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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Cognitive Development

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Elizabeth Johnson

PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 8 – March 4, 2014 Bilingualism - Researchers have found that bilingualism does not interfere with performance in either language o Vocabulary size o Code switching: when you switch languages midsentence Children Fluent in 2 Languages exhibit Superior: - Attentional control - Concept formation - Analytical reasoning - Cognitive flexibility, and cognitive complexity Can TV Designed for Babies Improve Perceptual Processing and Teach Language? - Many studies suggest that children do not learn words from watching TV - American Society of Paediatricians advise no screen time for children under 2 - Baby Mozart has been sued for making false claims about the educational nature of their videos - Study Conducted: o Do children learn from educational TV (Deloache et al., 2010)? o Tested 1 to 18 month olds who watched Baby Einstein several times a week at home o Main finding: no more learning than the controls o Best learning in children who simply played with adults Comprehension at 6 Months! - Is the object choice paradigm the only way to test comprehension in children? Is there another way to examine comprehension in younger pre-verbal children? o Preferential Looking: you present the object and contract the child’s eye movement - At 6 months of age, infants look to their mommy when they hear “mommy” and their daddy when they hear “daddy” - At 6 months of age, infants look to the picture feet when they hear “feet” and hands when they say “hands o They do show this effect regardless of whether they are presented with adult or baby feet Is Early Comprehension Limited to Proper names and Body Parts? - The experiments had the parents listening to headphone where they were labelling the objects for the child - They did this because they thought the children will perform better with their parents voice - Measure how much time the child would look at the two object, and how long looking at the object the mother says to look at - Conclusion: by 6 months, infants understand far more words than their parents think! And comprehension is not just limited to proper names and body parts o Justified conclusion? o Each object stimuli is paired with a body part (which is a common criticism) Cognitive Development Jean Piaget - The founder of cognitive development PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 8 – March 4, 2014 - First love was biology, but became fascinated with branch of philosophy known as epistemology - Worked withAlfred Binet in France on development of standardized IQ tests - Career was launched thanks to his keen power of observation - Method: o Observation  Would observe children in their natural environment o Interviews  Asked children questions to find out what stages they were at - Piaget viewed children as scientists, where they are constantly testing things t o figure out different htings in the world Piaget: The Child as a Scientist - Assimilation occurs when new experiences are readily incorporated into a child’s existing theories - Accommodation occurs when a child’s theories are modified based on experience - Equilibrium: child can readily assimilate most experiences into their existing theories, but occasionally have to accommodate their theories to adjust to new experiences - Periodically, children realize current theories are inadequate because they are spending more time accommodating than assimilating - When disequilibrium occurs, must reorganize theories in process known as equilibration (restores outmoded ways of thinking with qualitatively different, more advanced theory) Piaget: - Very major changes in way children view and think about world occur three times (approx. age 2, 7,and 11) - Sensorimotor (0-2) - Preoperational (2-7) - Concrete Operational (7-11) - Formal Operations (11+) Sensorimotor Stage - Birth to two years - Infant’s knowledge of the world is based on senses and motor sills - By the end of this period, infant uses mental operations - Sensory inputs and motor capabilities become coordinated - Six substages: o Stage 1: ReflexActivity (0-1 m) o Stage 2: Primary Circular Reactions (1-4 ms) o Stage 3: Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 ms) o Stage 4: Coordination of secondary schemes (8-12 ms) o Stage 5: Tertiary Circular Reactions o Stage 6: Symbolic Problem Solving Object Permanence - The realization that Objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible - Before 5-6 months children don’t search for objects when they are hidden from view - By about 8 months, infants are able to search for and uncover a hidden toy - BUT, infants make the A-not-B error o Infants will often search for hidden objects where they found it previously rather than where they last saw it placed PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 8 – March 4, 2014 Summary of Sensorimotor Stage - Sensory inputs and motor capabilities become coordinated - Child learns about the world by acting on it - Knowledge is sensorimotor, not representational - Infant becomes more and more intentional, differentiating means and ends Preopperational Stage - 2 to 7 years - Child learns how to use symbols such as words and numbers to represent aspects of the world, but related to the world only through his or her perspective - Use of symbols increases o Pre-conceptual period (2-4 years)  Symbolic Function: ability to make one thing stand for something else  Symbolic/Pretend Play: pretend to be people they are not o Intuitive period (4-7 years) - Development of dual representation capacities o 2.5 year olds lack representational insight and dual representation - Deficits in Reasoning: o Animism o Egocentrism (e.g., three mountains problem)  Refers to young children’s difficulty in seeing the world from another’s viewpoint  The task would start where a child would be on one side and is asked to describe what he/she sees. Then they are asked to describe what the experimenter would see on the side the experimenter is on.
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