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Developmental Psychology

studies age-related changes in behavior and mental process from conception

Key theoretical debates

nature vs nurture, continuous vs stages, stability vs change

3 key areas of early childhood development

physical, cognitive, and social

Physical development

as a child develops its neurons grow in size ad the number of dendrites and axons increase

we develop...

top down, inside out

Sensory and perceptual development

smell, taste, touch, and hearing are well developed at birth, vision is poorly developed at birth

Cognitive development

children usually don't form long-term memories until 3 1/2 years, yet they may retain unconscious memory

Piaget's stage

sensorimotor, preperational, concrete operational, formal operation


stage one, experiencing the world through senses


stage two, uses words and images to represent the world, don't necessarily have logic

concrete operational

stage three, logical thinking, can't think abstractly

formal operational

stage 4, abstract thinking

Adulthood physical

the pupil shrinking and lens become less transparent, immune system slowly weakens, speed of neural processing decreases, women: menopause around 50, Men: gradual decline in virility

Adulthood cognitive

crystallized intelligence increase with age, fluid intelligence decrease with age, working memory remains relatively stable until 65yrs.

Kubler-Ross stage of grief

denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance


sound waves are created as vibrating objects push molecules back and forth.


number of cycles/time


physical stretch of wave


determine by frequency


determined by amplitude


the mixture of tones

parts of the ear

pinna, eardrum, middle ear, cochlea



The point of smell

nice to have, identify different gender, trigger for memory, good for productivity, danger


sense of taste

5 types of taste

sweet, sour, salty, bitter, unami,

types of body senses

vestibular sense, orientation and position with respect to gravity, kinetheia

classical conditioning

based on associating stimuli


long term change in behavior due to experience


process of learning associations

Learning: behaviorism

learning explained on the basis of external factors.
learning =performance

Learning: cognitive

response to behaviorism, behavior explained on the basis of internal factors, learning is more than performance, we are active learners and out thoughts matter

Ivan Pavlov

salivating dog test

John Watson

Little Albert, study babies, fears are learned not inheritable

Stimulus response

events in the environment cause a behavioral response

Learning process

natural (unconditioned) stimulus/response: situation, UCS & UCR, consistently pair the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) with something else (natural stimulus) acquisition happens, remove the original unconditioned stimulus (UCS), the new conditioned stimulus (CS)will produce the same result (CR=UCR)

Learning application: Systematic Desensitization

a theory technique to replace anxiety responses with relaxation responses

Operant Conditioning

explains learning as a process in which behavior is shaped and maintained by consequences

B.F. Skinner's theory

antecedent=particular situation, behavior=response, consequences ...ABC


used to increase behavior, positive: add something good to increase the behavior, negative: Remove something bad to increase behavior


used to decrease behavior, positive: Add something bad to decrease the behavior, negative: remove something good to decrease the behavior

Reinforcement schedules

continuous reinforcement , partial reinforcement, fixed ratio and interval, variable ratio and interval, ratio is better than intervals

Process of operant conditioning

specify desired behavior, identify effective reinforce, continually reinforce desired behavior, slowly move the continuous to partial reinforcement

Operant Conditioning: Shaping

technique were rewards are used to gradually guide behavior toward desired goal

Learning application: behavioral modification

associating desired behaviors with positive associations


attention-is a reinforce, time outs, rewards

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