Developmental Psychology a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social
change throughout the life span. Studying when we start walking, talking, beginning work.
Zygote the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an
embryo. Fewer than half survive beyond these first two weeks.
Embryo the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the
second month. Inner cells of the zygote and over next 6 weeks, organs begin to form and
function, and heart begins to beat.
Fetus the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth. Latin for offspring
or young one. Organs like stomach are sufficiently formed and functional to allow prematurely
born fetus a chance of survival. Responsive to sound after microphone readings.
Teratogens agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus and
cause harm. Potential harmful substances shipping through the placental screen between
mother and baby. Mom who is heroin addict will cause baby to be born a heroin addict. If she
smokes, the baby receives same effects.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant
woman’s heavy drinking. Symptoms can include noticeable face misproportions, and lifelong
brain abnormalities. Leading cause of mental retardation.
Reflex a baby’s tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the
mouth, and search for the nipple. Knowing to automatically close mouth on nipple and start
sucking which requires coordinated sequence of tongue, swallowing, and breathing.
Habituation decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations. For example, a
novel sound in your environment, such as a new ring tone, may initially draw your attention or
even become distracting. After you become accustomed to this sound, you pay less attention to
the noise and your response to the sound will diminish. This diminished response is habituation.
Maturation biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior relatively
uninfluenced by experience. Standing before walking, using nouns before adjective.
Schema a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information. Mental molds into
which we pour our experiences. By adulthood we have built countless schemas ranging from
cats and dogs to our concept of love.
Assimilation interpreting one’s new experience in terms of one’s existing schemas. Having a
simple schema for dog, a toddler may call all 4-legged animals doggies.
Accommodation (Piagetian) adapting one’s current understandings (schemas) to incorporate
new information. child learns original doggie schema is too broad and accommodates by
refining categories like mommy dog, baby dog.
Cognition all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and
communicating. Cognitive development experiences changes from one age range to the next
with greater stability.
Sensorimotor Stage in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from birth to about two years of age) during
which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities.
Use objects to do so like through looking, hearing, touching, mouthing, and grasping. Object Permanence the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
Young infants lack this. By 8 months, infants begin exhibiting memory for things no longer seen.
If toy is hidden, infant will momentarily look for it. Within another month or two, the infant will
look for it even after being restrained for several seconds.
Preoperational Stage in Piaget’s theory, the stage from about two to six or seven years of age
during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations
of concrete logic. For a 5 year old, the milk that seems “too much” in a tall narrow glass may
become an acceptable amount if poured into short, wide glass.
Conservation the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational
reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite
changes in forms of objects. Closed beakers w/ identical volumes seem suddenly to hold
different amounts after one is merely inverted.
Egocentrism in Piaget’s theory, the preoperational child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view.
3 year old child makes himself “invisible” by putting his hands over his eyes, assuming that if he
can’t see someone, they can’t see him.
Theory of mind people’s ideas about their own others’ mental states- about their feelings,
perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict. Children slowly learning to
understand what made a playmate angry, when a sibling will share, and what might make a