PSYC 4010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Personal Construct Theory, Egocentrism, Cognitive Psychology

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 4010
Professor
Page:
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Child Development: Thinking about Theories
Chapter 4 pg 60-79 The Child as a Philosopher
Popper mind-body dualism
o 3 worlds physical, mental, world of intelligible
o World 1 physical reality; 5 senses
o World 2 inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions; introspection
o World 3 logic and mathematics
George Kelly personal construct theory
o Man might be seen as an incipient scientist
o Each individual man formulates in his own way constructs through which he
views the world of events
Cognitive psychology mental representations, symbols and computations
Jean Piagets cognitive development theory
3 main phases
o Refined his clinical interview technique, young childrens animistic beliefs,
egocentrism of young children and inability to take on anothers perspective
o Childrens mental growth, object permanence
o Childrens understanding of concepts such as number, quantity and speed
Stage-independent and stage dependent
Stage-independent 4 factors
o Maturation brain development rapid before birth; first 2 years
o Experience direct physical experience (5 senses) and mathematical experience
(logical and mathematical structure; childs acting)
o Social transmission least developed; dialectic between the child and the physical
world, but included social interaction as a motivator of development
o Equilibration achieving equilibrium
Stage theory of development
o A period of formation and progressive organization of mental operations
o The progressive hierarchical development of one stage upon another
o Relative similarity on the attainment of each stage
Stage-dependent 4 major stages
o Sensori-motor period (0-2 yrs): 5 senses, simple reflexes
o Pre-operational period (3-7yrs): language, modelling and memory; the childs
internal, cognitive representation of the external world is gradually developing
and differentiating; perception is greater than concepts, egocentrism
o Concrete operations period (7-11yrs): children’s thinking becomes more flexible
o Formal operational period (11+yrs): final period of cognitive development; reason
abstractly without relying on concrete situations or events
Constructivist, progressive and directional
Critique of Piagets Theory
Clinical interviews too subjective and value-laden
Language, repetition
Sequence of stages
Piaget treats other people as objects
Complexity and messiness of cognitive development in details
3 tenets
o Children develop from an impoverished beginning state. Research suggests that,
in fact, the young infant is highly competent
o There are global discontinuities in cognition across stages. In fact, there is
evidence of early precursors to abilities
o Cognitive growth is monolithic. In fact, there is wide individual variation in
development and competences
Connectionism
Language development, categorization and decision-making
Neural networks; memory = storage, search and retrieval
Theory of mind
Cognitive and language abilities of chimpanzees
Childrens knowledge of the mind: Piagets theory and research, childrens metacognitive
development, theory of mind development
School bullying: deficient in one of the 5 stages of information processing: social
perception, interpretation of cues, goal selection, response strategy generation and
response decision
Eleanor-Maccoby: adding the social to cognitive development
Interest in studying children
Contemporary influences
o Research involving trait theory
o Cognitive-development theory
o Ethological theory and concepts of instincts
o Temperament research
o Cross-cultural research
Socialization process
Jerome Bruner and constructivist theory
2 important assumptions of Piagets theory: different levels of knowing the same
experience and that the higher or greater the level of abstraction, the more flexible is the
individuals approach to problem-solving
Language is related to cognitive growth
3 major themes
o How humans organize and represent their experience of the world
o Impact of culture on growth
o Evolutionary history of humans
Cultural helps transmit knowledge and understanding
Enactive representation = sensorimotor
Iconic representation = mental image
Symbolic representation = symbols
Systems thinking and dynamic systems theory
Gregory Bateson systems thinking
Key concepts:
o Systems and subsystems: all systems are composed of subsystems, which are in a
continual state of fluctuation or change. At any one time the fluctuation may be
stronger as to shatter the pre-existing order
o Chaos and order: at any singular moment or bifurcation the system may
descend into chaos or transcend to a higher level of organization or order
known as dissipative structure.
Such structures are called dissipative because they require energy to sustain
them than the previous structures
o Equilibrium: in Newtonian thermodynamics all systems run down to disorder with
energy dissipating over time. In the natural world there are closed systems that
do operate like machines. However, many systems are open, exchanging energy,
matter of information with the environment
Dynamic systems theory
Conclusions
Theoretical development
All phenomena are interdependent
Limitations: structural stage concepts of development (complexity and diversity not
captured) and a lack of explanation of how regulation, organization and self-organization
relate to the development process

Document Summary

Chapter 4 pg 60-79 the child as a philosopher. Popper mind-body dualism: 3 worlds physical, mental, world of intelligible, world 1 physical reality; 5 senses, world 2 inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions; introspection, world 3 logic and mathematics. Man might be seen as an incipient scientist: each individual man formulates in his own way constructs through which he views the world of events. Cognitive psychology mental representations, symbols and computations. Stage theory of development: a period of formation and progressive organization of mental operations, the progressive hierarchical development of one stage upon another, relative similarity on the attainment of each stage. Clinical interviews too subjective and value-laden. Complexity and messiness of cognitive development in details. 3 tenets: children develop from an impoverished beginning state. Research suggests that, in fact, the young infant is highly competent: there are global discontinuities in cognition across stages. In fact, there is evidence of early precursors to abilities: cognitive growth is monolithic.