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Chapter 6

FRHD 2270 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Deductive Reasoning, Cognitive Development, 18 Months

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2270
Robyn Pitman

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Chapter 6
Theories of Cognitive Development
Piaget’s theo led the a to all ode theoies of ogitie deelopet, it is a good itodutio to the
stud of hilde’s thikig
Believed children are naturally curious and want to makes sense of their experiences and in the process,
construct their understanding of the world
o Like little scientists creating theories about how the world works
Assimilation: ous he e epeiees ae eadil iopoated ito a hild’s eistig theoies o sheas
Accommodation: occurs when a child`s theories (schemas) are modified based on experience
Assimilation and accommodation are usually in balance, or equilibrium
Disequilibrium: children organize their theories to return to a state of equilibrium
In Piaget’s theo, ogitie deelopet die  euiliiu esults o the foatio of etal stutues
called schemas
Schemas are not static-they do not stay the same once formed, but are active and constantly changing and
o The integration of these mental structures allows organization of information into a coherent whole
Proposed these changes developing over the lifespan in stages, without ability to skip any stages
o Sensorimotor- 0-2
o Preoperational: 2-6
o Concrete operational: 7-11
o Formal operational: 12-adulthood
Sensorimotor: spans from birth to age two, a period during which infant progress from simple reflex actions to symbolic
Between 1-4 months, infants reflexes are modified by experience; sucking thumb starts by touching thumb to
mouth once and enjoying it
Between 4-8 months the infant shows greater interest in the world paying more attention to objects around
them; shaking rattle, enjoys sound, keeps shaking
o Using one action as means to achieve ends is the first indication of purposeful action
Around 12 months, infants become active experimenters; deliberately shaking different objects to see what
sounds they make
o Representing significant extension of intentional behaviors
o Now infants repeat actions with different objects solely for the purpose of seeing what happens
Object permanence: understanding that objects exists independently of oneself; out of sight= gone.
A not B error: looking of object in first location A, not second location B
According to Piaget, infants do not have full object permanence until 18 months
By 18 months, infants have begun to talk and gesture, evidence of their capacity ot use symbols
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Once infants can use symbols, they can begin to anticipate the consequences of actions mentally instead of
having to perform them
Preoperational stage: spas the age to to see, aked  the hild’s use of sols to epeset ojets ad eets
Egocentrism: efes to oug hilde’s diffiult seeig the old fo aothe’s iepoit; do not comprehend others
have different feelings and ideas
Animism: a phenomenon common in preschool children in which they attribute life and lifelike properties to inanimate
Centration: narrowly focused thinking characteristic of Piaget’s preoperational stage
tunnel vision or the concentration of one aspect of a problem but ignore other aspects, illustrated by the task
on conservation
centration and egocentrism are the major limits of this stage
Concrete operational stage: spans the age seven to eleven, where children begin to use mental operations to solve
problems and to reason
Mental operations; strategies and rules that make thinking more systematic and more powerful
ex, multiplication, addition, division, ect
other mental operations apply categories to objects and apply to spatial relations
another important property is that they can be reversed
o reversible mental operations is why children in the concrete operational stage and pass the
conservation task
concrete operational thinking is limited to tangible and eal, hee ad o, a’t thik astatl o
Formal operational stage: extends from age eleven into adulthood, children and adolescence apply mental operations to
abstract entities; they think hypothetically and reason deductively
think and understand that reality is not the only possibility, can envision alternative realities and examine their
o can solve problems by creating hypothesis
Deductive reasoning: the ability to draw appropriate conclusions from facts
hypothetical reasoning and deductive reasoning are powerful tools for formal operational thinkers
Piaget influenced constructivism, the view that children are active participants in their own development who
systematically construct ever more sophisticated understandings of the world
Piaget’s otiutios hae had ipliatios o eduatio fo ogitie goth
o Failitate athe tha diet hilde’s leaig- cognitive growth occurs when children construct their
won understanding of the world
o Recognize individual differences when teaching-cognitive skills develop at different rates for children
o Be sesitie to hilde’s eadiess to lea-children profit from experience only when they can
understand it within their own cognitive structures
The best teaching experiences are slightl ahead of hilde’s leels of thikig
o Emphasize exploration and interaction- cognitive growth can be particularly rapid when children
discover inconsistencies and errors in their own thinking
Weakesses of Piaget’s theo:
o Underestimates cognitive competence in infants and young children and over-estimates cognitive
competence in adolescence
o Theory is vague with respect to processes and mechanisms of change
o Piaget’s stage theo does ot aout fo aiailit i hilde’s pefoae
o Undervalues the influence of sociocultural environment on cognitive development
The Soioultual Pespetie: Vgotsk’s Theo
Sociocultural perspective: the ie that hilde’s ogitie deelopet is ot ol ought aout  soial iteatio,
but it is also inseparable from the sociocultural contexts from which they live
Culture often defines which cognitive activities are valued and also provides tools that shape the way children
o Also helps children to organize their knowledge and communicate it to others
Vygotsky saw development as an apprentice in which children advance when they collaborate with others who
are more skilled
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