AP Psych - Chapter 9: Psychological Development Vocab

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Developmental psychology
The psychological specialty that studies how organisms change over time as the result of biological and environmental influences.
Nature-nurture issue
The long standing discussion over the relative importance of nature (heredity) and nurture (environment) in their influence on behavior and mental processes.
A process by which forces work together or influence each other - as in the interaction between the forces of heredity and environment.
Identical twins
A pair who started life as a single fertilized egg, which later split into two distinct individuals; have exactly the same genes.
Fraternal twins
A pair who started life as two separate fertilized eggs that happened to share the same womb; on average have about 50% of their genetic material in common.
Continuity view
The perspective that development is gradual and continuous.
Discontinuity view
The perspective that development proceeds in an uneven (discontinuous) fashion.
Developmental stages
Periods of life initiated by significant transitions or changes in physical or psychological functioning.
Prenatal period
The developmental period before birth.
A fertilized egg.
In humans, the name for the developing organism during the first eight weeks after conception.
In humans, the term for the developing organism between the embryonic stage and birth.
The organ interface between the embryo or fetus and the mother; separates the bloodstreams, but it allows the exchange of nutrients and waste products.
Substances from the environment, including viruses, drugs, and other chemicals, that can damage the developing organism during the prenatal period.
Neonatal period
In humans, this period extends through the first month after birth.
In humans, this period spans the time between the end of the neonatal period and the establishment of language - usually at about 18 months to 2 years.
The enduring social-emotional relationship between a child and a parent or other regular caregiver.
A primitive form of learning in which some young animals follow and form an attachment to the first moving object they see and hear. Lorenz.
Contact comfort
Stimulation and reassurance derived from the physical touch of a caregiver.
The process by which the genetic program manifests itself over time.
In Piaget's theory, mental structures or programs whose formation and reformation guide a developing child's thought. ie: All dogs are loud, male, and black.
A mental process that modifies information newly encountered to fit it into existing schemas. ie: I knew that all dogs are loud, male, and black, but this one is a brown female, I have to decide if it is a dog.
A mental process that restructures existing schemas so that new information is better understood. ie: I once thought that all dogs are loud, male, and black, but now I know that some can also be quiet and brown. I have refined my understanding.
Sensorimotor stage
The first stage in Piaget's theory, during which the child relies heavily on innate motor responses to stimuli; occurs from birth to about age 2.
Mental representation
The ability to form internal mental images of objects and events; part of the sensorimotor stage.
Object permanence
The knowledge that objects exist independently of one's own actions or awareness; part of the sensorimotor stage.
Preoperational stage
The second stage of Piaget's theory, marked by well-developed mental representation and the use of language; occurs from about 2 to 6/7 years of age.
In Piaget's theory, the self-centered inability to realize that there are other viewpoints beside one's own; part of the preoperational stage.
Animistic thinking
A preoperational mode of thought in which inanimate objects are imagined to have life and mental processes.
A preoperational thought pattern involving the inability to take into account more than one factor at a time.
The inability, in the preoperational child, to think through a series of events or mental operations and then mentally reverse the steps.
Concrete operational stage
The third of Piaget's stages, when a child understands conservation but is still incapable of abstract thought; occurs from about 7 to 11 years of age. ie: they know that the two slices of pie are diff shape, but the same mass, but they will still have issues with "this person did a bad thing, so this person is totally bad" rather than understanding nuance.
The understanding that the physical properties of an object or substance do not change when appearances change but nothing is added or taken away; part of the concrete operational stage. ie chocolate milk is too hot from microwave, so gets poured into shorter mug. Is the same amount of choco milk in the two mugs, they are just shaped differently.
Mental operations
Solving problems by manipulating images in one's mind; part of the concrete operational stage. ie: being able to give directions or explain a thought process.
Theory of mind
An awareness that other people's behavior may be influenced by beliefs, desires, and emotions that differ from one's own. Should be present at some point in concrete operational.
An individual's characteristic manner of behavior or reaction - assumed to have a strong genetic basis. May be linked to personality.
Zone of proximal development
The difference between what a child can do with help and what the child can do without any help. The ideal range of challenge, not too frustrating, but not too easy. Vygotsky.
Psychosocial stages
In Erikson's theory, the developmental stages refer to eight major challenges that appear successively across the lifespan, which require an individual to rethink his or her goals and relationships with others.
In industrial societies, a developmental period beginning at puberty and ending (less clearly) at adulthood.
Rites of passage
Social rituals that mark the transition between developmental stages, especially between childhood and adulthood.
The onset of sexual maturity.
Primary sex characteristics
The sex organs and genitalia present typically at birth.
Secondary sex characteristics
Gender-related physical features that develop during puberty, including facial hair and deepening voice in males, widened hips and enlarged breasts in females, and the development of pubic hair in both sexes.
Formal operational stage
The last of Piaget's stages, during which abstract thought appears; occurs from adolescence to death.
In Erikson's theory, a process of making a commitment beyond oneself to family, work, society, or future generations.
Alzheimer's disease
A degenerative brain disease usually noticed first by its debilitating effects on memory.
Selective social interaction
Choosing to restrict the number of one's social contacts to those who are the most gratifying.
Refusing to believe the individual is sick.
Patient displays anger that they are sick, "why me!"
Making a deal, in return for a cure, they will fulfill promises.
Generally depressed affect includes sleep, loss of appetite, etc.
Realization that death is inevitable and accepts fate.