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Lecture

lec 6 psyb20.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB32H3
Professor
Mark Schmuckler
Semester
Fall

Description
Lec 6. Oct/17/12- psyb20 - When we talk about cognition we are referring to the act of knowing - Falling under cognition: sensation and perception, learning, thinking, remembering and so on - Cognitive development o Changes that occur in mental skills and abilities over time - Information processing o Not one function, but focus on growth of abilities like attention and perceptual abilities o Principle analogy is the idea that the human mind functions in the same way that the computer does, or analogously as the computer does - Structural functional approach o Emphasizes biological and environmental influences that promote development in the structure of ones intelligence o Assuming biological and environmental influences o Piaget: developmental psychologist Truly interesting individual. A philosopher and educator Born in 1896 in Switzerland. Published first scientific paper at the age of 10 Published 23 papers in zoology, originally a zoologist and developed a strong interest in cognitive development Came because of work he was doing in Paris with Benet who was developing an intelligence test who was determining at what age children get the right answers for different word problems. Piaget was interested in the wrong answers children were making. At younger ages they gave wrong answers. Children at the same ages made the same type of errors. Not random errors he noticed a pattern. Different ag groups made different errors. Believed that the nature of the childrens thought processes was fundamentally different. Explored how children thought. A question and answer technique to probe the nature/ of how they talk. Started clinical interviewing and probing. Example: talking with a young child to understand what dreams come from. From these tests and others he developed a theory in understanding the nature of changes in intelligence. o Very detailed and intricate theory o Intelligence piaget refers to: basic life force that helped the child adapt to the environment. A type of equilibrium towards which all cognitive structures tended towards. Intellectual activity was taken with one goal in mind harmonious and balanced relationship between ones thought process and the environment: cognitive equilibrium. o Children were not passive in learning process, they were active and curious explorers. Constantly challenged by novel stimuli. New stimuli causes an imbalance in cognitive process which prompted child to make a mental adjustment to allow child to cope with new experience. This restored the childs cognitive equilibrium and it changed hwo they thought o Children as constructivists: activel taking a role in changing how they view the world. In some sense, children were constructing their own realities. Their construction varied based on what they see in the world. Younger were more limited as as they grew up things changes and more experiences. o The things they were acting on and changing were called schemas/schemata: a pattern of thought or an action. Similar to the idea and notion of a construct. The first type of schemas children develop are: o Sensorimotor schemas organized pattern of behaviour the child understands to respond to the environment. How child represents and understand objects and event around them. Childrens understanding of objects and events are limited to wht behaviours they were able to do with the objects. (ex. A ball is just an obect they can throw or bounce) o As children gain more knowledge, they modify these schemas and are able to perform and understand objects and events without actually having to act on them. Start using mental symbols and can represent behaviour. Beginning of symbol use: o Symbolic schemas: mental representations of the world. Begin to be able to do things with schemas at age 7/8. They can perform various operations on the symbols. o Operational schema: can have mental activities that they can do that take the place of physically having to do them. a 5 year old wont have this, but an 8 year old will have this and can think that a ball of clay and the smushed up clay is the same thing. Idea of reversibility. Advantage of this is idea to think logically. Allows children to begin formal education. o How do schemas develop? Two processes: Organization: he or she takes a bunch of schemas and combine them to form more complex and higher level schemas. Combined schemas are more intellectually complex forms of schemas. Taes three indpendant schemas and combines them to make a more complex schema (3 sensorimotors to make a more complex behavioural schema-visual guided schema). children are constantly reorganizing schemas into higher order schemas. This is because they are always coming into contact with new objects and events. Adaptiation: Assimilation: child attempts to interpret new experiences with reference to previous experiences and try and fit them into how they previously understood the world. Try and take novel events and fit it into current schema. Accommodation: child has to modify existing cognitive structures to account for the new experiences. The schema they had has to undergo change, because new object is too novel. These processes always occur hand in hand because we are constantly coming into contact iwht new objects and we try and fit them into how we try and understand the world. When they dont fit in the way we understand, it causes some sort of change. This results in both assimilation and accommodation happening at the same time. End product is cognitive assimilation. o Viewed cognitive growth and development as major changes of structures of childs intellect. Similar modes of thought and intellectuall functioning. At some point the understanding of the owrd changes fundamentally o Classic protypical stage theory: the way child understands the world at one stage is different than they do in another stage. Stages occur in an invariant developmental sequence. They have to occur in a given specific unchanging order. Have to go through stage 1 to get to stage 2. Timing of stages can be switched around but the order does not change. You cant miss a stage or reverse a stage. This suggests that there is a strong biological component of these changes. The environment cant change the order of the changes, it can change how ong you stay in a stage and when a stage comes. There are hierarchical relations among stages. You dont lose abilities in previous stage when you move onto the next one. These abilities just become incorporat
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