Infant & Child Development Exam # 1 Review Terms
Ages and stages in Piaget’s theories:
o Sensorimotor (0-2 years) – know the world through senses and actions; object
Birth-1month: infants begin to modify the reflexes with which they are
born to make them more adaptive
1-4 months: infants begin to organize separate reflexes into larger
behaviors, most of which are centered on their own bodies.
4-8 months: more interested in the world around them. By end of
substage 3, object permanence (knowledge that objects continue to
exist even when out of view) typically emerges.
8-12 months: A-Not-B error- the tendency to reach to where objects
have been found before, rather than to where they were last hidden.
o Preoperational (2-7 years) - acquire the ability to internally represent the world through
language and mental imagery. Begin perspective taking
o Concrete operational (7-12 years) - think logically, not just intuitively. Classify objects
into coherent categories and understand greater complexity of causation
Decenter: think in multiple dimensions
Solve conservation problems, but successful reasoning limited to concrete
Thinking systematically remains difficult.
o Formal operational (12+ years) - think systematically and reason about what might be as
well as what is. Politics, fiction, ethics, religion, science of greater interest.
Think about abstractions and hypothetical situations
Birth weight and developmental outcomes:
o Average birth weight- 7-7.5 lbs
o Low birth weight- <5.5 lbs (2,500 grams)
LBW infants born at or before 35 weeks after conception are described as
Other LBW infants are referred to as small for gestation age (SGA) when their
birth weight is substantially less than the norm for their gestational age.
Experience more medical complications, more developmental difficulties, and
present special challenges for parents.
Majority of LBW babies catch up
Extensive parent contact and more touch for infants in neonatal
intensive care are widely used interventions.
o Very low birth weight- <3.3 lbs (1,500 grams)
Higher rates of neurological problems, sensory problems, cognitive problems. Centration: the tendency to focus on a single, perceptually striking feature of an object or event.
o Ex. Balance scale (pg. 137)
Cephalocaudal development: the pattern of growth in which the areas near the head develop
earlier than areas farther from the head (4 week +)
Conservation errors: (ages 2-7)
o Conservation concept- the idea that merely changing the appearance of objects does
not change their key properties.
o Ex. Liquids changing glasses, think there’s more than there was before due to
Core-knowledge theories: *approaches that emphasize the sophistication of infants’ and young
children’s thinking in areas that have been important throughout human history.
Early deprivation effects: Romanian orphans; had little social interaction, physical movements,
Egocentrism: the tendency to perceive the world solely from one’s own point of view
Experience dependent plasticity: the process through which neural connections are created and
reorganized throughout life as a function of an individual’s experiences.
o Which variants of normal functions develop
Speaking English or Spanish rather than Hindi
“American” norms of eye-contact
Liking playing tennis rather than knitting
Loving hot peppers more than French fries
Experience- expectant plasticity: the process through which the normal wiring of the brain
occurs in part as a result of experience that every human who inhabits any reasonably normal
environment will have.
o Vulnerability: if experience is not available, development will be impaired
Severe social deprivation
External validity: the degree to which results can be generalized beyond the particulars of the
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: the harmful effects of maternal alcohol consumption on a developing
o FAS involves a range of effects including:
o Newborn infants have been shown to recognize rhymes and stories presented before
birth Also prefer smells, tastes, and sound patterns that are familiar because of
Fetal risk factors:
o Teratogens- an external agent that can cause damage or death during prenatal
Increases in exposure are associated with greater probabilities of fetal
defects and with more severe problems
Total exposure may not be the critical factor
o Heavy infrequent exposure may be more damaging than more
frequent low exposure
o Drugs, environmental pollutants, maternal disease and health