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Chapter 1

Ch. 1 - Cognitive Development notes.docx

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Christopher Teeter

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Cognitive Development • Cognitive Development: Infancy and Childhood • Before Piaget people believed children were different because they knew less – Piaget proposed that children just think differently and as they progress through each of the 4 stages, they understand more mature concepts • Beyond Piaget: Modern Perspective on Cognitive Development • Since Piaget we have learned that development is a more continuous process than he suggested – rather than appearing all of a sudden, skills develop gradually with primitive precursors to cognitive capabilities showing up perhaps even years earlier than Piaget would predict • Piaget underestimated infants’ cognitive abilities – some evidence that infants are actually capable of some basic logic • Study: rod moving back and forth behind a block  block disappears and infants are presented with a.) An unbroken rod moving back and forth/b.) 2 aligned rod pieces moving in unison – 4mth olds spent more time looking at the broken rod rather than the unbroken rod suggesting that they perceived the parts of the rod in the original stimulus to be connected just as adults would • Further evidence of infants’ understanding of the physical properties of objects comes from studies showing infants are surprised when seeing a car pass through a solid object, a ball stopping in midair and objects magically disappearing • Infants also seem to have a rudimentary understanding of numbers – ex. 6mth olds infants were showed slides with various combinations and arrangements of 3 objects until they got bored then they were shown a series of new slides, some with 2 objects and some with 3 – infants looked longer at the slides with 2 items than the slides that had 3 – recognized a difference • Cognitive Development: Adolescence • Beginning of adolescence is marked by an inc. in the power of reason – teenagers can think about thinking, about what others are thinking, and about what others are thinking about them – often self-focused during early teen years (egocentric) but gradually begin to focus on the world – learn ability to reason about highly abstract concepts (ex. good and evil, human nature, and justice) • Newfound ability to reason hypothetically allows them to develop abilities such as finding faults in others’ reasoning and detecting hypocrisy •
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