cross-sectional research

people of different ages are compared at the same point

longitudinal research

behavior of one or more participants is traced as the participants age

cross-sequential research

combines cross-sectional and longitudinal research by taking a number of different age groups and examining them over several points in time

interactionist approach

with identical twins, heredity and environment matter in this type of research approach, as well as HOW and TO WHAT DEGREE do each influence development


believed that the driving force behind intellectual development is our biological development amidst experiences with the environment. Our cognitive development is shaped by the ___ we make.


Piaget observed that cognitive development happens in ___
*same aged children make similar errors
He believed that children ___ seek knowledge


mental frameworks for organizing what we know


interpreting new information in terms of existing schemas


creating a new schema for information that doesnt fit

sensorimotor stage

experience world through senses and actions
-object permanence

object permanence

the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived

preoperational stage

continued development of symbols (language)


the inability of a child to take another's point of view

preoperational stage

if a child can be simply appeased by you cutting french fries in half to give the appearance that they have more food, what stage are they in?


the principle that properties such as mass, volume and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects

preoperational stage

a child who has not yet mastered the concepts of egocentrism and conservation are said to be in what stage?

concrete operational

can now perform most of these operations (egocentrism, conservation) successfully, but only on concrete or tangible objects or events

concrete operational

to mentally undo an action. What stage do we see this in children?

concrete operational

can focus on more that one feature at a time. What stage do we see this in children?

concrete operational

children who cant deal with abstract ideas (justice) are said to be in what stage?

formal operational (11 and up)

reasoning expands to abstract thinking. Can think logically about abstract propositions and test hypotheses systematically. Become concerned with hypothetical, future and ideological problems


Characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting

Projective tests

attempt to tap into the unconscious by allowing projection of inner feelings. (ex. Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test)

Rorschach Inkblot Test

Usually, 10 bilaterally symmetrical inkblots. People tell what they see.
Some say there is virtually no evidence, while others think it may demonstrate hostility and anxiety.

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Developed by Henry Murray. Used in studies of motivate and clinical work. 20 pictures of ambiguous scenes involving people and the subject is asked to tell a story about the scene.
Criticized for being too open ended and requiring too much ability by test

MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory)

567 T/F questions. Subscales to access personality disorder. More valid and reliable than projective tests.


Operates on the pleasure principal.
Primitive and unconscious part of personality.


Operates on the reality principle.
mediates between id and superego.
"main character


Moral ideals and conscience
ideal, how we ought to behave.

Psychosexual Development

Personality is fixed by age 5, after passing through series of psychosexual stages.
Freud said development is dependent on changes in distribution of sexual energy on diff areas of body.


(0-1 years) pleasure from sucking, biting, chewing.
created when indulged every time hungry or denied or weaned to quickly.


(1-3 years) Pleasure focuses of bowel and bladder elimination.
Coping with control demands.


(3-6 years) pleasure from genitals.

Oedipal complex

boys attracted to mothers, jealousy/hatred of father leads to fearing him and worrying about castration. (part of Phallic) Resolved when identify with same sex parent and in development of superego.


(6-12 years) Focus on same sex friends
less focus on genitals, ignore opposite sex


(12-on) Mature sexual functioning


Failure to progress smoothly through stages can cause a fixation in a certain stage. (Engaging in behaviors associated with that stage)

Fixation in oral stage

(goal: successful weaning)
Smoking, eating, "sucker", gullible person who will "swallow anything"
someone who makes biting remarks

Fixation in anal stage

(goal: potty training)
Very controlling and neat (anal-retentive)
or disorganized (anal-expulsive)

Carl Rogers

Humanist. Believed we must strive to fulfill our unique potential, to achieve self-actualization.
May have been overly optimistic.
fully functioning people: open to experience, existential living, trust themselves, good relationships.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Necessary for self-actualization.
Being treated with acceptance no matter what your feelings and behavior.

Abraham Maslow

Agreed with Rogers that we have an innate need and drive to fulfill our potential (self-actualization)

Self-actualized people (Maslow)

Accurate grip on reality, problem-centered, acceptance of self & others, independent

Maslow's Hierarchy of needs

lower needs must be met to get higher.
1: Physiological
2: Safety
3: Love and belonging
4: Esteem
5: Self-actualization


The belief that behavior is jointly determined by situations and personality traits.

Personality- big five

1) openness to experience
2) conscientiousness
3) extraversion
4) agreeableness
5) neuroticism

Childhood/ adolescence (12-20)

drop in extroversion, rise in neuroticism for girls, small dip in agreeableness and conscientiousness ("adolescent dip")


Rise in conscientiousness and agreeableness. Drop in neuroticism for women and small drop in openness to explore.


Conversion of the stimulus to neural impulses
(5 senses)


Interpreting stimuli and making sense of them


anything that activates our sensation system

3 step process

step 1: Stimulus energy (ex. light photon) reaches sense receptors
step 2: sense organ (ex. eye) transudes the stimulus energy into an electrical code (neural transmission)
step 3: this code is sent to the cerebral cortex resulting in a psychological expe


we experience perceptual stability even though the sensed stimulus changes.
Shape constancy- ex: closed vs open door
size constancy- ex: hand close to and far from face

brightness constancy

Depends on relative luminance. (amount of light an object reflects relative to surroundings)
ex: lights on vs. off

Simultaneous contrast

Objects look lighter against a dark background than a light


Translation of stimulus energy into an electrical code/ neural impulse.
Each sense system has receptor cells


Senses are especially sensitive to changes over time

Bottom-up processing

taking information in its pieces and putting it together. (beginning with sensory info and is integrated by the brain)
data driven. perception directs cognitive awareness.


starts with the whole (perceived info. guided by higher level processes)


120 million.
-detect black and white
-in receptor cells in retina
-necessary for: low light (night vision) and periphery


6 million.
-in receptor cells in retina
-function in brighter light
-detects fine detail, enables color perception
-concentrated near fovea

Trichromatic Theory

retina contains three kinds of cones sensitive to different wavelengths- red, blue, green
-other colors are a combination of these
-explains color blindness as it is due to one of the three cone system malfunctioning

Opponent Process theory

As info leaves receptor cells, we analyze it in terms of opponent colors. (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black)

Trichromatic VS. Opponent Process

Trichromatic best explains first stage: how cones gather info
Opponent process occurs at a later stage: cones pass info to ganglion cells that increase activity when one color is activated and decrease activity when another color is activated.

Binocular disparity

a depth cue using both eyes. ("bi"-two)*

Texture gradient

Distant objects appear denser

Linear Perspective

Parallel lines appear to converge in the distance

Relative size

Distant objects appear smaller than closer ones

Context effects

when our expectations influence what we perceive


object being perceived


the background or spaces within the object

Skin sensations

-cold (warm and cold have diff receptors)

Gate-Control theory

-spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain.
-Gate opens by activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers
"Gate" closing:
-from the PNS: activity in larger fibers
-from brain: expe


-warm receptors fire more often when skin warms up and slow down when skin cools.
-Cool receptors do the opposite
-Some cool receptors start firing at very high temps. So, both will fire when you encounter something really hot.


-airborne odor molecules are inhaled through the nose
-olfactory receptor cells are stimulated in nasal cavity then converted to neural signals to olfactory bulb
-only neurons that directly link the brain to outside world
-connect to temporal lobe for con


-Human mouth contains about 5,000-10,000 taste buds
-about 200 in each papilla
-each taste bud has 50-100 taste receptor cells
-Receptors respond to 5 basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and unami.
-old "tongue maps" are a myth. All 5 tastes can be s

Place theory

the theory that links he pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated

Frequency theory

the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch.
-we hear by frequency of tone


-Hair cells on basilar membrane seem to vibrate together. (frequency theory)
-Wave moves along basilar membrane and seems to peak at a certain place. (place theory)
low sounds- frequency theory
high sounds- place theory
middle sounds- combo of the two

Locating sounds

-Sound waves strike one ear sooner and more intensely than the other. Our brain uses this info to locate sound.
-people who lose all hearing in one hear have difficulty locating sounds.

vygotskys view of cognitive development

thought that culture and social experience can influence the speed or progress through these stages. It's not automatic to the next

kohlbergs theory of moral development

moral reasoning is not learned but constructed through interaction with society and environment


environmental factors may affect the ___ of development, but nothing else


ages 7-9 or 10, egocentrism and personal interests (seek reward to avoid punishment)


the positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a caregiver

proximity maintenance
safe haven
secure base

three functions of attachment


caregiver is responsive and shows positive emoitions, leading to plenty of trust, so no concern of abandonment, feeling liked


caregiver is aloof and distant, avoiding intimacy, leading to suppression of attachment needs by infants, probably knowing that showing such needs would lead to rejection. Close contact will be voided


caregiver is inconsistent, leading infants to be anxious because they can never predict how parent will react. They become obsessed with their caregiver due to this fact

social intuitionist method

moral judgement happens in two stage. 1. moral judgement rests of intuitions
2.moral reasoning happens after the moral judgement has been made to justify the judgement