Key Terms: Developmental Psychology
Nature and Nurture
- Nature: Innate biological factors that influence development and personality.
- Nurture: External and environmental factors, including learning, that influence development and personality.
- Gestation/prenatal development: The process of development from conception to birth.
- Conception: Fusion of two gametes: one male sex cell (the sperm) and one female sex cell (the egg).
- Germinal stage: The first stage of gestation, which lasts about 2 weeks, in which the zygote migrates from the Fallopian tube to implant itself in the uterine wall.
- Embryonic stage: The second stage of gestation, which lasts about 6 weeks, in which cells begin to differentiate and organs begin to develop.
- Fetal stage: The final stage of gestation, which lasts about 7 months, in which the fetus gains increased mobility and develops rapidly.
- Teratogens: Substances that damage the process of fetal development such as tobacco and alcohol.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome: A developmental disorder caused by a mother’s heavy alcohol use during pregnancy.
Motor Skill Development
- Motor development: The emergence of the ability to execute physical actions such as walking, crawling, reaching, and rolling.
- Reflexes: Innate motor responses that are triggered by specific patterns of sensory stimulation.
- Rooting reflex: The tendency for an infant to move its mouth toward any object that touches its cheek.
- Sucking reflex: The tendency for an infant to suck any object that enters its mouth.
- Moro reflex: The outstretching of the arms and legs in response to a loud noise or a sudden change in the environment.
- Grasping reflex: The vigorous grasping of an object that touches the palm.
- Babinski reflex: The projection of the big toe and the fanning of the other toes when the sole of the foot is touched, found only in infants.
- Plantar reflex: The curling of the toes when the sole of the foot is touched, developed after infancy.
- Cephalocaudal rule: The tendency for motor skills to emerge in sequence from the head to the feet, also known as the “top-to-bottom” rule.
- Proximodistal rule: The tendency for motor skills to emerge in sequence from the center to the periphery, also known as the “inside to outside” rule.