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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Section 3 Deck (12):

Critical Period

A time when a particular type of developmental growth (in body or behavior) must happen for normal development to occur.


Sensitive Period

A time when a certain type of development is most likely, although it may still happen later with more difficulty. Ex: Early childhood is a sensitive period for language learning.


Ecological-systems Approach

A perspective on human development that considers all the influences from the various contexts of development.


Who is Urie Bronfenbrenner?

Born in 1917 and died in 2005. He is a developmentalist that led the way to them considering all the contextual influences on the developing child as life goes on. He suggested the ecological-systems approach.


What is the difference between a critical period and a sensitive period?

In a critical period something must occur for normal development or the only time an abnormality can form.
A sensitive period is where a particular development occurs more easily at a certain time, but not exclusively.


How is the drug thalidomide an example of a critical period?

There is a critical period for limb development for babies in the womb is between 28 and 54 days. When expectant women took thalidomide during the critical period their babies arms or legs were malformed or absent. When the thalidomide was taken after day 54 than limb development was normal.


What did Bronfenbrenner emphasize in his ecological-systems approach?

That each person is affected by interactions among a number of overlapping systems, which provide the context of development.


Why does it matter what cohort a particular person belongs to?

Cohorts travel through life together and are affected by the interaction between their chronological age and the values, events, technologies, and culture of the era.



People born within the same historical period who therefore move through life together, experiencing the same events, new technologies and cultural shifts at the same ages.



The idea that abilities, personality, and other human characteristics can change over time. Is evident in the dynamics system approach.


Dynamic Systems Approach

A view of human development as an ongoing, ever-changing interaction between the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial influences. The crucial understanding is that development is never static but is always affected by, and affects, many systems of development.


How is the concept of plasticity both hopeful and discouraging?

It's hopeful because traits can be molded and that means change is possible. It's discouraging because people still maintain a certain durability and development builds on what has come before.