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35 terms

Child Psychology Chapter 1

Themes and Theories
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accommodation
In Piagetian theory, a component of adaptation; process of modification in thinking (schemes) that takes place when old ways of understanding something no longer fit.
adaptation
In Piagetian theory, the inborn tendency to adjust or become more attuned to conditions imposed by the environment; takes place through assimilation and accommodation.
assimilation
In Piagetian theory, a component of adaptation; process of interpreting an experience in terms of current ways (schemes) of understanding things.
behaviorism
Learning theory perspective that explains the development of behavior according to the principles of classical and operant conditioning.
bioecological model
Bronfenbrenner's theory that development is influenced by experiences arising from broader biological, social, and cultural systems as well as a child's immediate surroundings.
chronosystem
In Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, the constantly changing temporal component of the environment that can influence development.
cognitive-developmental theory
Theoretical orientation, most frequently associated with Piaget, emphasizing the active construction of psychological structures to interpret experience.
development
Physical and psychological changes in the individual over a lifetime.
developmental psychology
Systematic and scientific study of changes in human behaviors and mental activities over time.
developmental science
The interdisciplinary field of research and theories concerned with studies and explanations of human development.
dynamic systems theory
Theoretical orientation that explains development as the emerging organization arising from the interaction of many different processes.
empiricism
Theory that environmental experiences shape the individual; more specifically, that all knowledge is derived from sensory experiences.
equilibration
In Piagetian theory, an innate self-regulatory process that, through accommodation and assimilation, results in more organized and powerful schemes for adapting to the environment.
ethology
Theoretical orientation and discipline concerned with the evolutionary origins of behavior and its adaptive and survival value in animals, including humans.
exosystem
In Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, environmental settings that indirectly affect the child by influencing the various microsystems forming the child's immediate environment.
identity
In Eriksonian psychosocial theory, the acceptance of both self and society, a concept that must be achieved at every stage but is especially important during adolescence.
imprinting
Form of learning, difficult to reverse, during a sensitive period in development in which an organism tends to stay near a particular stimulus.
individual differences
Unique characteristics that distinguish a person from other members of a larger group.
information processing
Theoretical approach that views humans as having a limited ability to process information, much like computers.
learning
Relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of such experiences as exploration, observation, and practice.
macrosystem
In Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, major historical events and the broad values, practices, and customs shared by a culture.
mesosystem
In Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, the environment provided by the interrelationships among the various settings of the microsystem.
microsystem
In Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, the immediate environment provided in such settings as the home, school, workplace, and neighborhood.
nature-nurture debate
Historically, the theoretical controversy over whether development is the result of the child's genetic endowment or environmental influences.
observational learning
Learning that takes place by simply observing another person's behavior.
organization
In Piagetian theory, the inborn tendency for structures and processes to become more systematic and coherent.
psychosocial theory of development
Erikson's theory that personality develops through eight stages of adaptive functioning to meet the demands framed by society.
scheme
In Piagetian theory, the mental structure underlying a coordinated and systematic pattern of behaviors or thinking applied across similar objects or situations.
sensitive period
Brief period during which specific kinds of experiences have significant positive or negative consequences for development and behavior; also called critical period.
social learning theory
Theoretical approach emphasizing the importance of learning through observation and imitation of behaviors modeled by others.
social policy
Programs and plans established by local, regional, or national public and private organizations and agencies designed to achieve a particular social purpose or goal.
sociocultural theory
Vygotsky's developmental theory emphasizing the importance of cultural tools, symbols, and ways of thinking that the child acquires from more knowledgeable members of the community.
stage
Developmental period during which the organization of thought and behavior is qualitatively different from that of an earlier or later period.
systems views
Theories of development that are concerned with the effects of a broad range of biological, physical, and sociocultural settings on the process of development.
theories
Sets of ideas or propositions that help to organize or explain observable phenomena.