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41 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
developmental psychology
study of how humans change and develop over time (lifespan) / roles of nature and nuture are not easily seperated
biologically changes that follow an orderly sequence each step setting the stage in the next step
critical period
periods of special sensitivity to specific types of learning that shape the capacity for future development

suggest theory that the brain is wired to aquire a function only during a certain time interval

phenomenon will not appear again

begins/ends abrutly

if key experiences are not present during crit period, the function may not develop
ex: measles can cauase mental retardation if contracted during certain fetal periods
ex: genie
sensitive periods
times that are more impt to subsequent development than others
discrete steps that everyone goes through
continous stage
refers to gradual alteration of behavior
discontinous stage
refers to stages of growth that are qualitatively diff and that are usually ordered in a fixed sequence
cross-sectional studies
compare groups of individuals of diff ages at the same time to see whether diff exist among them / useful for assessing age diff / not useful for examining age changes

ex: compare memory of 3,5,and 7 yr olds
longitudal method
assess the same individuals over time @ multiple points in time

ex: memory abilities of 3yr olds and again 1 yr later
sequential studies
study multiple cohorts (age groups) longitudinally
cognitive development in children
process by which infants and then children get to know things about themselves and their world
orienting reflex
tendency to pay attention to novel stimuli instead of habituated stimuli / longer fixatoin times occur w/novel stimuli / brain waves differ w/novel and habituatated stimuli
sucking reflex
sucking rate increases w/novel stimuli
infant sensory capacities - 3
1) infants respond w/changes in rate and movement

2) hearing is well developed at birth - they can recognize mother's voice before they are born

3) visual perception is poor @ birth but improves to 20/100 by 6mons
intermodal processing
ability to associate sensations of an obj from diff senses or to match their own actions to behaviors they have observed visually

ex: infants turn heads towards sound
stage theories of development - 3
1) progress through stages in order

2) progress through stages related to age

3) major discontinuities in development
erik erikson
8 stages spanning lifespan
jean piaget
4 periods of lifespan

most complete and detailed description of process of child development
jean piaget's career
started out administering IQ tests under Binet / got intereseted in why children of the same age make same mistakes
piaget believed children of diff cognitive maturity levels...
react to the same experience very differently / children think both quantitatively and qualitatively diff
piaget's theory - 2
1) process of cognitive development used throughout life

2) stages of cognitive development
branch of philosophy concerned w/nature of knowledge
piaget believed that a child constructs new mental processes as ...
he/she interacts w/ the enviorment
piaget argued that children have...
schemas - organized patterns of thought of behavior / schemas organize past experiences and provide framework for understanding future ones / old schemas are changed as child matures
piaget proposed 2 adaptive intellectual processes
1) assimilation - involves interpreting actions or events in terms of one's present schemas / enables child to understand info using old ideas
ex: all 4 legged animals are dogs

2) accommodation - modification of schemas to fit reality / alter old schema to fit new one / allows children to aquire new ideas
ex: a dolphin is not a dog
piaget's 4 stages and major milestones
1) sensorimotor - permanence

2) preoperational - operations

3) concrete operational - conservation

4) formal operation - abstraction
sensorimotor stage
birth - 2yrs

stage in which infants think w/their hands, mouths and senses

ex: grasping and sucking refelx

bound by sensations and actions and are capable of little explicit reasoning
object permanence - piaget believed...
recognition that objs exist in time and space independent of the child's actions or observation

piaget believed infants lacked this concept
ex: hit ball behind back...obj no longer exists
in sensoriomotor stage

a person is thoroughly embedded in their own point of view

infant had diff understanding the views of others
concrete operations stage
age 7-12

children are capable of operation/mentally manipulating conrete objs in ways that are reversible

ability to perform logical analyses / empathize / cuase effect relations better understood / symbolic thought
realization that an obj's properties remain stable even though superficial properties might be changed

major achievement in concrete operations stage
formal operations stage
age 12-13 and up

ability to manipulate abstract and concrete objs, events and ideas mentally

form hypotheses and alternatives and test them against reality when prblm solving

some people never reach this stage
cognitive disequilibrium
a mechanism of development, where the child tries to balance the way his mind works and reality

ex: when children encounter unexpected feedback

disequilibrium is brought about through assimilation and accomodation - motivating the child to find the equilibrium
piaget's criticisms - 6
1) focused heavily on rational thinking

2) assumption that children will be at one stage or another

3) underestimates the capacities of infants and preschool

4) rarely considered the role of culture in cognitive development

5) many studies lacked proper controls - he used his own children - bias

6) stages may have stopped too soon - later theorists suggest a post formal operations stage
psychomotor slowing
increase in time for processing and acting on info

slows w/age
working memory
1) older ppl have prblms w/ simultaneoius storage and processing info
ex: adding up groceries
ex:keeping track of cars at a 4way stop sign
LTM and aging
not an issue

retrieval is more difficult
intelligence changes w/age but depends on...
specific aspect of intelligence that is assessed
fluid and crystallized intelligence
fluid - decrease w/age

crystallized - increases w/age
dementia and causes
a progressive and incurable disorder marked by global disturbances of higher mental functions

only 5% of older adults show demetia

1) toxins
2) diseases - parkinsons, alzheimers, hunningtons, aids
alzheimer's disease
progressive incurable illness that destroys neurons in brain, severely impairing memory, reasoning, perception, lang and behavior