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Chapter 4

PSY302 Chapter 4 in-class notes.docx

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PSY 302
Lili Ma

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PSY302 Chapter 4 In­Class Notes: Theories of Cognitive Development Cognition: Activity of knowing and the mental processes used to acquire knowledge and  solve problems Cognitive development: Changes that occur in these mental skills and abilities over the  course of life Theories of Cognitive Development ­Piaget vs. Vygotsky Jean Piaget’s Theory ­View of children’s nature ­Central development issues ­Developmental stages ­What are some problems with his theory? ­His theory is the most influential  A Constructivist Approach: Child as Scientists Constructivist: It depicts children as constructing knowledge for and by themselves ­Children are seen as… • Active • Learning many things on their own through trying out new things on their own • Intrinsically motivated to learn (without any rewards)  Nature and Nurture ­Nature and nurture interact to yield cognitive development Adaptation: The tendency to respond to demands of the environment to meet one’s goals Organization: The tendency to integrate particular observations into coherent knowledge Three Key Processes ­These 3 processes work together… Assimilation: Translate new information into a form you already have/understand  (Ex. child sees penguin for the first time swimming in the water and they know that fish  swim in the water so they think that penguins are fish.)  ▯Using existing knowledge to try  and understand new problems Accommodation: When this new information does NOT fit, you need to restructure your  “theories” (Ex. child realizes that penguins are not fish and in fact are birds, so they change their  existing knowledge and add “penguin = bird” into their knowledge)  ▯Revise their  existing knowledge to better fit the real world ­How it works? Equilibrium: The balance between assimilation and accommodation  (Ex. Child is familiar with al birds, thus, thinks all flying things are birds) ­ Assimilation  ▯Thinks plane = bird Disequilibrium: Child notices the difference between the penguin and fish ­ Accommodation  ▯Child concludes that planes are not birds and creates a new category  for them Stages of Cognitive Development ­4 stages ­Goes through them discontinuously (Sudden big changes, not smooth change) (Ex. When caterpillar turns into butterfly) ­Sensori­Motor, pre­operational, concrete operational, formal operational Sensori­Motor Stage (Birth – 2 years) ­Infants know the world through their senses and through their motor actions like  touching things and moving around (Ex. babies put everything in their mouth) • Theory is weak on HOW such concepts were acquired • Over this stage, infants increase their ability to hold mental representations • Infants live largely in the present  ▯“Out of sight, out of mind” (Lacks object  permanence)  Object permanence: The knowledge that objects continue to exist even when they are  out of view (This is why babies are so happy/excited when playing peek­a­boo) • According to Piaget, infants do not understand object permanence until 8 months  • Video  ▯However, object permanence show as early as 3 months if using; looking  time data (Viewing habituation) rather than Piaget’s manual search task (Where  babies search for the missing object) A­not­B error: The tendency to reach to where objects have been found before, rather  than to where they were last seen (8­12 months of age) • Babies have the tendency to look back at the previous successful locations as their  brains are still developing (Inhibition)  ▯Hard for babies to inhibit a once  successful location Deferred imitation: The repetition of other people’s behaviour a
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