Week 5 - Theories of Cognitive Development.docx

3 Pages

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2270
Robyn Pitman

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Week Four – October 1 . 2012 Piaget Basic Principles Children are scientists: - Naturally curious - Make sense of their world by constructing their own understanding - Create their own theories; some are incomplete Tools that help children discover: Assimilation: new experiences are incorporated into existing theories; ex. dog licking face, they know that dogs are their house licks their face and bark, when they see a relative’s dog they wonder if that dog does the same, when they see what it does and what else it does; they add it to their theory. Accommodation: theories are modified based on experiences; ex. same child meets cat; they think it looks like a dog but they have to make a whole new theories; when the theories we have are incomplete or incorrect and we have a new experiences it means we have to fix that theories or make a new one. Equilibrium: assimilate experiences into existing theories; comfortable state; new experiences work into our old theory. Disequilibrium: more accommodation occurs and causes cognitive discomfort; replace old theories with new ones to return to equilibrium; more work because you are revising old theories. Schemes: mental structures that are organized ways of making sense of experiences; created through equilibrium; active and always changing; you are always shaping your schemes. Theory Piaget believed there were 4 stages in exact stages; the stages cannot be skipped; ages are approximate, a child can move slowly or quickly through the stages; at every stage different cognitive activity occurs. Sensorimotor Stage: - Birth to 2 years - “think” with eyes, ears, hands and other sensory equipment; move from simple reflexes to symbolic representation (ex. pretending) - 6 sub stages: 1) Basic Reflexes (birth to 1 month) – sucking, grasping, and looking. 2) Primary Circular Reactions (1 to 4 months) – accidentally produce pleasing event and tries to recreate it; ex. Sucking their thumb; may have been trying to grab something and thumb ended up in mouth; they try to recreate the feeling. 3) Secondary Circular Reactions (4 to 8 months) – repeated actions that involve an object; on purpose; ex. Using a mobile, they know they can make it move so they hit it. 4) Intentional Behaviour (8 – 12 months) – means are distinct from an end; ex. Father puts hand on toy, so child moves hand and takes hand (moving hand is the mean to get the toy, the end). 5) Tertiary Circular Reactions (12 to 8 months) – repeats old actions with new objects; different outcomes with different objects, ex. Shaking objects 6) Symbols (18 to 2 years) – capacity to use symbols; ex. Words and gestures, pretend play. - Limitations: o Object permanence – objects continue to exist when out of sight; children 4 – 8 month olds do not search for hidden objects because they believe they are gone; usually happens during age 8 – 12 months Preoperational Stage: - 2 to 7 years - Symbolic representation: symbols can represent objects and events - Ex. Words and gestures, make-believe play, drawing, graphs, maps and models - Limitations: o Egocentrism – difficulty seeing world from another’s point of view; ex. 3 mountain problem, if kids can pick the picture the doll can see or if they can only understand what they see. o Centration – narrow focused thought/tunnel vision; they focus on one particular trait they cant think of anything else; ex. Cant understand something is the same even though the physical body has changed; conservation task: important characteristics of objects stay the same, despite changes in physical appearance; ex. Numbers, length, mass, liquid and weight;  Ex. 4 year old Alison: she clearly counts the objects and watches the water being poured but continues to answer incorrectly. - Why children make these mistakes in this stage: Reversibility: ability to conduct steps of problem in reverse order Animistic thinking: give inanimate objects life and lifelike properties; attribute own thoughts and feelings to others. Concrete Operational Stage: - 7 to 11 years - Thought becomes logical, flexible and organized - Mental operations: strategies and rules that make thinking systematic and powerful (solving problems and reasoning); rules for thinking are more systematic, ex. Categories and numbers; mothers and father = parents. - Decentration: change in one aspect (height of water) is compensated by change in ano
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