PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Lev Vygotsky, Peekaboo, Jean Piaget
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PSYA02: Lecture 5 – Developmental: Cognitive Development
Piaget Theory of Cognitive Development:
Piaget did not conduct formal experiments, but rather loosely structured interviews in
which he posed problem for children to solve, observed their actions carefully, and
questioned them about their solutions.
He was particularly interested in children’s error, which would provide insight into
children’s thought processes.
He assumed that a child is an active seeker of knowledge and gains and
understanding of the world by operating on it.
Sometimes it is hard for children to solve problems, and this isn’t because of lack of
intelligence but rather they haven’t reached some milestone.
The errors were common among a particular age group.
Organized units of knowledge about objects, events, and actions.
It involves two abilities.
Assimilations is the interpretation of new experience in terms of present
Accommodations is the modifications of present schemes to fit with new
For example, a child may call all four-legged creatures “doggie”.
The child learns he needs to accommodate (i.e., change) his schemas as only
one type of four-legged creature “dog”.
It is through accommodation that the number and complexity of a child’s
schemas increase and learning occurs.
The notion of maturation and the stage like (think prerequisites) nature of cognitive
The importance of operations, schemata’s, and the process of assimilation versus
Each child must go through each stage in order for them to develop.
The stages are:
Piaget’s Stages of Development:
The sensorimotor period: Cognitive at this stage is closely tied to external stimulation,
and understanding characteristics of objects. Classic example is, object permanence.
Object permanence is the idea that people exist even if they aren’t there at the
time you are. Object permanence is the permanent existence of an object or
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