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Developmental Psychology

The study of changes that occur as an individual matures

Grasping Reflex

An infant's clinging response to a touch on the palm of his or her hand

Rooting Reflex

An infant's response in turning toward the source of touching that occurs anywhere around his or her mouth


The internally programmed growth of a child

Telegraphic Speech

The kind of verbal utterances in which words are left out, but the meaning is usually clear


A specific plan for knowing the world


The process of fitting objects and experiences into one's schemas


The adjustment of one's schemas to include newly observe events and experiences

Object Permanence

A child's realization that an object exists even when he or she cannot see or touch it

Representational Thought

The intellectual ability of a child to picture something in his or her mind


The principle that a given quantity does not change when its appearance is changed


A young child's inability to understand another person's perspective


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

Critical Period

A specific time in development when certain skills or abilities are most easily learned

Authoritarian Family

Parents attempt to control, shape, and evaluate the behavior and attitudes of children in accordance with a set code of conduct

Democratic/Authoritative family

Adolescents participate in decisions affecting their lives

Permisive/Laissez-Faire Family

Children have the final say; parents are less controlling and have a non punishing, accepting attitude toward children.


The process of learning the rules of behavior of the culture within which an individual is born and will live


The process by which a child adopts the values and principles of the same-sex parent


The process of redirecting sexual impulses into learning tasks

Role Taking

Children's play that involves assuming adult roles, thus enabling the child to experience different points of view

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