Developmental psychology The study of the changes that occur in people from birth through old age.
Enduring issues and methods Individual characteristics versus shared human traits Stability versus change Heredity versus environment
Enduring issues and methods Cross-sectional study : A method of studying development changes by comparing people of different ages at about the same time. Cohort : A group of people born during the same period in historical time.
Enduring issues and methods Longitudinal study : A method of studying developmental changes by evaluating the same people at different points in their lives. Biographical ( or retrospective ) study : A method of studying developmental changes by reconstructing people’s past through interviews and inferring the effects of past events on current behaviors.
Prenatal development Prenatal development : Development from conception to birth. Embryo : A developing human between 2 weeks and 3 months after conception. Fetus : A developing human between 3 months after conception and birth.
Prenatal development Critical period : A time when certain internal and external influences have a major effect on development; at other periods, the same influences will have little or no effect. Fetal alcohol syndrome : A disorder that occurs in children of women who drink alcohol during pregnancy; this disorder is characterized by facial deformities, heart defects, stunted growth, and cognitive impairments.
The newborn---reflexes Rooting reflex : the baby’s tendency to turn his or her head toward anything that touches the cheek. Sucking reflex : The tendency to suck on anything that enters the mouth. Grasping reflex : the tendency to cling vigorously to an adult’s finger or to any other object placed in the baby’s hands.
Temperament Temperament : Characteristic patterns of emotional reactions and emotional self- regulation.
Motor development Motor development : It refers to the acquisition of skills involving movement, such as grasping, crawling, and walking. Motor development proceeds in a proximodistal fashion---from nearest the center of the body to farthest from the center.
The normal sequence of motor development At birth, babies have grasping and stepping reflexes. At about 2 months, they can lift their head and shoulders. They can sit up by themselves at about 6.5 months and can stand ( while holding on to something ) at about 9 months. Crawling begins, on average, at 10 months, and walking at 1 year.
Maturation Maturation refers to biological processes that unfold as a person grows older and that contribute to orderly sequences of developmental changes, such as the progression from crawling to toddling to walking.
Sensory-motor stages In Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development between birth and 2 years of age in which the individual develops object performance and acquires the ability to form mental representation.
Preoperational stage In Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development between 2 and 7 years of age in which the individual becomes able to use mental representations and language to describe, remember, and reason about the world, though only in an egocentric fashion.
Concrete-operational stage In Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development between 7 and 11 years of age in which the individual can attend to more than one thing at a time and understand someone else’s point of view, though thinking is limited to concrete matters.
Formal-operational stage In Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development between 11 and 15 years of age in which the individual becomes capable of abstract thought.
Social development Learning to interact with others is an important aspect of development in childhood.
Imprinting The tendency in certain species to follow the first moving thing (usually its mother) it sees after it is born or hatched.
attachment Emotional bond that develops in the first year of life that makes human babies cling to their caregivers for safety and comfort.
Autonomy Sense of independence; a desire not to be controlled by others.
Socialization Process by which children learn the behaviors and attitudes appropriate to their family and culture.