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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Summary & Terms

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Western University
Psychology 2040A/B
Ian Mac Donald

CHAPTER 7 SUMMARYy This and the following 2 chapters are devoted to an examination of cognition the mental processes by which humans acquire and use knowledge and to cognitive development Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development y Piagets theory of genetic epistemology cognitive development defines intelligence as a basic life function that helps the child to adapt to the environmenty Piaget described children as active explorers who construct schemes to establish cognitive equilibrium between their thinking and their experiencesy Schemes are constructed and modified through the processes of organization and adaptation y Adaptation consists of two complementary activities assimilation attempts to fit new experiences to existing schemes and accommodation modifying existing schemes in response to new experiences y Cognitive growth results as assimilations stimulate accommodations which induce the reorganization of schemes which permit further assimilations etc Piagets Stages of Cognitive Development y Piaget claimed that intellectual growth proceeds through an invariant sequence of stages that can be summarized as follows Sensorimotor period 02 years From basic reflex activity infants over the o first 2 years come to know and understand objects and events by acting on them Subsequent substages involve the construction of schemes via primary and secondary circular reactions which are the first signs of goaltertiary circular reactions These behavioural directed behaviour and schemes are eventually internalized to form mental symbols that support such inner experimentation achievements asAlthough Piagets general sequences of sensorimotor development have been confirmed recent evidence indicates that Piagets explanation of AnotB errors was incorrect and that infants achieve deferred imitation and object permanence such milestones as earlier than Piaget thought Alternative approaches such as neonativism and theory theories assume counter to Piaget that infants possess innate knowledge that directs their early developmento PreOperational Period 27 years Symbolic reasoning increases symbolic dramatically as children in the preoperational period rely on function and display representational insight Symbolism gradually dual becomes more sophisticated as children acquire a capacity for representation or dual encoding animistic andPiaget described the thinking of 27 year olds as egocentric characterized by centration Although preoperational children often fail to make appearancereality distinctions recent research indicates that they
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