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PSYC 3440 (22)
Caron Bell (10)
Chapter 3

Cognitive Development - Chapter 3 summary

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3440
Caron Bell

Cognitive Psych Chapter 3 (page 65- 106) - means end analysis - repeatedly comparing one’s current state with one’s goal and then taking steps to reduce the distance between them - like a child overcoming their limited memory capacities, they use rehearsal - characteristics of information processing theories - thinking is information processing - precise analysis of change mechanisms - attempt to explain how children of given ages have come as far as they have and why they have not gone further - change is produced by a process of continuous self-modification - something information processing approaches have in common with the piagetian approach is that both are aimed at answering the same fundamental question: “what develops?” and “how does development occur?” both try to identify children’s cognitive capabilities and limits at various points in development. both try to explain how later, more advanced understandings grow out of earlier, more primitive ones. - the two previous approaches also differ. - information processing approaches place greater emphasis on the role of processing limitations, strategies for overcoming the limitations, and knowledge about specific content. also involves detailed, in depth analyses of children’s performance on a single task or on a narrow range of tasks. this approach assumes that our understandings of how children think can be greatly enriched by knowledge of how adults think. - piagetian approach seeks to characterize children’s thinking across a broad range of tasks and content domains table on page 77 - structural characteristics - determine the limits within which thinking occurs - sometimes referred to as “cognitive architecture” - universal, all children have the same basic cognitive organization - basic organization of the information processing system. (3 parts: sensory memory, working memory, and long term memory) - sensory memory - briefly retaining relatively large amounts of information that a person has just encountered - one-twentieth- second exposure is efficient for letters to create a visual icon - the capacity of children’s sensory memory appears to increase with development and age - working memory - where active thinking occurs: constructing new strategies, computing solutions to math problems, comprehending what we read, etc - can usually hold between three and seven units - material is usually lost within 15 to 30 seconds but you can use rehearsal to to maintain the material for longer periods - older children can maintain more than younger children - has different storage capacities for verbal and spatial information in the “episodic buffer” - long term memory - episodic knowledge - specific episodes that have happened to you. example: feelings you had on the playground on your first day of school. - semantic knowledge - qualities of the world. example: a nickel is worth 5 pennies - procedural knowledge - concerns procedures. example: how to ride a bike - there are no limits o either how much information can be maintained in ling term memory or how long the information can stay there. - information is stored in separable units, so you can retrieve some units without retrieving others. example: tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon; can remember some parts of a word but not all of it. - processes - provide the means for flexible adaptation to a constantly changing world - used to actively manipulate information in sensory, working and long term memory - two processes are automatization and encoding - automatization - when processes change from controlled to automatic as people gain experience with them - once skills are learned to a sufficient high degree, they are difficult to inhibit even when it’s advantageous to do so - controlled- require a great deal of attention - automatic- require little if any attention. - provides initial basis for learning about the world. - people retain this information even if they are not trying to. - children as young as 5 are as proficient as college students at retaining such information - when children form concepts, they must learn what features go together more frequently. example: learning the concept “bird” requires learning that the same animals tend to fly, have feathers, have beaks, and live in trees. - encoding - expectations influence encoding - important features of an object to help you remember it information processing theories of development - neo- piagetian theories - psychometric theories - product- system theories - connectionist theories - evolutionary theories Neo- Piagetian Theories - the goal is to maintain the strengths of Piaget’s approach while adding the strengths of information-processing approaches - the incorporate stages much like
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