Science of Human Development
The science that seeks to understand how and why people of all ages and circumstances change or remain the same over time
Scientific Method
A way to answer questions that requires empirical research and databased conclusions
A specific prediction that can be tested
Empirical Evidence
Evidence based on data from scientific observation or experiments; not theoretical
The repletion of a study, using different participants
A general term for all the environmental influences that affect development after an individual is conceived
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: The term used to describe an infant's unexpected death; when a seemingly healthy baby, usually between 2 and 6 months old suddenly stops breathing and dies unexpectedly while asleep
Life-Span Perspective
An approach to the study of human development that takes into account all phases of life, not just childhood or adulthood
Critical Period
A time when a particular type of developmental growth (in body or behavior) must happen if it is ever going to happen
Sensitive Period
A time when a certain type of development is most likely to happen or happens most easily, although it may still happen later with more difficulty. For example, early childhood is considered a sensitive period for language learning
Ecological-System Approach
The view that in the study of human development, the person should be considered in all the contexts and interactions that constitute a life. Also know as Bioecological theory
A group defined by a shared age of its members, who, because they were born at about the same time, move through life together, experiencing the same historical events and cultural shifts
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
A person' position in society as determined by income, wealth, occupation, education and place of residence, Social class
A system of shared beliefs, norms, behaviors and expectations that persist over time and prescribe social behavior and assumptions
Social Construction
An idea that is based on shared perceptions, not on objective reality. Many age-related terms, such as childhood, adolescence, yuppie and senior citizen are social constructs
Difference-Equals-Deficit Error
The mistaken belief that a deviation form some norm is necessarily inferior to behavior or characteristics that meet the standard
Ethnic Group
People whose ancestors were born in the same region and who often share a language, culture, and religion
A group of people regard as distinct from other groups on the basis of appearance, typically skin color. Social scientists think race is a misleading concept, as biological differences are not signified by outward appearance
Referring to the effects of environmental forces on the expression of an individual's, or a species' , genetic inheritance
Developmental Theory
A group of ideas, assumptions and generalizations that interpret and illuminate the thousands of observations that have been made about human growth. A developmental theory provides a framework for explaining the patterns and problems of development
Psychoanalytic Theory
A theory of human development that holds that irrational, unconscious drives and motivates often originating in childhood, underlie human behavior
A theory of human development tat studies observable behavior. Behaviorism is also called learning theory because it describes the laws and processes by which behavior is learned
According to behaviorism, the processes by which responses become linked to particular stimuli and learning takes place. The word conditioning is used to emphasize the importance of repeated practice, as when a n athlete conditions his or her body to perform shell by training for a long time
Classical Conditioning
A learning process in which meaningful stimulus (such as the smell of food to a hungry animal) gradually comes ago be connected with a neutral stimulus (such as a particular sound) that had no special meaning before the learning process began) also called respondent conditioning)
Operant Conditioning
A learning process in which a particular action is followed either by something desired (which makes the person or animal more likely to repeat the action) or by something unwanted (which makes the action less likely to be repeated). Also called instrumental conditioning
A technique for conditioning a particular behavior in which that behavior is followed by something desired, such as food for a hungry animal or a welcoming smile for a lonely person
Social Learning Theory
An extension of behaviorism that emphasizes that other people influence each person's behavior. The theory's basic principle is that even without specific reinforcement, every individual learns many things through observation and imitation of other people
Cognitive Theory
A theory of human development that focuses on changes in ow people think over time. According to this theory, our thoughts shape our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors
A theory that stresses the potential of all human beings for good and the belief that all people have the same belief that all people have the same basic needs, regardless of culture, gender, or background
Scientific Observation
A method of testing a hypothesis by unobtrusively watching and recording participants' behavior in a systematic and objective maker- in a natural setting, in a laboratory, or in searches of archival data
A research method in which the researcher tries to determine the cause-and-effect relationship between two variables by manipulating one (called the independent variable) and then observing and recording the ensuing changes in the other (called the dependent variable)
Independent Variable
In an experiment, the variable that is introduce to see what effect it has on the dependent variable
Dependent Variable
In an experiment, the variable that may change as a result of whatever new condition or situation the experimenter adds. In other words, the dependent variable depends on the independent variable
A research method in which information is collected from a large number of people by interviews, written questionnaires or some other means
Case Study
An in-depth study of one person, usually requiring personal interviews to collect background information and various follow-up discussions, tests, questionnaires and so on
Cross-Sectional Research
A research design that compares groups of people who differ in age but are similar in other important characteristics
Longitudinal Research
A research design in which the same individuals are followed over time and their development is repeatedly assessed
Cross-Sequetial Research
A hybrid research design in which researcher first study several groups of people in different ages (a cross-sectional approach) and then follow those groups over the years (a longitudinal approach) (Also called a cohort-seqential research or time-sequential research)
A number that indicates the degree of relationship between two variables expressed in terms of the likelihood that on variable will (or will not) occur when the other variable does (or does not). A correlation indicates only that two variables are related not that one variable causes the other to occur
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 qualitative studies
The single cell that is formed from the fusing of two gametes, a sperm and an ovum
The molecule that contains the chemical instruction for cells to manufacture various proteins
One of the 46 molecules of DNA (in 23 pairs) that each cell of the human body contains and that, together, contain all the genes. Other species have more or fewer chromosomes
A small section of a chromosome; the basic unit for the transmission of heredity. A gene consists of a string of chemicals that provide instructions for the cell to manufacture certain proteins
A reproductive cell; that is, a sperm or an ovum that can produce a new individual if it combines with a gamete from the other sex to form a zygote
Any of the possible forms in which a gene for a particular trait can occur
An organism's entire genetic inheritance, or genetic potenial
The observable characteristics of a person, including appearance, personality, intelligence and all other traits
The full set of genes that are the instructions to make an individual member of a certain species
A 23rd chromosome pair that consists of two X-shaped chromosomes, on each form the mother and the father XX zygotes become females
A 23rd chromosome pair that consists of an X-shaped chromosome form the mother and a Y-shaped chromosome form the father. XY zygotes become males
Monozygotic Twins
Twins who originate form one zygote that splits apart very early in development, "identical twins"
Dizygotic Twins
Twins who are formed when two separate ova are fertilized by two separate sperm at roughly the same time, "fraternal twins"
Additive Gene
A gene that adds something to some aspect of the phenotype. Its contribution depends on additions form the other genes, which may come from either the same or the other parent
Dominant-Recessive Pattern
The interaction of a pair of alleles in such a way that the phenotype reveals the influence of one allele (the dominant gene) more than that of the other (the recessive gene)
A person whose genotype includes a gene that is not expressed in the phenotype. Such an unexpressed gene occurs in half the carrier's gametes and thesis passed on to half the carrier's children, who will most likely be carriers, too. Generally, the characteristic appears in the phenotype only when such a gene is inherited from both parents.
A gene carried on the X chromosome If a male inherits an X-linked recessive trait form his mother, he expresses that trait because the Y from his father has not counteracting gene. Females are more likely to be carriers of X-linked traits but are less likely to express them
Germinal Period
The first two weeks of prenatal development after conception, characterized by rapid cell division and the beginning of cell differentiation
Embryonic Period
The stage of prenatal development from approximately the their through the eighth week after conception, during which the basic forms of all body structure, including internal organs, develop
Fetal Period
The stage of prenatal development form the ninth week after conception until, birth, during which the fetus grows in size and matures in functioning
Stem Cells
Cells form which any othe specialized type of cell can form
The process, beginning about 10 days after conception, in which the developing organism burrows into the tissue that lines the uterus, where it can be nourished and protected as it continues to devlop
The name for developing human organism form about the third through the eighth week after conception
The name for a developing human organism from the start of the ninth week after conception until birht
An image of a fetus (o an internal organ) produced by using high-frequency sound waves, aka sonogram
Age of Viability
The age (about 22 weeks after conception) at which a fetus may survive outside the mother's uterus if specialized medical care is available
Apgar Scale
A quick assessment of a newborn's body functioning. The baby's heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, color and reflexes are given a score of 0, 1, or 2 twice- atone minute and five minutes after birth- and each time the total of all five scores is compared with the ideal score of 10 ( which is rarely attained)
Cesarean Section (C-Section)
A surgical birth, in which incisions through the mother's abdomen and uterus allow the fetus to be removed quickly instead of being delivered through the vagina
A woman who helps with the birth process. Doulas are trained to offer support to new mothers, including massage and suggestions for breast-feedings positions
Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS)
A test often administered to newborns that measures responsiveness and records 46 behaviors, including 20 reflexes
An unlearned, involuntary action or movement in response to a stimulus. A reflex occurs without conscious thought
Symptoms of pregnancy and birth experienced by fathers
Postpartus Depression
The sadness and inadequacy felt by some new mothers in the days and weeks after giving birth
Parent-Infant Bond
The strong, loving connection that forms as parents hold examine and feed their newborn
Kangaroo Care
A child-care technique in which a new mother holds the baby between her breasts, like a kangaroo that carries her immature newborn in a pouch on her abdomen
Down Syndrome
A condition in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46, with three rather than two chromosomes at the 21st position. People with Down Syndrome typically have unusual facial features (thick tongue, round face, slanted eyes), heart abnormalities and language difficulties
Any agent or conditions, including viruses, drugs and chemicals, that can impair prenatal development, resulting in birth defects or complications
Behavioral Teratogens
Agents and conditions that can harm the prenatal brain, impairing the future child's intellectual and emotional functioning
Cerebral Palsy
A disorder that results from damage to the brain's motor cents. People with cerebral palsy have difficulty with muscle control, so their speech and/or body movements are impaired
A lack of oxygen that, if prolonged can cause brain damage or death
Threshold Effect
A situation in which a certain teratogens is relatively harmless in small doses but becomes harmful once exposure reaches a certain level (the threshold)
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
A cluster of birth defects, including abnormal facial characteristics, slow physical growth and intellectual disabilities, that may occur in the child of a woman who drinks alcohol while pregnant
Low Birthweight (LBW)
A body weight at birth of less than 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams)
Very Low Birthweight (VLBW)
A body weight at birth of less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1,500 grams)
Extremely Low Birthweight (ELBW)
A body weight at birth of less than 2 pounds, 3 ounces (1,000 grams)
Preterm Birth
A birth that occurs three or more weeks before the full 38 weeks of typical pregnancy have elapsed- that is, at 35 or fewer weeks after conception
Small for Gestational Age (SGA)
Having a body weight at birth that is significantly lower than expected, given the time since conception. For example, a 5-pound newborn isn considered SGA if born on time but not SGA if born two months early
Hispanic Paradox
The surprising discovery that, although low SES usually correlates with poor health, this is to true for Hispanics in the United States. For example, wen compared with the U.S. average LBW rate, Hispanic newborns are less often of lower birth weight
A statistic that indicates what percentage of the variation in a particular trait within a particular population, in particular population, in a particular context and era, can be traced to genes
An average, or standard, measurement, calculated from the measurements of many individuals within a specific group or population
A biological mechanism that protects the brain when malnutrition disrupts body growth. The brain is the last part of the body to be damaged by malnutrition
One of billions of nerve cells in the central nervous system, especially in the brain
They outer layers of the brain in humans and other mammals. Most thinking, feeling, and sensing involve the cortex
Prefrontal Cortex
The area of the cortex at the very front of the brain that specializes in anticipation, planning and impulse control
A fiber that extends from a neuron and receives electrochemical impulses transmitted from other neurons via their axons
the intersection between the axon of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons
A brian chemical that carries information from the axon of a sending neuron to the dendrites of a receiving neuron
Synaptic Gap
The pathway across which neurotransmitters carry information form the axon of the sending neuron to the dendrites of the receiving neuron
Transient Exuberance
The great but temporary increase in the number of dendrites that develop in an infant's brain during the first two years of life
When applied to brain development, the process by which unused connections in the brain atrophy and die
Shaken Baby Syndrome
A life-threatening injury that occurs when an infant is forcefully shaken back and forth, a motion that ruptures blood vessels in the brain and breaks neural connections
The inborn drive to remedy a developmental deficit; literally, to return to sitting or standing upright after being tripped over. People of all ages have self-righting impulses, for emotional as well as physical imbalance
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep
A stage of sleep characterized by flickering eyes behind closed lids, dreaming and rapid brain waves
A custom in which parents and their children (usually infants) sleep together in the same room
The response of a sensory system (eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose) when it detects a stimulus
The mental processing of sensory information when the brain interprets a sensation
Binocular Vision
The ability to focus the two eyes in a coordinated manner in order to see one image
Motor Skills
The leaned abilities to move some part of the body in actions ranging form a large leap to a flicker of the eyelid.
Gross Motor Skills
Physical abilities involving large body movements, such as walking and jumping
Fine Motor Skills
Physical abilities involving small body movements, especially of the hands and fingers, such as drawing and picking up a coin
A process that stimulates the body's immune system to defend against attack by a particular contagious disease. Immunization may be accomplished either naturally (by having the disease) or through vaccination (often by having an injections
Protein-Calorie Malnutrition
A condition in which a person does not consume sufficient food of any kind. This deprivation can result in several illnesses, severe weight loss, and even death
The failure of children to grow to a normal height for their age due to severe and chronic malnutrition
The tendency for children to be severely under weight for their age as a result of malnutrition
A disease of severe protein-calorie malnutrition during early infancy, in which growth stops, body tissues waste away and the infant eventually dies
A disease of chronic malnutrition during childhood, in which a protein deficiency makes the child more vulnerable to other diseases, such as measles, diarrhea, and influenza
Sensorimotor Intelligence
Piaget's term for the way infants think- by using their senses and motor skills- during the first period of cognitive development
Object Permanence
The realization that objects (including people) still exist even if they can no longer be seen, touched, or heard
Little Scientist
The stage-five toddler (age 12 to 18 months) who experiments without anticipating the results, using trial and error in active and creative exploration
Deferred Imitation
A sequence in which an infant first perceives something done by someone else and then performs the same action hours or even days later
Mirror Neurons
Cells in an observer's brain tat respond to an action performed by someone else in the same way they would if the observer had actually performed that action
Information-Processing Theory
A perspective that compares human thinking processes, by analogy, to computer analysis of data, including sensory input, connections, stored memories and output.
Reminder Session
A perceptual experience that is intended to help a person recollect an idea, a thing, or an experience, without testing whether the person remembers it at the moment
Child-Directed Speech
The high-pitched, simplified and repetitive way adults speak to infants. (Also called baby talk or motherese)
The extended repletion of certain syllables, such as ba-ba-ba that begins when babies are between 6 and 9 months odl
A single word that is used to express a complete, meaningful thought
Naming Explosion
A sudden increase in an infant's vocabulary, especially in the number of noun, that begins at about 18 months of age
All the methods- wow order, verb forms, and so on- that languages use to communicate meaning, apart from the words themselves
Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
Chomsky's term for a hypothesized mental structure that enables humans to learn language, including the basic aspects of grammar, vocabulary, and intonation
Hybrid Theory
A perspective that combines various aspects of different theories to explain how language, or other developmental phenomenon occurs
Social Smile
A smile evoked by a human face, normally first evident in infants about 6 weeks after birth
The primary stress hormone; fluctuations in the body's cortisol level affect human emotion
Separation Anxiety
An infant's distress when a familiar caregiver leaves, most obvious between 9 and14 months
Stranger Wariness
An infant's expression of concern- a quiet stare while clinging to a familiar person or a look of fear- when a stranger appears
A person's realization that he or she is a distinct individual who's body, mind and actions are separate from those of other people
Inborn differences between one person and another in emotions, activity and self-regulation. It is measure by the person's typical responses to the environment
A coordinated, rapid, and smooth exchange of responses between a caregiver and an infant
Still-Face Technique
An experimental practice in which an adult keeps his or her face unmoving and expressionless in face-to-face interaction with an infant
According to Ainsworth, "an affectional tie" that an infant forms with a care-giver- a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time
Secure Attachment
A relationship in which an infant obtains both comfort and confidence from the presence of his or her caregiver
Insecure-Avoidant Attachment
A pattern of attachment in which an infant avoids connection with the caregiver, as when the infant seems not to care about the caregiver's presence, departure, or return
Insecure-Resistant/Ambivalent Attachment
A pattern of attachment in which an infant's anxiety and uncertainty are evident as when the infant becomes very upset at separation from the caregiver and both resists and seeks contact on reunion
Disorganized Attachment
A type of attachment that is marked by an infant's inconsistent reactions to the caregiver's departure and return
Strange Situation
A laboratory procedure for measuring attachment by evoking infants' reactions to the stress of various adults' comings and goings in an unfamiliar playroom
Social referencing
Seeking information about how to react to an unfamiliar or ambiguous object or event b observing someone else's expressions and reactions. That other person becomes a social reference
Trust Versus Mistrust
Erikson's first crisis of psychosocial development. Infants learn basic trust if the world is secure place where their basic needs (for food, comfort, attention, and so on) are met
Autonomy Versus Shame and Doubt
Erikson's second crisis of psychosocial development. Toddlers either succeed or fail in gaining a sense of self-rule over their actions and their bodies
Social Learning
The acquisition of behavior patterns by observing the behavior of others
Proximal Parenting
Caregiving practices that involve being physically close to the baby, with frequent holding and touching
Distal Parenting
Caregiving practices that involve remaining distant from the baby, providing toys , food, and face-to-face communication with minimal holding and touching
Working Model
In cognitive theory, a set of assumptions that the individual uses to organize perceptions and experiences. For Example, a person might assume that other people are trustworthy and be surprised by an incident that this working model of human behavior was erroneous
Literally "other-care" the care of children by people other than the biological parents
Family Day Care
Child care that includes several children of various ages and usually occur in the home of a woman who is paid to provide it
Center Day Care
Child care that occurs in a place especially designed for the purpose, where several paid adults care for many children. Usually, the children are grouped by age, the day-care center is licensed and providers are trained and certified in child development