PSY101 - Chapter 5: Developing Through the Lifespan Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in PSY101 - Chapter 5: Developing Through the Lifespan Deck (36):

Nature vs. Nurture

Genetic inheritance and experience influencing development.


Development Process

Gradual/continuous or a series of stages - used to believe was stages, now more gradual.


Personality and Intellectual Traits

Stable or changing.



Sperm cells surround an ovum, one penetrates the egg, chemical events occur that fuse them into a single cell.


Prenatal Development: 40 Days

Spine is visible and the arms and legs are beginning to grow.


45 days

Embryo is an inch long and proportions change.


End of second month: Fetal Period

Facial features, hands, feet formed.


15 weeks

Fetus is able to squeeze hands, frown, smile, etc.


Fourth Month

3 ounces, fits in the palm of the hand.


24 weeks

Can feel movement.


27 weeks

Responds to light.


32-33 weeks

deep sleep cycles begin and reacts to mother's voice (prefers whatever language the mother uses.



Harmful agents (viruses or drugs) that increase risk to problems later in life.
Mothers who smoke during pregnancy increase risk of ADHD in children.


Alcohol as a Teratogen

Crosses the barrier to the placenta + depresses central nervous system of fetus.
In rats, causes baby to want to drink, also affects the environment around baby (abusive parents, etc.)
Hippocampus becomes smaller, more likely to be in trouble w/ law.


Prenatal Nutrition

Has impact on things like IQ.


William James

Though kids are born with tabula rasas.
-Wrong, kids are born with automatic responses ideally suited for survival. (turns head to search for nipple, turn head toward a human voice, facial recognition, mother's smell after a week) Will recognize mother's voice right away after birth.



Form of learning that occurs when an organism shows a decrease in response to some stimulus after repeated presentation of the stimulus.
-Newborns are sensitive to novelties in their environment.



Brain development that is biologically programmed; neural networks grow increasingly more complex.


Motor Development

Babies roll over, then sit, then crawl, then walk (around a year old).
Genes guide motor development.
--Identical twins will walk on the same day.
--If a parent spoke later than average, the child will also.



Refers to all mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. Learning


Infantile Amnesia

Our earliest memories seldom predate our third birthday.


Jean Piaget

Core idea: the child's mind develops through a series of stages, the driving force of cognitive development is our unceasing desire to make sense of our experiences.
--Focused on children when they answered questions incorrectly.


Schema, Assimilation and Accomodation

Schema: a mental model of something in the world.
Assimilation: the process of interpreting experiences in terms of our schemas.
Accommodation: the process of adjusting schemas.


Object Permanence

The awareness that objects continue to exist when not perceived.
--Piaget thought that this capability emerges suddenly around 8 months.
--Developmental Psychologists now believe it emerges gradually. (A not B: object under a washcloth)


Sensorimotor competence

Karen Wynn: infants are capable of primitive math.
--Infants look longer at things they don't understand: outcome with 2 objects still in the box when one has been taken away because it doesn't fit what they think should happen.



Basic mental operations and egocentrism
1. Piaget believed that until ~7 children are incapable of basic mental operations.
--Can't grasp concept of 'conservation': pouring amount of liquid into a larger glass does not mean there is more liquid.
2. Also noticed children are egocentric and cannot perceiving the world from another's point of view (could not say what someone sitting across from them would see around the dinosaur volcano).


Concrete Operational

Children grasp the concept of conservation and mental ability to understand mathematical transformations.


Formal Operational

By age of 12, reasoning has expanded from concrete to encompass abstract thinking. Children become capable of hypothetical thinking and deducing consequences (if this, then that).
--Critics think Piaget underestimated children's competence: in specific domains, children are capable of abstract thought much earlier than 12 years: Hikaru Nakamura achieved chess master near 10th birthday.


Social Development: Origins of Attachment

Bond that keeps infants close to their caregivers is tactile, not based on nourishment.
--Harry and Margaret Harlow studied monkeys (terry cloth mother or wooden cylinder mother).


Attachment Differences

Secure: parents always respond to child's crying.
Insecure: parents sometimes respond.
Avoidant: Parents never respond.
--Mary Ainsworth studied attachment using the strange situation paradigm.


Cognitive Development: Developing Morality

Lawrence Kohlberg proposed that moral reasoning develops through a series of stages.
-Preconventional morality: children obey rules to avoid punishment and gain rewards.
- Conventional morality: adolescents follow rules simply because they are rules.
- Postformal morality: judge actions based on a well-developed set of ethical principles.


Forming an Identity

Diminishing parental influence and growing peer influence.


Physical development

1. Physical abilities peak in the mid-20s.
2. Presbycusis: loss of sensitivity to high-pitched tones, developed later in life.
3. Fatal accident rate jumps over age of 65.
4. Alzheimer's Disease: neurological disease which strikes 3% by age of 75 (loss of brain cells/deterioration of neurons that produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine).


Cognitive Development: Aging and Intelligence

Fluid intelligence declines with age: abstract intelligence, recently acquired info.
Crystallized knowledge increases with age: knowledge gained over time, accumulated info.


Aging and Intelligence: physical activity

Increases cognitive functioning in older adults, as well as keeping a healthy weight.


Well-Being Across the Life Span

Successful Aging: positive outlook and activity and social networks with the right genes will ensure a successful aging process.