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Psych Ch. 4

Terms

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adolescence
the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
fluid intelligence
one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood
conservation
the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
object permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
fetus
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
formal operational stage
use abstract thinking, strategize (play games, chess, monopoly) (12 years of age through adulthood)
assimilation
interpreting one's new experiences in terms of one's existing schemas
cognition
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
attachment
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
stranger anxiety
the fear of stranger's that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age
crystallized intelligence
one's accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age
teratogens
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
basic trust
according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
schema
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
longitudinal study
research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial disproportions
identity
one's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
autism
a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of other's states of mind
egocentrism
in Piaget's theory, the inability of the preoperational child to take another's point of view
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible
cross-sectional study
a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another
preoperational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic
Alzheimer's disease
a progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, languages, and, finally, physical functioning
secondary sex characteristics
non reproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair
menarche
the first menstrual period
rooting reflex
a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to open the mouth and search for the nipple
developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
self-concept
a sense of one's identity and personal worth
menopause
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines
accommodation
adapting one's current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
puberty
the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
sensorimotor stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities
imprinting
the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life
social clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement
critical period
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development
intimacy
in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood
embryo
the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
maturation
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
zygote
the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
concrete operational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
theory of mind
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states- about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict
habituation
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner

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