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110 Cards in this Set

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Mastery-oriented attributions

Children who are high in academic self-esteem and motivation make these attributions, as they credit their successes to ability, which is a characteristic they can improve through trying hard and an ability they can count on when faced with new challenges. And they attribute failure to factors that can be changed or controlled, such as insufficient effort or a difficult task.

- Whether these children succeed or fail, they take an industrious, persistent approach to learning.

learned helplessness

Children who develop this mindset attribute their failures, not their successes, to ability. When they succeed, they conclude that external factors, such as luck, are responsible. Unlike their mastery-oriented counterparts, they believe that ability is fixed and cannot be improved by trying hard.

- When a task is difficult, these children experience an anxious loss of control—in Erikson’s terms, a pervasive sense of inferiority. They give up without really trying.

Longitudinal developmental research design

The investigator studies the same group of participants repeatedly at different ages.

Strengths: Permits study of common patterns and individual differences in development and relationships between early and later events and behaviors.

Limitations: Age-related changes may be distorted because of participant dropout, practice effects, and cohort effects.

Practice effects

One of the problems in conducting longitudinal research because participant’s performance may improve because of these, which are better test-taking skills and increased familiarity with the test—not because of factors commonly associated with development.

Cohort effects

This is the most widely discussed threat to the accuracy of longitudinal findings.

- Individuals born in the same time period are influenced by a particular set of historical and cultural conditions. Results based on one group of people may not apply to people developing at other times.

Cross-sectional developmental research design

The investigator studies groups of participants differing in age at the same point in time.

Strengths: More efficient than the longitudinal design. Not plagued by such problems as participant dropout and practice effects

Limitations: Does not permit study of individual developmental trends. Age differences may be distorted because of cohort effects.

Correlational general research design

The investigator obtains information on participants without altering their experiences. Then they look at relationships between participants’ characteristics.

Strengths: Permits study of relationships between variables.

Limitations: Does not permit inferences about cause-and-effect relationships.

correlation coefficient

A number, ranging from +1.00 to –1.00, that describes the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.

- a number that describes how two measures, or variables, are associated with each other.

experimental design

A research design in which investigators randomly assign participants to two or more treatment conditions and then study the effect that manipulating an independent variable has on a dependent variable.

- Permits inferences about cause and effect.


An individual’s directly observable physical and behavioral characteristics, which are determined by both genetic and environmental factors.

- are also affected by each person’s lifelong history of experiences.


the complex blend of genetic ­information that determines our species and influences all our unique characteristics.


Within each of the trillions of cells in the human body (except red blood cells) is a control center, or nucleus, that contains rodlike structures, which store and transmit genetic information.


A segment of DNA along the length of the chromosome containing instructions for making proteins that contribute to body growth and functioning.

Peer acceptance

refers to likability—the extent to which a child is viewed by a group of agemates, such as classmates, as a worthy social partner.

- Unlike friendship, likability is not a mutual relationship but a one-sided perspective, involving the group’s view of an individual.

- Nevertheless, better-accepted children tend to be socially competent and, as a result, have more friends and more positive relationships with them

Popular children

Children who receive many positive votes on self-report measures of peer acceptance, indicating they are well-liked.

popular-prosocial children

A subgroup of popular children who combine academic and social competence and are both well-liked and admired.

popular-antisocial children

A subgroup of popular children who are admired for their socially adept yet belligerent behavior. Includes “tough” boys—athletically skilled but poor students who cause trouble and defy authority—and relationally aggressive boys and girls who enhance their own status by ignoring, excluding, and spreading rumors about other children.

rejected children

Children who receive many negative votes on self-report measures of peer acceptance, indicating they are actively disliked.

rejected-aggressive children

A subgroup of rejected children who show high rates of conflict, physical and relational aggression, and hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive behavior.

rejected-withdrawn children

A subgroup of rejected children who are passive and socially awkward.

controversial children

Children who receive many votes, both positive and negative, on self-report measures of peer acceptance, indicating that they are both liked and disliked.

neglected children

Children who are seldom mentioned, either positively or negatively, on self-report measures of peer acceptance.

Average children

Children who receive average numbers of positive and negative votes and account for about one-third of children in a typical elementary school classroom

social referencing

Once emotional voice and facial cues are understood, beginning at 8 to 10 months, infants engage in actively seeking emotional information from a trusted person in an uncertain situation.

joint attention

A state in which the child attends to the same object or event as the caregiver, who often labels it. Contributes to early language development.

- Infants and toddlers who frequently experience it sustain attention longer, comprehend more language, produce meaningful gestures and words earlier, and show faster vocabulary development.

internal working model

A set of expectations about the availability of attachment figures and their likelihood of providing support in times of stress. It becomes a vital part of personality, serving as a guide for all future close relationships.

emotional self-regulation

Strategies for adjusting our emotional state to a comfortable level of intensity so we can accomplish our goals.

(Types of play) nonsocial/onlooker activity

Unoccupied, onlooker behavior and solitary play.

(Types of play) parallel play

A form of limited social participation in which a child plays near other children with similar materials but does not try to influence their behavior.

(Types of play) associative play

children engage in separate activities but exchange toys and comment on one another’s behavior.

(Types of play) cooperative play

a more advanced type of interaction, children orient toward a common goal, such as acting out a make-believe theme.


The newly fertilized cell formed by the union of sperm and ovum at conception.


By the fourth day of the germinal period after conception, 60 to 70 cells exist that form this hollow, fluid-filled ball. The cells on the inside of it, called the embryonic disk, will become the new organism; the outer ring of cells, termed the trophoblast, will become the structures that provide protective covering and nourishment.


The prenatal organism from 2 to 8 weeks after conception—the period when the groundwork is laid for all body structures and internal organs.


The sex cells, or sperm and ovum, which contain half as many chromosomes as regular body cells.


The developing organism from the ninth week to the end of ­pregnancy—the period during which body structures are completed and dramatic growth in size occurs.


refers to any environmental agent that causes damage during the prenatal period.

Gene-environment interaction

The first concept to shed light on how do nature and nurture work together?

- The view that because of their genetic makeup, individuals differ in their responsiveness to qualities of the environment.

- This concept highlights two important points.

  • First, it shows that because each of us has a unique genetic makeup, we respond differently to the same environment.
  • Second, sometimes different combinations of this can make two people look the same!

Gene–environment interaction Passive correlation

The first is called passive correlation because the child has no control over it.

  • Early on, parents provide environments influenced by their own heredity.
  • children may have inherited their parents’ athletic ability. As a result, they are likely to become good athletes for both genetic and environmental reason

Gene–environment interaction Evocative Correlation

Children evoke responses that are influenced by the child’s heredity, and these responses strengthen the child’s original style.

  • For example, a cooperative, attentive child probably receives more patient and sensitive interactions from parents than an inattentive, distractible child

Gene–environment interaction Active Correlation

At older ages, this correlation becomes common.

  • As children extend their experiences beyond the immediate family and are given the freedom to make more choices, they actively seek environments that fit with their genetic tendencies.
  • The well-coordinated, muscular child spends more time at after-school sports, the musically talented child joins the school orchestra and practices his violin, and the intellectually curious child is a familiar patron at her local library.


This tendency to actively choose environments that complement our heredity is called this.

Mastery-oriented attributions

Attributions that credit success to ability, which can be improved through effort, and failure to factors that can be changed or controlled, such as insufficient effort or a difficult task.


directly observable events—stimuli and responses—are the appropriate focus of study. North American behaviorism began in the early twentieth century with the work of John Watson (1878–1958), who wanted to create an objective science of psychology.

Traditional Behaviorism

Ivan Pavlov successfully taught dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by pairing it with the presentation of food. He had discovered classical conditioning.

Behaviorism John Watson

He wanted to create an objective science of psychology.

- Watson also wanted to find out if classical conditioning could be applied to children’s behavior.

- He taught Albert, an 11-month-old infant, to fear a neutral stimulus—a soft white rat—by presenting it several times with a sharp, loud sound, which naturally scared the baby.

- Watson discovered that the environment is the supreme force in development and that adults can mold children’s behavior by carefully controlling stimulus–response associations. - He viewed development as continuous—a gradual increase with age in the number and strength of these associations.

Another form of behaviorism was B. F. Skinner’s (1904–1990) operant conditioning theory.

Where the frequency of a behavior can be increased by following it with a wide variety of reinforcers, such as food, praise, or a friendly smile, or decreased through punishment, such as disapproval or withdrawal of privileges.

- As a result of his work, operant conditioning became a broadly applied learning principle.

social learning theory

Most influential proposition devised by Albert Bandura, emphasizes modeling, also known as imitation or observational learning, as a powerful source of development.

- diverse factors affect children’s motivation to imitate: their own history of reinforcement or punishment for the behavior, the promise of future reinforcement or punishment, and even observations of the model being reinforced or punished.

Piaget’s cognitive-­developmental theory

children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world

Piaget’s Stages 1. sensorimotor stage

the baby’s use of the senses and movements to explore the world.

Piaget’s Stages 2. preoperational stage

In this stage, these action patterns evolve into the symbolic but illogical thinking of the preschooler

Piaget’s Stages 3. operational stage

cognition is transformed into the more organized, logical reasoning of the school-age child

Piaget’s Stages 4. formal operational stage

thought becomes the abstract, systematic reasoning system of the adolescent and adult.

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

focuses on how culture—the values, beliefs, customs, and skills of a social group—is transmitted to the next generation.

- social interaction—in particular, cooperative dialogues with more knowledgeable members of society—is necessary for children to acquire the ways of thinking and behaving that make up a community’s culture.

Vygotsky agreed with Piaget that children are active, constructive beings.

But whereas Piaget emphasized children’s independent efforts to make sense of their world, Vygotsky viewed cognitive development as a socially mediated process, in which children depend on assistance from adults and more expert peers as they tackle new challenges.

Ecological Systems Theory

Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917–2005) is responsible for an approach that rose to the forefront of the field because it offers the most differentiated and complete account of contextual influences on development.

- views the person as developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment. Because the child’s biologically influenced dispositions join with environmental forces to mold development, Bronfenbrenner characterized his perspective as a bioecological model.

Structure of the environment in ecological systems theory: The Microsystem

The innermost level of the environment, consists of activities and interaction patterns in the person’s immediate surroundings.

- Bronfenbrenner emphasized that to understand development at this level, we must keep in mind that all relationships are bidirectional: Adults affect children’s behavior, but children’s biologically and socially influenced characteristics—their physical attributes, personalities, and capacities—also affect adults’ behavior.

- A friendly, attentive child is likely to evoke positive, patient reactions from parents, whereas an irritable or distractible child is more likely to receive impatience, restriction, and punishment. When these reciprocal interactions occur often over time, they have an enduring impact on development.

Third parties

other individuals in the microsystem—also affect the quality of any two-person relationship. If they are supportive, interaction is enhanced.

- In contrast, marital conflict is associated with inconsistent discipline and hostility toward children. In response, children often react with fear and anxiety or with anger and aggression, and the well-being of both parent and child suffers

Structure of the environment in ecological systems theory: The Mesosystem

encompasses connections between microsystems.

- For example, a child’s academic progress depends not just on activities that take place in classrooms but also on parent involvement in school life and on the extent to which academic learning is carried over to the home

- Among adults, how well a person functions as spouse and parent at home is affected by relationships in the workplace, and vice versa

Structure of the environment in ecological systems theory: The Exosystem

consists of social settings that do not contain the developing person but nevertheless affect experiences in immediate settings.

- These can be formal organizations, such as the management in the individual’s workplace, religious institution, or community health and welfare services.

- Flexible work schedules, paid maternity and paternity leave, and sick leave for parents whose children are ill are examples of ways that work settings can support child rearing and, indirectly, enhance the development of both adult and child.

Structure of the environment in ecological systems theory: The Macrosystem

consists of cultural values, laws, customs, and resources.

- The priority that this system gives to the needs of children and adults affects the support they receive at inner levels of the environment.

- For example, in countries that require generous workplace benefits for employed parents and set high standards for quality of child care, children are more likely to have favorable experiences in their immediate settings. And when the government provides a generous pension plan for retirees, it supports the well-being of older people.


Bronfenbrenner labeled the temporal dimension of his model this

- Life changes can be imposed externally or, alternatively, can arise from within the person, since individuals select, modify, and create many of their own settings and experiences.

-How they do so depends on their physical, intellectual, and personality characteristics and their environmental opportunities.

Stages of labor: 1. Dilation and effacement of the cervix.

This is the longest stage of labor, lasting an average of 12 to 14 hours with a first birth and 4 to 6 hours with later births.

- Contractions of the uterus gradually become more frequent and powerful, causing the cervix, or uterine opening, to widen and thin to nothing, forming a clear channel from the uterus into the birth canal, or vagina.

Stages of labor: 2. Delivery of the baby.

This stage is much shorter, lasting about 50 minutes for a first birth and 20 minutes in later births. Strong contractions of the uterus continue, but the mother also feels a natural urge to squeeze and push with her abdominal muscles. As she does so with each contraction, she forces the baby down and out.

Stages of labor: 3. Delivery of the placenta.

Labor comes to an end with a few final contractions and pushes. These cause the placenta to separate from the wall of the uterus and be delivered in about 5 to 10 minutes.

Hospital births

The industrial revolution brought greater crowding to cities, along with new health problems.

- As a result, childbirth moved from home to hospital, where the health of mothers and babies could be protected.

- Once doctors assumed responsibility for childbirth, women’s knowledge of it declined, and relatives and friends no longer participated

Home Delivery birth

Home birth has always been popular in certain industrialized nations, such as England, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

- The number of American women choosing to have their babies at home rose during the 1970s and 1980s but remains small, at less than 1 percent

- Although some home births are attended by doctors, many more are handled by certified nurse–midwives, who have degrees in nursing and additional training in childbirth management.

Is it just as safe to give birth at home as in a hospital?

For healthy women without pregnancy complications who are assisted by a well-trained doctor or midwife, it seems so because complications rarely occur.

- However, if attendants are not carefully trained and prepared to handle emergencies, the likelihood of infant disability and death is high.

- When mothers are at risk for any kind of complication, the appropriate place for labor and delivery is the hospital, where life-saving treatment is available.


A preterm baby is cared for in a special Plexiglas-enclosed bed called an

- temperature is carefully controlled because these babies cannot yet regulate their own body temperature effectively.

- To help protect the baby from infection, the air is filtered before it enters

- A preterm infant is fed through a stomach tube, breathes with the aid of a respirator, and receives medication through an intravenous needle

Special Infant Stimulation

in proper doses, certain kinds of stimulation can help preterm infants develop.

- In some intensive care nurseries, preterm babies can be seen rocking in ­suspended hammocks, lying on waterbeds designed to replace the gentle motion they would have received while still in the mother’s uterus, or listening to soft music—experiences that promote faster weight gain, more predictable sleep patterns, and greater alertness

When preterm infants were massaged several times each day in the hospital,
they gained weight faster and, at the end of the first year, were advanced in mental and motor development over preterm babies not given this stimulation
“kangaroo care”

involves placing the infant in a vertical position between the mother’s breasts or next to the father’s chest (under the parent’s clothing) so the parent’s body functions as a human incubator.

- Because of its many physical and psychological benefits, the technique is often used in Western nations as a supplement to hospital intensive care.

Kangaroo skin-to-skin contact fosters

improved oxygenation of the baby’s body, temperature regulation, sleep, breastfeeding, alertness, and infant survival

- The kangaroo position provides the baby with gentle stimulation of all sensory modalities: hearing (through the parent’s voice), smell (through proximity to the parent’s body), touch (through skin-to-skin contact), and vision (through the upright position).

- Mothers and fathers practicing kangaroo care feel more confident about caring for their fragile babies, interact more sensitively and affectionately, and feel more attached to them

is an inborn, automatic response to a particular form of stimulation, and they are the newborn baby’s most obvious organized patterns of behavior.
Newbornsensory abilities: Touch

touch emerges early prenatally and is well-developed at birth

- At birth, infants are highly sensitive to pain.

- Research on infant mammals indicates that physical touch releases endorphins—painkilling chemicals in the brain

- Allowing a baby to endure severe pain overwhelms the nervous system with stress hormones. The result is heightened pain sensitivity, sleep disturbances, feeding problems, and difficulty calming down when upset.

Newbornsensory abilities: Taste and Smell

Facial expressions reveal that newborns can distinguish several basic tastes.

- Like adults, they relax their facial muscles in response to sweetness, purse their lips when the taste is sour, and show an archlike mouth opening when it is bitter.

- During pregnancy, the amniotic fluid is rich in tastes and smells that vary with the mother’s diet—early experiences that influence newborns’ preferences.

- Young infants will readily learn to prefer a taste that at first evoked either a negative or neutral response.

- In mammals, including humans, the sense of smell—in addition to playing an important role in feeding—helps mothers and babies identify each other. At 2 to 4 days of age, breastfed babies prefer the odors of their own mother’s breast and underarm to those of an unfamiliar lactating mother

Newbornsensory abilities: Hearing

Newborn infants can hear a wide variety of sounds—a sensitivity that improves greatly over the first few months

- At birth, infants prefer complex sounds, such as noises and voices, to pure tones.

Newbornsensory abilities: Vision

Vision is the least-developed of the newborn baby’s senses. Visual structures in both the eye and the brain are not yet fully formed.

- As a result, newborns cannot focus their eyes well, and their visual acuity, or fineness of discrimination, is limited.

- At birth, infants perceive objects at a distance of 20 feet about as clearly as adults do at 600 feet. In addition, unlike adults (who see nearby objects most clearly), newborn babies see unclearly across a wide range of distances.

- As a result, images such as the parent’s face, even from close up, look quite blurred.

Newborn sleep-wake cycles

Like children and adults, newborns alternate between REM and NREM sleep. However, they spend far more time in the REM state than they ever will again. REM sleep accounts for 50 percent of a newborn baby’s sleep time. By 3 to 5 years, it has declined to an adultlike level of 20 percent.


early-appearing, stable individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation.

refers to quickness and intensity of emotional arousal, attention, and motor activity.
refers to strategies that modify that reactivity
The psychological traits that makeup temperament
are believed to form the cornerstone of the adult personality.
In 1956, Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess initiated the

New York Longitudinal Study, a groundbreaking investigation of the development of temperament that followed 141 children from early infancy well into adulthood

- Results showed that temperament can increase a child’s chances of experiencing psychological problems or, alternatively, protect a child from the negative effects of a highly stressful home life

Thomas and Chess (1977)
discovered that parenting practices can modify children’s temperaments considerably.
Thomas and Chess’s model of temperament: The easy child
(40 percent of the sample) quickly establishes regular routines in infancy, is generally cheerful, and adapts easily to new experiences.
Thomas and Chess’s model of temperament: The difficult child
(10 percent of the sample) is irregular in daily routines, is slow to accept new experiences, and tends to react negatively and intensely.
Thomas and Chess’s model of temperament: The slow-to-warm-up child
(15 percent of the sample) is inactive, shows mild, low-key reactions to environmental stimuli, is negative in mood, and adjusts slowly to new experiences.
Around 2 months, babies begin to make vowel-like noises because of their pleasant “oo” quality.
Gradually, consonants are added, and around 6 months in which infants repeat consonant–vowel combinations.
telegraphic speech
These two-word utterances are like a telegram, they focus on high-content words, omitting smaller, less important ones (“can,” “the,” “to”).
According to linguist Noam Chomsky’s (1957) nativist theory,
language is a unique human accomplishment, etched into the structure of the brain. Focusing on grammar, Chomsky reasoned that the rules of sentence organization are too complex to be directly taught to or discovered by even a cognitively sophisticated young child.
Problem-centered coping
Children appraise the situation as changeable, identify the difficulty, and decide what to do about it.
emotion-centered coping
If problem-solving does not work, children engage in this method of coping, which is internal, private, and aimed at controlling distress when little can be done about an outcome
emotional self-efficacy
When emotional self-regulation has developed well, school-age children acquire a sense of this, which is a feeling of being in control of their emotional experience
Piaget terms: assimilation

we use our current schemes to interpret the external world.

- For example, when Timmy dropped objects, he was assimilating them to his sensorimotor “dropping scheme.”

Piaget terms: schemes

According to Piaget, specific psychological structures—­organized ways of making sense of experience called this

- They change with age. At first, they are sensorimotor action patterns.

In Piaget’s theory, two processes,
adaptation and organization, account for changes in schemes.
Piaget terms: Adaptation
involves building schemes through direct interaction with the environment. It consists of two complementary activities, assimilation, and accommodation.
referential style
their vocabularies consisted mainly of words that refer to objects.
expressive style
compared to referential children, they produce many more social formulas and pronouns (“thank you,” “done,” “I want it”).
Piaget terms: accommodation
we create new schemes or adjust old ones after noticing that our current ways of thinking do not capture the environment completely.
Piaget’s sensorimotor stage
spans the first two years of life. Piaget believed that infants and toddlers “think” with their eyes, ears, hands, and other sensorimotor equipment. - They cannot yet carry out many activities inside their heads. But by the end of toddlerhood, children can solve everyday practical problems and represent their experiences in speech, gesture, and play.
Piaget Sensorimotor Substage 1. Reflexive schemes (birth–1 month)
Typical Adaptive Behaviors: Newborn reflexes
Piaget Sensorimotor Substage 2. Primary circular reactions (1–4 months)
Simple motor habits centered around the infant’s own body; limited anticipation of events
Piaget Sensorimotor Substage 3. Secondary circular reactions (4–8 months)
Actions aimed at repeating interesting effects in the surrounding world; imitation of familiar behaviors
Piaget Sensorimotor Substage 4. Coordination of secondary circular reactions (8–12 months)
Intentional, or goal-directed, behavior; ability to find a hidden object in the first location in which it is hidden (object permanence); improved anticipation of events; imitation of behaviors slightly different from those the infant usually performs
Piaget Sensorimotor Substage 5. Tertiary circular reactions (12–18 months)
Exploration of the properties of objects by acting on them in novel ways; imitation of novel behaviors; ability to search in several locations for a hidden object (accurate A–B search)
Piaget Sensorimotor Substage 6. Mental representation (18 months–2 years)
Internal depictions of objects and events, as indicated by sudden solutions to problems; ability to find an object that has been moved while out of sight (invisible displacement); deferred imitation; and make‑believe play
circular reaction
provides a special means of adapting their first schemes. It involves stumbling onto a new experience caused by the baby’s own motor activity. The reaction is “circular” because, as the infant tries to repeat the event again and again, a sensorimotor response that first occurred by chance strengthens into a new scheme.