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Study Notes Midterm 1

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Chapter 11: Two kinds of Constructive Theories: Jean Piaget & George A. Kelly -Genetic Epistemology: Study of formation & meaning of knowledge -Equilibrium: Developmental stability of higher cognitive conceptions Personality Theory Jean Piaget STRUCTUAL CONSTRUCTS Construction of Patterns Among Related Actions -As infants we learn by copying automatic movements. We can observe ourselves doing things & we can sense ourselves doing it -He distinguishes btw copying of an action by internalizing its actual pattern of motion & the copying of an action by internalizing an image of what needs to be done or how its o be carried out st -We must 1 act & then learn what we can or cant do -Scheme: Most basic structure of action, its whats common among diff actions at diff times ie. Understanding of distance -Concepts: Broader than schemes -Shared schemas makes language possible -2 schemas can create a new pattern of relationship aka STRUCTURE Must have a reliably distinctive form (pattern) capable of being abstracted & recognize again & again They are Systematic Processes Structures can change, grow, develop [Transformations] Structure would lose all truth value w.out physical facts We construct mental structures that apply to environ. Idea of moving from static unchanging to changeflexible structure -Syncretic Thought: When ppl think in personal, vague unanalyzed schematic structures -There is no structure apart form construction, either abstract or genetic -Kelly saw construction as mentalcog process. Piaget suggests we have a material construction of bodily adaptations in organic evolution & a more abstract cognitive construction of structures -For Piaget, construction means to bring about a structure in ongoing organic mental life -Knowledge doesnt begin in the I, or physical object but in the interactions Cognition as Equilibrating Operations -Piaget insists on studying the biological basis of construction -Experimental evidence proves that children must construct their life space over a period of time which is achieved by beginning w. material or organic constructions & only later accomplish the structures known as the phenomenal filed in their cognitive constructions -Patterned structures occur at both the organic & cognitive levels of existence -The developmental course of construction is from body-to-mind ASSIMILATION: Taking-in of the surrounding environ on the basis of an existing scheme or the more complex structures they make up -All organic life tends progressively to assimilate more & more of the surrounding environ as growth proceeds -Babies suck thumbs bc they have assimilated to the schema of mothers breasts children mature, they can assimilate all kinds of actions of others by drawing a sort of analogy btw their schemata & observed behaviors aka Prehension Early form of imitation that can occur w.out use of language -Circular Reaction: another form of assimilation; mechanism by which a scheme is developed, the child performs an action & is interested in the result so they repeat it ACCOMODATION: Remodification of behavior as a result of experience, instead of making environ fit schema, the person modifies the scheme to fit envir. Person discovers that the scheme no longer fits demands of reality -Life is a continuing interplay of assimilation & accommodation; reciprocal balancing relations = equilibrium, when theres an unbalance the indiv develops a motive Equilibration 1. Transduction: Reasoning w.out reversible nestinfs of a hierarchy of classes & relations -Early in life we move from the particular to the particular, unable to abstract in our more syncretic style of thought to construct a hierarchy of from lesser to more abstract meanings; improving in one particular we assumed we improved in another 2. Reversibility: When theres a permanent reciprocity existing btwn accommodation & assimilation so that distortion in a construction doesnt take place 3. Decentration: Breaking free from what we perceive in order to think about the aspects of what we perceive; to be glued to merely whats perceived = centration; TO be creative in reasoning we have to decenter & lose our simplistic understandings of out external reality, when we decenter we can improve our level of adjustment; My point of view just may not fit the facts over there = Reciprocal Reversibility -Negational reversibility = Person capable of questioning hisher own viewpoints by negating their certainty or by brining the facts into question by negating them 4. Operation -Interiorized action, can be carried out in thought as well as physical beh -Reversible action Invariant structure, retaining identifiable characteristic of the system even though they change relations through reversibility No operation exists alone, its always related to a system or total structure -Operations are more than schemata & always involve a co-ordination of differentiated actions the framework of a single whole -Operations begin at a concrete level above transductive reasoning but that is still not very advanced -We employ cognitive processes known as induction (To move from a particular meaning to a general meaning; ie. Cant play most sports = I am not athletic) & deduction -The more rational thought becomes the more it attains equilibrium, the more abstract it becomes The highest levels of abstraction occur in the operations of formal logic or math The Dynamics of Human Operations -Perception: When person has knowledge of object from direct contact w. it. We perceive something by constructing its image mentally through interiorizing -Mental Images: Imitative schemata, they copy the structures of experience by actively rehearsing them again & again -We actively construct a mental image brining it into greater stability & reversibility as we come to understands what we perceive -We use or imaginations in constructing our knowledge of the perceived world
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