Lifespan Exam 1

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objective data

-data obtained by observing behavior of a person


subjective data

-data obtained through self-report
-asks participants to provide information on their perceptions, thoughts, abilities, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and past experiences



-involves the process of repeating a study using the same methods, different subjects, and different experimenters


operational definition

-identifies one or more specific, observable events or conditions such that any other researcher can independently measure and/or test for them



-a phenomenon in psychology where conditioned subjects respond to similar stimuli to those they were conditioned to respond to


random assignment

-an unbiased procedure for assigning participants to treatment conditions in an experiment, such as drawing numbers out of a hat of flipping a coin
-increases the chances that participants' characteristics will be equally distributed across treatment groups


random sample

-a portion of the population that's used to represent the entire population


independent variable

-in an experiment, the variable the investigator expects to cause changes in another variable and that the researcher manipulates by randomly assigning participants to treatment conditions


dependent variable

-the variable the researcher expects to be influenced by the independent variable in an experiment


double-blind procedure

-an experimental procedure in which neither the subjects of the experiment nor the persons administering the experiment know the critical aspects of the experiment



-research design that can be done in two different way

1. naturalistic: observation of behavior in natural contexts
-strengths: reflects participants' everyday lives
-limitations: cannot control conditions under which participants are observed
2. structured: observation of behavior in a lab, where conditions are the same for all participants
-strengths: grants each participant an equal opportunity to display the behavior of interest
-limitations: may not yield observations typical of participants' behavior in everyday life



-a research design in which the investigator randomly assigns participants to two or more treatment conditions and studies the effect that manipulating an independent variable has on a dependent variable
-strengths: permits inferences about cause and effect, controlled environment
-limitations: artificial environment (may cause people to act differently)



-research method that ranges from relatively unstructured interviews to highly structured interviews, questionnaires, and tests

1. clinical interview: flexible interviewing procedure in which the investigator obtains a complete account of the participant's thoughts
-strengths: comes as close as possible to the way participants think in everyday life. Great breadth and depth of information can be obtained in a short time
-limitations: may not result in accurate reporting of information. Flexible procedure makes comparing individuals' responses difficult
2. structured interview, questionnaire, and tests: self-report instruments in which each participant is asked the same questions in the same way
-strengths: permits comparisons of participants' responses and efficient data collection. Researchers can specify answer alternatives that participants might not think of in an open-ended interview
-limitations: does not yield the same depth of information as a clinical interview. Responses are still subject to inaccurate reporting


case study

-a research method in which the aim is to obtain as complete a picture as possible of one individual's psychological functioning by bringing together interview data, observations, and sometimes test scores
-strengths: provides rich, descriptive insights into factors that affect development
-limitations: may be biased by researchers' theoretical preferences. Findings cannot be applied to individuals other than the participant


quantitative research

-research that provides data that can be expressed with numbers, such as ranks or scales


qualitative research

-research that considers qualities instead of quantities
-descriptions of particular conditions and participants expressed ideas are often part of these studies


biosocial development

-domain of development
-physical and biological growth and change that occurs in a person's body
-includes: genetic predispositions, nutritional and health factors that affect growth, motor skills, obesity, height, weight, skin color, age, body type (bone structure), gender, athletic ability, stroke, dementia, brain damage, blood type, intelligence, physical attractiveness, disability, disease


cognitive development

-domain of development
-mental processes that a person uses to obtain knowledge or think about the environment
-includes: thinking, decision-making, learning, perception, imagination, judgement, memory, language, problem-solving, inhibition


psychosocial development

-domain of development
-development of emotions, temperament, and social skills
-includes: family, friends, community, culture, society, sex roles, divorce, abuse, death, personality, marriage, children, transitions/moving, educations, occupation, career, bullying, peers, psychosocial disorders, communication disability


gains and losses

-descriptions of outcomes that occur over time and within each domain of development



-characteristic of development
-includes gains and losses over time and within each domain of development
-critical period: a time when a particular type of growth must happen
-sensitive period: development is most likely to happen and happens most easily



-characteristic of development
-means that researchers may draw from many different areas of research to understand development
-includes: history, education, medicine, economics, politics, genetics



-characteristic of development
-includes: physical surroundings, family patterns, social context, historical context, and socioeconomic context
-important to consider during research because may pose challenges (diversity)



-characteristic of development
-culture: the patterns of behavior that are passed from one generation to the next
-each culture develops norms
-individualist: if a culture nurtures an individual's personal identity
-collectivist: if a group identity is favored



-characteristic of development
-openness of development to change in response to influential experiences
-denotes two complementary aspects of development

1. human traits can be molded
-yet maintaining durability of identity
-culture and upbringing affect both aspects of plasticity
-genes and other biological influences
2. provides hope and realism
-hope = changes is possible
-realism = each developing person must build on what has come before


continuity vs. discontinuity

-developmental issue
-do changes occur gradually or are they abrupt?
-continuity: a process of gradually augmenting the same types of skills that were there to begin with; additive process
-discontinuity: a process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times; involves stages


early vs. later experience

-developmental issue
-are experiences connected?
-do things that happen influence you later in life?


universal vs. particularistic

-developmental issue
-do the changes in environment happen gradually or abrupt?


active vs. passive

-developmental issue
-are we active creatures that determine our own environment or are we passive and development happens to us and shapes us?



-theory of development that emphasizes the study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants
-Ivan Pavolv and B.F. Skinner
-mind is not needed to explain behavior and development
-associations, rewards, and punishments in the environment shape behavior
-behavior is learned and often changes according to environmental experience
-classical conditioning (US, UR, CS, CR)
1. positive-add a desirable stimulus
2. negative-remove an aversive stimulus
1. positive-administer an aversive stimulus
2. negative-withdraw a desirable stimulus


unconditioned stimulus (UCS)

-a stimulus that automatically and naturally triggers a response


unconditioned response (UCR)

-a unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus, like salivation in the dog when food is in the mouth


conditioned stimulus (CS)

-originally a neutral stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response


conditioned response (CR)

-a learned response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus


social learning theory

-theory of development
-Albert Bandura (1925-Present)
-behavior, environment, and person/cognitive factors are important in understanding development
-behavior, environment, and person/cognitive factors interact reciprocally affecting one another
-person/cognitive factors include beliefs, plans, thinking, self-efficacy, etc.
-observational learning and modeling are key aspects of how we learn
-factors that lead to imitation: history of own reinforcement or punishment, promise of future reinforcement or punishment, observing the model being reinforced or punished. Watching others us self-praise or self-blame can influence a child’s modeling, and their own self-efficacy. We are most likely to model people we admire, see similar to ourselves, and people we see as successful


cognitive theory

-theory of development
-Discovered by Jean Piaget
-he was interested with children’s incorrect answers
-noticed that children of the same age make the same errors
-younger people are not less intelligent than older people
-we reason at different levels at different ages
-the mind of a child is not a miniature version of the adult mind (looks different cognitively, functions differently, and looks different)
-cognitive advances come from errors in reasoning
-schema: cognitive structure or framework used to organize thoughts and interpret experiences
-cognitive disequilibrium: maintaining a balance between our schemas and our experiences of the world
-assimiliation: interpret information in terms of our current schema; use to jump to a higher level of equilibrium
-accommodation: we have to adjust our current schema to incorporate new information due to cognitive disequilibrium


sociocultural theory

-theory of development
-Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)
-individuals actively construct their knowledge of the world
-emphasis on social interaction and culture
-collaborative learning
-zone of proximal development: the skills an apprentice can learn or master only with the help of another
-scaffolding: temporary support tailored to a learner’s needs and abilities
�-guided participation: process by which people learn from others who guide their experiences and explorations
�-role of language and culture in learning: private speech and child-directed speech
-video: Ape Genius


ecological systems approach

-theory of development
-Urie Bronfenbrenner: a leader in understanding ecological systems approach; he believed that developmentalists need to examine all systems surrounding the development of each person
-dynamic Systems Approach: stresses fluctuations and transitions; the dynamic synthesis of multiple levels of analysis
-includes: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem



-part of the ecological model
-the person and their immediate environments
-includes the domains of development that define a person: cognitive, social, emotional, physical (motivation, values, aggression, social skills, habits, age, disability)
1. Classroom: class size, private vs public, gender of teacher, same sex vs co-ed, age of teacher, level of education, motivation of teacher/child, teacher expectations, teacher’s personality, climate of classroom, technology and resources
2. Peers: clique, group characteristics, gender of friends,
3. Religion
4. Family: single parent (gender), divorce, sexuality of parents, size of family, siblings, ages of siblings, ages of parents, parenting style, parents beliefs about education/their own, expectations, socioeconomic status, parents level of involvement, career



-part of the ecological model
-relations or connections between multiple microsystems



-part of the ecological model
-social settings that surround, support, and influence the micro and mesosystems
-child does not directly influence; but the exosystem influences them
-example: community structures/resources, parent employment, school board, local policy (government), parent’s friends, local legal systems, church organizations/functions, mass media



-part of the ecological model
-influences mirco, meso, exo systems
-includes larger social settings, cultural values, economic patters, laws of the country, political changes, social conditions, larger country’s resources
-example: how we view women’s rights



-part of the ecological model
-also known as the time system
-development is not static
-it is always changing
-transitions and fluctuations come into play
-life is every changing
-generational changes
-historical events
-transitions across time
-socio historical events: women getting right to vote, desegregation



-genetic make-up of an individual



-observable characteristics of an individual


gene-environment interaction

-the view that people have unique genetically influenced reactions to particular experiences and qualities of the environments


reaction range

-a person’s unique genetically determined response to the environment


gene-environment correlation

-the idea that hereditary influences the environments to which individuals are exposed


passive genotype correlation

-the home environment that parents provide for their children is influenced in part by the parents genotype. Since parents also provide their children with their genes, this rearing environment is correlated with the child’s genes. It suits them; they are receptive to it! It strengthens their genetic expression!
-refers to early childhood and infancy
-example: two Olympian’s get married—get them started on the ski slopes early. Will set up a very athletic environment for their child. Very receptive to environment because they also have these athletic genes from their parents


evocative genotype correlation

-a child’s genetically influenced attributes will affect the behavior of others toward her. The reactions of other people affect the child’s genetic expression and strengthens their attributes.
-refers to the whole lifespan
-example: child with athletic ability/motor coordination. Will respond to them in a different way. If neighbor and noticed that, throw ball back to them because know that they will catch it. Ask them to go to batting cages, and if they signed up from travel team. Start treating them differently


active genotype correlation

-the environment that children prefer and seek out is compatible with their genetic predispositions. Seeking out this environment is Niche-picking. This environment will in turn strengthen their genetic expression. It suits them.
-begins in middle childhood and lasts life
-involves Niche-picking
-example: parents putting children in sports. Then children realizes what they like and what they want to play


preparation for conception

-begins with the release of the ovum (egg) from one of the two ovaries. This occurs during the middle of the woman’s menstrual cycle (28 days).
-The ovum is drawn into one of the two fallopian tubes- long, then structures which lead to the uterus.
-The spot on the ovary from which the ovum was released, called the corpus luteum, also prepares the body for conception by secreting a hormone that lines the uterus and prepares it to receive a fertilized ovum.
-If the ovum is not fertilized, the corpus luteum shrinks and the lining of the uterus is discarded two weeks later with menstruation.
-The ovum can survive for only one day after being released into the fallopian tube.



-the time period that fertilization typically occurs, lifespan of the ovum and sperm


major events of the prenatal period

1. zygote (germinal)
2. embryo
3. fetus


zygote (germinal) period

-first prenatal period
-lasts about two weeks, from fertilization until implantation of the blastocyst in the uterine lining
-during this time, structures that will support prenatal growth begin to form, including the placenta and umbilical cord


embryo period

-second prenatal period
-lasts 3-8 weeks
-during this time, the groundwork is laid for all body structures
-the neural tube forms and the nervous system starts to develop. Other organs follow rapidly (arms, legs, face, organs, and muscles all develop)
-by the end of this period, the embryo responds to touch and can move
-heart begins beating


fetus period

-third prenatal period
-lasts 9-38 weeks (until the end of pregnancy)
-involves dramatic increase in body size and completion of physical structures
-trimesters: 1 (1-12 weeks), 2 (13-24 weeks), 3 (25-38 weeks)
-at the end of the second trimester, most of the brain's neurons are in place
-the fetus reaches the age of viability at the beginning of the 3rd trimester, between 22-26 weeks
-the brain continues to develop rapidly, and new sensory and behavioral capacities emerge
-gradually the lungs matures, the fetus fills the uterus, and birth is near


cell duplication and division

-event of the germinal period
-within hours after conception, the one-celled zygote begins duplication and division
-First, the 23 pairs of chromosomes duplicate and form 2 complete sets of the genome.
-The first duplication takes place about 30 hour after conception.
-These two sets move toward opposite sides of the zygote, and the single cell splits into two cells, each containing the original genetic code.
-These two cells duplicate and divide, becoming four, which duplicate and divide becoming eight, etc.
-By the time an infant is born, the original one-celled zygote has become 10 trillion cells. Adults have 100 trillion cells.


cell differentiation

-event of the germinal period
-differentiation into inner (nucleus) and outer (placenta) cell masses
-At about the eight cell stage, differentiation begins.
-Cells change from stem cells, cells that are able to produce any type of cell, to being able to only become one kind of cell.
-The cells begin to specialize, taking on different forms and reproducing at various rates, depending on where they are located.
-Cells change from being able to become any part of an organism to being able to only become one part- an eye or a finger, etc.
-Once a cell becomes specialized it can no longer be a stem cell.



-a hollow, fluid-filled ball formed from the zygote
-formed by the fourth day


embryonic disk

-the inner cells
-becomes the new organism of the blastocyst



-the outer cells
-provide protective covering for the blastocyst and nourishment



-the inner membrane that encloses the prenatal organism


amnionic fluid

-helps keep temperature constant and provides a cushion against jolts caused by the mother's movements


yolk sac

-produces blood cells until the liver, spleen, and bone marrow are mature enough to take over this function



-the outer membrane that forms a protective covering around the prenatal organism
-it sends out tiny hairlike villi, from which the placenta begins to develop



-the organ that permits exchange of nutrients and waste products between the bloodstreams of the mother and the embryo, while also preventing the mother's and embryo's blood from mixing directly


umbilical cord

-the long cord connecting the prenatal organism to the placenta that delivers nutrients and removes waste products



-By the fourth day, 60-70 cells exist, forming a hollow, fluid-filled ball called the blastocyst. The blastocyst very fragile and tiny.
-At about 7 days after conception, the blastocyst, now more than 100 cells, separates into two distinct masses. The outer ring of cells (trophoblast) forms a shell that will become the placenta. The inner cells (embryonic plate) will become the embryo.
-Eventually, the blastocyst will make its way down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. Between 7 and 9 days after conception, the outer cells attempt to implant or embed themselves in the uterine wall and become the placenta, the organ that surrounds and protects the embryo and fetus, sustaining life via the umbilical cord which is attached to the uterine wall.
-The developing embryo burrows into the placenta (that lines the uterus) where it can be nourished and protected as it continues to develop. At this time, structures that will feed and protect the developing organism also begin to form


hazardous nature of implantation

-60% of natural conceptions and 70% of in vitro conceptions fail to implant
-most of these organisms are grossly abnormal
-this is nature’s way of eliminating prenatal abnormalities



-layer of cells that will become the nervous system and skin



-layer of cells that will develop the muscles, skeletalon, circulatory system, and other internal organs



-layer of cells that will become the digestive system, lungs, urinary tract, and glands


primitive streak

-first sign of a human body structure that appears as a thin line


neural tube

-during the period of the embryo, the primitive spinal cord that develops from the ectoderm, the top of which swells to form the brain



-a white, cheeselike substance that covers the fetus, preventing the skin from chapping due to constant exposure to amniotic fluid



-white, downy hair that covers the entire body of the fetus, helping the vernix to stick to the skin


age of viability

-the age at which the fetus can first survive if born early
-occurs sometime between 22 and 26 weeks
-At 22 weeks, can survive a few hours or days with medical intervention
-Between 23-26 weeks, two-thirds survive, however, only 20% have no disability (retardation, cerebral palsy, etc.)
-By 28 weeks, 95% survive, most with few long-term problems
-Survival depends on extent of brain development and weight gain.



-any environmental agent that causes damage during the prenatal period
-depends on: dose, heredity, other negative influences, age


determining risks for teratogens

1. timing of exposure: time when a particular organ or other body part is exposed to a teratogen (*each body part/organ has its own critical period)
-critical period: when a body part/organ is most susceptible to damage by teratogens
-example: embryonic period

2. amount of exposure: dosage of a teratogen
-threshold effect: teratogen may be harmless and even beneficial in small doses but harmful once a threshold is met
-example: Vitamin A (10,00 or more units-threshold), alcohol (every person has different threshold)
-interaction effect: when two teratogens are used/experienced in combinations, they may intensify in effect
-alcohol and marijuana used together
-if use one, more likely to use another
-environmental areas- poor exposed to things

3. genetic vulnerability: teratogens affect individuals differently depending on genetic mark-up
-gender: boys more susceptible to mischarge and teratogens
-spina bifida: Irish, English, Eqyptian (less likely in African and Asian)
-celft palate: low rate in Japan, high rate in Canada

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