AP psych: child development

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Developmental psychology


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Developmental Psychology

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Developmental psychology

A branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the lifespan.

What are the three major issues of developmental psychology?

  1. Nature and Nurture 2.continuity and stages

  2. stability and change

Consider these questions: “What parts of development are gradual and continuous, like riding an escalator? What parts change abruptly in separate stages, like climbing rungs on a ladder?“ What development psychology focus is this?

Continuity and stages

Consider these questions: “which of our traits persist through life? How do we change as we age?“ What development psychology focus is this?

Stability and change

Developmental researchers who emphasize learning and experience are supporting ________; those who emphasize biological maturation are supporting ______


What findings in psychology support (1) the stage theory of development and (2)the idea of stability in personality across the life span?

(1) Stage theory is supported by the work of Piaget (cognitive development), Kohlberg (moral development), and Erikson (psychosocial development). (2) Some traits, such as temperament, exhibit remarkable stability across many years.

What happens when an egg and sperm cell meet?

A single sperm cell (male) penetrates the outer coating of the egg (female) and fuses to form one fertilized cell.


A fertilized egg; it enters a two week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo “Then the cells began to differentiate--to specialize in structure and function ("I'll become a brain, you become intestines!").


The developing of human organism from about two weeks after fertilization through the second month


Zygotes outer cells becomes the placenta, The life link that transfers nutrients and oxygen from mother to embryo.


The developing human organism from nine weeks after conception to birth

Are fetuses responsive to sound?

yes, and six months fetuses are responsive to sound. Newborns will prefer their mothers voice, preferred their mothers language, and can recognize hearing words after birth.


agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm (Ex: alcohol and smoking)

fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy drinking. In severe cases, signs include a small, out of the forcing head and abnormal facial features.

The first two weeks of prenatal development is the period of the (1)_____. The period of the (2) _____ lasts from 9 weeks after conception until birth. The time between those two prenatal periods is considered the period of the(3)____.

(1) zygote, (2) fetus, (3) embryo


Decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a stimulus, they’re interest waned and they look away sooner

What do newborns like the stare at?

When shown these two stimuli with the same three elements, Italian newborns spent nearly twice as many seconds looking at the face-like image (Johnson & Morton,1991). Canadian newborns--average age 53 minutes in one study displayed the same apparently inborn preference to look toward faces (Mondloch et al., 1999).

Body organs first begin to form and function during the period of the _____; within 6 months, during the period of the ______; organs are sufficiently functional to provide a good chance of surviving and thriving.

embryo; fetus


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

What age(s) has the most rapid growth in the frontal lobe(rational planning)?

3-6 year olds

What is motor development?

The developing brain enables physical coordination. Skills emerge as infants exercise their maturing muscles and nervous system. (With occasional exceptions, the sequence of physical (motor) development is universal.)

infantile amnesia

The earliest age of conscious memory is around 3 1/2 years.


A concept or framework that organizes and interprets information


interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas


adapting our current understanding, (schemas)to incorporate new information

What is the sensorimotor stage? (piaget)

in piaget’s theory, the stage (from birth to nearly 2 years of age) during which infants know the world, mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities

What is object permanence?

The awareness that things continue to exist, even when not received

What stage does a baby understand the concepts of physics and math?

The sensorimotor stage, from birth to 2

The preoperational stage

in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or seven years old of age) during which a child learns to use language, what does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic.


The principal (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational, reasoning) the properties, such as mass, volume and number, remain the same, despite changes in the forms of objects

what is pretend play?

children imitating what they see around them and how others are behaving, it allows children to experiment with the roles of life

what is symbolic thinking?

the ability to think about objects and events that are not within the immediate environment. It involves the use of signs, symbols, concepts, and abstract relations, as evidenced by language, numeracy, and artistic or ritual expression.


in Piagets theory, the pre operational child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view

Theory of mind

peoples ideas about their own, and others’ mental states — about their feelings, perceptions and thoughts and the behavior these might predict

concrete operational stage

in Piagets theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 7 to 11 years of age) during which children game, the mental operations that enabled them to think logically about concrete events

formal operational stage

in Piagets theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts.


in Vygotsky’s theory, a framework that offers children temporary support as they develop higher levels of thinking

Which of Piagets stages explains when we experience object permanence and stranger anxiety

sensorimotor, experiencing the world through senses and actions looking hearing touching mouthing and grasping (birth to nearly 2 years)

Which of Piagets stages explains when we experience pretend play and egocentrism?

Pre operational, representing things with words and images; using intuitive rather than logical reasoning (2 to 6 or 7 years)

Which of Piagets stages explains when we experience conservation and mathematical transformations?

concrete operational, thinking logically about concrete events, grasping, concrete, analogies and performing arithmetical operations (ages 7 to 11 years)

Which of Piagets stages explains when we experience abstract logic and potential for mature moral reasoning?

formal operational, reasoning abstractly (ages 12 to adulthood)

What cognitive development stage most likely describes this phrase:“thinking about abstract concepts, such as “freedom”

formal operational

What cognitive development stage most likely describes this phrase: enjoying imaginary play, (such as dress up)


What cognitive development stage most likely describes this phrase: “understanding the physical property stay the same, even when objects change form“

concrete operational

What cognitive development stage most likely describes this phrase: “ having the ability to reverse math operations“

concrete operational

What cognitive development stage most likely describes this phrase: “understanding that something is not gone for good when it disappears from sight, as when mom disappears behind the shower curtain”


What cognitive development stage most likely describes this phrase: “having difficulty taking another point of view, (as one block in someone’s view of the TV)


autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

A disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by significant deficiencies in communication and social interaction and buy rigidly, fixated, interest and repetitive behaviors. (spectrum marked by high functionality and low functionality)

What does theory of mind have to do with autism spectrum disorder?

Theory of mind focuses on our ability, so understand our own, and others mental states there is with autism spectrum disorder, struggle with this ability.