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PSYCH 2AA3-2nd midterm.docx

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Jennifer Ostovich

PSYCH 2AA3- SEPTEMBER 24 TH Cognitive Development 1: Piaget - Background in biology and philosophy - Theoretical Perspective: 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 th Psych 2aa3- September 30 Piaget’s stages of cognitive development Stage theory basics - Thinking in each of the stages is different - Qualitative differences between stages - Four stages: o Sensorimotor (birth- 2 yrs) o Preoperational (2-7 yrs) o Concrete operations (7-11 yrs) o Formal operations (11 +0 - Can only develop in this order - Invariant order - No skipping a stage - Piaget thought that all of this cognitive development unfolds in a preplanned way - Believe these stages are universal - Ages are approximate o Children constructing based on certain experiences, certain cultures or situations will make it more or less likely, that you will have these experiences earlier or later Sensorimotor stage (0-2) - Longitudinal - Studied his own kids - Naturalistic observation - Experimental manipulation o Cutting off view for some specific toy o Testing for object permanence - Sample size was very small o 3 subjects o All genetically related o Biased: he and wife did all the research - Six substages describe how infants go from being reflexive to reflective thinkers o Thinking with their heads not their bodies - Substage 1: Reflex activity o birth to 1 month o Mindless exercising of reflexes o Born with a bunch of reflexes o Adapt to world around them using reflexes they’re born with o Rooting, sucking, grasping, orienting reflexes o When they are born reflexes are pretty good o Using reflexes with no intentionality behind it - Substage 2: primary circular reactions o 1-4 months o Babies discover certain activities they may engage in feel good by accident o Use of reflex based schemes to replicate interesting body related events o First complex scheme they have o As soon as they discover interesting thing they will keep doing it - Substage 3: secondary circular reactions o 4-8 months o Infants are discovering by chance that they can make interesting things happen to objects o Do it over and over again o Ex: squeaky toy, discover it makes sound - Substage 4: coordination of secondary schemes o 8-12 months o Intentional/planful behaviour o Combine multiple existing schemes to achieve goals o Means-end task  Ex. Reaching grabbing putting object in mouth  Sucking it  Those first things are a means to an end o Use schemes to understand objects o Interested in more than just accidental contact with objects, will create new ways of having contact with that object - Substage 5: tertiary circular reactions o 12-18 months o Creating interesting events in new ways o Goal: what can you do to achieve goal  Ex. Duck, how can I squeak it without squeezing o Learn how objects interact with one another and the world o Trial and error schemes o Learn different ways to make the same thing happen - Substage 6: symbolic problem solving o 18-24 months o Schemes go mental- no more trial and error  Use stick to grab piece of bread 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 Underestimation - Imitation o Meltzoff and Moore o Looked at whether could get newborns to imitate facial expression of model  Tongue protrusion, mouth opening and lip purse  Film babies face in reaction of models face  Ppl rated babies facial expression on tape  Very young babies can imitate facial expressions  40% of time model does tongue protrusion, baby does it too  If model does mouth opening 8% babies do it too o Difficulty replicating with infants under nine months o At 9 months, get good at imitating o Before 9 months, good at tongue protrusions o Replication issues - Deferred imitation o Collie and hayne  6 months old can delay an imitative response  Can retain it for a day or sometimes 2 days  Of a simple response - Memory o Piaget doesn’t believe you can form a memory til you use use mental schemes  Doesn’t happen til substage 6 o Evidence that even small babies can form memories o Habituation/dishabituation  Have to remember you have seen it before  Show tiny rudimentary memory traces o Rovee-collier  Wanted to test if 3 months olds could make memories  Put in crib with attractive mobile hanging over • Half of babies just lie in crib • Others learn: have string attached to leg and mobile, kick to make it move • Next time they come, don’t have string • Babies with training experience with string kicked more o Still evident a week after • Means baby created a memory that can last a week - Object permanence o His work has been replicated many times o But think maybe he missed a few things, causing him to underestimate o Response inhibition ( A not B) o Object in location A, move it to location B while baby is looking, but baby still goes back to location A. o Babies look at location B, but reach for A. Maybe they know its in location B o Babies know where object is, but frontal lobes aren’t doing a good enough job to help them search in new place  Problem is not of understanding o Motor search- intentionality  Require intentional behaviour and have to be good at motor tasks o Piaget confounds object permanence with motor search and intentionality  Can’t engage in proper search  Task might be too hard o Baillargeon  Tested whether young babies can show object permanence with easier tasks  Look longer at impossible event  Object permanence early on  After they habituate, either possible event or impossible event  Maybe 180 arc is just more interesting?  Created control with 180 arc and 112 arc, with no box.  Carrots passing behind screen, tall and short  Should be surprised if you don’t see the tall carrot in the hole in the screen  Tall carrot impossible event interests them Overall evaluation of stage 1 - More or less accurate picture of infants abilities - Only real critique is underestimation o Tasks are difficult o Methodological limitations th October 10 Pre-operational stage Operations - Gravity- if you throw something up it will be pulled back down - Kids in preoperational stage lack operations, don’t have overall logic rules - What tasks can concreteoperational kids do that preop can’t do. Strengths of pre-operational thought “symbolic function” Substage 1: - Involves first use of mental schemes - Age 2-4 - Quick learning of using these schemes - Engaged in internal problem solving - Learning to use language - Symbolic/pretend play o Comes from child’s imagination o Can’t do this before you have mental schemes - More simple objects, children use imagination - Open ended objects - Don’t want a lot of commercial products, limit children’s play - Important that adult facilitates play, but does not dominate play - Why is symbolic thought so important? o Symbolic thought is faster than trial and error  More efficient thinking going on  No more literal actions are necessary til you come to the solution of your problem Weaknesses of pre-operational thought: “intuitive thinking” Substage 2: - Age 4-7 - Making snap judgement - Not thinking things through - If you come up wih a solution intuitively will not think carefully enough - Focus on superficial aspects of problems - Egocentric o Incapable of representing other people’s minds o What I know everyone knows o Can’t shift perspectives - Missing operations - Illogical - Concrete operations thinking corrects all of these shortcomings Specific deficiencies of preoperational thought - Animism o Giving inanimate object human-like qualities - Egocentrism o Unable to see the world from any perspective but your own o Three-mountain task  Look at model with 3 mountains  Ask them to pick out series of 4 dif views  Put teddy bear or something at different places, ask them what teddy bear sees  Always say what they see o Egocentric speech  Tendency to assume listeners know what they know so they leave out important details - Centration o Where you focus on only one aspect of a problem at a time, where theres more than one aspect to it o This is where kids make errors o Conservation tasks  Show child 2 equal things  Conservation of number: two rows of five chips, then spread out one of the rows  Kids will say they are different, kid says its longer  Focus on the feature of length  When you put it back they say they are the same  Don’t have concept of reversibility: operation  Conservation of volume: two identical cups of water  Put liquid in a thinner glass, water goes higher  Kid says it has more water o Class inclusion tasks Oct-15 Conservation of mass - Roll out 2 balls of playdo, same amount - Take one ball roll It into sausage - Kids will say sausage has more clay - Cannot teach the kid that they are wrong Conservation of length - Show kids two sticks - Ask are they the same or different - Will say they are the same - Then offset one - Kids always say the one that is offset is longer - Has to do with centering Conservation of weight - Explain to children how weigh scale works - Two balls of clay same size, kids say they weigh the same - Roll into sausage, kids say it weighs more, because it is bigger Conservation Tasks • Number ~age 5 • Volume ~age 6-7 • Mass ~age 6-7 • Length ~age 7-8 • Weight ~age 7-8 Why these errors? - Centration o Focus in on most salient feature of a multi feature problem o Once your attention is drawn, you are stuck o When you make it into formal operational stage, can focus on more than one feature - Decentration o Can keep in mind many features of sit’n o Volume: see amount of juice but also size of the glass - Reversibility o Understand that superficial changes can be reversed - Preoperational don’t understand these things - Overall logic system o Operations as an advanced problem solving scheme Categorization - Categorization inability o Lack classes - Structure and logic of classes o Any given things can belong to multiple classes o Subclass cannot be larger than superordinate class  Preoperational don’t get this o Subclass more useful than superordinate class  For kids in preop it is the same thing - Piaget used class inclusion task o Present kids with 12 wooden beads o 10 are red, 2 are white o Ask kid, are there more wooden beads or red beads? o Kid centering on redness of red beads, unable to take into account woodenness of all the beads. o preop: can’t do it o concrete: can do it Critiques Underestimation - egocentrism (lack of theory of mind) o researchers found, even 2-3 year olds adjust to others perspectives in some situations  suggests theory of mind  children adjust how the speak to different kids of different ages  adjust to those around them o 4-5 year olds pass the sally-ann task  If you didn’t have theory of mind would think sally would look in the box.  Suggests they have theory of mind 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) •
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