Unit 8: Development

behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior

threadlike structure made of DNA molecules that contain the genes

a complex molecule containing the genetic info that makes up the chromosomes

the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes

the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism’s chromosomes

a person’s characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity

molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure & functions of genes

the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes

the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity)

the study of influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change

evolutionary psychology
the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection

a random error in gene replication that leads to a change

an understood rule for acceptable & excepted behavior

giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals& defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identification

giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly

a physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy

X chromosome
sex chromosome found in both men & women, females have 2

Y chromosome
sex chromosome found only in males

a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave

gender role
a set of expected behaviors for males or females

social learning theory
the theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished

gender identity
our sense of being male or female

gender typing
the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role

the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female

developmental psychology
branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, & social change throughout the life span

1. nature & nurture
2. continuity & stages
3. stability & change
What 3 major issues does developmental psychology focus on?

the fertilized egg
2 week period of rapid cell division & develops into an embryo

the developing human organism form about 2 weeks after fertilization through second month

developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth

agents, such as chemicals & viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development & cause harm

fetal alcohol syndrome
physical &cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy drinking

decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation

brain cells
On the day you were born, you had most of the ______ you would ever have.

frontal lobes
What brain area experiences the most rapid growth?

association areas
What are the last cortical areas to develop?

Average age of earliest conscious memory is ____ years.

a concept or framework that organizes & interprets info

interpreting out new experiences in terms of our existing schemas

adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new info

sensorimotor stage


(birth – 2 yrs) stage during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions & motor activities

pre operational stage


( 2 yrs – 6/7 yrs) stage during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic

concrete operational stage


(6/7 yrs – 11 yrs) stage of cognitive development during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events

formal operational stage


stage of cognitive development during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts

development; continuous
Piaget’s findings today are still widely significant, but today’s researchers see ______ as more ______ than did Piaget.

stranger anxiety
fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months old

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

process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life

basic trust


a sense that the world is predictable & trustworthy

when we recognize ourselves in a mirror (18 months)
When does Darwin believe self-awareness begins?

authoritarian parenting
parents impose rules & expect obedience

permissive parenting
parents submit to their children’s desires

authoritative parenting
parents are both demanding & responsive

transition period from childhood to adulthood

period of sexual maturation

think morally & act accordingly
To be a moral person is to:

1. Pre conventional
2. conventional
3. post conventional
Lawrence Kohlberg’s 3 basic levels of moral thinking:

pre conventional morality
right & wrong determined by rewards/punishments

conventional morality
views of others matter, avoidance of blame; seeking approval

post conventional morality
abstract notions of justice, rights of others can override obedience to laws/rules

quickly; automatically
the mind makes moral judgements ______ & ______

doing the right thing
morality involves:

our sense of self

social identity
the “we” aspect of our self-concept

diminishing; growing
adolescence is typically a time of ______ parental influence & _____ peer influence

emerging adulthood
a period from the late teens to mid-20s, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence & full independence & responsible adulthood

early 20’s
When do our physical abilities peak?

a person’s health & exercise habits
During early & middle adulthood, physical vigor has less to do with age than with:

Nearly ______ of people over the age of 40 say their memory is worse than it was 10 years ago

prospective memory
What type of memory remains strong as we get older? (Remembering to perform a planned action or intention in some future point in time)

terminal decline
age is less a predictor of memory & intelligence than is proximity to death (8 months v. 8 years)

crystallized intelligence
our accumulates knowledge & verbal skills; tends to increase with age

fluid intelligence
our ability to reason speedily & abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood

social clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, & retirement

intimacy: forming close relationships
generativity: being productive & supporting future generations
What did Erickson say were two basic aspects that dominate adulthood?

love; work
Freud defined the healthy adult as one who is able to ______ and to ______.



child’s inability to see a situation from another person’s point of view

insecure avoidant
child is unconcerned by mother’s absence & unresponsive upon return; mother unresponsive, child feels unloved & rejected

child is upset when mother leaves, happy upon return; mother sensitive & responsive, child feels positive & loved

insecure resistant
clingy child, parenting inconsistent