AP Psych Test: Dev Psych

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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

Germinal stage

first 2 weeks Conception, implantation, formation of placenta Fewer than half survive beyond this stage

Embryonic stage

2 weeks - 2 months Formation of vital organs and systems

Fetal stage

2 months - birth Bodily growth continues, movement capability begins, brain cells multiply Age of viability - after 25 weeks (can exist outside of womb)

Maternal nutrition

Malnutrition linked to increased risk of birth complications, neurological problems, and psychopathology

Maternal drug use

Tobacco, alcohol, prescription, and recreational drugs Fetal alcohol syndrome causes face misproportions


Agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo and fetus during prenatal development and cause harm

Grasping reflex

Babies grab something in their palm like a finger

Rooting reflex

Baby will turn towards your hand when you brush their cheek or mouth Helps babies find bottle or nipple for feeding

Cephalocaudal trend

head to foot development babies can move their heads before their feet

Proximodistal trend

center to outward babies can move their limbs before developing fine motor skills


decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.


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


a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information

longnitudinal study

study the same subject/group over time Pro: Allows you to avoid confounding factors Con: people may drop out, takes longer

Cross-sectional study

studying different groups of different ages/characteristics at the same time Pro: Immediate and easier Con: Possible confounding variables Generational differences Events that happen in people’s lives Nature vs nurture


interpreting one's new experience in terms of one's existing schemas


adapting one's current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information

What did Jean Piaget study?

Cognitive development

Sensorimotor stage

infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities, object permanence 0-2 years

object permanence

the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived

preoperational stage

symbolic thinking, use language to express concepts Imagination and intuition is strong, but abstract/logical thought is difficult Conservation developed 2-7 years


the principle that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects


inability of the preoperational child to take another's point of view

theory of mind

people's ideas about their own and others' mental states- about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict

concrete operational stage

children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events. 7-11 years

formal operational stage

people begin to think logically about abstract concepts. 11-adulthood

stranger anxiety

the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age


the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life


an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation

critical period

an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development

What did Erik Erikson study?

Psychosocial development

Erikson Stage 1

Trust vs mistrust Is my world predictable and supportive? 0-1 years

Erikson Stage 2

Autonomy vs shame and doubt Can I do things myself or do I rely on others? 2-3 years

Erikson stage 3

Initiative vs guilt Am I good or bad? 4-6 years

Erikson stage 4

Industry vs inferiority Am I competent or worthless? 6-puberty

Erikson stage 5

Identity vs confusion Who am I and where am I going? adolescence

Erikson stage 6

Intimacy vs isolation Do I share my life or live alone? early adulthood

Erikson stage 7

generativity vs self-absorption Will I produce something of value? middle adulthood

erikson stage 8

Integrity vs despair Have I lived a full life? Late adulthood

What did Kohlberg study?

Moral development

Preconventional level

Right vs wrong determined by what is punished or rewarded

Preconventional 2 stages

Stage 1: obedience and punishment Right vs wrong determined by what you get away with Stage 2: Instrumental relativists Right vs wrong determined by reward

Conventional level

Right vs wrong determined by the approval of other people/social systems

Conventional 2 stages

Stage 3: Good boy/nice girl Right vs wrong determined by approval of others Stage 4: Authority Right vs wrong determined by infallible laws

Postconventional level

Stage 5: Social contract Right vs wrong determined by fallible laws, flexible Stage 6: Universal ethics principle Right vs wrong determined by personal abstract principles using many perspectives

What did freud study?

psychosexual development

Oral stage

Pleasure focused on mouth First 18 months Oral Receptive: oral fixation leads to biting and smoking, passive, needy, sensitive Oral aggressive: oral fixation leads to verbal aggression

Anal stage

Pleasure focused on functions of elimination 1.5-3 years Anal retentive: strict toilet training, obsessively clean, controlling, possessive Anal expulsive: lax toilet training, leads to poor organization and possibly aggression