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ap psych revised ch. 4 words

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 noticable facial misproportions

rooting reflex

A baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to open the mouth and search for the nipple


Decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation


Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively unifluenced by experience


A concept or framework that organizes and interprets information


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


Adjusting our schemas to fit the particulars of new experiences


All the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating

sensorimotor stage

In Piaget's theory, the stage 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 during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic


The principle that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objetcs


In Piaget's theory, the inability of the preoperational child to take another's point of view

theory of mind

People's ideas about their own and other's mental states - feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and behaviors


A disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind

concrete operational stage

In Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development 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 during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts

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 from attachments during a critical period very early in life

basic trust

According to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy


A sense of one's identity and personal worth


The transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending fro 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


The first menstrual period


One's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles


In Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships


The time of natural cessation of menstruation

Alzheimer's disease

A progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and physical functioning

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

One's accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends ti increase with age

fluid intelligence

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

social clock

The culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood,and retirement

Preconventional Morality

Obeying either to avoid punishment, or to gain concrete rewards; usually occurs before the age of 9

Conventional Morality

Cares for others and upholds laws and social rules simply because thy are the laws and rules

Postconventional Morality

Affirms peoples agreed upon rights, or follows what one personally perceives as basic ethical principles

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