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Ch 9.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mark Schmuckler

Ch 9- psyb20 Information processing theory -inform from the environment or input initially enters the cognitive system through the process of perception -info is encoded into some symbolic form so that it can be examined mentally, then it is expelled because it is no longer needed or it is saved and used later -human thinkers are able to become more cognitively skilled through changes in their brains and sensory systems and in the rules and strategies of thinking that they learn over the course of development -when the human mind solves problems is has the flexibility to consider a broad range of factors and as a result it takes longer to do the job Basic assumptions of the info processing approach -thinking is info processing, mental activity involves taking info into the mind and operating on it in ways that make it usable -there are mechanisms or process of change that underlie the processing of info. With dev children become better able to represent or encode info in their minds -mechanisms of info processing-encoding, strategy construction, automatization and generaliziation -cognitive dev is a self modifying process, the child uses the strategies she has acquired from earlier problem solutions to modify her response to a new problem -careful task analysis is crucial the task or problem situation itself influences the childs cognitive performance -careful task analysis often involves error analysis or attending to the errors children male -microgenetic analysis: involves detailed examination of how a child solves a problem over a single learning episode or over several episodes that occur close in time Information processing models the multi-store model -it describes this process in terms of the various types of storage units that are involved and hence the name mutli storage -acquire info from the environment through the sensory register -the sensory register can store visual sensory info for only one second -info in the sensory register is transformed or encoded into a mental representations then placed in storage area referred to as short term memory or working memory -it is limited in the number of meaningful units or chunks of info it can hold at any one time as well as how long it can hold this info -it allows us to respond to a rather continuous flow of incoming info -the faster a child can rehearse a piece of info. The more info retained -long term memor knowledge is retained over a long period of timeeee -long term mem stores the strategies for building new knowledge -info transferred from short to long term can be retained for an indefinite period of time Connectionist model -info is described as an elaborate set of neural connections and thinking involves processing of info as it spreads throughout the network, or what is referred to as parallele distributed processing (neural networks) Neo-piagetian info processing models -they attempt to integrate piagets ideas with that of an information processing perspective -the stage like dev of cognition described by piaget is based on improvements in memory capacity and executive control -executive control structure: which is a mental blueprint, or plan for solving a class of problems -an executive control structure has 3 components, a representation of the problem. A representation of the goal of the prob and a representative strategy for attaining the goal Cognitive processes: what are they? How do they contribute to development -cognitive processes: which are the mechanisms or ways that the human mental systems operations on info Encoding and representation -we encode info and change into mental representations only when we find it relecant -mental representation: is the term used to describe info that is stored mentally in some form -one thing can stand for or represent something else -a script reflects a particular event or series of events that are based on common experiences of daily life, and how those events will unfold Strategies -are conscious cognitive of behavioral activities that are used to enhance mental performance -the main purpose of a strategy is to decrease the load on the child’s info processing system by increasing the efficiency of each process and freein up space Automatization -involves making behaviors that once we conscious and controlled into unconscious and automatic ones ex: learning to drive stick, learn then its just automatic Generalization -children apply a strategy learned while solving a problem in one situation to a similar problem in a new situation -children may need to gain familiarity with the use of a rule, using it many times over, before they can successfully generalize it to new situations The roles of the executive control process and the knowledge base in info processing -exectutive control procees: guides the child I the selection and use of strategies -a child’s knowledge base plays a major role in his abilities to process info and solve problems -when childnre are given problem in an area in which they know a great deal, they will equal and even surass the performance of less knowledgeable adults -expertise can enhance cognitive processing in children in a familiar domain but that this expertise does not influence performance in other domains. Developmental changes in some significant cognitive abilities Attention -attention involves the identification and selection of particular sensory input for more detailed processing -how children’s experiences affect them depends on what aspects of a situation children attend to and what meaning theis information has for them -children have difficulty controlling their attention when they are young Control of attention -very young children have short attention periods -between 2 and 3 months of age the focus of the infant’s attention shifts from the external contours of the objects toward the internal features -3-9 months, attention to solve simple problems -research with preschool school aged children shows that distraction can sometimes facilitate a children’s performance -school aged children perform better on learning tasks when there are visual or auditory distractions present when they are not present Learning to attend to what is relevant -selective attention: which the child focuses on the relevant aspect of the environment and ignores the irrelevant features -the processessing of relevant info increases steadily throughout the elementary and high school years Attention and planning -older children develop a plan of action to guide attention as they solve problems -the ability to attend selectively combines with planning which is the deliberate organization of a sequence of action oriented toward achieving a goal-this increases with dev -even in meaningful contexts, preschoolers can run into difficulty regulating their attention while they plan because they are less able to inhibit or suspend action during activity, a behavior that is critical to planning -planning is often done in social situations, so planning ahead aids for more efficiency -sharing responsibility for carrying out tasks helps children understand the problem from the perspective of another person -learning about the thinking of another appears to enhance the child’s own understanding of the problem Memory -short term memory is the conscious area of memory long term is where we store knowledge that we retain for long periods of time -long term includes semantic memory, the world knowledge and facts a person posseses and episodic memory, knowledge of specific events -remembering can be either intentional or unintentional, but much of everyday is unintentitional in form -explicit memory requires effort to store and retrieve -there are 3 areas of memory Basic capacities -this includes the amount of into that can be held in short term memory  Memory span: the amount of into that a person can keep in short term memory at one time is limited, and the limit changes with dev -interest or motivation plays a role in memory span -another explanation for older children and adults greater memory span is that they use one or more strategies that help them organize such info in a way that facilitates remembering it- chunking -world knowledge facilitates the ability to chunk  Processing efficiency: with practice some memory processing becomes automatic and as a result, space in working meory becomes available to work on other problems or strategies -case attributes the child’s increasing efficiency to two factors, streamlining of executive control structures (result of chunking) and biological maturation such as changes in the myelination of the neurons=increased firing  Processing speed: the time it takes an individual to carry out a given mental act -it is connected wit processing efficiency, the more efficient a process the quicker it is -spedd of processessing increases linearly with age from childhood to early adulthood -change in processing speed is a fundamental aspect of cognitive development -kail and park found the same relation between processing speed and age in Korean children and north American children,this is a universal development Memory strategies -they help people carry out memory related tasks, if we want to remember something that exceeds these limitations it is critical to use some technique or strategy -adults commonly use three memory strategies, rehearsal, organization and elaboration  Rehearsal: repeat the info to be remembered either mentally or out loud -researchers foud that the children who used spontaneous rehearsal had better memory for the pictures -it was not the frequency of rehearsal that predicted performance differences in younger and older children, rather the style of rehearsal -older children are more likely to rehearse each item in a group with previously rehearsed items, more cumulative rehearsal strategy is more effective in aiding memory or items in a list  Organization: recognize and reconstruct it to make it more meaningful and thus easier to remember -organization or the process of imposing an order on the info to be remembered using categories and hierarchical relations (categorizing and sorting) -children who use this strategy would be better able to recall the items in another test -children as young as 2 or 3 years old have been found to use basic category labels that them remember -researchers have been able to teach children as young as 7 to use organizational strategies like categorization ex: prompts child with questions to categorize -childrens engagement in a task can also influence the use of this strategy, active participation led the children to use organization strategies and facilitate their recall  Elaboration: involves adding to the information we want to remember to make it more meaningful and thus easier to remember -children are more likely to use elaboration when they get older Why do young children not use strategies -mediation deficiency: they simply cannot make use of strategies for incorporating info into long term storage -production deficiency: they may know certain strategies for remembering but they are unable to generate and use these strategies spontateously -they can produce memory strategies spontaneously but the complexity and effectiveness of their strategies are limited in comparison to the strategies of older children -utilization deficiency: children may produce an appropriate strategy spontaneously but be unable to profit from using it -children showed that they had retained the strategies they had been taught in the training session. However despite the use of these strategies their memory for the items decreased, used strategies but they didn’t work -as children become more adept at strategizing the costs decrease while the benefits increase Knowledge of the world -what children know bout the world in general influence what they understand about a present event and what they will remember about it later-world knowledge -children obtain knowledg
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