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cognitive devleopment.docx

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Richard B Day

May 16 , 2013 Psych 2AA3: Child Development Cognitive Development Piaget’s Basic Ideas - Scheme  The basic action of knowing, including physical and mental actions  Schemes build on a small repository of simple sensory or motor schemes, such as taste and sucking  Infant begins with reflexes that are made more complex through experiences  Schemes must also be organized - Organization  As people act on their environments, an inborn mental process causes them to derive generalizable schemes from specific experiences  Enable people to work in new environments Piaget’s Basic Ideas: Adaptation - Child must develop more complex methods to develop these schemes through two basic process - Assimilation  When the child encounters something new, using the same basic processes in order to expand their scheme  Take in the new event and trying to fit it into our new pre-existing scheme  Guides how we attend in the world  Allows to fit new information  We may miss out on things that do not fit into our prior scheme  The process of taking in, of absorbing some event or experience and making it part of a scheme  The process is active o Trying to see if it fits into pre-existing schemes  The process is selective o Pay attention to things we already have schemes for o Pay more attention to information that will readily fit into our schemes o Aspects which are more easily assimilated are paid attention to - Accommodation  Encountering novel events that do not fit into the prior scheme can not be assimilated  Changing a scheme as a result of new information  Expanding our understanding to accommodate new information - Equilibration  The process of bringing assimilation and accommodation into balance  Once they achieve this state, they can move forward as the scheme has now moved - Equilibration leads to 4 stages of cognitive development from birth to adulthood  Sensorimotor stage – birth to 18 months  The child uses sensory and motor skills to act on the environment  Taking in information from their senses and have limited ability to act upon the world  Ex.: picking up objects and putting them in their mouth  Exploring the world, understanding the properties of objects and how they interact with them  The boundaries of the stages are very loose o A child could move through the stages more quickly or slowly o The order however is not variable  Preoperational stage – 18 months to 6 years  Shift towards understanding the world in terms of symbolic understanding  Able to represent things in their minds  Young children use symbolic thinking, such as language o Mental representation of the world o From their own perspective o Egocentrism: can only see the world from their own perspective and not from others point of view  Concrete operations stage – 6-12 years  The child begins to think logically  Move beyond egocentric understanding and begin to think about things very logically  Can apply how they use their knowledge to understand their own thoughts to others  Cannot think about abstract concepts  Understand concrete ideas  Formal operations stage – during adolescence  The child develops the ability to manipulate hypothetical concepts and abstract reasoning  Able to work through hypothetical problems even though the elements in the problems may not be true Causes of Cognitive Development - Piaget postulates 4 causes of changes  Internal  Equilibration o Accommodation o Assimilation  Brain maturation o Children with intellectual disabilities will not move through the stages at the same rate  External: environmental  Social transmission o Information the child gets from other people  Influences how they form their schemes  Experience o The child’s own opportunities to act on the world and to observe the results  Influence the rate at which they acquire these skills Infancy - Piaget’s sensorimotor period  The younger the child the more rapid the development  Six substages  0-1 months o Reflexes o Lead the child to gain understanding of the world  1-4 months o Reflexes lead to primary circular reactions o Simple action that the child initiates that leads to something enjoyable  4-8 months o Secondary circular reactions  8-12 months o Engaging in more complex actions o Coordination of secondary schemes o Putting pieces together in a sequence of actions  12-18 months o Tertiary circular reactions  18-24 months o Uses symbolic thoughts o Use language o Beginning of representational thought o Imaginary and pretend play o Symbolic thought is necessary to engage in pretend play o Child must have sufficient language in order for others to acknowledge that the child is engaging in symbolic play o Ex .: children with autism do not engage in symbolic play, and have substantial language deficiencies o Some actions may just be mimicry until indicated otherwise by observing the language of the child which would lead us to believe that the child is engaging in symbolic play o Play is an important learning tool for children o Play is an unstructured means of learning about something new The Preschool Years - Egocentrism  Represents the world and thinks symbolically but is in an egocentric point of view  The child sees the world from his own perspective and cannot see it from others’ perspectives  Ex.: the 3 mountain task o Child asked to describe what they see while moving around o Describes the view from all four sides and asked what the experimenter can see o In order to answer the child must take on the viewpoint of the experimenter o However, they continue to describe the scene from their own point of view  Preoperational  Not related to memory  Could be related to cognitive flexibility, the child can only maintain one set of descriptions or perspectives at a time The Preschool Years: Conservation - The understanding that the quantity or amount of a substance remains the same even when there are external changes in its shape or arrangement  Also seen in the social context  Conceptual understanding is still emerging  The fundamental challenge is that the child has failed to understand the basic idea that if you do not add or take away any of the material it remains the same  Stuck on appearance - Preoperational thinking - We cannot go back to our previous understanding of the world - Conservation is repeated across different types of task  Number  Liquid  Mass  Area  Takes longer to understand  Develops along a different timeline  Fails to see the similarity between the problems Challenges to Piaget’s Pre-Operational Period - Conservation studies are generally supported  Appearance of the object vs. the contents - Children as young as 2-3 have some ability to understand that another person sees things differently then they do  Especially in egocentrism  Theory of mind  The child needs to be able to take on different perspectives of the world - Flavell – perspective taking takes two different levels  Level one – the child knows that another person experiences something differently  Knows that they are seeing different things but is unsure of exactly what they are seeing  Level two – the child develops a whole series of complex rules for figuring out what the other person sees or experiences  Enables to take on different perspectives  Learning strategies to solve the problems - Movement away from egocentrism helps development of understanding differences in appearance and reality The Object Concept - Object perception  Understanding about objects and perception of the world  We have inborn knowledge about the world  Expect things that are attached should move together  Objects continue to exist once they are out of sight  Expect objects in motion to remain in motion  Spelke and Kinzler (2007) argue that babies are born with built-in assumptions about objects  Connected – surface principle – when two surfaces are connected to each other, they belong to the same object  Babies as young as 2-3 months show awareness of the kinds of movements objects are capable of even when out of sight  Experience helps babies learn other rules  Baillargeon (2008) argues that strategies for learning are innate and are modified by experience  Has been demonstrated through habituation  Babies know quite a bit about objects in the world  Infants understand that an object that comes out of view can come back into view  And nothing about the object will change  Show the ball behind the screen and a wall o 2 months o The ball rolls and stops at the wall o Infants looking time decreases as the task continues o Consistent trend  Once there is a consistent trend, when the wall has moved closer  Looking time has not increased o Inconsistent  Visually similar  Looking time has increase o The child expects the ball to stop when it reaches the wall not when it returns to its original position  Platform o 2-3 months do not recognize that the object can move past the platform o 5 months old understand that the object cannot pass the platform  If a toddler preforms the same task as the stopping ball o Retrieving the ball  2 year olds continue to make mistakes and look for the ball past the wall  3 years olds take into account that the wall has moved and acts upon this knowledge Object Permanence - The understanding that objects still exist even when out of view - Acquired during sensory motor stage - Common myth that out of sight is out of mind - Piaget – stages of development to the acquisition of object permanence  2 months: baby shows some indication of surprise when an object is hidden  Indication that it should continue to be there  But will not look for the object  Could be due to immature memory structures and attention  Has a rudimentary schema about the permanence of an object  6-8 months: babies begin to search for partially hidden objects and look for dropped objects  Won’t search for an object that has been completely hidden  8-12 months: infants actively search for hidden objects  Becoming more complex  Delay between hiding becomes an influential variable  Continuously make errors if you hide it in an inconsistent area o A not B task o Frontal lobe activity o Reflects immature frontal lobe activity in young children o They just keep doing the same action over and over again even though they have the knowledge to answer correctly o On par with egocentrism o Child may have knowledge but can’t act upon it o Sensory motor infants establish motor programs of how to retrieve an object  Motor programs become stuck and must be reset  Moving the child resets the motor program to overcome this error - Drawbridge task:  4 ½ month old children  Infant faces the drawbridge  When it is flipped up the child can see the cup continues to exist  During the habituation trials when they see the drawbridge is working normally it should not be surprised  If they continue to remember that the cup existed they do not increase their looking time as they know that the drawbridge will stop  Violation of expectation paradox  If the child is surprised by an impossible event then they do not have the cognitive structures to understand that this is impossible - Rudimentary math skills  Infants are shown two objects  A screen comes across  One is shown to be removed  Then the screen comes back again with two objects showing  Understanding math and object permanence  If there are two objects should be surprised  5 months old have an understanding of addition and subtraction and that objects are still behind the screen - We can not conclusively demonstrate that object permanence exist Re-Examining Piaget: Conservation of Number - Concepts suggested by Piaget are somewhat abstract - Preoperational children - Fail the original conservation task - The second row is changed by Naughty Teddy  Child shown the two rows  Child is told a story  The child answers that the rows are still the same when the story is told  Children say the rows are still the same (McGarrigle & Donaldson, 1975)  Artificial scenarios creates a situation that the experimenter expects a certain response - But are children still thinking about the answer?  The way children think about the problem is not necessarily the same of how the experimenter views the problem - When Naughty Teddy did add a counter, they still said the rows where the same (Moore & Frye, 1986)  Row remains the same  Another object is added to the row  Children sometimes miss this  Presenting the scenario in a different way creates an expectation for The children as they have the added knowledge about the Naughty Teddy  Repeatedly asking the questions  Child has an understanding that asking the question more than once indicates a wrong answer Re-Examining Piaget: Egocentrism - Below age 7 children select their own view on the Three-Mountains Task  Child is familiarized with the scene  Presented in terms of a gain - In the policeman game children have to say where a naughty doll should hide from policeman overlooking A-B, B-D  90% of 3-5 year olds place the doll in C even though there is more information presented  Have the underly
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