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Midterm

All Lecture Notes for Midterm 2

22 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2AA3
Professor
Jennifer Ostovich

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6.1: Piaget‟s Theory of Cognitive Development  Maturationist perspective – believes there is a biological unfolding of events which goes along with the ability to use experiences to develop cognitively  Therefore you cannot rush knowledge – no point in giving small children information that is beyond their brain‟s ability to process  Binet test: First IQ test. Piaget worked on it when he was younger - Noticed that the children he was talking with consistently made the same reasoning mistakes at the same ages  Key ideas of Piaget‟s theory: - Intelligence is an adaptive, basic life function - Kids are active, motivated learners (equilibration relieves discomfort) - Kids construct their own knowledge (within the confines of what they already know)  Cognitive equilibrium: Your theory of the world manages to answer all of your questions (balances with your experiences)  Cognitive disequilibrium: You realise that your theory of the world is incorrect, and you want to actively learn in order to equilibrate (relieves discomfort) Schemas  Children are naturally curious and construct their own knowledge (constructivists) - BUT within the confines of what they already know (their schemas)  Structure a.k.a. schema: “An organized pattern of thought or action, constructed to interpret one‟s experiences” - Piaget - Cognitive development = development of increasingly complex schemes  How do kids construct and modify schemes? Organization & Adaptation  Organization: “The process by which we combine existing schemes into new, more complex cognitive structures” – Piaget - E.g. for infants – have a looking scheme, grasping scheme, reaching scheme  but you can also combine these 3 separate schemes into a “visually-directed reaching” super-scheme  Adaptation: We need to try an adapt to a new piece of information - Assimilation: Using our existing theory for this new info (e.g. “that must belong in the dog category”) - Accommodation: Changing your knowledge structures for this new info (e.g. asking “what is that, it‟s not a dog”… create a new category, horse) - Disequilibrium  accommodation  organization  equilibrium Piaget‟s 4 Stages of Cognitive Development Characteristics:  Qualitative: Between these stages, you have a complete reorganization of how you approach the world. Between stages you have a major equilibration of reworking everything into a new mode of thought  Invariant: The order is invariant – you can‟t skip a stage, everything you can do in one stage depends on the previous stage  Universal: Cross-culturally valid – the basic structure of how people think  Piaget studied his own 3 children since he knew that he needed to study them intensively - Longitudinal (not microgenetic because it‟s for a longer time) - Naturalistic observation (no unnatural experimental pressure) - Experimental manipulation  Problems: - Small sample size (his own children) - Genetic similarity within sample - Observer bias - Good news: He has replicated the experiment with other children The Sensorimotor Stage (Birth-2)  Infant progresses from simple reflex actions to symbolic processing  Progression along 3 important fronts: 1) Adapting to and exploring the environment 2) Understanding objects; object permanence 3) Using symbols  Substage 1 (Birth – 1 month): Basic reflexes  Substage 2 (1-4 months): Primary circular reaction: An infant accidentally produces some pleasing event and then tries to recreate the event - Use of reflexes becomes more complex and intentional  Substage 3 (4-8 months): Secondary circular reaction: An infant discovers repeated actions that involve an object (e.g. grasping a mobile  mobile moves) - No longer grasping objects simply because they are in contact with their hands  Substage 4 (8-12 months): Intentional behaviour - The means of an activity are distinct from the ends - E.g. if a father‟s hand is in the way of a toy – the infant will move his hand (“means” in order to achieve the end goal of grasping the toy)  Substage 5 (12-18 months): Tertiary circular reaction: An infant repeats old actions with new objects  understand whether different objects yield different outcomes - E.g. shaking objects to see which ones produce sound  Substage 6 (18-24 months): Using symbols - Words and gestures - Pretend playing - Deferred imitation: Behaviour seen in another time and place is reproduced - Once infants can use symbols, they can begin to anticipate the consequences of actions mentally, instead of having to perform them Development of Object Permanence in the Sensorimotor Stage  Substage 1-2: No evidence of search for the object – they aren‟t interested in external objects; only their own bodies  Substage 3: Start to search but no good if they can‟t visually see it. In terms of making an interesting thing happen to an object – a child can throw the object under the table and understand that it‟s still there – the object is defined in terms of its relationship with the baby  Substage 4: Good search for the object, but performs “A not B” errors - Object is hidden in hiding spot A – child finds the object every time. Then object is hidden in spot B – child continues to look in spot A - Minds are not ready to accept the notion that objects can change location – confusion about the object having existence outside of its existence from her perspective  Substage 5: No more “A not B” errors, but performs “invisible displacement” errors - Invisible displacements: You can‟t see where the object might have left someone‟s hand (e.g. a coin magic trick). You didn‟t get to see him put the object in a different hiding place – so you are astonished that the object has disappeared  Substage 6: Success in it all – child has fully mentally represented the object Critiques  Renee Baillargeon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ovHFt5YXc  A different, easier test for 3.5 month old babies: Carrots passing behind the screen - Everyone dishabituates for a minute after the window appears, just cause the screen is different - Then the “possible” event quickly gets boring and they stop paying attention - But they pay attention to the “impossible” event for much longer before eventually getting bored Imitation & Memory in the Sensorimotor Stage  Meltzoff & Moore: Babies (12-21 days – substage 1) can do a tongue protusion imitation 40% of the time  Anisfield: Can only do a mouth opening imitation 8% of the time - Maybe babies are used to making the tongue protusion movement from feeding? But then why would it only be 40% instead of 100%?  Piaget was wrong about imitation – he thought you could only do it in substage 4 because you‟re engaging in planned and intentional behaviours  6 month olds can engage in deferred imitation – imitating from memory (you saw someone do it earlier – you formed an image of the behaviour to be imitated, so you could engage in it later on)  Button-pushing experiment:  6 month old babies could push a big red button to make a toy move  Even when button was taken away, babies would continue to make the pushing movement  Rovee-Collier mobile experiment The Preoperational Stage (2-7)  This stage marked by child‟s use of symbols to represent objects and events - Symbolic function: The ability to use one thing (like a mental image or a word) as a symbol to represent something else  Example: Internal problem solving (foreseeing something getting in the way, so you move it before it happens)  Example: Language use, esp. about something that is not currently in their view  Example: Symbolic play (pretending to be a grownup; pretending a box is a car)  Symbolic thought is important because it gives speed and efficiency in solving problems; increases the scope of your thinking (e.g. you can think about something that is not right in front of you); improves communication and social interaction by using symbols/words Weaknesses:  Thinking is: - Rigid - Insensitive to inconsistencies - Focused on superficial aspects of problems (centration) - Egocentric - Illogical  Egocentrism: Cannot understand that other people have different ideas and feelings  Animism: Assigning life/lifelike properties to inanimate objects  Centration: Tunnel vision – concentrate on one aspect of a problem while totally ignoring other relevant aspects - e.g. in the conservation of liquid task – concentrate on height while ignoring diameter Conservation Tasks  Number ~age 5  Volume ~age 6-7  Mass ~age 6-7  Length ~age 7-8  Weight ~age 7-8 Categorization in the Preoperational Stage  Structure and logic of classes – cannot sort things into classes e.g. apple/banana/ice cream vs. kite - Don‟t understand that things can also belong to multiple classes – a red rose is only a red rose and nothing else to them – but it is also a red thing and a rose and a flower and a plant etc. - Subclass vs. superordinate class (e.g. “what kind of roses do you want?” you need to say “red rose” not “plant” or “flower” or “rose”)  Class Inclusion Task: Shows kid 12 wooden beads – 10 red and 2 white – all wooden - “Are there more wooden beads or more red beads?” - Red beads are more perceptually salient; wooden beads are more subtle. So they insist on comparing red beads with white beads because red beads “stick out” to them - They stick to the 2 subclasses and ignore the superordinate class, wooden The Concrete Operational Stage (7-11)  No longer egocentric  Children first use mental operations to solve problems and to reason  Mental operations: Strategies and rules (logic systems) that make thinking more systematic and more powerful - E.g. arithmetic, categorization, spatial relations  Decreased egocentrism – have Theory of Mind  Decentering - Categorization and class inclusion (subclass and superordinate class)  Succeed in all types of conservation tasks  Reversibility - All types of changes in conservation tasks can be reversed; they do not fundamentally change the thing being examined (e.g. the quantity of liquid in 2 different glasses) Weaknesses:  Thinking is limited to the tangible, here and now (concrete)  Cannot solve abstract problems  e.g. “Melissa is taller than Zoe, Zoe is taller than Fabiana” – cannot tell that Melissa is the tallest overall, unless you draw pictures of the 3  Cannot handle contrary-to-fact premises (hypothetical, unrealistic situations)  Poor systematic problem solving - Systematic problem solving: You have multiple variables, and you have to figure out which one(s) to use or hold constant in order to get your solution The Formal Operational Stage (11+)  Children and adults apply mental operations to abstract entities - They think hypothetically and reason deductively  They can envision alternative realities e.g. “what would happen if gravity meant that objects floated up?”  Abstract reasoning is fine – you can imagine the 3 girls‟ heights without seeing them - E.g. algebra (2x+5 = 15; x = ?) - E.g. third eye premise: Suppose you were given a third eye, and you could put it anywhere on your body. Concrete = front of face; formal = back of head  Can solve problems by creating hypotheses and testing them  Deductive reasoning: Drawing an appropriate conclusion when given a set of facts/premises  Piaget‟s pendulum task (1958): showed use of systematic problem solving - Multiple variables: - Length of string - Weight of bob - Height from which bob is dropped - Force used in pushing bob  Which of these variables predicts the period of the swing? Length of string  Pendulum task varies across cultures – e.g. North America less emphasis on scientific method in curriculum  many older kids fail this task Critiques  Basic observations have been confirmed… but:  Did Piaget overestimate general public‟s attainment of formal ops? (e.g. older kids/adults fail the pendulum task, and other systematic problem solving tasks)  Martorono (1977): Pendulum task for grade 6, 8, 10, 12 - Grade 6-8 no significant difference (20-30% succeed) - Grade 10-12 no significant difference (50-55% succeed)  Overall # of formal ops tasks able to solve: - Grade 6-8 (2-3 tasks) - Grade 10-12 (5-6 tasks)  Is pendulum task really a good measure of formal ops thinking? - De Lisi & Staudt, 1980 - Physics, Poli Sci and English majors - Physics students succeed at physics formal ops tasks - Poli Sci students succeed at moral formal ops tasks - English students succeed at literary formal ops tasks  Therefore expertise matters! Evaluations of Piaget‟s Theory Pros:  Founded the discipline of cognitive development - Made a serious attempt at explanation, not just description  Constructivism: The view that children are active participants in their own development who systematically construct ever more sophisticated understandings of their world  Generally accurate in terms of how kids of different ages think  Counterintuitive discoveries e.g. the “A not B” task, or the conservation tasks Cons:  Failure to distinguish competence from cognitive performance - E.g. object permanence - E.g. pendulum task - E.g. expertise effects  Vague about mechanism - What types of maturational changes and experiences are necessary to move through the stages? - Do people with different experiences undergo different developmental trajectories? - Can we help our children develop faster or slower? 6.2: Modern Theories of Cognitive Development The Sociocultural Perspective: Lev Vygotsky‟s Theory  Children are products of their culture  Cognitive development is not only brought about by social interaction, but it is also inseparable from the cultural contexts in which children live 1) Culture defines which cognitive activities are valued (e.g. reading vs. star navigation) 2) Culture provides tools that shape the way children think (e.g using an abacus, a pen and paper, or a calculator) 3) Higher-level cultural practices help children organize their knowledge and communicate it to others (e.g. in North America, children work alone more than in groups)  Intersubjectivity: Mutual, shared understanding among participants in an activity  Guided participation: Children work on structured activities with others who are more skilled than they are  leads to cognitive development  Zone of proximal development: The difference between what you do with assistance (e.g. with guidance or instructions0 and what you can do when left alone  Scaffolding: A teaching style that matches the amount of assistance (high or low) to the learner‟s needs  Cultural differences: Scaffolding provided by parents in USA, Turkey, India and Guatemala - Turkish parents use verbal instruction and gestures (pointing, nodding, shrugging) - USA uses the same, but less - Indian parents use verbal instruction, gesture, and touch (e.g. nudging) or gaze (e.g. winking) - Guatemalan parents use the most of all 3  Private speech: Children talking to themselves to help regulate their own behaviour - An intermediate step toward self-regulation of cognitive skills - Used more often during difficult tasks than easy ones - Eventually becomes:  Inner speech: Thought.  Cooperative learning: - Peer tutoring - Group projects - Achieving common goals (e.g. deciding rules for a classroom)  Builds self-esteem, social skills (negotiation, consensus, conflict resolution) Information Processing Theory  Human cognition consists of mental hardware and mental software  Piaget‟s theory emphasizes qualitative changes  Information processing theory emphasizes quantitative changes Three Information Processing Goals: 1) Encoding 2) Storage 3) Retrieval  Sensory memory: Information is held very briefly in raw, unanalyzed form (5-30 seconds)  Working memory: The site of ongoing cognitive activity (like RAM)  Long-term memory: Limitless, permanent storehouse of knowledge of the world (like hard drive)  Coordinating all these activities is the central executive, which is like the OS - Moves info from working memory to long-term memory; selects strategies to accomplish goals; executes needed responses Information Processing in Infants  Contradicts Piaget‟s idea that you cannot have mental representations before the end of the sensorimotor stage (and therefore cannot have memories, since they are based on mental representations)  Memory may be present at birth, but it‟s weak - Age 1-2 days – habituation/dishabituation  Classical & Operant Conditioning (Blass et al., 1984) - Stroke forehead and put sugar solution in mouth  infants start sucking - Eventually start sucking immediately after stroking forehead - Argument: This is facilitating the memory, no matter how rudimentary  Development of memory  Carolyn Rovee-Collier (1997, 1999): - 2-3 month old babies - String attached from baby‟s leg to hanging mobile – kicking makes the mobile move - When exposed to the mobile again days or weeks later – babies would still kick - Many weeks later – babies had forgotten about kicking - She would give them a reminder by shaking the mobile with her hand - When she returned the next day – they would kick again  3 important features of memory exist as early as 2-3 months: 1) An event from the past is remembered 2) Over time, the event can no longer be recalled 3) A cue can serve to dredge up a forgotten memory  Mary Courage review of literature on memory development:  When shown novel actions with toys and later asked to imitate – toddlers can remember more than infants, and keep the memory for longer - E.g. sequence of steps to make a rattle (place wooden block inside container, then close lid) – toddlers can remember the necessary sequence of events  Steady growth in memory over the first 18 months Development of Information Processing  Better strategies: - Older children use strategies that are faster, more accurate, and easier (like updated mental software) - By structuring children‟s actions and providing hints, adults demonstrate new strategies and how best to use them  Increased capacity of working memory: - Modern computers have much more RAM  can run more complex software - Older children have more working memory capacity (e.g. reading, solving complex problems)  More effective inhibitory processes and executive functioning: - Inhibitory processes prevent task-irrelevant information from entering working memory - e.g. being able to ignore the conversations in a café to study psychology - Executive functioning: Inhibitory processes + planning + cognitive flexibility - Good problem-solving requires a plan, flexibility when the old plan no longer works, and the ability to inhibit irrelevant responses - Linked to the frontal cortex, which develops throughout childhood  Executive processes: Sets of skills to engage in controlled, planned, organized, goal- directed responses and behaviours that help us process information - Skills we learn as we get older, that help us deal with large amounts of incoming info - E.g. self-monitoring: Knowing when you do or don‟t understand something or succeed at something (helps you figure out where you need improvement) - E.g. planning/strategizing: How am I going to deal with this thing, which I‟ve noticed (through self-monitoring) I‟m not very good at? - E.g. self-regulation: Making yourself follow through on all of the above  Developing the ability to self-regulate: - Piaget‟s A not B task – force yourself out of the initial habit - Luria‟s task – when you see the sun, say night; when you see the moon, say day (forcing yourself to make responses that aren‟t natural to you) - Developmental trajectory across time, of how well children can perform these tasks - Huge leap in performance between ages 4-7  get better at inhibition of natural responses – continues to improve well into your late teens (correlates with development of frontal lobe and higher executive functions)  Increased automatic processing: - Automatic processes: Cognitive activities that require virtually no effort (e.g. typing) - When learning a new skill – each individual step must be stored in working memory - Automation makes us more efficient data-crunchers – speeds us up, and gives us more free capacity to deal wi
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