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Chapter 8

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PSYC 2110
Ravi Naimpally

Developmental Psychology: Chapter 8 Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory, Case’s Neo-Piagetian Theory, and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Viewpoint -Cognition: -Activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge is acquired -Help us understand and adapt to environment -Activities like attending, perceiving, learning, thinking, remembering -Basically unobservable events that characterize human mind -Cognitive Development: -Changes that occur in children’s mental abilities over the course of their lives (activities listed above) Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development: -Piaget: most influential theorists in history of child development -Genetic Epistemology: -Combined zoology and epistemology to create this term -The experimental study of the origin of knowledge -Clinical Method: question and answer technique -From naturalistic observations, Piaget formulated his theory of intellectual growth. What is Intelligence? -Intelligence: -Basic life function that helps organisms adapt to its environment -Cognitive Equilibrium: -“Form of equilibrium toward which all cognitive structures tend” -That all intellectual activity is undertaken with one goal in mind: -Produce a balanced, or harmonious relationship between ones thought process and the environment -Achieving it is called equilibration -Piaget’s view of intelligence is an interactionist model: -Mismatches between internal mental schemes (existing knowledge) and the external environment stimulate cognitive activity and intellectual growth -Constructivist: -If children are too know something, they must construct that knowledge themselves -Individual who acts on novel objects and events and gains some understanding of their properties -Children’s constructions of reality depend on knowledge they have available to them: more immature child’s cognitive system, more limited interpretations of events (ex. boy and wind, erroneous explanation for real world event) How We Gain Knowledge: Cognitive Schemes and Cognitive Processes: -Scheme: -Organized pattern of thought or action that a child constructs to make sense of some aspect of his or her experience -Cognition develops through the refinement and transformation of mental structures (schemes) -Unobservable mental systems that underlie intelligence -Pattern of thought or action -Representations of reality -Piaget believed that: -All schemes and forms of understanding are created through workings of two inborn intellectual processes: organization and adaptation. -Organization: v -Inborn tendency to combine and integrate available schemes into coherent systems or bodies of knowledge. -Children combine schemes into new and more complex intellectual schemes -Unrelated schemes into a more complex structure (visually directed reaching) -Adaptation: -Inborn tendency to adjust to the demands of the environment -Occurs through 2 complementary activities: assimilation and accommodation -Assimilation: -Interpreting new experiences by incorporating them into existing schemes -Ex. horse/rabbit is a doggie/kitten because it’s 4-legged (or vitamins as Easter eggs, plane as bird) -Child is trying to adapt to novel stimulus by constructing it as something familiar -Accommodation: -Modifying existing schemes in order to make sense of new experiences -Respond in new ways to changes in the environment -Ex. Realizing that rabbit wasn’t kitten because it didn’t purr and it hopped -Assimilation and accommodation work together to promote cognitive growth Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development: -Four major stages of cognitive development: -Sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years) -Preoperational stage (2 to 7) -Concrete operations stage (7 to 11) -Formal operations (11 and beyond) -Invariant Developmental sequence: -The stages represent qualitatively different levels of functioning and form this 0 -All children progress through the stages in the same order -Stages can never be skipped because successive stage builds on the accomplishment of previous The Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 Years): -Sensorimotor period: -Coordinate their sensory inputs and motor capabilities, forming behavioral schemes that permit to “act on” and get to “know” the environment. -6 sub stages (describe child’s gradual transition from a reflexive to a reflective being) -Neonate’s main sensorimotor activity is exercising innate reflexes -Infants behaviors characterized by repetitive, circular acts because their behavior produces interesting consequences -Motions involved in secondary circular reactions are repetitive and directed toward external objects -Fifth stage of sensorimotor period is when children engage in overt trail-and-error behaviors to explore the properties of objects -Symbolic problem solving is a prominent feature in constructing mental images of sensorimotor intelligence Development of Imitation: -May take days or weeks to practice and hundreds of demonstrations -Voluntary imitation becomes precise at age 12 to 18 months -Deferred Imitation: -Ability to reproduce the behavior of an absent model -First appears at 18 to 25 months -Older infants are capable of this because they can construct mental symbols, or images, of a model’s behavior that are stored in memory and retrieved later on -Meltzoff’s research on deferred imitation says its present at 9 to 14 months -Symbolic mental activity is the underlying covert problem solving, deferred imitation, and the mature concept of object permanence. Development of Object Permanence: -Object Permanence: -Successful completion/ achievement of sensorimotor period -Idea that objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible of detectable through senses -very young infants rely on their senses and motor skills to “understand” an object -4-8 months will retrieve toy that are partially concealed or placed semitransparent cover, completely concealed that objects no longer exist -- cd -gvd -Searching for covertly displaced objects= object concept is fully mature -A-not-B error: -8-12 months old -Search for hidden object where they found it previously rather than where they saw it last -Acted as if behavior determines where the object will be found -12-18 months -Object concept improves -Search for them where they were last seen -Object Permanence not complete because child cant make mental influences necessary to understand invisible displacements Challenges to Piaget’s Account of Sensorimotor Development: Neo-Nativism and Theory Theories: -Neo-Nativists: -Theorists who believe that infants are born with substantial innate knowledge about the physical world that requires much less time and experience to be demonstrated -This knowledge does not have to be constructed, part of genetic heritage -“The newborn arrives with much knowledge” -Infants are symbolic beings -Babies are not responding on the basis of number but on total amount of substance present -Bailargeon’s conclusion as to why infants stare longer at “impossible” scenes than they do at “possible” scenes is that they are displaying a rudimentary understanding of object concept Theory Theories: -Infants comes into this world with more knowledge than Piaget proposed -Theorists who combine aspects of neo-nativism with Piagetian constructivism: infant cognition -Theory Theories: -Infants are prepared from birth to make sense of certain classes of information The Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 Years) and the Emergence of Symbolic Thought: -Preoperational Stage: -Marked/Hallmark by appearance of symbolic function: -Ability to make one thing-a word or an object-stand for, or represent, something else -Children lack the ability to perform certain mental operations -Representational Insight: -Knowledge that an entity can stand for something other than itself -Language most obvious form of symbolism that young children display -18 months of age, show inner experimentation (2 words to form simple sentences) -Second major hallmark of early preoperational period is pretend play (other form of symbolism) -Average 3 year old has more in common with 21-year-old adult then with 12-month-old infant because of symbolic thought -Serious Business: -Significant positive effects on a child’s social and intellectual developmental and should be encouraged -They are curious and creative if they engage in a great deal of pretend play in preschool New Views on Symbolism: -Children have no representational insight and cannot use the model in a symbolic fashion to guide their search -Ex. looking for snoopy in small and big room -toddlers preformed poorly because they could not understand that the model was a representation of the real room -3 year olds performed well in both retrieval tasks -2 ½ year olds failed to recognize that scale model was representation of large room -If given photo that shows snoopy hiding place in the real room 2 ½ not 2 year olds can find him -Dual Representation: -2 ½ year olds lack this -ability to think about an object in 2 different ways at the same time (representing an object simultaneously as an object and as a representation of something else) Deficits in Preconceptual Reasoning: -Preoperational intelligence focused mainly on limitation, or deficiencies in children’s thinking -Animism: -Willingness to attribute life and lifelike qualities, inanimate objects -Egocentrism: -Gerald’s dad cries, and he brings teddy bear and tells dad that if he hugs it he’ll feel better -most striking deficit in reasoning of the preconception child -Appearance/ Reality Distinction: -Way things appear to be makes it impossible for children to distinguish appearances from reality -syrah and her mom dressed up as a witch -Dual encoding: representing an object in more than one-way at a time -Centration (centered thinking): -Tendency of preoperational children to attend to one aspect of a situation to the exclusion of others, with decentration -Conservation: -Preoperational children are incapable of this -Do not realize some properties of objects (volume, mass, number) -Children 6 or 7 will usually say that the tall, think container contains more liquid than the short broad one -Changing the shape of an object does not necessarily change
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