Glossary of Developmental Psych Exam I

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continuous development
idea that changes occur gradually
discontinuous development
idea that changes include occassional large shifts
stage theories
proposes development involves series of discontinuous, age-related phases
sociocultural context
physical, social, cultural, economic, and historical circumstances=environment
interrater reliability
amount of agreement in the observations of different raters who witness the same behavior
test-retest reliability
degree of similarity of a child's performance on two or more occasions
degree to which a test measures what it is intended to
internal validity
degree to which effects observed within experiments can be attributed to the variables that researcher manipulated
external validity
degree to which results can be generalized beyond particulars of research
structured interview
same questions to all participants
clinical interview
interview specific questions
structured observation
identical situation to all participants
direction-of-causation problem
concept that a correlation between two variables does not indicate which variable is the cause of the other
third-variable problem
correlation between two variables may stem from both being influenced by some third variable
cross-sectional design
research method in which children of different ages are compared on a given behavior or characteristic over a short period of time
microgenetic design
same children are studied repeatedly over a short period of time
emergence of new structures and functions in the course of development
study of prenatal development
gametes (germ cells)
egg and sperm
fertilized egg cell
3rd to 8th week of prenatal development
9th week to birth
phylogenic continuity
common evolutionary history humans share with other animals
genetically programmed cell death
support organ for fetus
cephalocaudal development
pattern of growth in which head develops earlier than areas farther from the head
sensitive period
developing organism is most sensitive to the effects of external factors
dose-response relation
effect of exposure to an element increases with the extent of exposure
soothing technique, tightly wrapping bathing in cloths/blankets
excessive, inconsolable crying
low birth weight
less than 5.5 pounds
35 weeks or earlier (3 weeks early)
small for gestational age
babies that weigh less than normal for gestational age
developmental resilience
successful development in spite of multiple developmental hazards
observable expression of the genotype, body characteristics, and behavior
crossing over
sections of DNA switch from one chromosome to the other
regulator genes
control activity of other genes
two or more different forms of a gene
polygenic inheritance
inheritance in which traits are governed by more than one gene
norm of reaction
all the phenotypes that can theoretically result from a given genotype
disorder related to defective recessive gene on chromosome 12 that prevents metabolism of phenylalanine
temporal lobe
associated with memory, visual recognition, emotion and auditory info
parietal lobe
spatial processing, integrating sensory input with information stored in memory
frontal lobe
organizing behavior, planning ahead
association areas
between major sensory and motor areas that process and integrate input from those areas
cerebral hemisphere
sensory input from one side of the brain to the opposite hemisphere of the brain
cerebral lateralization
phenomenon that each hemisphere of the brain is specialized for different modes of processing
proliferation of neurons through cell division
experience-expectant plasticity
normal wiring of the brain occurs in part as a result of the kinds of general experiences that every human who inhabits any reasonably normal environment will have
experience-dependant plasticity
neural connections created and reorganized throughout life as a function of an individual's experiences
secular trends
marked changes in physical development that have occured over generations
failure-to-thrive (nonorganic) (FTT)
condition in which infants become malnourished and fail to grow or gain weight for no obvious medical reason
malnutrition brought about by ingestion of too few calories
malnutrition brought about by inadequate protein

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