Development Through the Lifespan (Berk, 5E) - Ch. 1

age-graded influences

Events that are strongly related to age and therefore fairly predicable in when they occur and how long they last

behavior modification

Procedures that combine condition and modeling to eliminate undesirable behaviors and increase desirable responses


An approach that regards directly observable events - stimuli and responses - as the appropriate focus of study and views the development of behavoir as taking place through classical and operant conditioning


In ecological systems theory, temporal changes in environments, either externally imposed or arising from within the person, that produce new conditions affecting development; distinguished from "microsystem," "mesosystem," "exosystem," and "macrosystem

clinical interview

An interview method in which the researcher uses a flexible conversational style to probe for the participant's point of view; distinguished from "structured interview

clinical (case study) method

A research method in which the aim is to obtain as complete a picture as possible of one individual's psychological functioning by bringing together interview data, observations, and sometimes test scores

cognitive-developmental theory

An approach introduced by Piaget that views children as actively constructing knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world and that regards cognitive development as taking place in stages

cohort effects

Cultural-historical influences on the accuracy of longitudinal and cross-sectional research findings; results based on one cohort - individuals developing in the same time period, who are influenced by particular historical and cultural conditions - may n


Unique combinations of personal and environmental circumstances that can result in different paths of development

continuous development

The view that development is a process of gradually adding more of the same types of skill that were there to begin with; distinguished from "discontinuous development

correlation coefficient

A number, ranging from +1.00 to -1.00, that describes the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables

correlational design

A research design in which the investigator gathers information on individuals without altering their experiences and then examines relationships between participants' characteristics and their behavior or development; does not permit inferences about cau

cross-sectional design

A research design in which groups of participants of different ages are studied at the same point in time; distinguished from "longitudinal design

dependent variable

The variable the researcher expects to be influenced by the independent variable in an experiment; distinguished from "independent variable

developmental cognitive neuroscience

An area of investigation that brings together researchers from psychology, biology, neuroscience, and medicine to study the relationship between changes in the brain and the developing person's cognitive processing and behavior patterns

developmental science

An interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of all changes humans experience throughout the lifespan

discontinuous development

The view that development is a process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times; distinguished form "continuous development

ecological systems theory

Bronfenbrenner's approach, which views the person as developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment, from immediate settings of family and school to broad cultural values and programs


A method in which the researcher attempts to understand unique values and social processes of a culture or a distinct social group through participant observation - living with its members and taking field notes for an extended time


An approach concerned with the adaptive, or survival, value of behavior and its evolutionary history

evolutionary developmental psychology

An approach that seeks to understand the adaptive value of species-wide cognitive, emotional, and social competencies as those competencies change with age


In ecological systems theory, social settings that do not contthe developing person but nevertheless affect experiences in immediate settings; distinguished from "microsystem," "mesosystem," macrosystem," and "chronosystem

experimental design

A research design in which the investigator randomly assigns participants to two or more treatment conditions and studies the effect that manipulating an independent variable has on a dependent variable; permits inferences about cause and effect

history-graded influences

Influences on lifespan development that are unique to a particular historical era and explain why people born around the same time (called a "cohort") tend to be alike in ways that set them apart from people born at other times

independent variable

In an experiment, the variable the investigator expects to cause changes in another variable and that he researcher manipulates by randomly assigning participants to treatment conditions; distinguished form "dependent variable

information processing

An approach that views the human mind as a symbol-manipulating system through which information flows and that regards cognitive development as a continuous process

lifespan perspective

A dynamic systems approach to development that assumes development is lifelong, multidimensional and multidirectional, highly plastic, and affected by multiple interacting forces

longitudinal design

A research design in which participants are studied repeatedly, and changes are noted as they get older; distingushed from "cross-sectional design


In ecological systems theory, cultural values, laws, customs, and resources that influence experiences and interactions at inner levels of the environment; distinguished from "microsystem," "mesosystem," "exosystem," and "chronosystem


In ecological systems theory, connections between a person's microsystems, or immediate settings; distinguished from "microsystem," "exosystem," "macrosystem," and "chronosystem


In ecological systems theory, the innermost level of the environment, consisting of activities and interaction patterns in the person's immediate surroundings; distinguished from "mesosystem," "exosystem," "macrosystem," and "chronosystem

naturalistic observation

A research method in which the researcher goes to the natural environment to observe the behavior of interest; distinguished from "structured observation

nature-nurture controversy

Disagreement among theorists about whether genetic or environmental factors are more important influences on development

nonnormative influences

Influences on lifespan development that are irregular, in that they happen to just one or a few individuals and do not follow a predictable timetable

normative approach

An approach in which measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals and age-related averages are computed to represent typical development

psychoanalytic perspective

An approach to personality development introduced by Freud that assumes people move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drives and social expectations; the way these conflicts are resolved determines the person's

psychosexual theory

Freud's theory, which emphasizes that how parents manage children's sexual and aggressive drives in the first few years is crucial for healthy personality development

psychosocial theory

Erikson's theory, which emphasizes that at each Freudian stage, individuals not only develop a unique personality, but also acquire attitudes and skills that help them become active, contributing members of their society; recognizes the lifespan nature of

random assignment

An evenhanded procedure for assigning participants to treatment conditions in an experiment, such as drawing numbers out of a hat or flipping a coin; increase the chances that participants' characteristics will be equally distributed across treatment grou


The ability to adapt effectively the face of threats to development

sensitive period

A time that is optimal for certain capacities to emerge and in which the individual is especially responsive to environmental influences

sequential designs

Developmental designs in which investigators conduct several similar cross-sectional or longitudinal studies (called sequences) at varying times; some ***** combine longitudinal and cross-sectional strategies

social learning theory

An approach that emphasizes the role of modeling, otherwise known as imitation or observational learning, in the development of behavior

sociocultural theory

Vygotsky's theory, in which children acquire the ways of thinking and behaving that make up a community's culture through cooperative dialogues with more knowledgeable members of society


A qualitative change in thinking, feeling, and behaving that characterizes a specific period of development

structured interview

An interview method in which each participant is asked the same questions in the same way; distinguished from "clinical interview

structured observation

A method in which the investigator sets up a laboratory situation that evokes the behavior of interest so that every participant has an equal opportunity to display the response; distinguished from "naturalistic observation


An orderly, integrated set of statements that describes, explains, and predicts behavior