Swarthmore College Psychology Midterm Developing Through the Life Span

zygote
the fertilized egg; it enters a 2 week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
embryo
the developing organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
fetus
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
teratogens
aka monster maker agents, such as chemicals and viruses that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and causes harm
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
Physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy drinking. In severe cases, signs include a small, out-of-proportion head and abnormal facial features
habituation
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. as infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
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maturation
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
cognition
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering and communicating
schema
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
assimilation
interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schema
accommodation
adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
sensorimotor stage
in piaget’s theory, this is the stage from birth to nearly 2 years of age in which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities
object permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
preoperational stage
in piaget’s theory, the stage (from about 2 to about 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.
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
egocentrism
in piaget’s theory, the preoperational child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view
theory of mind
people’s ideas about their own and other’s mental states–about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict
concrete operational stage
in piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development between 7 to 11 years of age during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
formal operational stage
in piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development about beginning of age 12 during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age
attachment
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
critical period
an optimal period early in the life of an organism when exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces normal development
imprinting
the process by which certain animals form strong attachments during early life
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