Psychology Chapter 3 terms
Development psychology: The study of progressive changes in behavior and abilities from conception
Heredity (“Nature”): The transmission of physical and psychological characteristics from parents to
offspring though genes.
DNA:Amolecular structure that contains coded genetic information.
Chromosomes: Thread-like “coloured bodies” in the nucleus of each cell that are made up of DNA.
Genes: Specific areas on a strand of DNAthat carry hereditary information.
Dominant gene:A gene whose influence will be expressed only when it is paired with a second
Polygenic characteristics: Personal traits or physical properties that are influenced by many genes
working in combination.
Maturation: The physical growth and development of the body, brain, and nervous system.
Readiness:A condition that exists when maturation has advanced enough to allow the rapid acquisition
of a particular skill.
Environment (“nurture”): The sum of all external conditions affecting development, including
especially the effects of learning.
Congenital problems: Problems caused by defects in the genes or by inherited characteristics.
Teratogen:Anything capable of altering fetal development in non inheritable ways that cause birth
Sensitive period: During development, a period of increased sensitivity to environmental influences;
also, a time during which certain events must take place for normal development to occur.
Deprivation: in development, the loss or withholding of normal stimulation, nutrition comfort, love,
and so forth a condition of lacking.
Enrichment: In development, deliberately making an environment more stimulating, nutritional,
comforting, loving and so forth.
Reaction range: the limits environment places on the effects of heredity.
Temperament: The physical core of personality, including emotional and perceptual sensitivity, energy
levels, typical mood and so forth.
Developmental level:An individual's current state oh physical, emotional, and intellectual
development. Social smile: Smiling elicited by social stimuli, such as seeing a parent's face.
Social development: The development of self-awareness, attachment to parents or caregivers, and
relationships with other children and adults.
Emotional attachment:An especially close emotional bond that infants form with their parents,
caregivers, or others.
Surrogate mother:Asubstitute mother (often an inanimate dummy in animal research).
Contact comfort:Apleasant and reassuring feeling human and animal infants get from touching or
clinging onto usually their mothers.
Separation anxiety: distress displayed by infants when they are separated from their parents or principal
Secure attachment: a stable position ad positive emotional bond.
Insecure-avoidant attachment:An anxious emotional bond marked by a tendency to avoid reunion with
parent or caregiver.
Insecure-ambivalant attachment:An anxious emotional bond marked by both desire to be with a parent
or caregiver and some resistance to being reunited.
Affectional needs: emotional needs for love and affection.
Parental styles: Identifiable patterns of parental care taking and interaction with children.
Authoritarian parents: Parents who enforce rigid rules and demand strict obedience to authority.
Overly permissive parents: Parents who give little guidance, allow too much freedom or don’t require
the child to take responsibility.
Authoritative parents: parents who supply firm and consistent guidance along with love and affection.
Maternal parents: The aggregate of all psychological effects mothers have on their children.
Paternal influences: The aggregate of all psychological effects fathers have on their children.
Biological predisposition: The presumed hereditary readiness of humans to learn certain skills, such as
how to use language, or a readiness to behave in particular ways.
Signal: in early language development, any behavior, such as touching, vocalizing, gazing, or smiling,
that allows nonverbal interaction and turn-taking between parent and child.
Motherese (or parentese):A pattern of speech used when talking to infants, marked by a higher-pitched
voice; short, simple sentences; repetition slower speech; and exaggerated voice inflections. Assimilation: In Piaget’s theory, the application of existing mental patterns to fit new demands (that is,
mental schemes are changed to accommodate new information or experiences).
Sensoimotor stage: Stage of intellectual development during which sensory input and motor responses