Life Span Development Exam 1 part 1


The pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the life span. Most development involves growth, although it also includes decline brought on by aging and dying.

original sin

Based on the Christian Doctrine, the view that children are born into the world corrupted, with the inclination toward evil.

tabula rasa

The idea, proposed by John Lock, that children are like a "blank tablet".

innate goodness

French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's idea that children are inherently good.

life-span perspective

The perspective that development is lifelong; multidimensional; and contextual; and involves growth, maintenance, and regulation.

normative age-graded influences

Biological, sociocultural, and environmental influences that re similar for individuals in a particular age group.

normative history-graded influences

Influences that are common to people of a particular generation because of historical circumstances.

non-normative life events

Unusual occurrences that have a major impact on an individual's life.

biological processes

Changes in an individual's physical nature.

cognitive processes

Changes in an individual's thought, intelligence, and language.

socio-emotional processes

Changes in an individual's relationships with other people, emotions, and personality.

chronological age

The number of years that have elapsed since birth.

psychological age

An individual's adaptive capacities compared with those of other individuals of the same chronological age.

social age

Social roles and expectations related to a person's age.

nature-nurture issue

Refers to the debate about whether development is primarily influenced by nature or nurture. Nature refers to an organism's biological inheritance, nurture to its environmental experiences.

stability-change issue

Involves the degree to which early traits and characteristics persist through life or change.

continuity-discontinuity issue

Focuses on the extent to which development involves gradual cumulative change (continuity) or distinct stages (discontinuity).


An interrelated, coherent set of ideas that helps to explain and make predictions.


Specific assumptions and predictions that can be tested to determine their accuracy.

psychoanalytic theories

Describe development as primarily unconscious and heavily colored by emotion. Behavior is merely a surface characteristic, and the symbolic workings of the mind have to be analyzed to understand behavior. Early experiences with parents are emphasized.

Erikson's (Psycho-social) theory

Includes 8 stages of human development. Each stage consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis that must be resolved.

Piaget's (Cognitive) theory

States that children actively construct their understanding of the world and go through 4 stages of cognitive development.

Vygotsky's (Sociocultural Cognitive) theory

Emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development.

information-processing theory

Emphasizes that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it. Central to this theory are the processes of memory and thinking.

Bandura's (Social Cognitive) theory

The view of psychologist who emphasize behavior, environment, and cognition as the key factors in development.


Stresses that behavior is strongly influenced by biology, is tied to evolution, and is characterized by critical and sensitive periods.

Ecological theory

Bronfenbrenner's environmental systems theory that focuses on five environmental systems: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem.

cross-cultural studies

Comparison of one culture with on or more other cultures. These provide information about the degree to which development is similar, or universal, across cultures, and to some degree to which it is culture-specific.


A range of characteristics based on cultural heritage, including nationality, race, religion, and language.

eclectic theoretical orientation

An orientation that does not follow any one theoretical approach, but rather selects from each theory whatever is considered the best in it.


A controlled setting in which many of the complex factors of the "real world" are removed.

naturalistic observation

Observing behavior in real-world settings.

standardized test

A test with uniform procedures for administration and scoring. Many standardized tests allow a person's performance to be compared with the performance of other individuals.

case study

research method that involves an intensive investigation of one or more participants

life-history record

A record of information about a lifetime chronology of events and activities that often involve a combination of data records on education, work, family, and residence.

descriptive research

Has the purpose of observing and recording behavior.

correlation coefficient +(CV)

a statistic representing how closely two variables co-vary (ranging from +1 to -1)


A research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process

cross-sectional approach

A research method in which individuals of different ages are compared at one time.

longitudinal approach

A research method in which the same individuals are studied over a period of time, usually several years or more.

sequential approach

A combined cross sectional, longitudinal design.

cohort effects

Effects due to a person's time of birth, era, or generation but not to actual age.

ethnic gloss

Using an ethnic label such as African American or Latino in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as being more homogeneous than it really is.

evolutionary psychology

Emphasizes the importance of adaption, reproduction, and "survival of the fittest" in shaping behavior.


Threadlike structures made up of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA.


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


the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 096)


Cellular reproduction in which the cell's nucleus duplicates itself with two new cells being formed, each containing the same DNA as the original cell, arranged in the same 23 pairs of chromosomes.


A specialized form of cell division that occurs to form eggs and sperm (or gametes).


A stage in reproduction whereby an egg and sperm fuse to create a single cell. called a zygote.


a single cell formed through fertilization.

genotype +(CV)

All of a person's actual genetic material.

phenotype +(CV)

Observable and measurable characteristics such as height, hair colore, and intelligence.

Down-syndrome +(CV)

A chromosomally transmitted form of mental retardation, caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21. concerning maternal ages before 16 and after 35/40.

Klinefelter syndrom

A chromosomal disorder in which males have an extra X chromosome, making them XXY instead of XY.

fragile X syndrom

A chromosomal disorder involving an abnormality in the X chromosome, which becomes constricted and often breaks.

Turner syndrom

A chromosomal disorder in females in which either an X chromosome is missing, making the person XO instead of XX, or the second X is partially deleted.

XYY syndrome

A chromosomal disorder in which males have an extra Y chromosome.

phenylketornuria (PKU)

A genetic disorder in which an individuals cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine, and amino acid. PKU is easily detected but when left untreated results can lead to retardation and hyperactivity.

sickle-cell anemia +(CV)

A genetic disorder that affects the red blood cells and occurs most often in African Americans.

behavior genetics

The field that seeks to discover the influences of heredity and environment on individuals differences in human traits and development.

twin study

A study in which the behavioral similarity of identical twins is compared with the behavioral similarity of fraternal twins.

adoption study

A study in which investigators seek to discover whether, in behavior and psychological characteristics, adopted children are more like their adoptive parents, who provided a home environment, or more like their biological parents, who contributed their he

passive genotype-environment correlations

Correlations that exist when the biological parents, who are genetically related to the child, provide a rearing environment for the child.

evocative genotype-environment correlations

Correlations that exist when the child's characteristics elicit certain types of environments.

active (niche picking) genotype environment correlations

Correlations that exist when children seek out environments they find compatible and stimulating.

shared environmental experiences

siblings' common experiences, such as their parents' personalities and intellectual orientation, the family's socioeconomic status, and the neighborhood in which they live

nonshared environmental experiences

the child's own unique experiences, both within the family and outside the family, that are not shared by another sibling

epigenetic view

emphasizes that development is the result of an ongoing, bidirectional interchange between heredity and environment

germinal period +(CV)

the first two weeks after conception, includes creation of the zygote, continued cell division, and attachment of the zygoe to the uterine wall

embryonic period +(CV)

The period of prenatal development that occurs from two to eight weeks after conception. During the embryonic period, the rate of cell differentiation intensifies, support systems for the cells form, and organs appear.


process of organ formation that takes place during the first two months of prenatal development

fetal period

the time from about eight weeks after conception until the birth of the child


nerve cells that handle information processing at the cellular level.


Any agent that can potentially cause a birth defect or negatively alter cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

Fetal alcohol syndrom (FAS)

A cluster of abnormalities that appears in the offsprings of mothers who drink alcohol heavily during pregnancy.

natural childbirth

developed in 1914 by Dick-Read, this method attempts to reduce the mother's pain by decreasing her fear through education about childbirth and relaxation techniques during delivery

prepared childbirth

developed by French obstetrician Ferdinand Lamaze, this childbirth strategy includes a special breathing technique to control puching in the final stages of labor and a more detailed anatomy and physiology course

Apgar Scale

Asses the health of newborns at 1-5min after birth. Evaluates infants HR, respiratory effort, muscle tone, body color, and reflex irritability.

Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale

Test given within 24-36 hrs after birth to assess newborn's neurological development, reflexes, and reactions to people.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale

An "offspring" of the NBAS, the NNNS provides a more comprehensive analysis of newborn's behavior, neurological and stress responses, regulatory capacities.

low birth weight infants

babies that weigh less than 5.5 pounds at birth

preterm infants

Infants born three weeks or more before the pregnancy has reached its full term.

small for date infants

Weigh below average for a full term pregnancy.

kangaroo care

skin to skin contact, shows a decrease in pain, increase in oxygen saturation, promotes parent-child bonding


the formation of a close connection, especially a physical bond between parents and their newborn child in the period shortly after birth.

The Active Child (CV)

Children play a role in their own development by making decision including deciding what to pay attention to and their play mates and environments.

Waddington's Epigenetic Landscape (CV)

series of strange events that lead to different paths; disrupts long term predictions.

Critical Periods (CV)

time during the development occurs readily and after which skills acquisition is much more difficult and ultimately less successful. ex: adoption/language

Variable (CV)

attributes that vary across individuals and situations ex: age, gender, extroversion, agression, temp.

Conceptualization (CV)

specifying what a variable means. ex: defining agression

Operationalism (CV)

generating procedures that allow for the observations and measurements of concepts.

Reliability (CV)

degree to which independent measurements of behaviors are consistent.

Validity (CV)

degree to which a test measures what it is supposed to test.

Third Variable (CV)

the relationship between two variables can be caused by a third one.

Experimental Designs (CV)

all us to infer cause and effect relationships by manipulating one ore more variables.

Random assignment (CV)

each participant has an qual chance of of being assigned to each group within an experiment.

Experimental Group (CV)

group of participants in an exp. design who are presented the experience of interest.

Control Group (CV)

group of participants in an exp. who aren't presented the experience of interest.

Independent variable (CV)

a variable that is manipulated independently.

Dependent variable (CV)

the factor measured; the outcome variable.

Naturalistic Observational Design (CV)

natural environment, natural results?

Structured Observations (CV)

Set up situations that allow us to target a specific behavior, infrequent behavior.

Polygenic traits (CV)

traits run by more than one gene.

Cystic Fibrosis (CV)

A genetic disorder that occurs in people with two copies of a certain recessive allele; characterized by an excessive secretion of mucus and consequent vulnerability to infection; fatal if untreated.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CV)

9-12 weeks after conception, 5 weeks for results

Aminocentesis (CV)

removes fluid of sac and test skin cells from fetus. 15-19 weeks into pregnancy. most accurate but increases miscarriage.

Behavior Genetics (CV)

the science concerned w/ how variation in behavior and development results from the combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Artificial Insemination (CV)

Intrauterine insemination (IVI) sperm donated by partner/donor & deposited into a woman's uterus.

In Vitro Fertilization (CV)

egg obtained from ovary & fertilized w/ sperm in a culture dish then transferred into woman's uterus.

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (CV)

sperm and ovum are deposited into woman's fallopian tubes and natural fertilization occurs. risks of ectopic pregnancy: implantation occurs outside uterus.

Cephalocaudal Development (CV)

the pattern of growth in which areas nar the head develop earlier than areas further away from the head.

Proximald Development (CV)

the pattern of growth in which areas further away from the middle (line of symmetry) of the body grow earlier.

Sensitive Periods (CV)

segments of time when structures are first forming and are most vulnerable to damage

Hazards to Prenatal Development (CV)

alcohol, caffeine, smoking, drugs, mother's health, artificial sweeteners, trauma, radiation, fish, lunch meat, diseases, lead, raw egg, heavy lifting.

Paternal Hazards

smoking, drugs, low calcium diets.

Three Factors

1)Dose 2) Timing 3) Genetic susceptibility