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Chapters 9-12


the use of specified procedures to evaluate the abilities, behaviors, and personal qualities of people. Often referred to as the measurement of individual differences because the majority of assessments specifies how an individual is different from or similar to other people on a given dimension.


movement which advocated improving the human species by applying evolutionary theory to encouraging biologically superior people to interbreed while discouraging biologically inferior people from having offspring.

quantifiable differences

difference degrees in intelligence. In other words, numerical values could be assigned to distinguish among different people's levels of intelligence.

bell-shaped curve (normal distribution)

On this curve, most people's scores cluster in the middle, and fewer are found toward the two extremes of genius and mental deficiency.


the precise extent to which two sets of test scores were related could be determined by a statistical procedures.

formal assessment

the systematic procedures and measurement instruments used by trained professionals to assess an individual's functioning, aptitudes, abilities, or mental states. The assessment instrument should be reliable, valid, and standardized.


the extent to which an assessment instrument can be trusted to give consistent scores. This is measured by the degree to which a test correlates with itself (administered at different times or using different items.)

test-retest reliability

a measure of the correlation between the scores of the same people on the same test given on two different equations. A perfectly reliable test will yield a correlation coefficient of +1.00.

parallel forms

different versions of a test used to assess test reliability; the change of forms reduces effects of direct practice, memory, or the desire of an individual to appear consistent on the same items.

internal consistency

a measure of reliability; the degree to which a test yields similar scores across its different parts, such as odd versus even items. For example, we can compare a person's score on the odd-numbered items of a test with the score on the even-numbered items.

split-half reliability

a measure of the correlation between test takers' performance on different halves (such as odd and even-numbered items) of a test.

coding scheme

allows people to make appropriate distinctions. This is one reason that quite a bit of training is required before individuals can carry out accurate psychological assessment.


the degree to which it measures what an assessor intends to measure. Should measure the trait and predict performance in situations where intelligence is important. This is measured by the degree to which the test correlates with something external to it (another test, a behavioral criterion, or judges' ratings).

content validity

the extent to which a test adequately measures the full range of the domain of interest. Necessary to sample broadly in order to capture everything of interest.

criterion validity (or predictive validity)

the degree to which test scores indicate a result on a specific measure that is consistent with some other criterion, or 'standard', of the characteristic being assessed. For example, if a test is designed to predict success in college, then college grades would be an appropriate criterion. If the test scores correlate highly with college grades, then the test has this.

construct validity

the degree to which a test adequately measures an underlying 'construct' - a theory about an abstract quality, what causes them, how they affect behavior, and how they relate to other variables. For many personal qualities of interest to psychologists, no ideal criterion exists - no single behavior or objective measure of performance can indicate how anxious, depressed, or aggressive a person is overall. Thus psychologists formulate these theories, or constructs.


standard based on measurement of a large group of people; used for comparing the scores of an individual with those of others within a well-defined group. You would check the test ___ to see what the usual range of scores is and what the average is for students of your age and sex. That would provide you with a context for interpreting a certain score.

normative population

these group norms are most useful for interpreting individual scores when the comparison group shares important qualities with the individuals tested, such as age, social class, culture, and experience.


a set of uniform procedures for treating each participant in a test, interview, or experiment, or for recording data. A test needs same times, instruction detail, question permission, and motivation levels across all participants testing.


the global capacity to profit from experience and to go beyond given information about an environment. "a very general mental capacity that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience."

mental age

In Binet and Simon's measure of intelligence, the age at which a child is performing intellectually, expressed in terms of the average age at which normal children achieve a particular score.

chronological age

the number of months or years since an individual's birth; distinct from 'mental age'. For instance, when child's score equaled the average score of a group of 5-year-olds, the child was said to have mental age of 5, regardless of his or her number of years since birth.

IQ (intelligence quotient)

an index derived from standardized tests of intelligence; originally obtained by dividing an individual's mental age by chronological age and then multiplying by 100; now directly computed as an __ test score. A score of 100 is considered average. It is both a social and biological construct.

verbal comprehension scale

part of WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale); Similarities - in what ways are airplanes and submarines alike? Vocabulary - what does 'emulate' mean?

perceptual reasoning scale

part of WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale); Block Design - test taker uses patterned blocks to reproduce designs provided by the examiner. Picture Completion - test taker examines a picture and says what is missing (for example, a horse without a mane)

working memory scale

part of WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale); Digit Span - repeat the following numbers: 3 2 7 5 9. Arithmetic - if you paid $8.50 for a movie ticket and $2.75 for popcorn, how much change would you have left from a $20 bill.

processing speed scale

part of WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale); Symbol Search - the test taker tries to determine whether one of two abstract symbols appears on a longer list of symbols. Cancellation - the test taker looks at visual displays and carries out the examiner's instructions.

Wehsler Adult Intelligence Scale

test developed by David Wehsler which gives an overall IQ score, as well as separate estimates of verbal and nonverbal IQ. These tests provide comparable subtest scores that allow researchers to track the development over time of more specific intellectual abilities.

intellectual disability

condition in which individuals have IQ scores of 70 to 75 or below and also demonstrate limitations in the ability to bring adaptive skills to bear on life tasks. Diagnosed if an individual's limited in adaptive behavior such as: conceptual, social, and practical intelligence.

down syndrome

a condition of intellectual disability and associated physical disorders caused by an extra chromosome in one's genetic makeup.

PKU (phenylketonuria)

a genetic disorder in which the body cannot metabolize phenylalanine.

learning disorder

a disorder defined by a large discrepancy between individuals' measured IQ and their actual performance. Factors that can lead to poor performance: low motivation, mediocre teaching, or physical problems.


individuals are labeled as such if they have an IQ of 130 or above. Joseph Renzulli argued in favor of a "three-ring" conception of giftedness that characterizes it along the dimensions of ability, creativity, and task commitment.


the field of psychology that specializes in mental testing. Multiple facets including: personality assessment, intelligence evaluation, and aptitude measurement. These theories, based around testing, examine the statistical relationships between different measures of ability, and then make the inferences about the nature of human intelligence on the basis of those relationships.

factor analysis

a frequently-used technique in psychometric testing; is a statistical procedure that detects a smaller number of dimensions, clusters, or factors within a larger set of independent variables. The goal of this analysis is to identify the basic psychological dimensions of the concept being investigated.

"g" (general intelligence)

according to Spearman, the factor of general intelligence underlying all intelligent performance. Each individual domain also has associated with it specific skills that Spearman called "s". For example, a person's performance on tests of vocabulary or arithmetic depends both on his or her general intelligence and on domain-specific abilities.

crystallized intelligence

the facet of intelligence involving the knowledge a person has already acquired and the ability to access that knowledge; measures by vocabulary, arithmetic, and general information tests. This allows you to cope well with your life's recurring, concrete challenges.

fluid intelligence

the aspect of intelligence that involves the ability to see complex relationships and solve problems; it is measured by tests of block designs and spatial visualization in which the background information needed to solve a problem is included or readily apparent. This helps you attack novel, abstract problems.

analytical intelligence

part of Sternberg's triarchic theory of intelligence; provides the basic information processing skills that apply to life's many familiar tasks. This type of intelligence is defined by the components, or mental processes, than underlie thinking and problem solving. Three components are identified: knowledge acquisition (for learning new facts), performance components (for problem-solving strategies and techniques), and metacognitive components (for selecting strategies and monitoring progress towards success).

creative intelligence

part of Sternberg's triarchic theory of intelligence; captures people's ability to deal with novel problems, "involves skills used to create, invent, discover, imagine, suppose, or hypothesize."

practical intelligence

part of Sternberg's triarchic theory of intelligence; reflected in the management of day-to-day affairs. Involves your ability to adapt to new and different contexts, select appropriate contexts, and effectively shape your environment to suit your needs, is bound to particular contexts.

West vs non-Western society

Gardner theory - value of intelligence across human societies. Western society values logical mathematical and linguistic intelligence, whereas non-Western societies often value other types of intelligence.

searchlight intelligence profile

these people show balanced strength across several intelligences, common among politicians and business people.

laser intelligence profile

these people show particular strength in one or two intelligences, common among artists and scientists.

emotional intelligence

the ability to perceive, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately; to facilitate thinking; to understand and analyze emotions and to use emotional knowledge effectively; to regulate one's emotion to promote both emotional and intellectual growth.

heritability estimate

a statistical estimate of the degree of inheritance of a given trait or behavior, assessed by the degree of similarity between individuals who vary in their extent of genetic similarity. This increases across the lifespan.

social class and IQ

wealth versus poverty can affect intellectual functioning in many ways, health and education resources being two of the most obvious.

participatory education

a classroom environment when children are encouraged to initiate and plan their own activities and activities for the classroom group.

effect of high IQ scores

directly affects success; these IQ distinctions can also affect academic and job performance indirectly by changing one's motives and beliefs. These people are more likely to have successful experiences in school, become more motivated to study, develop an achievement orientation, and become optimistic about their chances of doing well.

effect of low IQ scores

these people might get "tracked" into schools, classes, or programs that are inferior and may even be stigmatizing to the students' sense of self-competence.

stereotype threat

the threat associated with being at risk for confirming a negative stereotype of one's group. Research suggests that a person's belief that a negative stereotype is relevant in a situation can function to bring about the poor performance encoded in the stereotype.


the ability to generate ideas or products that are both novel and appropriate to the circumstances.

divergent thinking

an aspect of creativity characterized by an ability to produce unusual but appropriate responses to problems. These tests give the test taker the opportunity to demonstrate 'fluid' and 'flexible' thinking. "Name or list all the things you can think of in..."


aspect of divergent thinking; the overall number of distinct ideas.


aspect of divergent thinking; the number of ideas given by no other person in an appropriate sample.


aspect of divergent thinking; the number of ideas given by, for example, less than 5% of a sample.

convergent thinking

an aspect of creativity characterized by the ability to gather together different sources of information to solve a problem. We would credit people as being creative if they can put information together in a way that produces novel solutions.

remote associates test

used to study convergent thinking, test takers are challenged to find the term that provides a link for other words. "What word are all three of these words related to: fish, mine, rush?"


circumstances of a problem solving in which solutions suddenly come to mind.

risk taking

traits of exceptionally creative people; highly creative individuals are willing to go into "uncharted waters"


traits of exceptionally creative people; highly creative individuals typically have spent years acquiring expertise in the domains in which they will excel.

intrinsic motivation

traits of exceptionally creative people; highly creative individuals pursue their tasks because of the enjoyment and satisfaction they take in the products they generate.

madness and creativity

exemplary 'creators' life experiences often border on - madness. Great creativity is intimately related to madness, the manic phases of individuals who suffer from "manic-depressive insanity", or bipolar disorder, provide a context of free-flowing thought processes that facilitate great creativity.

the fairness of test-based decisions

ethical concern of intelligence assessment; argument that the costs or negative consequences may be higher for some test takers than for others. The costs are higher, for example, on tests in which minority groups receive low scores are used to keep them out of certain jobs. Sometimes, minority group members test poorly because their scores are evaluated relative to inappropriate norms.

the utility of tests for evaluating education

ethical concern of intelligence assessment; the quality of school systems and the effectiveness of teachers are frequently judged on the basis of how well their students score on standardized achievement tests. Local support of the schools through tax levies, and even individual teacher salaries, may ride on test scores. The high stakes associated with test scores may lead to cheating.

using test scores as labels to categorize individuals

ethical concern of intelligence assessment; people too often think of themselves as being an IQ of 110 or a B student, as if the scores were simply labels. Such labels may become barriers to to advancement as people come to believe that their mental and personal qualities are fixed and unchangeable - that they cannot improve their lot in life. For those who are negatively assessed, the scores can become self-imposed motivational limits that lower their sense of self-efficacy and restrict the challenges they are willing to tackle.


the branch of psychology concerned with interaction between physical and psychological processes with stages of growth from conception throughout the entire life span. Investigators study the time periods in which different abilities and functions first appear and observe how those abilities are modified. The basic premise is that mental functioning, social relationships, and other vital aspects of human nature develop and change throughout the entire life cycle.

normative investigation

to document change, a good first step is to determine what an average person is like - in physical appearance, cognitive ability, and so on - at a particular age. Research effort designed to describe what is characteristic of a specific age or developmental stage. By systematically testing individuals of different ages, researchers can determine developmental landmarks. These data provide norms based on observation of many people.

developmental age

the chronological age at which most children show a particular level of physical or mental development.

longitudinal design

a research design in which the same participants are observed repeatedly, sometimes over many years. This long-term collection of information allows researchers to draw strong conclusions about a person's lifelong benefits or development, through studying individual differences.

the nature of change

always involves trade-offs, complementary gains and losses due to the amount of options one has. It is also important not to think of development as a passive process, many developmental changes require an individual's active engagement with his or her environment.


a disadvantage of the longitudinal research design, some types of generalizations can only be made to the same ____, the group of individuals born in the same time period as the research participants.

cross-sectional design

a research method in which groups of participants of different chronological ages are observed and compared at a given time. A researcher can then draw conclusions about behavioral differences that may be related to age changes.

physical development

the bodily changes, maturation, and growth that occur in an organism starting with conception and continuing across the life span.


the single cell that results when a sperm fertilizes an egg; offspring receives half of the 46 chromosomes found in all normal human body cells from the mother and half from the father.

germinal stage

the first two weeks of prenatal development following conception.

embryonic stage

the second stage of prenatal development, lasting from the third through eight weeks after conception. During this stage, rapid cell division continues, but the cells begin to become specialized to form different organs.

fetal stage

the third stage of prenatal development, lasting from the ninth week through the birth of the child.


environmental factors such as diseases and drugs that cause structural abnormalities in a developing fetus.

Robert Fantz (1963)

a pioneering researcher who observed that babies as young as 4 months old preferred looking at objects with contours rather than those that were plain, complex ones rather than simple ones, and whole faces rather than faces with features in disarray. Infants have a preference for top-heavy patterns, such as human faces.

Eleanor Gibson and Richard Walk (1960)

pair of researchers who discovered that once children start to move around in their environment, they quickly acquire other perceptual capabilities. These two researchers examined how children respond to depth information with a 'visual cliff'. Using a glass surface representing the 'deep end', they demonstrated that children would readily leave the center board to crawl across the shallow end, but they were reluctant to crawl across the deep end. This depends on the specific babies' prior crawling experience.


the continuing influence of heredity throughout development, the age-related physical and behavioral changes characteristic of a species.

pubescent growth spurt

at around age 10-12 for boys, growth hormones flow into the bloodstream. For several years, the adolescent may grow 3 to 6 inches a year gain weight rapidly as well. The adolescent's body does not reach adult proportions all at once, hand and feet grow fully first, then arms/legs, and torso development the slowest.


the process through which sexual maturity is attained. Signifies the growth of hair on the arms and legs, under the arms, and in the genital area. Brings about the production of live sperm in males, and menarche in females.


the onset of menstruation.


research supports a general belief in the maxim, "use it or lose it". Older adults who maintain (or renew) a program of physical fitness may experience fewer of the difficulties that are often thought to be inevitable consequences of aging.

cognitive development

the development of processes of knowing, including imagining, perceiving, reasoning, and problem solving. Highlights the distinction between John Locke's empiricism: crediting human development to experience, versus Jean-Jacques Rousseau's nativism view: that there is an evolutionary legacy that each child brings into the world, and it is the mold that shapes development.


Piaget's term for a cognitive structure that develops as infants and young children learn to interpret the world and adapt to their environment. Referred to as the building blocks of development, an infant's initial versions are 'sensorimotor intelligence' - mental structures or programs that guide sensorimotor sequences, such as sucking, looking, gasping, and pushing.


according to Piaget, the process whereby new cognitive elements are fitted in with old elements or modified to fit more easily; this process works in tandem with accommodation. Thus, the child accesses existing schemes to structure incoming sensory data.


according to Piaget, the process of restructuring or modifying cognitive structures so that new information can fit into them more easily; this process works in tandem with assimilation. Forces a children's thought processes to become more abstract, less dependent on external reality.

sensorimotor stage

stages in cognitive development; extends from birth to age 2. In the early months, much of an infant's behavior is based on a limited array of inborn schemes. like sucking, looking, grasping, and pushing. During the first year, these sequences are improved, combined, coordinated, and integrated - becoming more varied as infants discover how their actions affect the external environment.

preoperational stage

stages in cognitive development; extends from 2 to 7 years of age. The big cognitive advance in this development stage is an improved ability to represent mentally objects that are not physically present. Otherwise, Piaget characterizes this stage according to what the child cannot do, but the child does have improved ability to use symbolic thought. Children at this age are egocentric, and seem to be talking to themselves rather than interacting with others during conversation. These children also experience centration.

concrete operations stage

stages in cognitive development; extends from 7 to 11 years of age. At this stage, the child has become capable of mental operations, actions performed in the mind that give rise to logical thinking. Allows children to replace physical action with mental action. Child does achieve an understanding of 'conservation' - the principle that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms or appearances of objects.

formal operations stage

stages in cognitive development; covers a span from 11 and beyond. In this stage of cognitive growth, thinking becomes abstract and hypothetical; adolescents can see how their particular reality is only one of several imaginable realities, and they begin to ponder deep questions of truth, justice, and existence. They seek answers to problems in a systematic fashion: once they achieve formal operations, children can start to play the role of scientist, trying each of a series of possibilities in careful order.

object permanence

the recognition that objects exist independently of an individual's action or awareness; an important cognitive acquisition of infancy.


in cognitive development, the inability of a young child at the preoperational stage to take the perspective of another person.


peroperational children's tendency to focus their attention on only one aspect of a situation and disregard other relevant aspects. Illustrated by Piaget's classic demonstration of a child's inability to understand that the amount of a liquid does not change as a function of the size or shape of its container.


a child's understanding that both physical actions and mental operations can be reversed; A child's ability to reverse operations and therefore recognize that the qualities of an object remain the same despite changes in appearance. Occurs in Piaget's Concrete Operational Stage of Cognitive Development (e.g., 1+2=3 to 3-2=1).

foundational theories

framework for initial understanding formulated by children to explain their experiences of the world. For example, children accumulate their experiences of the properties of mental states into theory of mind, or naive psychology. By doing so, they are better able to understand the thought processes of themselves and others.


learning (of values or attitudes etc.) that is incorporated within yourself; according to Vygotsky, the process through which children absorb knowledge from the social context. Thus, children's cognition develops to perform culturally valued functions.

aging intelligence

only about 5% of the population experiences major losses in cognitive functioning. Between crystallized and fluid, fluid intelligence seems to show the greater decline with regard to aging. This decrease in fluidity has been attributed to a general slowing down of processing speed: older adults' performance on intellectual tasks that require many mental processes to occur in small amounts of time is greatly impaired. Aging adults whose everyday lives have the highest levels of social, physical, and intellectual activity tend to show faster processing speed on cognitive tasks.


expertise in the fundamental pragmatics of life.

aging memory

adults over 60 do perform worse on memory tests; people experience memory deficits with advancing age, even when they have been highly educated and otherwise have good intellectual skills. General knowledge and personal information memory doesn't diminish, but aging does affect the processes that allow new information to be effectively organized, stored, and retrieved.


A child's first step in acquiring a particular language is to take note of the sound contrasts that are used meaningfully in that language. This is the minimal unit of speech in any given language that makes a meaningful difference in speech and production and reception; for example, 'r' and 'l' are two distinct phonemes in English but variations of one in Japanese.

infant-directed speech (or child-directed speech)

a form of speech addressed to infants that includes slower speed, distinctive intonation, and structural simplifications; researchers suggest that these special forms of speech provide infants and children with information that makes them better able to acquire phonemes and words from the language being used around them.

naming explosion

children are no doubt excellent word learners, at around 18 months, children's word learning often takes off at an amazing rate. By the age of 6, the average child is estimated to understand 14,000 words.

fast mapping

children have the ability to learn this ability that researchers call ____: they are able to learn the meanings of new words with minimal experience - sometimes with only a single exposure to a word and its referent.

principle of contrast

children's assumption that no two words have the same meaning. Hence they assume that a new word will not refer to something for which they already have a name; this principle suggests that differences in forms signal differences in meaning: when children hear new words, they should look for meanings that contrast with those for the words they already know.

acquiring grammar

linguist Noam Chomsky argued that children are born with mental structures that facilitate the comprehension and production of language. Children can acquire complete grammatical structure in the absence of well-formed input, certain aspects of grammar are likely supported by innate predispositions.

operating principles

innate assumptions and biases that cause children to pay particular attention to certain features in the language environments such as word endings, order, and intonation.

language-making capacity

the innate guidelines or operating principles that children bring to the task of learning a language. According to Dan Slobin's theory, operating principles take the form of directives for children; suggests that children must keep track of the relationship between the order in which words appear and the meanings they express.

telegraphic speech

a young child's speech which is characterized as being filled with short, simple sequences using mostly nouns and verbs. This kind of speech lacks function words, such as 'the', 'and', 'of', which help express the relationships between words and ideas.


an operating principle, which requires children to try to use the same unit of meaning, or morpheme, to mark the same concept. Examples of such concepts are possession, past tense, and continuing action.


a grammatical error, usually appearing during early language development, in which rules of the language are applied too widely, resulting in incorrect linguistic forms. For example, once children learn the past-tense or plural rule, they add -ed or -s to all verbs or words, incorrectly so. This usually appears after children have learned and used the correct forms of verbs and nouns.

social development

the ways in which individuals' social interactions and expectations change across the life span. Social and cultural environments interacts with biological aging to provide each period of the life span with its own special challenges and rewards.

psychosocial stages

proposed by Erik Ericson, one of the successive developmental stages that focus on an individual's orientation toward the self and others; these stages incorporate both the sexual and social aspects of a person's developmental and social conflicts that arise from the interaction between the individual and the social environment.

trust vs. mistrust

psychosocial stage; in the first stage, an infant needs to develop a basic sense of trust in the environment through interaction with caregivers. Trust is a natural accompaniment to a strong attachment relationship with a parent who provides food, warmth, and the comfort of physical closeness. But a child whose basic needs are not met, who experiences inconsistent handling, lack of physical closeness, and the frequent absence of a caring adult, may develop a pervasive sense of mistrust, insecurity, and anxiety.

autonomy vs. self-doubt

psychosocial stage; with the development of walking and the beginnings of language, there is an expansion of a child's exploration and manipulation of objects. With these activities should come a comfortable sense of autonomy, or independence, and of being a capable and worthy person. Excessive restriction or criticism at this second stage may lead instead to self-doubts, whereas demands beyond the child's ability can discourage the child's efforts to persevere in mastering new tasks.

initiative vs. guilt

psychosocial stage; toward the end of the preschool period, a child who has developed a basic sense of trust, first in the immediate environment and then in themselves, can now initiate both intellectual and motor activities. The ways that parents respond to the child's self-initiated activities either encourage the sense of freedom and self-confidence needed for the next stage or produce guilt and feelings of being an inept intruder in an adult world.

competence vs. inferiority

psychosocial stage; during the elementary school years, the child who has successfully resolved the crises of the earlier stages is ready to go beyond random exploring and testing to the systematic development of competencies. School and sports offer arenas for learning intellectual and motor skills, and interaction with peers offers an arena for developing social skills. Successful efforts in these pursuits lead to feelings of competence. Some youngsters, however, become spectators rather than performers or experience enough failure to give them a sense of inferiority, leaving them unable to meet the demands of the next life stages.

identity vs. role confusion

psychosocial stage; Erikson believed that the essential crisis of adolescence is discovering one's true identity amid the confusion created by playing many different roles for the different audiences in an expanding social world. Resolving this crisis helps the individual develop a sense of a coherent self; failing to do so adequately may result in a self-image that lacks a central, stable core.

intimacy vs. isolation

psychosocial stage; the essential crisis for the young adult is to resolve the conflict between intimacy and isolation - to develop the capacity to make full emotional, moral, and sexual commitments to other people. Making that kind of commitment requires that the individual compromise some personal preferences, accept some responsibilities, and yield some degree of privacy and independence. Failure to resolve this crisis adequately leads to isolation and the inability to connect to others in psychologically meaningful ways.

generativity vs. stagnation

psychosocial stage; a major opportunity for growth, which occurs during middle adult life, known as generativity. People in their 30s and 40s move beyond a focus on self and partner to broaden their commitments to family, work, society, and future generations. Those people who haven't resolved earlier developmental tasks are still self-indulgent, question past decisions and goals, and pursue freedom at the expense of security.

ego integrity vs. despair

psychosocial stage; a crisis later in adulthood, resolving the crises at each of the earlier stages prepares the older adult to look back without regrets and to enjoy a sense of wholeness. When previous crises are left unresolved, aspirations remain unfulfilled, and the individual experiences futility, despair, and self depreciation.


the lifelong process whereby an individual's behavioral patterns, values, standards, skills, attitudes, and motives are shaped to conform to those regarded as desirable in a particular society. This process involves many people - relatives, friends, teachers - and institutions - schools, houses of worship - that exert pressure on the individual to adopt socially approved values and standards of conduct. The family is the most influential shaper and regulator of this.


a child's biologically based level of emotional and behavioral response to environmental events. Groups of children differ in sensitivity to physical and social stimulation: shy/inhibited babies are consistently "cautious and emotionally reserved when they confront unfamiliar persons or contexts"; the bold/uninhibited babies are consistently "sociable, affectively spontaneous, and minimally fearful in the same unfamiliar situations."


intense, enduring, emotional relationship between a child and the regular caregiver. Social development begins with the establishment of a close emotional relationship between a child and a mother, father, or other regular caregiver. Because children are incapable of feeding or protecting themselves, the earliest function of this is to ensure survival.


a primitive form of learning in which some infant animals physically follow and form an attachment to the first moving object they see and/or hear.

internal working model

a memory structure that gathers together a child's history of interactions with his or her caretakers, the interactions that yielded a particular pattern of attachment. This model provides a template that an individual uses to generate expectations about future social interactions.

securely attached children

within Strange Situations Test; children which show some distress when the parent leaves the room; seek proximity, comfort, and contact upon reunion; and then gradually return to play.

insecurely attached-avoidant children

within Strange Situations Test; children seem aloof and may actively avoid and ignore the parent upon return.

insecurely attached-ambivalent (or resistant)

within Strange Situations Test; children which become quite upset and anxious when the parent leaves; at reunion, they cannot be comforted, and they show anger and resistance to the parent but, at the same time, express a desire for contact.

parenting style

the manner in which parents rear their children; an authoritative parenting style, which balances demandingness and responsiveness, is seen as the most effective. Children bring individual temperaments to their interactions with their parents. These temperaments may make parents' best (or worst) efforts at parenting have unexpected consequences.


parenting style; refers to the parent's willingness to act as a socializing agents, whereas responsiveness refers to the parent's recognition of the child's individuality.


parenting style; make appropriate demands on their children - they demand that their conform to appropriate rules of behavior - but are also responsive to their children. They keep channels of communication open to foster their children's ability to regulate themselves, this style is most likely to produce an effective parent-child bond.


parenting style; parents apply discipline with little attention to the child's autonomy.


parenting style; parents are responsive, but they fail to help children learn about the structure of social rules in which they must live.


parenting style; parents neither apply discipline nor are they responsive to their children's individuality.

contact comfort

comfort derived from an infant's physical contact with the mother or caregiver. In Harlow's monkey experiment, the baby monkeys spent more time with the cloth mother as opposed to the milk mother; using the cloth mother as a source of comfort when frightened and as a base of operations when exploring new stimuli.

human deprivation

circumstances tragically developed within human society for infants in which they are deprived of contact comfort. A lack of close, loving relationships in infancy affects physical growth and survival; studies of hospitalized infants over the years found that, despite adequate nutrition, the children often developed respiratory infections and fevers of unknown origin, failed to gain weight, and showed general signs of physiological deterioration.

the experience of adolescence

a uniquely tumultuous period of life, characterized by extreme mood swings and unpredictable, difficult behavior - 'storm and stress.' Not only is extreme turmoil a sign of adolescence but that failure to exhibit such turmoil is a sign of arrested development. Mead and Benedict argued that the storm-and-stress theory is not applicable to many non-Western cultures. They described cultures in which children gradually take on more and more adult responsibilities without any sudden stressful transition or period of indecision and turmoil.


for cultures like the majority culture in the US, one consequence of adolescence is that children attempt to achieve ____ from their parents. Parents and their adolescent children must weather a transition in their relationship from one in which the adolescent is granted reasonable ____ to make important decisions.

peer relationships

adolescents participate in these relations at the three levels of friendships, cliques, and crowds.


the capcity to make a full commitment - sexual, emotional, and moral - to another person. Can occur in both friendships and romantic relationships, requires openness, courage, ethical strength, and usually some compromise of one's personal preferences; it's a prerequisite for a sense of psychological well-being across the adult life stages.


a commitment beyond one's self and one's partner to family, work, society, and future generations; typically, a crucial state in development in one's 30s and 40s. An orientation toward the greater good allows adults to establish a sense of psychological well-being that offsets any longing for youth.

sex differences

one of the biologically based characteristics that distinguish males from females. These characteristics include different reproductive functions and differences in hormones and anatomy.


a psychological phenomenon that refers to learned sex-related behaviors and attitudes of males and females.

gender identity

one's sense of maleness or femaleness; usually includes awareness and acceptance of one's biological sex.

gender stereotypes

belief about attributes and behaviors regarded as appropriate for males and females in a particular culture.

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