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Chapter 1 - An Introduction to Lifespan Development Book: Development Across the Life Span 6th Edition (ISBN: 9780205805914)

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization

The field of study that examines patterns of growth, change, and stability in behavior that occur throughout the entire life span.

Lifespan development

Examining the ways in which a body's makeup helps determine behavior.

Physical development

Seeking to understand how growth and change in intellectual capabilities influence a person's behavior.

Cognitive development

The study of stability and change in the enduring characteristics that differentiate one person from another over the life span.

Personality development

The way in which individuals' interactions with others and their social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of life.

Social development

What are the topical areas in lifespan development?

Physical development, cognitive development, personality development, and social development.

What is the age range for the prenatal period?

From conception to birth

What is the age range for the infancy and toddlerhood period?

Birth to age 3

What is the age range for the preschool period?

Age 3 to 6

What is the age range for the middle childhood period?

Age 6 to 12

What is the age range for the adolescense period?

Age 12 to 20

What is the age range for the young adulthood period?

Age 20 to 40

What is the age range for the middle adulthood period?

Age 40-65

What is the age range for the late adulthood period?

Age 65 to death

A shared notion of reality, one that is widely accepted but is a function of society and culture at a given time.

Social construction

A group of people born at around the same time in the same place.


Biological and environmental influences associated with a particular historical moment.

History-graded influences

Biological and environmental influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group, regardless of when or where they are raised.

Age-graded influences

The social and cultural factors present for a particular individual, depending on such variables as ethnicity, social class, and subcultural membership.

Sociocultural influences

A specific, atypical event that occurs in a person's life at a time when such events do not happen to most people.

Non-normative life event

Gradual development in which achievements at one level build on those of previous levels.

Continuous change

Development occuring in distinct stages with qualitative change (instead of quantitative change).

Discontinuous change

A specific time during development when a particular event has its greatest consequences and the presence of certain kinds of environmental stimuli is necessary for development to proceed normally.

Critical period

A point in development when organisms are particularly susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in their environments, but the absence of those stimuli does not always produce irreversible consequences.

Sensitive period

The predetermined unfolding of genetic information.


Explanations and predictions concerning phenomena of interest, providing a framework for understanding the relationships among an organized set of facts or principles.


What are the 6 major perspectives of lifespan development?


The approach stating that behavior is motivated by inner forces, memories, and conflicts that are generally beyond people's awareness and control.
(Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson)

Psychodynamic perspective

The theory proposed by Freud that suggests that unconcious forces act to determine personality and behavior.

Psychoanalytic theory

According to Freud, everyone's personality has three aspects, which are:

id, ego, and superego

According to Freud, a series of stages that children pass through in which pleasure, or gratification, focuses on a particular biological function and body part.

Psychosexual development

The approach that encompasses changes in our interactions with and understandings of one another, as well as in our knowledge and understanding of ourselves as members of society.

Psychosocial development

The approach suggesting that the keys to understanding development are observable behavior and outside stimuli in the environment.
(John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner, Albert Bandura)

Behavioral perspective

A type of learning in which an organism responds in a particular way to a neutral stimulus that normally does not bring about that type of response.

Classical conditioning

A form of learning in which a voluntary response is strengthened or weakened by its association with positive or negative consequences.

Operant conditioning

A formal technique for promoting the frequency of desirable behaviors and decreasing the incidence of unwanted ones.

Behavior modification

Learning by observing the behavior of another person, called a model.

Social-cognitive learning theory

The approach that focuses on the processes that allow people to know, understand, and think about the world.
(Jean Piaget)

Cognitive perspective

Models that seek to identify the ways individuals take in, use, and store information.

Information processnig approaches

Approaches that examine cognitive development through the lens of brain processes.

Cognitive neuroscience approaches

The theory contending that people have a natural capacity to make decisions about their lives and control their behavior.
(Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow)

Humanistic perspective

The theory that considers the relationship between individuals and their physical, cognitive, personality, and social worlds.
(Urie Bronfenbrenner, Lev Vygotsky)

Contextual perspective

The perspective suggesting that different levels of the environment simultaneously influence individuals.

Bioecological approach

The approach that emphasizes how cognitive development proceeds as a result of social interactions between members of a culture.

Sociocultural theory

The theory that seeks to identify behavior that is a result of our genetic inheritance from our ancestors.
(Charles Darwin, Konrad Lorenz)

Evolutionary perspective

Approximate age of someone in the oral stage of psychosexual development:

Birth to 12-18 months

Approximate age of someone in the anal stage of psychosexual development:

12-18 months to 3 years

Approximate age of someone in the phallic stage of psychosexual development:

3 to 5-6 years

Approximate age of someone in the latency stage of psychosexual development:

5-6 years to adolescence

Approximate age of someone in the genital stage of psychosexual development:

Adolescence to adulthood (Freud)

Adolescence, Early adulthood, Middle adulthood, and Late adulthood (Erikson)

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