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Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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Konstantine Zakzanis

PSYB20 Week 5 Notes Chapter 8 Cognitive Development: Piaget and Vygotsky  Cognition: mental activity through which human beings acquire, remember, and learn to use knowledge o Perception, attention, learning, memory, and reasoning Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development  Helped Binet develop the first intelligence test which was a standardized IQ test for children o Children the same age tended to get the same answers wrong o The errors of children of a particular age differed in systematic ways from those of older or younger children  Piaget thought the errors children made revealed distinct age-related ways of thinking and understanding the world  Piaget relied on interviews and observations to study children  Piaget’s theory proposed that over development, the child acquires qualitatively new ways of thinking and understanding the world Piaget’s Main Tenet: The Child Actively Seeks Knowledge  Constructivist view: children construct their own understanding o Actively seek out information, and when they encounter new information, they actively try to fit it in with knowledge they already have  Cognitive Organization o Cognitive structure – organized group of interrelated memories, thoughts, and strategies that the child uses in trying to understand a situation o Schema: organized unit of knowledge, forms the knowledge base that a person uses to understand and interact with the environment o Organization: combination of simple mental structures into more complex systems o See turning points on pg. 300 o Operations: schemas based on internal mental activities  Cognitive Adaptation o Adaptation: children modify their schemas in relation to their own experiences o Assimilation: applying their existing schemes to the new experience o Accommodation: modifying an existing scheme to fit the characteristics of the new situation The Stages of Cognitive Development  Stages of development: comprehensive, qualitative changes over time in the way a child thinks  Stages are built through experience, so children don’t reach these stages at exactly the same age PSYB20 Week 5 Notes  The Sensorimotor Stage o First two years of life o Children move from purely reflexive behaviour to the beginnings of symbolic thought and goal-directed behaviours o Children begin to form mental representations of objects and events and use this information in developing new behaviours and solving problems o Development of object concept o Object permanence: realization that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight o Substage 1: Basic Reflex Activity (Birth to 1 month)  Basic reflex activity: use of innate reflexes  Exploration of objects occurs through involuntary reflex behaviours o Substage 2: Primary Circular Reactions (1 to 4 months)  Primary circular reactions: infants produce repetitive behaviours that are focused on the infant’s own body  Repeat and modify actions that they find pleasurable  No concept that objects have an existence of its own, when a toy vanishes they do not look for it o Substage 3: Secondary Circular Reactions (4 to 8 months)  Secondary circular reactions: repetitive behaviours focused on external objects  Some awareness of the permanence of objects  Child will search visually for an object if it’s loss interrupts the child’s actions  If child watches an object being covered, he won’t attempt to look for it o Substage 4: Coordination of Secondary Schemata (8 to 12 months)  Child develops more sophisticated combinations of behaviours that are directed toward objects and that reflect intentionality  Child begins to search for hidden objects  If the object is moved from one hiding place to the other, the child will still search in the first hiding place (A-not-B error) o Substage 5: Tertiary Circular Reactions (12 to 18 months)  Child experiments with external objects  Trial-and-error methods to learn more about the properties of objects and to solve problems  Capable of producing similar but not exact behaviours  Understands object permanence o Substage 6: Inventing New Means by Mental Combination (18 to 24 months)  Symbolic thought: use of mental images to represent people, objects, and events  Think symbolically and engage in internal or mental problem solving PSYB20 Week 5 Notes  Deferred imitation: child mimics an action some time after observing it  Able to make inferences about the positions of unseen objects even when the objects have been hidden or displaced several times o New Research Directions and Explanations of Knowledge in Infancy  Many investigators have argued that because of developmental limitations (poor hand-eye coordination), some children who have acquired the object concept may be unable to reveal it in manual search activities  Baillargeon found that infants looked longer at the impossible event that at the possible event  Core knowledge systems: ways of reasoning about ecologically important objects and events (solidity and continuity)  Infants are biologically prepared to learn certain kinds of information or principles about the world  The Preoperational Stage o Child’s development of the symbolic function  The ability to use symbols such as words, images, and gestures, to represent objects and events mentally o The Preconceptual Substage (2 to 4 Years)  Emergence of symbolic capabilities in children’s language, their great interest in imaginative play, and their increasing use of deferred imitation  Animistic thinking: attributing life to inanimate objects  Egocentrism: children view the world from their own perspective and have difficulty seeing things from another person’s point of view  When the task is make more comprehensible to children, they are able to perform much better that Piaget claimed o The Intuitive Substage (4 to 7 Years)  Child can solve problems with these operations but cannot explain why it was solved in that particular way  Child has difficulty understanding part-whole relations o The Main Limitations of Preoperational Thought  The child is semi-logical  Conservation: the child must recognize that even when an object’s appearance is altered, the basic attributes or properties remain the same  Children can conserve the identity or quality but not the amount or quantity of objects  Reversibility: the child cannot mentally reverse or undo a give action  Closely related to egocentrism PSYB20 Week 5 Notes  Ends-over-means focus: the child focuses on the end states rather than the means by which the end states were obtained  Overlooks the process of transformation  Centration: child centres their attention on only one dimension of an object or situation  The Stage of Concrete Operations o From age 7 to 11/12 o Children understand reversibility and are able to attend to more than one dimension of a problem at a time o They can solve problems only if the objects necessary for problem solutions are physically present o Bryant showed that when memory demands of a task are limited, concrete operational children can make logical inferences wit
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