a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span.
zygote the fertilized egg; it enters a two week period of rapid cell division and develops an embryo.
embryo the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month.
fetus the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and
teratogens cause harm.
fetal alcohol syndrome physical and cognitive abnormalities in children cause by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases,
(FAS) symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions.
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a
habituation visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
maturation biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience.
cognition all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering , and communicating.
schema a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information.
assimilation interpreting our new experience in terms of out existing schema.
accommodation adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information.
sensorimotor stage in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in
terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities.
object permanence the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but
pre-operational stage does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic.
the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass,
conservation volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects. egocentrism in Piaget's theory, the pre-operational child's difficulty taking another's point of view.
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states---about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and
theory of mind the behaviors these might predict.
concrete operational in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which
stage children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete ideas.
formal operational stage in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people
begin to think logically about abstract concepts.
autism a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interactions, and
understanding of others' states of mind.
stranger anxiety the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age.
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing
attachment distress on separation.
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces
critical period proper development.
imprinting the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life.
according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictiable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy
basic trust by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers.
self-concept our understanding and evaluation of who we are.
Authoritarian parents who impose rules and expect obedience
Permissive parents submit to their children's desires; they make few demands and use little punishment.
Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive.
adolescence the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence.
puberty the period of sexual maturation, during which a person become capable of reproducing. primary sex
characteristics the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible.
non-reproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair.
menarche the first menstrual period
pre-conventional morality before age 9, most children's morality focuses on self-interest. They obey rules to either avoid punishment or to
gain concrete awards.
Conventional morality By early adolescence, morality focuses on caring for others and on upholding laws and social rules, simply
because they are the laws and rules.
Post-conventional with the abstract reasoning of formal operational thought, people may reach a third moral level. Actions are
morality judged "right" because they flow from people's rights or from self-defined, basic ethical principles.
identity our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and
integrating various roles.
social identity the "we" aspect of our self-concept; the part of our answer to "Who am I?" that comes from our group
in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late
intimacy adolescence and early adulthood.
for some people, in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to early twenties, bridging the gap between
emerging adulthood adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood.
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her
menopause ability to reproduce declines.
cross-sectional study a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another.
longitudinal study research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period.
crystallized intelligence our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
fluid intelligence our ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood.
social clock the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement. personality an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to
free association mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.
Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the
techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions
unconscious according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories. According to
contemporary psychologists, information processing of which we are unaware.
id contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and
aggressive drives. The id operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification.
the largely conscious, "executive" part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of
ego the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id's desires in ways that
will realistically bring pleasure rather than the pain.
superego the part of personality that, according to Freud, represents internalized ideals and provides standards for
judgment (the conscious) and for future aspirations.
the childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the
psychosexual stages id's pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.
according to Freud, a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival
Oedipus complex father.
the process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents' values into their developing
according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual state in which
fixation conflicts were unresolved.
defense mechanisms in psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and
repression memories from consciousness.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile
psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated. reaction formation psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their
opposites. Thus, people may express feelings that are the opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings.
projection psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them
defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious
rationalization reasons for one's actions.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less
displacement threatening object or person, as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet.
denial defense mechanism by which people refuse to believe or even to perceive painful realities.
collective unconscious Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history.
projective test a personality test, suchas the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of
one's inner dynamics.
Thematic Apperception a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up
Test (TAT) about ambiguous scenes.
Rorschach inkblot test the most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, designed by Hermann Rorschach; seeks to identify
people's inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.
terror-management a theory of death-realted anxiety; explores people's emotional and behavioral responses to reminders of their
theory impending death.
self-actualization according to Maslow, one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological
needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one's potential.
regard according to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person.