Introduction to Developmental Psychology

Correlation
The strength of the relationship between two or more events/characteristics. Correlation does not equal causation.
Random Sample
A small group of individuals (sample) chosen at random from a larger group (population).
Random Assignment
Researchers assign participants to either experimental or control group by CHANCE.
Case Study
An in-depth look at a single individual.
Nature
Organism’s biological inheritance.
Nurture
Environmental experiences.
Conception
Beginning of development, when two parental cells meet to create a new individual.
Plasticity
The capacity for change. How capable are you of change at different points in your development?
Culture
The behavior patterns, beliefs, and all other products of a group that are passed on from generation to generation.
Ethnicity
A range of characteristics rooted in cultural heritage, including nationality, race, religion, and language.
SES
Socioeconomic Status. Refers to the conceptual grouping of people with similar occupational, educational, and economic characteristics.
Eclectic Orientation
Approach that uses/includes whatever is considered best from multiple theories.
Cohort
Group of people who are born at a similar point in history and share similar experiences as a result (like living through the Vietnam war, or growing up in the same city around the same time).
Cohort Effects
Die to a person’s time of birth, era, or generation (but not actual age). Can powerfully affect the dependent measures in a study ostensibly concerned with age. (Ex. Availability of education vs. intelligence).
Normative Age-Graded
Biological and environmental influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group. (Puberty, menopause, beginning formal education, retirement).
Normative History-Graded
Biological and environmental influences that are associated with history. These influences are common to people of a particular generation. (Vietnam, Great Depression, 9/11).
Non-Normative Life Events
Unusual occurrences that have a major impact on a person’s life. The occurrence, pattern, and sequence of these events are not applicable to many individuals.
Adoption Studies
Seek to discover whether the behavior and psychological characteristics of adopted children are more like those of their adoptive parents, who have provided a home environment, or more like those of their biological parents, who have contributed to their heredity.
Twin Studies
Behavioral similarities between identical twins is compared with the behavioral similarities between fraternal twins. (If identical twins have a more commonly similar trait than fraternal twins, it may have a genetic basis.
Imitation
Baby’s imitation is part of a biological response and an adapted need to survive
Role Models
Important in observational learning–is this person a role model for you? What type of role model?
Schemes
In Piaget’s theory, actions or mental representations that organize knowledge. Used to construct an understanding of the world (by infants/children).
Accommodation
Children adjust their schemes to take new information and experience into account. (Ex. Excludes motor cycles/trucks from scheme for “cars”).
Assimilation
Children use their existing schemes to deal with new information. (Ex. Classifies motorcycles/trucks as “cars” once “car” is a learned object.)
Evoking Stimuli
Stimulus meant to evoke a specific response.
Motherese
Child-directed speech meant to illicit reaction (high-pitched, babbling, repetitive).
Sensitive Periods
A window in a child’s development when they’re most ready to develop in a certain way, but may not due to various environmental reasons.
Genotype
All of a person’s genetic material.
Phenotype
Observable characteristics, including physical and psychological characteristics.
Attachment
A close emotional bond between two people. Securely attached babies use the caregiver as a secure base from which to explore the environment. Insecure Avoidant babies avoid their mother. Insecure Resistant babies oten cling to the caregiver, then resist her by fighting against her closeness.
Epigenetics
Epigenetic view states that development is the result of an ongoing, bidirectional interchange between heredity and the environment. (Ex. During prenatal development, toxins/nutrition/stress influence some genes to stop working while others strengthen/weaken. During infancy, additional environmental experiences continue to modify genetic activity and the activity of the nervous system that directly underlies behavior.
Positive Reinforcement
Offer reward after desired behavior occurs to increase behavior. Operant Conditioning.
Negative Reinforcement
Put subject in bad/fearful state, subject does desired behavior, remove bad/fearful state to increase desired behavior.
Punishment
Can instill fear, rage, or avoidance. Models poor ways of handling stressful situations. Use after undesired behavior to decrease behavior.
Classical Conditioning
At first, the stimulus evokes a response, and the unconditioned stimulus evokes the natural response. Then you pair the stimulus with the unconditioned stimulus to evoke the unconditioned response, and eventually you can just show the conditioned stimulus and evoke the conditioned response.
Operant Conditioning
Waiting for the behavior to occur, and then shaping through positive reinforcement, punishment, negative reinforcement, or positive punishment.
Reconstructive Memory
When the act of memory is influenced by perception, imagination, semantic memory, beliefs, retroactive interference, etc.
Egocentrism
The inability to distinguish between one’s own perspective and someone else’s perspective. (First substage of pre-operational thought).
Animism
The belief that inanimate objects have lifelike qualities and are capable of action. “The sidewalk made me fall down.”
Conservation
Awareness that altering an object’s or a substance’s appearance does not change its basic properties. (Pre-operational stage of cognitive development.)
Object Permanence
The understanding that objects and events continue to exist, even when they cannot directly be seen, heard, or touched. (Sensorimotor Stage of Piaget’s cognitive theory).
IQ
A person’s mental age divided by chronical age, multiplied by 100. Developed by William Stern.
Authoritarian
Restrictive, punitive style in which parents exhort the child to follow the directions and to respect work and effort. Places firm limits and controls on the child and allows little verbal exchange. Authoritarian parenting is associated with children’s social incompetence.
Authoritative
Parenting style in which parents encourage their children to be independent but still place limits and controls on their actions. Extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed, and parents are warm and nurturant toward the child. Authoritative parenting is associated with children’s social competence.
Neglectful
Neglectful parenting is a style in which the parent is uninvolved in the child’s life. Children whose parents are neglectful develop the sense that other aspects of the parents’ lives are more important than they are. These children tend to be socially incompetent. Many have poor self-control and don’t handle independence well. They frequently have low self-esteem, are immature, and may be alienated from the family. In adolescence, they may show patterns of truancy and delinquency.
Indulgent
A style of parenting in which parents are highly involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them. Indulgent parenting is associated with children’s social incompetence, especially a lack of self-control. May be domineering, egocentric, noncompliant, etc.
Theory of Mind
Refers to the awareness of one’s own mental processes and the mental processes of others. 2-3 yrs: perceptions/emotions/desires. 4-5: False beliefs. 5+: See mind as constructor of knowledge or processing center.
Habituation/Dishabituation
Habituation is the name given to decreased responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated presentations. Dishabituation is the recovery of a habituated response after a change in stimulation. (Ex. changing image, or noise).
Teratogen
Any agent that can potentially cause a birth defect or negatively alter cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Teratogens include drugs, incompatible blood types, environmental pollutants, infectious disease, nutritional deficiencies, maternal stress, and advanced p/maternal age.
Direct & Indirect Media Effects
Direct effects include stereotyping, violence, etc. Indirect effects include decline in social skills/sleep/homework, and increase in obesity/eating.
Id, Ego, Superego
Freud said that there was conscious, which you could control, and the subconscious. He said that the Id was living in the subconscious was just had primordial desires that wanted stuff like food and sex. Then there was the Superego that did not want pleasures of love, and was just pure intellect and rationality. The ego is the middle ground, the referee between the two different things, Id and Superego. All of this is going on the subconscious.
Menarche
Girl’s first menstruation.
Amygdala
The region of the brain concerned with emotions.
Mid-life Crisis
Self-fulfilling prophecy (or more stereotyped in 40’s).
Empty Nest Syndrome
Only 5% of women, 3% of men. Women’s identity is tied up with being a mother, results in depression/paralysis.
Gerontology
the scientific study of the physiological and pathological phenomena associated with aging.
Life Expectancy
The number of years that will probably be lived by the average person born in a particular year.
Centenarian
one who is 100 or older
Ageism
Prejudice against other people because of their age, especially prejudice against older adults. Older adults are often perceived as incapable of thinking clearly, learning, enjoying sex, contributing to the community, or holding responsible jobs.
Alzheimer Disease
Progressive, irreversible brain disorder that involves a gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and physical functioning.
Dementia
Set of cognitive disorders marked by progressive decline/deterioration of intelligence, memory, and behavior caused by many behaviors, including Huntington’s, Lou Gehrig’s, brain tumor, etc.
Piaget
(Cognitive-Developmental) The theory that children construct their understanding of the world and go through four stages of cognitive development. Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, Formal Operational.
Vygotsky
(Cognitive Sociocultural) A sociocultural cognitive theory that emphaszies how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development.
Freud
(Psychosexual) Freud believed current problems are a result of early life experiences. Oral Stage/Anal Stage/Phallic Stage/Latency/Genital.
Erikson
(Psychosocial) A psychoanalytic theory in which eight stages of psychosocial development unfold throughout the lifespan. Trust vs. Mistrust/ Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt/ Initiative vs. Guilt/ Industry vs. Inferiority/ Identity vs. Identity Confusion/ Intimacy vs. Isolation/ Generativity vs. Stagnation/ Integrity vs. Despair.
Bandura
(Cognitive Social Learning) Behavior, environment, and person/cognitive factors are the key factors in development. Key in Observational Learning.
Skinner
(Behaviorism) Operant conditioning, the consequences of a behavior produce changes in the probability of the behavior’s reccurrence.
Bronfenbrenner
(Ecological) Focuses on five environmental systems: Microsystem (Setting in which the individual lives), Mesosystem (Relations between microsystems or connections between contexts), Exosystem (Links between a social setting in which the individual has a passive role and the individual’s immediate context), Macrosystem (Culture), Chronosystem (Patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life course, as well as sociohistorical circumstances).
Ethological Theory
An approach that stresses that behavior is strongly influenced by biology, tied to evolution, and characterized by critical or sensitive periods. Study of animals in their natural habitat.
Information-Processing Theory
A theory that emphasizes that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it. The processes of memory and thinking are central.
3 Early Philosophical View on Children
1) Original Sin: Children are born bad, society must train them. 2) Innate Goodness: Children are born good, allow them freedom to flourish. 3) Tabula Rasa: Child born “blank slate”, how they turn out is entirely due to their environment.
Baltes’ Characteristics of Life-Span Approach
Views development as lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary, and contextual. Involves growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss.
Kohlberg
(Moral Reasoning) Preconventional (Heteronomous Morality-Punishment) (Individualism, Instrumental Purpose, and Exchange- Equal Exchange). Conventional (Interpersonal- Value trust, caring, and loyalty “Good boy”.) (Social Morality-Social Order, law, justice, duty). Postconventional (Social Contract- Values/rights/principles transcend the law) (Ethics- Moral judgment based on universal human rights. Conscience)
Elkind
(Adolescent Egocentrism) Heightened self-consciousness of adolescents. Consists of imaginary audience and personal fable. Imaginary Audience: Adolescents’ belief that others are as interested in them as they are. “On stage” behavior. Personal Fable: Adolescent’s sense of uniqueness and invincibility. “No one understands me.”
Sternberg
(Types of Intelligence) Triarchic Theory of intelligence, which states that intelligence consists of analytical intelligence, creative intelligence, and practical intelligence.
Baumrind
(Styles of Parenting) Authoritatiran, Authoritative, Neglectful, Indulgent.
Ainsworth
(Attachment, Strange Situation) Securely Attached: Use caregiver as a secure base from which to explore the environment. Insecure Avoidant: Avoid caregiver. Insecure Resistant: Cling to caregiver, then resist.
Condry
(Rules for Authoritative Parenting)
Cross-Sectional
Research strategy in which individuals of different ages are compared at one time. Can collect a lot of data at one time. No waiting for growth of participants. No information about how individuals change, or about the stability of character.
Longitudinal
Research strategy in which the same individuals are studied over a period of time, usually several years or more. Provide a LOT of information about development. Expensive and time-consuming. Participants drop out, and the ones who stay may all be similar, making the participant pool biased.
Sequential
Combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional studies.
Independent Variable
The manipulated variable, the influential experimental factor, potential cause.
Dependent Variable
Factor that can change in an experiment, in response to changes in the independent variable. Dependent variable is measured for resulting effects from the IV.
Experiment
A carefully regulated procedure in which one or more factors believed to influence the behavior being studied are manipulated while all other factors are held constant.

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