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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB32H3
Professor
Diane Mangalindan
Semester
Fall

Description
 cognition o mental activity through which humans acquire, remember and learn to use knowledge Piaget's Theory of Development  Piaget was helping another scientist develop an IQ test for children, he noticed 2 things: o children around the same age tended to get the same answer wrong o errors of children of the same age differed in systematic ways from other children  2 methods: o interviews e.g. present child with problem and explain thinking o observations  believed that children ACTIVELY seek to acquire knowledge o encounter new info and try to fit it in with previous knowledge  constructivist view o children actively create their own understanding of the world by fitting in new knowledge with previous knowledge Cognitive Organization  while they are developing, children's knowledge of the world is organized into more and more complex structures  cognitive structure o not a physical area in the brain, but an organized group of interrelated memories, thoughts etc that children use to help them understand a situation  organization o combining simple mental structures into more complex systems o allows the child to act and understand the world in a certain way o with new experiences, the child combines the new knowledge with old ones and a new organization evolves  schema o organized knowledge that a person uses to understand and interact with the environment  operations o as they grow older, they shift from using overt physical activities to using schemas based on internal mental activities Cognitive Adaptation  adaptation o children continually modify their schemas  assimilation o applying what they know/existing schemas to new experiences o e.g. looking-grasping-sucking scheme  accommodation o modifying an existing schema to fit with a new experience o e.g. cannot put large beach ball in mouth, so instead modifies strategy Stages of Cognitive Development  stages of development o large-scale changes o each stages is different from the one before it o all children pass through the stages in the same order, but not all reach at the exact same time  intellectual development had 4 large scale changes: o semsorimotor o preoperational o concrete operations o formal operations Sensorimotor Stage  0-2 years old  around 2, form mental representations of objects  has 6 substages  during this stage, learn about object permanence -realization that objects continue to exist even when you can't see them Substage 1: Basic Reflex Activity  birth to 1 month  infants become better and using their innate reflexes e.g. sucking  in the beginning, a lot of their exploration is based on involuntary reflexes, but during the 1st month, they change into controlled voluntary  object concept: o look only at objects that are directly in front of them Substage 2: Primary Circular Reactions  1-4 months  repetitive behaviours that are centered around the child's body  often the behaviour begins by chance and is repeated because it is pleasurable o e.g. accidentally put finger close to mouth and start sucking on it (will do it over and over)  object concept: o do not understand that the object exists on its own o e.g. if drop a toy on the floor, they will not look for it, may look at their empty hand Substage 3: Secondary Circular Reactions  4-8 months  at 4 months, repetitive actions focus on external objects o e.g. shake a rattle  object concept: o beginning to show some object permanence o will search for an object visually (can anticipate the path of movement and make an expectation of where it should appear) o but if the object is covered, will not retrieve it Substage 4: Coordination of Secondary Schemata  8-12 months  child can make complex and intentional behaviours toward objects, in other words, child is able to plan to get a goal o e.g. move one toy out of the way to get another toy  this stage also marks the beginning of problem-solving behaviour  object concept: o child searches for concealed objects, but commits a-not-b error  A-not-B error: if the object is hidden and is then moved to another location while the child watches, the child will still look in the first hiding spot Substage 5: Tertiary Circular Reactions  12-18 months  children begin to experiement with the properties of objects and how they respond to various actions o e.g. dropping toys at different heights  before, children could only immitate behaviours, now they are able to produce similar behaviours o e.g. dropping from different heights  object concept: o understands object permanence (especially from hidden object), however has difficulty following more than one displacement  e.g. hide watch in a box and then hide behind cushion and give child empty box, but child does not try to look for the watch behind the other cushion Substage 6: Inventing New Means by Mental Combination  18-24 months  the beginning of symbolic thought o engage in internal/mental problem solving...think of ways to get goal by mentally combining schemas  displays deferred imitation o child mimics action some time after observing it New Research Directions and Explanations of Knowledge in Infancy  reserachers argue that child may have object concept, but because of poor hand-eye coordination, cannot show it in their physical activities  experiment o showed 6-8 month old infants an impossible event (car moving through box) and possible, car moving with box behind the tracks o infants started longer at the impossible event  *has even been demonstrated in children as young as 3 1/2 months old  core knowledge systems o ways of understanding the world e.g physical laws such as solidity of objects violation of expectation experiment  4 1/2 month old infants  cylinder and object, impossible: object that's bigger than cylinder is put in, possible: object smaller than cylinder put in  screen and object (same impossible/possible events as above)  children looked longer at unexpected events in the occlusion (screen) than containment condition (cylinder)  7 1/2 month old o looked longer at both occlusion and containment impossible events screen door and ramp experiment  rolled ball down a ramp with a wall that stopped it, child had to open the correct door to find out which box it was in  children under 3 were not able to do this  when made the doors transparent: o did not help 2 year olds performance o 2 1/2 year olds performed better  experiment suggests that we do not know how much "core knowledge" children actually possess cross-cultural  research suggests that other children have the sensorimotor stage with the same 6 substages The Preoperational Stage  major characteristic of this stage: development of symbolic function  symbolic function: o the ability to use symbols, words, images and gestures o emergence is evidenced through development of language, imaginative play and deferred imitation  made up of 2 substages o the preconceptual substage o the intuitive substage Substage 1: The Preceonceptual Substage (2-4 years)  demonstrates animistic thinking o (tendency to attribute life to inanimate objects e.g. plant feels pain) o *researchers argue that it might just be magical interpretations instead of animistic thought  moreover, children at 4 years old are able to deccide whether objects are able to move on their own or not e.g. rabbit vs. toy  egocentrism o piaget said that during this stage, children have dificulty seeing things from another person's point of view o experiment  3 model mountains on a table, child sat in one chair, doll in another  asked the child to describe what the doll sees from 3 diff. positions  piaget found that children could not do this from all 3 locations until 9-10 years old o counter experiment  Piaget's experiment was problematic...no clear indicators to differentiate mountains , choosing perspective may not make sense for children  changes to the experiment  put different, familiar things on each mountain  asked children to rotate small model to display the doll's view  found that children as young as 3 able to identify the 3 correct positions  shows that when task is comprehensible, children perform better Substage 2: The Intuitive Substage (4-7 years)  named such because child is not aware of principles used when doing mental oerations  child is able to use specific mental operations to solve problems, but cannot explain how she arrives at the solutions  part-whole relations o difficulty understanding it o undable to simultaneously focus on a part set category and a whole set o e.g. 7 dogs, 3 cats, when asked if there are more dogs than cats, reply yes, when asked if there are more dogs than animals, reply yes Main Limitations of Preoperational Thought  main limitation: children are semi-logical  conservation o when an object's appearance is altered, the properties remain the same o objects have 2 basic attributes:  qualitative property: identity  quntity of object: amount  preoperational children have a lot of difficulty with quantity o this is why childn are semi-logical at this state (can understand identity, but not quantity)  reasons why they have semi-logical reasoning o 1. inability to understand reversibility o 2. tend to focus on the end state of action o 3. centration  reversibility o child is unable to mentally reverse an action  ends-over-means focus o focuses on end state instead of how i was obtained (this means that they overlook the process of transfromation) o e.g. pouring liquid in narrower glass, they do not focus on the pouring part  centration o put their attention on only one dimension of the object e.g. think that there is more water in one glass because they only focus on the height of the water  cross-cultural o studies have shown that the age at which children understand conservation varies (also varies for what substances they understand it for) o Western:  understand for liquid, mass and length between 6-7 months  undersatnding weight, area and volume: 9-11 years old The Stage of Concrete Operations  age 7-11/12 years old  understand reversibility  able to attend to more than one dimension at a time  thinking is tied to concrete reality o in other words, can only solve problems when objects for the solution are physically present o e.g. verbal problem: M is taller than Z, Z is taller than F, who is the tallest? (child will have difficulty)  able to classify objects on more than one attribute o e.g. yellow roses, pink lilies  counter research o said maybe children have trouble with verbal task because of memory difficulties o found thatn when memory demands are limited, childrne can make inferences without objects being present o also showed that even infants can place objects into categoreis on the basis of perceptual similarities  cross-cultural o culture influences what concepts are learned and when o this is becasue it shows the use of those concepts in daily activities The Stage of Formal Operations  begins at 11 or 12 years old  most significant changes: o mental hypothesis testing o ability to entertain possible alternatives to problem solving o ability to think abstractly and solve problems that have no basis in reality  e.g. if blue people live in red houses, are all people who live in red houses blue? o can consider philosophical issues o this is also the stage where science fiction becomes of interest  experiment o shown objects and a tub of water o participants are supposed to find an explnation for why some bojects float and others do not o concrete operational children  may focus on weight or size
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