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Lecture 9

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 211
Professor
Mattieu Lecorre
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 9 - 7.5 month olds believe in Newton’s first law Core Knowledge of Objects - An innate mental tool specifically designed to jumpstart learning about physical world - Fundamental functions: o Identify objects for further learning o Provide basic expectations about behaviour of objects - Innate/early knowledge of objects does not mean no learning occurs later o Example: learning about why objects fall towards the ground  By 6 months, know “unsupported objects fall towards the ground”  In elementary school, learn “objects fall because of gravity”  In high school, learn “force exerted by gravity is a product of mass of object and acceleration of object due to gravity” o Later knowledge is built around constant piece of early knowledge - Eg. Child knows that if an object is not supported, the object will fall on its own What could be innate core knowledge: if A touches B in any way, A won’t fall - What 3 month olds think o No contact  object falls  Objects cannot just be in the air alone o Any contact whatsoever  object does not fall How we know - Do 3 month olds look longer at contact/no contact events or fully supported contact events? o They still only think that the (top one) object floating on its own as interesting and not possible What is learned: what counts as enough support - Support at 5 months (everything just needs to have support underneath the top object) o Bottom must be supported o But amount doesn’t matter - Bottom not supported  object falls - Bottom supported (any amount)  object does not fall How we know - Do 5 month olds look longer at contact/no contact events or fully supported contact events? o The top two pictures are confusing What is learned: what counts as enough support - Support at 6 months: amount of support matters o More than half of bottom not supported  object falls o But shape of supported object doesn’t matter - Support at 12 months: position of centre of mass matters o If centre of mass of object is not Support: summary - Minimal age for expecting object to fall (in parentheses: notion of support at given age) o 3 months (any contact will do) o 5 months (bottom must be supported, but any amount will do) o 6 months (at least 50% of bottom must be supported) o 12 months (center of mass must be above support) The animate/inanimate distinction - Piaget: is X alive? How do you know? o Preschoolers treat the following as “alive”  The sun (because it keeps you warm)  Suspend
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