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1

Human Development

the multidisciplinary study of how people change and how they remain the same over time

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recurring issues in human development

nature vs nurture, continuity vs discontinuity, universal vs context specific development, biopsychosocial framework, neuroscience

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nature vs nurture

the degree to which genetic or hereditary influences (nature) and experimental or environmental influences (nurture) determine the kind of person you are

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continuity vs discontinutiy

whether a particular developmental phenomenon represents a smooth progression throughout the lifespan (continuity) or a series of abrupt shifts (discontinuity)

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universal vs context specific development

whether there is just one path of development or several paths

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biopsychosocial framework

a useful way to organize the biological, psychological, or sociocultural forces of human development

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different parts of biopsychosocial framework

biological, psychological, sociocultural, and life cycle forces

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biological forces

genetic and health related factors

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psychological forces

all internal cognitive, emotional, perceptual, and personality factors

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sociocultural forces

interpersonal, societal, cultural, and ethnic factors

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life cycle forces

differences in how the same event effects different people

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neuroscience

the study of the brain and nervous system, especially in terms of brain-behavior relationships

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theory

an organized set of ideas that is designed to explain development

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Psychodynamic theories

theories by proposing that development is largely determined by how well people resolve conflicts they face at different ages

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psychosocial theory

Erikson’s proposal that personality development is determined by the interaction of an internal maturational plan and external societal demands

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epigenetic theory

in Erikson’s theory, the idea that each psychosocial strength has its own period of particular importance

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behaviorsm

BF Skinner. Do consequences of behavior determine if behavior is repeated in the future?

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reinforcement

a consequence that increases the future likelihood of the behavior that it follows

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punishment

a consequence that decreases the likelihood of the behavior it follows

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Imitation or observational learning:

learning that occurs by watching how others behave

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Self efficacy:

peoples beliefs about their own abilities and talents

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Cognitive Developmental theory:

the thought process and construction of knowledge

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Piaget's theory

1. sensorimotor stage
2. preoperational
3. concrete operational
4. formal operational

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sensorimotor

birth to 2 years. Knowledge based on senses and motor skills

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preoperational

2 – 6 years. Symbols as language, only through their perspective

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concrete operational

7 years to early adolescence. Understands and applies logical operations to experiences provided they are focused on here and now

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formal operational

adolescence +. Thinks abstractly, deals with hypothetical situations, speculates about what may be possible.

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information processing theory

proposes human cognition consists of mental hardware and mental software

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Vygotsky’s theory:

must consider child’s development against background or environment

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Ecological theory:

based on the idea that human development is inseparable from the environmental contexts in which a person develops