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Developmental Psychology

The psychological specialty that documents the course of social, emotional, moral, and intellectul development over the life span.

John Locke

Believed that experiencs provided by the environment during childhood have a profound and permanent effect.

Jacques Rousseau

Believed that children are capable of discovering how the world operates and how they should behave without instruction from adults.

Arnold Gesell

Believed that motor skills developed in stages called maturation.

John B, Watson

Believed environment molds and shapes development.


Natural growth or change that unfolds in a fixed sequence relatively independent of the environment.

Stages of Prenatal Development

Germinal Stage: Zygots divides into cells.
Embryonic Stage: Embryo develops organs.
Fetal Stage:Organs start to function.

Prenatal Risks

Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking


Harmful external substances that invade the womb.

Newborn's Senses

Vision: 20/300= Bad.
Reflexes and Motor Skills: Grasping, Rooting, Sucking

Jean Piaget

Schema, accomadation, equilibrium, assimilation.


Infants discover aspects of the world through their sensory impression.


Children cannot yet manipulate and transform information in logical ways.

Concrete Operational

Children can understand logical principles that apply to concrete external objects.

Formal Operational

Only adolescents and adults can think logically about abstractions, can speculate, and can consider what might or what ought to be.

Information Processing Approach

Describes cognitive activities in terms of how people takt in information, use it, and remember it.


The ability to recognize that the important properties of a substance remain constant despite changes in shape, length, or position.


Mental representations.


Infant's individual style and frequency of expressing needs and emotions.

Harry Harlow

Monkey experiment. Monkeys want comfort more than food.


Secure Attachment: A bit anxious when left alone, happy to see her when mother returns.
Insecure Attachment: Avoidant, Ambivalent
Disorganized: Behavior is inconsistent, disturbed and disturbing.

Does Daycare Harm?

Daycare does not cause insecure attachment, but if it is poor quality, it can worsen home life.

Erik Erikson

Psychosocial Stages

First Year

Trust Versus Mistrust: Needs are met or the infants learn to mistrust the world.

Second Year

Autonomy Versus Shame and Doubt: Children learn to exercise will.

Third to Fifth Year

Initiative Versus Guilt: Children learn to begin activities and enjoy accomplishments.

Sixth Year Through Puberty

Industry Versus Inferiority: Children develop industry and curiosity.


Identity Versus Role Confusion: See themselves as unique and interesting.

Early Adulthood

Intimacy Versus Isolation: Young people commit to another person.

Middle Age

Generativity Versus Stagnation: Have children or become self-centered.

Old Age

Integrity Versus Despair: Enter a period of reflection or become sad about unaccomplished goals.

Authoritarian Parents

Firm, unsympathetic, value obedience from a child.

Permissive Parents

Children have freedom and little discipline.

Authoritative Parents

Reason with child, encourage give and take.

Gender Roles

Patterns of work, appearance and behavior that a society associates with being a male or female.


A quality among children to develop normally in spite of severs environmental risk factors.

Preconventional Moral Reasoning

Reasoning that is not based on the conventions or rules that guide social interactions in society.

Conventional Moral Reasoning

Reasoning that reflects the belief that morality consists of following rules and conventions.

Postconventional Moral Reasoning

Reasoning that reflects moral judgements based on personal standards.

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