Psychology Chapter 5 Test Answers

Flashcard maker : William Jordan
What three issues have engaged developmental psychologists?
Developmental psychologists study physical, mental, and social changes throughout the life span. They focus on three issues: nature and nurture (the interaction between our genetic inheritance and our experiences); continuity and stages (whether development is gradual and continuous or a series of relatively abrupt changes); and stability and change (whether our traits endure or change as we age).

What is the course of prenatal development, and how do teratogens affect that development?
The life cycle begins at conception, when one sperm cell unites with an egg to form a zygote. The zygote’s inner cells become the embryo, and in the next 6 weeks, body organs begin to form and function. By 9 weeks, the fetus is recognizably human.

Teratogens are potentially harmful agents that can pass through the placental screen and harm the developing embryo or fetus, as happens with fetal alcohol syndrome.

What are some newborn abilities, and how do researchers explore infants’ mental abilities?
Babies are born with sensory equipment and reflexes that facilitate their survival and their social interactions with adults. For example, they quickly learn to discriminate their mother’s smell and sound. Researchers use techniques that test habituation, such as the novelty-preference procedure, to explore infants’ abilities.

During infancy and childhood, how do the brain and motor skills develop?
The brain’s nerve cells are sculpted by heredity and experience. Their interconnections multiply rapidly after birth, a process that continues until puberty, when a pruning process begins shutting down unused connections. Complex motor skills—sitting, standing, walking—develop in a predictable sequence, though the timing of that sequence is a function of individual maturation and culture. We have no conscious memories of events occurring before about age 3-1/2, in part because major brain areas have not yet matured.

From the perspectives of Piaget, Vygotsky, and today’s researchers, how does a child’s mind develop?
In his theory of cognitive development, Jean Piaget proposed that children actively construct and modify their understanding of the world through the processes of assimilation and accommodation. They form schemas that help them organize their experiences. Progressing from the simplicity of the sensorimotor stage of the first two years, in which they develop object permanence, children move to more complex ways of thinking. In the pre-operational stage (about age 2 to about 6 or 7), they develop a theory of mind, but they are egocentric and unable to perform simple logical operations. At about age 7, they enter the concrete operational stage and are able to comprehend the principle of conservation. By about age 12, children enter the formal operational stage and can reason systematically.

Research supports the sequence Piaget proposed, but it also shows that young children are more capable, and their development more continuous, than he believed.

Lev Vygotsky’s studies of child development focused on the ways a child’s mind grows by interacting with the social environment. In his view, parents and caretakers provide temporary scaffolds enabling children to step to higher levels of learning.

How do parent-infant attachment bonds form?
At about 8 months, soon after object permanence develops, children separated from their caregivers display stranger anxiety. Infants form attachments not simply because parents gratify biological needs but, more important, because they are comfortable, familiar, and responsive. Ducks and other animals have a more rigid attachment process, called imprinting, that occurs during a critical period.

How have psychologists studied attachment differences, and what have they learned?
Attachment has been studied in strange situation experiments, which show that some children are securely attached and others are insecurely attached. Infants’ differing attachment styles reflect both their individual temperament and the responsiveness of their parents and child-care providers. Adult relationships seem to reflect the attachment styles of early childhood, lending support to Erik Erikson’s idea that basic trust is formed in infancy by our experiences with responsive caregivers.

Does childhood neglect, abuse, or family disruption affect children’s attachments?
Children are very resilient, but those who are moved repeatedly, severely neglected by their parents, or otherwise prevented from forming attachments by age 2 may be at risk for attachment problems.

How does day care affect children?
Quality day care, with responsive adults interacting with children in a safe and stimulating environment, does not appear to harm children’s thinking and language skills. Some studies have linked extensive time in day care with increased aggressiveness and defiance, but other factors—the child’s temperament, the parents’ sensitivity, and the family’s economic and educational levels and culture—also matter.

How do children’s self-concepts develop?
Self-concept, an understanding and evaluation of who we are, emerges gradually. At 15 to 18 months, children recognize themselves in a mirror. By school age, they can describe many of their own traits, and by age 8 to 10 their self-image is stable.

What are three parenting styles, and how do children’s traits relate to them?
Parenting styles—authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative—reflect varying degrees of control. Children with high self-esteem tend to have authoritative parents and to be self-reliant and socially competent, but the direction of cause and effect in this relationship is not clear.

How is adolescence defined, and what physical changes mark this period?
Adolescence is the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to social independence. During puberty, both primary and secondary sex characteristics develop dramatically. Boys seem to benefit from “early” maturation, girls from “late” maturation. The brain’s frontal lobes mature and myelin growth increases during adolescence and the early twenties, enabling improved judgment, impulse control, and long-term planning.

How did Piaget, Kohlberg, and later researchers describe adolescent cognitive and moral development?
Piaget theorized that adolescents develop a capacity for formal operations and that this development is the foundation for moral judgment. Lawrence Kohlberg proposed a stage theory of moral reasoning, from a preconventional morality of self-interest, to a conventional morality concerned with upholding laws and social rules, to (in some people) a postconventional morality of universal ethical principles. Other researchers believe that morality lies in moral intuition and moral action as well as thinking. Some critics argue that Kohlberg’s postconventional level represents morality from the perspective of individualist, middle-class males.

What are the social tasks and challenges of adolescence?
Erikson theorized that each life stage has its own psychosocial task, and that a chief task of adolescence is solidifying one’s sense of self—one’s identity. This often means “trying on” a number of different roles. Social identity is the part of the self-concept that comes from a person’s group memberships.

How do parents and peers influence adolescents?
During adolescence, parental influence diminishes and peer influence increases. Adolescents adopt their peers’ ways of dressing, acting, and communicating. Parents have more influence in religion, politics, and college and career choices.

What is emerging adulthood?
The transition from adolescence to adulthood is now taking longer. Emerging adulthood is the period from age 18 to the mid-twenties, when many young people are not yet fully independent. But critics note that this stage is found mostly in today’s Western cultures.

What physical changes occur during middle and late adulthood?
Muscular strength, reaction time, sensory abilities, and cardiac output begin to decline in the late twenties and continue to decline throughout middle adulthood (roughly age 40 to 65) and late adulthood (the years after 65). Women’s period of fertility ends with menopause around age 50; men have no similar age-related sharp drop in hormone levels or fertility. In late adulthood, the immune system weakens, increasing susceptibility to life-threatening illnesses. Chromosome tips (telomeres) wear down, reducing the chances of normal genetic replication. But for some, longevity-supporting genes, low stress, and good health habits enable better health in later life.

How does memory change with age?
As the years pass, recall begins to decline, especially for meaningless information, but recognition memory remains strong. Older adults rely more on time management and memory cues to remember time-based and habitual tasks. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are brain ailments, not normal parts of aging. Developmental researchers study age-related changes (such as memory) with cross-sectional studies (comparing people of different ages) and longitudinal studies (retesting the same people over a period of years). “Terminal decline” describes the cognitive decline in the final few years of life.

What themes and influences mark our social journey from early adulthood to death?
Adults do not progress through an orderly sequence of age-related social stages. Chance events can determine life choices. The social clock is a culture’s preferred timing for social events, such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement. Adulthood’s dominant themes are love and work, which Erikson called intimacy and generativity.

Do self-confidence and life satisfaction vary with life stages?
Self-confidence tends to strengthen across the life span. Surveys show that life satisfaction is unrelated to age. Positive emotions increase after midlife and negative ones decrease.

A loved one’s death triggers what range of reactions?
People do not grieve in predictable stages, as was once supposed. Strong expressions of emotion do not purge grief, and bereavement therapy is not significantly more effective than grieving without such aid. Erikson viewed the late-adulthood psychosocial task as developing a sense of integrity (versus despair).

Terms to Remember
ya betch

developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span. (p. 169)

the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo. (p. 169)

the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month. (p. 169)

the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth. (p. 169)

(literally, “monster maker”) agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm. (p. 170)

fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions. (p. 170)

decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner. (p. 171)

biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience. (p. 172)

all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. (pp. 174, 338)

a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information. (p. 174)

interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas. (p. 174)

adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information. (p. 174)

sensorimotor stage
in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities. (p. 175)

object permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived. (p. 176

in Piaget’s theory, the preoperational child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view. (p. 177)

preoperational stage
in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from about 2 to about 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic. (p. 177)

the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects. (p. 177)

theory of mind
people’s ideas about their own and others’ mental states—about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict. (p. 178)

concrete operational stage
in Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events. (p. 178)

formal operational stage
in Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts. (p. 179)

a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others’ states of mind. (p. 180)

stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age. (p. 182)

an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation. (p. 183)

critical period
an optimal period early in the life of an organism when exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces normal development. (p. 183)

the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life. (p. 183)

basic trust
according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers. (p. 186)

all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, “Who am I?” (pp. 188, 525)

the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence. (p. 190)

the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing. (p. 191)

primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible. (p. 191)

secondary sex characteristics
nonreproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair. (p. 191)

[meh-NAR-key] the first menstrual period. (p. 191)

our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent’s task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles. (p. 197)

social identity
he “we” aspect of our self-concept; the part of our answer to “Who am I?” that comes from our group memberships. (p. 197

in Erikson’s theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood. (p. 197)

emerging adulthood
for some people in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to mid-twenties, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood. (p. 199)

the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines. (p. 202)

cross-sectional study
a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another. (p. 207)

longitudinal study
research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period. (p. 207)

social clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement. (p. 208)

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member