psych midterm

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Differentiate cephalocaudal and proximodistal growth trends

Cephalocaudal- “head to tail” prenatal head develops more rapidly than lower body

Proximodistal- “near to far” central body regions (trunk) develop before more external body regions (legs, toes), center of body outwards

  • Identify infancy/toddlerhood as fastest period of height/weight change

Birth-2 years

  • Describe changes in body fat during infancy/toddlerhood

Body fat % increases after birth, peaks around 9 months

  • Describe changes in REM sleep and timing of sleep during infancy

Sleep duration decreases from 16 hrs/day at birth 12 hrs/day at 2 yrs. Nighttime sleep increase, daytime sleep decrease.

REM sleep decreases during infancy and NREM sleep increases during infancy.

  • Identify the meaning of the terms neuron, synapse, neurotransmitters, glial cells, synaptogenesis, and synaptic pruning
  • Neuron-building blocks of the nervous system
  • Synapse- gap btw 2 neurons, where message is sent, location where 2 meet.
  • Neurotransmitters- chemicals that communicate messages btw neurons
  • Glial cells- provides critical supportive functions for neurons, wrap around axon of neuron, and increase speed & efficiency
  • Synaptogenesis- synapse formations
  • Synaptic pruning- synapse loss, more efficient, use it or lose it
  • Map and identify functions of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex

Temporal lobe: hearing, language, esp. comprehension

Occipital lobe: vision

Parietal lobe: spatial processing

Frontal lobe: planning, speech, decision making

*lobes of cerebral cortex develop at diff rates

  • Differentiate between and provide examples of experience-expectant and experience-dependent brain growth

Experience expectant- brain “expects” & NEEDS certain inputs/experiences during a sensitive period to develop normally

(related to synaptic pruning) early, natural, age appropriate.

i.e) -Congenital cataracts have to be removed asap for normal vision

-Language development: Genie no grammatical language structure

Experience dependent- experiences beyond typical experiences influence brain development. No sensitive period, can occur at any time. Later occurring. i.e) learning a new skill, brain not expecting.

  • Describe and differentiate classical and operant conditioning
  • Key terms: UCS, UCR, CS, CR, reinforcer (positive/negative), punishment (positive/negative)
  • Classical Conditioning- behaviorist method used by John Watson “Little Albert”. Learning formed by repeatedly paring a neutral stimulus ( NS ) with a stimulus ( UCS Unconditioned stimulus) that naturally causes a response ( UCR Unconditioned response).

1) Before learning: natural responses, NS causes no response. UCS causes UCR.

2) During learning: pair NS&UCS to cause (UCR)

3) After learning: CS (conditioned stimulus) causes CR (conditioned response)

  • Operant Conditioning

Behavior shaped by consequences of actions

*Reinforcers increase behavior

+ Positive reinforcer- positive factor added

i.e) Kick foot→move mobile→increase kicking

Tantrum→parent gives candy bar→future tantrums

Child cleans→parents praise→child cleans more

−Negative reinforcement- negative factor removed

i.e) 2 bites broccoli→leave table→greater eating of broccoli

Picks up child→child stops crying→increase picking up

*Punishments decrease behavior

+Positive punishment, negative factor added

i.e) Bad behavior→timeout→decrease bad behavior

−Negative punishment, positive factor removed

i.e) Fighting over toy→take toy→decrease fighting

No dinner→no dessert→decrease poor eating behaviors


Define habituation and recovery and be able to explain why these patterns provide evidence of learning

Habituation –a gradual reduction in the strength of a response due to a repetitive stimulation.

Same stimulus repeatedly presented then new stimulus presented attention peaks again. Decreased response following repeated stimulus presentation.

Recovery - a new stimulus, change in environment causes responsiveness to return to high level, and increase. Infant remembers & distinguishes btw old and new stimulus.

-Immediate test- novelty preference prefer new stimulus

-Deferred test- familiarity preference prefer old stimulus parents>stranger

-Categorization- planes vs. birds

-Object perception- look longer at broken line than complete line

  • Define imitation and identify that newborns can imitate

Imitation - copying the behavior of another person.

Even newborns can copy facial expressions, how we learn, good &bad. Signs “more, all done” etc.

  • Differentiate between fine and gross motor development
  • Fine motor skills- small motor movements; specific. i.e) reaching, grasping, singing, whistling.
  • Gross motor skills- large motor movement. i.e) crawling, rolling over, standing, walking, throwing
  • Identify average age that infants hold their head up/steady when held, grasp objects, sit alone, crawl, walk alone, jump in place

hold their head up/steady when held 6 Weeks

*grasp objects 4 Months

*sits alone 7 Months

*crawls 7 Months

*walks alone 12 Months

*jumps in place 24 Months

  • Identify the dynamic systems theory of motor development-

Mastery of motor skills involves acquiring increasingly complex systems of action. When motor skills work as a system, separate abilities blend together, each cooperating with others to produce more effective ways of exploring & controlling the environment.

*development influenced by many systems/factors.

i.e) walking: posture, leg alternation, weight shifting, balance, motivation, diapers, experience.


Describe one way that motor development differs across cultures

Some restrict motor experience

Hopi Indians- cradleboard 1 st year 5 hrs/day, no significant diff.

Ache of Paraguay: carried 1 st 2 yrs of life, don’t walk till 23 months

Kipsigis of Kenya promote walking walk 3 weeks earlier than US

  • Perceptual Development
      1. Define and give examples of perceptual narrowing (auditory, visual)
  • Auditory perceptual narrowing- By 12 months lose ability to distinguish btw non-native phonemes. i.e) Hindi da & Da
  • Visual perceptual narrowing of species & race. Critical in telling difference btw people


  • Sensation and perception

Sensation - processing via the sensory receptors

Perception - interpretation of sensations

  • Habituation, conditioned head turn, and preferential looking procedures

-Habituation- measure memory

-Conditioned head turn- use operant conditioning to train infants to turn their heads when they hear a difference in sound, rewarded.

-Preferential looking – presented with 2 visual stimuli & researchers examine which one is looked at longer

  • Auditory perception
  • Identify age range when infants get worse at perceiving phonemes not in native language

-By 12 months lose ability to distinguish btw non-native phonemes

  • Define statistical learning

-Infants learn about the world by analyzing input for patterns i.e) parents repeating name

  • Visual perception
  • Identify which stimulus in a list a newborn would prefer

1 st -faces, 2 nd - black/white contrasts, 3 rd - color

  • Identify which basic visual process develops the latest

Acuity latest after infancy (4 years)


Define depth perception and describe task used for it

Depth perception- the ability to visually judge distances

i.e) visual cliff task used to assess infant depth perception. Experience important for depth perception development!

  • Define and provide an example of intermodal perception

Combining information from two of more senses into an integrated whole. Present early in life.

i.e) 4 weeks old looked longer at pacifier they sucked on than one they didn’t

5 months old can match emotional tones & expressions

Happy vs. sad face to match sound. Also man vs. woman.

  • Piaget
  • Identify and provide examples of assimilation and accommodation

Assimilation - integrating new experience into current schemes i.e) child calls cow a dog (b/c 4 legged)

Accommodation - modify existing schemes or create new schemesa based on experience i.e) child calls cow, diff from dog

  • Identify the names, ages ranges, and abilities that children have in each of the 6 substages of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage

1) Reflexive Schemes : birth 1 month; limited to reflexes i.e) crying, sucking, rooting, moro/startle, Babinski

2) Primary Circular Reactions : 1 4 months; simple body-oriented behaviors, modify reflexes for environment.

3) Secondary Circular Reactions : 4 8 months; greater interaction with environment. Reaching, standing, imitation , repeat interesting events- no conscious connection btw action & consequences.

4) Coordinate Secondary Circular Reaction : 8 12 months; intentional goal-directed behavior. Object permanence - knowledge that objects continue to exist even when they are out of view. Show A-not-B error .

5) Tertiary Circular Reactions : 12 18 months; do not show A-not-B error. Explore object affordances (uses). i.e) girl uses rake after mom shows her, immediate imitation

6) Mental Representation : 18 24 months; mental representations, deferred imitation- imitate someone’s behavior after a delay i.e) uses head to light up box after 1 week.

  • Describe limitations associated with Piaget’s theory

-Overestimates consistency in thinking

-Vague mechanisms

-Underestimated social world & children’s knowledge.


Identify the outcome of a violation-of-expectation experiment

Infants habituated to one event.

Habituation event test event (expected or unexpected)

Presented with expected event or unexpected event

If understand, look longer at unexpected event. Early as 3.5 month

  • Core knowledge
  • Describe and identify the core knowledge perspective

Infants are born with innate knowledge& domain specific learning abilities.

  • Identify domains of core knowledge
  • Objects: cohesion, contact, continuity.
  • Number: approximate number system, track ratios- 6 month old can tell 8 vs 16 but not 8-12, 10 month can do 8 vs 12.

Distinct # system- tracks max of 3

  • Geometry: 18-24 month olds are able to use geometric properties of a room to search for a hidden toy after they are spatially disoriented (spun around)
  • Social groups: race, visual preference procedure 3 month old but not newborns prefer own race faces. Language, accents
  • Agents: goal- directed behavior- greater looking time to new goal trials in 6 months old. Contingent interactions
  • Vygotsky
  • Define zone of proximal development

Range of performance between what children can do alone & what they can do with optimal support- in btw upper & lower limit. For learning to occur, tasks must be complex but within the learners reach. Appropriate.

  • Identify and provide an example of scaffolding

A process in which teachers provide a framework to support thinking at a higher level that children can manage on their own. i.e) Tricycle, training wheels, guided support, independent cycling.


Identify the main similarity and difference between Piaget and Vygotsky’s approach to cognitive development

Both : children actively construct knowledge

Differ : in how they think children construct that knowledge.

Piaget- “little scientists”, investigating their world

Vygotsky- social construction of knowledge

  • Information processing
  • Memory
  • Explain the mobile conjugate reinforcement task

Implicit long term memory- can’t verbalize

Retention - amount of time learning is remembered increases with age.


Define autobiographical memory and infantile amnesia

  • autobiographical memory: Explicit memory you can verbalize. Episodic memory

infantile amnesia: inability to recall episodic memories

  • Identify average age of earliest autobiographical memory for American adults

@3.5 years


Explain deferred imitation

Replication of actions after a delay can be used as a non-verbal test of recall.

  • Intelligence
  • Understand IQ

Intelligence relative to people of the same age.

(mental age/chronological age)*100


Identify the assessment used to measure IQ in infancy and identify how well it predicts later intelligence

Bayley Scales of Infant Development - 1 month old to 3.5 year olds. Used for screening. Components: cognitive, language, motor, socio-emotional, adaptive. *Not good at predicting how they will be later in life

  • Differentiate between how developmental scientists from each of the following perspectives approach cognitive development: Piaget, Vygotsky, core knowledge, information processing


  • Language development
      1. Differentiate between communication and language

Communication : intentional sharing of information with others such as turn taking, gesture, body position, eye gaze, touch, pointing, appearance.

Language : symbolic & abstract system used for communication that follows a grammatical structure. Sign, written, spoken. Learn rapidly w/o explicitly being taught

  • Communication
  • Identify age at which infants begin engaging in eye contact, proto-conversations, joint attention, and preverbal gestures

*Eye contact 3-4 months

*Proto-conversations 4-6 months parent infant alternate responses

*Joint attention 10 months 2 people attend to same object in their environment

*Preverbal gestures 12 months pointing, “up” to be picked up

Define joint attention-2 people attend to same object in their environment

  • Language comprehension
        1. Define infant directed speech

i.e) parentese- babies learn better

~high pitched voice ~exaggerated expression ~clear pronunciation ~distinct pauses

  • Define and identify an example of fast mapping

-Ability to learn the relation between a word and its referent after only limited exposure to the word

  • Language production
  • Identify examples of and ages at which infants coo, babble, say their first word, use telegraphic speech, experience the vocabulary spurt, and demonstrate over-regularization

*Cooing (2 months) vowel-like sounds

*Babbling (6 months) production of vowel-consonant combinations; replicated, variated, jargon

*First Word!- 12 months “mama” “ball” “bye”

*Telegraphic speech: 18-24 months two word utterances “dog ball”

*Vocabulary spurt: 18-24 months

*Overregularization 2-3 years; apply a grammatical rule when they should not i.e) runned learn plurality, past tense “ed”, progressive tense “ing”

  • Differentiate between overextension and underextension

Overextension : use word in cases where the word is not correct, calling a cow a dog

Underextension : fail to use a word in cases where is should be used

  • Define and identify an example of telegraphic speech and overregularization

-Telegraphic speech “dog ball”

-Overregularization “ I runned to get the ball”

  • Identify one individual difference in language development and explain the direction of the difference (i.e., who does better?)

lower SES children hear less language, learn words at slower rate

bilingual children known fewer English words than English monolingual children however they know similar # of words when both languages considered.

  • Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
  • Identify crises from Erikson’s first two stages of psychosocial theory and what parenting behaviors support their development

1) Trust vs mistrust (birth-1 year) Crisis=developing trust

2) Autonomy vs shame doubt (1-13 years) Crisis= balance autonomy (ability to act independently) with social demands

  • Development of Emotions
  • Identify the six basic emotions

Anger Fear Disgust Surprise Happiness Sadness

  • Identify age at which children express social smiles, stranger fear/separation protest, and self-conscious emotions
  • Social smiles 3 months
  • Stranger fear/ separation protest 6-8 months peaks 15 months
  • self-conscious emotion 18-24 months embarrassment

2-3 years pride, guilt, shame

  • Development of the self
  • Identify and describe 3 changes in the development of the self during infancy/toddlerhood

Self-assertion – related to Erickson’s autonomy vs. shame &doubt stage. Children Autonomous wanting to act independently. “Mine” “I can do it” “worry about yourself” 18-24 months

Ability to express empathy- experience another person’s emotional state. 18-24 months

i.e) Cry during movie, give someone a hug or kiss if they are sad or hurt

Self Control- compliance following simple commands. Delay of gratification- wait for reward. i.e) Chocolate chip or what is in box wait for 5 minutes

18-24 months

  • Temperament
  • Identify and describe easy, difficult, and slow-to-warm babies
  • Easy babies (40%)- positive mood, easy to adapt
  • Difficult babies (10%)- negative mood, hard to comfort, difficult to adapt
  • Slow-to-warm up babies (15%)- slower to adapt. Stubborn at first then easy once adapted
  • 35% blend of categories

Define the goodness of fit model

  • A good match between an infant’s temperament & parent characteristics results in adaptive outcomes for the child.

i.e) Child upset=comfort by parent

-Negative outcomes can arise from parents who get frustrated with difficult child

  • Attachment
  • Identify features of attachment relationships
        1. Specificity
        2. Endurance
        3. Emotionally salience
        4. Protesting of unwanted separation
        5. Proximity seeking
        6. Attempts to use figure as a secure base

-i.e., Infant → caregiver, romantic partner ← → romantic partner, elderly parent → adult child, parent X infant

  • Define internal working model
        1. The mental representation of the attachment figure and the self
          1. Are my needs important? Am I important?
          2. Can I rely on the other people if I am in trouble?
        2. Based on experience
  • Describe the Strange Situation and which part is used to determine the child’s attachment style
        1. A child’s behavior is observed in a room for 20 minutes during varying situations of stressfulness while caregivers and strangers enter and leave the room to recreate the flow of familiar and unfamiliar presence in most children’s lives
        2. 8 stages: The reunion (Stage 5 & 8) of the parent returning determines the attachment style
  • Identify behaviors that children display during the Strange Situation and parenting behaviors that lead to each of the following attachment styles:
  • Secure
          1. Child’s behavior

-May be distressed upon separation and lose interest in toys

  1. Parent behavior: supports autonomy, provides comfort

→ Child calms easily upon reunion and is able to return to exploration

  • Avoidant (Insecure)
          1. Child’s behavior

-Little distress upon separation

  1. Parent behavior: rejection/punishment

→ Child displays no/few approach behaviors upon reunion

  • Anxious (Insecure)
          1. Child’s behavior

-Low exploration (clings to attachment figure)

-Distressed upon separation

  1. Parent behavior: inconsistency

→ During reunion:

-Displays anger/resistance upon return

-Unable to calm and return to exploration

  • Disorganized (Insecure)
          1. Child’s behavior

-Contradictory, disoriented, or bizarre behavior

i.e., freezing, walking backwards, rocking, collapsing, overt fear of caregiver

  1. Parent behavior: frighten the children (present in abused children)