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Chapter 4

PSYC 251 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Jean Piaget, Object Permanence, Motor Skill

Course Code
PSYC 251
Elizabeth Kelley

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Video: object permanence (succeeds after 8 months)
The understanding that objects con't to excit even when they are out of one's view
Piaget believed infants fail the object permanence task at age until about 8 months of age
o Before 8 months, infants do not realise hidden objects still exist
Perhaps more of a difficulty w action planning
Infants will reach in dark for an object (if paired w sound) and will reach w appropriate
o Sound indicates that the object is still present in the dark
Video: The A-not-B error (succeeds after 12 months)
Child easily finds object under hiding place A
Child watches it being hidden at hiding place B and exhibits frustration while its being
Video: Piaget's Conservation
Even though children may seem like reasonable being they still make large logical errors
due to their inability to take into account several aspects of a problem at once
Although not shown here, there are large diff in ages at which children can pass diff types
of conservation tasks, undermining Piaget's claim that thinking is consistent w stages
Video: Dynamic Systems Theorist Karen Adolph
Each new motor skill of child and affordance of the env has to be learned thru experience
Info about affordances of env are not transferable across motor skills
Relevant to dynamic sys theorists idea of "soft assembly" and "attractor states"
Cognitive development: growth of diverse capabilities such as perception, attention, lang,
problem solving, reasoning, memory, conceptual understanding, intelligence.
Social development: growth emotions, personality, relationships w peers/ fam, self-
understanding, aggression, moral behaviour
3.1 Piagetian Theory
3 assumptions:
1. Constructivist theory: child constructed their own concepts/ knowledge (schemas) for
themselves thru experience
o each child sees world differently
o Children generate hypotheses, perform experiments and draw conclusions
o "child as scientist"
2. Children learn many important lessons on their own rather than depending on instruction
from others
3. Intrinsically motivated to learn
o Do’t eed reards fro adults to lear
o Apply newly acquired capabilities as often as possible
Both nature and nurture important
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o Interaction produce cognitive development
o Nurture: every experience child encounters
Nurturing provided by parents + every experience child has
o Nature: maturing brain & body, ability to perceive, act, learn from experience,
motivation to meet basic func for central cognitive growth (adaptation &
Respond to their nurture
o Piaget believed nature includes children's motivation to meet 2 basic functions:
adaptation & organization
Discontinuous stages: distinct stages of cogn development
Continuous processes
Piagetian process
Sources of continuity: assimilation, accommodation, equilibration
Biological drive to make sense of world driven by
Adaption: response to environment
o Assimilation: integrate new info into existing schemes
o Accommodation: adapt current understandings in R to new experiences
Organization: internal process; integrate observations into coherent knowledge
Equilibration: balances assimilation and accommodation; 3 phases
o Child satisfied w understanding of phenomenon
o Equilibrium: no discrepancy btwn experience and understanding
Not perceiving any inconsistency but does not mean their understanding is
o New info leads child to perceive understanding is inadequate
o Disequilibrium: discrepancy understood; leads to better understanding
Discrepancy btwn direct experience and how their schema is understood
o Develops sophisticated understanding that eliminates shortcomings of old one
(stable equilibrium)
When child is in middle of stage, little accommodation and lots of assimilation, when
changing stages vice versa
Properties of Piagetian stages
1. Qualitative change: Diff stages qualitatively different
o Different way of thinking from previous stage
o E.g children basing their moral judgements on entirely different contexts
2. Broad applicability: types of thinking influences and is same across all types of cognitive
and contexts
3. Brief transitions: periods where kids vary back and forth
o Before entering new stage, child fluctuate btwn types of thinking of new, more
advanced stage and old, less adv one
4. Invariant sequence: everyone progresses thru stages i sae order & does’t skip a stage
o Invariant: go thru all stages in same order
o Universal: everybody goes thru all the stages
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find more resources at oneclass.com
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