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Psych 2040-Chapter 8: Cognitive Development.docx

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Psychology 2040A/B
Michael G Mac Donald

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Cognitive Development  cognition: activity of knowing and the mental processes used to acquire knowledge and solve problems  cognitive development: changes that occur in mental skills and abilities over the course of life Piaget’s Theory  genetic epistemology: experimental study of development of knowledge  intelligence: life function allowing organisms to adapt to environment  achieving cognitive equilibrium: balanced relation  interactionist model: children gain intelligence when internal mental schemes and external environment stimulate cognitive activity  child as a constructivist: gains knowledge by acting on novel objects and events  cognitive processes  cognitive development is development of schemes or structures  schemes: organized pattern of thought or action used to make sense of novel experiences; modified through organization and adaptation  organization: rearranging existing schemes into more complex ones  adaptation: occurs through assimilation and accommodation  assimilation: interpret new experiences with existing schemes  accommodation: modify existing schemes to interpret new experiences  Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development  invariant developmental sequence: all follow same order 1. sensorimotor: birth-2 yo  sensory inputs and motor capabilities become coordinated  stages: 1. reflex activity: innate reflexes 2. primary/secondary circular reactions: pleasurable responses discovered by chance 3. coordination of secondary schemes: coordinate actions to achieve objectives 4. tertiary circular reactions: devises new method of acting to reproduce interesting results 5. mental representations: solve problems without relying on trial-and-error  milestones:  development of imitation: 8-12 months  deferred imitation: ability to reproduce behavior a while after observed (18-24 months)  development of object permanence: things still exist if hidden from view  A-not-B error: tendency to search for a hidden object where they previously found it even though they observed it being moved to a new location  discovered to be due to inability to inhibit searching of the incorrect place 2. preoperational: 2–7 yo  use of symbols increases  preconceptual period  symbolic function: ability to use symbols to represent experiences  symbol/pretend play  Doloache’s representational insight: knowing that one thing stands for another  model room studies  dual representation: ability to think about an object in two different ways at the same time  deficits in reasoning  animism: attributing life and lifelike qualities to inanimate objects  egocentrism: inability to recognize that others have different points of view  appearance/reality distinction: ability to distinguish appearances from reality  conservation: Law of Conservation  Theory of Mind: the way children conceptualize mental activity and how they attribute intention to and predict behavior of others  our mental states are not always accessible to others  based on belief-desire reasoning: how we explain and predict what people do based on what we understand their desires to be  false-belief task: children learn that other people do not possess the same knowledge  origins of TOM  challenges:  he underestimated infants’ abilities  neonativism: even infants use symbolism  theory theories: cognitive development progresses by children generating, testing, and changing theories 3. concrete-operational: 7-11 yo  more logical thinking about real objects and experiences 
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