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developmental psychology

branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout a life span


the fertilized egg


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

physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking, noticeable symptoms include facial mis-proportions

rooting reflex

a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple


decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation


biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience


a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information


interpreting one's new experience in terms of one's existing schemas


adapting one's current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information

sensorimotor stage

according to Piaget, 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

according to Piaget, the stage (from about 2 to 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


according to Piaget, the principle that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the form of object


according to Piaget, the preoperational child's difficulty in taking another's point of view

concrete operational stage

according to Piget, 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

according to Piaget, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts


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 attatchments during a critical period very early in life


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


the first menstrual period


the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes in a woman's experiences as her ability to reproduce declines

crystallized intelligence

one's accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age

fluid intelligence

one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood

age of viability

age a baby can live outside of the mother.
22 weeks

10 months

gestation period

37-42 weeks

term birth range

breach birth

type of birth where the baby comes out feet first

germinal stage

stage of development from conception - 2 weeks.
cells divide

embryonic stage

stage of development from 2 weeks to 8 weeks where the vital organisms/system forms. most important stage.

fetal stage

stage of development from 8 weeks till birth

bubinsky's reflex

reflex where if you touch a baby's foot the toe bends


test given to a new born baby after 1 and 5 minutes.
each letter worth 2 points.
a - activity
p - pulse
g - grimace (reflexes)
a - appearance
r - respiration


a yellowish appearance in new born babies that usually is the result of kidney failure


process by which children learn the behaviors, attitudes, and expectations required of them by their society and culture

preconventional stage

Kohlberg's moral development stage where your behavior is influenced by rewards and punishments

conventional stage

Kohlberg's moral development stage where your behavior is influence by peer pressure/society

postconventional stage

Kohlberg's moral development stage where your behavior is influenced by your own ethics


person who studied moral development


person who studied identity states

identity foreclosure

identity state where you accept your identity and the values that were given in childhood.
*not given a chance to explore alternatives
* self-concept defined by other people

identity diffusion

identity state where you have no clear idea of your own identity and you are NOT trying to find one
*outcome = lack of self-identity and no commitment to values or goals


identity stage where you are trying to achieve identity through experimentation and trial and error

identity achievement

identity state where you have gone through an identity crisis and have come out with a well defined self-concept. you are committed to a set of personal values and goals.


person who studied social development

trust vs. mistrust

stage from infancy - 1 year where infants develop a basic sense of trust

autonomy vs. shame & doubt

stage through toddlerhood (1-2 years) where toddles learn to exercise will and do things for themselves or they will doubt their abilities

initiative vs. guilt

stage trough preschool (3-5 years) where preschoolers lean to start tasks and carry out plans or they will feel guilty about efforts to be independent

competence vs. inferiority

stage through elementary school (6-puberty) where children learn the pleasure of applying themselves to tasks or they feel inferior

identity vs. role confusion

stage through adolescence where teenagers work at refining a sense of self by testing roles and then integrating them to form a single identity, or they become confused about who they are

intimacy vs. isolation

stage through young adulthood (20-early 40s) where young adults struggle to form close relationships and to gain the capacity for intimate love or they feel socially isolated.

generavity vs. stagnation

stage through middle adulthood (40s-60s) where the middle-aged discover a sense of contribution to the world usually through family and jobs or else they may feel a lack of purpose

integrity vs. despair

stage through late adulthood (60+) where when reflecting upon his or her life, the older adult may feel a sense of satisfaction or regret


parenting style where the parents are cruel and military like and do not explain why disciplining


parenting style where the parents are very attached to their kids


ideal parenting style happy medium between permissive and authoritarian

harry harlow

person who studied contact comfort with the rhesus monkey experiment


researched emotional ties of attachment


bolby's student who experimented with babies and strange situations


type of baby where the baby is calmed down by re-contact


type of baby where the baby does not engage in a reunion with its mother


type of baby where after re-contact that baby is anxious and fears for further absence


studied the stages of dying/grieving
1. denial
2. anger
3. bargaining
4. depression - people should grieve as long as needed
5. acceptance - people who are religious tend go reach this stage faster


uttering 2 words of speech


language where parents talk to their kids

lift neck

before babies can walk this is the first thing they need to learn


what is determined as a "good score" for the apgar test

10 months

gestation period

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