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cross sectional research

compare groups of people of various ages on similar task--can reveal the average age of certain skills and abilities. (used more frequently)

continuous growth

gradual process--growth happens slowly

discontinuous growth

growth happens in leaps or spurts

critical period

time during which a skill or ability must develop or it probably never will (Language by age 12)

chronological age

time since you were born

biological age

physical health (organs, diseases, accidents, nutrition, exercise)

psychological age

affected by experiences and predispositions

social age

roles and peer groups

germinal stage

sperm and ovum unite to form a zygote (2 weeks), it then implants in the uterine wall

embryonic stage

(to 8th week), organ formation; about 1.5 inches long

fetal stage

(2-9 months) male and female/ brain and nervous system


harmful substances that cross the placenta to affect the baby

rooting reflex

when touched on the cheek, a baby will turn his or her head to the side where he or she felt the touch and seek to put the object into his or her mouth.

sucking reflex

when an object is placed into the baby's mouth, the infant will suck on it. (The combination of the rooting and sucking reflexes obviously help babies eat.)

grasping reflex

If an object is placed into a baby's palm or foot pad, the baby would try to grasp the objects with his or her finger or toes

Moro reflex

when startled a baby will fling his or her limbs out and then quickly react them, making himself or herself as small as possible

Babinski reflex

when a baby's foot is stroked, he or she will spread the toes

gross motor skills

large muscles (run, skip, throw, climb, hitting, punching) boys develop more quickly

fine motor skills

small muscles ( finger painting, coloring, cutting, tying shoes) girls develop more quickly

Jean Piaget

Brilliant observer of children- children make constant mental adaptations to new observations experiments, equilibration is a child's attempt to reach a balance between what the child encounters in the environment and what cognitive structures the child brings to the situation


incorporating new ideas into existing schema

sensorimotor stage

Acquires understanding of object permanence. First understandings of cause-and-effect relationships.


modify existing schema to fit better with new information

preoperational stage

symbolic thought emerges, Language development occurs ( 2-4 years). Thought and language both tend to be egocentrics. cannot solve conservation problems

concrete operations stage

reversibility attained, can solve conservation problems. logical thought develops and it applied to concrete problems. Cannot solve complex verbal problems and hypothetical problems.

formal operations

logically solves all types of problems. Thinks scientifically. Solves complex verbal and hypothetical problems. Is able to thinks in abstract terms

Lev Vygotsky

emphasized the social culture influences on children's cognitive development. Nurture is important in development, especially the adult in the child's life and the culture.


change support to fit the needs of a child ( new learning needs lots of support)

fluid intelligence

the capacity foe deductive reasoning and the ability to use info to solve problems


crucial to health and survival; by becoming attached to the caregivers children gain a secure base from which they can explore the environment and a haven of safety to return to.

Margaret and Harry Harlow

contact comfort experiment with monkeys (one "mom" is just wires, the other is wires with fur)


children learn the rules and behaviors expected of them by society.

Mary Ainsworth

used experimental method called strange situation: placed infants in new situations; parents left for a short time.

authoritarian parenting style

strict standards for children's behavior/ punishment for violating the rules/ obey without much communication/ respects hard work and effort/ "My way"/ may distrust others and withdraw.

authoritative parenting style

constant, reasonable standards with expectations/ encourage independence but don't break the rules/ warm and nurturing/ socially capable and do well academically

permissive parenting style

a parenting style that allows freedom, lax parenting that doesn't set limits or enforce rules constantly

Michael Lamb

1998. importance is quality of daycare not the daycare itself.

Erik Erikson

Psychosocial theory: crisis in each stage must be resolved to move on. challenges are present in one form or another throughout life.

psychosocial theory stages

crisis in each stage must be resolved to move on. challenges are present in one form or another throughout life. Stages: Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Identity diffusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, Ego Integrity vs. Despair

gender identity

the fundamental sense of being male or female regardless of what is worn or behavior involved

gender typing

Societies ideas about behaviors, interests and abilities that are appropriately masculine or feminine

Lawrence Kohlberg

1960's inspired by Piaget's work created a stage theory of moral development which creates hypothetical dilemmas.

preconventional level

Moral reasoning is guided by external consequences. No internalization of values or rules.

conventional level

Moral reasoning is guided by conformity to social roles, rules, and expectations that the person has learned and internalized

postconventional level

Moral reasoning is guided by internalized legal and moral principles that protect the rights of all members of society.

Carol Gilligan

Men base moral choices on abstract principles of law and justice (conventional) Women base on compassion/ caring (postconventional). Problems- no meta analysis/implies moral reasoning is fixed.


The age at which a person becomes capable of sexual reproduction.


the transitional period between puberty and adulthood in human development, extending mainly over the teen years and terminatinglegally when the age of majority is reached; youth.


having attained full size and strength; grown up; mature: an adult person, animal, or plant.

social clock

a cultural specific timetable for events to occur. Events include marriage, having children, etc.


painlessly putting to death people who are suffering from incurable diseases or sever disabilities (Mercy Killing)

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Stages of dying


studies death and dying. The context in which people die is important.

critical period for language

age 12


one of Piaget's developmental accomplishments, in which the child understands that changing the form of a substance or object does not change its amount, overall volume, or mass.


Piaget, putting things into groups

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