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Mark Schmuckler

Developmental Psychology Chapter 8 - Cognitive Development: Piaget and Vygotsky cognition - term used to describe the mental activity through which human beings ac- quire, remember and learn to use knowledge Jean Piaget - theory of cognitive development - emphasizes developmental changes in the organiza- tion of structure of childrens thinking processes - proposed that over development, the child acquires qualitatively new ways of thinking and understanding the world - interested in epistemology - study of knowledge - helped Binet develop standardized IQ tests for children - important observations - noticed that children of the same age tended to get the same answers wrong - observed that the errors of children of a particular age differed in systematic ways from those of older or younger children - thought revealed distinct age-related ways of thinking and understanding the world - relied on two methods - interviews - observations - constructivist view - children play an active role in acquiring knowledge - actively seek out information - when children encounter new information, actively try to fit it in with the knowl- edge they already possess - children construct their own understanding - childrens knowledge of the world gets organized into increasingly more complex cog- nitive structures - an organized group of interrelated memories, thoughts, and strategies that the child uses in trying to understand a situation - schema - an organized unit of knowledge that the child uses to try to understand a sit- uation; forms the basis for organizing actions to respond to the environment - organization - combining simple mental structures into more complex systems - enables the child to act on and interpret the world in a particular way - over time and experience, knowledge changes as the child attempts to under- stand new information and combine it in someway with their current knowledge - new organization of the childs knowledge - builds on the prior knowledge, extends this knowledge into new and more powerful directions Developmental Psychology Chapter 8 - Cognitive Development: Piaget and Vygotsky - as children grow older, shift gradually from using schemas based on overt physical ac- tivities to those based on internal mental activities - operations - schemas based on internal mental abilities - claimed that when a substantial number of changes in schemata occur, children change from one organized way of understanding to an entirely new way of approaching the world - large-scaled organized changes - stages - suggested there are 4 stages of cognitive development - proposed adaptation - that children continually modify their schemas in relation to their own experiences - individuals tendency to adjust to environmental demands - involves determining how new information fits with existing knowledge as well as ow existing knowledge may need to change to incorporate new information - to understand a new experience - children at first try assimilation - applying their existing schemes to the new experience - molding a new experience to fit an existing way of responding to the environ- ment - accommodation - modifying an existing way of responding to the environment to fit the characteristics of a new experience - assimilation and accommodation work together to organize the childrens knowledge and behaviour into increasingly complex structures - stages of development - comprehensive, qualitative changes over time in the way a child thinks - children do not reach these stages at exactly the same age - all children pass through the stages in the same order, and no stage can be skipped - attainment of earlier stages are the building 1. Sensorimotor period (0-2) 2. preoperational period (2-7) 3. period of concrete operations (7-12) 4. period of formal operations (12 and beyond) sensorimotor stage (0-2 years) - children move from purely reflexive behaviour to the beginnings of symbolic thought and goal-directed behaviours - interact with environment Developmental Psychology Chapter 8 - Cognitive Development: Piaget and Vygotsky - build basic reflexes, form a way of understanding and interacting with the world - infants learn about objects - object permanence - the notion that entities external to the child, such as ob- jects and people, continue to exist independent of the childs seeing or interact- ing with them - six substages - substage 1: basic reflex activity (birth to 1 month) - an infants exercise of and growing proficiency in the use of innate reflex- es - ex. grasping and sucking - initial exploration of objects occurs through involuntary reflexive behav- iours - many involuntary behaviours are replaced by behaviors that are similar in form but are controlled voluntarily - object concept - infants look only at objects that are directly in front of it - substage 2 : primary circular reactions (1 to 4 months) - behaviours in which infants repeat and modify actions that focus on their own bodies and that are pleasurable and satisfying - often actions begin by chance - finding behaviour pleasurable, infant attempts to reproduce the exact be- haviour - object concept - infants display no comprehension that the objects have an existence of their own - does not search for disappeared object - ex. when a toy drops from hand, stares at hand instead of falling object - substage 3 : secondary circular reactions (4 to 8 months) - behaviours focused on objects outside the infants own body that the in- fant repeatedly engages in because they are pleasurable - now capable of combining schemes to produce relatively more complex behaviours - object concept - the infant begins to show some awareness of the per- manence of object - search visually for an object if its loss interrupts the childs actions, and will anticipate the path of a moving object by looking at a loca- tion where it can be expected to appear Developmental Psychology Chapter 8 - Cognitive Development: Piaget and Vygotsky - search for a partially visible object, but not a covered one - even if he watches as an object is covered, he will not at- tempt to retrieve it - substage 4 : coordination of secondary schemata (8 to 12 months) - an infants combination of different schemes to achieve a specific goal - deliberate - marks beginning of problem-solving behaviour - object concept - child begins to search for completely concealed objects - although child will search successfully for an object hidden in one location, if the object is moved to another location as the child watches, the child will continue to search in the first hiding place - A-B error - because child continues to search in the first hiding place (A) even after as child watches, the object is put in a second spot (B) - substage 5 : tertiary circular reactions (12 to 18 months) - behaviours in which infants experiment with the properties of external ob- jects and try to learn how objects respond to various actions - use trial-and-error methods to learn more about properties of objects and to solve problems - now capable of producing similar but not exact behaviours - little scientists - infants who had acquired capability, which allows for novel exploration - ex. dropping something to see what happens - displays understanding of the permanence of an object hidden from view - difficulty following more than one displacement off an object - substage 6 : inventing new means by mental combination (18 to 24 months) - children begin to combine schemes mentally, thus relying less on physi- cal trial and error - symbolic capabilities are evident in the childs emerging ability to use lan- guage and in deferred imitation - child mimics an action some time after observing it - fully acquire the concept of object permanence
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