Developmental psychology

Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan. Developmental psychologists aim to explain how thinking, feeling, and behaviors change throughout life. This field examines change across three major dimensions: physical development, cognitive development, and socioemotional development.[1][citation needed] Within these three dimensions are a broad range of topics including motor skills, executive functions, moral understanding, language acquisition, social change, personality, emotional development, self-concept, and identity formation.

Developmental psychology examines the influences of nature and nurture on the process of human development, and processes of change in context and across time. Many researchers are interested in the interactions among personal characteristics, the individual’s behavior, and environmental factors, including the social context and the built environment. Ongoing debates include biological essentialism vs. neuroplasticity and stages of development vs. dynamic systems of development.

Developmental psychology involves a range of fields, such as educational psychology, child psychopathology, forensic developmental psychology, child development, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and cultural psychology. Influential developmental psychologists from the 20th century include Urie Bronfenbrenner, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Barbara Rogoff, Esther Thelen, and Lev Vygotsky.
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PSY 501
Developmental Psychology

Author(s): Publisher:

Human Development: A Cultural Approach

First Edition, 2012

ISBN-13: 9780205595266

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett


Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1. Who did developmental researchers focus on studying because they assumed that the processes of development were universal?

a. Mexicans b. Europeans c. Canadians d. Americans

2. What is the current total fertility rate (TFR) worldwide?

a. 1.4
b. 2.8
c. 4.2
d. 5.6

3. What is probably the oldest known conception of the life course, written about 3,000 years ago?

a. the Dharmashastras b. the Bible
c. the Koran d. the Talmud

4. What is Freud’s theory of human development?

a. bio-sexual theory
b. psychosexual theory c. sexual stage theory d. libido-drive theory

5. According to the text, what is a researcher’s idea about one possible answer to the question of interest?

a. a scientific idea b. a hypothesis
c. a proof d. a law

6. When participants are provided with specific responses to choose from on a questionnaire, what type of format is being used?

a. open-ended question format b. closed-question format
c. stream of consciousness format d. multiple choice format

7. What recessive disorder results in non-normal shaped blood cells that clog up blood vessels and cause pain, increased susceptibility to disease, and early death?

a. Tay-Sachs b. trisomy-21
c. sickle-cell anemia d. malaria

8. A person with an XY pairing of chromosomes is a , whereas a person with an XX pairing of chromosomes is a .

a. male; female b. female; male
c. homogenetic inheritance; polygenetic inheritance d. polygenetic inheritance; homogenetic inheritance

9. Who are generally carriers of X-linked disorders?

a. females b. males
c. individuals who have been exposed to teratogens d. individuals with a trisomy

10. The structure that will form the structures that will provide protection and nourishment for the newly formed organism is the .

a. umbilical cord b. placenta
c. embryonic disk d. trophoblast

11. By the end of the third week the neural tube begins to form. This structure will eventually become .

a. the skull and torso b. legs and arms
c. the spinal cord and brain
d. lungs and the digestive system

12. Children born with chromosomal problems are almost always born to parents with .

a. the very same chromosomal problem b. similar genetic disorders
c. above average intelligence
d. no genetic or chromosomal problems
13. According to the text, oxytocin is released from the . a. fetus’s liver
b. mother’s uterus c. fetus’s placenta
d. mother’s pituitary gland

14. During what stage is the umbilical cord usually cut and tied?

a. crowning
b. active labor
c. transitional labor
d. The third stage of labor

15. Compared to other animals, the birth process for human beings is complicated by the . a. size of the infant’s head
b. infant’s muscle to fat ratio
c. amount of amniotic fluid expelled
d. mother’s expectation of the birthing process

16. What are the “soft spots” on a neonate called?

a. sutures
b. cranium areas c. fontanels
d. soft spots

17. How long does it take before the neonate has regained all of the weight that he or she lost right after birth?

a. 2 weeks b. 3 weeks c. 4 weeks d. 5 weeks

18. For American infants, what percent are born with an Apgar score of 7 to 10?

a. 52%
b. 64%
c. 76%
d. 98%

19. One way that neonates’ sleep is distinctive is that they spend a high proportion of their sleep in .

a. alpha stage sleep b. a coma-like sleep
c. a position that is face down
d. rapid eye movement (REM) sleep

20. In cultures where babies are held or carried around much of the day . a. prolonged episodes of crying are common
b. prolonged episodes of crying are rare
c. they cry because infants need time alone
d. they cry because they sense that their mothers are frustrated with them

21. Growth and development proceed from the middle of the body outward, which is known as the .

a. head first, body second principle b. cephalocaudal principle
c. proximodistal principle d. top-down principle

22. As described in the text, which of the following are appropriate methods to soothe an infant who is teething?

a. the use of a teething ring, a cold drink, or topical pain relievers b. the use of pediatric oral dentures
c. the use of children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen d. the use of a cotton ball that is soaked in whiskey

23. is a tiny gap between neurons. a. A neurotransmitter
b. The synapse c. A dendrite
d. Myelin

24. When neuronal connections that are used become stronger and faster and the neuronal connections that are not used wither away, what is happening?

a. brain death
b. axonal withering c. synaptic pruning
d. intellectual development

25. What is the leading cause of death for infants between birth and one year of age in developed countries?

a. accidents b. SIDS
d. genetic disorders

26. An infant between the ages of birth and 2 would be in which of Piaget’s cognitive stages?

a. sensorimotor b. preoperational
c. concrete operations d. formal operations

27. Secondary circular reactions involve activity in relation to the . a. infant’s own body
b. parent
c. external world d. siblings

28. What approach that attempts to understand cognitive development views development as continuous?

a. information-processing approach b. behavioral theory
c. Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory d. Typological Advancement theory

29. During toddlerhood children do not need as much of this to maintain a constant body temperature?

a. warm clothes b. mother’s body c. body hair
d. body fat

30. Which of the following is a protein deficiency that primarily affects toddlers in developing nations and leads to a range of symptoms such as lethargy, irritability, and thinning of hair?

a. kwashiorkor
b. micronutrients c. eczema
d. tuberculosis

31. How many neurons does the brain contain when the toddler is 2 years old?

a. twice as many as at birth
b. four times as many as at birth c. half as many as at birth
d. the same total number of neurons

32. Two possible reasons why toddlers have an increased frequency of waking at night are . a. teething and an increased sense of self
b. increased physiological response and increased hormone production c. nocturnal enuresis and increased fidgeting
d. decreased autonomic nervous system and increased parasympathetic response

33. Piaget’s fifth sensorimotor stage is . a. simple reflexes
b. secondary circular reactions c. tertiary circular reactions
d. mental representations

34. is the basis of human language. a. Deferred imitation
b. Mental representation
c. Unconscious symbolism d. Object permanence

35. Which of the following are secondary emotions?

a. sadness, disgust, and joy b. anger, fear, and happiness
c. shame, guilt, and embarrassment d. surprise, sadness, and anger

36. When do children begin to use personal pronouns for the first time (e.g., “I,” “me,” etc.) and refer to themselves by their own names?

a. 9 months b. 12 months c. 18 months d. 24 months

37. What percentage of North American children have at least one dental cavity by age five years?

a. 5%
b. 10%
c. 20%
d. 40%

38. What is the brain system that is involved in attention?

a. cerebellum
b. hippocampus
c. reticular formation d. corpus callosum

39. Which of the following elements is responsible for the growth of strong bones and teeth?

a. calcium b. zinc
c. fluoride
d. potassium

40. What is the name of the Piagetian substage in which children are first capable of representational thought and of using symbols to represent the world?

a. formal operations
b. representational operations c. systematic thought
d. symbolic function

41. What is one of the criticisms that other cognitive theorists and researchers have regarding Piaget’s theory of cognitive development during the preoperational stage? They believe that development is actually much more .

a. vacillating and not predictable b. stable and rarely changed
c. stage-like and less continuous
d. continuous and much less stage-like

42. Children from what group in the United States especially benefited cognitively from preschool?

a. families who had parents who were professionals b. affluent families
c. Midwestern families d. low-income families

43. What is defined as the practices that parents exhibit in relation to their children and their beliefs about these practices?

a. child–parent practices
b. parenting learning strategies c. parenting styles
d. discipline strategies

44. In what types of cultures do parents expect that their authority will be obeyed without question and without requiring an explanation?

a. Western cultures
b. traditional cultures
c. nontraditional cultures d. native cultures

45. In middle childhood physical growth continues at a slow but steady pace. How many inches per year does the average child gain in height during this time?

a. 2 to 3 inches b. 5 to 6 inches c. 8 to 9 inches
d. 11 to 12 inches

46. Internationally, children aged 6 to 10 years are considered to be overweight if . a. they eat more than 2,000 calories a day
b. fail to exercise for more than 30 minutes per day c. have a BMI that exceeds 18
d. have 20% or more body fat

47. In the U.S., rates of overweight and obesity are higher in . a. ethnic minority groups
b. high income families
c. first-generation families d. White American families

48. What Piagetian concept describes the ability of children to understand that the quantity of an object has not changed although its shape has?

a. concept shifting b. critical thinking c. reversibility
d. decentering

49. What is the disorder referred to when individuals have difficulties in maintaining attention?

a. attention persistence disorder b. attention deficit disorder
c. attention control disorder
d. attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

50. What are the negative side effects of using medication for the treatment of ADHD?

a. slower physical growth and higher risk of depression
b. lethargy and a larger appetite that increases the likelihood of obesity c. decreased intelligence and delayed cognitive development
d. loss of bone density and delayed motor coordination

51. Ambivalence is .

a. two ends of one extreme
b. experiencing two contradictory emotions at once c. an unexpected and undesirable emotional state d. a happy but unexpected surprise

52. What is the term that is used to describe a person’s perception and evaluation of him- or herself?

a. self-concept b. self-esteem
c. self-evidence
d. self-comparison

53. By the mid-teens, testosterone production in males is how many times greater than it was before puberty?

a. 8
b. 12
c. 16
d. 20

54. Considerable thickening of synaptic connections occurs around the time puberty begins during a process neuroscientists call .

a. overproduction b. pruning
c. myelination
d. synaptic expansion

55. What is the last structure of the brain to complete its growth process?

a. cortex
b. cerebellum
c. hypothalamus d. frontal lobes

56. As described by Piaget, the child who solves the pendulum task and can explain their rationale is closer to the stage of cognitive development.

a. sensorimotor b. preoperational
c. concrete operations d. formal operations

57. People who demonstrate the capacity for formal operations tend to use it selectively, for . a. problems and situations that involve social cognitive reasoning and social
cognitive problem-solving
b. problems and situations that involve low to moderate creativity and ingenuity
c. problems and situations in which they have the most experience and knowledge d. problems and situations that involve personal consequences

58. Which of the following are the two keys to cognition in the information processing approach?

a. attention and memory
b. neural growth and synaptic connections c. parietal and occipital lobes
d. visual images and the management of cognitive load

59. Comparing preadolescent 5th graders to adolescent 8th graders, Larson and Richards (1994)
found that the percentage of time participants experienced as “very happy” .

a. increased by 60% b. increased by 20% c. decreased by 30% d. decreased by 50%

60. David Gilmore (1990) concluded that in most cultures an adolescent boy must demonstrate three capacities before he can be considered a man. What are the three capacities?

a. perform, promote, and prosper b. proud, perfect, and polite
c. proficient, pure, and political
d. provide, protect, and procreate

61. What are five characteristics that distinguish emerging adulthood from other age periods?

a. It is the age of identity explorations, instability, being self-focused, feeling in- between, and possibilities.
b. It is the age of stability, being other-focused, identity diffusion, feeling in- between, and stagnation.
c. It is the age of identity moratorium, stability, feeling marginalized, being self- focused, and developing a global worldview.
d. It is the age of instability, being other-focused, identity foreclosure, feeling marginalized, and possibilities.

62. The time period of emerging adulthood is more likely to be a part of , and absent in . a. developed countries; undeveloped countries
b. undeveloped countries; developed countries c. collective cultures; individualistic cultures d. individualistic cultures; collective cultures

63. Cardiac output peaks in which of the following time periods of life?

a. childhood
b. adolescence
c. emerging adulthood d. middle adulthood

64. Which of the following best describes pragmatism?

a. using language and mental images as a basis for problem-solving on tangible concrete items
b. coordinating sensory modalities with motor skills as a basis for an individual’s perception of his or her world
c. applying rigid logical thought to solve real-life situations that contain complexities and inconsistencies
d. adapting logical thought to solve practical real-life situations that contain complexities and inconsistencies

65. is often seeing situations and issues in polarized terms—an act is either right or wrong, with no in-between; a statement is either true or false, regardless of the nuances or the situation to which it is being applied.

a. Dualistic thinking
b. Situational judgments
c. Relative-hypothesis testing d. Concrete thought

66. What type of education or training program takes place beyond secondary school?

a. primary education b. tertiary education
c. quaternary education d. technical education

67. A(n) occurs when people believe others possess certain characteristics simply as a result of being a member of a particular group.

a. stereotype
b. discrimination
c. negative behaviors
d. unconscious association

68. The collapse of communism began in Eastern Europe in 1989 and was initiated by . a. individuals in their late teens
b. individuals in emerging adulthood c. individuals in middle adulthood
d. individuals in late adulthood

69. What do emerging adults in Korea and China view as the most important criterion that signals adulthood?

a. completing military service
b. supporting a family financially
c. being able to support their parents financially d. emotional self-control

70. In traditional cultures the collectivistic value of is more highly prized than the individualistic value of .

a. self-promotion; assertiveness b. assertiveness; self-promotion
c. independence; interdependence d. interdependence; independence

71. What do about 30% to 50% of Western and Asian women do to their hair during young adulthood?

a. cut it very short for convenience b. color or dye it
c. replace it with wigs and hair pieces d. nothing

72. Although the body of research on IQ showing a relation between IQ and adult career success is large, nearly all of it is concentrated .

a. in developed countries
b. in non-Western countries
c. solely in the United States
d. exclusively outside of the United States

73. For Piaget, the culmination of cognitive maturation is the attainment of formal operations around age .

a. 11
b. 18
c. 20
d. 25

74. What type of love involves feelings of closeness and emotional attachment?

a. intimacy
b. commitment c. passion
d. desire

75. What type of love characterizes most friendships and involves intimacy without passion or commitment?

a. liking
b. infatuation c. empty love
d. romantic love

76. What type of love integrates passion, intimacy, and commitment? This type of love represents the ideal for many people.

a. romantic love
b. companionate love c. fatuous love
d. consummate love

77. During middle adulthood, which of the following is more likely to experience hair thinning and baldness?

a. a male of European descent
b. a female of European descent c. a male of Asian descent
d. a female of Asian descent

78. What are the tiny hairs in the inner ear known as?

a. tympanic hairs
b. incus, stapes, and malleus c. cilia
d. hearing hairs

79. At what age does menopause usually occur?

a. between 20 and 30 years of age b. between 30 and 40 years of age c. between 40 and 50 years of age d. between 50 and 60 years of age

80. Who was the theorist who first described fluid and crystallized intelligence?

a. Raymond Cattell b. Jean Piaget
c. Alfred Binet
d. Robert Sternberg

81. represents the accumulation of a person’s culturally based knowledge, language, and understanding of social conventions.

a. G-intelligence
b. Crystallized intelligence c. Fluid intelligence
d. Multiple intelligence

82. The results of the Seattle Longitudinal Study indicate that is a period when many aspects of intelligence reach their peak.

a. early adulthood b. young adulthood c. midlife
d. late life
83. At what period in the lifespan is contentment with the self the highest?

a. emerging adulthood b. young adulthood
c. middle adulthood d. late adulthood

84. A cross-sectional study of American adults from their late teens to their seventies found similar enhancements in self-development in middle adulthood. Which of the following are qualities of self that increased with age?

a. self compliance, self-mastery, and the empathetic self b. self acceptance, economy, and environmental mastery
c. the self as man, the self as a woman, and the self as androgynous d. the I-self, the me-self, and the we-self

85. In Asian cultures, the tradition of filial piety is .

a. obedience and respect to parents, no matter how old they are b. honor and trust to everyone in the family
c. loyalty to the laws and codes of society
d. commitment to one’s family and their village

86. Countries that have a birth rate that is below 2.1 children per woman . a. will see a decline in their total population
b. will see an increase in the total population
c. will see a leveling off in their total population d. are unable to predict population values

87. What is the ratio of the number of person aged 65 years or older to the number of person aged 20 to 64 years in Japan?

a. 25%
b. 35%
c. 45%
d. 55%

88. The is a classic psychology experiment in which people are asked to indicate the color of a word flashing on a screen, but the word itself presents contrary information.

a. Stroop test
b. Myers-Briggs
c. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory d. Q-sort

89. Which of the following best describes working memory?

a. memory for information currently the focus of your attention b. memories that are stored in the cerebral cortex
c. memories that are below one’s level of awareness
d. memories for simplistic motor skills that are stored in the cerebellum

90. The cerebellum is , whereas the frontal lobes are .

a. responsible for planning and judgment; involved in balance and coordination b. involved in balance and coordination; responsible for planning and judgment c. responsible for auditory and visual processing; involved in sensory and motor
d. involved in sensory and motor skills; responsible for auditory and visual processing

91. According to Erikson, ego involves looking back on one’s life and accepting the outcome of it; whereas, ego entails regrets and bitterness about the course of one’s life, and a conclusion that it has not gone well and now cannot be changed.

a. inferiority; mistrust b. mistrust; inferiority c. integrity; despair
d. despair; integrity

92. According to Carstensen, at late adulthood, the goals that people have for their social relationships are .

a. knowledge-based b. emotions-based c. task-based
d. conflict-based

93. Until the past century, was the life stage with the highest mortality rates. a. the prenatal period
b. infancy
c. toddlerhood
d. early childhood

94. Which of the following dramatically reduced death rates due to infectious diseases during the
20th century?

a. access to health care, health insurance, and better trained physicians b. economic wealth, improvements in medicine, and the automobile
c. vaccinations, antibiotics, and better sanitation
d. better nutritional foods, vaccinations, and antibiotics

95. In developed countries deaths under age 5 years are rare and occur most often due to . a. SIDS
b. infectious diseases c. accidents
d. abuse

96. In developed countries most people die in . a. a hospital
b. home
c. hospice care
d. a nursing home

97. Where does hospice care commonly occur?

a. in a hospital
b. in a cancer center c. at home
d. in a nursing home

98. Despite the evidence of the advantages of the hospice approach, currently, only about of deaths in the United States involve a hospice program.

a. 10%
b. 20%
c. 30%
d. 40%

99. Even in early childhood, most children understand that death is ; however, for most children it is not until middle childhood that they realize that death is .

a. discussable; avoidable b. avoidable; discussable c. inevitable; permanent d. permanent; inevitable

100. Anxiety about one’s death is highest at .

a. emerging adulthood b. young adulthood
c. middle adulthood d. late adulthood


Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.

LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.