AP Psych - Chapter 9: Psychological Development Vocab

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Developmental psychology

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52 Terms

1

Developmental psychology

The psychological specialty that studies how organisms change over time as the result of biological and environmental influences.

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2

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.

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3

Interaction

A process by which forces work together or influence each other - as in the interaction between the forces of heredity and environment.

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4

Identical twins

A pair who started life as a single fertilized egg, which later split into two distinct individuals; have exactly the same genes.

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5

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.

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6

Continuity view

The perspective that development is gradual and continuous.

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7

Discontinuity view

The perspective that development proceeds in an uneven (discontinuous) fashion.

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8

Developmental stages

Periods of life initiated by significant transitions or changes in physical or psychological functioning.

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9

Prenatal period

The developmental period before birth.

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10

Zygote

A fertilized egg.

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11

Embryo

In humans, the name for the developing organism during the first eight weeks after conception.

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12

Fetus

In humans, the term for the developing organism between the embryonic stage and birth.

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13

Placenta

The organ interface between the embryo or fetus and the mother; separates the bloodstreams, but it allows the exchange of nutrients and waste products.

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14

Teratogens

Substances from the environment, including viruses, drugs, and other chemicals, that can damage the developing organism during the prenatal period.

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15

Neonatal period

In humans, this period extends through the first month after birth.

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16

Infancy

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.

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17

Attachment

The enduring social-emotional relationship between a child and a parent or other regular caregiver.

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18

Imprinting

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.

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19

Contact comfort

Stimulation and reassurance derived from the physical touch of a caregiver.

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20

Maturation

The process by which the genetic program manifests itself over time.

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21

Schemas

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.

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22

Assimilation

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.

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23

Accommodation

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.

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24

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.

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25

Mental representation

The ability to form internal mental images of objects and events; part of the sensorimotor stage.

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26

Object permanence

The knowledge that objects exist independently of one's own actions or awareness; part of the sensorimotor stage.

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27

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.

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28

Egocentrism

In Piaget's theory, the self-centered inability to realize that there are other viewpoints beside one's own; part of the preoperational stage.

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Animistic thinking

A preoperational mode of thought in which inanimate objects are imagined to have life and mental processes.

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30

Centration

A preoperational thought pattern involving the inability to take into account more than one factor at a time.

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Irreversibility

The inability, in the preoperational child, to think through a series of events or mental operations and then mentally reverse the steps.

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32

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.

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33

Conservation

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.

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34

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.

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35

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.

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36

Temperament

An individual's characteristic manner of behavior or reaction - assumed to have a strong genetic basis. May be linked to personality.

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37

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.

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38

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.

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Adolescence

In industrial societies, a developmental period beginning at puberty and ending (less clearly) at adulthood.

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40

Rites of passage

Social rituals that mark the transition between developmental stages, especially between childhood and adulthood.

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Puberty

The onset of sexual maturity.

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42

Primary sex characteristics

The sex organs and genitalia present typically at birth.

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43

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.

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44

Formal operational stage

The last of Piaget's stages, during which abstract thought appears; occurs from adolescence to death.

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45

Generativity

In Erikson's theory, a process of making a commitment beyond oneself to family, work, society, or future generations.

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46

Alzheimer's disease

A degenerative brain disease usually noticed first by its debilitating effects on memory.

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47

Selective social interaction

Choosing to restrict the number of one's social contacts to those who are the most gratifying.

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48

Denial

Refusing to believe the individual is sick.

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49

Anger

Patient displays anger that they are sick, "why me!"

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50

Bargaining

Making a deal, in return for a cure, they will fulfill promises.

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51

Depression

Generally depressed affect includes sleep, loss of appetite, etc.

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52

Acceptance

Realization that death is inevitable and accepts fate.

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