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Chapter 7

Chapter 7

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Psychology 2040A/B

Psych 2040A Chapter 7: Cognitive Development 1 - Piaget and Vygotsky Cognition: the activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge is acquired. help us understand and adapt to our environment Cognitive Development: changes that occur in mental activities such as attending, perceiving, learning, thinking and remembering Piaget believed that there was a universal pattern of intellectual growth among humans and Vygotsky believed in a sociocultural viewpoint where cognitive growth is heavily inuenced by ones culture and environment. Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development genetic epistemology: the experimental study of the development of knowledge, developed by Piaget study of the origin of knowledge Piaget carefully observed his own three children; he also used the clinical method to conduct his research (interview method where the answer of the participant will determine what question is asked next) What is intelligence? intelligence: according to Piaget, it is a basic life function that help the organism adapt to its environment a form of equilibrium toward which all cognitive structures tend the one goal of mine is cognitive equilibrium: to produce a balanced, harmonious relationship between ones thought processes and the environment described the child as a constructivist: one who gains knowledge by acting or otherwise operating on objects and events to discover their properties children can then interpret something based on what they have How we gain knowledge: Cognitive Schemes and Cognitive Processes cognition develops through the renement and transformation of mental structures, or schemes - an organized pattern of thought or action that one constructs to interpret some aspect of ones experience schemes are representations of reality cognitive development is the development of schemes or structures Piaget believed that all schemes are created through the two intellectual processes of organization and adaptation organization: an inborn tendency to combine and integrate available schemes into coherent systems or bodies of knowledge children are constantly reorganizing their schemes they have into more complex and adaptive structures adaptation: an inborn tendency to adjust to the demands of the environment adaptation occurs through two complementary activities: assimilation and accommodation assimilation: the process of interpreting new experiences by incorporating them into existing schemes accommodation: the process of modifying existing schemes in order to incorporate or adapt to new experiences we need to accommodate rst before we can assimilate accommodating as a compliment of assimilation Piagets Stages of Cognitive Development 4 major periods of cognitive development: sensorimotor stage (birth - 2 years) preoperational stage (2 - 7 years) concrete operations (7-11 years) formal operations (11 years + ) these stages form an invariant developmental sequence - series of developments that occur in one particular order because each development in the sequence is a prerequisite for those appearing later all children progress through the same stages of development The Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 Years) sensorimotor stage: infants are relying on behavioural schemes as a means of exploring and understanding the environment coordinate their sensory inputs and motor capabilities childs gradual transition from reexive to a reective human being 3 important aspects (substages) of sensorimotor development: problem-solving skills, imitation, and the growth of object permanence Development of Problem-Solving Skills reex activity (birth to 1 month): actions are conned to exercising innate reexes, assimilating new objects into reexive schemes, and accommodating their reexes to these novel objects primary circular reactions (1-4 months): a pleasurable response centered on the infants own body; discovered by chance; repeated over and over ie. sucking their thumbs, cooing secondary circular reactions (4-8 months): a pleasurable response centered on an external object; discovered by chance; repeated over and over ie. squeezing a rubber duck and hearing it squack began to differentiate themselves from objects in the environment coordination of secondary schemes (8-12 months): infants begin to coordinate two or more action to achieve simple objectives rst sign of goal-directed behaviour tertiary circular reactions (12-18 months): infant devises a new method of acting on objects to reproduce interesting results ie. instead of squeezing the rubber duck, the infant may decide to drop it and step on it instead reect an infants active curiosity symbolic problem solving (18-24 months): also called inner experimentation - the ability to solve simple problems on a mental or symbolic level without having to rely on trial-and-error experimentation infants begin to internalize their behavioural schemes to construct mental symbols or images to use for future conduct Development of Imitation Piaget concluded that infants have the ability to imitate any novel responses displayed by a model until 8-12 months of age (up until goal-directed behaviour) deferred imitation: the ability to reproduce a modelled activity that has been witnessed at some point in the past rst appears 18-24 months of age older infants are capable because they can construct mental images of a modelled behaviour some theorists believe that deferred imitation occurs much earlier on in life (6 months) Development of Object Permanence object permanence: the realization that objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible to detectable through the other senses object permanence occurs around 8-12 months of age A-not-B error: the tendency for 8-12 month olds to search for a hidden object where they previously found it even after they have seen it moved to a new location heavily relies on the behavior of the infant - she does not treat the object as if it exists independent of her own behaviour by 18-24 months of age, infants are capable of mentally representing such invisible displacements (moving of the object done without the awareness of the infant) and using these inferences to guide their search for the objects - complete object permanence Challenges to Piagets Account of Sensorimotor Development: Neo-Nativism and Theory Theories Piagets account of infant development is generally accurate but incomplete underestimated the infants cognitive capabilities Neo-Nativism: the idea that much cognitive knowledge, such as the object concept, is innate, requiring little in the way of specic experiences to be expressed, and that there are biological constraints in that the mind/brain is designed to process certain types of information in certain ways theorists who believe that infants are born with substantial knowledge about the nature of the physical world, which requires much less time and experience to be demonstrated than Piaget proposed some argue that from the very beginning, infants are symbolic beings babies are prepared by evolution that make sense of certain aspects of their physical world that are universally experienced study done on infants and their innate ability for addition (p.249) had two sequences, the possible and impossible outcome impossible outcome was 1+1 = 1 and possible outcome was 1+1=2 infants were shown one object and screen was raised to cover the rst object and a second object is placed after raising the screen, if infants have some primitive concept of addition, they should be surprised and thus spend more time looking at the impossible outcome
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