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Lecture 9

PSYCH 211: Lecture 9 Notes

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Mathieu Le Corre

-by 7.5 months, babies’ understanding of the world is similar to adults -we are born with the capacity to identify objects (indigo bunting) -there’s a “little guy in our head” that identifies objects and already knows a few things about objects: they do not pop in and out of existence (they are permanent) and the only way to get an object to move is for something to come in contact with it (they do not move on their own) -as early as we can look/see well, babies know that objects are permanent -when objects are not supported by something below it, they fall. -do we have to learn this or is it innate? ANSWER: YES AND NO -show babies block floating, block floating touching the side of the stage, the block balancing on the tip of the stage, and the block sitting half on the stage -tested babies starting at 3 months [email protected] 3 months: babies look a lot longer at the floating block than the other 3 -the thing we are born with is saying “things don’t fall when they are in contact with another object (that’s why the other 3 blocks didn’t surprise the babies) -progression from contact at bottom, to block sitting on half of bottom [email protected] 5 months: babies are surprised by an object contacting another on its side [email protected] 6 months: the amount of support matters; babies are surprised by all 3 except the last one [email protected] months: they find all the 4 blocks surprising -similar to bunting: start off with capacity to identify objects (a little piece of knowledge), and this allows you to get learning started -babies learn fast! – by 5-6 months, babies aren’t even crawling yet, but are going through this whole learning process where they figure out objects have to be supported by the bottom or else they fall -different from Piaget: babies have support for learning; this knowledge is much richer than a simple grasp reflex; babies have a large headstart in learning about the world compared to what Piaget thought Animate/inanimate -key distinction: whether you explain the motion in terms of mental states or external forces -mental state: he WANTS to go to the podium (has a goal/plan) -external forces: we don’t attribute mental states (inanimate objects) A problem -when someone is jumping, thinking that something is pushing them from below – WRONG -we think that they are
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