A person's behavioral style or characteristic way of responding to the environment


The restriction of a word to only a few, rather than to all, members of a class of objects

Critical Period

A period during the the embryonic stage when certain body structures are developing and can be harmed by negative influences in the prenatal envrionment.


The developing heman organism during the period from week 3 through week 8, when the major systems, organs, and the structures of the body develop.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

A condition that is caused by maternal alcohol intake early in prenatal development and that leads to facial deformities as well as retardation.


The developing human organism during the period from week 9 until birth, when rapid growth and further development of the structures, organs, and systems of the body occur.


A decrease in response or attention to a stimulus as an infant becomes accustomed to it.

Low Birth Weight

A weight at birth of less than 5.5 pounds.


Each infant's own genetically determined, biological pattern of development.


A newborn infant up to 1 month old.

Prenatal Development

Development that occurs between conception and birth and consists of three stages (germinal, embryonic, and fetal).


The restriction of a word to only a few, rather than to all, members of a class of objects.

Visual Cliff

An apparatus used to measure infants' ability to percieve depth.


The single cell that forms when a sperm and egg unite.

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