UNIT 2: Developmental Psychology

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71 Terms
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critical period
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences leads to development
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience (ex. you can't rush the process of learning to walk)
pruning process
shuts down unused neural pathways and strengthens others
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 that damage the process of development (ex. alcohol, drugs, viruses, etc.)
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
the transition period from childhood to adulthood
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
secondary sex characteristics
nonreproductive sexual characteristics (ex. wider hips, body hair, deeper voice, etc.)
X chromosome
the sex chromosome found in both men and women (XX = female)
Y chromosome
the sex chromosome found only in males (XY = male)
male hormone
gradual ending of menstruation
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation (ex. as infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner)
a concept that organizes and interprets information
interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas
forming a new schema or drastically altering one
sensorimotor stage (0-2)
Child explores the world through interaction with environment through five senses, needs to develop object permanence and stranger anxiety
object permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when they are not within sight
stranger anxiety
infants learn to differentiate between people and become wary of strangers
preoperational stage (2-6/7)
Child learns to use language but still struggles with logic since they have not mastered conservation and continue to experience egocentrism and Theory of Mind
mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
Difficulty taking another's point of view (ex. I have a sister named Mary. Does Mary have a sister? Nope :D
Theory of Mind
ability to reason about what other people know or believe (graduating from egocentrism :D)
concrete operational stage (7-12)
Child understands simple logic, reversibility, and conservation
principle that objects can be changed, but then returned back to their original form or condition (ex. 1+2 = 2+1 and water can be poured into something and also poured back into where it came from without any changes made)
formal operational stage (12+)
People begin to think logically about abstract concepts
criticism of Piaget
Stages are too rigid
Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development Theory
the more the difficult a task is, the more guidance the child needs to master it --> scaffolding/guided learning
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Communication deficits, restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, or activities (ex. Theory of Mind is not mastered)
some animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life (Lorenz and his geese)
Ainsworth's Strange Situation
Measured how attached a child was towards a caregiver by looking for separation/stranger anxiety and response to reunion
Harlow Experiment
Proved contact comfort by experimenting on baby monkeys, who preferred "cloth mother" over the "wire mother" that gave food because "cloth mother" gave reassurance from physical touch
secure attachment
able to separate from parent, seek comfort from parent when scared, and prefers parents to strangers --> have long-lasting relationships and tendency to seek support as an adult
insecure attachment
avoidant (little preference between parent and stranger --> not willing to share feelings as an adult) and ambivalent (not comforted by return of parent but distressed when parent leaves --> reluctant to be close with others as an adult)
a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity (easy, slow-to-warm, difficult, and no-single-category babies)
Baumrind's Parenting Styles
authoritarian, authoritative (ideal), neglectful, permissive
Studied psychosocial development across the lifespan
relational aggression
behavior that is meant to harm the social standing of another person (ex. gossip) and women are more likely to do this
cross-sectional study
comparing people of different ages at the same time
cohort-sequential study
different groups over a small period of time
longitudinal study
follows and retests same group over a long period of time
retrospective study
remembering (ex. tell me about your childhood)
Alzheimer's disease
an irreversible, progressive brain disorder characterized by the deterioration of memory, language, and eventually, physical functioning
social clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement
Kohlberg's Morality Stages
preconventional, conventional, postconventional
preconventional morality
morality of self-interest
conventional morality
morality of law and social order
postconventional morality
actions reflect belief in basic rights and self-defined ethical principles
displaying both traditional masculine and feminine psychological characteristics
an umbrella term describing people whose gender identity or expression differs from that associated with their birth sex
possessing biological sexual characteristics of both sexes
sexual orientation
sexual attraction toward members of one's own sex and/or the other sex
sex vs gender
biologically defined status by chromosomes and physical anatomy vs socially influenced characteristics by which people define boys and girls
criticism of Kohlberg
Gilligan: cultural bias, sexism, and the existence of moral intuition
outcome of authoritarian parenting
obedient but unhappy
outcome of authoritative parenting
high self-esteem and good relationships
outcome of permissive parenting
lack of self-control
outcome of neglectful parenting
difficulty trusting others
trust vs. mistrust
first stage in which infants learn to trust when they are cared for in a consistent warm manner
autonomy vs. shame/doubt
second stage in which a toddler learns to do things independently; failure to do so causes shame and doubt
initiative vs. guilt
third stage in which the child finds independence in planning, playing and other activities
industry vs. inferiority
fourth stage in which child learns to be productive and perform tasks
identity vs. role confusion
fifth stage in which teenagers search for and become their true selves
intimacy vs. isolation
sixth stage in which young adults struggle to form deeply personal relationships
generativity vs. stagnation
seventh stage in which middle-aged people try to find their purpose and want to contribute to the world (kind of like mid-life crisis)
integrity vs. despair
eighth stage in which old people reflect on their lives either with fulfillment or regret

mere exposure effect

tendency to develop a preference for something merely due to being familiar with it