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Lecture 6

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2500
Professor
Kim O' Neil
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 6 Setting the stage: Piaget’s theory - Basic Principles of Piaget’s Theory - Stages of Cognitive Development - Piaget’s Contributions to Child Development Basic Principles of Piaget’s Theory - Metaphor of child as scientist - Children are naturally curious and create theories about how the world works - Schemas are mental structures or concepts in the child’s mind - Changes and re-structuring of schemas occur through: • In assimilation, new experiences are readily incorporated into existing theories • In accommodation, existing theories are modified based on experience • Ex: child and dog example. Child changes definition of dog with new experience of vicious white dog Basic Principles of Piaget’s Theory - Assimilation and accommodation are usually in balance, or equilibrium - When balance is upset, children reorganize their theories to restore equilibrium, a process Piaget called equilibration - Process results in qualitatively different and more advanced theories - Children periodically reach a point where their theories are wrong most of the time and so they must reorganize thinking about the social and physical worlds - Three reorganizations of theories lead to four stages of cognitive development - Piaget believed all children pass through stages in same order Stages of cognitive development KNOW THEAGES!!! - The sensorimotor stage spans from birth to approximately 2 years of age - Begins with reflexive responding and ends with using symbols (such as language) - Object permanence: understanding that objects exist independently - Sub stages: • Primary circular reaction accidentally produce pleasing event and try to recreate it • Secondary circular reaction discover repeated actions that involve an object st (represent 1 effort to learn about objects) • Tertiary circular reaction repeat old actions with new objects (ex: shake a bunch of objects to see what sounds they make) Stages of cognitive development - Preoperational stage spans ages 2 to 7 years - Children use symbols (to represent objects and events) but there are many errors in thinking • Egocentrism (3 mountains problem)  They can’t see the world from someone else’s perspective • Centration (conservation task)  Narrowly concentrating on one aspect of a problem (can’t solve problems then)  Also why they can’t complete conservation task • Confuse appearance and reality Three mountains problem - Younger children cannot ‘see’what other person sees, but older ones can Conservation tasks - Younger kids think the skinny glass has more, older ones know the cup is simply skinny - With quarters, the spaced out row looks like it has more because its longer - With the cookies, 1 broken into 2 seemed fair, because she now has 2 Stages of cognitive development - Concrete operational stage spans ages 7 to 11 years - Thinking based on mental operations (strategies and rules that make thinking more systematic and powerful) • Can count in their head (would not count pennies from study) - Operations can be reversed • Prior to this, they can’t - Focus on the real and concrete, not the abstract Stages of cognitive development - Formal operational stage spans from roughly age 11 to adulthood - Adolescents can think hypothetically - Use deductive reasoning to draw appropriate conclusions from facts • If you hit a glass with a hammer, it will break. So, don’t hit a glass with a hammer. - Can use analogies • Apple is to knife as soup is to spoon kind of thing Piaget’s Contributions to Child Development - Piaget’s contributions: • The study of cognitive development itself • Anew, constructivist view of children - Weaknesses of theory: • Underestimates cognitive competence in infants  Infants have a much greater understanding of objects than he thought, and adolescents are biased in their reasoning • Some components too vague to test • Stage model doesn’t account for variability • Undervalues influence of sociocultural forces (culture is very influential) Modern Theories of Cognitive Development - The Sociocultural Perspective: Vygotsky’s Theory - Information Processing - Cor
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