Chapter 9 Psychology Life Span Development

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developmental psychology
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the study of age related changes in behavior, mental processes, and stages of growth from conception to death
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maturation
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the continuing influence of heredity throughout development -age related physical and behavioral changes characteristic of a species
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critical period
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a time of special sensitivity to specific types of learning which shapes the capacity for future development
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cross sectional design
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a research technique that measures individuals of various ages at one point in time and provides info about age differences
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longitudinal design
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a research design that measures a single individual or group of individuals over an extended period and gives info about age changes
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germinal period
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the first stage of prenatal development beginning with ovulation and followed by conception and implantation in the uterus -first 2 weeks of pregnancy
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embryonic period
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the second stage of prenatal development which begins after uterine implantation and lasts through the eight week
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fetal period
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the third and final stage of prenatal development (eight weeks to birth) characterized by rapid weight gain in the fetus and the fine detailing of bodily organs and systems
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epigenetics
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the study of heritable changes in gene function that are influenced by environmental factors rather than changes in the DNA sequence
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teratogen
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an environmental agent that causes damage during prenatal development
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fetal alcohol syndrom
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a combo of birth defects including organ deformities and mental, motor, and or growth retardation that results from maternal alcohol abuse
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puberty
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the biological changes during adolescence that lead to an adult sized body and sexual maturity
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emerging adulthood
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age period from approximately 18-25 in which individuals have left the dependency of childhood by not yet assumed adult responsibilities
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ageism
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prejudice or discrimination based on physical age -similar to racism and sexism in its negative stereotypes
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age-related positive effect
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a relative preference in older adults for positive over negative info in attention and memory
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schemA
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the cognitive structures, framework, or blue prints of knowledge regarding objects, people, and situation which grow and differentiate with experience
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assimilation
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in Piaget’s theory, applying existing mental patterns to new info -new info is incorporated into existing schemas -works in tandem with accommodation
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accommodation
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according to Piaget, the process of adjusting existing mental patterns or developing new ones to better fit with new info -works in tandem with assimilation
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sensorimotor stage
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Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development in which schemas are developed through sensory and motor activities
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object permanence
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the Piagetian term for an infant’s recognition that objects and people continue to exist when they cannot be seen, heard, or touched directly
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pre operational stage
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Piaget;s second stage of cognitive development (roughly ages 2-7) characterized by the ability to employ significant language and to think symbolically but the child lacks operations and thinking is egocentric and animistic
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egocentrism
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in cognitive development the inability to take the perspective of another person -a hallmark of Piaget’s pre operational stage
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concrete operational stage
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Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development in which the child can perform mental operations on concrete objects and understand reversibility of conservation, but thinking is tied to concrete, tangible objects and events
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conservation
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according to Piaget, the understanding that certain physical characteristics (such as volume) remain unchanged even though appearance may change
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formal operational stage
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Piaget’s fourth stage of cognitive development (around age 11 and beyond) characterized by abstract and hypothetical thinking
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zone of proximal development
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In Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development, the area between what children can accomplish on their own and what they can accomplish with the help of others who are more competent
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developmental psychology studies 3 key issues
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-nature or nurture -stage or continuity -stability or change
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Piaget’s 4 stages
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-sensorimotor stage -preoperational stage -concrete operational stage -formal operational stage

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