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Chapter 11

PSY BEH 11B Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Cell Growth, Longitudinal Study, Cognitive Development

Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
Linda Levine

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Developmental psychology - The scientific study of how people change physically,
cognitively, socially, and emotionally from infancy through old age.
Stages - Distinct segments of an organism’s life with sharp differences or discontinuities
between them.
Qualitative (abrupt changes) and Quantitative (gradual changes) development.
Maturation - A series of biological growth processes that enable orderly growth,
relatively independent of experience.
Nature vs Nurture = genetics vs environmental influences.
Cross-sectional design - A methodological approach to studying development that
compares participants of different age groups to one another.
Help us understand which abilities are developing at certain points in the
Cohort effect - an effect or difference that is due to the members of an age
group sharing a common set of life experiences. It is a key disadvantage for the
cross-sectional design.
Longitudinal design - A methodological approach to studying development that tracks
participants across time and compares each participant at different time points.
Disadvantage 1: requires lots of time and resources
Disadvantage 2: attrition or participants withdrawing. If participants who drop out
differ from those who stay, your ability to generalize from your findings is
Disadvantage 3: examines a single generation or cohort, might not apply to other
Sequential design - A methodological approach to studying development that tracks
multiple age groups across time and compares different age groups to one another, as
well as compares participants to themselves at different time points.
observed changes are due to development rather than cohort effects and that
observations can generalize across cohorts.
Costly and long time to conduct, less than longitudinal study.
Zygote - a fertilized egg, formed by the union of sperm and egg.
Formed within half a day
Chromosomes - 23 pairs of organized DNA packages.
Germinal stage - first two weeks of the zygote’s life.

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Two weeks after conception, this little ball of cells, now known as a blastocyst,
implants itself in the uterus.
Embryonic stage - (2 to 8 weeks)
Embryo - An unborn developing offspring identified in humans between the 2nd
and 8th week of pregnancy.
Fetal stage - begins in the 9th week and continues until birth.
Fetus - An unborn developing offspring identified in humans in the 9th week of
By the 17th week after conception, the fetus’s ears begin to function, and it responds to
some sounds.
The visual system develops more slowly. The eyes remain closed until the 26th week.
by 28 weeks, the visual cortex also shows some response to flashes of light aimed at
the mother’s abdomen
At 36 weeks after conception, a fetus is considered full-term, meaning that its brain,
lungs, and liver have developed enough for life outside the womb, although most babies
are born 38 weeks after conception.
Neural tube - A tubular structure formed early in the embryonic stage from which the
brain and spinal cord develop.
the neural tube has three identifiable parts: one that will develop into the brain
stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord; a second that will develop into the midbrain;
and a third that will develop into the forebrain.
Two types of cells - neurons and glia.
neural migration - glia create guide wires that move the newly created neurons to
appropriate positions in the brain.
Early in development, before the neurons begin their migration, genes provide a rough
“wiring diagram” for the brain’s circuits, called a protomap.
the protomap in the primary area for vision (located in the occipital lobe) attracts
inputs from the thalamus.
Down Syndrome - A developmental disorder caused by an extra copy of chromosome
21. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities, delays in motor development, and
increased risk for a range of health problems.
Motor development - Changes in the ability to coordinate and perform bodily
Teratogens - Environmental agents that can interfere with healthy fetal development.
Ex: Alcohol, cigarette smoke, X-rays, etc.
Fetal alcohol disorder - A developmental disorder that affects children whose mothers
consumed alcohol during pregnancy. Its effects include a range of psychological
problems and physical abnormalities.

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Reflexes - automatic patterns of motor responses that are triggered by specific types of
sensory stimulation.
Habituation - the most basic form of learning, involves a decreased response to
repeated stimulation.
Dishabituation - an increase in responsiveness to something novel following a
period of habituation.
Novelty-preference procedure - the processes of habituation and dishabituation can
be used to probe what newborns (and older infants) perceive and remember.
The checkboard experiment
Infant motor skills rules:
First, motor skills tend to emerge in sequence from the head to the feet.
The second rule of motor development is that motor skills emerge from the
center of the body outward.
Cognitive development - refers to changes in all of the mental activities associated with
thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
Piaget argued that cognitive development is active and mostly self-driven.
Schemas - mental structures that represent our experiences.
Assimilation - the child can use an existing schema to interpret the new experience.
Accommodation - which involves revising her schemas to incorporate information from
the new experiences.
Sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years): The child develops knowledge through senses
and actions but cannot yet think using symbols, namely language. During this stage, the
child learns that objects continue to exist even when they are hidden.
Preoperational stage (2 to 7 years): The child masters the use of symbols but struggles
to see situations from multiple perspectives or to imagine how situations can change.
During this stage, children classify objects, but only according to a single feature, such
as color or shape.
Concrete operational stage (7 to 12 years): The child becomes capable of using
multiple perspectives and his imagination to solve complex problems, but is able to apply
this thinking only to concrete objects or events.
Formal operational stage (12 years and up): Adolescents become able to reason about
abstract problems and hypothetical propositions.
Later research has shown that Piaget’s stages underestimate children’s abilities and
oversimplify the process of cognitive development, which unfolds more continuously and
less stagelike than Piaget supposed.
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