Lesson Progress:

Principles of Psychology Module 3 – Evidence and Assessment

Completing This Module

Now that you have studied all of the lessons for this module, you can complete the Module Evidence activity and Module Quiz below.

  1. Review the module summary and outcomes.
  2. If you are unclear on any of the outcomes, review the lessons and the Check Your Knowledge activity.
  3. Complete the Module Quiz and Module Evidence Activity on this page.  These items are graded and count toward your final grade for this course.

Note: If you would like to learn more about this module’s topics, click the Module Toolbox or Module Glossary for additional and supplementary resources.

In this module, you learned about the goals of developmental psychologists and the research methods they use to reach those goals. You took a side (or not) in the great debate between nature and nurture. You learned about the ways our understanding of human development has changed over time, from Piaget to Skinner. Then, you took an in-depth look at the different stages of development, starting with infancy and ending in old age.

After completing this Module, you should be able to:

  • Identify and understand the different influences on development, goals of developmental psychologists, and research on developmental psychology.
  • Compare and contrast theories of human development.
  • Identify the ways infants develop into children and determine the ways childhood development affects behavior in adulthood.
  • Identify the ways we develop physically, mentally, and socioemotionally from adolescence to adulthood.
  • Identify the ways our bodies and minds change in old age, and learn the ways we can slow down the negative effects of aging.

Lesson 1 – Introducing Human Development

AJAX progress indicator
  • case study
    a research design that examines a particular subject closely, usually because the subject is unique in some way
  • correlations
    relationship, trend, or connection between two or more measures
  • cross-sectional study
    a research design that observes several age groups at one point in time
  • longitudinal study
    a research design that allows researchers to study participants in one age group over a period of time
  • nature
    the genetics that determine our development
  • nurture
    the environment that determines our development
  • observational study
    a research design that involves observing the way participants act, either in the real world or in the lab
  • research methods
    the ways that psychologists gather data
  • self-report
    a research method that requires participants to report their behavior to researchers
  • sequential study
    a study design that allows researchers to observe participants from several different age groups over a period of time

Lesson 2 – Theories of Development

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  • habit
    a learned reaction to the outside world, considered by Watson to be a building block of behavior
  • observational learning
    type of learning achieved by watching others and then imitating, or modeling, what they do or say
  • operational thought
    the ability to solve problems mentally rather than needing to act them out
  • theory
    a well-developed set of ideas that proposes an explanation for observed phenomena
  • zone of proximal development
    the are between a task that the learner can do by themselves and a task that the learner can only do with help from others.

Lesson 3 – Infancy and Childhood

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  • anxious-ambivalent attachment
    in childhood, when the child is both extremely distressed when their caregiver leaves and angry when their caregiver returns; most likely to develop if the caregiver is unpredictably responsive to the child's needs
  • anxious-avoidant attachment
    in childhood, when the child does not believe that their caregiver will meet their emotional needs
  • babbling
    repetitive, consonant-vowel sounds that infants make starting at around 6 months of age
  • case study
    a research design that examines a particular subject closely, usually because the subject is unique in some way
  • critical period of development
    the idea that there is a specific window of opportunity during a person's development in which the person can learn a certain skill; after the critical period is over, the person can no longer learn that skill
  • disorganized attachment
    in childhood, when the child's response to Mary Ainsworth's Strange Situation does not fall into the other three attachment categories; may include confusion and fear
  • overextension
    a vocabulary mistake that occurs when a child applies a word too broadly
  • palmar grasp reflex
    when an infant’s fingers automatically close around something that touches the palm of their hand
  • rooting reflex
    when an infant automatically turns towards something touching their cheek or lips while making a sucking motion with their mouth; it helps with successful breastfeeding
  • secure attachment
    in childhood, when the child feels like they can rely on their caregiver for emotional support and protection
  • telegraphic speech
    shortened phrases that can convey meaning in a compressed way; often used by children around 2 years of age
  • underextension
    a vocabulary mistake that occurs when a child applies a word too narrowly

Lesson 4 – Adolescence and Adulthood

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  • crystallized intelligence
    characterized by acquired knowledge and the ability to retrieve it
  • fluid intelligence
    the ability to recognize patterns and solve puzzles
  • generativity
    making a lasting impact on other generations
  • limbic system
    the part of the brain that is generally thought to be the emotion and reward center
  • prefrontal cortex
    the part of the brain that is generally thought to help with rational decision-making
  • primary sexual characteristics
    parts of the body that are necessary for reproduction
  • secondary sexual characteristics
    parts of the body that develop in adolescence differently for males and females but that aren’t necessary for reproduction; includes facial hair and breasts

Lesson 5 – Old Age

AJAX progress indicator
  • Alzheimer’s disease
    a brain disease that causes amyloid plaques for form, killing nerve cells; a common cause of dementia in older adults
  • anxiety
    a mental disorder characterized by frequent, intense worry or fear of everyday situations
  • crystallized intelligence
    characterized by acquired knowledge and the ability to retrieve it
  • dementia
    a mental disorder characterized by the loss of general thinking abilities
  • depression
    a mental disorder characterized by low general mood, a loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed, and social isolation
  • fluid intelligence
    the ability to recognize patterns and solve puzzles
  • heart disease
    anything that causes blood vessels to become narrower, resulting in worse blood circulation
  • reaction time
    the amount of time it takes to respond to something
  • short-term memory
    the type of memory that holds a small amount of information for a small amount of time