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developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive and social change throughout the life span
zygote
the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division that developed into an embryo
fetus
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
teratogens
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. in severe causes, symptoms include noticeable facial mis proportions
maturations
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
cognition
the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing , remembering and communication
schema
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
assimilation
interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas
accommodation
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retna
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 permanance
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
preoperational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations or concrete logic
conservation
the principle (which Piaget believed to be part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in forms of objects.
egocentrism
in Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view
Theory of mind
People's ideas about their own and others' mental states--about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict.
concrete operational stage
In Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events.
autism
a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind
formal operational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning at age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
Stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning about about 8 months of age
attachment
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
critical period
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produce proper development
imprinting
the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life
basic trust
according to Eric Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
adolescence
the transitional period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
puberty
the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
primary sex characteristics
the body structures that make sexual reproduction possible
secondary sex characteristics
non reproductive sexual characteristics such as female breasts and make voice quality and body hair
manarche
the first menstrual period
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 memberships
intimacy
In Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood
emerging adulthood
for some people in modern cultures, a period from late teens to mid twenties, bridging the gap between adolescents and responsible adulthood
menopause
a time of natural cessation of menstruation
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.

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