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Flashcards in Chapter 1- History, Theory, And Research Deck (144):

When something has practical importance



The vast amount of information about child development has grown through the combined efforts of people from many fields because of the need to solve everyday problems. It is:



Development is often divided into three broad domains:

Physical, cognitive, and emotional and social


What are the six age periods used to segment the first 2 1/2 decades of life?

The prenatal period from conception to birth

Infancy and toddlerhood from birth to two years

Early childhood from 2 to 6 years

Middle childhood from 6 to 11 years

Adolescence from 11 to 18 years


And orderly, integrated set of statement that describes, explains, and predicts behaviors



What are two reasons that theories are important to the study of child development?

They provide organizing frameworks for our observations of children. They guide and give meaning to what we see.

Theories that are verified by research often serve as a sound basis for practical action. Once a theory helps us understand development, we are in a much better position to know how to improve the welfare and treatment of children


What are the three elements of a good theory?

It describes, explains, and predicts


How do you theories differ from opinions?

Theories depend on scientific verification, they must be tested using a fair set of research procedures agreed on by the scientific community and its findings must be replicated overtime


A process of gradually adding more of the same types of skills that were there to begin with



A process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times



The discontinuous perspective regards development as taking place in _______, qualitative changes in thinking, feeling, and behaving that characterize specific periods of development



What are the three domains in which development is often divided?

Continuous or discontinuous development, one course of development or many, relative influence of nature and nurture


Stage theorists assume that people everywhere follow the same sequence of development. They believe in ___ _____ of development

One course


Children grow up in distinct ________, unique combinations of personal and environmental circumstances that can result in different paths of change. Theorists who accept this accept ____ _______ of development

Contexts; Many courses


Theorists who believe that inborn biological traits, the hereditary information we received from her parents at the moment of conception, are more important in influencing development



Theorists who believe that complex forces of the physical and social world influence our biological makeup and psychological experiences before and after birth



Children who are high or low in a characteristic will remain so later ages. These theorists typically stress the importance of heredity



Theorists who see development as being open to change in response to influential experiences. Usually stress the importance of the environment



The ability to adapt effectively in the face of threats to development


Receiving increasing attention as investigators look for ways to protect young people from the damaging effects of stressful life conditions


List and describe the four broad factors that appear to offer protection from the damaging effects of stressful life events:

Personal characteristics-high intelligence and socially valued talents increase the chances that a child will have rewarding experiences. Children who have an easy-going, sociable disposition and temperament tend to have an optimistic outlook on life and a special capacity to adapt to change

A warm parental relationship-a close relationship with at least one parent who provides warmth, appropriately high expectations, monitoring of the child's activities, and an organized home environment fosters resilience

Social support outside the immediate family-a strong bond to a competent, caring adult

Community resources and opportunities-community supports, good schools, convenient and affordable healthcare and social services, libraries, and recreational centers foster parents and children's well-being


In medieval times, was childhood regarded as a distinct developmental period?

It was, medieval painters often depicted children wearing loose, comfortable gowns, playing games, and looking up to adults. Manuals offering advice on many aspects of childcare were common


During the Reformation in the 16th century, the ________ belief in Original Sin gave rise to the view that children were born evil and stubborn and had to be civilized. Harsh, restrictive childrearing practices were recommended to tame the depraved child and they were dressed in stiff, uncomfortable clothing and students were routinely beaten by their schoolmasters



During the Enlightenment, the British philosopher John Locke regarded the child as a _____ ____, or blank slate. Children begin as nothing at all, their characters are shaped entirely by experience, so parents can be rational tutors who can mold the child in anyway they wish through careful instruction, effective example, and rewards for good behavior

Tabula rasa


What was John Locke's stance on each of the three basic issues of human development?

He regarded development as continuous, adultlike behaviors are gradually built up through the warm, consistent teachings of parents

He believed in nurture, the power of the environment to shape the child

His faith in nurture suggests the possibility of many courses of development and of high plasticity at later ages due to new experiences


Jean-Jacques Rousseau saw children as ______ ______, naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong and an innate plan for orderly, healthy growth

Noble savages


In what ways did the theories of John Locke and Rousseau differ?

Russo believed that children's built-in moral sense and unique ways of thinking and feeling would only be harmed the adult training lock suggested

Russo saw children as determining their own destinies and he viewed development as a discontinuous, stagewise process that follows a single, unified course mapped out by nature


What are two concepts included in Rousseau's theory that remain important to modern theories of child development?

The concept of stage, and the concept of maturation, a genetically determined, naturally unfolding course of growth


what are the two principles emphasized in Darwins theory of evolution?

Natural selection and survival of the fittest.

Certain species survive in particular parts of the world because they have characteristics that fit with, or are adapted to their surroundings. Other species die off because they are not as well suited. Individuals within a species who best meet the environments survival requirements live long enough to reproduce and pass their more beneficial characteristics to future generations


Who is generally regarded as the founder of the child study movement?

G. Stanley Hall


Measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals and age-related averages are computed to represent typical development

Normative approach


Who constructed the first successful intelligence test, and what was it used for?

Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon. Were asked by Paris school officials to find a way to identify children with learning problems who needed to be placed in special classes.


According to this perspective, children move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drives and social expectations. How these conflicts are resolved determines a person's ability to learn, to get along with others, and to cope with anxiety

The psychoanalytic perspective


Emphasizes that how parents manage their child's sexual and aggressive drives in the first few years is crucial for healthy personality development

Freud's psychosexual theory


Name and briefly describe the three components of personality outlined in Freud's theory

The ID, the largest portion of the mind, is the source of basic biological needs and desires

The ego, the conscious, rational part of personality, emerges in early infancy to redirect the IDs impulses so that they are discharged in acceptable ways. Reconciles the demands of the ID, the external world, and conscience

The super ego, or conscience, develops through interactions with parents, who insist that children conform to the values of society.


Stage in Freud's theory in which sexual instincts die down



Stage in Freud's theory in which the infant desires sucking activities



Stage in Freud's theory in which the Oedipal and Electra conflicts take place

Phallic. Preschoolers take pleasure in genital stimulation


Stage in Freud's theory marked by mature sexuality



Stage in Freud's theory in which toilet training becomes a major issue between parent and child



What is one contribution and three limitations of Freud's theory?

It was the first to stress the influence of the early parent-child relationship on development

Over emphasized the influence of sexual feelings in development, was based on the problems of sexually repressed well-to-do adults in 19th-century Victorian society and did not apply in other cultures, Freud did not study children directly


In this theory, Erickson emphasized that in addition to mediating between ID impulses and superego demands, the ego makes a positive contribution to development, acquiring attitudes and skills that make the individual an active, contributing member of society. Basic psychological conflict, which is resolved along a continuum from positive to negative, determines healthy or maladaptive outcomes at each stage

Psychosocial theory


In what ways did Erickson build upon and improve Freud's theory?

Ericksons first five stages parallel Freud's stages, but he added three adult stages and was one of the first to recognize the lifespan nature of development


Successful resolution of this stage of Ericksons psychosocial theory depends on the adult's success at caring for other people or productive work

Generativity versus stagnation


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, the primary task of this stage is the development of a sense of self and a sense of one's place in society

Identity versus role confusion


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, successful resolution of this stage depends on a warm, loving relationship with the caregiver

Basic trust versus mistrust


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, in this stage, children experiment with adult roles through make-believe play

Initiative versus guilt


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, successful resolution of this stage depends on parents granting the child reasonable opportunities for free choice

Autonomy versus shame and doubt


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, successful resolution of this stage involves reflecting on life's accomplishments

Integrity versus despair


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, the development of close relationships with others helps ensure successful resolution of the stage

Intimacy versus isolation


In Ericksons psychosocial theory, children who develop the capacity for cooperation and productive work will successfully resolve this stage

Industry versus inferiority


What are two contributions of psychoanalytic theory?

It's emphasis on the individual's unique life history as worthy of study and understanding, accepts the clinical or case study method.

Has inspired a wealth of research on many aspects of emotional and social development


What are two reasons that psychoanalytic theory is no longer in the mainstream of child development research?

To strongly committed to the clinical approach that they failed to consider other methods

Many psychoanalytic ideas, such as psychosexual stages and ego functioning, are too vague to be tested empirically


Research on child development has been stimulated by both ________ ________ and _______ ________to better children's lives.

Scientific curiosity; social pressures


What two directly observable events are the focus of behaviorism

Stimuli and responses


According to Skinner, the frequency of a behavior can be increased by following it with a wide variety of reinforcers or decreased through punishment. This was called his

Operant conditioning theory


In social learning theory, Albert Bandura emphasized this, also known as imitation or observational learning, as a powerful source of development.


The baby who claps her hands after her mother does so is an example


Consists of procedures that combine conditioning and modeling to eliminate undesirable behaviors and increase desirable responses

Behavior modification


Summarize Bandura's revisions to his social learning theory, which stress the importance of cognition in the learning process

His theory stresses the importance of cognition, or thinking and has shown that children's ability to listen, remember, and abstract general rules from complex sets of observed behaviors affect their invitation and learning. From watching others engage in self praise and self blame and through feedback about the worth of their own actions, children develop personal standards for behavior and a sense of self efficacy, the belief that their own abilities and characteristics will help them succeed. His most recent revision emphasizes cognition so much that it is called social-cognitive rather than a social learning approach


What are two limitations of behaviorism and social learning theory

They offer too narrow of a viewpoint of important environmental influences which extend beyond immediate reinforcement and modeled behaviors to children's rich physical and social worlds.

They underestimate children's contributions to their own development


PIaget did not believe that children's learning depends on _________, such as rewards from adults



According to this theory, children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world

Piaget's cognitive-developmental theory


According to Piaget, just as structures of the body are adapted to fit with the environment, so structures of the mind develop to better fit with, or represent, the external world. This is called



According to Piaget, children eventually revise their incorrect ideas in their ongoing efforts to achieve an __________, or balance, between internal structures and information they encounter in their everyday worlds



According to Piaget, during this stage thought becomes more complex and children develop the capacity for abstract reasoning

Formal operational


According to Piaget, this stage is characterized by the use of eyes, ears, hands, and mouth to explore the environment



According to Piaget, during this stage children use symbols and engage in make-believe play



According to Piaget, this stage is marked by the development of logical, organized reasoning skills

Concrete operational


What did Piaget use as his chief method for studying child and adolescent thought?

He carefully observed his three infant children and also presented them with every day problems. He also adapted the clinical method of psychoanalysis, conducting open ended clinical interviews in which a child's initial response to a task served as a basis for the next question


What are three lasting contributions of Piaget's theory?

Besides investigating children's understanding of the physical world, Piaget explored their reasoning about the social world

His stages have sparked a wealth of research on Sheldons conceptions of themselves, other people, and human relationships

Encouraged the development of educational philosophies and programs that emphasize children's discovery learning and direct contact with the environment


What are three recent challenges to Piaget's theory?

Underestimated the competencies of infants and preschoolers. When tasks are scaled down in difficulty and relevant to their every day experiences, children's understanding appears closer to that of an older child and adult and they generally reach their full intellectual potential only in areas of endeavor in which they have had extensive education and experience

Children's performance on Piagetian problems can be improved with training which call into question the assumption that discovery learning rather than adult teaching is the best way to foster development

His stage wise account pays insufficient attention to social and cultural influences and the resulting wide variation in thinking among children and adolescents of the same age


According to this perspective, the human mind might also be viewed as a symbol manipulating system through which information flows. From the time information is presented to the senses at input until it emerges as a behavioral response at output, information is actively coded, transformed, and organized

Information processing


How are flowcharts used by information processing researchers

They use flowcharts to map the precise steps individuals use to solve problems and complete tasks, much like the plans devised by programmers to get computers to perform a series of mental operations


In what basic way are information processing and Piaget's theory alike and different?

Like Piaget's theory, the information processing approach regards children as active, sense making beings who modify their own thinking in response to environmental demands

Unlike Piaget's theory, it does not divide development into stages. Continuous development not discontinuous.


What is one strength and two limitations of the information processing approach

It's strength is its commitment to rigorous research methods. It's findings have led to teaching methods that help children approach academic tasks in more advanced ways.

It's limitations are that it is better at analyzing thinking into its components then at putting them back together into a comprehensive theory. It has had little to say about aspects of children's cognition that are not linear and logical, such as imagination and creativity


This type of investigation brings together researchers from psychology, biology, neuroscience, and medicine to study the relationship between changes in the brain and the developing child's cognitive processing and behavior patterns

Developmental cognitive neuroscience


List three areas in which developmental cognitive neuroscientists are making rapid progress in the field of child development

The revolutionary finding that the brain retains considerable plasticity throughout life

In identifying the types of experiences that support or undermine brain development at diverse ages

Clarifying the brain bases of many learning and behavior disorders


This perspective is concerned with the adaptive, or survival value of behavior and it's evolutionary history



A limited time span during which the child is biologically prepared to acquire certain adaptive behaviors but needs the support of an appropriately stimulating environment

Critical period


A time that is biologically optimal for certain capacities to emerge because the individual is especially responsive to environmental influences, however, its boundaries are less well-defined than are those of a critical period. Development can occur later, but it is harder to induce

Sensitive period


Explain how John Bowlby use the principles of ethology to understand the infant-caregiver relationship

He argued that infant smiling, babbling, grasping, and crying are built in social signals that encourage the caregiver to approach, care for, and interact with the baby. By keeping the parent near, these behaviors help ensure that the baby will be fed, protected from danger, and provided with the stimulation and affection necessary for healthy growth


This type of psychology seeks to understand the adaptive value of species-wide cognitive, emotional, and social competencies as those competencies change with age

Evolutionary developmental psychology


This theory focuses on how culture, the values beliefs customs and skills of a social group, is transmitted to the next generation. Social interaction, in particular cooperative dialogs with more knowledgeable members of society, is necessary for children to acquire the ways of thinking and behaving that make up a community's culture

Vygotsky's sociocultural theory


Vygotsky's emphasis on culture and social experience led him to neglect __________ contributions to development



This theory views the child as developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment

Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory


To explain the contribution of both biological and environmental influences on development, Bronfenbrenner characterized his perspective as a __________ model



What are the four systems in ecological systems theory

Microsystem, misosystem, exosystem, macrosystem


In the ecological systems theory, this is the innermost level of the environment which consists of activities and interaction patterns in the child's immediate surroundings.
Ex. Parents



The second level in the ecological systems theory which encompasses connections between Microsystems, such as home, school, neighborhood, and childcare Center. Connections among immediate settings.
Ex. Relationship between the child's home and school



In the ecological systems theory, this third layer system consists of social settings that do not contain children but that nevertheless affect children's experiences in immediate settings. Social settings that affect but do not contain the child.
Ex. Parents workplaces



This is the outermost level in the ecological systems theory which consists of cultural values, laws, customs, and resources

The macrosystem


In the ecological systems theory, these are the temporal changes that affect development, such as the timing of the birth of a sibling



According to this perspective, the child's mind, body, and physical and social worlds form an integrated system that guides mastery of new skills. The system is dynamic, or constantly in motion. A change in any part of it, from brain growth to physical or social surroundings, disrupts the current organism-environment relationship. When this happens, the child actively reorganizes his or her behavior so the various components of the system work together again but in a more complex, effective way

Dynamic systems perspective


Based on the dynamic systems perspective, explain how individuals develop both universal traits and individual abilities

It is acknowledged that a common human genetic heritage and basic regularities in children's physical and social worlds yield certain universal, broad outlines of development.
Biological makeup, every day tasks, and the people who support children and mastery of those tasks very greatly, leading to wide individual differences in specific skills


Research usually begins with a _______, or a prediction about behavior drawn from a theory



with this type of research method, researchers go into the field, or natural environment, and observe the behavior of interest

Naturalistic observation


What are the strengths and weaknesses of naturalistic observation (1 each)

Strength is that investigators can see directly the every day behaviors they hope to explain

Limitation, not all individuals have the same opportunity to display a particular behavior in every day life


With this type of research method, investigators set up laboratory situations that evoked the behavior of interest so that every participant has an equal opportunity to display the response

Structured observations


What is one strength and one limitation of structured observation

Strength, grants each participant an equal opportunity to display the behavior of interest and permit study of behavior is rarely seen in every day life

Limitation, may not yield observations typical of participants behavior in every day life


With this type of research method, a flexible, conversational style is used to probe for the participants point of view

Clinical interview


What are two strengths and two limitations of the clinical interview

Strength, comes as close as possible to the way participants thinking every day life. Great breadth and depth of information can be obtained in a short time

Limitations. May not result in accurate reporting of information. Flexible procedure makes comparing individuals responses difficult


A type of research method. Self-report instruments in which each participant is asked the same questions in the same way

Structured interview


What are two strengths and two limitations of the structured interview?

Strengths. Permits comparisons of participants responses and efficient data collection. Researchers can specify answer alternatives that participants might not think of in an open ended interview

Limitations. Does not yield the same depth of information as a clinical interview. Responses are still subject to inaccurate reporting


With this type of research method, a wide range of information on one child, including interviews, observations, and sometimes test scores, are brought together. The aim is to obtain as complete a picture as possible of that child's psychological functioning and the experiences that lead up to it

The clinical, or case study method


What are the drawbacks of using the clinical method?

Because information often is collected unsystematically and subjectively, researchers' theoretical preferences may bias their interpretations.
Investigators cannot assume that their conclusions apply, or generalize, to anyone other than the child studied


This is a type of research method aimed at understanding a culture or distinct social group. This goal is achieved through _________, a technique in which the researcher lives with the cultural community and participates in all aspects of daily life

Ethnography; participant observation


What are two limitations of the ethnographic method?

May be biased by researchers values and theoretical preferences. Findings cannot be applied to individuals and settings other than the one studied


True or false: students who are first-generation, foreign-born, and second-generation, American or Canadian born with immigrant parents, achieve in school as well as or better than students of nativeborn parents



On average, are adolescents from immigrant families more or less likely to commit delinquent and violent acts, to use drugs and alcohol, or to have early sex?

Less likely


What are two ways in which family and ethnic community influence the academic achievement of adolescents from immigrant families?

Adolescence from immigrant families who view education as the surest way to improve life chances, internalize their parents valuing of academic achievement and view school success as an important way of repaying their parents for the hardships they have endured

Immigrant parents of successful youth typically develop close ties to ethnic community, which exerts additional control through a high consensus on values and constant monitoring of young people's activities


With this type of research design , researchers gather information on individuals, generally in natural life circumstances, and make no effort to alter their experiences. Then they look at relationships between participants' characteristics and their behavior or development

Correlational design


What is one major limitation of correlational studies?

Cannot infer cause and effect


A number that describes how tw o measures, or variables, are associated with one another

Correlation coefficient


A correlation coefficient can range from ____ to ____. The magnitude of the number shows the _________ of the relationship between the two variables, whereas a sign indicates the _______ of the relationship

+1.00 to -1.00


For a correlation coefficient, a positive sign means that as one variable increases, the other _________, while a negative sign indicates that as one variable increases, the other ________.

Increases; decreases


A researcher determines that the correlation between warm, consistent parenting and child delinquency is -.80. Explain what this indicates about the relationship between these two variables

There is a negative relationship between warm and consistent parenting and child delinquency. As warm and consistent parenting increases, child delinquency decreases. Warm and consistent parents have children with lower levels of delinquency


If a researcher determined that the correlation between warm, consistent parenting and child delinquency is + .45, what would this indicate about the relationship between the two variables?

There is a moderate positive relationship between warm, consistent parenting and child delinquency. Parents who are warm, consistent have children that are more delinquent


This type of research design permits inferences about cause and effect because researchers use an even handed procedure to assign people to two or more treatment conditions

Experimental design


This variable is the one the investigator expects to cause changes in another variable

Independent variable


This variable is the one the investigator expects to be influenced by the independent variable

Dependant variable


What is the feature of an experimental design that enables researchers to infer a cause and effect relationship between the variables

Cause and effect relationships can be detected because the researcher directly control or manipulate changes in the independent variable by exposing participants to the treatment conditions. Then the researcher compares their performance on measures of the dependent variable


To control for participants' characteristics that could reduce the accuracy of their findings, researchers engage in _______ _________ of participants to treatment conditions. By using an unbiased procedure, such as drawing numbers out of a hat or flipping a coin, investigators increase the chances that participants characteristics will be equally distributed across treatment groups

Random assignment


In these type of experiments, researchers randomly assign people to treatment conditions in natural settings

Field experiments


True or false. Natural experiments and quasi-experiment differ from correlational research in that groups of participants are carefully chosen to ensure that their characteristics are as much alike as possible



With this type of research design, participants are studied repeatedly, and changes are noted as they get older

Longitudinal design


What are two advantages and three limitations of the longitudinal research design?

Strengths. Because it tracks the performance of each person over time, researchers can identify common patterns as well as individual differences in development. Permits investigators to examine relationships between early and later events and behaviours

Limitations. Biased sampling-the failure to enlist participants to adequately represent the population of interest
Selective attrition-participants may move away or drop out of the study for other reasons, and the ones who remain are likely to differ in important ways from the ones who continue
Practice effect-participants performance may improve as a result of practice effect, better testing skills and increased familiarity with the test


This is the most widely discussed threat to the accuracy of longitudinal finding. Children born at the same time are influenced by particular cultural and historical conditions and results based on one cohort may not apply to children developing at other times

Cohort effect


With this type of research design, groups of people differing in age are studied at the same point in time

Cross-sectional design


In cross-sectional designs, researchers do not need to worry about two things

Participant drop out and practice effects because participants are measured only once.


What are two limitations of the cross-sectional design?

Does not provide evidence about change at the level at which it actually occurs-the individual

Can be threatened by cohort effects-may reflect a unique experience is associated with the time period in which the age groups were growing up


In this type of research design, researchers conduct several similar cross-sectional or longitudinal studies called sequences at varying times

Sequential designs


What are three asvantages of the sequential design?

Reveals cohort effects, permits tracking of age-related changes more efficiently than the longitudinal design, can make both longitudinal and cross-sectional comparisons


This type of research design is an adaptation of the longitudinal approach, where children are presented with a novel task and their mastery is followed over a series of closely spaced sessions to observe how change occurs

Microgenetic design


The microgenetic design is especially useful for studying this type of development

Cognitive development


What are three reasons why micro genetic studies are difficult to carry out?

Researchers must pour over hours of recorded information, analyzing each participant's behavior many times

The time required for children to change is hard to anticipate, it depends on the careful match between the child's capabilities and the demands of the task

As in other longitudinal research, practice effects can distort microgenetic findings


True or false: the Mozart effect has a long lasting influence on intelligence?



What are the two features interventions must have to produce lasting gains in mental test scores?

Must be long-lasting and involve children's active participation


Wire ethical concerns especially complex when children participate in research?

Children are more vulnerable than adults to physical and psychological harm

Immaturity makes it difficult or impossible for children to evaluate for themselves what participation in research will mean


This children's research right means that children have the right to be protected from physical or psychological harm in research

Protection from harm

If in doubt about the harmful effects of research, investigator should seek the opinion of others and when harm seems possible, investigator should find other means for obtaining the desired information or abandon the research


This children's research right means that all research participants, including children, have the right to have explained to them, in language appropriate to their level of understanding, all aspects of the research that may affect their willingness to participate. When children are participants, informed consent of parents as well as others who act in the child's behalf should be obtained, preferably in writing. Have the right to discontinue participation at any time

Informed consent


This children's research right means that they have the right to concealment of their identity on all information collected in the course of research



This children's research right means that they have the right to be informed of the results of the research in language that is appropriate to their level of understanding

Knowledge of results


This children's research right means that if experimental treatments believed to be beneficial are under investigation, children in control groups have the right to alternative beneficial treatments if they're available

Beneficial treatments


For children ____ and older, their own informed consent should be obtained in addition to parental consent prior to participation in research



Why does debriefing rarely work well with children?

Young children may lack the cognitive skills to understand the reasons for deceptive procedures, and despite explanations, they may leave the research situation questioning the honesty of adults