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For Piaget, the changes made to existing cognitive structures or schemes in order to understand new information or experiences
Actor-observer bias
In casual attributions, the tendency for an observer to overestimate the effects of dispositional factors when making attributions about an actor's behavior but to overestimate the effects of situational factors when making self-attributions
Adolescent "Storm and Stress"
The theory that adolescence is a time of considerable emotional turmoil (e.g. Hall 1904). Now largely believed to be untrue: While many adolescents do expereince greeat emotional lability, they do not go through a period of profound emotional distress
Part of the limbic system of the brain involvedin the control of emotional activities, including the mediation of defensive-aggressive behavior
Anacylitic depression
Withdrawal, depression, and developmental delays resulting from the loss of an attachment figure during infancy (especially when the loss occurs during the second half of the first year).
Having characteristicts of both sexes. Angrogynous people schore high on both the Masculine and Feminine scales of Bem's Sex Role Inventory and, in comparision to sex-type people, display greater gender flexibility, higher self-esteem, and high levels of achievement.
A social condition in which there are no societal norms and individuals have few or no personal or social values. Anomie occurs when society experiences unusual stress and results in a lack of socil structure, indifference, and isolation.
According to Piaget, the process of incorporating new objects, information, and experiences into existing cognitive structores or schemes
Attitude-behavior discrepency
Refers to the finding that, contrary to popular belief, attitudes are often not accurate predictors of behavior. Some authorities have, however, identified specific situations in which attitudes can accurately predict behavior, Fishbein, for example, argues that attitudes are good predictors when they include a measurement of the person's behavioral intention.
Authoritarian personality
A personality type characterized by identification with and submission to authority, cynicism, prejudice, intolerance of ambiguity. and political conservatism. The F (Facism) Scale was designed to assess authoritarianism
Autonomic nervous system (ANS)
Devision of the perpheral nervous system involved in the control of visceral functions (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and sweating.) Consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic devisions
Bases of social power
Methods used to induce compliance in another person. French and Raven and their colleagues have identified six bases of social power: coercive, reward, expert, legitimate, referent, and informational.
Basic Temperament
Tendencies to act in certain perdictable ways. Some investigators argue that basic temperament (e.g., activity level, sociability, emotionality) is one of the characteristics that has a strong genetic component.
Behavioral Intention
A predisposition to act in a particular way toward an attitude object. According to Fishbein, behavioral intentions consist of two components: a personal component (the person's attitude toward engaging in the behavior) and a social component (the person's beliefs about what other people think he or she should do).
Associated with some benefits o cognitive flexibiity and nonverbal skills. When language-minority childern participate in bilingual programs they do as well or as better than peers who participate in all-English programs in terms of academic English and Knowledge of subject matter.
Brain Lateralization
The specialization of cerebral cortex's two hemispheres. In most people, language is governed primarily bh the left brain and spatial abilities by the right brain. It appears that a great deal of laterlization has already occured at or soon after birth.
A method of generating creative ideas in which individuals or group members are encouraged to freely suggest any idea or thought without criticism, evaluatoin, or censorship
Broca's area
Motor speech area located in the frontal lobe (usually the left lobe) of the brain, just anterior to the motor cortex. Involved in the articulation of speech. Damage results in expressive apahasia (an inability to produce written or spoken laughage).
Buffering hypothesis
The hypothesisthat lower susceptibility to stress, great life satisfaction, and other positive outcomes are associated with a perception that one has adequte social support
Bystandar Apathy
The tendency of people to not intervene in emergency situations whenothers are present. Bystander apathy has been attibuted to three factors: social comparision, evaluation apprehension, and diffusion of responsiblity
Central Nervous System (CNS)
The nerve cells, fibers and tissues that make up the spinal cord and brain.
Central Traits:
Personality characteristics (e.g., warm, cold)that strongly influece the impressions made about the person possessing those traits.
Large structure on the dorsal aspect of the hindbrain. Involved in the extrapyramidal control of motor activites (e.g., coordination, balance, posture). Damage can result in ataxia (loss in ability to control voluntary body movement).
Ceberal Cortext
The outer covering of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. Involved in higher-order sensory, emotional, motor, and intelectual activities. Divided into two hemispheres, with each containing four lobes, frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital.
Chronic Illness
Successful adjutment to a chronic illness (e.g., diabetes) is related to several factors including less serious illness (especially less functional impairment) Adolescence appears to be a period of increased risk for noncompliance to medical regimens for individuals with a chronic illness.
Classical (respondent) conditioning
A type of learning in which a reutral (conditioned) stimulus is repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus alone eventually elicits the response that is naturally produced by the unconditioned stimulus. In Pavlov's orignial studies, the meat powder was the unconditioned stimulus and a tone was the conditioned stimulus. As the result of pairing the tone with the meat powder, the tone eventually elicited salivation.
Classical extinction
The gradual elimination of a classically conditioned resonse by repeatedly presenting the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus.
Cognitive dissonance theory
Festinger's theory of attiude change that proposes that inconsistencies in cognitions produce discomfort (dissonance), which motivates the individual to reduce the dissonace by changing his or her cognitions.
Cognitive learning Theory
Theories of learning that stress the inner psychological aspects of learing (e.g., process of information, development of problem-solving and decision-making strategies, etc.)
Communication networks
The patterns of communication between individuals or between departments in an organization. These networks are usually catergorized either centralized or decentralized: centralized networks are more effective for simple tasks and are associated with greater satisfaction for the central person only. While decentralized networks are better for complex tasks and are accociated with greater overall levels of satisfaction
Compensatory Preschool Program
In contrast to early evaluations of Head Start and other compensatory preschool programs for disadvantabed students, more recent studies suggest that they have positive long-term effets on measures of reading, language, mathematics achievement, attitudes toward achievemnt. They are associated with lower rates of placement in special education classes, lower high-school dropout rates, and benefits in terms of measuring life success.
Concrete operational stage
The third stage in Piaget's model of cognitive development: spans ages 7 to 11 years. During this stage, childern acquire logical operations and use logic to reason about concrete events or situations. Childern at this stage can "conserve"
Conditioned Response (CR)
In classical conditioning, a response that is elicited by a conditioned stimulus (CS) as a result of paring the CS with the US. The conditioned response is simular to , bu nt identical with, the unconditoned response (it is usually weaker in strength or magnitude) (Pavlov/salavation?)
Conditoned Stimulus (CS)
In classical conditioning, the previously neutral stimulus that, as the result of being paired with an unconditioned stimulus, now elicits a conditioned response (CR) (Pavlov/Bell?)
A chage in behavior or attitude as the result of inderiect pressure.
Conformity to group norms
Conformity to group norms is the highest when the task is ambiguous or complex, when group consensus is high, and when members have participated in setting the norms. Moreover, peple high in authoritarianism and rigidity and who have low self-esteem are more likely to conform to group norms.
The ability to recognize that certain properties of an object or substance do not change when its appearance is altered in a superficial way. For example, when a liquid is poured from a short, fat glass into a tall, thin one, the ability to recognize that the amount of liquid has not changed. The abiliyt to conserve develops gradually durng the concrete operational stage of development.
Contact Comfort
The pleasurable tactile sensations by a caretaker; believed by Harlow and others to be a casual factor in the development of attachment between an infant and his or her caretaker.
Continuous Schedule
In operant conditioning, providing reinformcement following each emission of the target response. Associated with rapid acquisition of a response and susceptibility to extenction.
Cooperative learning
Learning strategies (e.g. the jigsaw classroom)in which students of different races/cultures and ability levels work togetherto complete a school task. Cooperative learning has been found to increase the achievement of low-ability students, the self-esteem of all students, and to reduce prejudice and stereotyping.
Critical Periods
A stage during which an organism is especially susceptible to positive and negative environmental influences. As an example, some investigators propose that childern are moste likely to exhibit severe emotional reactions to adoption when it occurs between six and twelve months of age.
Overall, quality daycare seems to have a positve effect on social competence and, among disadvantaged childern, on intellectual growth.
A state of relative anonymity that allows group members to feel unidentifiable. Deindividuation has been associated with increases in antisocial behaivors, apparently because the deindividuated person's behavior is no longer controlled by guilt, fear of evaluation, or other inhibitory controls.
Delphi Technique
An appropach used to improve group problem-solving and decision making that de-emphasizes direct fact-to-face contact by group members. Involves pooling the independent judgement of members who do not have face-to-face contact throughout the process: instead, participants respond to questionnaires, the results of which are summarized and returned to participants for further comments:eventually all participants vote independently on the various solutions or decisions (Dalkey, 1969).
Developmental Milestones
Milestones in physical development include walking alone (13-14 months); using toilet during the day (2 yrs); and stable preference for right or left hand (4 years).
Diathesis-Stress Model
A model of certain mental disorders, which attributes them to a combination of genetic perdisposition and environmental stress factors.
Diminished Capacity to Parent
According to J. Wallerstein, the deterioration in the relationship between childern and their parents following divorce. Following divorce, mothers and fathers spend less time with their childern, are less sensitive to their childern, have trouble seperating their own needs from the needs of the childern, and are often inconsistent, but more restrictive and demanding, in terms of control and punishment.
Several longitudinal studies have shown that the period following divorce (espcially the first year) is unpleasant for all parties. parents experience emotional problems and a diminished ability to parent effectively: childern exhibit a variety of behavioral, emotinal, and social problems. Some studies suggest that boys may suffer most and for the longer period. Preschool childern usually exhibit the greatest negativbe effectis initially, but the long-term negative consequences may be worse for older childer. Negative consequences are reduced when the conflict between parents is minimized.
The technique for gaining compliance that is based on the assumption tha refusal of a large request will increase compliance with a subsequent smaller request.
A catecholaminergic neurotrasmitter involved in inhibitory motor regulation and motivational/emotional functions. Insufficient dopamine in the basal ganglia is belived to underlie Parkinson's Disease: oversensitivity to dopamine has been linked to Schizophreia.
Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
A form of mental retardation caused by the presence of an etra 21st chromosome. Characterized by certan physical features (e.g. "mongolism" and mild to severe Mental Retardation.
Early Parent-Child Seperation
Prolonged seperation between a child and primary caregiver has the least impact when it occurs prior to three months of age and the worst consequences when it occurs after nine months (up to about two or three years of age).
According to Freud, the aspect of the psyche associated with rational, relaistic, thougt. It is the ego's task to resolve conflict between the id, the superego, and reality.
Endogenous neuromodulators that have an alalgesic efect simular to morphine.
According to Piaget, the tendency towards bioloical and psychological balance. Equilibration underlies cognitive development.
Essential Hypertension
Elevated blood pressure not due to a known physical cause. High risk is associated with gender (males) obesity, cigarret smoking, excessive use of salt and genetics (e.g., Africal-American heritage)
False Consensus Bias
The tendency to overestimate the degree to which we believe others think and act like us.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Physical and mental abnormalities (e.g., Mental Retardation, microcephaly, hyperactivity, cardiac defects) caused by extreme maternal intake during pregnancy.
An intermittent reinforcement schedule in which the organism is reinforced for each predetermined interval of time in which it makes at least one response. Associated with "scallop" on the cumulative recordings of the subject's responses.
First Words
A baby's first words are usually uttered at about 12 months of age and ordinarily refer to familiar objects or actions on those objects (e.g., dada, baby, up)
The technique for gaining compliance that is based on the assumption that compliance with a small request will increase the probabiliyt that an individual will subsequently comply with a much larger request.
Formal Operational Stage
The stage in Piaget's model of cognitive development: begins at about age 11 or 12. Individuals at this stage are aware of their own thought process and can think more systemically about abstract and hypothetical concepts and ideas.
Forward Conditioning
In classical conditioning, presentation of the CS prior to ( or simutaneously with) the US. Of the methods of forward conditioning, delay conditioning is most effective in producing a conditioned response. In delay conditioning, the CS precedes and overlaps the US.
FR (Fixed Ratio) Schedule
An intermittent reinforcement schedule in which an organism is reinforced following a predetermined number of responses (e.g. after each 10th response). the cumultive record exhibits "post-reinforcement pauses". especially as the number of responses required for reinforcement increases.
Frontal Lobe
The anterior portion of the cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Contains the motor area and perfontal association cortex and is involved in initiative, planning ability, social empahty, and tact. Damage to the frontal lobe can cause dysarthria (difficult, poorly articulated speech) loss of fine movement or strength, Broca's aphasia, a reduction in planning and problem solving ability, and personality changes.
Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis
The theory that aggression is always motivated by frustration.
fundamental Attribution bias:
The attribution error in which an observer tends to overestimate dispositional causes and underestimate situational causes when making attributions about an actor's behavior.
The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter. Low levels of GABA in the motor region are associated with Huntington's Disease and may be involved in anxiety.
The theory of attraction which proposes that liking is related to the pattern rather than the amount of reward. According to gain-loss theory, people tend to be most attracted to individuals who show increased liking for them and to be least attracted to individuals who show decreased liking for them.
Gay and lesbian Parents
The research indicates that childern with gay or lesibian parents are essentially indistinguishable from those with heterosexual parents in terms of psychosocial adjustment, gender identify development, and sexual orientation.
Gender and Teacher Feedback
The research indicates that teachers tend to respond differently to boys and girl. Boys generally recieve more correction, criticism, praise and help than girls. Moreover, the nature of the feedback is gender-related: e.g., boys are more often criticized for sloppiness and inattention, girls for inadequate intellectual performance.
Gender Role Development
The process of becoming aware of one's own gender and acquiring motives, values, behaviors, etc. of that gender; i.e., of acquiring a gender identify and adopting gender-role behavior. According to Kohlberg, involves three stages: gender identify, gender stability, and gender constancy.
Characteristicts that are genetically inherited
Group Cohesion
The feeling of solidarity amoug group members. Cohesiveness is high in smaller groups; when initiation or entry into the group is difficult; when members are relatively homogenous; and when there is an external threat. High cohesiveness can sometimes lead to poor groop decision-making (e.g., when "groupthink" develops).
Group Polarization
The tendency of groups to make more extreme decisions (either more conservative or more risky) than individual members would have made alone.
A mode of group thinking in which group members' desires for unanimity and cohesivenss override their ability to realistically appraise or determine alternative courses of action. Can be alleviated by encouraging dissent or having someone play devil's advocate.
Head Start
In contrast to early evaluations of Head Start and other compensatory education programs for economically-disadvantaged students, longitudinal studies suggest that such programs have positive effects on measures of reading, languge, and mathmatics achievement and attitudes toward achievement are associated with lower rates of placement in special education classes and lower high school dropout rates.
Higher-Order Conditioning
In classical conditioning, the situation in which a perviously-established CS IS used essentially as a US to establish a conditioned response with a new conditioned (neutral)stimulus.
A limble brain structure involved in response inhibition, emotional behavior, and , most importantly in humans, memory consolidation.
A term used by Spitz to describe the syndrome found in infants who have been seperated from their mothers (or other primary caretakers). Symptoms include listlessness, unresponsiveness, indifference, and retarded growth.
Huntington's Chorea
A heriditary disease involving progressive deterioration of involuntary movements and dementia. Most cases have an average onset of age 35
A disorder caused by hypersecretion of thyroxin by the thyroid gland. Characterized by a speeded-up metabolism, elevated body temperature, accelerated heart rate, increased appetite with weight loss, exophthalmos, nervousness, and insomnia. Hypothyroidism occurs most oftent between the ages of 20 and 40 and is more common in females than males.
Hyperventilation syndrome
A disorder characterized by rapid breathing that leads to an excessive intake of oxygen and expulsion of carbon dioxide. Produces dizziness, faintness, paresthesia, and psychomotor impairments.
A cluster of neclei in the diencephalone (a part of the brain) that controls the autonomic nervous system and endocrine glands, mediates basic drives, and regulates emotional expression.
A disorder caused by hyposecretion of thyroxin by the thyroid gland. Characterized by a slowed metabolism, slowed heart rate, lethargy, lowered body temperature, impaired concentration and memory, and depression.
According to Freud, the aspect of the psyche that is present at birth, that contains the libido and other instincts, and seeks immediate gratification of its impulses
Identify Issues in Adolescence
Erickson considered the development of a coherent identify to be the major developmental task of adolescence. One aspect of identify formation during adolescence is a renewed egocentrism, which is manisfested in the imaginary audiance of the personal fable.
Insight (Kohler)
The apparent understanding of the relationship between elements in a problem-solving situation. From the perspective of gestalt psychology. insight involves perceptual reorganization. The "aha" experience.
Intergroup Contact
Research shows that intergroup contact can help reduce intergroup hostility when certain conditions are met. These include having groups of equal status or power and being provided with opportunities to engage negative stereotypes of the opposing group's members. Of course, the effects on intergroup contact are maximized when members of the groups are working together on a superordinate goal.
Intermittent (Partial) Reinforcement
In operant conditioning, any pattern of reinforcement that is not continuous. Includes the fixed interval, fixed ratio, variable interval, and variable ratio schedules. Associated with greater resistance to extinction than a continuous schedule.
Developed Five Stages of Model Adjustment to the idea of one's own death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Language and Gender
The research has identified some gender differences in language use: In conversations, males talk for longer periods and interrupt more; females hesitate more often and ask more questions and attach taq questions to statements.
Latent Learning (Tolman)
A learning model which proposes that learning can take place without reinforcement or actual performance improvement. Toleman's research showed that rats formed "cognitive maps" of maze events without being reinforced in doing so.
Law of Effect (Thorndike)
The principle that organisms tend to acquire behaviors that lead to satisfying consequences quicker than behaviors that lead to unsatisfying consequences.
Learned Helplessness
The feeling that one has no control over one's outcomes or events in the environment: often results when one experiences an acutal loss of control.
Left Hemisphere
The left (dominant) hemisphere of the brain tends to be larger than the right hemisphere, and it dominates verbal activities (spontaneous speaking and writing, word recognition, memory for words and numbers) ; analytical, logical thought; and negative emotional states.
Limbic System
Subcortial structures in the brain involved in drive states and the experience of emotion. Its major structures are the amygdala, spectum, cingulate gyrus, and hypocampus.
Locus of Control
A construct developed by Rotter to describe the extent to which an individual believes that life events are under his or her own control (internal locus of control) or under the control of external factors (external locus of control)
Maternal Employment
Research inestigating the effects of maternal employment has found it to be associated with greater personal satisfaction for the working mother and, in terms of the children, with fewer sex-role sterotypes and greater independence, and, for the lower -SES boys, better performance on measures of cognitive development.
Maternal Health
Maternal health during pregnancy can affect embronic and fetal development. Prolonged malnutrition, for instance , can have a negative impact on brain development.
Memory strageties
Rehersal, elaboration, organization, and other membory strategies are not used regularly by childern until age 10, which helps explain the problems younger children exhibit on measures of long-term membory.
Mid-Life Transition
For Levinson, the period between ages 40 and 45 characterized by a questioning on one's life structure. May involve a "mid-life-crisis", precipitated by a revaluation of one's past, and an awareness of one's mortality. Also characterized by a shift in time perspective from "time-from birth" to "time-left-to- die".
Misery loves company syndrome
Refers to Schachter's findings that highly-anxous individuals prefer to affliate with (wait with other individuals) with other highly-anxious people.
Moral Development (Kohlberg):
According to Kohlberg's cognitive-developmental theory, moral development coincides with cognitive development and involves three levels athat each include two stages: preconventional (punishment and obedience: instrumental hedonism); conventional (good boy/girl: law and order); and postconventional (morality of contract, individual rights, and democratically-accepted laws; morality of individual principles of conscious).
Nativist Approach
The approach to development that attributes physical, mental and behavioral change to nature (inheritance). Chomsky's view of language as attributable to an innate "language acquisition device" is a nativist theory
Nature-Nurture Controversy
The controversy about the relative contributions of nature (heredity) and nurture (environment) to development. Most current theorists view nature and nurture as interacting bi-directionally: that is, nature affects nurture and vice versa.
Negative Punishment
IN operant conditioning, the withdrawal of a stimulus contingent on the performance of a behavior in order to decrease the likelihood that the behavior will occur again. Response cost is an example of negative punishment (see Clinical Social Work Intervention Chapter)
Negative Reinforcement
In operant conditioning, the withdrawal of a stimulus following a behavior in order to increase the likelihood that the behavior will occur again. Response cost is an example of negative punishment (see Clinical Social Work Intervention Chapter)
The nerve cell specialized for the condition of electrochemical signals that carry information from one part of the body to another (e.g. from the brain to the muscles; from the sensory organs to the brain). Consists of three components: dendrites, soma (cell body), and axon.
A chemical substance that is released from axon terminals, diffuses across synapese, and excites or inhibits receptor sites on postsynaptic cells. Includes acetylcholine, GABA, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.
Nominal Group Technique
A means of improving problem-solving and decision making by groups that de-emphasizes direct face-to-face contact by group members. Involves brainstorming, followed by group discussion and a "secret ballot".
A catecholaminergic neurotransmitter that mediates the activities of the sympathetic nervous system and plays a role in the regulation of eating, sleeping, and positive reinforcement. Deficiency is associated with some form of depression.
Object Perfanence
The Understanding that objects continue to exist when they are no longer detectable by the sneses (eg., when they are out of sight). Object permanence emerges at the end of Piage's sensorimotor stage of development.
Observation (social Learning
Bandura's theory states that behaviors can be acquired simply by observing someone else (a model) perform those behaviors; i.e., that the acquisition of behavior is due largely to social influence and that learning is cognitively mediated and involves four processes: attention, retention, production,and motivation
Occipital Lobe
The most posterior portion of the cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Contains the primary sensory cortex for vision. Damage can result in visual object agnosia, color agnosia, word blindness and scotomas (blind spots).
Operant Conditioning
A type of learning in which behaviors are increased or decreased as the result of the consequences that follow them.
Operant Extinction
In operant conditioning, the gradual elimination of a perviously-reinforced response throught the consistent withholding of reinforcement following that response. Usually associated with a temporary increase in the response (extinction bursts).
Overjustification Hypotheseis
The notion what when individuals are externally rewarded for a task they perviously found intrinsically interesting, their interest in the task will decrease.
Parasympathetic Division
The division of the autonomic nervous system involved in the conservation of energy and relaxation. Activation of the parasympathetic division is associated with a slowing of heart rate, lowered blood pressure, contraction of pupils, reduction of sweat gland output, and increased activity of the digestive system.
Parenting Style
Basic tendencies in parenting.Baumrind distinguishes between four styles that reflect various combinations of warmth and control: authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent-permissive, and indulgent-uninvolved. In general, parental warmth mixed with modeate control (an authoritative style) is associated with the best outcomes. These include greater self-control and self-reliance, achievement-orientation, and social responsibility.
Parkinson's Disease
A disease of the basal ganglia characterized by muscle weakness, termor, and difficulty initiating and maintaining volunary movement. Believed to be due to insufficient dopamine
Participant Modeling
A technique based on observational learning theory in which a model demonstrates the desired behavior and then helps the individuals to gradually imitate the modeled behavior. Has been found useful for treating phobias.
Patterns of Attachments
Research using Ainworth's "strange situation" has revealed four patterns of attachment: Secure, Insecure/ambivalent, insecure/avoidant and disorganized/disoriented. Each is associated with different caretaker behaviors and different personality outcomes.
Perception in the Newborn
Infants have less than perfect vision when born but by about six months have visual acuity close to that of normal adults. In terms of audition, the new born i only slightly less sensitive than adults to the intensive of sound. Some auditory localization is evident at birth and it continues to improve during the first year.
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
The nervous systeme elements lying outside of the spinal cord and brain. The PNS consists of the spinal and cranal nerves and is divided into the comatic and autonomic nervous systems.
Characteristicts that are measureable and observable. May be due to genotype and/or environmental factors. Eye color for example , is the result of genotype, while weight is usually due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Piaget's Constructivism
Piaget's theory of cognitive development, which proposes that knowedge is actively constructed by the individual from elements provided by both maturation and experience. Describes cognitive development as involving four universal and invariant stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. Also views adaptation to the environment as reflecting a combination of assimilation and accommodation.
An inherited metabolic disease involving a deficiency of an enzyme needed to metabolize the amino acid phyenylalanine. If untreated in early infancy by a restriction in intake of foods containing phenylalanine, PKU can lead to severe mental retardation and other nervous-system disorders.
Childhood plan is currently viewed as an essential contributor to a child's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development
Pleasure Principle
As defined by Freud, the psychic force that motivates people to seek immediate gratification of instinctual (ID) impulses
Positive Discriminative Stimulus
A stimulus (cue) which signals that reinforcement will follow the performance of a particular behavior. (Often referred to simply as a "discriminative stimulus").
Positive Punishment
The application of a stimulus following a response with the goal of reducing or eliminating the response.
Positive Reinforcement
The application of a stimulus following a response with the goal of increasing the occureance or strength of the response.
Postconventional Morality
For Kohlberg, the final level of moral development. At this level, moral judgements are independent of personal consequences and social convention and are based on social contracts, democratically-determined laws, and universal principles. Many adults do not reach this stage of moral development.
Preconditioned Morality
According to Kohlberg, the first level of moral development in which judgements of right and wrong are based on consequences and personal needs. Includes the punishment-obedience and instrumental hedonism stages. Characteristic of childhood.
Peroperational Stage
The second stage in Piaget's model of cognitive development: spans ages 2 through 7. Childern at this stage can think symbolically but haven't mastered logical operations (e.g., mental addiction, classication, conservation).
Primacy Efect
The tendency for information persented first to have the greatest effect on impression formation or attitude change.
Primary (unconditioned) Reinforcement
A stimulus that has reinforcing value without conditioning (learning). Examples include food and water.
Psychosexual Development (Freud)
Freud's theory of personality development proposes that development involves five invariant stages ( oral, anal, phallac, latency, and genital) in which the libido shifts from one area of the body to another.
Psychosocial Development (Erickson)
Erickson's theory of personality development proposes that the individual faces different social crisis as different points throughout the life span. these are: trust vs. mistrust ; autonomy vs. shame and doubt ; initiative vs. guilt; industry vs. inferiority ; identify vs. role confusion ; intimacy vs. isolation l generativity vs. stagnation ; and integrity vs. dispair.
The tendency to resist being influeced or manipulated by others, usually by doing the oppositve of what is desired or expected.
Reactions to Dying
Kubler-Ross developed a five-stage model of adjustment to the idea of one's own death. The stages in order are : denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance
Reality Principle
As defined by Freud, the principle on which the ego, operates as it mediates between the demands of th eid and the environment.
Reflexes in the Newborn
At birth, infants exhibit a number of reflexes including the Moro reflex, which occurs in response to a loud noice or suddenly losing physical support, and the Babinski reflex, which is caused by tickling the soles of the feet.
Longitudianl studies suggest that early (pernatal and perinatal) environmental stress can be ameliorated when the baby experiences fewer stressors following birth, exhibits good communication skills, social responsiveness, and receives stable support from a parent or other caregiver.
Response Generalization
In operant conditioning, response generalization occurs when a discriminate stimulus not only increases a particular response by also simular ones.
Reticular Activating System (RAS)
A network of nerve fibers in the brin involved in wakefulness, attention, concentration , and introspection
Right Hemisphere
The right (non-dominant) hemisphere of the brain ; dominates in visual-spatial activities such as facial recognition, spatial interpretaion, and memory or shapes
Risky Shift Phenomenon
The proposal that group decisions tend to be "riskier" than decisions made by individuals
the behavior expected of an individual based on his or her position or status. Individuals usually adopt more than one role; e.g., mother/father, daughter/son, and worker.
Role Ambiguity
A condition resulting when an individual's role expectations are inconsistent or poorly defined. Can lead to stress, anxiety, lowered satisfaction, and reduced productivity. Role ambibuity can alos produce role conflict.
Role Conflict
A condition resulting when : 1. the expectations related to an individual's role vary within a single group.
2. an individual's roles in different groups or settings are incompatible or
3. an individual's values or attitudes do not coincide with the requirements of his or her role. Role conflict is associated with anxiety, lowered satisfaction, reduced productivity, and higher rates of absenteeism from the group and dropout.
Role Discomplementarity
A condition resulting when :
1. the different roles assumed by an individual conflict or
2. the individual's family, employer, co-workers etc. have role expectations for the individual that differ from his or her own role expectations.
Role Theory
The assumption that individuals behave in accordance with the expectaions set by their family, by society, etc.
A condition of being satisfied or gratified with regrad to a particular reinforcer. Satiation is particularly a problem with continuous reinforcement and with the use of primary reinforcers.
Secondary (Conditioned) reinorcer
Reinforcers that are not inherently reinforcing but that acquire their reinforcing value through association with a primary reinforcer. Tokens, for example, are reinforcing only because they can be exchanged for primary reinforcers
Self-Control Procedures
Behavioral and cognitive-behavioal techniques in which the client is trained to evaluate and modify his or her own behaviors. Self-reinforcement, self-punishment, and stimulus control are classified as self-control procedures.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
The notion that having an expectation about an event will cause it to occur.
Self-Perception Theory
The theory that individuals make attributions about their own attitudes and behaviors on the basis of observations of their own behaviors and other external cues.
Self-Serving Bias
In casual attributions, the tendency to atribute one's succfess to internal factors and ones failures to external factors.
Sensorimotor Stage
The first stage in Piaget's model of cognitive development; spans the first two years of life. During this stage, knowledge is acquired through the senses and motor behavior. The end of this state is marked by the emergence of symbolic thought and object performance
Seperation Anxiety
A normal fear response exhibited by a young child when he or she is seperated from a mother or other primary caretaker. Begins at about six to eight months, increases in intensity to about 14 to 18 months, and thereafter declines.
A neurotransmitter involved in the suppression of the arousing effects of the RAS, the regulation of body temperature, hunger, aggression, sexual behavior, the Mood Disorders and Schizophrenia.
Sex-Role Stereotypes
Stereotypes related to gender differences. Some of the differences identified in teh literature (e.g., differences related to need for achievement and conformity ) have been attributed to research methodology rather than true gender differences. Others - in particular, aggression - seem to be true differences that may have a biological basis.
Social Comparison Theory
the theory that individuals use other people as sources of comparison in order to evaluate their own attitudes and behaviors.
Social Facilitation
The increase in learning and performance that occurs in the presence of others. Most likely to occur when the task is simple or well-learned.
Social Inhibition
The decrease of learning and performance that occures in the presence of others. Most likely to occur when the task is new or complex.
Somatic Nervous System
The division of the peripheral nervous system involved in the control of the skeletal muscles.
Stages in language development
Language development occurs in a predictable sequence of stages "

cooing and babbling (6-8 weeks and 4 months respectively)
Echolalia and expressive jargon (9 months)
Holophrastic speech (1 to 2 years)
telegraphic speech (18 months to 24 months) and
Grammatically correct sentences (beginnng at about 2 and a half years old. )
Stimulus Control
the process by which a behavior does or does not occur due to the presence (or absence) of discriminative stimuil.
Stimulus Discrimination
Learning to respond only in the presence of certain stimuli (i.e., in the presence of the original CS).
Stimulus Generalization
In operant and classical conditioning, responding with a particular response to similar stimuil; e.g., in classical conditioning, responding to stimuli simular to the CS with the CR.
Stranger Anxiety
A normal fear response to strangers exhibited by young childern. Begins at about eight months of age and declines during the second year.
According to Freud,the aspect of the psyche that presents an internalization of societal standards, values etc. and tha serves as the individual's conscience.
Superordinate Goals
Goals that can be achieved only when individuals or members of different groups work together cooperatively. These have been found useful for reducing intergroup conflict.
Symbolic (Representational) Thought
The ability to use words, actions, and other symbols to represent objects and experiences. Emerges at the end of Piaget's sensorimotor stage of development. Also referred to as "symbolic capacity".
Sympathetic Division
The dividion of the autonomic nervous system involved in the mediation of flight or fight (emergency) reactions. Activation of the sympathetic division produces increased heart rate, pupil dilation, increased blood sugar, and inhibition of the digestive process.
Teacher Expectation
Research on teacher expectations suggests that they have a "self-fulfilling prophecy effect" on the academic performance, motivational, and sel-esteem of students.
A person's basic disposition (e.g., level of reactivity and sel-control) that is believed to have a strong genetic component and is apparent soon after birth. Thomas and Chess distinguish between three types of basic temperament observed in babies: easy, difficult, and slow-to-warm-up.
Temporal Lobe
A portion of the cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Contains the primary auditory cortex. Damage can result in auditory agnosia, amusia (loss of ability to recognize melodies). Wernicke's aphasia, cortical deafness, and impairment in long-term memory.
Substances that cause defectsin the developing embryo and fetus: major structrual abnormalities are most likely when exposure to teratogens occurs during the embryonic stage (third through eight week of prenatal development). Exposure to alcohol, for example produces fetal alcohol syndrome, exposure to cocaine is associated with a variety of behavioral and cognitive symptoms.
The practice of placing students into homogenous groups or classes on the basis of current achievement levels. Research suggests that tracking is associated with negative effects, especially for lower-ability childern who do better in heterogenous groups.
Unconditioned Respose (UR)
In classical conditioning, the response naturally elicited by the US without conditioning.
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)
In classical conditioning, the stimulus that naturally elicits the target response (UR) without conditioning. In Pavlov's original studies, meat powder was the US and salivation was the UR.
VI (Variable Interval) Schedule
An intermittent reinforcement schedule in which the reinforcer is applied after a varyng amount of time (with the average time interval being predetermined). Associated with a smooth rate of responding.
VR (Variable Ratio) Schedule
An intermitent reinforcement schedule in which the reinforcer is applied after a varying number of responses (with the average number of responses being predetermined). Associated with a high, stable rate of responding and the greatest resistance to extinction.
Wernicke's Area
Speech area located in the temporal lobe (usually the left lobe) of the brain. Responsible for the understanding of written and spoken language. Lesions produce receptive aphasia, which is characterized by an inability to comprehend written and spoken language or to name objects and qualities (anomia).

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