Study Guides (238,524)
Canada (115,195)
Psychology (480)
PSYC 250 (23)

Final Exam Notes - Chapters 7,8 and 9.docx

16 Pages
Unlock Document

Simon Fraser University
PSYC 250
Tanya Broesch

Physics, Space, Biology and Numbers 4/11/2013 3:53:00 PM The Acquisition of Knowledge  Epistemology: how we acquire knowledge? o Debate  Nature vs. nurture  Empiricists believe children are blank slates and acquire knowledge from their senses, developmental psychologist disagree  Computer document analogy; physical matter does not shift from one device to another but a representation of the text exists “We know that the connections among neurons are the result of the developmental processes, a result of the species-typical development of a normal human child with a complete genome and the benefit of the resources of a species-typical environment”  Child knows that a rock will fall in mid-air if it is not help up! Constraints on Learning Allow Knowledge Acquisition  In order to be sensitive (learn) from the right kinds of cues in the machine’s environment (perception), machine would require a lot of initial structure.. referred to as constraints on learning  Minds do come prepared with prior hypotheses about what behaviours may be paired with which outcome o Conditioning a chimpanzee might work to an extent but species typical behaviours will surface (making food calls midway)  The more constrained knowledge acquisition is, the faster the learning o Child learning about their mother (focus is on people closest to them to save time rather than searching and considering every other object/person) o The less constrained knowledge is, the slower the learning process becomes Areas of Core Knowledge  Specific domains that come with innate ability to acquire certain areas of knowledge (walking, language eating etc.) o There are specific mental states that go beyond what Piaget would have expected about cognition  Piaget felt children carried limited knowledge and couldn’t process in different domains also because they were perceptually bound  Core knowledge theorists disagree and say that children do carry knowledge about physics, space, numbers, and faces Associationists who believe learning shapes behaviour would also be countered by Core knowledge theorists since.. learning mechanisms within the domain can operate according to rules of classical and operant condition but teaching a raccoon to sit or stand on two feet is not a part of their innate knowledge and one cannot teach them to do so..  Piagetian and Associationist approaches predict relatively simple learning and immature knowledge (often used to generate null hypothesis)  Many domains exist in which knowledge cannot be accredited to merely tutoring or exposure from the environment  Core knowledge is reliably developing, domain-specific and relevant to survival in the EEA Intuitive Physics: Knowledge relevant to physics and objects that develops early in human infants  Existed in the EEA (naïve theories of physics)  Assist with the interaction in the physical world (object will fall midair)  Carry physical knowledge which exceeds Piaget’s limits o Understanding of Gravity  Object permanence o Piaget claimed children >8 months of age did not search for the concealed object  From this Piaget inferred that infants had no mental representation of the object (out of sight; out of mind?)  Many core knowledge theorists have challenged this inference  Experiments turned off lights; small infants did actually search for the object Spelke proposes that infants have expectations regarding continuity, contact and rules governing cohesion towards physical objects  Continuity; objects are expected to travel from one point to another and occupy all points o Habituation (looking time) by presenting two separate bars instead of a one continuing rod – infants at four months were able to distinguish  Contact; object must be in contact with another to influence movement o Used violation of expectation (looking time)  Moving objects could not impact each other or move without contact; however, they understood that humans are able to influence behaviour without contact  Cohesion; object must be unified as a whole and not be scattered or re-form o Violation of expectation; looked longer when object was not connected or a whole  Children become surprised; looking time increases when their expectations are violated (gravity; support of object and not so it floats in midair) o This appears at 3 months of age; before that, they will not be able to distinguish or look longer  5 month olds expect support from below  6 ½ month olds are surprised if object is only touching the corner against something and does not fall  It is evident that development is unfolding (3 month old was not taught to be surprised or presented with this situation before; somehow it seems innate – core knowledge theory is applicable) Baillargeon has proposed that children develop early understandings of events such as:  Occlusion events; an event in which an object becomes invisible as it moves behind a nearer object (the occluder) o 3 ½ month olds will use height as an informative variable (tall objects behind short ones cannot disappear completely  Containment events; an event in which an object moves into a container possibly becoming invisible o 7 ½ month olds will use height as a variable  Covering event; an event in which an object becomes invisible as it is hidden by a rigid cover or screen o Infant (2 ½ months) was surprised that the puppet was not visible between the screens (VOE) o At 12 months, infants use height as a factor  Infants do lack concepts of inertia, momentum and effects on gravity from objects in motion Concepts of Space  Infants tend to navigate more spatially than rely on features of colour  At 6 months they develop the ability to spot landmarks that are close to the hidden object  Dead Reckoning: the ability to continuously keep track of one’s location relative to the starting point and thus return directly to it o Self-locomotion helps them to navigate as well compared to being carried by peers and required to point out the object Understandings of Biology  Assumption; if a child’s knowledge in the domain of biology is rule- governed because they have an understanding about biological processes, then the rules should show in their behaviour toward and inferences about biological entities such as plants and animals  1. Method of induction (inferences) o Children do make inductions and see distinctions between certain animals by categorizing their features  2. Method of transformation o Could a cat become a skunk if we painted a stripe down its back? See if children accept that  3. Ask children about their understanding of biological processes such as growth, respiration, eating and death  Preschoolers have a theory of inheritance o Baby dogs come from dogs  See inheritance of certain traits (colour) o Experiment; story was told about a character (adopted/biological family) and children were asked to which he belongs – answered was based on resemblance to biological family but traits were based psychologically and adopted family was selected  At four years children believed that goats raise goats; older than 4 years children realized that a kangaroo raised by a goat will still be a kangaroo  Growth is an accepted concept according to size but not qualitative (hard to realize a butterfly from caterpillar) o Are aware of prerequisites for growth; food and water o Aware that inanimate objects do not grow and growth is inevitable  Death; children at four years were able to distinguish dead animal from a sleeping animal  Atran concludes that experience cannot account for these results since NA children have relative deprivation with respect to experience with biology to indigenous societies but carry similar biological preparedness o Claims that there are domain-specific cognitive universals  Numbers; infants in their first week can distinguish between 3 entities o Habituation paradigm; infants see number of objects and respond accordingly regardless of changing shape and colour  Puppet jumping (two times or three; small events)  Arithmetic o Measured by VOE  Doll presented, covered then revealed  Looking time was longer if number of objects mismatched o Two core systems; one that represents large numbers as approximate magnitudes (12 – 24; 2:1 ratio and 12 – 36) Counting rules  1. One to one; each item gets a unique number label  2. Stable-order; number labels are always spoken in the same order with each item counted (1,2,3,4)  3. Cardinal; whatever label you give the last number; reflects the total number of items (1-4; 4 is the total)  4. Abstraction; ability to count anything, big or small (number of ducks/elephants)  5. Order-irrelevant; regardless of order, total is the same Navigation skills are universal across animals, however; there are species- specific skills  Bats, turtles and some birds use magnetic poles  Salmon uses scents to travel back  Ants and starlings use the sun Social Development 4/11/2013 3:53:00 PM Social Isolation  Often causes hallucinations to occur o Common in solo sailing, sensory deprivation, solitary prison confinement and mourning of a spouse Humans are a part of an Obligate Social Species; species that MUST be with others in order to survive and who are co-evolved in order to interact with others  To avoid maldevelopment and death  Human brain is not designed for social isolation  Human infants are more dependent than any other species; face perception/identification, reciprocal interaction and attachment secure the investment they require from their caregivers for survival Social Contact as a Need  How does one test the effects of isolation? Experimental studies on humans would be unethical..  Harry Harlow used rhesus monkeys in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s o Two conditions; partial isolation (able to sense other monkeys) and total isolation (no experience of other monkeys) o All basic needs of food, water and shelter were met so that they would only be deprived of social needs o Partial Isolation resulted in:  Abnormal behaviour  Self-mutilation  Catatonia, pacing and circling o Total isolation (30days) resulted in:  No playing, exploring or even moving  One monkey had stopped eating to die o When these monkeys had children, they neglected and abused them o Rehabilitation was not successful, however; if they were paired with normally reared monkeys who were younger, therapy was possible  Children with Imaginary friends o More verbally mature, less shy, watched less television and likely to be the older child or the only child o Also had a more mature Theory of Mind: The part of our psychological processes that allows us to understand another person’s mental states Why the Big Brain?  Human baby is born 9 months early compared with other primates  Brains are costly (evolutionary and developmental) and metabolically  What led to the evolution of the brain that carried such high costs? o Ecological pressures: Evolutionary pressures that derive from ecological circumstances, including the availability of resources and the presence of risks or dangers  Ancestors needed to navigate, explore fruit trees around them, solve problems of nutrition (how to capture certain fish and when?) o Social Pressures  Social Brain Hypothesis o The idea that the large brains of humans as well as the general intelligence of humans has evolved in response to social conflicts and challenges that are inherent part of group living  Humans form alliances, remember favours and grudges, negotiate, scheme, manipulate, bluff and convince  Result of living in complex social groups  Group size is positively correlated with brain size (neocortex – newest addition to the brain)  Ecological demands are sufficient to explain brain size (no correlation with for
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 250

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.