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Developmental Psychology
Ch. 1 - Santrock
42
Psychology
08/20/2008

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Term
behavioral and social cognitive theories
Definition
Theories that hold that development can be described in terms of the behaviors learned through interactions with the environment.
Term
biological processes
Definition
Changes in an individual's physical nature.
Term
Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory
Definition
Bronfenbrenner's environmental systems theory that focuses on five environmental systems: microsyste, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem.
Term
case study
Definition
An in-depth examination of an individual.
Term
cognitive processes
Definition
Changes in an individual's thought, intelligence, and language.
Term
cohort effects
Definition
Effects that are due to a subject's time of birth or generation but not age.
Term
cognitive processes
Definition
Changes in an individual's thought, intelligence, and language.
Term
context
Definition
The setting in which development occurs that is influenced by historical, economic, social, and cultural factors.
Term
continuity-discontinuity issue
Definition
The debate about the extent to which development involves gradual, cumulative change (continuity) or distinct stages (discontinuity).
Term
correlation coefficient
Definition
A number based on statistical analysis that is used to describe the degree of association between two variables.
Term
correlational research
Definition
The goal is to describe the strength of the relation between two or more events or characteristics.
Term
cross-cultural studies
Definition
Comparisons of one culture with one or more other cultures. These provide information about the degree to which to which children's development is similar, or universal, across cultures, and to the degree to which it is culture-specific.
Term
cross-sectional approach
Definition
A research strategy in which individuals of different ages are compared at one time.
Term
culture
Definition
The behavior patterns, beliefs, and all other products of a group that are passed on from generation to generation.
Term
descriptive research
Definition
This type of research aims to observe and record behavior.
Term
development
Definition
The pattern of movement or change that starts at conception and continues through the human life span.
Term
eclectic theoretical orientation
Definition
An approach that selects and uses whatever is considered the best in many theories.
Term
Erikson's theory
Definition
A psychoanalytic theory in which eight stages of psychosocial development unfold throughout the human life span. Each state consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis that must be faced.
Term
ethnicity
Definition
A range of characteristics rooted in cultural heritage, including nationality, race, religion, and language.
Term
ethology
Definition
An approach that stresses that behavior is strongly influenced by biology, tied to evolution, and characterized by critical or sensitive periods.
Term
experiment
Definition
A carefully regulated procedure in which one or more of the factors believed to influence the behavior being studied is manipulated and all other factors are held constant. Experimental research permits the determination of cause.
Term
gender
Definition
The psychological and sociocultural dimensions of being female or male.
Term
hypotheses
Definition
Assertions or predictions, often derived from theories, that can be tested.
Term
information-processing theory
Definition
A theory that emphasizes that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it. The processes of memory and thinking are central.
Term
laboratory
Definition
A controlled setting.
Term
life-span perspective
Definition
The perspective that development is lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary, and contextual; involves growth, maintenance, and regulation; and is constructed through biological, socio-cultural, and individual factors working together.
Term
longitudinal approach
Definition
A research strategy in which the same individuals are studied over a period of time, usually several years or more.
Term
naturalistic observation
Definition
Observation that occurs in a real-world setting without an attempt to manipulate the situation.
Term
nature-nurture issue
Definition
The debate about the extent to which development is influenced by nature and by nurture. Nature refers to an organism's biological inheritance, nurture to its environmental experiences.
Term
nonnormative life events
Definition
Unusual occurrences that have a major impact on a person's life. The occurrence, pattern, and sequence of these events are not applicable to many individuals.
Term
normative age-graded influences
Definition
Biological and environmental influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group.
Term
normative history-graded influences
Definition
Biological and environmental influences that are associated with history. These influences are common to people of a particular generation.
Term
Piaget's theory
Definition
The theory that children construct their understanding of the world and go through four stages of cognitive development.
Term
psychoanalytic theories
Definition
Theories that hold that development depends primarily on the unconscious mind and is heavily couched in emotion, that behavior is merely a surface characteristic, that it is important to analyze the symbolic meanings of behavior, and that early experiences are important in development.
Term
social cognitive theory
Definition
The theory that behavior, environment, and person/cognitive factors are important in understanding development.
Term
socioeconomic status (SES)
Definition
Refers to the conceptual grouping of people with similar occupational, educational, and economic characteristics.
Term
socioemotional processes
Definition
Changes in an individual's relationships with other people, emotions, and personality.
Term
social policy
Definition
A national government's course of action designed to promote the welfare of its citizens.
Term
stability-change issue
Definition
The debate about the degree to which early traits and characteristics persist through life or change.
Term
standardized test
Definition
A test that is given with uniform procedures for administration and scoring.
Term
theory
Definition
A coherent set of ideas that helps to explain data and to make predictions.
Term
Vygotsky's theory
Definition
A sociocultural cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development.