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Lecture 1

PSY 3105 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Stroop Effect, Critical Thinking, Pragmatism

Course Code
PSY 3105
David Collins

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Cognitive Foundation
Jean Piaget’s Theory
Children of different ages think differently
Changes in cognitive development proceed in distinct stages (e.g. discontinuous)
Each person’s cognitive abilities are organized into one coherent mental structure
His approach is known as the cognitive-developmental approach
The driving forces behind development from one stage to the next is maturation
Piaget portrayed maturation as an active process
Children seek out information and stimulation in the environment that matches the maturity
of their thinking
This is in contrast with other theories such as behaviorism which views the environment as
acting on the child through rewards and punishments
Piagetian Stages
Piaget Schemes
Assimilation: Occurs when new information is altered to fit a existing scheme.
Accommodation: Entails changing the scheme to adapt to the new information.
Brief Description
Cognitive development involves learning how to
coordinate activities of the senses with motor activities
Capable of representing the world symbolically (e.g.
Become more adept at using mental operations which
leads to a more advanced understanding of the world
1115 to
Allows adolescents to reason about more complex
tasks and problems involving multiple variables

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Cognitive Foundation
Formal Operations in Adolescence
This stage is pivotal in cognitive development in adolescence
Involves the ability to think scientifically and apply those concepts
Task of the pendulum problem
Hypothetical-deductive reasoning is the ability to arrive and defend an answer
Abstract thinking
Inhelder and Piaget’s Pendulum Problem
What determines the speed at which the pendulum sways from side to side?
Need hypothetical-deductive reasoning to arrive at the answer and to explain/defend the
H-D Reasoning
Move from a premise (hyp) to a deduction (conclusion)
Can think as easily of what might be as what is
Concrete operations
Can do transitivity task (logic) if concrete
Difficult if more abstract (A > B, B >C, etc.)
Formal operations solve on level of abstract propositional logic (work with abstractions)
Better at inductive reasoning
from particular to general
Formal Operations
Formal operations better at inductive reasoning
from particular facts to general conclusion
H-D reasoning
from general hypothesis to specific conclusion
H-D: Deductive (gen hyp - particular conclusion)(Theory -> Empirical data)
If all dogs are 4-legged furry animals
And Rex is a dog
Rex is 4-legged furry animal

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Cognitive Foundation
Inductive (Collection of facts - gen conclusion)(Empirical data -> Theory)
If Fido, Lassie, and Spot are similar looking 4-legged furry animals
And Fido, Lassie, and Spot are dogs,
And Rex is a 4-legged furry animal that looks like Fido, Lassie, and Spot
Rex is a dog.
Children put too much faith in conclusions form inductive reasoning
Adolescents acknowledge limitations
factor in variability; with higher variability it is riskier to infer form a
small sample
more confidence in deductive reasoning than inductive reasoning
Real Life
Hmmm…,There’s Caitlin. Now if she sits with Louise, she must have
apologized to Barbara for what she said yesterday, because Louise and
Barbara are pretty tight. But if Caitlin sits with Jessica and her bunch,
she must still be mad at Barbara, because Jessica and Barbara can’t stand
each other.
But do adolescents always formal operations successfully?
competence-performance gap (content of problem)
What if your remote did not turn on tv?
mental list of all potential factors, proceed to each one while holding all
other variables constant, etc.?
Less Scientific Formal Ops
Multiple meanings
Constructing Ideas
Think about an example of a metaphor?
Implicit comparison
How old do you think you were before you understood the symbolism?
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