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Developmental Science

A field of study devoted to understanding constancy and change throughout the lifespan


process of gradually augmenting the same type of skills that were there to begin with


Process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times


qualitative changes in thinking, feeling and behaving that characterize specific periods of development


unique combonations of personal and environmental circumstances that can result in different paths of change

nature-nurture controversy

Are genetic or environmental factors more important

Lifespan perspective

a leading dynamic systems approach that includes four assumptions: development is 1. lifelong, 2. multidimensional and multidirectional, 3. highly plastic and 4. affected by multiple interacting forces

Age graded influences

Events that are strongly related to age and therefore fairly predictable in when they occur and how long they last.

history graded influences

Explain why people are born around the same time--called cohort--tend to be alike in ways that set them apart from people born at other times.

non normative

events irregular - happens to one of few people - not predictable


natural selection, survival of the fittest, no two species are alike

G. Stanley Hall

first PHD in psychology in the US; founder of the American Psychology Association (APA) - founder of the child study movement - maturational process - genetically determined series of events that unfold automatically

mental testing movement

Alfred Binet - identify children with learning problems for special classes . Binet and Theodore Simon constructed first successful intelligence test.


Correlated adults emotional issues with troubled childhoods

psycho-sexual theory

Freud's theory which emphasized that how parents manage their child's sexual and aggressive drives in he first few years is crucial for healthy personality development


contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. The id operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification


the largely conscious, "executive" part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id's desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain

Super ego

Freud; "moral watchdog"; governs behavior by reality and morality, often taught by parents, church and/or community; standards develop through interaction; conscience; ego ideal

Psychosexual Stages

is part of Freud's psycholdynamic theory where each of the five stages refers to an area of the body to which a person feels dominant pleasure starting with oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital. Failure to resolve problems occuring during these stages can lead to fixation in adulthood


Birth - 1st year - new ego directs baby to sucking activities to breast or bottle - if not proper could lead to overeating and smoking


1-3 years potty training essential or could lead to extreme orderliness and cleansiness or messiness and disorder


3-6 years - Super ego formed - children feel guilty about genital stimulation


6-11 years - sexual instinct die down and super ego develops - acquires new social values


adolescence - puberty, phallic impulses resurface development, if good = marriage mature sexually and birth and rearing of children


an approach to psychology that emphasizes observable measurable behavior. - observing the stimuli and responses

John Watson

American Psychologist, 1st proponent of behaviorism, said Psychology was completely based on experiments and physical reactions, in one experiment he caused a young child to become terrified of furry objects by ringing a bell (little Albert)

Erikson's psychosocial theory

He emphasized that in addition to mediating between id impulses and superego demands, the ego makes a positive contribution to development, acquiring attitudes and skills at each stage that make the individual and active, contributing member of society


Classical conditioning - unconditioned stimulus, conditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned response; Study Basics: Began by measuring the salivary reaction of dogs. Ended with a new understanding of associational learning and the conditioned reflex.

B.F Skinner

pioneer of operant conditioning who believed that everything we do is determined by our past history of rewards and punishments. he is famous for use of his operant conditioning aparatus which he used to study schedules of reinforcement on pidgeons and rats.

Albert Bandura Social Learning Theory

Emphasis on modeling, also known as imitation or observational learning as a powerful source of development

Behavior Modification

procedures that combine conditioning and modeling to eliminate undesirable behaviors and increase desirable responses

Piaget's Cognitive developmental theory

characterized children as "mini scientists" who interacted with the environment and used their observations to revise their way of thinking. It posited that children develop schemas about the world that progress through four stages of development.


Piaget's first stage of cognitive development, From birth to about age 2; the period during which the infant explores the environment & acquires knowledge through sensing & manipulating objects


Piaget's second stage of cognitive development, From age 2 to about age 7; characterized by increasing use of symbols & prelogical thought processes - make believe

Concrete operational

Piaget's third stage of cognitive development, 7-11 years. Thinking logically about concrete events; understanding concrete analogies and performing arithmetical operations. Major achievements: Classifying objects. Perceive directly

Formal operational

Piaget's fourth and final stage of cognitive development, from age 11 +, when the individual begins to think more rationally and systematically about abstract concepts and hypothetical events. Thought is abstract and hypothetical. Logical thought. Adolescents can also evaluate the logic of verbal statements without referring to real-world circumstances

Information processing

Human mind as a symbol manipulating system through which info flows. From the time information is presented to the senses at input until it emerges as a behavioral response at output, info is coded, transformed and organized.

developmental cognitive neuroscience

brings together researchers from psychology, biology, neuroscience, and medicine to study the relationship between changes in the brain and the developing person's cognitive processing and behavior patterns


Concerned with adaptive or survival value of behavior and its evolutionary history

Konrad Lorenz

observed behavioral patterns that promote survival


inherited tendencies or responses that are displayed by newborn animals when they encounter new stimuli in their environment

Critical period

Individual is biologically prepared to acquire certain adaptive behaviors but need support of stimulating environment

Sensitive period

individual is especially responsive to environmental influences

John Bowlby

Caretakers as secure base, similar to imprinting, infants form attachments to satisfy basic biological needs (hunger, comfort, warmth)

Evolutionary developmental Psychology

seeks to understand the adaptive value of species wide cognitive, emotional, and social competencies and those competencies change with age

Vygotsky's sociocultural theory

focuses on how culture is transmitted to the next generation, socially mediated process and influential in the study of cognitive development

Ecological system theory

views the person as developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment


The developing person is embedded in a series of complex and interactive systems.


The immediate settings with which the child interacts, such as the home, the school, and one's peers

Third parties

affect the quality of any two person relationship


it involves the relationships between microsystems, or connections between contexts.


Parts of environment child has no direct contact with but is impacted by (eg. neighborhood, church, mass media, government, parents workplace)


Outermost level of bronfenbernner's model that is not a specific context but consists of cultural values, laws, customs, and resources

Ecological transitions

shifts in microsystem


Life changes can be imposed externally or can arise from within the person

Naturalistic observation

observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

Structured observation

investigator sets up a lab situation that evoke the behavior of interest so that every participant has equal opportunity to display responae.

clinical interview

researchers use a flexible, conversational style to probe for the participant's point of view


self report instruments in which each participant is asked the same question


extensive field notes researcher tries to capture the cultures unique values and social processes

Correlational design

researchers gather information on individuals, generally in natural life circumstances, without altering their experiences. Then they look at relationships between participants' characteristics and their behavior or development

correlation coefficient

A numerical index of the degree of relationship between two variables

Experimental design

A design in which researchers manipulate an independent variable and measure a dependent variable to determine a cause-and-effect relationship


expects to cause changes in another variable


investigators expects to be influenced by independent varaible

longitudinal design

participants are studied repeatedly and changes are notes as they get older

cross sectional

studies groups of different aged peoples


combination of cross sectional and longitudinal


observational characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment


blend of genetic info that determines our species and influences and all our unique characteristics


store and transmit genetic info


Chemical substance that make up chromosomes


segment of DNA along the length of the chromosome


The process in which DNA duplicates itself


sex cells - sperm and ovum combine


(genetics) cell division that produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms


Sperm and ovum unite at conception the zygote is the resulting cell


22 of the 23 pairs are matching pairs

sex chromosome

23rd pair

Fraternal or Dizygotic twins

the most common type of multiple births, resulting from the release and fertilization of two ova.

identical or monozygotic twins

twins that result when a zygote, during the early stages of cell duplication, divides into two. They have the same genetic makeup


each form of a gene


alleles from both parents are alike


alleles differ

Dominant-recessive inheritance

only one allele affects the child's characteristics. it is called dominant; the second allele, which has no effect is called recessive


heterozygous individuals with just one recessive allele can pass that trait to their children


Phenulketonuria: A genetic abnormality in which a child cannot metabolize phenylalanine, an amino acid, which consequently builds up in the body and causes mental retardation. If treated with a special diet, retardation is prevented

Incomplete dominance

a pattern of inheritance in which both alleles are expressed, resulting in a combined trait, or one that is intermediate between the two

Sickle cell anemia

child inherits two recessive genes, A human genetic disease of red blood cells caused by the substitution of a single amino acid in the hemoglobin protein; it is the most common inherited disease among African Americans.

X-Linked inheritance

when a harmful allele is carried on the x-chromosome __ inheritance applies. Males are more likely to be affected because their sex chromosomes do not match

genomic imprinting

alleles are imprinted so that one pair member is activated, regardless of its makeup


sudden change in a segment of DNA

Polygenic inheritance

many genes influence the characteristic in question

Down syndrome

1-1,000 live births.failure of the 21st pair of chromosomes to separate during meiosis, so individual inherits 3 of these chromosomes rather than normal 2.

translocation pattern

when the 21st chromosome is attached to another chromosome

mosaic pattern

when some but not all body cells have defective chromosomal makeup, because of an error that occurred during the early stages of mitosis

genetic counseling

help understand genetic principles, testing and prevention of genetic disorders

prenatal diagnostic methods

medical procedures that permit detection of problems before birth


technique that places a healthy copy of a gene into the cells of a person whose copy of the gene is defective

Socioeconomic status

1. years of education 2. prestige of ones job and skill it requires 3. Income

collectivist societies

people define themselves as part of a group and stress group goals over individual goals

individualistic societies

think of themselves as separate entities and are largely concerned with their own personal needs

heriditary estimates

measures the extent to which individual differences in complex traits in specific population are due to genetic factors

kinship studies

compare the characteristics of family members

range of reaction

each persons unique, genetically determined response to the environment

genetic environmental correlation

our genes influence the environment to which we are exposed

evocative correlation

children evoke responses that are influence by the children's heredity

passive correlation

child has no control over it , parents provide certain genes and environments for their children

active correlation

children extend their experiences beyond the immediate family are given the freedom to make more choices, they actively seek environments that fit with their genetic tendencies


tendency to actively choose environments that complement our heredity


development resulting from ongoing, bidirectional exchanges between heredity and all levels of the environment


two walnut sized organs located deep inside abdomen

fallopian tubes

long, thing structures that lead to the hallow, softlined uterus


two glands located in scrotum - produces an average of 300 million sperm a day


sac that lies behind the penis

corpus luteum

spot on the ovary from which releases secretes hormones


opening of the uterus

period of the zygote

2 weeks - fertilized ovum duplicated rapidly forming a hollow ball of cells or blastocyst - fourth day after fertilization


fourth day of period of zygote, 60-70 cells exist that form a hollow, fluid-filled ball

embryonic disk

cells inside the blastocyst


outer ring of cells


blastocyst burrows deep into uterine lining


innermost membrane that encloses the embryo

amniotic fluid

fluid surrounding a fetus within amnion keeps temperature of prenatal world constant and provides cushion against women's movements

Yolk sac

produces blood cells until essential the liver, spleen, and bone marrow are mature enough to function


protective membrane that surrounds the amnion


permits food and oxygen to reach organism and waste products to be carried away

umbilical cord

one large vein that delivers blood loaded with nutrients and two arteries that remove waste products

period of embryo

implantation through 8th week of pregnancy, ground work is laid for all body structures and organs

neural tube

ectodorm folds over to form neural tube which becomes spinal cord and brain


nerve cells that store and transmit info

period of fetus

9th week - end of pregnancy - growth and finishing - organism increases rapidly in size


prenatal development periods


protects fetus skins from chaping during months in amniotic fluid


hair around body helping vernix stick to the skin

glial cells

support/feed the neurons

age of viability

point fetus con survive 22-26 weeks

cerebral cortex

outer layer of cerebrum - consciousness


any environmental agent that causes damage during the prenatal period

illegal drugs

prematurity, low birth, weight, physical defects, breathing difficulties and death around time of birth - born drug addicted

tobacco impact

low birth weight, miscarries prematurity, impaired heart rate and breathing during sleep, infant death, asthma, cancer increase

fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

the umbrella term that describes a range of effects from mothers consuming alcohol while pregnant. symptoms include mental, physical, behavioral and/or learning difficulties all with possible lifelong issues

fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

a medical condition in which body deformation or facial development or mental ability of a fetus is impaired because the mother drank alcohol while pregnant. indentation running from bottom of nose to upper lip

Partial fetal alcohol syndrome (P-FAS)

facial abnormalities brain injury - mom drank smaller quantities of alcohol

alcohol related neuro-developmental disorder (ARND)

atleast three areas of mental functioning are impaired, despite typical physical growth and absence of facial abnormalities. - less pervasive than in FAS

Rh factor incompatibility

When the mother is Rh-negative (lacks the Rh blood protein) and the father is Rh-positive (has the protein), the baby may inherit the father's Rh -positive blood type. If even a little of a fetus's Rh-positive blood crosses the placenta into the Rh-negative mother's bloodstream, she begins to form antibodies to the foreign Rh protein. If these enter the fetus's system, they destroy red blood cells, reducing the oxygen sypply to organs and tissues.

Stages of childbirth

effacement & dilation; delivery of baby; delivery of placenta

Apgar scale

a quick test used to assess a just-delivered baby's condition by measuring heart rate, muscle tone, respiration, reflex response, and color

natural prepared childbirth

a group of techniques aimed at reducing pain and medical intervention and making childbirth as rewarding an experience as possible

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