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What are 3 fundamental characteristics of human development?

nature vs nurture
continuity vs discontinuity
universal and context-specific development


Correlational Studies

-investigators look at relations between variables as they exist naturally in the world
-The results of a correlational study are usually measured by calculating a correlation coefficient, which expresses the strength and direction of a relation between two variables (-1.0 to 1.0)


Experimental studies

an experiment is a systematic way of manipulating the key factor or factors that the investigator thinks causes a particular behavior


Independent variable

In experimental studies, is the factor being manipulated


Dependent variable

In experimental studies, is the behavior being observed

1) people are assigned randomly to conditions that differ in the amount of the independent variable they are given
2) an appropriate measure is taken of all precipitants to see whether the treatment or treatments had the expected effect


Longitudinal Studies

same individuals are tested throughout their lives
-most direct way to identify change


What are some limitations of longitudinal designs?

1) Age effects and time of measurements effects are confounded
2) costly and time consuming
3)Measurement methods may become obsolete
4)Participants are lost-don't want to keep coming ack
5) effects of repeated testing-people get better


Cross-sectional studies:

Developmental differences are identified by testing people of different ages.
-takes less time than longitudinal studies
-since people are tested only once, we learn nothing about the continuity of development


How is development charted in cross-sectional studies?

charted by noting the difference between individuals of different ages at the same point in calendar time (generate correlations)


What can affect a cross-sectional study?

affected by cohort effects which means that difference between age groups (cohorts) may reflect environmental events instead of developmental processes


What information does cross-sectional studies produce?

provides info about age differences:
1) Age effects: relationship between age and a particular aspect of development
2) Cohort effects: effects o being born a member of a cohort or a generation in a historical context


What are four approaches to doing developmental research?

-systematic observation
-sampling behavior with tasks
-self reports
-physiological measures


Systematic Observation

involves watching people and carefully recording what they do


What are the two types of systematic observation?

Naturalistic observation:
observing people in a real-life situation (already know what you are looking for)

Structured Observations: creating a setting to bring out the behavior of interest


Dizygotic Twins

-Fraternal Twins
-two zygotes or fertilized ova (two separate eggs fertilized by two separate sperm)


Monozygotic Twins

-Identical Twins
-one zygote that divides into two individuals
-about 1 in 285 births


Twin Studies

helps us understand human development based on environmental and experiential differences



the complete set of genes that make up a person's heredity (the genetic makeup of an organism)



Observable features that result from the interaction between a person's genes and enviroment


Polygenic Inheritance

when phenotypes reflect the combined activity of many separate genes
-since so many genes are involved, we cannot usually race the effects of each gene.


Behavorial Genetics

study of the extent to which genetic and enviromental differences contribute to differences in traits


What is the first stage of Prenatal development?

Zygote (month 1)
-fertilized egg reaches the uterus and attaches itself to the uterus
-cell multiplication begins
-internal organs and circulatory system begins to form
-cell division takes place and at the end of two weeks the zygote is the size of a pin-head
-heart begins to beat
-arms and legs begin to form


What is the second stage of prenatal development?

Embryo (month 2)
-at 5 weeks the embryo is 1/4 inch long
-all major organs systems are developed
-the placenta and umbilical cord develop



the tissue that connects the sac around the unborn baby to the mother's uterus


Umbilical Cord

tube that connects the baby to the placenta
-brings baby nourishment and oxygen from mother's blood
-takes away waste products


What is the third stage of prenatal development

Fetus stage (3-9 months)

-Month 4: the baby i covered with a layer of thick, downy hair called LANUGO
-Month 5: a protective coating called VERNIZ begins to form on baby's skin
-Month 6: your baby's lungs are filled with AMNIOTIC FLUID, and he has started breathing motions. IF YOU TALKE OR SING, HE CAN HEAR YOU



an agent that causes abnormal prenatal development
-drugs like thalidomide, alcohol, caffeine, etc.


Smoking during a pregnancy can do what?

causes damage to the fetus:
-constriction of blood vessels, which leads to less oxygen and nutrients reaching the fetus
-children likely to have impaired attention, language, and cognition skills


Regular alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in what?

-fetal alcohol syndrome: results in slow growth, heart problems, misshapen faces, and attentional, cognitive, behavioral problems


Diseases that are teratogens

bacterial and viral infections (Aids, chicken pox, syphyllis, etc.)


What are some enviromental hazards that can be considered harmful to prenatal development?

lead, mercury, PCBs, X-Rays


How can teratogens influence prenatal development

1) impact of a teratogen depends on the genotype of the organism
2)Impact of teratogen changes over the course of prenatal development
3) each teratogen affects a specific aspects of prenatal development
4)impact of teratogen depends on dose
5)damage from teratogen is not always evident at birth but may appear later in life


What are reflexes?

-involuntary stereotyped responses to a particular stimuli
-Dominant movement form during the last 4 months of prenatal life and first 4 months after birth
-occurs sub cortically
-primitive reflexes are critical to human survival
-postural reflexed believed to be foundation for later voluntary movements


What are reflexes good for?

some reflexes help newborns get nutrients they need to grow: THE ROOTING AND SUCKING reflexes ensures the newborn can begin diet of life-sustaining milk
-other reflexes protect the newborn from danger in the environment

-reflexes also help reveal whether the newborns nervous system work properly


Rooting Reflex

3-4 weeks
-stroking of the infants cheek provokes the response and the head turns in the direction of the touch, and the infant opens his or her mouth for feeding


Gripping reflex

Something that is placed in the infant's hand provokes the response, then the infant grasps the item and can hold on very well


Basic Principles of Cognitive Development


1) children create theories about how the world works
-children understand the world with SCHEMES, physiological structures that organize experiences

-adaptation: building schemes through direct interaction with environment by assimilation and accommodations
-Assimilation:occurs when new experiences are readily incorporated into existing schemes
-accommodations: adjusting old schemes (knowledge) and creating new ones to better fit environment. Schemes are modified based on experiences.


What are schemes

mental categories of related events, objects and knowledge


What are the four types of attachment and percentages based on American Baby Population

1) secure attachment (60-65%)
2) Avoidant Attachment (20%)
3) Resistant Attachment (10-15%)
4)Disorganized Attachment (5-10%)


Secure Attachment

Baby might not cry when mother leaves the room, but wants to be with her when she returns – if the baby is crying, it stops. “I missed you terribly, but now that all is well, I’ll get back to what I was doing.”


Avoidant Attachment

-Baby does not cry when mother leaves, and looks away from her when she returns
-a type of insecure attachment
-“You left me again. I always have to take care of myself!”


Resistant Attachment

-Baby is upset when mother leaves, still upset and hard to console when she returns
-Type of insecure attachment
-“Why do you do this? I need you desperately, yet you just leave me without warning. I get so angry.”


Disorganized attachment

-Baby is confused when mother leaves and returns, as if not really understanding what’s happening.
-Acts in contradictory ways towards mother
-Type of insecure attachment
-“What’s happening? I want you to be here, but you left and now you’re back. I don’t get what’s going on!”



tendency to respond to events in predictable ways
-it is his/her personal style
-it's important to not think of a child's temperament as good or bad


Easy Temperament

-Infants are even tempered, typically content or happy, open and adaptable to new experiences, have regular feeding and sleeping habits, and are tolerant of frustrations and discomforts


Difficult Temperament

-Infants are active, irritable, and irregular in their habits, often react negatively (and vigorously) to changes in routine, are slow to adapt to new people or situations, cry frequently and loudly, and often have tantrums


Slow-to-warm up Temperament

-Infants are relatively inactive, somewhat moody, only moderately regular in their daily schedules, slow to adapt to new people and situations, but they typically respond in mildly, rather than intensely, negative ways


how does temperament influences development

-Temperament influences a child’s behavior and the way she/he interacts with others.
-Can determine caregivers’ reactions to the child
-Affect how the child interprets and makes sense of life experiences
-Shape the child’s active choices of certain activities and environments
-Above may reinforce child’s temperamental ways of being


What are some factors that can affect temperament

1) Hereditary: identical twins usually have similar temperament
-negative affect is more influenced by heredity
-young children's temperament more influenced by hereditary than infants

-a mothers depression can cause an infant to be fearful
-babies temperament differ from culture to culture


Goodness to fit

the idea that the parents adjust to the babies temperament


Theory Of Mind

a naive understanding of the relations between mind and behavior
1)develops between ages two and five
2)in the earliest phases 2-yr-olds are aware of desires and often speak of their wants and likes, and they often link their desires to their behavior, such as, “I happy there more cookies”.
3)Around age four, children understand that behavior is a result of one’s beliefs> even when beliefs are wrong
4)Language skills or interactions with other people may lead to the theory of mind. Use verbs: think, know and believe



of a measure is the extent to which it provides a consistent index of a characteristic



of a measure refers to whether it really measures what researchers think it measures



an educated guess about an explanation for a set of observations
-may be proven false through experimentation



a hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and not disproven