86 terms

Psychology AP Unit 9 - Developmental Psychology Vocabulary


Terms in this set (...)

Developmental Psychology
A branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span.
The fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo.
The developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month.
The developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
Agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions.
Decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience.
All the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
A concept or framework that organizes and interprets information.
Interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas.
Adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information.
Sensorimotor Stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities.
Object Permanence
The awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
Preoperational Stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage (from 2 to about 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic.
The principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.
In Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view.
Theory of Mind
People's ideas about their own and others' mental states - about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict.
Concrete Operational Stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events.
Formal Operational Stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts.
A disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind.
Stranger Anxiety
The fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age.
An emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation.
Critical Period
An optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development.
The process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life.
A person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.
Basic Trust
According to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers.
In psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female.
Physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone.
X Chromosome
The sex chromosome found in both men and women. Females have two of these chromosomes; males have one. One of these chromosomes from each parent produces a female child.
Y Chromosome
The sex chromosome found only in males. When paired with an X chromosome from the mother, it produces a male child.
The most important of the male sex hormones. Both males and females have it, but the additional amounts of this hormones in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of the male sex characteristics during puberty.
A set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.
Gender Role
A set of expected behaviors for males or for females.
Gender Identity
Our sense of being male or female.
Gender Typing
The acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role.
Social Learning Theory
The theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.
The transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence.
The period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing.
Primary Sex Characteristics
The body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible.
Secondary Sex Characteristics
Nonreproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair.
The first menstrual period.
Our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles.
Social Identity
The "we" aspect of our self-concept; the part of our answer to "Who am I?" that comes from our group memberships.
In Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood.
Emerging Adulthood
For some people in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to mid-twenties, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood.
The time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines.
Cross-Sectional Study
A study in which people of different ages are compared with one another.
Longitudinal Study
Research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period.
Crystallized Intelligence
Our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
Fluid Intelligence
Our ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood.
Social Clock
The culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement.
Our understanding and evaluations of who we are.
Motor Development
Increasing coordination of muscles that makes physical movements possible.
Developmental Norms
The median age at which babies develop specific behaviors and abilities
The toes flare out and then curl back in when the bottom of the foot is stroked on an infant.
Moro Reflex
Arms are thrust out and the back is arches in response to surprise or a sudden noise or movement in an infant.
Plantar Reflex
The toes will curl in when the ball of the foot is pressed on an infant.
Swimming Reflex
If submerged in water for a short period of time, babies will hold their breath and pump their arms and legs.
Stepping Reflex
Infants move feet up and down as if they are walking when helped up over a flat surface.
Symbolic Theory
Represent objects in terms of mental symbols.
The tendency to focus on one aspect of a problem and ignore other key aspects.
Hierarchal Classification
Cannot classify things according to more than one level.
Inability to mentally reverse an operation.
The belief that even inanimate objects are living, results from egocentrism - if the child is alive, all other things are too.
The ability to mentally reverse actions.
The ability to focus simultaneously on several aspects of a problem.
Oppressive dictators like Hitler or Hussein - children raised with this style tend to have less social skills and self-esteem.
Laissez-Faire - children raised with this style tend to be aggressive and immature.
Sort of like how the U.S. President is a symbol of democracy where individuals are expected to be rational and law-abiding but can also have a "say" - children raised with this style have the highest self esteem, self-reliance, and social competence.
Nocturnal Emissions
"Wet dreams" - marks the onset of puberty for boys.
Preconventional Level
In Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development, the first Level which contains the first two stages.

Stage 1 - Act wrong, get punished
Stage 2 - Act right, get rewarded
Conventional Level
In Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development, the second Level which contains the third and fourth stages. Learn value rules, follow them to get approval.

Stage 3 - Want approval of only those close to them
Stage 4 - Become more concerned with rules of the broader society
Postconventional Level
In Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development, the third and final Level which contains the fifth and sixth stages. One becomes more flexible and is able to consider what is important to them.

Stage 5 - People still want to follow society's rules but they don't see those rules as absolute
Stage 6 - People figure out right and wrong for themselves, based on abstract ethical principles. Only a few people reach this last stage of moral reasoning.
Trust vs. Mistrust
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Babies depend completely on adults for basic needs - if caretakers meet these needs reliably, the babies become attached and develop a sense of security - if not mistrustful/insecure attitudes. Takes place during the first year of life.
Autonomy vs. Shame
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Toddlers start to gain independence and learn skills (toilet training, feeding themselves) - depending on how they face the challenge will determine their attitude. Takes place during the first 1-3 years of life.
Initiative vs. Guilt
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Children must learn to control their impulses and act socially - if done effectively = self confidence; otherwise guilt. Takes place when one is 3-6 years old.
Industry vs. Inferiority
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Compete w/peers prepare to take adult roles - sense of competence or inferiority. Takes place when one is 6-12 years old.
Identity vs. Role Confusion
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Determine identity and direction in life - unsuccessful = confusion. Takes place during adolescence.
Intimacy vs. Isolation
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Developing intimate relationships w/others - unsuccessful = isolated/lonely. Takes place during early adulthood.
Generativity vs. Self-Absorption
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Attempting to become a productive member of society (parenting or jobs) - failure = overly self absorbed. Takes place during middle adulthood.
Integrity vs. Despair
One of the stages in Erik Erikson's theory,

Examine your life - sense of contentment or disappointment. Occurs during old age.
Midlife Crisis
A time of doubt and anxiety in middle adulthood - research suggests it does not automatically happen.
Recognition Memory
The ability to identify things previously seen.
Series of small strokes, a brain tumor, or alcohol dependence progressively damage the brain.
Alzheimer's Disease
Strikes 3% of the world's population by 75 is not normal aging rather it is the loss of brain cells and deterioration of neurons that produce acetylcholine.